Hello Again. Well the Homestead journey continues. This time we have suffered a loss. I planted all my seeds in the little greenhouses like I do every year. Well this year nothing grew.
So I emptied out all the pods and just lined the trays with the dirt. I am going to give this one more try. I did manage to get some squash growing and some Broccoli is sprouting. I am going to keep these all inside for the next couple of nights as it is supposed to be very cold with a good chance of frost.
Five day old organic broccoli sprouts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Homesteading is a lot of hard work. It is worth every minute in my opinion but it is hard. Sometimes no matter how hard you have planned for something to work it just fails.
This years seedlings are the perfect example. This is only the second year that I have been starting my plants from seeds myself and there is a large learning curve. Things that worked last year I am finding aren’t working out so much this year. One of the biggest reasons I think is that we have changed growing zones. So the timing of my seeds are much different that I am used to. But I will just start my seeds again this week and try one more time. I mean think about it, the first settlers didn’t have the technology or even the weather man like we have now to warn us of a late frost. But I will make this work, I have faith in this.
My next big plan that I am hoping to have completed by the end of May is to have 6 chickens here at the house. The hard part is trying to decide whether to do a standing building or create a “Chicken Tractor”. I love the idea that I can safely move the chickens around so that they can take advantage of the natural bugs that are available but with the New Hampshire Winters being really hard I need to have something that I can make sure is well insulated and warm too. I like the design of this one alot, now I just need to figure out if if would work to keep them warm in the winter too.
English: The Egg Cart’n is a 4′ x 6′ chicken tractor that holds 8-12 chickens. It stands alone in its ease of use and its high quality, durable metal construction. It has an upstairs where the chickens can roost and lay eggs and a downstairs where the chickens can enjoy fresh, green pasture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well here we are. Been at the new homestead for about a month now. We are starting from a basically blank slate. There are lots of projects in our heads but never enough time or money to get them all done at once.
I have all my seeds started but am having some problems with germination. I have a sneaking suspicion it has to do with the water here. We have to use a water softener system so that we can drink the water. I am thinking of alternate water ideas.
This weekend we are setting up the raised beds with thee beautiful black dirt aka well aged cow manure inside of them. I am planting my potatoes in the tires and in a small raised bed I am starting a strawberry patch. I am also going to be starting lettuce in the whiskey barrels too.
One day my dream is to be completely self sufficient. I know that someday it will happen but we can only make up a list and start it one project at a time.
English: Potterton’s allotments, Warwick Following the 2007 flooding, some plotholders have built raised beds and some have given up. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A garden bed before spring cleanup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well the move is complete, more or less. But it has been crazy here. Seed starting, Garden bed building, Chicken coop planning. Not to mention all the inside stuff. There are lots of things to chat about. So I will be writing it all up and sharing it with you over the next couple of days.
English: This is a picture of hands sifting through potting soil in a garden bed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well what a great Giveaway we have had. Tons of entries and met lots of new people. But I won’t drag this out too long….and the Winner is!!!!
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Crystal, Congratulations! Please check your email and we look forward to hearing from you…
Well now that Spring is Officially here it is Giveaway time! I have joined with some great Bloggers to bring you a wonderful batch of Goodies. I would like to introduce you to each of them.
MOMMIES POINT OF VIEW
Mommies Point of View is a review and giveaway site.
Mommies Point of View is a Blog where I host reviews and giveaways and I share stories of my family and friends. Plus the businesses I am in and the businesses I interview.
THE GET FIT MOM
Work, children, spouses, school, dinner, play dates, they all run throughout your daily life. But what about you? You’re busy running around all day, and who’s taking care of you? The Get Fit Mom Blog is made by a mom for a mom who is looking to find a few minutes in her day to condition her mind, body and soul. Health and fitness advice that fits into a mom’s day!
To help empower people to take those Baby Steps towards being more self-sufficient.
Simple Savings For Atlanta Moms. Providing simple ways to save, organization tips, giveaways along with other tips to mothers in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area. Dedicated Atlanta mom who provide simple savings in and around the Atlanta area. Visit www.SimpleSavingsForATLMoms.com today!
Let me tell you about the wonderful Gifts we have for you today!
MommiesPOV.com and MommiesPointofView.com is giving for away a Gift Card to the Dollar tree for $25. Now that Spring has sprung there are lots of items for your home and garden at the Dollar tree and Dollartree.com
Home Gardener’s Collection
This collection is perfect for the home gardener
or container gardener. It contains full-sized
packets of seeds and The Baker Creek Vegan
Cookbook—all packaged in an attractive burlap
bag with a drawstring closure. Varieties in this
package are chosen to be productive in both
Northern and Southern climates.
A Brand new Luxury Urban Expressions Black/Seafoam purse that is Certified Vegan.
Dimensions: 11 in. H x 14 in. W x 6 1/2 in D x Drop 9 1/2 in L
Filled with all kinds of prizes worth over $300
Some prizes include:
$25 Gift Card to Olive Garden
$25 H & M Gift Card
H & M Beauty Accessories
$25 Victoria Secret Gift Card
many more prizes!
Well according to the Calender today, March 20, 2013 is the First day of Spring!
English: Daffodils by the A1122 A final spring fling for these plants by the junction with White Lane. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I want to see lots of little flowers blooming all around me. But honestly what do I see when I look out my window? SNOW about a total of two feet of the fluffy, sparkly, white stuff.
