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!

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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!

Wednesday walk through the garden and lots of blooms! 9-6-17

The garden is starting to fizzle out, but we are still harvesting green beans, cucumbers, cucumelons and lots of tomatoes! I’m hoping to harvest a watermelon or 2 this season!

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Ripen quickly please! 

I’m not sure what this is growing out of the compost bin! It looks like a yellow zucchini, but it is vining like a pumpkin!

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we love our weird compost hybrids! 

We are also still getting peppers, so we will be making some Appalachian style chili sauce. My Dad loves it, so of course I’m going to make him some!

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peppers! 

The popcorn is a good bit taller than me and has tassels!

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popcorn!!!!

The pumpkin vines are dying off, but at least we are getting a few pumpkins!

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Pumpkins! 

The fall beets are growing right up out of the ground!

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we will be pickling beets! 

The sweet potatoes are growing all over the place! I can’t wait to see how much that we harvest this year!!

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sweet potato vines

And I’m pretty proud to share that we made some ketchup this year out of our own Roma tomatoes! We just used one of the Mrs. Wage’s seasoning packets!

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homemade ketchup!

And, there are lots of beautiful blooms still around for our pollinators!

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!

 

Harvests and watching the eclipse!

In case you didn’t notice (haha) there was a solar eclipse today! The boy and I made pinhole projectors out of cereal boxes and enjoyed the show! It didn’t get very dark here, but it was kind of eerie! I thought maybe the chickens or bees would act differently, but I didn’t notice anything! The solar panels did notice the eclipse though!

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Look at that dip! 

And check out the colander during the eclipse!

Our neighbor’s garden has been growing very well! So, he gave us 4 buckets of leftovers for the chickens and all of this for us:

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Neighbor’s gift to us! 

I started picking our harvest this morning, but it was too hot! This was all collected just from our yard! (Not the big garden!)

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Yard harvest

And our one and only luffa is getting pretty big!

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Cattle panel trellis!

And here is the whole harvest from today! That’s a little over 15 pounds in cherry tomatoes alone!

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The whole harvest!

And we have our first cayenne pepper growing!

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Cute pepper! 

And I will finish the post with a bee on our pretty orange sunflower!

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My favorite flower!

Have a great week and keep blooming where you are planted!

Walk through the garden 8/15

It has been raining every other day here, so it’s hard to get into the garden to gather our harvest. So, when I went outside I was pretty surprised to see a watermelon that might actually have time to be harvested before the weather changes!

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Our tiny watermelon! 

I have been picking what feels like millions of cherry tomatoes every time I go in the garden! I’m thinking about just freezing some for later use.

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Cherry tomatoes 🍅 

I know that I posted a picture of an okra bloom earlier in the month, but it’s hard not to share them. They are such a beautiful bloom!

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Another okra bloom

The later planting of the popcorn is growing tall! I’m hoping that we will get to harvest this too before the weather change!

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Popcorn growing 

After forever, I’m finally seeing some pumpkins growing! They had male blossoms since early summer and just started getting female blossoms.

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Tiny pumpkin growing! 

Another late Fall harvesting plant, sweet potatoes, are growing well! The vines are growing everywhere!

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Sweet potato vines

I have never seen the birdhouse gourds grow this large before! My neighbor said that we will have eagles trying to live in these sized gourds!

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Birdhouse gourd (on the chicken run)

And here is our big ol’ harvest today!

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So much deliciousness! 

And after getting all of the veggies picked and grass cut and raked (it was sooo tall!), I was able to sit and relax with the Sherman dog!

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Life is obviously hard! 

At some point tomorrow we really need to can some peaches anc work on processing the tomatoes!

Keep blooming where you’re planted! 🌱💚

Pond success, harvesting and a question

Remember how we scored a nice pond liner from a yard sale site for only $10?!

IMG_8773Well, the main reason we bought it was to provide a reliable watering hole for the bees. So, we bought a few water hyancith and some water lettuce and hoped the bees would use it. The great news:

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The bees love it! And it flowered! 

I laughed and told my husband at this point about 10% of our ideas work!

On to the garden! There is a beautiful orange/yellow sunflower that’s trying to bloom!

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So close! 🌻

And it is nice to see a beneficial insect in the garden for once, instead of the millions of squash bugs and cucumber beetles that I have been squishing!

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Little ladybug in the corn 

And our harvests are getting pretty regular now! We are still getting a few onions (purple, white and yellow) along with lots of cucumbers, zucchini, our first tomatoes and tiny cucumelons!

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Harvesting! 

I asked this question on my Facebook llewellyn homestead page, but I’ll ask it here too. Here are a few things we do to live frugally and with a lower carbon footprint:

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Some of my friends suggesting things that I forgot like composting, fixing things instead of trashing them and hunting. Can you suggest anything else? If so, please do! I’m going to try to post an idea per day next month, so I’ll need 31!

And now I leave you with this sad baby!

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Sherman in his glory

I keep telling him that school will be back in soon and he won’t be able to follow me all day and sit on my lap! 🙁

 

Keep blooming where you are planted! 🌱💚