August 2019 Goals Update

Hello all! Can you all tell that I’m an elementary teacher and August is my crazy month!? Getting a classroom ready is a ton of work!! That ‘s where I have been!

And now, the goal updates:

1. Sew my first quilt– The craft that I wanted to try was making my first quilt. Everything is sewn and I just need to quilt and bind it! ** When momma feels up for it, we will quilt it!**

2. Keep doing good for our community. The little free library has still been being utilized by many and I added some lollipops that have been disappearing! Plus, we have been releasing lots of monarchs and we even invite the neighbors to watch!

3. Can and save money on our groceries: We have canned several canners full of green beans and even started freezing some. Plus, I made some salsa and canned it too! It’s going to taste great this winter!

4. Use that camper some more!: The Mr. and I enjoyed a Ravens game! It was our first NFL game and I enjoyed it! (Even though professional sports are not really my thing!)

**so here’s the change: I have lots of traveling with being the teacher of the year, so I don’t think that we will be doing much traveling this summer.

5. Compost!: We are still getting some food scraps dropped off, and we are prepping for those jack-o-lanterns! But the best part is that even when we grow something that isn’t great, the chickens will help us out!

Tigger melons after chickens!

6.Little free library/seed sharing- The Library has been having more guests, since the garden cart has been out so much!

7. Grow some new plants: The ground cherries have been growing very well! Plus we got our first tigger melons, rainbow carrots and moon and stars watermelon!

Tigger melons

Beautiful carrots

Moon and stars watermelon

8. Yard to garden our bottom yard. We doubled the size of the garden last year and produced lots of extra food. That swing set was reassembled by a friend for her adorable twins. We are still harvesting zucchini, purple tomatillos, green beans, carrots, luffas and peppers too!

After!!!

9. Keep reducing our trash We are now on bag 3, and it will be changed in September for sure!

10. Create a Monarch waystation and tagging supplies-It happened! We have a monarch waystation! That habitat is being loved and used by so many pollinators! We are still finding caterpillars out there. We have released almost 60 in August and just tagged a couple in the beginning of September!

Monarch waystation!

Our first tagged monarch

11. Teach the teen life skills– the boy is growing up way too fast. He will be in high school next year. I want him to be ready to be an independent adult when he decides to leave the nest many years from now!

*he has become a master at putting away the ducks and chickens for the night! I probably don’t want to know how the rooster ended up in the duck house!

12. Keep track of $ from gardening– We decided to use the money made from the garden cart to go towards the teen going to Disney with band. We are slowly making a little bit at a time! (the cart is gaining momentum with this harvesting season!)

August always flies by! (That’s why I haven’t posted this sooner!) We will be getting some honey soon!

Our first watermelon!

Keep blooming friends!! 🌸❤️

July 2019 Goals Update

Where in the world have I been?! In the garden! I’m constantly harvesting, watering, pruning, weeding and mulching. But, I’m not complaining at all. I love this time of the year!

And now, the goal updates:

1. Sew my first quilt– The craft that I wanted to try was making my first quilt. Everything is sewn and I just need to quilt and bind it! ** When momma feels up for it, we will quilt it!**

2. Keep doing good for our community. The school garden is starting to produce little cherry tomatoes. And, the farmer’s market in town is doing amazing!

3. Can and save money on our groceries: We had a decent harvest of cucumbers, so those were turned into pickles. Plus the green beans are all being canned for winter too!

4. Use that camper some more!: We were able to have a nice day at a local lake. It was perfect!

**so here’s the change: I have lots of traveling with being the teacher of the year, so I don’t think that we will be doing much traveling this summer.

5. Compost!: We are still getting some food scraps dropped off, especially watermelon leftovers! The chickens love it! Plus, all of those composted pumpkins have regrown some volunteers for us!

6.Little free library/seed sharing- The Library is open and we have sooo many books! And check out that beautiful flag holder that the Mr. forged!

7. Grow some new plants: The ground cherries have really taken off! The bird egg gourds are going to look adorable in the spring, once they are dried out. And I’ve harvested a couple delicata squash!

