Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Total Garden Transformation!

Because its Autumn!!!!
Yesterday I removed the last of my tomatoes... there were still 100's of green ones on there... however, I highly doubt with the cooler days and night they were going to ripen. So I collected all the ripe, and starting to turn one's and brought them in. I grabbed the few large tomatoes that were green for fried green tomatoes and put them aside.

Then I cleared out the plants with bush sheers... it took about 2 hours to get them down enough to get the cages off! It took 2 wheel barrow runs to the burn pile and compost pile to get it all out. THEN I sectioned off my beds with my fall greens growing in them and let the chickens lose in the garden bed where the tomatoes were. There were a few small weeds coming in, and 100's of rotten cherry tomatoes on the ground (ewwww!) for them. They did a good job actually!

Today little daughter and I finished hand picking the squished and green tomatoes out of the bed and out of the walking path. Put them in buckets, and dumped them in the coop's run. The chickens are going to be fat and happy after this week.

We turned in approximately 20 lbs of compost from my pile into the bed. When I turned my compost today, it was the most beautiful black... I'm so proud of my first season of composting. After we turned the soil we came in for a snack and I needed a fresh cup of coffee.

It is 72 and perfect today to get this garden stuff done.

We'll have lunch shortly, and then we'll go get the very last of the pole beans because those vines are done for too.

Did I mention I looked today and my carrots have FINALLY come up!!!??? HOORAY!!!!!!!!

Eco Challenge Sign Up Extended ~ Prizes Announced~

Come join the eco challenge where you get to create an art piece out of found items and win prizes while helping the planet and showing off your creative juices. How fun the is going to be!

First place is this:

A set of 4 reusuable sandwich/snack bags made by me. 100% cotton completely machine washable.

+ a 1 year magazine subscription to "Somerset Studios" Magazine that follows multimedia and paper art!

Second place:

1 Jar of my homemade all natural Jam, Salsa or Sauces. Whatever I have available for you to chose from at the end of the challenge!

So please, come over to where I set the challenge up in their forums and join. I put it there since they have an art challenge section, and its a good place to get to know each other and ask questions. You do have to goto the front page of the site and sign up with a free patron account to post in the listed challenge thread. Don't worry, its free to sign up and do this!

So please, follow the rules, get signed up by October 2nd at midnight, and get to work creating your piece for your chance to win. Know you can ask questions here, or email me!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mother Earth News

I just my copy of the October November issue of this magazine. I think it is fabulous! It has much information about garlic this month as well as instructions to construct several simple greenhouses. We've decided to build one, perhaps this fall or winter. Not sure yet with $$$ being in question. However, I still want to suggest this magazine to anyone interested in being Green, gardening or understand the sciences involved in how those things work.

Plus, there are a few pages of some fabulous looking recipes as well.

It is a very diverse magazine.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thank you!

I want to thank everyone who has been following my blog, and inviting friends. I have big plans for this blog for the end of the year and going into 2010. I will still be sharing my work in my garden and we are trying to become more green friendly in our everyday life. We're slowing turning our small acre in a way to create sustainable living for our family and animals. I have to say its a HUGE change from living in a Condo in a major city just over a year ago!

Please, look forward to me sharing patterns for sewing, more tips for gardening, more eco friendly tips AND I would like to start adding some giveaways. Its been a pleasure meeting new people here every week. Whether you found me from etsy, facebook or twitter I want to thank you for the follow, your comments and your help when I need it!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Picked out my object for the Eco Challenge I have issued!

Come look here to see about joining my eco challenge. The rules and dates are posted there. (To join you must be a member, Patron accounts are free so sign up and join the challenge.. there are PRIZES!!!)
EBSQart Forum Eco Challenge Thread

I picked out my pieces of 'soon to be trash' so they may have a second life!

Soon I will be posting my creation so the other challengers may see. I, of course, do not qualify for the prizes... but you do!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Snakes, Ducks and Chickens... Oh My!!!

First I run across this monster in my garden! 4 ft of crazy monster! Man did I run. I found out it was only a rat snake, but it was coming out of my garden past my chickens (I highly doubt they aren't interested in chickens) so I had to chase it with a rake.

Then after that event I stumble across where my duck has been hanging lately!

So my silly duck lily has been laying eggs!!! She didn't come back after I discovered it though... and 2 1/2 hours after I discovered it, I came back and noticed a few missing eggs. I also found an broken apart VERY empty duck egg shell by the pond. So I candled the eggs in my bathroom, found 5 were developing. 3 weren't and they ended up going into some fried rice for dinner. The 5 developing one's have moved into my chicken coop where my silkies are now doing their job!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Forbidden Fruit: Quilty Apple

Some of you may or may not have seen this in the June/ July edition of Mary Jane Farms Organic Magazine. Its a pattern for an apple using an old quilt or blankets. I ended up actually patchworking some fabric swatches together and making a faux quilt to make this little apple out of. I had to get some help with the pattern, but once I got it down I got it done!

I also included the pattern and instructions for anyone interested in trying it. Its very easy to sketch. (Long straight end is 6" long to give you an idea of proportion.)


To finish this one off I used a button at the bottom rather then just knotting it. I also used some fabric ribbon as a bow rather then a ribbon leaf. Which I may add a leaf anyways. Still thinking about it.

