Wildlife area update

We have slowly been turning our yard in front of the garage into an area for our pollinators. It will give them more pollen, nectar, water and shelter choices. It will also get rid of all of the extra grass cutting in this area!

Here was our basic outline of what we had in mind:

And here is how it is coming! Keep in mind everything will not be blooming for quite a while! Even though it mainly looks like mulch still, there are black eyed Susan’s, brown eyed Susan’s, purple coneflowers, yarrow, milkweed and white coneflowers. There will be more planted! We are using these adorable homemade stick gnomes that we created, so that we remember what we planted where! And, we decided that the perfect spot for the bird and bee waterer is right over by the garage! The sunflowers that came up early are looking big and healthy already! (1st picture) And the second picture is an echinacea bloom popping up!

Above, my Mr., who is always amazing me, created a planter from an old window frame that the glass was falling out of! It looks beautiful hung and I can’t wait to plant something beautiful in it! And have sunflowers growing all around it too!

We have lots more to plant and I’m hoping to get this certified as a certified wildlife habitat by July! I just want to make sure that I have all of the requirements checked off!

Have a great week! Keep blooming!

April 2018 Goals Update

It is the crazy month of May! The school year is almost over, I have lots to do in the garden and projects that need finished!

And here’s how the goals are going:

1. Expand the garden– it’s finally happening!! The t posts are in, the garden door is hung and the fencing will go up this month! And the plants will go to live outside this month too!

2. Fix the camper– We have been fixing up our home away from home! It is finished, minus a few little cosmetic things that I’d like to do! We love how it turned out!

3.Travel out west- That camper is officially ready for adventure! We tried it out at the end of the month by going to a koa in Antietam and everything worked great! It’s cozy, watertight (yeppers, it rained!) and even the pups enjoyed themselves in it!

4. Create a certified wildlife habitat- There’s a grass patch in front of the garage that is begging to be returned to nature. All of the grass has been covered and new plants are slowly working their way in! So far we have raspberries, blueberries, black eyed Susan’s, echinacea and a ton of other things growing under the grow lights in here!

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 working on filling bag 2! (Or actually not trying to fill it!) Still only 1 bag of trash! [/caption]

6. Volunteer/Donate/Do Good Every month- This month I spread some good! We really focused on cleaning up the Earth, since Earth Day is in April . We helped to organize a town clean up and about 20 bags of garbage were picked up!

7. Repurpose, remake, mend, repair- we reused some of the old garden fence to go around the trees and help to keep the deer away. We were also able to score an old kiddie pool for our new ducks and I love the way that the other garden door turned out! It’s beautiful!

8. Paw Paw trees– These native trees have grown near here for such a long time! We finally have a seed sprouting. It may be the only one, but I’m hoping for at least 2, so that they can help pollinate each other!

9. Build a pizza oven– this is the Mr.’s idea! He built his own Blacksmithing forge, so I’m sure he can do it! I’m definitely looking forward to having a delicious, out of the oven pizza! No real updates yet

10. Grow different produce

I will be starting a lot more seeds in the greenhouse this month! The grow lights are working hard and everything is getting so big and healthy! I love all the different varieties that are emerging!!

11. Continue tracking the solar panels- The panels didn’t quite produce what they did last year, but it was still snowing all through April! At least we hit a Mwh!

12. Work on garden cart sales– I am hoping to be able to put a few seedlings for sale out there and the chickens are really producing eggs right now!

Last month helped me work on my patience! I kept wanting to do more outside, but the weather said no! This month is already helping us get caught up around the garden! How are your goals going? Keep blooming friends!

Earth Day 2018

As you all know, I love the Earth every single day! But this year I stepped it up and helped to organize a town clean up! Only 9 people showed up, but we cleaned up a lot of trash! (Probably close to 20 bags!)

38E5765F-6E7D-4DBB-BAB8-0D4C6E7F62CD
So much trash! 

My boy will be starting up his own composting service soon! He’s going to pick up neighbor’s compostables for our compost pile and educate them on how to compost. I love that he knows so much about how to keep a small carbon footprint!

806CD484-778F-4CC0-874B-C87266D84DB9
Look at that beautiful compost that was in the bin from last year! 

I also started working on killing off the grass to make room for the flowers that will be planted here! And look at that beautiful bat box that was put up!!

39320768-6424-4F0E-B8FF-6B6EF176B766
Future wildlife habitat! 

While taking breaks, I enjoyed watching the chickens do their thing! They are quite entertaining!

7D050DB5-B4C2-48B3-8436-42B2CB297BE1
I think he’s beautiful! 

And then, of course, I have to share a few gardening pictures!

B012A945-A14A-4701-8104-7E9CEF89CCAA
Garlic growing! 
24F2010D-E91E-478A-89E2-087E6CE50867
Pea plants coming up through the soil

And, I finally started some indoor flowers after my momma showed me how amazing hers were looking! I had total flower envy!

