Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Butterflies Came to Visit

Beautiful, blooming flowers is one of Miley’s favorite things in life. Actually, she loves anything that involve flowers, whether it’s planting them, picking them, arranging them, smelling them, shopping for them… it all makes her happy. Give her a box of Jiffy pellets, a packet of seeds, a grow light, and she will happily busy herself with planting seeds and tending to them all by herself. After going through I don’t know how many boxes of Jiffy pellets and too-many-to-count seed packets, she filled both our vegetable garden and her own flower garden with many transplants. Now all of her hard work is finally paying off and she has a little garden full of beautiful, blooming flowers that she’s so proud of. Just when she thought her garden was full of all the happiness it could possibly hold….

the butterflies came to visit.

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Raw Milk, Good for the Garden?

One day I was doing some research on some issues I was having with my garden. I came across a forum where there was a discussion about using raw milk on the garden. It was very interesting and I wanted to learn more, so I did more research. There isn’t a whole lot of websites out there that have good, credible information on it, so most of the information I’ve gotten has been from reading others’ experiences with it. But after considering all the claims about it working, then all the claims about it not working, and everything in between, I felt like there were enough positive results reported to try it. I figured if I tried it and it worked it would be great. If not, my garden couldn’t be any worse off than if the fungus and bugs continued to take over. Continue reading

Too Many Tomatoes? Just Freeze ‘em!

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Having a lot of tomatoes is a good thing, but they can sure stack up fast. My favorite way to preserve them is to can them, but there are times when getting them canned just doesn’t happen in a timely manner. For those times, I’ve found a super simple solution to getting them done and staying ahead of the game.  Just freeze ’em!

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Pumpkin Challenge Update

A while back my mom, sisters and I decided to have a contest to see who could grow the biggest pumpkin. Well, that great pumpkin challenge has been quite a challenge, all right. I figured by now we’d have nice sized pumpkins growing on these beautiful green vines, and each of us would be out there measuring our big pumpkins to see who was winning so far. The challenge would be in full swing, with each of us neck in neck and carefully tending to our pumpkins, in hopes that we’d be the one who could successfully grow the largest one.
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All Sorts of Ruckus Going On

If you’ve never had chickens before, I can tell you that they can be very clicky. They form their own little groupies and aren’t too happy to let outsiders in. Usually the groups can coexist okay but there is frequent bickering, squabbling, clucking and complaining that leads to a disturbance with lots of commotion, racket, noise, hubbub… that eventually turns into a full blown ruckus. With as many chickens as we have running around here, it can get pretty noisy.

The spring when Miley was four we got our first chicks. By the middle of the summer, they were almost full grown and free ranging. One day I was outside chatting with her as she played on the swing set. All of a sudden, out by the barn, there was a loud commotion of clucking and squabbling going on.
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Easy Way to Make Tomato Sauce

Tomato season is in full swing around here. The card table is set up in the living room heaping full of tomatoes. I’d post a picture of it but my living room is a little messy, well actually more like a lot messy, and I’m sure you really wouldn’t want to see that. With all the picking and sorting, sauce making and canning, a clean living room just isn’t going to happen.

Before I started growing a large garden with a lot of tomatoes, I rarely canned them. If I did, I usually canned them whole and never made sauce because it just seemed like way too much work and way too time consuming. In fact, had I not read the Heavenly Homemakers blog about a really simple way to make oven roasted tomato sauce, I wouldn’t have canned any sauce at all. Since discovering that, I now make all kinds of sauce.
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Couldn’t see the Peas for the Weeds

One morning I finished up chores earlier than I usually do. With a couple hours to spare before I had to fix lunch, I told the kids (Miley and my niece, who was with us that day) I was going to go work in the garden for an hour. The weeds in the garden had really gotten out of control with all the rain we’ve had. Since the garden was sopping wet, making the weeds easy to pull, I decided that I would take an hour and see how much weeding I could get done. I started pulling weeds down one row and as I got that one done, I went right to the next one.

Soon I made it to the peas. As I was weeding the peas, I was thinking that I really ought to pull them out because they really looked awful. They hadn’t grown very tall and were yellowish, so I just assumed they weren’t going to produce anything, plus it would make weeding a little quicker. Miley wanted to grow peas last year but I never got them in on time. I figured if I pulled them she’d be disappointed, so I decided to leave them for a while longer and continued to slowly make my way around them. Soon the kids came out to see if I was close to being done because they were hungry and ready for lunch.
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Garden Update 1st week of August

My garden has survived being flooded by all the rain we’ve had, being attacked by bugs and now it’s fighting off some kind of fungus. I’m surprised it’s still living, but it is and some things are finally starting to grow and produce. Since my last update, we dug the potatoes. After being flooded and sitting in water several different times, quite a few started to rot. In fact some were so rotten that Miley decided she didn’t want to help me dig them. That girl refusing the opportunity to dig in dirt… yeah, it was THAT bad. But on the positive side, we did manage to get a nice little box full.

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