Ground cherries

Bird egg gourd

Delicata squash

8. Yard to garden our bottom yard. We doubled the size of the garden last year and produced lots of extra food. That swing set was reassembled by a friend for her adorable twins. We are starting to harvest a good bit from this area!

After!!!

9. Keep reducing our trash We are now on bag 3. We are continuing to watch what we throw out, and I’m thinking bag 3 will be leaving the house in August.

10. Create a Monarch waystation and tagging supplies-Last year we made a wildlife habitat area and we will continue to add to it! That habitat is being loved and used by so many pollinators! The monarchs have been laying so many eggs. We have released almost 10!

11. Teach the teen life skills– the boy is growing up way too fast. He will be in high school next year. I want him to be ready to be an independent adult when he decides to leave the nest many years from now!

*he was washing and waxing cars a lot last month. The waxing was with our personal vehicles and the washing was for a fundraiser!

12. Keep track of $ from gardening– We decided to use the money made from the garden cart to go towards the teen going to Disney with band. We are slowly making a little bit at a time!

July was a great month for gardening! Mostly working in the garden and taking in the summer warmth!

Panorama of the garden

Tomato jungle!

Beautiful zinnias, black eyed susans and milkweed

Hoping to do a walk through the garden Wednesday! Keep blooming friends!! 🌸💚

Wednesday walk through the garden 7/17

The weather has been HOT!! When a rainstorm does happen, the plants grow right in front of my eyes! We had a nice harvest this morning! And, the flowers are blooming!

A few of the beautiful flowers blooming!

A jalapeño!

Tomatillo

So many green beans!

Bird egg gourd!

Red cherry tomato

Corn is tasseling

Dickinson pumpkin

Noodle beans

My first ripe ground cherry! It was delicious!

The garden is growing less weeds and more food!!

What are you harvesting from your garden? Growing some beautiful flowers?

Keep blooming friends! 🌻🌱❤️

Wednesday walk through the garden 7/10

The hot weather paired with the rain showers have made the garden pop! We have been harvesting lots of zucchini and a couple dragon tongue beans.

Here’s how things are growing:

Grow pumpkin vines, grow!

Corn!!!!

Dragon tongue beans

Beautiful tomato

Tomato jungle!

Baby jalapeño

Tons of tomatillos!

Ground cherries!

Yellow zinnia

I spent a little bit this morning teaching littles about beekeepers and pollinators. They lived the monarch caterpillar that I brought and I left them with a butterfly weed to plant.

Keep blooming friends! 🌸💚

What’s blooming around here?!

It officially feels like summer here! With all of these hot days, the flowers are starting to bloom everywhere. And, the pollinators are happy!!

Bumble on bee balm

Swamp milkweed bloom

Borage bloom

Purple and white coneflowers

Marigold

Purple cosmos!

Zucchini bloom

Dragon tongue beans bloom

Before (top) After weeding (bottom)

I have been doing a ton of work getting rid of those pesky weeds in the garden. I used a lot of cardboard and tons on mulch on top. Hopefully that suppresses them for a while!

What’s blooming in your garden?! 🌱❤️

Wednesday walk through the garden 6/26

I have been working every evening at pulling weeds and mulching the whole garden. It is starting to look more beautiful by the day!

Tomatoes everywhere!

We also have quite the dill forest! I’m hoping to lure in some swallowtail butterflies!

Dill!

And now for the other beauties in the garden:

Dragon tongue beans!

Zucchini!

Dickinson pumpkin

Purple tomatillo!

Potatoes ready for harvest!

Over 80 heads of garlic harvested!

It was nice finally being able to get out in the garden and work! Hoping to get the garden stand set up this weekend!

What are you harvesting?!

Life has been busy! (But, so have I!)

Hello! I have had a long break from posting! I wish I could say that I’ve been off on adventures or vacationing. Instead, I have been spending lots of time with a loved one who has been in the hospital and not feeling well. I must admit that the waiting room in the hospital is pretty nice!

While in Baltimore, it was a quick drive over to MPT to be interviewed for the teacher of the year gala! It was a fun experience and it was so neat to have a behind the scenes view!

Since I have only been home about a week this month, I have a lot of weeding to do around here! So, here is my before picture of the garden. It will look so much better weed free!

My Mr. has been working hard on the yard to garden conversion! The space is being utilized so much better than just a patch of grass!

