Hello August! This summer has been an adventurous one with some more to come! And, the garden has been producing lots of food for us too!
And here’s how the goals are going:
1. Expand the garden– ✅it happened! Everything is growing pretty well and I’m hoping that I continue to get great harvests!
2. Fix the camper– ✅We fixed up our camper and loved using it on a trip of a lifetime! This month I found some bins that fit nicely under the second bed (for clothes) and crocheted a handle cozy for the skillet that we keep in the camper!
3.Travel out west- ✅ We did it and enjoyed every single stop! We are still talking about our fun trip and I love hearing the boy talk about what he saw and what he learned!
4. Create a certified wildlife habitat ✅ There’s a grass patch in front of the garage that is begging to be returned to nature. There are lots of critters enjoying the new area given to them! I actually saw a brand new monarch caterpillar emerge from its egg!
5. Reduce garbage– Last year we made 7 bags of garbage and we want to make less than 6 bags this year. We are still filling bag 3!
6. Volunteer/Donate/Do Good Every month- This month I did a giveaway on my Facebook page for a zero waste kit. I also spent most of a week volunteering for the master gardeners. I’m trying to get all of my hours in over the summer!
7. Repurpose, remake, mend, repair- this month we didn’t remake anything big. We did, however, turn a large chunk of bamboo sitting around here into a post for the wildlife habitat sign!
8. Paw Paw trees– These native trees have grown near here for such a long time! The little sprouts are starting to look like trees, and we have 2! Now I’m thinking about the perfect place to plant them!
9. Build a pizza oven– ❎ we are not doing this one this year. We are trying to figure out how we are going to change up the backyard next year!
10. Grow different produce-I found my first Apple melon this month!(top left) ate my first ground cherry (bottom left) I’m enjoying the bushel basket gourds growing (middle) and there are lots of spaghetti squash growing (right)
11. Continue tracking the solar panels- May was a nice solar month, despite lots of rain! 1.72 mwh and just the connection rate for an electric bill! (It’s around $5)
12. Work on garden cart sales– We have held a couple garden cart sales this month! I’ve sold a few zucchinis, cucumelons, garlic cloves and even some birdhouse gourds!
Last month just flew by! We are looking forward to creating more memories before school starts back up! Keep blooming friends! 🌱💚
In the past, I plant my garden and think that I will definitely remember where I planted everything. And guess what? I would forget what kind of tomatoes are those? Or, are those cucumbers? Or a pumpkin? Maybe zucchini? Now, of course I figured it out eventually, but I annoyed myself always doing this!
So, this year I started making some garden markers! The materials needed are:
– paint, I used the acrylic in the bottle from the craft aisle
– a sharpie paint pen, same aisle as the paint
– paintbrush, just a 15 cent foam one
– clear coat paint (it’s with the spray paint)
– and garden stakes (like these from Lowe’s)
Step 1: I decided to color code my garden, but you might want yours all the same color! Whichever! Just paint the end of the stake and give them time to dry.
Step 2: I had already printed off the varieties that I wanted to put on the stakes. I used Lucinda handwriting on word. And any old printer will be fine. (Tip: if your printer isn’t working, you can always trace it off of the screen!)
Step 3: rub chalk all over the back of the paper on the word that you want to write. This will help transfer it onto the wooden marker.
Step 4: line up the chalk side on the wooden marker and trace the words using a pen or pencil. The words will be left for you to trace!
Step 5: use your paint pen to trace the letters. I’ve learned to make the paint longer than the word, so that the chalk is easy to see!
Step 6: after giving it a bit to dry, I take them outside and lightly clear coat them. (Since they will be in the elements all summer!) after that dries, they are ready for the garden!!
And there they are! I think they are absolutely beautiful!! Now I can easily see my peppers (blue markers), my tomato varieties (red markers) the bush beans (orange marker) and everything else!
Another great part is that I had almost everything here, except the stakes and paint pen! So, it was a cheap project! And, I love that it isn’t my own handwriting, because it is pretty sloppy!
Enjoy! And I hope that you have a great start to the growing season! Keep blooming! 🌱💚
Between Tuesday and Wednesday, Mother Nature decides to spice up life and throw around 7 inches of snow our way! Just look at the difference between the pollinator area from Sunday to Wednesday!
The chickens are not big fans of snowy days, so they decided to stayed tucked nicely in their house! But, their egg production is still increasing!
Every year around this time, I get tagged in the meme with the girl gardening in the snow! So, this year I recreated it! 😆
My good deed for the month of March is marked off! I went down to school (the one I teach at) and shoveled off as much of the playground area as I could for the kiddos. They really appreciated it today!
Im not going to lie and say that I was super productive on the days off from school/work because I wasn’t! I did manage to start making some curtains for the camper!
And below, the Mr. upcycled some spoons into curtain rod holders for the door curtain that I quickly sewed up!
