Expanding the garden!

We are already thinking about the 2018 gardening season and how to improve our soil, because I don’t think that our soil could ever be too healthy! There is a nice area between the garden and the sheds that I would love to turn into more garden.

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More garden! 

Here is exactly what I have in mind:

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A girl can dream, right? 

Well, the Mr decided to help me get started on this idea! He worked on tilling the area, while I picked out some rocks and planted rye and wheat cover crop seeds.

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Tilling away! 

And now we are waiting for the seeds to sprout and we will have nice green manure for the garden in the spring!

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Finished for now! (And yes that’s a chicken finding crickets!) 

And since it’s Wednesday, I decided to share a few gardening pictures too!

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Last night’s harvest! 
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Strawberry popcorn that we grew! 
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A preview of our sweet potatoes
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Beautiful sunflower! 
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My first hybrid zucchini/pumpkin
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Zucchini cake made from the franken-fruit above! 

This week is moving at a turtle’s pace and I can’t wait for it to be over. I need a nice weekend to recover from my busy week! Keep on trying to bloom where you are planted!!💚

So much canning! (And fall garden prep!)

You’d think that mid- summer is the busiest time for gardeners. Not true! Im busiest in late summer and fall! It’s prepping, picking, and preserving all of that produce!

We had another sale yesterday! Only a few customers, but the rest of the produce was preserved for the winter months here!

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Another produce sale! 

The Mr.’s sister has an apple tree and doesn’t use the apples. So, we went and picked about a bushel of apples and made some yummy applesauce! And we have some leftover to turn into something else!

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A few apples left! 
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Making applesauce! 

I spent the majority of the day today making some chili sauce! That stuff is super labor intensive! It takes a ton of peeling and chopping of veggies to make! But, my Dad loves it, so I make it!

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Chili sauce! 

And just like every other Sunday morning, we are out of food for breakfast! So, I baked some zucchini cake using the last of our homegrown zucchini!

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There were 2, but it’s really good! 

The wheat and rye that I planted to help add fertilizer to the soil is growing fast!

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Future green manure! 

And now to leave off on a few beautiful things!

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A honeybee on my sunflower! 
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One of the adorable stray kitties around here! 

I hope that you had a productive weekend too! Keep blooming where you are planted!

Excitement and starting work

This year will be my 13th year teaching for the same county, so that’s starting to make me feel old! But that’s not the exciting part! We were featured on a page about gardeners from around the world! If you do Facebook, it’s on Humans who grow food and it’s the same on Instagram!

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We are almost famous! Ha! 

And on to more exciting times, the Mr and I celebrated our Anniversary! We are getting pretty close to being able to say that we have been together for half of our lives! Oh my! But, even though we were on opposite shifts, I still had a chance to make some apple pies to celebrate!

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Apple pies! Yum! 

And onward to more exciting things, the pollinator garden that my students planted in the Spring is looking gorgeous! Everything is blooming! I can’t wait for them to see it!

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The pollinator garden at school! 

We have been producing a surplus of veggies, so I started setting up a stand. The first week we had one customer and I felt like we should just not bother, but the Mr reminded me that I should keep trying! So, 3 weeks later and we are getting several customers! Even the mail lady messaged me that she loved it! Yay!

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Our tiny produce stand! 

And now for some garden pictures:

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How much we have been harvesting! 
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Our almost 10 ft sunflower! 
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Green bean teepee!

Next up is our mystery pumpkin! It volunteered from a monster sized pumpkin that I was given last year, I’m looking forward to watching it grow!

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Purchase funky pumpkin! 

Overall this weekend has been one great one! (Even the pup would agree!)

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He loves hammock time!

So, I definitely feel like this homestead is moving in the right direction! Keep blooming people!

 

Pollinators, gardening, relaxing

Yesterday was just a really great day and not for any one certain reason.

Ive been working on braiding the garlic that I’ve been harvesting! It will hang nicely on a few hooks that the mister made for me!

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Braided garlic! 
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Blacksmithed hooks! 

In the garden, the cucumbers are looking really good! That makes me pretty excited because last year I had a rough time keeping the cucumbers alive!

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Almost ready to harvest! 

My pollinator garden has come back from its first year looking amazing! I think my cone flowers didn’t even bloom until August last year! This year they are huge and blooming now! There are always so many butterflies and bees all around it!

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Handsome monarch on echinacea! 

Last night, my pizza dough was spot on! Sometimes it’s just not great, but last night, perfection! (Can you tell that we are not big cheese eaters here?!?!)