The butterfly weed is putting off the most beautiful blooms right now! (And the pollinators have been enjoying it too!)

Our little free library has been having a nice amount of visitors!! Plus, I have been excited to receive so many free books to put in there! Keep reading this summer kids!!

Last night I had a great moment! While working on bringBig mulch to the garden, I spotted a monarch caterpillar on the butterfly weed! So, monarch raising has officially started!

June has been a blur of running all over the state and finishing up the school year. But, there have also been lots of good moments too!

Keep blooming friends! 🌸❤️

May 2019 Goals Update!

Only a little more than a week of school left!! So that means: warm weather and spending more time with my towering teen is coming up! Yay!

And now, the goal updates:

1. Sew my first quilt– The craft that I wanted to try was making my first quilt. Everything is sewn and I just need to quilt and bind it! ** I still need to quilt this thing!**

2. Keep doing good for our community. The school garden is looking better by the day! I’m hoping to get a table at our home fest and see who would be interested in a plot at a community garden and who would volunteer to get it going next year!

3. Can and save money on our groceries. I am hoping to make a lot of jam and jelly this year! Somehow I didn’t make any last year and the store bought stuff just isn’t the same! I think I’m going to go to a pick your own farm and get some strawberries! I will only be getting a hand full from my plants.

4. Use that camper some more! Last year we remodeled and fixed up the camper and traveled to Yellowstone and back. It was a great trip! Last month I went to Baltimore and was recognized as teacher of the year for my county! I’ll be there again in June!

**so here’s the change: I have lots of traveling with being the teacher of the year, so I don’t think that we will be doing much traveling this summer.

5. Compost!! Composting at school is still going well and we have diverted around 200 pounds of food waste! We are still getting some compostables and I love the yard waste that’s becoming a nice mulch in my garden!

6.Little free library/seed sharing- The Library is open!! I love watching people stop by and grab a book! So far this is my favorite goal!

7. Grow some new plants: This year we are hoping to grow ground cherries better, and they are looking pretty good so far! We also planted the whole garden! We are harvesting lots of radishes, leaf lettuce and a couple strawberries. And, we are planting a fig tree too!

8. Yard to garden our bottom yard. We doubled the size of the garden last year and produced lots of extra food. This year, we want to take out our huge swing set that hasn’t been used in such a long time and start getting rid of grass. I’m hoping to turn this area into more food production with trees, bushes and understory plants.

**We are getting there! Raised beds have been filled, grass is being removed and plants will be planted very soon!

After!

9. Keep reducing our trash We are now on bag 2. We are continuing to watch what we throw out!

**we are still on bag 2, but it will be thrown out this week!

10. Create a Monarch waystation and tagging supplies-Last year we made a wildlife habitat area and we will continue to add to it! The butterfly weed is blooming, along with yarrow and blanket flowers. Plus, my overwintered Black swallowtail chrysalis emerged as a butterfly!!

From the beginning of the year to the end!

11. Teach the teen life skills– the boy is growing up way too fast. He will be in high school next year. I want him to be ready to be an independent adult when he decides to leave the nest many years from now!

*he has been helping with planting out the garden and he helped to make a nice spaghetti dinner this week!

12. Keep track of $ from gardening– I’d love to eventually break even on all of our gardening! We have only sold a couple dozen eggs so far, but the garden cart will be opening this month with some produce!

(Technically the garden cart was used for the grand opening of the library!) 😆

May was the month that I got this garden planted and have been working nonstop on the food forest area! I have also put a lot of time into putting more flowers into the pollinator garden and watering lots of new little plants! We also caught a swarm of bees and paid off the solar panels!

Keep blooming friends!! 

Composting week and garden beginnings!

Last week was international composting week! It was fun to spread the message about the importance of composting and answering lots of messages about it!

The biggest question that I get a lot is: “can I just make a pile of my food scraps in the yard?” The quick answer is no. A compost pile needs to be almost equal amounts of greens (most things in your kitchen, even coffee grounds) to browns (sawdust, chipped leaves). Any pile that’s out of proportion will either give you a stinky mess or not break down quickly.

We received a compost drop off last week and it is quickly composting in the pile!

