Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May 2015 Garden

      After exeriencing 90 degree day time temps and 70 for the low at night, I went outside to a very cool 60, this morning! Yes, it felt almost cold after all the heat and humidity we've had! I wanted to run back in the house and put on pants instead of shorts! But I found a nice, warm sunny spot to stand and watch the cheeps, as I call them. (Chicks) We just put them on the ground this week. I hope they adjust well to the cooler temps last night and this morning! They seem to be doing good. The warmer temps have affected the egg-laying, as I'm not getting as many eggs. So many factors in egg-laying!

      It hasn't rained in a couple of weeks. My garden really needs rain! I hope we get the rain predicted for the weekend, even though the girls will be here! Hopefully, the chicks will know what to do! They have a nice shelter and doghouse to get in. I've been hand watering the garden since there's been no rain. I've also added the compost tea to it. You would not believe how the veggies have grown! I wished I'd taken a before photo, but there are some now's below. 

      Since it's gotten hot and dry, now is the time to plant okra. Okra likes it that way! If it's too cool and wet, the okra won't come up. I'm going to plant some long okra a friend shared with me he grew last year. I hope the seeds are still viable. I'll know within a week if they are.

      After watching so many of John Kohler's videos, I've really been inspired about so many things! I'm so glad God led me to them! I have been composting daily; and now I'm adding the azomite. It came in yesterday. It's supposed to add minerals to the much depleted soil. I'm also adding alfalfa since kelp is not easily obtained in this area. Alfalfa is a good source of nitrogen and minerals. I plan on looking for kelp when we go to the beach. Maybe I'll be able to find a source there. Soon, I hope to obtain used coffee grounds from a local coffee shop. I'm also getting some worm castings from a gentleman who raises worms for a hobby. I hope to learn how to do that when I visit him. He and his wife seem so sweet!

      I planted spinach and swiss chard in a container yesterday. The reason I did that is so I can move the containers out of the blazing sun when it gets too hot. As you know, spinach will bolt. I think the chard can take it, but just to be on the safe side, I'll move it as well. A lot of the seeds I sowed in the ground have not come up. I looked at the packages and most of them are Ferry Morse seeds. That's what Walmart sells. Some are good, some are not. I decided I would order some seeds from this company: https://seedsnow.refersion.com/c/02f6a 
They should be here soon. Hopefully, you will check out this link and order some seeds! They are heirloom, non-gmo seeds! I can get 20 percent off my future orders when you order through this link. Then, you can do the same on your blog!

      Time has passed since I began writing this post and it has indeed warmed up outside and in! But the humidity is low! Whew, I'm thankful for that! The honeysuckle sure does smell good outside! I hope you are enjoying beautiful weather! How is your garden doing? Let me know in the comments! Have a great week! Blessings from Bama!


A fun way to blow lots of bubbles!

Cooking a chicken in the Sun Oven. It got cloudy so I had to finish it off inside.

My favorite yellow iris!

A beautiful, fragrant rose!

Love this purple iris!

Beautiful peony!

The wild rose is taking over!

Getting my 'boogie on' so my 'plants can dance'!

The okra I was telling you about.

Containers of swiss chard and spinach.

A nice row of squash.

I harvested spinach yesterday so it needs to grow back.

These are beets.

A row of green beans.

The tomatoes were small when I planted them, but after using boogie brew, they really took off!

They even have blooms!

I love how the potatoes are growing! I really need to cover them with more dirt!

A close-up of the potatoes.

Can you believe how they've grown? It's almost time to put them in with the big girls. I hope I can sell the three roosters that are lying on the ground!

These three are in with the previous ones and have grown tremendously as well. 

These are the babies. Some of them are turning out to be roosters even though the lady sold them to me as pullets. I'm ordering all pullets from a notable hatchery next time!



      

Thursday, April 30, 2015

More Exciting News on the Apple Sticks! (Trees)

      I was so amazed last week when I walked by one of the apple sticks and saw clusters of little apples! I kept on walking towards the other apple trees, and to my amazement, they all had apples! Hallelujah! I am in apple heaven! I'm praying they don't get bugs or some kind of disease. 