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Homemade pizza! 

While the boy was at vacation bible school, I was weeding the garden and harvesting a few more potatoes and some garlic.

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Our harvest on the anvil! 

And a lot of yesterday was spent chilling on the deck. The temperatures were perfect for hammock laying and playing some uno.

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My hammock buddy! 

I hope that today is just as great of a day! Happy Thursday everyone!

Walk through the garden 6/16/17

It has been quite a hot spell this week with temperatures almost in the 90’s everyday. Therefore, I have not bothered the bees because they are already hot and I’m not one to anger already angry insects that sting.

I’ll start off with our tiny harvests! I picked a ton mulberries off the neighbor’s bush to make a pie! (Unfortunately, it turns out that I am not a huge mulberry fan! But, it wasn’t absolutely terrible!)

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Garlic straight from the garden
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Our first onion and some other yummies

The garden has seemed to enjoy this warm up! The tomatoes are full of blooms, as well as other plants!

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Tomato blooms! 
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Cucumber blooms
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Zucchini plant
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Green beans (plus lots of weeds!) 
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Pumpkin blooms 
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Tiny cucumelons 

While I was in the garden, I found a chicken behind me checking out everything!

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Rogue chicken

And the solar panels have been making tons of energy with these sunny days! Already over a megawatt by the middle of the month!

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Solar + longer days = loads of energy

We are hoping to be harvesting some more from our tiny homestead this month! Are you harvesting anything from your garden??

March 2017 Goals Update

March was quite a mix of gross snowy weather and beautiful weather! Seeds have been started and we have been forging and sewing up a storm! So, here’s how it is going:

1. Zero waste our home! We already do a good bit to avoid creating trash, but there is always room for improvement! We are going as package free as we can this summer and have been trying to make some yummy copycats! So far the crackers were a success! And check out those unpaper Birdseye towels that we will be adding to the shop!

2. Declutter 20 items per month. Last year I decluttered 2016 items from this house. This month we cleaned out the boy’s bookshelf to make room for a new shelf. At least 50 things out of that room this month!

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 just now starting bag 3 in April!

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Bag 2 for the year! 

4. Merge crafting and homestead business. This month we attended our first craft show as Llewellyn Homestead. We made a few sales and met a lot of nice people! And on top of that, our gardening aprons are for sale at a super cute local business! That’s so exciting for us!

5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. (And continue preserving our harvest!) **coming before canning season!**

6. Expand the garden. We did get the onion sets and kale planted this month! Lots of little seedlings are living under the grow light for now!

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Onion sets and kale in there! 

7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year and we are growing them again! We are adding so many different plants that I will have to wait until they are growing to show them!

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Cucumelons coming up! 

8. Make a chicken viewing area. In the warm months, I love sitting by the garden and watching the chickens and bees. But, I normally sit on the ground. We are hoping to make a nice seated area in the spring! And now we will have some adorable quail over there too!

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Adorable quail!

9. Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled 115 pounds of plastic bags since the start of the program in January! And now I’m trying to get people to recycle those millions of magazines that are sent to schools! (And the secretary at our school started recycling the copier toner! Who hoo Stacey!!)

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Recycling those teacher magazines! 

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached a Megawatt! That’s 1,000 kilowatts!! So far we are loving those panels!

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Solar panel production!

11. Continue beekeeping. Last month the bees had the joy of snowstorms and 70 degree weather  odd weather! But they are doing great and we will be getting another hive this month! And I’m going to be putting out some swarm traps to catch some bees!

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Listening to the hum of bees! 

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and have some major traveling ideas for this year! We didn’t do much this month, but we have been thinking of all the places that we need to visit! (Maybe somewhere for Easter?!?!)

We are so ready for gardening season!

If you set goals, how are yours going?

Cold weather, no garden, so yuck

I am beyond ready for spring! It’s still a little early for seed starting, and we are going through a cold spell. Gross.

But, at least I have my crafting to keep me busy! So, yay for that! And we have a small craft show this weekend, so we are cautiously optimistic! Here’s what we have (plus a few more things) 😊

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Birdhouses!
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Bottle openers
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Garden aprons
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Garden markers
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Wand dusters 
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Floor dusters
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Crochet dishcloths
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Chicken hot pads
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Mason jar drink cups
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Luffa gourd seeds! 

So much accomplished! We are pretty proud of what we have accomplished! If you’re local, we hope to see you! We will also have some wildflower honey for sale!