Tuesday, June 30, 2009

~ Around the Homestead ~

~ Yesterday I canned
14 Qts. of greenbeans ~

~ Perilla Herbal Flavored Vinegar ~ I made it from the perilla herb , that the lady at the lavender harvest gave me ~

~ We turned the compost bin around ,

Ms. Fern had to check it out ~

~ Everyone wants to get in the

nest at the same time (LOL) ~

Total Egg Count ~ 110 ~

What's going on around your homestead ?

~ Many Blessings ~

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

~~ Clay Pots & The Guinea Chase ~~

( May 26 ' 2009)

A new visitor to my blog asked about the clay pot irrigation and how it was working , so I decided to do an update. I went back to my garden journal to check dates , it's been 1 month exactly since I added the clay pots , the photos really tell the story. The corks I used to plug the holes have worked great.

( Week 2 )

I've added water about once a week , but the clay pots have never been completely dry.

( Week 3 )

By week 3 they were blooming and starting to develop tomatoes.

( This Week )

The vines are loaded with tomatoes , they're about 3 ft tall , they've filled those wire cages up.

Ms Guinea is still sitting on her nest , she comes out ever once in awhile , but doesn't stay out very long. I've placed food and water under the log for her , but sometimes all the water is gone , not sure if she drinks it or tips it over. I got a view of her eggs last week while she was off the nest , I think there are 28-30 eggs under the log , I wasn't able to get an exact count and I didn't have my camera with me.

Late yesterday afternoon , I went out to check on the hens and Ms. Guinea , Ms . Guinea was off her nest. She's been coming out around 1 or 2 in the afternoon when she ventures out , but doesn't stay off the nest very long. So I thought it was unusual for her to be out that late , I watched her as she headed back to the nest , she was trying to get in on the backside. I thought she was upset because I had the backside blocked or maybe a snake had got to the nest , after awhile she wandered off so I went over to check the nest out. One of the logs had rolled and blocked her out , so I pulled it out of her way so she could get back in. Just as I was standing up I saw her charging at me , I took off running , looked back and she had her wings puffed out and was coming after me. I realized if I kept running she would probably keep chasing me , so I whirled around , stomped and yelled at her. She stopped and ran back to her nest. We've been laughing about the guinea chase now , but it wasn't funny at the time , guinea can run very fast and fly up to 30 mph , so I doubt I could have out run her (LOL) and I've read they have a horrible bite. I hope she wasn't off the nest to long , guess we'll wait and see.

~ Homestead Blessings ~

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

~ In the Garden this Week ~

~ The broccoli has been harvested , blanched and frozen ~

~ We've got baby cucumbers on the vines ~

~ Those tomatoes are really growing ~

~ The calico popcorn is developing ears ~

~ My first try at garlic braiding , hope I get better ( LOL ) ~

It's been a busy week in the garden , we had rain almost everyday last week and the weeds have taken over , so I've been pulling , chopping the last couple of days. The squash are coming in , we had fried squash night before last , they were delish .........tonight I'm making a squash casserole. Yesterday I cut all the cabbage , they didn't fare so well this year. We planted them late and the cabbage worms ate their share. I'm going to try to grow cabbage this Fall and see how they do. The garlic is almost ready to clean and store. I've been trying to braid garlic , it's harder than it looks , but I'll keep practicing , eventually I hope to get it right.

~ Garden Blessings ~

Monday, June 22, 2009

~ Curious J gathers 6 eggs ~

Curious J , my oldest grandson was here for the weekend , he was in charge of gathering the eggs Saturday and Sunday.

Waiting for his chicken " Mya " to lay an egg ..................

still waiting and getting impatient , see that look on his face (LOL).

I finally talked him into doing something else , while we waited.

He collected 6 eggs , that's the most we've ever gathered in a day , so all the chickens are laying now , for sure. He was so happy , then on Sunday he gathered 6 more eggs , today I only gathered 5 , those hens must really like him ( LOL ).

The hens had been laying for 3 weeks yesterday and we've collected a total of 66 eggs ( Yay ! )

~ Many Blessings ~

Sunday, June 21, 2009

~ Sunday Blessing ~

May your Sunday be as Perfect as this Spiderweb !

~ Beautiful Blessings ~


Friday, June 19, 2009

~ The Case of ...........

.........The Missing Rhubarb ..........
When we bought this house and land in 1985 , there was a rhubarb plant growing out were the dog kennel is now. Dh cleared the spot with the tractor for the dog kennel , it was awhile before I realized the rhubarb was gone. I have often thought about it and wished I would have moved it before he cleared that area , I didn't think about it at the time though. A few weeks ago while I was doing herbal study near the edge of the woods , off to the side of the garage I noticed a large leaf plant growing , so I've been watching it , wondering what it was. Last week I took another look , the leaves had got huge , so I pulled back the leaves to look at the stalk and realized it was the missing rhubarb. I was so surprised , I plan to dig it up this Fall and plant it in my herb garden.

