Turned trashed into a pumpkin roll

I have been collecting any pumpkins that are unwanted. We have collected right around 150 so far! We have also rounded up a few mums, bales of hay and ears of dried corn.

Pumpkin drop off!

I posted on Instagram this picture of pumpkin number 100!

Isn’t it beautiful!

Well a sweet soul informed me that I was holding a fantastic variety called Galeux D’Eysines.

A close up view! (And on my school books, since I was showing it to my students!)

This is a nice heirloom variety from France that has been grown there since the 1800’s. It wasn’t brought here until around 1996! Galeux is French for mangy or scabby, so not a delicious sounding name! 😆 But, it’s a delicious variety. So, I pulled this beauty out of the chicken food bin and roasted/puréed it!

It was the brightest orange inside!
Beautiful pumpkin purée!

Then I followed this easy recipe: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/pumpkin-roll-recipe/ and the pumpkin was transformed into a delicious and enjoyed pumpkin roll!

My first pumpkin roll ever made!
Look at that slice!

And you know that I saved the seeds! I have already shared some with a few friends!

Big, healthy seeds!

So, sorry chickens! This one wasn’t for you! I’m planning on making a couple more pumpkin rolls and a few pies! Happy baking, and I enjoyed telling the Mr. that he was eating a trash pumpkin roll! 😆

You’re right, we aren’t living on Little House on the Prairie

Last month I had an unkind message sent to me saying that I needed to stop pretending that I live this little house on the prairie life. That hurt. It didn’t really hurt because I thought that I am living a lifestyle like that. It hurt because someone took time out of their schedule to to try to hurt me. But, good news, it gave me time to reflect instead.

So, even though we don’t live that yesteryear kind of life, we do have some similarities. (Weirdly enough)

1.I’ve always been transparent that we don’t have much land, but use what we have! We have less than an acre, but managed to grow and harvest over 1,000 pounds of food this summer!

Our main garden
The huge cushaw squash we harvested
Honey from our hives

2. We also don’t have a large amount of farm animals, so that’s true. We raise hens for their eggs and have a couple ducks for the same reason. We use our eggs, share some and even use them for making deliciousness like egg noodles!

Thanks ladies!

3. We don’t live solely off of our food, but we did can over 100 jars of food. Plus, we spun lots of honey, made so many loaves of sourdough bread, homemade noodles and lots of other yumminess!

Homemade bread!
Over 100 jars canned this year!

4. Everything we own isn’t homemade. But, the Mr can fix almost anything and he has been forging a lot! I have been working on teaching myself skills and I have been quilting, crocheting, making salves and lip balms and sewing in general.

All made by the Mr
I love our new curtain rods
Homemade gathering apron
Calendula salve
Crocheted dishcloths

5. We don’t have beautiful fields of wildflowers, but we do have a pretty certified wildlife habitat/monarch waystation/pollinator garden.

Pollinator garden
Raising monarchs
Sharing some blooms

6. I don’t have to cook over an open flame or wear an apron. But, I do wear an apron in the garden. I also hang my laundry anytime that I can. And, I’m big on reusing what we have avoiding anything disposable.

Sunflower gathering apron
Clothes drying the old fashioned way!

So, I figured I would end this up with my homestead kind of life photo:

So, let it be known that I do not live on a prairie, I live in a small town in Appalachia. I don’t have a huge garden or farm when compared to others, but it provides well for us. I own less than an acre, but use what we have well.

No matter what you have going on, who you compare yourself to or what others think about you, keep blooming where you are planted! 🌸❤️

Sourdough, my new favorite obsession!

Since March, bread became scarce, yeast impossible to find and eating at home the norm. So, I decided that starting to make sourdough should be on my to do list!

It turns out that getting a starter going takes more work than I thought it would. After so many weeks of failure, we finally got one going! And, the results were pretty great:

Yay! Bubbly and good smelling starter!

Next up was gathering the supplies that were necessary. There’s a long list of things that make it easier, but I just needed a food scale, bread and whole wheat flour and a cast iron combo cooker. Here’s my go to: https://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Cooker-Pre-seasoned-Skillet-Convertible/dp/B0009JKG9M

I love this combo cooker!

