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!

Another busy weekend!

I’m so excited to say that there is only one half day of school left this week!! Whoo hoo! Last weekend was a crazy one! Lots of weird weather and business!

It started out with some weird weather that resulted in some snow in the mountains. Luckily for us, we did not!

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Snow in the mountains!

Because of the weird weather, the craft show that we went to was a little slow. I did make a good many sales though! Even a few garden aprons!

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My new headband rack! 

Then, the boy and I spent the evening dying some Easter eggs! One cracked while boiling, so he colored 11! Here is proof that brown eggs can be colored too!

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Before and after

Now, it’s back up in the 70’s and I found my raspberry canes are springing back to life! That made me so excited!!

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Raspberry canes coming back! 

And on my newest journey of becoming a lesser waste person, I wanted to somehow eliminate those wrappers from my morning Belvitas. I love them with coffee in the morning! So Voila….

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Homemade Belvitas!!

They turned out amazing!! Here is where I got the delicious recipe from: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/breakfastbrunch/copycat-belvita-breakfast-biscuit/

Weekends are so productive! I can’t wait to post my March updates soon!!

The boy’s birthday weekend!

Creating less waste and buying less stuff can really be hard when celebrating life’s events. I knew the boy was going to be getting more stuff, so we started getting some of his less used things out if the house. (Like over 100!)

First we went through his astounding collection of stuffed animals. These lucky guys already found a new home!

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Making their way to a new home!

Then, we sold a few things on a yard sale site that were basically brand new!

On to the party, we tried to keep it low key. I made the boy his cookie cake! I used this amazing recipe: http://www.fourmileridge.com/giant-chocolate-chip-cookie/

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Homemade cake for the boy

And we ate off of my real plates and drank out of non disposable cups. It was perfect! An amazing part was that my garbage can wasn’t filled to the brim with birthday stuff! It was a great weekend!!

 

Halloween and garden fun

For the first time, we actually were able to harvest pumpkins and my boy was able to carve a good sized one! He picked out his favorite and did all the work himself!

Lights on

Lights on

And of course we had to light it up to see how awesome that it looks!

Shining bright!

Shining bright!

Even though we used this pumpkin for fun, the chickens got the goop from the insides and everything that we cut out. They definitely did not complain!

Then, we roasted the pumpkin seeds and polished off most of them before the mister got home from work!

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And strange enough, I still harvested a couple things from the garden! I cut the last pumpkin from the dead vine and somehow found another sweet potato on accident!

Tonight's harvest

Tonight’s harvest

When it quits raining, I have some garlic that needs planting and raspberry canes that need put in the ground. So much work to do before the winter is in full effect!

Weekend happenings!

We have been having such a nice and relaxing weekend! We went to a local farmer’s market and bought a few spaghetti squash and a butternut squash. The spaghetti squash was delicious!

I made some soft pretzels following the recipe from http://www.sprinklesomesugar.com/homemade-soft-pretzels/?m and they were great!

Pretzel dough!

Pretzel dough!

After about 10 minutes, the pretzels will be delicious!

Soft pretzels!

Soft pretzels!

Since the temperatures are dropping at night, I decided to harvest as much as I could! I still am getting some veggies in the middle of October!

Last harvest! :(

Last harvest! 😦

And I finally finished up two hooded towels. They turned out adorable!

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Applesauce canning!!!

Early Saturday morning I decided that I needed to get to work on canning those apples! I picked a ton of these beauties at my Granny’s!

These are delicious!

These are delicious!

I have already made crockpot applesauce, Apple butter and even apple pie bars!

To make some applesauce, start with nice clean apples! These were totally grown without any chemicals, so they don’t need scrubbed down like the market variety. Then, cut up into pieces. (I don’t peel mine because I have an attachment for my kitchen aid that removes the peels! Saves so much time! ) Add some water and let it all cook down until it’s smooshy.

Cut up into chunks!

Cut up into chunks!

I then put it all through the food mill and it comes out perfectly! You can add sugar and cinnamon to taste, but I just do that when I open them!

Applesauce!!!

Applesauce!!!

I process them for 20 minutes and they come out delicious!!

Canned and sealed!

Canned and sealed!

I also went ahead and made some apple pie filling! I made a little too much, so I used the rest to make some apple crisp! Yum again!!

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Apple pie filling! Yum!

And I also found time to crochet some ear warmers to hopefully sell at the next craft show! I’m starting to save up some funds for my Spring bees!

Crocheted ear warmers!

Crocheted ear warmers!

I hope that you had a productive weekend as well! And, hopefully you stated dry too!!

Homestead kinda weekend

My weekend kinda started off rough with a pretty bad case of poison ivy rash.  But, after getting some meds and rest, I’m feeling a lot better!

I was able to get a lot accomplished this weekend. I’ve been working on cleaning out the garden and working on apples. I made some yummy crockpot apple butter. I found an easy recipe here: http://savingdollarsandsense.com/crock-pot-apple-butter/

Apple butter!

Apple butter!

The recipe used 3 lbs of apples after cut up and yielded 1quart and a smaller container of Apple butter. I don’t eat the stuff, but the mister loves it and said it tastes good! I’ll take his word on this!

I was really excited to actually get another zucchini! By now we usually have lost all of our plants to bugs!

A September zucchini!

A September zucchini!

I was given some bee boxes, but since I don’t know too much about them, I’m not going to risk using them. I had the mister upcycle one into a rolling box. I’m going to take a few to a craft show in a few weeks. I’m hoping to make a few bucks to go towards beekeeping supplies!

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Homemade gift!!

Homemade gift!!

I also made a towel for one of the boy’s scout friends. I love making homemade gifts! I feel like it’s one less chuck of plastic being bought! (And I love crafting!!)

Well, here’s to a great week! So busy and yet I’m ready to tackle it! 🙂

Another busy weekend

We had yet another busy weekend. Other than cleaning the house and getting caught up on laundry, I also volunteered to sell mulligans for a golf tournament. It was a pretty good time and it was for a good cause. 🙂

Saturday I was able to get the house decorated for Fall! I used all of the corn stalks that I grew and the rest of the pumpkins from the main garden. We have a groundhog that wanted to make a meal of them! So, all of these decorations cost us nothing but hard work!

Decorated for Fall!

Decorated for Fall!

I, well mostly the mister, put the bee frame together for my class tomorrow! I had it pieced together, and he went ahead and nailed and glued it. He’s so good to me!

Made my bee frame

Made my bee frame

The boy and I spent a while on Saturday night watching the chickens and of course taking some pictures! They just wanted to hunt for bugs!

Chicken selfie!

Chicken selfie!

All day yesterday we could smell the deliciousness of apples and cinnamon cooking in the crockpot. We have pretty much finished this off already! I have so much more applesauce to make.

Crock pot applesauce

Crock pot applesauce

We are also working on cleaning up a messy part of the landscaping and turning it into a pollinator garden with lots of butterfly and bee fun!