Wednesday, January 30, 2013

BLOG HOP

JOIN THE BLOG HOP -   Click Here to see Tilly's Nest Blog.  This Blog is one of my favorites!

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

INTERACTIVE GROWING CALENDAR

Here is a SUPER handy tool for all you gardeners out there (newbies and seasoned) - it's a Growing Calendar based on your location and growing zone.  It shows you when to sow your seeds, when to transplant and/or when to direct sow.  Check it out - all you have to do is click the link below and enter your zip code...

CLICK TO SEE BURPEE GROWING CALENDAR

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, January 25, 2013

UPCYCLE IDEA

I thought this was such a great idea that I had to share it (see below).  Great idea for
organizing all that left-over holiday wrapping paper until next year! 
 
Oh vey - why didn't I think of that??? 


Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Moving On Over is Getting CLOSER...

Well, realization of the dream has kicked in.  I was discussing something with my husband recently when I said "when we move to the farm next year"....wa wa wa wait WHAT did I just say???  We both just looked at each other.  NEXT YEAR - holy mackeral!?!  It can't be so - why YES  - we will be relocating to the old farm next summer!  I cannot believe how fast time is approaching.  This is a very exciting time for our family...and instead of getting stressed out about how we are going to make this happen - I am going to try and relax and let it all fall into place....bit by bit.

 


As you can imagine though, we are trying to get all of our ducks in a row.  We have a lot of prep work to do in the city to make this thing happen.  Ready or not - it's REALLY going to happen.

I haven't mentioned to very many "city" people (besides family and close friends) that we are planning to move to the country.  But strangely enough when I have mentioned it to some people I am met with a steely gaze and a question such as "why would you want to move to the country?" or "won't you get bored out there, there is so much more to do in the city?"

I guess it is understandable that people may think that country life is "boring," after all most city people have grown up with traffic, noise, rushing and long days in the office.  -- I'm definitely one of them --

In reality though, life does not have to be like that at all. I'm determined that there is so much more to life than working/commuting 12 hours a day then coming home to eat dinner, talk to family, and sit in front of the TV all night.

As I'm discovering almost every time I go out to the farm, country living brings benefits such as better health, beautiful scenery, a better lifestyle, lovely environments to bring up your children in and of course a drastic slow down of your life in general.  A place where you can set your own pace on a daily basis.

I do not plan on living without electricity, toilets or hot water but I do plan to be more self-sufficient by growing and preserving my own food (vegetables and fruits), raising chickens and other livestock, and beekeeping. I have many of these self-sufficient ideas in place and will continue to grow and expand these ideas.  I also would like to add fishing and hunting to my list of self-sufficiency ideas and know of a lot of people in my family that will guide me in this process.

Stay tuned - lots more to come.  Have a great day!






Monday, January 21, 2013

Jump Start on my Seeds and Creating your Own TP Seed Starter Pots

I started my first batch of seeds today.  Is that exciting or what?  Where I live pepper and herb plants seem to take FOREVER to grow and need that extra time! 

I used my peat pots that I had leftover from last year and arranged them on a tray (shown below on the left).  Added some warm water to expand the peat pots.  The peat pots get about 1 1/2 - 2 inches high and then I planted one or two seeds in each pot (shown below on right).  Last year I planted too many seeds in each peat pot and had a LOT of thinning to do - so this year I carefully put 1 or 2 seeds in each peat pot.


To start, I planted 4 California wonder green peppers; 12 cayenne peppers; 4 plants of sweet banana peppers; 2 red sweet peppers; 3 orange sweet peppers; and 3 yellow sweet peppers. 

I was able to save some cayenne and sweet pepper seeds from last year - so I hope they will germinate ok.  The rest are heirloom seeds leftover from last year.

I also started some herbs - cilantro, sage, basil and parsley and fennel.

For the time being, I have a grow light on them just to heat up the greenhouse a little bit.  I will shut the lights off and let the magic happen.  Once they germinate I will put the lights back on.  Keep your fingers crossed that this works!