      I've been reading about how to improve my fruits and veggies through composting and using compost tea. As soon as I get that up and going, I'll start spraying the apple trees, as well as everything else we plan on consuming! I can also use it on non-edibles such as roses and flowers. Compost and the tea naturally gives plants, shrubs and trees, important minerals and nutrients. The tea sprayed on the leaves provides a natural deterrent to most pests. I can hardly wait to give it a try. Only problem: I don't have any compost! I actually had the composter advertised on Craigslist! It's not now! I cancelled that ad! Now I'm on a mission to make compost! It will still take several months even in the composter. So how am I going to spray everything with compost tea? I will order the ingredients to make it myself, of course. Here's the link: http://www.boogiebrew.net/brew-kit/ Watch some of the videos and you may be ordering it for your garden! There's so much about gardening and the soil, that I don't know about! You can watch this rather lengthy video that helps explain what's in the Boogie Brew. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTijkwQaPRI I really have benefitted from watching John Kohler. He is extemely enthusiastic about growing a garden! He has many videos but I've only watched a couple. I hope you take time and watch one yourself! I hope to be ordering some of this Boogie Brew soon. I would like to have the $99 package. But I'll have to convince Randy. I'll let ya'll know.

      I planted the potatoes in a potato tower. I hope they produce lots of potatoes! I learned this from watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhO1age_ykk Becky is awesome! I love watching her videos! I will also let you know how this goes. I hope the information I've shared with ya'll today will be of value to your gardening experience, as I hope it will be with mine.

      In other news, I haven't sold but one dozen eggs! No one on this road needs them. I guess they all have their own chickens. Neither have I sold any baked goods. I put up a sign like the Amish, stating what's for sale. Unfortunately, the wind keeps tearing it off and blowing it away. But, it has been up long enough that people passing could read it. I really didn't want to have to take my things somewhere to sell. Maybe I just won't bother with it for now. Sometimes I wished I lived in a bigger, more prosperous city. Then I might not have a problem selling. 

      There are so many beautiful irises and roses blooming now! If only we had smell-a-blog! You wouldn't believe how awesome some of the irises smell! It's amazing! Everything is so beautiful and green! Squash and bean plants are emerging, and the tomato plants seem to be doing good, in spite of the cooler temps and clouds. Today is warmer and sunny! I'm glad I got a post written since today is the last day of April! Thanks for reading! Blessings from Bama!

Yummy chocolate cake!

Showing off her choco lips!

I'm so thankful for a husband who can multi-task!

It seems I can never quite capture this bird! It's so beautiful!

My Amish sign, lol!

Smells like candy!

A pretty one.

The peonies have opened up since this photo. They're not as pretty since we've had so much rain.

The orange or salmon iris looks so much better than in this photo!

One of my favorites!

The photo doesn't do it justice! The smell is unbelievable!

I'm so happy to get the flowers I wanted for these pots! Geraniums and petunias.

The other side.

I wished you could see how this really looks!

More candy!

If you look closely, you will see blueberries!

A nice red rose.


Eighteen jars of strawberry jam!

Friday, April 17, 2015

I Took the Cottage Food Law Test!

      And passed it! My certificate will be mailed soon and I will be able to sell food from my home! Specific food that is. Such as non hazardous foods that do not contain cream fillings and/or have to be refrigerated. I'm limited in some ways but I'm thankful for the opportunity! I'm really excited about this new direction God is leading me in. The only problem is I don't have any customers! I can't even sell a dozen eggs! I'm trying to get the word out through Facebook and here, but I don't have a large following. The farmer's markets don't get started around here until June, so I can't set up there yet. There are some flea markets I could check into. I need to visit them first and see what's offered there. If ya'll know of an outlet I can try, please let me know in the comments!

      I'm doing real good with my weight loss, exercise and healthier eating. I really love to exercise! I have since elementary school. I just got lazy last year and didn't pursue it like I should have. I also didn't pay as much attention to my eating habits as I should have. Now that I am paying attention, I am losing and shaping! I have only lost about 7 pounds but my clothes have gotten real loose. I'm happy with the results! I still need to lose some more tummy fat. That is the hardest for me to lose. I hate ab work! I may have to do crunches to get those lean abs, but I'm not looking forward to it! I believe I can accomplish my goal without crunches! I'll keep ya'll informed as to how it goes.

      The girls have been coming over more on the weekends than before. I'll have Yasmine and Layla tonight. It's so rainy here and they will have to stay inside. Yasmine won't like that! She LOVES to go outside when she's here! There's plenty for them to do inside though. I may let them help me make play dough. Of course, they look forward to playing with Randy!

