Repurposed projects made by the Mr

Let me tell you that my husband is unbelievable at taking items that are unloved and turning them into something unbelievable!

Remember that gorgeous garden produce cart that that he made from all repurposed items? Well, he took a few license plates that he had (obviously not in use) and created a one of a kind money box!

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Hand made by my favorite guy!

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I ❤️ Those $ signs! 
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The finished product!

And while I’m typing about his amazing skills, here are a few other things he has whipped up in the last month!

He took a few of the vintage plates that my Pap Pap had in his garage and hung them up! (The boy loves vintage things!)

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License plate display

He also took a few skateboards that were not being used and turned them into some shelves by the boy’s bed!

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Skateboard shelf! 

He has been keeping himself quite busy and using up items that were not being loved! Have you been upcycling anything lately?

Growing sweet potatoes! (In clay soil!)

I have been enjoying growing sweet potatoes here in Western Maryland! They are a longer season crop and I tried something that REALLY helped them grow better! I made mounds with compost rich material and planted the sweet potato slip right in the top!

In months, the vines were spreading so quickly!

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Vines on the mounds
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Up close view of the vines! 

As the season went on, I could just scoop the mounds away to keep an eye on the size of the potatoes!

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An inside look at at the roots! 

Did I mention that they grow gorgeous flowers that all pollinators love!

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🐝❤️

Now on to how much we harvested this year! You will want to harvest them when the leaves start to yellow or before hard frosts. For me, that’s around the middle of October!

We actually were able to harvest a little over 30 pounds of sweet potatoes!

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All these from 1 sweet potato slip! 
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Before and after! 
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Grown in a raised bed! (1 slip!) 
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Grown in a pot

After digging up the sweet potatoes, you have to cure them. They need to be in a hot place for (80-90 degrees) for about 10 days!

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I kept mine in the green house!

After those 10 days, they go into storage in a dark cool place for months.

They are really forgiving plants and with the mounds, I was able to dig them up so much easier! So, these might need to be put on your 2018 list!

Creating the garden cart!!

This summer we set up little produce stands on the front sidewalk.

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Our tiny produce stand

As part of our 2018 goals, we are planning on possibly selling more produce next year! It all started out with the Mr. carving the handles:

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Hand carved! 

Followed by framing it up, repurposing old wheels and cutting and putting the boards on top:

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Already looking adorable! 

Then, he put the spindles on and the frame for the roof:

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Almost finished! 

Then today, he finished it up by putting galvanized sheets on the roof:

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I’m in love with it! 

So, even if I don’t sell a bit of extra produce, we still have this amazing, unique, perfectly husband-crafted cart!

As for the rest of the homestead, it has been soooo cold here! This morning I made our ladies a bowl of warm oatmeal to start the day!

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They loved it! 

And, another sneak peek of the 2018 goals, is redoing a camper trailer! I’m trying to pick out some cute fabric to reupholster the cushions in:

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I’m leaning towards the camping one!

And the save the pumpkins from the landfill project is going well! We are up to 78!!

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3 more pumpkins!!

And now to continue crocheting, relaxing with puppies and attempting to enjoy this cooler season! Keep blooming!

Garden cleanup!

It’s not a fun thing to do, but more of a must do kind of job. Why?! Well, you don’t want to give a home to pests to help boost their population in the spring. Also, you don’t want diseased plants staying until you plant again next year! Since it didn’t rain on Sunday, this is what I did!

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The Before
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The After (still more cleanup to go!) 

The chicken coop got a nice clean out:

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Never a clean job! 

I also cleaned up the fence line garden that gave us lots of produce!

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Before
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The after 😢

We are still getting some eggs and a few mushrooms. Winecap mushrooms are so good, that I’m attempting to spread the spores into another raised bed!

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Winecaps! 

We had a lot more pumpkins dropped off today!! The uncarved ones are saved for the chickens and the carved ones are making a big compost pile! Basically we are trying to keep this long season crop from just sitting in a landfill!

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65 pumpkins so far! 

And lastly, check out my bragging:

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The cable stitch on a messy bun toboggan! 

We are going to continue to clean up all the produce gardens and try to reach 100 pumpkins!!

October goals update 2017

How in the world is October over?! I’m already thinking about what I’d like to accomplish next year and I can’t wait to receive the 2018 seed catalog from Baker’s Creek!! Without waiting, here are how the goals are going:

1. Zero waste our home! We have started eating some of the yumminess that we preserved and love the ketchup that we made! I have also started a pumpkin recycling initiative to encourage people to let us feed their pumpkins to our chickens or compost it for them!

