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!

Honey sale and other homestead happenings

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!

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Homestead sale!

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!

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Slowly growing!

The birdhouse gourds and growing all over the chicken run!

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Birdhouse gourds!

We have been having some great harvests this week too! Lots of onions, some zucchini, cucumbers and even a good many cucumelons!

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Our harvest this morning!

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!)

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Tiny pond for a tiny homestead

When we were buying some chicken food at tractor supply, I found an amazing half off deal on a gardening hat!

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Love this 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!

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Hostas
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Yellow coneflowers

And On a totally different topic, Sherman has a play mate for a few days! We just love squishy faced dogs around here!

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Sherman loves his new friend!

Have a great week and continue to bloom where you are planted!

Walk through the garden 7/14/17

We have been harvesting a fair amount of produce from the garden! It’s starting to look like a jungle in there!

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So many tomatoes! 

We are growing a couple different varieties of peppers this year, but only the green peppers are growing so far!

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Green pepper!

Last year the cucumber plants were killed off almost right away. I was super bummed about that! This year, they seem to be doing much better! Pickle making will be happening soon!

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Cucumbers!

A nice close up of the tomato jungle! In my defense most of these came up on their own and I just couldn’t kill them!

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Welcome to the (tomato) jungle! 

My efforts to combat squash bugs is working so far! That means picking off any squash bug eggs every few days, but it’s worth it!

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Beautiful zucchini

I was also able to clean out the compost tumbler! I put a majority of the compost down where the beets are going to be put in the garden!

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Future beet area! 

The popcorn seems to be growing nicely! I’m hoping to harvest some of this for the winter!

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Popcorn! 

Now a totally different story is the green beans! Something, I think the groundhog, kept breaking into the garden and eating the plants! Hoping to get them growing now that I have located the break in area!

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Sad green beans! 

We also still have loads of blossoming plants, including the beautiful black eyed Susans!

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Black eyed Susans

The chicken coop was cleaned out well by yours truly, and the birdhouse gourds are finally trellising up!

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Our coop! 

And last, but not least, is that we finally got some shirts with our logo!

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Our new shirts!!! 

We are having a honey and egg sale here at the homestead tomorrow! I’ll be posting how that went after the weekend!

Beekeeping, crafting and harvesting

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!

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I ❤️ this sight! 

We have also been harvesting some squash, cucumbers and some adorable tiny cucumelons!

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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:

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He begs for cucumelons! 

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!

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!

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Bees at work! 

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.

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Luffa soap with honey and my luffas! 

I was also being crafty and made a craft that depicts some part of beekeeping. So, I made a langstroth hive pillow.

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I ❤️ the way it turned out! 

Also, we have lots of flowers blooming and so much beauty around here!

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Gladiolus beauties! 

And of course with the summer rain, comes some beautiful rainbows!

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Walk through the garden 7/5/17

It’s the first check in during July! I love this time of year because it seems like the plants grow so fast with the warm weather and long days!

The pumpkins are blooming and I love seeing our pollinators at work!

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Hot honeybees! 

The tomatoes are growing fast! We have cherry, slicing and Roma tomatoes growing!

The rest of the garden is growing well too!

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Zucchini #1!
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Tiny green pepper
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Pole beans on one side are growing 
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Monster birdhouse gourd plant 
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Tiny okra plant! 
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Cucumbers galore! 

I have also started thinking ahead to my fall garden! Since a jerk groundhog ate all of our beets earlier in the season, I’m trying them again!

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Beet seedlings! 

I’ll finish on this beautiful scene! These hydrangeas in my landscaping are just looking beautiful!

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Beautiful flowers! 

Do you have anything growing well this year? Have you thought about your fall garden yet?

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 6/25/17

Where in the world have we been?! Well, we took a quick trip out of town to Cincinnati and Cleveland and stayed at a fun indoor water park hotel there.  It was a great time!

Before we went out of town I had a quick crafting spell! I made up some ridiculous easy lip balm using some of my own beeswax and my Young Living essential oils! (And oils of your choice!)

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Peppermint lip balm in reused altoid tin! 

And then I made the boy a little round earbud case! He has informed me that his fidget spinner can fit in there too! Good to know!

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Earbud holder

While on vacation, we visited a bookstore so that the boy could get a few comic books. I believe that he read at least 1/2 of them on the drive home! I figure if this keeps him reading, I’ll take it!

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So many comics! 

Onward to the garden! We are finally seeing some fruit sprouting up and future deliciousness!

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Potatoes! 
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Onions almost ready! 
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Still getting strawberries! 
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Tiny cucumbers
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Itty bitty 🍅 
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Zucchini plant growing! 

I should be getting the garlic harvest very soon and I’m hoping to be able to get the beans to grow around the teepee! (Some evil critter keeps eating the sprouts!) How are your plants growing?!