1526A41B-C9F6-4A00-92E4-35A7F2802EB7
All kinds of flowers were started! 

With May right around the corner, I’m looking forward to starting lots more seedlings for the garden. And, of course, we need to work on getting the soil ready in the garden! I already envision our garden in my mind, but I’m not sure if they will all turn out ok! Regardless, I’m excited about our 2018 garden!!

Did you all do anything special on Earth Day?

What’s growing! 4/14!

It has been so warm outside the past couple days! A gentle reminder that I will soon be up to my elbows in dirt, woodchips, compost and hard work.

Outside we have been planting what can go outside so far, and putting closures around it to keep the excessive amount of deer and rabbits from hurting the plants!

41355816-F85D-418D-A05F-AB1B26D9FF85
Tiny blueberry bushes
9A179B7D-736C-4EF4-A86D-6FC9AD8C01EF
Nectarine tree

We also had to relocate the raspberry canes to keep them away from our chickens that could reach them! (And ate every single one!)

0EB477BF-611B-4096-AF27-F48AB7EBA3F7
Red raspberries! 
9A084040-0FBA-46B8-8552-8B644C2CD028
Rhubarb is growing beautifully! 

And under the grow lights everything seems pretty happy too!

19B2D831-C9D5-4287-9397-5EB84A8CE681
Common milkweed
07A6FFD8-1798-4AD4-85B3-857D1CB2289F
Pepper plants 
FCD811B3-FD10-47B8-8208-62B214976AB3
Cucumelon with its first real leaf! 
F2A7E2B8-107F-44CD-9FA3-E9E74ABDF555
All of the tomato seedlings are getting big! 
B0A1DBDF-4C3E-45E1-916A-4B51CD6B14DA
Luffa gourd seedling 

And I am also grateful for the kind souls that surround me! From neighbors that always stop and chat it up about life that end the conversation by saying “have a blessed evening.” To others that always go by with a smile and a wave! And then people who share some seeds with me because they know how much I love to garden!

4947D675-7C85-4AE9-9DCB-D77D88CD3BE5
I’m making room on the trellis for these! 

I’m 100% sure that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be and meeting people who teach me about being a better person. I hope that your seedlings are growing nicely and you’re getting excited about this gardening season!

No Spend March

We are chugging along with our no spend year. I have spent money on gifts this month (I bought my baby niece some food and not candy for Easter and gifts much deserved to 2 work friends,but that’s it!)

Our big money saver is that we sold our panel truck! It was a hard choice to make, but we were not using it. We are glad to have more money in our savings and one less vehicle to tag and insure!

A0EA1BF8-772A-4B9E-9CE6-7C41A2678626
Bye bye to the blue beast!

I’m doing my best to keep gardening costs down by using what we have and starting everything from seed! I also save my own seeds and plant mostly heirloom varieties to help with the seeds saving.

5047D08C-9D8A-4138-AC9A-3C1160E682CC
Garlic that came up on it’s own (30 free garlic plants!) all replanted! 
F56836DB-4CFC-4D54-9332-42421F93A215
Pepper plants started from seed
108D5FEB-DDB0-4260-86F2-C93C4CF8FC17
Saved Roma tomato seeds 

I have also been mending so much around here! We are up to 3 pairs of paints that are hole free and a certain pup decided to tear a hole in his bed, but all are fixed!

The screen door to the garden was ripped and broken and we almost bought a new one, but we used some old paint that we had to fix it up and put some reused wire fencing on it. Good as new!

We also try to do as much as we can around here, instead of paying others to do it for us. I am the dog groomer:

686A8738-1328-46AB-984F-37614C495074
Our sweet Izzy after her spa day

And we have been doing all of the work on the camper ourselves!

94E3B820-0D53-4902-B284-3CD6A69FE351
New seat covers! 

And the pollinator garden is slowly being completed by us mainly using materials that we have!

16003532-61EF-403A-B154-DC14F8AB2C9A
Lots of labor, but we are doing it by ourselves 

Instead of buying eggs from the grocery store or an egg dying kit, we used food coloring that we already had and brown and white eggs.

980C2B1A-6738-404C-9BF7-BB22F0D5F647
I ❤️ How they turned out! 

And instead of going out to eat or paying to go do something, the boy and I took a nice walk locally! We hadn’t walked on this trail in a few years!

755FD689-8848-4FBC-B564-9EC7FC5B3A80
Always interested in the rock formations! 

Overall, I’m thinking we are doing well with our no spend year! I’m hoping to continue spending less and gettting this house paid off!

