Monday, June 30, 2008

~ Monday Morning Stroll on the Homestead ~

We were Blessed with rain last night , so the garden looks so lush and green. I took my ~ Monday Morning Stroll on the Homestead ~ and thought I would share some photos. ~ Banana Peppers ~

~ Green Bell Peppers ~

The garlic is drying out nicely.

Picked Jazzy some red clover and fresh grass

I placed an old ~ Pee Pot ~ under the cage to catch her droppings.

Works Perfectly !

~ Homestead Tomatoes ~

~ Another Compost Pile ~

Those cows were out again yesterday , but they didn't get to the garden. My Mom & I got the hoes and were going to head them off ( LOL ) , but the cows decided they had been spotted and went on down the driveway.

I think my deer friends made a visit , something had been eating the okra again. I broke out my organic pest control , will share that tomorrow.

Well , I need to end this post and head to the kitchen. I'll be making baby food today and have lots of squash I need to do something with.

~ Green Blessings ~ JoyceAnn

Saturday, June 28, 2008

~ Yesterday ~

~ Yesterday I had a house full of boys , didn't get time to post. I help a friend out with childcare , after school mostly. But he spends a few days a week with me now that school is out. My payment was a local jar of honey , we barter most of the time. She is single Mom trying to make a living in these hard times. I don't charge her , but she likes to give something in return. Sometimes it's money , if she has extra or whatever we can barter.

My oldest daughter hubby's nephew was visiting yesterday , so he came over to go swimming with K Gray. I also had Little Bob White ( my grandson ) yesterday too. They kept me beezzzzzzzy ~~~ watching the older boys out by the pool and chasing Little Bob White , he's crawling and scooting all over the place now. Boys seem to stay hungry or thirsty all the time (LOL).

I did go out early yesterday morning and pick some more blackberries. I picked a quart and 1 pint , they're huge this year and taste delicious. I made my blackberry cobbler the other night , it was delish , the first one of the season always taste best.

I hope to go to a blueberry farm this weekend or next week and pick some blueberries. I'm going to can & freeze alot of fruits and veggies this summer , it really helps on the food bill and you can't beat the flavor.

~ Hope your weekend is Blessed with Fresh Berries , Love , Peace and Much Happiness ~

~ JoyceAnn ~

Thursday, June 26, 2008

~ Peach Leaf Tea and Red Clover Syrup ~

If you've never tried peach leaf tea , I highly recommend it. I was reading about it on a herbal blog ( ) and decided to try it yesterday. I gathered the green leaves and made a delightful tea.You can use green or dried leaves.

I just threw a handful of torn / crushed green leaves ( maybe a cup ) into my small sauce pot and added water. I turned the heat to med. high and let it get hot (to a light boil )and simmer about 20 min , then turned the heat off and let it sit for a couple of hours. I strained it through a coffee filter before drinking.
The next time I will simmer before going to bed and let it steep overnight. The flavor was great , I really like it. I dried the rest of the leaves in the oven and stored them in one of my recycled jars. Since I'm trying to cut energy use , I placed the leaves in the oven after I made toast yesterday. Just turn the oven off and place the leaves inside to dry. It didn't take very long , so keep a close eye on them.
The tea is good for morning sickness too . My oldest daughter who is pregnant , loved the taste. It feels good to find a natural , safe and great tasting remedy.
Today I'm making red clover syrup , I put a quart of red clover buds in a pot and added 1 quart of water , let it come to a boil and turned it off , let it steep overnight. Strained it through a coffee filter this morning. I will add sugar and cook it down , until it thickens. Hope to make some red clover pancakes this weekend.
Nature gives us some wonderful foods and teas , if we're willing to work a little for it. I find it very relaxing and enjoyable to work in the garden , pick berries , leaves , clover or whatever the season brings.
~ Herbal Blessings ~ JoyceAnn

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

* Berry Picking Blessings *

I spent sometime gathering herbs this morning . I was going to pick a couple of cups of blackberries for a cobbler , but the vines were loaded and I ended up with a basket full ( 2 quarts ). I will use some for a cobbler tonight and freeze the rest. I started this folk art style drawing Sat. and finished it today , she's picking blackberries.

~ Berry Picking Blessings ~ JoyceAnn

Sunday, June 22, 2008

* MOO MOO MOO................*

This was my wake up call this morning , the dog was barking and I heard cows mooing outside my bedroom window. I got up and looked out and the front yard was full of cows , I woke hubby and he headed them off in the backyard , before they got to the garden , I thought.