Is this considered upcycling or recycling - I say both.  See below.  Upcycling for seed starter pots and then recycling once planted in the ground.  :-)  Below is the start of my homemade empty toilet paper roll seed starter pots.  That was a mouthful!  I just cut the rolls in half and then made four 1/2 inch equally spaced slits on the bottom, overlapped the folds and folded them like a box to close the ends off.  I still need to purchase the dirt but I think these will work perfect for my tomatoes.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

NEW Open Shelves in Farmhouse Kitchen

We tackled a couple of small projects at the farm today.

We added a couple of open display shelves over the refrigerator for our nesting bowls and our bee teapot and honey pot. I just love that teapot!

We also added some additional lighting in our open shelf pantry and boy is it ever bright! In the future I might be able to grow some herbs.

Last little addition was my antique/vintage kerosene stove that I found - it's authentic but of course we can't use it indoors. We could use it out in one of the barns in the winter.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.













Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Decorative Garden Ladder Planter Experiment

Look at this great upcycling idea made from pallets.  I think it would be a beautiful addition to my garden. 

Last year I tried growing luffas for the first time in the hopes of making my own luffa sponges.  The plants were planted along a trellis, facing two different directions along the corner of our chicken coop barn - one on the South side and one on the East side. 

They did grow quite well and were approximately 6 feet high or so.  They also flowered but unfortunately, they never produced any fruit.  I think the reason might be because of the fact that they did not get sunlight all day long. 

So my experimental plan this year is to plant the luffas out in the open where they will get sunlight 100% of the day in all directions.  I can do this by building a ladder from pallets about 5-6 feet to resemble the planter shown below.  The boots are an addorable addition to be more decorative until the luffas grow to the height of the ladder.  I think it just might work.  I also plan on upcycling some of my grapevine cuttings too for some grapevine wreaths.  Fun, fun, fun!

Who do you think? 





Monday, January 14, 2013

Seeds, Seeds, and SEEDS for Garden 2013



So far I have received six seed catalogs.  I get REALLY excited when the seed catalogs come in the door.  Of course, I have been checking each and every one out as they get in the door.  Trying to develop the garden plan this year...  :-)

I think I have noticed something alarming though - the amount of hybrid seeds have increased tremendously this year.  Or perhaps I am noticing it more because I am focused more on heirloom seeds.  But it seems a real shame that there is so much emphasis on hybrids.  Have you guys noticed the same thing? 

The only catalog I did not receive this year was the one from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds that I am so interested in.  So I sent them a request this morning for their catalog - just in case you would like a free catalog too - here's the link HERE.  Their seeds are comparable to Burpee and Gurneys and various others.

Last year was my first attempt at saving seeds.  I hope that the process I went through to save heirloom tomato seeds works!  I soaked them in a glass jar (covered) for 3-4 days until the white film covered the top.  Then rinsed them off and dried them for saving.  Just in case it did not work I thought I better have a back-up plan!  haha

Blogger seems to be having issues this morning with uploading photos so this is sort of a boring blog with photos!  Sorry about that!  Have a great day!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chalkboard Canisters

These are my new find - chalkboard canisters by Martha Stewart. They are available at Target.

It's nice that they have the chalkboard labels recessed on the fronts. They are also air tight so you can use them with a variety of products.

Right now I am using them for tea. They will be a nice addition to the farm eventually - for right now they are in the city :-( LOL

Hope you all had a great weekend - it's snowing here!!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Garden PREP 2013!!!!!

And the fun begins!!! Seed catalogs galore have arrived and I'm getting antsy!!!

I know it's Winter but I had to do something garden related - otherwise - I might burst!!

So set up the greenhouse, and I'm checking my grow lights! Unfortunately my seeds that I saved are out at the farm. Oh well I've got lots of time!!

Don't mind my son working out on the Wii in the background!  (oops)...LOL


Kitchen Update

Here are a couple of photos after we installed our new floor out at the farm. It's exciting to see things coming together nicely.

We have to stain the cabinets yet but that will wait until we can open up the house for ventilation.

So for right now...kitchen DONE! :-)