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!)
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
I hope that you all were able to enjoy your weekend and that your garden is still flourishing!
Last weekend we had our first sale event here at the homestead! It was a honey and egg sale! We sold out of honey and sold a lot of eggs! Plus, people got to taste some cucumelons and look at my craftiness! It was great!
We also had several people notice our garage decor! Ha! I finally got the Mr to hang the hooks he blacksmithed for the onions and garlic!
I will be sharing a walk through the garden later on the week, but I thought I’d share an update on the fence line garden! The left was this week, top right is end of June and bottom right was the end of May!
The birdhouse gourds and growing all over the chicken run!
We have been having some great harvests this week too! Lots of onions, some zucchini, cucumbers and even a good many cucumelons!
We have hit some pretty good sales on things we have really been looking for lately! First up is an amazing pond insert. We were looking for something that we could add plants to so the bees would have a more reliable water source. Well, here’s our $10 yardsale find! (We had lots of digging and prying to do, but we got it finished!)
When we were buying some chicken food at tractor supply, I found an amazing half off deal on a gardening hat!
And while I was searching for water plants that weren’t there, Lowe’s had their perennials for only $3! So I snatched up some!
And On a totally different topic, Sherman has a play mate for a few days! We just love squishy faced dogs around here!
Have a great week and continue to bloom where you are planted!
This week it finally rained a bit and now the garden is quickly coming to life! Everything is growing and we have been able to harvest around 40 cloves of garlic, 17 pounds of potatoes and I’m about ready to pull some onions too!
We have also been harvesting some squash, cucumbers and some adorable tiny cucumelons!
And my Sherman dog loves to help harvest everything! He has been known to pick his own green beans, eat cucumbers and zucchini from the plant and now this:
And the bees are taking off! (Well, 3 out of 4 are doing well.) The split that I did is not doing well, but I learned how I’d do it differently next year, so all is well if I learned something! The swarms we caught are doing amazing! This queen is a laying machine!
So much brood!
I was able to weed the beeyard, do a check in on all the hives and rearrange them a bit. I love the accomplished feeling after checking in on the bees!
For the upcoming fair I am entering some of my items made from my bees wax and honey. I’ve made some lipbalm already, but I’ve also made some melt and pour honey and goats milk luffa soap.
I was also being crafty and made a craft that depicts some part of beekeeping. So, I made a langstroth hive pillow.
Also, we have lots of flowers blooming and so much beauty around here!
And of course with the summer rain, comes some beautiful rainbows!
It’s really summer! We are starting to get some food from the garden including garlic and potatoes. I’m looking forward to gathering lots more this month!
1. Zero waste our home! We already do a good bit to avoid creating trash, but there is always room for improvement! The summer challenge is going well! We (all 3 of us combined) only sent about 10 ounces of garbage to the landfill this whole month!
3 weeks worth of garbage
2. Declutter 20 items per month. Last year I decluttered 2016 items from this house. We got rid of a big gaming table and a few other not played with things!
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! Yep, still on the same bag of garbage, #4! We might just make it through the summer!
4. Merge crafting and homestead business. This has been going pretty well! I had a craft set up at a local friend’s store and a few online sales. I’m sewing some round earbud holders now to see how they sell and the mister has been blacksmithing hooks for keys and hanging heavy things!
5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. Thank goodness that I don’t need this yet because it’s not been accomplished yet! But I did just buy some peaches at the farmer’s market that I might need to can! Come on Mr. Llewellyn!
6. Expand the garden. I widened the area along the fence and planted plants all throughout my yard (grow food not yards, right?) And, it’s looking better!
7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year, and we are growing more this year! We are also growing popcorn, okra and my favorite: cucumelons!
8. Make a chicken viewing area. Yeah, um, I don’t think we are going to do this now! I love watching the chickens, but life has kept us busy!
9. Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film this year, recycled their plastic cereal bowls and even planted a pollinator garden! Watch out 2017-2018 school year!!