I also eventually bought a banneton basket. But, you could just line a bowl with a floured kitchen towel and it works the same!

Some dough with a banneton

And to safeguard my awesome starter, I dehydrate some. It took too much work to go back to making starter again! (And it’s easier to share this way too!)

Dehydrated starter!

After many loaves of bread, I have noticed that every single one is unique. The scored line changes the top of the bread and sometimes it cracks right through the scored line and other times it doesn’t. Regardless, I think they are the most beautiful loaves of bread!

Such a pretty loaf!

I’ll be reopening my Etsy store by the end of the month and sharing sourdough starter, along with some hand forged bread lames that the Mr. made!

I love mine!

I’ll be sharing my recipe that has been created from other recipes on here soon too! Happy baking and keep blooming!

Yum!

Finally, a new post!

Wow! June was my last post! I am back and hoping to start sharing more of what I have been up to!

Over the summer, the garden produced all kinds of huge fruits! I grew cushaw squash that were over 20 pounds:

Monster cushaw

My Dickinson pumpkin plant decided that one pumpkin was enough, but that pumpkin is close to 50 pounds!

It was so heavy!

And my newest hobby, after taking way too long to get it started, is making sourdough bread!

So delicious!

Over the weekend, I met so many people who wanted to learn more about our way of living. They asked questions about plants that we grow, questions about honeybees and chickens. They wanted to know how to grow more plants for the pollinators and how to grow milkweed. I loved talking plants and sourdough!

I met so many great people at the craft show this weekend!

I’m looking forward to get back to writing about how our goals have been coming along. I want to share some of our exciting plans for next year. And I want to start sharing more of my favorite things that we have been up to around here!

Keep blooming friends!

Weekend walk through the garden 6/14/20

Hello all! I have been gone for a little while! I have been teaching from home and basically hibernating. But, I have still been planting tons of plants in hopes of harvesting lots of food! So, I figured that I would show how well some of the plants are doing!

Zucchini
Little Roma tomato
Ground cherries
Chili pepper
Delicata squash
Onion!
Blueberries
Tiny box turtle by the garden (eating a worm!)

It’s been a weird time, but we are still growing lots of food, and even have a goal of harvesting 500 pounds of food from our less than an acre! So far, we have a long way to go!

Keep blooming friends, even through 2020!

Exciting project and walk through the garden Wednesday!

Are you having a seed shortage where you live too? It’s hard to find anything that you may want to grow! I’m so lucky that I got my seeds early! But, I decided to share lots of my seeds in my little free library! It’s like a seed share!

I have organized it, so that hopefully people can find what they are looking for!
It’s out there chilling with the books!

I’m really hoping that it is used and that people are able to grow some of their own yummy food!

I also decided to walk through the greenhouse and gardens and get a few pictures of what’s growing so far!

Potatoes popping up! (And I saved the seed potatoes from what I grew last year!)
The onions are happy!
My first strawberry bloom!
Lots of seedlings slowly growing in the greenhouse!
And I just love the beautiful redbud tree! (and I can’t wait until the garden isn’t so naked!)

I need to start the melons in the next weeks and then lastly the squashes! It’s getting to be my busy time of year! Happy gardening and keep blooming! 🌱🌼❤️

The start of the garden!

This year I decided that I would sprout the seeds that I was growing first to make sure that they were viable. It has been working out well!

Luffa seeds
Luffas now out of the soil.

I have been busy planting and preparing the beds on the pretty days. So far, I was able to plant some onion sets, radishes, beets, lettuce and peas. Hopefully they do well!

One of the raised bed gardens!

The leaf lettuce self seeded and I’m luck to have a few heads growing right by the garlic. I also have some Swiss chad that is regrowing!

Swiss chard (ever bearing spinach)
Leaf lettuce regrowing.

I also found some extra tiny gourds that fell off of the vine and were dried in the garden over the winter!

Tiny dancing gourds! (Egg for scale!)