March Update 2018

It’s April!!! That means that we are getting so close to gardening season! March seemed like a blur, but I am always ready for it to pass by and warm weather to appear! So, he’s how the goals are going:

1. Expand the garden– it’s finally happening!! The garden has t posts around the perimeter and we fixed up the old screen door to make it rabbit proof!

D5793F52-99B6-47C9-AB26-696274F3C9C5
View from the bottom up
57AA0708-556E-4EFD-990D-D703E3919CF3
View from the top 

2. Fix the camper– We have been fixing up our home away from home! The seats are recovered, shower storage door fixed, curtains all made and vent cover for the top!

3.Travel out west- That camper is pretty much ready for adventure! Before making  the big trip, we have to take it on a trial run! The trial run is going to happen this month!

4. Create a certified wildlife habitat- There’s a grass patch in front of the garage that is begging to be returned to nature. The pathways have been created. We made our own birdbath from a log and pan. We put up the hanging basket hooks and the insect hotel is finished!

5. Reduce garbage– Last year we made 7 bags of garbage and we want to make less than 6 bags this year. We have still only created one bag of garbage! But, I’m planning on doing a trash pickup everyday I can make it outside this month. So, that may increase our trash.

CB074CBD-1ACD-40A4-9514-47256F0E7EF4
Still only 1 bag of trash! 

6. Volunteer/Donate/Do Good Every month- This month I spread some good! I try my best to stay positive and share t too! I bought my bff teacher an awesome “teacher of the year” shirt because she was just named that! And I picked up another teacher friend a gift to remind her of how strong she is! But, my biggest good deed was shoveling our school playground so that the kids could go out to play the next day! This is about 2 hours if work!

07001A72-F659-475D-99FA-4A7FDBFCA1F0
It was a lot of snow! 

7. Repurpose, remake, mend, repair- At school we are reusing some juice cups for growing some plants that they want to grow! The Mr. turned a railroad spike into a new shovel for me. The pollinator hotel is finished and it is 100% upcycled! And the Mr. is turning some spoons into garden markers for me!

8. Paw Paw trees– These native trees have grown near here for such a long time! The  seeds were planted last month! I put some seeds outside and marks where I put them and put the rest inside. So far, nothing to show yet.

5B25D8DA-8248-429D-92F1-69123CCFE00E
All the seeds are planted! 

9. Build a pizza oven– this is the Mr.’s idea! He built his own Blacksmithing forge, so I’m sure he can do it! I’m definitely looking forward to having a delicious, out of the oven pizza! No real updates yet

10. Grow different produce–  
I will be starting a lot of different seeds this month! So far I have 5 varieties of sweet peppers. I also bought a hardy kiwi plant and I’m hoping to get that growing!

F56836DB-4CFC-4D54-9332-42421F93A215
We’re growing red, green, orange, purple and brown peppers this year! 

11. Continue tracking the solar panels- this month we created almost an identical amount of power as last year!

C0A2576E-7E3A-474C-A9E8-5E9D61A365B7
1.18 mwh! 

12. Work on garden cart sales– We will be doing some upcoming craft shows this month! I’m hoping to have some extra seedlings to share, along with my lip balm and the Mr.’s blacksmithed items!

Last month rejuvenated my love of growing anything and everything!! Did you set any goals?! We are hoping to have checks next to them all at the end of the year! Keep blooming friends! 🌱💚

Walk by the grow lights!

In the summer I can do a walk through the garden, but not much is happening out there yet! So, I can do a walk past the grow lights! I have really only started the peppers and some perineal flowers.

F56836DB-4CFC-4D54-9332-42421F93A215
All sweet peppers! 
4F37B348-572F-4C36-BD9A-B57AC22BC35F
We have purple and white coneflowers
C009A662-AF83-49A2-A879-1CAE64E7F8B9
Yarrow and bee balm
76FA23B2-BD95-4792-875A-35B6B5634B95
3 varieties of milkweed

In the tiny greenhouse, the kohlrabi is coming up! And around the yard I’m seeing signs of Spring!

BED0ACC3-2C8D-4119-83C7-9442EDCF6EC2
Kohlrabi 
7E50E7A6-E682-4A6F-A71B-910541938F72
Rhubarb (they my Granny gave me years ago!) 
2C003BFC-697A-4BAF-B137-E4E0AD11CC8A
Crocuses 
88810122-80A9-482B-94E5-989B0A09ADFB
Echinacea (coming back!) 

And at school, my students are growing their choice of vegetables or flowers! We only started the peppers and flowers.

98E2480F-6E51-4321-9892-0DC10DB8168E
Upcycled juice cup greenhouses

And one of my sweet students gave me these beauties as an Easter gift! I have some pretty fantastic students!

987B0E40-52F7-463B-B15B-AFE0B36ADB9A
Tulips!

I hope that you’re seeing signs of Spring all around where you live! And are you starting some seeds now? Keep blooming friends!