      I just cut my own hair! I can't believe I did that, but it was so easy! Haircuts are so expensive and I rarely like the way my hair turns out! I turned my head upside down, brushed my hair forward into a ponytail right at the forhead, held out how much I wanted to cut off, and cut. That was it! It looks like I have some layers. I'm so glad! I wanted that bowl shape taken off and it looks like it is! I didn't know it would look like that! I guess when it comes to saving money, there's not much I won't try! Hair will always grow back! I hope ya'll enjoyed my ramble! Thanks for reading and commenting! Blessings from Bama!


Having fun at Fefe's!

Staring game! Who blinked first?

Smiling game. Guess who smiled first!

Simon says.

Red light game.

My beautiful wisteria!

I made these! With the help of Randy of course. They are for sale on Craigslist.

This cake is delicious!



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Apple Sticks

      Hey Everybody! I hope you had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday and Easter weekend! We did! Spring is in full bloom here. Thus the reason for my title. I bet ya'll thought I was talking about a recipe! Lol! I am speaking of my apple trees! But they did start out as sticks, as some would say. They are grafts that we ordered and planted three years ago. They have thrived in our zone and are blooming for the first time. They are absolutely beautiful! Some have a lot of blossoms while others have only a few. And they smell like roses! Not a real strong scent but still! I never knew they smelled like that! I am so happy we have these apple sticks, er..I mean trees! I don't know if that means there will be apples this year, but maybe. The older apple tree is loaded with blooms and will hopefully be loaded with apples this summer. Don't be afraid of apple grafts. Research and see which apple trees are suited for your zone. Those will be the ones to order and will thrive and produce lots of apples for years to come. I can hardly wait to see the results of all these blooms!

      The blackberry brambles are already blooming! I guess this is the right time, but it seems sooner this year because last year it stayed colder longer. We have been enjoying temps in the seventies for several weeks, and tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 80's! Yikes! I need to get some tomato plants in the ground! I just need to go ahead and plant my whole garden, as a matter of fact! Surely the snow has melted where you live and there won't be any more until Fall or Winter. I don't even want to think that far ahead! I'm just so glad for the warmer temps! I wished the sun would shine more, though. We've had a lot of cloudy days with a good bit of rain. Some days it was just cloudy with no rain. Blah! I need the sun! Just not the extreme heat! Oh well, that goes with living in Alabama! 

      I've been into baby chicks lately. I am trying to build my flock so that it will be one that produces many eggs. The chicks I want have not been offered at Tractor Supply and I've had to really search for the ones we've aquired. I got some Ameracaunas, but I think 3 of the 5 are roosters! I also got some mixed chicks that I don't know for sure what they are: roos or hens. If you go by the comb, there are probably 4 roos and 3 hens. You can't always go by that especially with mixed breeds. Time will tell. I just want to find out so I can sell them and not have to feed so many I'm not going to keep. If you know of a way to sex young chicks, please share in the comments. I would greatly appreciate it! I still plan on getting some Black Australorps, Speckled Sussex, New Hampshires, and maybe some Barred Rocks. These are supposed to lay lots of eggs. I'm having fun watching the chicks grow and turn into pullets and roos! The life cycle is amazing! How can one say there is no God?

      The girls were here this past weekend and we had fun, as usual. We went to their Meme's (Grandma) who is my sister, for Easter dinner. We all had a great time and enjoyed lots of food. I've been making cakes lately, but my sister made a delicious coconut cake. I forgot to bring a piece home, but that's OK since I have a strawberry cake in the oven. I did use a white cake mix but it has pureed strawberries in it. I will make a cream cheese icing with strawberries as well. I sure don't need to be eating much of it! I had to stop eating the carrot cake with cream cheese icing I made last week, cause I don't want to gain back the weight I've worked so hard to loose! I do indulge in a piece of cake now and then, just not everyday.

      I hope ya'll have a great week and can get in the garden soon! It won't be long and we'll be enjoying those fresh veggies, straight from the ground! Thanks for reading and commenting! Blessings from Bama!

A little morning Uncle Randy love!

They love looking for Easter eggs!

Winn didn't bring her sunglasses! Randy's one man carport for the camper showing in the background.

The blooms look almost like a double blossom!

Another tree.

Cherry blossoms.

Another apple tree.

The oldest apple tree.

Can you see the blossoms?

These are the same chicks in the last post. Haven't they grown!

These chicks are a few weeks younger.

These are the newest babies.