First day of spring? (Photo credit: rkramer62)
The Weather man keeps saying that this is the LAST snow storm of the winter of 2012-2013. Do I believe him? Honestly NO not really. But I know that it isn’t personally his fault but honestly, gotta blame someone…..
But Since today is the official date that Spring Starts in 2013, then tomorro
w is the First Day of Spring. Which means…….Our Spring Fling Giveaway!!
We have a great group of Bloggers that have gotten together to bring you a Springtastic Giveaway with lo
ts of great Prizes. Stay tuned for the announcement and all the details on how to enter.
Hello Everyone. I have the Pleasure of having a guest Chef today to share with us a wonderfully aromatic drink today. Traci Maze, Founder of BiTcHn KiTcHeN ReCiPeS shares with us this wonderful Recipe. You can follow this great group here on Facebook.
I love this because it is so simple, different, but tastes absolutely delicious!
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
1 package taco seasoning mix
2 1/2 cups mashed potato flakes (you could also use left over mashed potatoes and omit the butter and milk)
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter. Add milk and 2 tablespoon taco seasoning. Remove from heat and add potato flakes until incorporated. Press mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch pan.
2. Bake for 7-10 minutes until it just BARELY turns golden brown.
3. In a medium skillet, cook beef and onions until beef is browned and cooked through. Drain. Add Salsa and remaining taco seasoning. Cook until bubbly.
4. Pour into crust. Bake for 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
5. Let cool for 5 minutes. Top with cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. Cut and serve with sour cream.
Our Guest Poster today is Lisa Ruminski of Buen Viaje. Lisa blogs about Home and Garden, Pets and RV Travel. Check out her blog for lots of great recipes to share with your friends and family.
At our Harvest Party and Tomato Tasting last weekend we sampled dozens of different heirloom tomatoes from our plants and from those of some of my fellow Garden Club members. The variety of shapes, sizes, colors and flavors was dazzling!
Because heirloom tomatoes, unlike hybrids, can reproduce themselves it is fun and easy to save and plant the seeds of your favorites.To save seeds you can simply “squish” them into a paper napkin, write down the name of it right there, take it home to dry and then plant the seeds next spring. However, to improve seed viability and germination, I asked our guest Sue, who is the chairman of our Tomato Plant Committee and heirloom expert, about the best way to save seeds.
One of the tastiest and most interesting looking specimens I sampled was the Tlacolula Pink, an heirloom from Oaxaca, Mexico. Sue grew this variety a few years ago and passed seeds on to Elaine. Elaine’s didn’t do well their first year, but this year they volunteered in her garden and she got a great crop. So I decided I’d try growing the the third “generation” of them.
Per Sue’s instruction, the first step is to cut the tomato in half crosswise. Then push a finger into the cavities and pull out the gel and seeds in the center of the fruit.
Put the seeds and gel in a small dish and add a few ounces of water, and let sit for 2 or 3 days until a scummy layer forms on top.
The next step is to rinse the seeds in a fine sieve to remove the gel and scum and place the seeds in a coffee filter to dry.
The coffee filter is practical because the seeds won’t stick to it.
When the seeds are fully dried place them in an envelope, label and store in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant your seedlings.
I’m looking forward to eating these tomatoes next year. Their distinctive shape will be a nice addition to salads and they also look like a good candidate for marinara and tomato paste. Most off all, it makes me feel good to know that I am helping preserve a sustainable heirloom plant.
Here in New Hampshire the weather is still very unpredictable everyday. One day it could be in the 90′s the next day in the 50′s. So using a Cold Frame is the perfect solution to being able to start your garden and keep it safe from frost.
COLD FRAME: n. An unheated outdoor structure consisting of a wooden or concrete frame and a top of glass or clear plastic, used for protecting and acclimatizing seedlings and plants.
Just like finding supplies to make your raised bed you could spend tons of money to create your cold frame. But let me help you out with that. You can install your cold frame right over your raised beds.
I just used a couple of scrap pieces of lumber that we had laying around to make and simple “A” frame shape, you can choose to either put in the center support or leave it out. You then attach the bottom of the “A” to your raised bed. At this point you can go ahead and plant your veggies/flowers/herbs. Make sure to water them well. If you are going to place a irrigation system into your bed you would also place that now.
Once the beds are set up the way that you like you now attach the plastic. Make sure that you get pieces that are wider and longer than your bed. Place the center of the plastic at the tops of the “A” frames and drape over both sides, like a tent. We then stapled the plastic to the frame of the raised bed and then up each of the “A” frame, leaving the ends open at this point.
Now that you have everything attached except the ends you have a decision to make, how to close the ends. I opted to use duct tape and folded the plastic like the ends of a present. This way if it is a really hot day I can open up the ends so that the plants won’t burn.
These are some examples of cold frames. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose.
Hello Everyone. I have the Pleasure of having a guest Chef today to share with us a wonderfully aromatic drink today. Traci Maze, Founder of BiTcHn KiTcHeN ReCiPeS shares with us this wonderful Recipe. You can follow this great group here
This one is a aromatic summer favorite with Lavender picked fresh from the garden! Who doesn’t love lemonade..and when you add the lavender it just makes it so different! Great for parties too! Or make a pitcher for yourself it’s that delicious!
- 2-1/2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
- 2-1/2 cups cold water
- 1 cup lemon juice
- Ice cubes
- In a large saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove from the heat; add lavender. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
- Strain, discarding lavender. Stir in cold water and lemon juice. Serve over ice. Yield: 6 servings.
- Look for dried lavender flowers in spice shops. If using lavender from the garden, make sure it hasn’t been treated with chemicals.