Ok though, seriously, I need to get back to the Queen Size quilt and stop putting it off.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beans, Beans... the magical fruit...

Well, not really! But it seems like magic. I was told when I planted my beans I should expect them to be producing the first week or 2 of august. About that time I noticed my very healthy looking, very tall pole beans were covered in flowers! How exciting?! Sadly, they did not produce a thing. :( I waited and waiting and watched as flowers fell on the ground and one bean would develop here and there. Never more then I could possibly snack on in the garden, maybe 5 would be ready at a time. I would take DAYS for me to get enough for just one meal. (A family of a 3!)

Finally, this week they picked up and now I'm getting about a 1/2 gallon bucket worth a day. So I made some for dinner, and now I am going to freeze the rest in gallon freezer bags. I don't have pressure canner, so this is the best way to be safe.

After I'm done with the beans, if time allows I'm going to mix me up some caramel candied apple preserves! Mmmmm!!! I've been looking forward to these.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The quilt that's driving me mad!

I haven't shared my work on this for two reasons... its not my best work and its for someone REALLY special. So this is a HUGE deal. I didn't want it to leak out to them what they'll be getting for christmas. But I wanted to share a little bit of it for now. 
Its about 50" either way so far, its going to be a Queen size when done.

It just drives me CRAZY how crooked the center squares are, even though I fixed it to where I am now. We all live and learn. I've only been doing this for a year or so, and NOTHING nearly this large.

8am Walk In The Garden

I went to feed the chickens and look for my missing duck (who luckily I found, she may be broody?). I happened to bring my camera in case there was anything good to capture... there was!

Beans growing up veggie garden fence
Green Strawberries
Ripe Strawberries
Driveway garden outside kitchen
Driveway Garden from backyard view
Vines growing along deck
Beans on vine...Mmmm... late in the season, but FINALLY!
Zoe's Bird house Daddy and I fixed and put up by the grape vines.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Its a Spicy Day

Today I managed to can 6 jars of medium heat salsa, best part... I fire roasted 1/2 the tomatoes after rolling them in oil, salt, pepper and basil. The best salsa I've made yet!

What could top that?! '4 Pepper' Hot Pepper Jelly can!!! Mmmm... Its a mix of jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, cayenne pepper, and cracked black pepper. Don't get me wrong, its sweet... but its hot... but its sweet!!!??? Mix it with some sour cream, or cream cheese and load on crackers. Nuke it and mix with ground beef or turkey to make the most awesome sweet hot burgers on the grill! This stuff is versitile. ;-)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Can I Can Anymore....?

Why yes, yes I can! (dumb pun)

Tomorrow I will be spending part of my day canning hot pepper jelly and another batch of salsa! Mmmm...

Better hurry up too, my tomatoes have slowed on ripening. That means I'll be pulling what I can, and then bye bye to the rest of the plants for the year. Its so sad! :(

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Red Cannas Have To Go!

I'm waiting for these suckers to die back so I can dig up the bulbs, but I have tons of deep red cannas to trade this fall. If you don't want bulbs I also saved some of their cool looking pellet seeds as well. These would do really well near a pond of water feature. I want tulips, calla lilies or crocus in return for them. (Maybe a few more iris wouldn't hurt...hehehe)

So if anyone is interested in a trade, just contact me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September Is Rolling In

Being in the south, I don't ever remember it being as cool as its been lately. I usually still have the AC on, but now its been off for over a week! Windows open at night and I even had the comforter for my bed out of the linen closet last night! WOW, autumn is coming in a little early, and full strength!!!

So it being so cool, it was time to plant. We've put out the broccoli, cabbage, carrots and some lettuce so far. I'm having a hard time finding my onion sets though. So that is a bummer. My tomatoes have to be done and moved out of the bed the onions are going to go into... so I am assuming I have a couple more weeks left to find those onion sets.

Funny, it seems like NO ONE sells fall seeds anymore?! I looked everywhere. Home depot and lowe's only had started Bonnie Bell items like Cabbage and Broccoli and southern greens. (Not cheap either, so not worth buying... I wanted seeds!)

Other then planting I am finishing up my harvesting so that means I'm finishing my canning. WHICH MEANS.... whatever is listed in my store for Jams and Jellies... that is pretty much IT! I am almost done canning for 2009. The only items I am working on you can expect me to add anytime soon are: Hot Pepper Jelly and Apple Preserves

So until my next post! Enjoy the cool season and longer nights....

Eco-Friendly Competition!

I am putting on an Eco-Friendly Art Challenge for anyone interested. We'll be using items that would normally be trash and turning them into gorgeous pieces of art, or fashionable jewelry, or garden ornaments, or furniture, or clocks, or WHATEVER you can imagine!

The best part! I will be supplying Prizes for this competition as well!! YES PRIZES!!!

So go here, sign up with a free Patron Account on the website and sign up to enter the competition at this link. All questions should be posted there, as well as all images. You MUST actually post that you are signing up for this at this thread on this forum to qualify to win when the contest ends. So don't lose the date, post it on your calender! Bookmark the page because all finished entries have to be posted there as well. Forum, Competition Thread

The rules are simple, the prizes are awesome and the dates are set! So come show us what an amazing imagination you have, and join a great art site while you're at it.