10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached 1.9 MWh! And our electric bill was less than $6! 💚
11. Continue beekeeping. The bees have been doing well! I pulled off some honey to spin from our largest hive. I’m hoping to add more boxes soon!
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 were able to take the boy to an awesome indoor water park in Ohio on Lake Erie. It was a great time and we were able to go to a military vehicle show close by. (Of course the guys enjoyed that!)
If you set goals, how are yours going?
Do you know what today is?!?! It’s the last day of school here! Therefore, I’m on break! Yippee!! So, I’ll be posting a little more often! But, now onward with the goal update for May:
1. Zero waste our home! We already do a good bit to avoid creating trash, but there is always room for improvement! We are having a family challenge with money prize between the 3 of us! The one that creates the least amount of garbage gets the $! (We are hoping to get the boy on board with eating less packaged food!) There will be lots of cooking and baking in my future!
2. Declutter 20 items per month. Last year I decluttered 2016 items from this house. Nothing out of here this month! We really don’t have anything to get rid of at the moment!
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! Well, we just threw out the 3rd bag this year.
4. Merge crafting and homestead business. In May we did a craft show out of town in Boonsboro, MD and we did pretty well for a rainy day! We also have hit our 30th sale at our Etsy store!
5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. Just waiting for our favorite electrician to get to it , my Dad. 😊
6. Expand the garden. I just made the expanded area larger with fencing! Darn deer everywhere here! I was also able to get a good bit planted in our regular yard and even made a green bean tee pee for our pole beans!
7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year, but something keeps eating the seedlings this year! The cucumelons are in the ground, as well as the popcorn and I’m doing my best to get some okra to germinate! We also have some huge pumpkins that came up on their own from ones the chickens ate last year!
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. I’m not sure if, or when we will get this accomplished! But, our hen hatched out one beautiful little chick and the quail laid their first egg!
9. Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film this year! I also tried to start magazine recycling, but someone kept throwing it all away! Also, my students started saving their single use bowls from breakfast for me to recycle as well as packages from muffins for terracyle!
We also did research, located native plants and planted a pollinator garden at school!
10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached 1.46 MWh! (And it was a gross rainy month!) We also got our bill for May, and it was less than $10! Ahh! That was a nice bill to open!
11. Continue beekeeping. May was the month of swarms! The hive that we split off of our hive is doing well! (Pic on left) Then we got a call about a smaller swarm here in town, they are doing well now! (Bottom right pic). Next we got a call for a big swarm (middle picture.) We were then called back to the same area we got the last swarm to help get an established hive out of a tree that was being cut down. (Top right photo) So, I guess we are glad that we never got a call about the bees we ordered, but didn’t get!
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 went with the boy to a nice closer amusement park for his end of year band trip. It was great!
If you set goals, how are yours going?
I’m elated to say that this week is my last week of school and from here on out I will be busy taking on all this homesteading!
I’ll start with my beekeeping fun. All the hives seem to be doing well and are laying lots of eggs. The newest swarm that I got has been really busy laying eggs! Great job on picking that queen!
When we pulled the hive out of the tree being cut down, we put some frames of their brood in there to help get them started and attached them to the frame with rubber bands. Well, they showed me how much they liked those bands!
The mister has a friend that has a ton of bamboo growing in their yard. That stuff is so invasive and grows too fast! But, they let us cut some for free to turn into tomato stakes and a green bean teepee!
Around the homestead we have been gathering lots of eggs and some delicious strawberries!
The mycelium from the winecap mushrooms are really enjoying this wet weather!
I was also given a fixer upper kind of project by a friend! Her camera strap was looking sad and needed recovered! So, 30 minutes later, I had removed the old fabric and made it pretty again!
The solar panels did great last month!! Our bill was for only $8.16 and we even got a credit back for over $80 from previous months!
So that’s a quick update here on our tiny plot of land in the middle of a small town!