It was a very good year

“When I was….. um,”.  Lets just say last year, 2014, was a very good year.  It was a very good year for new beginnings.  We had a few.  Hauser Our little baby Cocoa More Hippie Chicks Our newest member to the family.  Grandson Travis Baby bunnies Guinea Hens!  (very noisy guinea hens!) The 3 Stooges….Alpacas!! Moe, Curly and Larry….yuck, yuck, yuck! Beaks.  Our little lost Parakeet She found a permanent home and a new friend, Blue.  Beak and Blue. Honey Bees! Last but not least. Mo.  Mr. Molashes and Thunder. When I was ……. ah…  It was a very good year.  It was a very good year for new friends and old. The Bunkhouse opened it’s doors to our first guests.  Mo’Riches Bridget and our hubs….Cheers to new friends! and more guests who soon became friends. Facebook friends that came to visit and friends that I hadn’t seen since elementary…

Pine Cone Succulent Planter

The other night I was on Pinterest looking for inspiration on what to do with all these pine cones I’ve been collecting and I came across the cutest idea.   Pine Cone Succulent Planter! A women named Tiffany from The Inspired Home and Garden made them and I knew with one look that I would have to try it. They are really easy to make and require only a few supplies. A good size pine cone, the bigger the better. Assorted succulents, I used hens and chicks.  You don’t want anything too big or heavy. Sphagnum Moss Spray adhesive Twine or fishing line for hanging Once you have all your supplies gathered together the first thing you want to do is make sure the top of your pine cone has a bowl shape to it so it can hold everything.  You may need to remove some of the seed petals…

Pumpkin Planter

As much as I enjoy the summer and used to spend a great deal of time working on my tan every year, I have to say that fall is my very favorite season. Everything about it speaks to me. The colors Textures Smells, tastes. I love it all. I especially love to decorate for fall using natural elements and warm rich colors.  One thing that I always look forward to changing up with the season is my outdoor planters. I like to mix it up a little each year so I added a pumpkin and ivy to the mums along with the ornamental cabbage. After filling my urn with fresh soil I hollowed out my pumpkin. One of the best investments I have ever made would have to be my pumpkin carving kit.  It makes short work of carving and cleaning and you can achieve all kinds of intricate cuts…

Tater Tower

I love to grow potatoes but I don’t like the space they take up in the garden.  Instead I grow them in a tower, or a cage. All you need to make one is some wire fencing, compost, straw and potatoes!  I first saw this on Pinterest (of course) from Growing Lots Urban Farm and I thought it looked pretty easy, my kind of project.  I was able to fill 2 towers in about 2 1/2 hours.  You can probably make yours much faster if you don’t have to keep stopping for a drink or a snack or a run to the ladies room. Take a piece of wire fencing, 14 gauge works well for this, and cut out a section about 3 feet in diameter and 4 feet in height, to create a cylinder.  Fasten the ends together with zip ties or twisty ties. Create your layers using straw…

Dandelion Jelly

When I was growing up dandelions were very popular.  Every house had them.  Our house was no exception. I remember picking them by the handfuls for my mother and she would keep them in a jelly jar on the kitchen window.  I would tell my younger sister to smell how sweet they were only to pop the top off as she came close.  I would make chains out of the stems or put them into cold water and watch as they curled up onto themselves. I would wear them around my neck or in a crown on my head. How many wishes had I made by blowing away the seeds?  By the end of summer all my clothes had the tell-tale signs of my love for dandelions, the little round circle that never come out  in the wash.  I wore it proudly. Over the years my beloved dandelions became the…

Fabric Covered Clay Pots

I was up the other night checking out Pinterest.  That is a dangerous thing for me because everything I see I have to make. It was around 11pm when I came across fabric covered clay pots here and …..   I fell in love.  I had fabric, I had clay pots, I had to try it.  I’m not going to tell you it is really easy.  As a matter of fact it is really kind of stressful.  And messy.  Well sticky is more like it.  It is very sticky. The supplies you need are minimal.  Clay pot, fabric and Mod Podge.  They have a Mod Podge made specifically for fabric but I think any kind would work well. First lay your clay pot on your fabric of choice and cut it to size leaving enough room on the top and bottom to cover it, about a good 2 inches.  Next, working…

Reasons

I’ve been a bad, bad blogger.  I’ve been MIA.  I told myself that I wasn’t going to do this, just disappear for days, weeks with not even a hello, or a goodbye.  I’m so ashamed.  But… and there is always a but… I have had good reason.  Well several good reasons actually. Reason #1. My son Kristopher is playing Rugby and he just celebrated his 18th birthday. He is my youngest and a darn good Rugby player! After every game both teams get together to share a meal, so I’ve been cooking lots and lots of pasta! 4 pounds of baked ziti! Reason #2 The weather is just starting to warm up, the snow is gone and I can finally get outside in my gardens.  They needed to be raked, cut back, fertilized and readied for planting. I made rooting hormone using willow branches I planted my cold weather crops like…

Fermenting Fun!

I have big plans for this summer.  We moved our garden and made it a little bigger for this year.  I am hoping to be able to plant a larger variety of fruits and veggies with better success.  I also want to use more of my herbs, learning to make oils, teas, tinctures and syrups taking a more holistic approach.  I’d like to be able to incorporate my herbs, fruits and vegetables into my homemade goat soap and candles.   My goal this year will be to put up more of my crop to last us longer through the winter months and to feed my family and animals healthier.  One way I’d like to do this is through fermentation. I’ve been reading a lot about natural fermentation and all its many health benefits.  I want to learn to culture vegetables, fruits and to make my own condiments.  Lacto-fermentation increases the…

Greenhouse Flower Show

My girlfriend works at a greenhouse.  They were having their Springtime Flower Show so I went to spend some time with her.  She gave me the tour. The theme this year was “Birds in the backyard”.  I ~wish~ my backyard looked like this! I ~wish~ I had that potting table, exactly like it is displayed, surrounded by all these beautiful shrubs and flowers.  Tulips, hyacinths and daffodils in every color. So pretty.  So fragrant. I ~wish~ you could smell the flowers. My very talented girlfriend made a succulent wall planter filled with Sedums.  Hens and Chicks  Don’t you ~wish~ you had one? Hanging orchids and air-plants. Orchids in all colors. My orchid hasn’t bloomed since last April.  I ~wish~ I was better at orchids. A resident frog in the greenhouse pond.  Isn’t he the cutest? Amaryllis.  I’ve never seen one striped like this before.  I love it.  I tried to force my amaryllis this…

Winter Sowing.

It has been a long, cold, snowy winter.  I’m so ready for Spring.  And sun.  And my gardens. Last years garden, which was my first ever real garden! Not too shabby huh? I thought I would get a jump start on things this year so I’m trying something new. Winter Sowing. It doesn’t seem too hard and it has been very therapeutic.  I get to play in the dirt and watch the snow falling outside.  I bought myself some seed trays, the ones that are biodegradable so you can plant the whole thing right into the ground when the time comes and the ones that have a built in water tray and a clear cover.  I also saved some pots from last years garden which I washed and reused.  I still need more. Biodegradable ones (not my favorite, they dry out fast!) I like these better because they have a…