Last weekend left me tired, but so looking forward to Spring! Here in western Maryland, we should be having temperatures around freezing. Today, it was around 80 degrees. It was very interesting to see the bees flying around like crazy!
I was thrilled that I could even get the blankets to dry outside today!
And the chickens have been picking up the pace with their egg laying! Our white egg layer has finally started laying again!
I had to go searching out in the flower bed and I found the crocuses coming up! I love those early risers!
Yesterday we spun honey ( I’ll share all about that later in the week!) and I scrubbed up more birdhouse gourds. They get a mold film over them, so they have to be scrubbed up before decorating them! These are the smaller ones that I’ll be selling to crafty/painting people!
The chickens are acting more like themselves! They are spending more time outside, instead of freezing their fluffy butts off!
I hope that you all are getting this beautiful weather where you are living too! Have a great week and keep blooming!
Last summer one new thing that we tried our green thumb on was popcorn. We grew 2 varieties: strawberry popcorn, on the right and a mixed color variety on the left.
We noticed right away the height difference between the 2 varieties! The strawberry popcorn was much shorter than the colored variety. It also seemed like the ears of corn developed faster on the strawberry variety.
I left the corn on the plant to dry as long as they could and when the cold weather started setting in, we pulled the cobs off and brought them in to dry out the rest of the way.
Just now, in January, we decided to shell the corn. At first, we tried to just use our fingers, and that was painful. And then we read where if you rub 2 cobs together, they will come off easier. That worked better with less cut up fingers!
We decided to save some of both seeds.
We used a funnel to pour all of the popcorn into a mason jar to keep everything sealed up!
And here was how much we got for a very small patch!
And for the leftover cobs and husks, the chickens enjoyed looking for any kernels that we missed and kicked everything around!
Now on the the important part, did it pop?! It sure did! They might not be as large as the store bought, but the taste is much better!
Next year I’m going to focus on the strawberry variety because they seemed to pop much better, and took up less room.
So, I consider this new crop to us a success! Does popcorn make your list for the 2018 garden? I’m going to stay under these covers and dream of the beautiful weather that will eventually come! 🌱💚
Today was one of those days that made me feel like maybe I should have just stayed in bed. I felt some sort of illness coming on last night and woke up with a fever, rash and cough. Weird, right? But, the day continued on.
Then, while feeding the chickens, we found out that a raccoon managed to devour 1 chicken and rip the head off of another chicken. There will be no more blue eggs here at the homestead now.
Since I don’t like to seem like I’m being negative too much, I’ll end on some positives:
1. At least it was only 2, and not more.
2. The 2 that we killed were my oldest chickens.
3. The following dish cloths that I crocheted up cracked me up because they reminded me of Neapolitan ice cream:
4. I’m so close to finishing all my personalized towel orders!!
5. I have been receiving great feedback about my beeswax lip balm! (And was able to get some more made!)
I will miss both of those sweet chickens. The brown girl was the last one from our original 4 “fluff butts” and the Easter Egger was a great find from one of my roller derby friends! Here’s to tomorrow being a better day!
November brought the cold temperatures that reminded me that Winter is will be here to stay. It allowed me enough nice days to clean up the garden and chicken coop. So, without waiting, here are how the goals are going:
1. Zero waste our home! We are continuing to enjoy our deliciousness that we canned from the summer and fall including: peaches, apple sauce, tomato sauce and even ketchup! I’m also loving the upcycling that we have been doing here! That’s going to be a focus next year!
2. Declutter 20 items per month. We need to continue cleaning out the boy’s closet since he’s growing like a weed! I’m sure I will find someone here that could use them!
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. We are still on bag 6, but it’s basically full.
4. Merge crafting and homestead business. This month we have been crafting away! We will be having a sale through our Facebook page and I have been working hard on hooded towel orders!
5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. This just won’t be happening this year. #comeonmrllewellyn!!
6. Expand the garden. We are definitely working on this! We will be putting up a nice fenced in area next year and driving posts for a better appearance. So, I guess that I need to be selling lots of goodies to help offset the costs!
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!
8. Make a chicken viewing area. Yeah, um, I don’t think we are going to do this! We have some other 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 recycled 88 pounds so far! I also convinced my principal to buy a zero waste glue stick recycling box and we are also recycling our cereal bowls and markers!
10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached 730 kWh! And our electric bill was less than $6!
11. Continue beekeeping. We are still providing lodging for our flying insect friends! I made them some sugar boards to help keep them fed this winter!
12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and only a few this year. Next year we will be traveling out west!
How are your goals going?! Have you starting thinking about goals for next year? We are hoping to accomplish just as many goals in 2018! Keep on blooming where you are planted!!💚🌱
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!
The chicken coop got a nice clean out:
I also cleaned up the fence line garden that gave us lots of produce!
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!
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!
And lastly, check out my bragging:
We are going to continue to clean up all the produce gardens and try to reach 100 pumpkins!!