My mom is always sweet and saves me her compostables too! She even wraps them in newspaper to avoid plastics!

We try to recycle most of our paper, but we also use some in the compost bin. I just make sure to work in under the compost, so that paper isn’t flying all over the place on a windy day!

Another reason that I love luffas is that they go straight from being used and into the compost bin. They can be used for a long time before they need to go into the compost!

And I figured that I should show off some of the pretty things going on in the garden! The newly planted blueberry bushes are blooming! (And I think I see a few tiny berries!

The Spring raised bed has come to life and the radishes are even ready to be harvested!

The strawberries are starting to look more beautiful by the day too!

I’m going to be attempting to grow some winecap mushrooms underneath of the trellis. Hopefully I have a harvest by fall!

And lastly, I was able to score a couple fig trees for Mother’s Day! Hopefully these beauties grow and we can taste a real fig in a few years!

I can’t wait to share how our grand opening of the little free library went and how much we enjoyed having family over for the event!

🌸keep blooming!

April 2019 Goals Update

Hello May! April was a very green month both at home and school! The goals are being checked off!

And now, the goal updates:

1. Sew my first quilt– The craft that I wanted to try was making my first quilt. Everything is sewn and I just need to quilt and bind it! ** I still need to quilt this thing!**

2. Keep doing good for our community. The town Earth Day clean up was amazing! We had close to 40 volunteers and look at all of trash we kept out of streams and the environment!

We also had a very green week at school and had a school wide composting day. We also planted our school raised bed garden! I’m hoping that the kids get to eat those radishes and some lettuce by the end of the year!

3. Can and save money on our groceries. I am hoping to make a lot of jam and jelly this year! Somehow I didn’t make any last year and the store bought stuff just isn’t the same! We are working on growing lots this year! * here are some strawberry blooms! I’m hoping to make lots of strawberry jam this year!*

4. Use that camper some more! Last year we remodeled and fixed up the camper and traveled to Yellowstone and back. It was a great trip and we have another family camping trip to plan in 2019! This is the major change.

**so here’s the change: I have lots of traveling with being the teacher of the year, so I don’t think that we will be doing much traveling this summer. Unfortunately.

5. Compost!! Composting at school is still going well and we have diverted around 150 pounds of food waste! We are still getting some compostables and I love the yard waste that’s becoming a nice mulch in my garden!

Cut grass makes great mulch!

Older food is loved by the chickens!

6.Little free library/seed sharing- The Library is so close to opening! The library placard is on the way and the ribbon cutting will be happening this month! It’s getting exciting!

7. Grow some new plants: This year we are hoping to grow ground cherries better. Plus, grow blue pumpkins, corn and more gourds! I picked up a lot of great plants at the master gardener plant sale (prickly pear cactus was my favorite find!) and I have a lot of the cooler weather crops in the ground already!

8. Yard to garden our bottom yard. We doubled the size of the garden last year and produced lots of extra food. This year, we want to take out our huge swing set that hasn’t been used in such a long time and start getting rid of grass. I’m hoping to turn this area into more food production with trees, bushes and understory plants.

**We are making progress! The swing set is gone, the little greenhouse was moved over and this month we will be getting rid of all of that grass!

9. Keep reducing our trash We are now on bag 2. We are continuing to watch what we throw out!

**we are still on bag 2!!**

10. Create a Monarch waystation and tagging supplies-Last year we made a wildlife habitat area and we will continue to add to it! We have lots of new plants and even more coming back from last year!

We have 9 butterfly weed plants that came back!

11. Teach the teen life skills– the boy is growing up way too fast. He will be in high school next year. I want him to be ready to be an independent adult when he decides to leave the nest many years from now! He learned how important that it is to help out the community and cleaned up so much for our cleanup day!

12. Keep track of $ from gardening– I’d love to eventually break even on all of our gardening! So this year we will see if we earn more than we spend on all of our efforts! Maybe?!

Our chickens are putting out lots of eggs and we did sell some at the craft show last month!

May is the big month for this region when it comes to gardening! So much will be planted this month and I can’t wait to start showing the walk through the gardens! What are you planting?!

🌸🌸Keep blooming friends!! 🌸🌸