Hubby told me to call the neighbor , I headed back in the house to call , but before I got to the phone , I heard the neighbors truck go out. So I headed for the garden. I could see hoof prints along the way , so I knew they had been to the garden. They didn't do much damage , I don't think all of them made it to the garden. I believe one or two went through the garden , they must have called the family (LOL). There were a couple of pieces of corn broke , most of the plants survived the trampling , I think the sun will draw them back up , they weren't completely broken. There were about 20 or more cows when I saw them in the yard , but I don't think they all went through the garden or they would have totally destroyed it. We were Blessed today for sure. I told DH that we need to fence the garden in , that little buck was out there again Friday evening. He has been nibbling at the okra , I noticed deer tracks down the okra row ~ I moved the scarecrow and did the vitalis treatment again. We had rain Thursday and Saturday , I believe the scent had washed away . Tommorrow I plan to add red pepper pods to the okra and greenbeans.

We were sitting on the back porch after brunch today and I saw something out by the chicken coop. I saw its head pop up , it was looking around , hubby thought it was a bunny. I went and got the binoculars , it turned out to be a groundhog. I've never seen one in this area , although I did see one a few years ago about 10 miles north of here. Do they do much damage to gardens ? Does anyone have any experience with groundhogs ~ how do you keep them out of the garden ? It's a full time job , trying to keep the critters out of the garden (LOL).

I did have some nice blooms waiting on me at the garden this morning. These are from the sunflower seeds I planted last year.
~ Green Blessings ~ JoyceAnn

Friday, June 20, 2008

~ Fresh Veggies for the Grandbabies ~

The grandbabies have been sick this week , some kind of virus. They've been coughing , runny noses , ill and clingy. Since I couldn't get outside yesterday , I made baby food. I cooked carrots , greenbeans and squash and pureed them. I burnt the greenbeans , so I'm cooking some more today. My SIL came yesterday to go swimming , we were talking and I forgot about the greenbeans until I smelled them. I've been recycling their baby food jars , I put part of the food in the jars , to be used in a day or two. The remainder was put in ice trays to be frozen for later use.

Little Bob White is trying to crawl and sitting up by himself now. Little Missy sits up well , but can't do it by herself. She has no interest in crawling , she's trying to pull up on things and wants to walk.

I went to my Mom's for supper lastnight , she cooked a pot of chicken & dumplings ~~~ um um good , so were the peas , cooked cabbage and squash. My sister made blueberry and strawberry cobblers , they were delicious too.

~ Blessings to Everyone , Hope your weekend is Wonderful ~


Thursday, June 19, 2008

* Deer Leaf Lettuce *

I pulled up the leaf lettuce bed on Monday. We had 2 weeks of hot weather and it's starting to look bad , so I decided I would pull it up.
I'm going to replant some of the lettuce and put it down in my basement under grow lights and see if continues growing .
I sorted through the lettuce , kept some to replant , and some for the bunny , all the dead leaves and roots will be composted. It's a great feeling to use every last piece and not waste any. I planted some in a plastic storage box , that had seen its better days ~ was cracked and destined to be threw away. I watered and put them under lights in my basement. I hope they will continue producing , it's cool in the basement and has windows , they will receive some sunlight . Will keep you updated on the progress.

This was the first year I have grown lettuce and I was pleased with the results , next year I will start it earlier and try more types of lettuce.

I had another visitor early this morning , a doe was munching on some honeysuckles outside the house. I slipped quietly out to the back porch and captured this photo , my batteries are getting weak , the charge doesn't last very long , time for new batteries. I read a tip somewhere , that said to use the weak batteries for your clock , that they would last a long time. I guess a clock doesn't pull as much energy as the camera. I plan to try that , hope it works.
* Hope your day is Blessed with some of Nature's Beauty *
~ JoyceAnn ~

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

*~* 100 Foot Diet Challenge *~*

06 ~ 18 ~ 08

(Marinated Chicken)

Chicken ~ Locally Grown

Italian Dressing/ Marinate ~ Store Bought

(Stir ~ Fry Veggies)

Broccoli * Homegrown

Garlic * Homegrown

Green Onions * Homegrown

Yellow Squash * Homegrown

Olive Oil ~ Local Owned Grocery Store

Banana Peppers * Homegrown

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

~ How Does My Garden Grow ? ~

The garden looks so much better since we were ~ Blessed ~ with rain this past weekend. The greenbeans are starting to produce. I have small bell peppers and picked a few banana peppers yesterday. The squash vines look better and those little squash are growing. The spaghetti squash are starting to bloom. I have two kinds of tomatoes growing , beefsteak and homesteads , they're blooming. I grew my tomatoes from seed for the first time this year. The watermelon vine is a volunteer from seeds I planted last year , but due to the drought , they never sprouted. I have about 4 watermelon vines and a couple of sunflowers that have come up from last years seed.
~ Garden Blessings ~ JoyceAnn

Monday, June 16, 2008

~ Beautiful Morning ~

Wow ~ What a Beautiful morning , Oh what a Glorious Day !
I had my coffee on the back porch this morning , the sun was coming up and rays were shining through the trees. A cute little red bird was perched on a torch , they have a nest in the dogwood near the pool. I don't have the best camera but if you click on the photo , it should enlarge it. He was chirping and warning the cats to stay away .