The indoor plants under the grow lights are looking pretty awesome! The only veggies that I have planted are peppers, but I have also started lots of perennials for the pollinator area!
And I will be doing a diy post on fermenting seeds to save them! I had leftover tomatoes in the freezer, so I fermented the seeds. That way I can plant the loads of tomatoes that I need to without spending so much money on plants!
Did it snow where you are? And what do you have growing right now? Keep blooming friends!
We made 3. major achievements this month! 1. We paid off the truck!
So, we are officially vehicle payment free! Of course last month, instead of putting more money towards the house or the solar panels, I needed new tires for my car. They were leaking air constantly and not safe, so that’s definitely a must!
2. On the awesome list is that made another $10K leap on the house! You know, when you look at how much you owe and it is no longer in the $80K’s (for example) and now in the $70k’s!! That’s exciting! That will definitely feel good to get paid off eventually!
3. The Mr. has been doing a great job of packing his lunch! For pretty much ever, he has been a “pick up a snack while working” kind of guy. But after I showed him a quick write up of how much that really costs per year, he changed that habit!
For Valentine’s Day I actually had parent-teacher conference day until almost 6pm. So, it was easy to not go out to eat! But, we enjoyed out weekend and my parents even took our boy for a night. It was very quiet around here without him! 😳
My Mr. made me a beautiful pollinator garden for the special occasion out of upcycled wood. We just need to get the bamboo to fill it, but we have a free source for that! It is quite an invasive plant!
We were able to make a few bucks this week too! The dead hive provided us with some honey to sell. We will use that to help buy us another colony! Bees are not easy to keep! (Or cheap!)
And soon I will have a surplus of eggs to rehome!
Also, the Mr. blacksmithed some beautiful mantel brackets for a beam of barn wood for a customer! They turned out beautiful!
And now, in their new home!! They loved them just as much as we did!
Our electric bill came, and I was expecting a nice bill because February was pretty cold, but to our surprise it was $0!!
And to save a lot of money, I start my garden from seeds. Getting plants from the nursery is pricy, and you can only get certain varieties, so I save my seeds and use the heirloom varieties yearly! And this year, I got involved in a seed swap to get different varieties! (I did have to pay shipping)
It was not a perfect month because we still needed to buy items for the camper, and we started picking up some candy for the boy’s Easter basket. Oh, and we got Chinese out one time, but used the money from our crafting and not the bank. So, we haven’t been perfect, but it’s nice to be able to create a growing savings account and work on our debt snowball!
Last month we were able to put extra money into our savings and are proud of another major achievement! We are now officially car payment free!! Yay!!!
I also managed to not spend money on valentines for my students! I used thread and cardstock that I already had to make these:
My hubby was so sweet and made me my Valentines gift!
It was crafted from some old redwood fence posts that were given to us by my dad! The empty shelves will be filled with pieces of cut up bamboo and will be home to a lot of pollinators to lay some eggs! The total spent was $0 and it is way better than expensive flowers or chocolates!
My boy is such a sweet soul, especially for a teenager. He doesn’t ask for anything. So, when I saw this pattern for a crocheted poke ball, I made him one! I had all of the yarn already here!
We did spend a little money on our new lights set up! We like to grow different varieties, and starting from seeds allows us to have our pick of whatever heirlooms that we want!
We haven’t been spending money on anything, but when I was in the craft store, these were hard for me to not buy! I loved them!
So, for the first half of the month, we have been doing a pretty fantastic job! It’s kind of odd not going out to eat or just going shopping for the fun of it. I think when spring arrives, and there’s more to do, it will be easier to be consumed with outdoor living! Is anyone else having a great no spend month?
Monday was called off due to the snow. With no school, I planned on getting to work around the house! On Saturday my momma let me know that the Mr. was on the front page of the newspaper. The roads were a mess Friday.
On the weekend I took our recycling plus all of the recycling from school to the recycling center. It closes around 3 everyday! I can only get there on the weekend.
While shopping for groceries, I found some butterfly weed! It’s a type of milkweed, so I’ll be starting that along with 2 other varieties soon!
I have some nice blisters on my fingers from where I’ve been scrubbing all of the dried out birdhouse gourds! Then, we dye them and clear coat them! They are going to (hopefully) be sold at the next craft show!
On Monday, I was able to hang out with my mom for a while. There is not a day that goes by that I take for granted having her. She is literally the nicest person that I’ve ever been around. ❤️ Her so much!
Then, I sewed new curtains for the camper! (A whole update will be coming soon for the camper reno!)
And I was also able to do my swab for the #bethematch bone marrow donation. I might not ever be matched, but I’m here for whoever does match!
And, of course, we spent some time relaxing!
Before we know it the weekend will be here again and we will be working on getting more accomplished! Keep blooming friends! 🌱💚