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!

 

First frosts, harvests and a touch of Blacksmithing

It finally happened this week… our first frost. It wasn’t the hardest of frosts, but enough to make us realize that the season is slowly fading towards dreadful winter. But, happy thoughts for now… garden harvests tonight! I started with the gardens around the house and we have cucamelons galore:

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Harvesting from the yard

Then, I dug up the last of the sweet potatoes!  (14 pounds more to be exact!!)

Before I ran out of daylight, I also harvested as many jalapeños and popcorn that I could find!

Since I was already close by the big garage with the forge, I decided to see what was being created!

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I’m still so impressed that my husband built this himself! 
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Making a dinner bell
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Working on the anvil
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Finished products! 

And since I have not had anytime to do much crafting, I thought I’d share the chicken doorhanger that I made with some coworkers at a paint night!

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She’s beautiful! 

I hope that you’re still getting some goodies from your garden! Only 2 more days in this working week!!! Come on weekend!

Getting craft show ready!

Autumn Glory is usually our biggest craft show in this area. I’ve been with my mom selling in years past, but this will be the first year that we finally use our Llewellyn Homestead name. Oh, and the first year for my husband to sell his blacksmithed items! (Pictures of his creations below!)

I have not been crafting quite as much, but I’m still getting some finished! I have lots of unpaper napkins, unpaper towels, reusable makeup removers, crocheted chickens and even wet jet style refills ready!

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What all I put labels on last night! 

And, since I didn’t want to buy a bunch of business cards, I thought it would send out that zero waste vibe to make our own from a stamper and some old boxes! I love the way that they turned out!

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Homemade business cards! 

And that business card holder that the Mr made… it looks amazing with our cards in it!

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Love everything about this! 

And we will be taking our luffa and birdhouse gourd seeds with us too! Turns out that our stamper fits perfectly into a coin envelope!

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So many seeds!!

And here is the real reason that I’m falling behind in the craft department! We are still getting lots from the garden and I need to put it up!

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Our first luffa! 
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All that popcorn peeled! 

Tonight’s objective is to get our set up squared away, finish up a few not-quite-ready items and write on that easel that we upcycled from the boy’s old crib. So much to do, so little time! Keep blooming away! 🌱

Blacksmithing up a storm!

The Mr has been forging his heart out lately! Just about everytime I walk into the garage, I can hear pounding and smell coal smoke. (Weirdly enough that sulpher smell reminds me of my childhood home.)

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Bending a railroad spike 

After bending several, he attached them to some old barn wood and created an absolutely gorgeous and rustic rack!

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Hooks on barn wood 

He also bent some horseshoe nails to create a unique leash or key rack!

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Horseshoe nail rack! 

He was even able to upcycle a few of our ball jars into candle/plant/flower holders!

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Mason jar holder with forged hooks

The business card holder is my absolute favorite! We have ordered a business card stamper and will be upcycling some cereal boxes into business card!

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My favorite!! Business card holder! 

I have been creating some upcycled crafts as well! We turned some wine bottles into self watering  planters! I planted them with spider plants!

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I love the one I have, so we made some more! 

And I figured that I’d finish with my crazy chicken that enjoys roosting on our fence in the morning!

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She is crazy! 

Enjoy your weekend and keep blooming!!

September goals update 2017

September was a month of colossal harvests, produce stands set up, still getting acquainted with my new students and working around our tiny homestead! Here are how the goals are going:

1. Zero waste our home! We have been eating a lot from the garden, which is great! Also, the ketchup that I made is amazing and we are loving not having to buy plastic bottles!

2. Declutter 20 items per month. We got rid of some motorcycle helmets that we don’t use (and made a few bucks!) We found a scrapper to take our satellite dish! Oh, and we got rid of our home phone.

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. Still on bag 5, but it’s filling up fast.

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Still on bag 5! 

4. Merge crafting and homestead business. The Mr has been Blacksmithing up a storm this month!! All credit goes to him for working so hard!!

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Dinner bells
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Flower basket hooks
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Business card holder

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! We have big plans!!

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Expanded garden and planted cover crop! 

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 so many cucumelons! The popcorn is picked and drying in the basement and we are now successful at growing our own wine cap mushrooms. And you know what… they were the best mushrooms that I have ever had!


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!!!

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Whitey the chicken who is always running around! 

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! I also started a collection area for plastics bottles and k cups at work. Oh, and my students wrote to our mayor to try to get a recycling program here!

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached 1.39 mwh ! And our electric bill was less than $6 again! I’m interested to see how this goes with the cold months coming up!

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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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They are still finding flowers! 

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!

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It’s safely being stored in the garage! 

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

Mushroom growing, harvests, crafting and donating

This weekend was full of all the reasons why I put so much into this lifestyle that we are wanting to live.

Remember the mushroom spawn that I spread in a raised bed back in early May? Well, the mushrooms have finally popped up for harvesting! (Best find of the weekend!)

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Delicious winecap mushrooms! 

Also, a few of the birdhouse gourds had fallen on the ground. So, I decided to go ahead and pull them from the dead vibe and start the drying out process.

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Super-sized birdhouse gourds

And the garden is still producing so much! I really am not sure of what I’m going to make out of all of these tomatoes at this point!

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All picked on Saturday!
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Our first beets harvested! 

We had our last produce sale of the season, but it was unfortunately a flop. So, I gave a lot of produce to family and friends!

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Tomatoes coming out my ears! 

And now onto all the crafting that has been going on around here! The Mr has been busy beating on metal and blacksmithing lots for our upcoming craft show!

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Hanging basket hooks
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Dinner bells! 

And I have been sewing up a storm too! I’ve been working on unpaper towels and napkins. Also, I have sewing up reusable wet jet refills. Now to hope that the customers at the craft show enjoy a more zero waste lifestyle!

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Sewing so much! 

I officially got tired of my crazy long hair this weekend, and decided to get it cut off! 14 inches to be exact and I’ll be donating it to a wig making organization. I figure since it grows so fast, I might as well use it for something!

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Future wig! 

I hope that you all were able to enjoy your weekend and that your garden is still flourishing!

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Bees are still working the dandelions! 

Keep blooming where you are planted!

Fair winnings and feeling like a fraud

Yes, you sure read that correctly. For a couple years in a row I have enjoyed entering our crafts and foods into the fair, but I just get this nagging voice in my head that screams that I’m not good enough. So let’s start with the good, what all we won!

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First place quail eggs 
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First place chili sauce 
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First place bee products basket
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First place apron
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First place railroad spike garden spade
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Second place beekeeping craft
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Third place white potatoes 

And the boy won first place for his ceramic fish he made on art class!

Now on to the crappy part! Yes, I only have about three quarters of an acre. Nope, I will never have goats, cows or other poultry. It makes me feel like I’m just not enough. My garden isn’t huge and I can’t fully sustain myself from my home alone. I don’t solely live off the grid and I have a full time job, other than living off our tiny plot. So, I guess what I’m sayin is that life isn’t perfect! I’m doing ok with what I have and I am just going to continue to bloom where I am planted! There, I said it! I’m just tiny plot farmer!