We got the pool opened Friday , Curious J had a wonderful time swimming and the grand babies loved the water. I enjoyed coming from the garden this morning after weeding , and taking a quick dip.

I didn't get a chance to blog yesterday , we had a cookout for DH for Father's Day. The girls and I cooked an almost local meal , local grown grilled bbq chicken , salad with some local veggies and corn on the cob ~ frozen from last year. I made a garlic butter to put on the corn ~ it was so gooood ! We really enjoyed celebrating the day ~ My Dad died a couple of years ago. I miss him , he was an avid gardener and I miss seeing him plowing and planting his tomatoes. He loved his tomatoes ~~~ and gardening , I definitely inherited that gene (LOL).

RAIN ~ We were blessed with rain this weekend and the garden looks great. Some of the cabbage are ready to cut , the squash need to be picked and the banana peppers are hanging. I guess I'll be busy this week. The grass and weeds need harvesting too (LOL).

~ Green Blessings ~ JoyceAnn

Saturday, June 14, 2008

* ~ * Dream Catcher Inn * ~ *

I finally finished a project I started 5 years ago (LOL) . I saw an idea for making a birdhouse from a teapot a few years ago and wanted to make one. I got DH to drill a hole for the perch and cutout the entry hole. For some reason I never got around to finishing it. It ended up in the storage building and has been sitting there waiting on me. I spotted it awhile back when I was getting canning jars out of the building. So , I brought it back to the house and sit it on the back porch.

Yesterday I finally got inspired to finish the birdhouse , wanted it to be natural looking . I plugged the spout with a cork and added a twig for the perch. I found some moss from my yard for the trim and a spiked vine. But it needed something more , so I looked through my recycled junk and found this small ~ Dream Catcher ~ and a feather I had collected. I made a small sign to complete the birdhouse. I love it , It will hang on my front porch , maybe the wrens will use it.
I have another birdhouse that I plan to mosaic , hope it doesn't take 5 years (LOL). Have a Great weekend !

~ Creative Blessings to Everyone ~ JoyceAnn

Friday, June 13, 2008

~ Mini Herb Garden ~

I decided to pot up my herbs and put them near my ~ Mini Herb Garden ~. I'm not going to get the larger herb garden made this season , so I needed to get them put in larger pots. Last year I started a mini herb garden near the wellhouse. I planted some echinacea and cilantro there. I didn't think it was a good place for my echinacea , so I moved it last Fall. But it came back again this year in the same place , I guess it reseeded.

Anyway , awhile back I bought some basil , pineapple sage , tri - color sage and thyme. I potted them up and put them near my ~ Mini Herb Garden ~. I planted the tri-color sage with my rosemary I planted awhile back , they're suppose to compliment each other. The basil and thyme are planted together. I put the pineapple sage in a pot of it's own.
I've never grown many cooking herbs , always used store bought. Last year I grew cilantro and fell in LOVE with the fresh flavor. So I'm ready to try them all now. Can't wait to cook some ~ Rosemary & Garlic Potatoes ~ all fresh from my garden.
~ Hope You have a Blessed weekend ~ JoyceAnn

Thursday, June 12, 2008

~ * ~ Common Plantain ~ * ~

Yesterday I spent sometime gathering plantain ( Plantago major ) , a wild herb . Plantain is a great plant to get to know , it grows almost everywhere. It can be used for bee stings , bug bites and some spider bites. Last year my son-in -law got stung on the foot , he has severe swelling when he is stung. I went and gathered some from the yard and pounded it with a pestle to get the enzymes flowing , laid the plantain on the sting and wrapped it with a ace bandage. I changed it after a few hours , the plantain had dried out , almost looked like it was cooked , it draws the poisons out. I laid more plantain on his foot and wrapped it again , he kept it on overnight. The next day the swelling was down , it worked great. If you're outdoors and need a quick fix , you can chew the leaves of plantain and make what is called a spit poultice , apply it directly to bug bites , cuts & scrapes , bee stings. My GrandDaddy practiced the spit poultice method with his tobacco snuff , if we got stung by the honeybees , we got smeared with snuff ~~ yucky , but it worked.

Plantain has been found to be effective in treating many internal problems as well , gastritis , peptic ulcers , diarrhea , irritable bowel syndrome and hemorrhoids to name a few.

I have also read it's great for diaper rash. I'm going to make some salve and try it. I'm going to chop the plantain up and cover with olive oil , let it sit for six weeks. I will strain it after 6 weeks and heat it up and add some beeswax to make the salve.

The grands haven't had any problems with diaper rash yet , but once they start eating more and drinking juices , I'm sure they will. Would love to have a natural remedy for it.

~ Green Blessings ~ JoyceAnn