Hopefully everyone is staying healthy and trying to enjoy time with their families! Keep blooming through all the craziness!

Rebooting the Victory Garden

A quick history lesson on the Victory Garden: Citizens were first encouraged to turn yards and vacant lands into food producing gardens in 1917 and they were called “war gardens.” During WW2, they were called “victory gardens” and they were a way to get people at home to help contribute to the wartime effort by increasing the food needed in the states. The country encouraged citizens (especially women) to grow gardens by putting advertisements in magazines and distributed pamphlets.

One of my favorites!

Now on with today: With everyone noticing the extreme shortages when they go to the store, I think now is a great time to bring back growing more of your own food! In 1943 there were 20 million victory gardens and they produced 40% of their own vegetables! Even just a raised bed could help give anyone some greens to eat! Last year, I decided to turn my yard into more of a garden.

What my garden looked like last spring!
Then we transformed it into more garden!

I loved that through gardening, morale was boosted and gardening was promoted as a family activity and good recreation! It was also noted that many Americans were eating better than they had before the war. (And I’m sure that the fresh food tasted much better!) Maybe it will be said that Americans started eating better again after the Coronavirus.

My garden last year!

Another success in victory gardens was that community committees were formed to help newcomers. They would share resources and discuss ways to deal with pests and diseases. They were guided on succession planting and how to get the best yield from their gardens. Neighbors helping neighbors! Great idea!

So, I would love to see a reboot. So perhaps we could have, Victory Gardens 2.0! Make it a year to plant something, even just one tomato plant or a tiny bed of lettuce greens! And, if you need some assistance, I’ll do my best! So “grow vitamins at your kitchen door!” And as always keep blooming where you are planted! Especially if you are quarantined there! 😊🌸❤️

Propagating plants! Indoor plant living!

It’s still too cold to do much outside, plant-wise. However, I’m working on propagating tons of plants around here!

First up, the African Violet! I have to start with a backstory! My mom loved growing them when I was a kid. However, she was raising 3 kids who played way too rough in the house. Therefore, they rarely survived after falling off of the shelf daily! So, here I am as an adult cutting off leaves, and watching them grow into beautiful little plants. The universe is strange! And I’m sorry Mom!😆

African violet a couple months after putting the leaf in soil
Those little baby leaves!! ❤️

I also still have my little succulent gourd planter growing from propagated pieces of my plants! You just shove the little “leaves” into the soil and let them root!

They all seem happy. So far!

My mom gave me a basket of all kinds of indoor plants. So, I clipped off the end of the pothos and made lots of little baby plants!

Pothos growing roots in water! Grow babies grow!
Little roots!!!

I also clipped off the top of the dragon plant and hopefully it will reroot! And, I divided the beautiful rattlesnake plant! (It took me a while to identify what those plants are!)

Dragon plant cutting in water!
I love the leaves on this beautiful rattlesnake plant!

I officially was put on break from school due to the Coronavirus. So, I guess I will be chilling here with my plants and family. I’m hoping to get some seeds started and get into the garden. Anyone else off work for who knows how long?!

Warm weekend, work and another plan!

This weekend we were lucky to have some beautiful weather close to the sixties! It definitely made me start getting more excited about what I’m growing this year and it has me checking out the flowers that are coming back!

Hairy mountain mint coming up!
Green headed coneflower
Sedum sprouting!
And I have no idea where that pollen is coming from!

On Saturday I was able to meet a friend for some coffee at the local place, pick up their coffee grounds to compost, ride my electric bike to tutor a student at the library. I also started my native seeds and peppers!

Those need a 30 day cold stratification. (Plus the peppers are in a warm spot in the house!

I also was working on my next idea that I’m hoping to get moving! I’d love to be able to get a seed library for our town’s library. So, I crafted some emails for the director of the library system and our local master garden coordinator to persuade them!

I love this one that is located in Talbot county! And they have answered a few of my questions about it!

I’m looking forward to hearing a response back! While I’m waiting, I’m going to enjoy planning all of my growing spaces and working on my quilt!

Have a great week and keep blooming! 🌸❤️