2. Declutter 20 items per month. We have been able to get rid of a lot of stuff in the garage! We are planning on moving the exercise equipment in there to have a decent place to keep our health in check!

3. Create only 12 bags of garbage per year. Americans are super wasteful. We are going to try to only produce one 13 gallon kitchen trash bag per month. Bag number 5 left the house this month! We are doing pretty well!

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4. Merge crafting and homestead business. This is definitely happening! We did especially well at selling blacksmithed items!


5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. #comeonmrllewellyn!!

6. Expand the garden. We are definitely working on this! We tilled up the area for expansion next year! And we are giving a try at growing some paw paw trees next year too! (The seeds are in the fridge!)

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7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year, and we are growing more this year! The okra grew great this year. We harvested tons of cucamelons, popcorn, okra and luffa gourds! Now I’m working on saving seeds for next year! (And we are still getting more mushrooms!)


8. Make a chicken viewing area. Yeah, um, I don’t think we are going to do this! I have some good ideas for 2018!!!
9.Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film last year. The plastic bag recycling program has started, and we have 42 pounds collected so far. I have been collected lots of k cups to recycle from work. We have also started collecting our cereal bowls for recycling and I signed us up for the Crayola marker recycling program!

Oh, and the letters to our mayor worked! We now have plastic recycling (for #1 containers) here in town!

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached  1.18 mwh! And our electric bill was less than $6 again! I’m interested to see how this goes with the cold weather coming!

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11. Continue beekeeping. We are still providing lodging for our flying insect friends! They are “busy bees!” And I am hoping for them to overwinter well!

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Entrance reducers are on and they are prepped for the weather! 

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and only a few this year. I’m soooo looking forward to our winter project of working on our new-to-us camper! (A big 2018 goal!)

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How are your goals going?! Have you starting thinking about goals for next year? Keep blooming where you are planted!!💚🌱

Best Thursday!!

Today was a normal day in third grade, but here at the homestead, it was pretty terrific!

I have been trying to save as many pumpkins as I can from the landfill! It takes so much time and energy to grow a pumpkin! I put up an event for taking pumpkins on my Facebook page, and I’ve received so many! My goal was 20, and I’m already at 22! So, I guess I better make a higher goal!

I’m beyond excited to have extra treats for the chickens and extra rotting material for my compost!

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Chickens enjoyed this pumpkin! 

We made one of our favorite less meat dishes: vegetable stir fry:

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Our delish dinner! 

Everything was from the garden: zucchini, winecap mushrooms, eggs and onions! Only the rice and carrots were bought from the store!

I was delighted to see that after I used up all the mushrooms that more had popped up!

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More mushrooms! 

And winecaps get pretty big! I decided to let some grow larger to drop spores!

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A big winecap mushrooms! 

I also found a couple of luffa gourds that I put in a different place! So, now we have been able to harvest 22!

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Luffa gourds! 

And the one and only baby chick that was hatched out this summer gave us her first egg. It’s not really brown or white. She’s a cross bred hen, but we love her just the same!

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A first egg! 

And a preview of a secret project for 2018:

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Secret project! 

The Mr is making something pretty amazing for me! (You can guess in the comments if you’d like!) It’s part of next year’s goals, so I’ll share in just a few months! Next post will be an update on our 2017 goals and accomplishments from  October.

Seed saving, tiny harvests and a new anvil

This is the time of year to be working on saving some seeds, preserving the last of the produce and starting to dream about a new garden next year!

I picked a bunch of cucamelon seeds out of a melon and then pulled the green coating off of it. They did so well this year, so I’m hoping for more next year too!

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Cucamelon seeds

The Paw Paw tree seeds that we ordered arrived, so I made sure that they were not dried out and put them right in the fridge. They won’t be ready to plant in soil until almost March!

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Paw paw seeds

I pulled the pole beans down from the top of the tee pee and saved the seeds.

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Pole beans for next year! 

Since we got a hard frost that killed everything, I brought in all the luffas and peeled/washed them. They are now drying in the basement!

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My line of luffa

And a few tiny harvests! I pulled the last itty bitty zucchini and I was delighted to find some more winecap mushrooms!

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Tiny zucchini
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Winecap mushrooms

Since it turns out that winecap mushrooms are so delicious, we are going to try to grow them in more places next year!

The Mister was busy picking up his new baby:

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80 pound Vulcan! 

It’s a nice smaller anvil that he will definitely put to use!

I also got to work over the weekend making some hooded towels. I’m hoping to get more orders for the holidays!

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Hooded towels

And I’ll leave my boy’s Halloween costume photo here!

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Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy! 

Enjoy the last day of the month and I’ll be posting our end of the month updates!