~ Surprise Blessings ~

Thursday, June 18, 2009

~ In the Garden ~

~ The blackberries are starting to ripen ~

~~ Umm ....... Fresh Broccoli ~~

~~ Baby Yellow Crookneck Squash ~~

~ Look how those claypot irrigated tomatoes have grown ~

~ Baby Tommy Toes ~

~~ Little Zucchini Squash ~~

Whatever lofty things you might accomplish today , you will do them only because you first ate something that grew out of dirt.

Barbara Kingsolver

~ Garden Blessings ~

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

~~ Around the Homestead ~~

~ Fresh Broccoli ~

~ Missy & Little Tree having Fun ~

~ Nesting Time ~

~ Fresh Eggs ~

~ Ms. Guinea ~

~ 24 Eggs on the nest ~

It's that time of the year , when things get overwhelming around here. There's so much to do and so much I want to do , the garden is starting to produce. Last week the garlic was harvested , this week the broccoli is ready to harvest. The weeds are growing faster , the sun is getting hotter and the bugs want to eat you alive , makes gardening a little less desirable. But in the end , the results are worth it. Tonight we're having chicken and fresh broccoli stir-fry over rice. Oh yeah , the organic flour mix I made took care of the worms on the broccoli , it just took a few days.

I think all of the chickens are laying , we've gathered 46 eggs since they started laying two weeks ago this past Sunday. We're getting double yolk eggs from one of the hens , they're so large they don't fit into a carton. The fresh eggs taste so much better than store bought eggs , wish I had got chickens along time ago.

Ms. Guinea has gone broody , she stayed on the nest last night. Yesterday there were 24 eggs in the nest , not sure if she laid another egg yesterday. I closed her in with the cut wood that was nearby , she was still there this morning , so she made it through one night. It takes 28 days for the eggs to hatch , so I'll be watching her closely. I hope she'll be safe , well I need to get off the computer and go check on her. If any of my readers have had success with a broody guinea , I'd love to hear about it.

~ Green Blessings ~

* Doing Not Thinking Challenge *

~ The top of the refrigerator is clean ~

~ Put silverware in smaller drawer and moved cooking utensils to a larger drawer ~

I haven't did so well with the challenge this time round , life's been sooo busy. I did clean and reorganize a few utensil drawers in the kitchen last week. I also decluttered and clean the top of the refrigerator , it's amazing how much clutter gathers on top of the refrigerator. I hope I'll have time this week to get more decluttering and cleaning done. I'm planning to get Dh to add some shelves along the top of 2 walls to put my chicken collection on , I want to get them off the windowsills.
~ Blessings ~

Monday, June 15, 2009

~ Bluebird Hill Farm / Lavender Harvest ~

~ Bluebird Hill Farm ~
~ Clipping the Lavender ~

~ Lavender bushes after they've been clipped ~

~ Bundling the Lavender ~

~ The Barn were the lavender is hung to dry ~

~ Raised Bed with Herbs ~

~ Tepee Garden ~

~ This raised bed had lambs quarter growing in it ~

~ More Herbs ~

Awhile back I was on the Local Harvest website ~ http://www.localharvest.org/ ~ , looking for local farms in our area , I found an herbal farm that's about 15 miles from me , called " Bluebird Hill Farm ". The farm was having a lavender harvest this past weekend ~ http://www.localharvest.org/event.jsp?id=24074 ~ , so yesterday I packed my bag with clippers , gloves , water and headed out to the farm to learn about lavender. It was a wonderful experience , the farm was beautiful and the owner was friendly.
I arrived at the field before they were ready to start , so I sat by the pond enjoying nature and having some Prayer time. Norma , the owner came out to greet me , then a guy name Kevin showed me how to use their electric clippers and how to bundle the lavender so it could be hung in the barn. I helped clip and bundle lavender for about 3 hours. But before I headed home I went to check-out the gardens and herbs. I was so impressed , I've never seen so many herbs in a garden , there were common herbs , wild herbs , garden veggies , fruit trees , grape vines. As I was looking around the garden , Norma came out with a small jar , she was chasing bugs , said she needed to catch them before they mated (LOL) , ahh ...... the life of an organic farmer. I asked about a herb that was growing near by , she gave me a piece of it and told me to take it home and put it in vinegar , it's called Perilla and makes a great flavored vinegar , she said. She also sent me home with spearmint to plant in my herb garden.

So I came home with a bundle of lavender for helping with the harvest , Perilla to make a herbal vinegar , spearmint for my garden and a small jar of lavender honey I purchased. She sells her herbal products on the local harvest site , you can check-out her store here ~ http://www.localharvest.org/store/M17728 ~. I had a great time and will go back next year for the harvest , or maybe before then.

~ Lavender Blessings ~