Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #229

FGF LogoV2Here we are again at the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! So glad you stopped by.

I love this time of year – mostly because I am obsessed with my veggie gardens. The potatoes blossomed this week—

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The beans are about ready to pop on our first planting of them—

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And the Malabar Spinach is about big enough to toss in a salad!

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I cannot wait to head out every day to see what is happening. And I love to head here also to see what ya’ll are doing.

Last week Ginger Dawn shared a poem titled “She Let Go“.  I have read this numerous times in the last week. I think we are all so busy and that makes this such a great message. If you did not read it, take a few moments by yourself and read it and let it resonate with you. I love it and we all need to stop, breath and let go over and over and over again in our lives. Enjoy reading it and thank you Ginger for sharing. Please note also that the artwork is by Ginger herself and it is beautiful.

So like I said we all are busy. So take a moment and brag on what you are doing this week.

Visit some other posts while you are at it. Thank you for joining. It is not a hop without you. Let’s get hopping!

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart – MaryJaneButters

 



Growing in Clover

IMG_20160611_181815581_HDRLast fall we threw on cover crop on a couple of our gardens. In one we planted crimson clover. In spring is was a lovely carpet in the garden and bees loved it. That was one benefit. AND we noticed minimal weeds in that garden. Yipee! Another benefit is nitrogen fixation. Without getting too technical here, clover helps to convert nitrogen into usable nitrogen for other plants. You can certainly google the term for details but all in all clover rocks!

We decided to leave the clover between our rows in Garden 2. If it is good for the soil, the bees and it helps control weeds it could be such a friend out there! So we simply used our rototiller to turn under enough in the rows for planting.

So far so good. Weeds are down and plants are coming in between the rows. This garden has had a serious weed problem in the past- especially with night shade weeds. Last year they over took the garden along with too much rain and this garden was toast! It was tilled under and given up on. 🙁

But here we are at 2 weeks and still looking good. Cucs are coming up nicely.

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We have 6 rows of corn and they are popping up right now.

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And lots of summer and winter squash.

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I have ran a hoe through the garden one time to knock off uninvited guests but they are really at a minimum. It only took me about 15 minutes in a 45 x 32 garden. I am hoping that the clover suffocated many of the weeds and they did not reseed. I am not naive — I know that nothing keeps them at bay 100% but I continue to look for organic ways to minimize them. We have had great success with ag cloth and we wanted to try cover crop as well.

Have you planted between clover before? What do you do to keep weeds under control in your garden?

Happy Unleashing!

FGU

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #228

FGF LogoV2Glad you are here at the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

It has been a great week here. I think we are going to have our first tomatoes of the season in a salad tonight. So exciting. And we are heading to my parent’s this weekend to celebrate Father’s Day and my mom’s birthday. That will be much fun!

If you read Ginger Dawn’s blog entry last week about her May Art challenge, you will have seen some awesome drawings and her new found passion for art.  Ginger shared that she earned a MaryJane’s Farmgirl Sisterhood Badge during her May Art Challenge. How great is that! Congrats to Ginger!!

What has this week brought your way?

Let’s get hopping! Here’s some simple guidelines:

  1. Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals,  quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!
  2. Leave your entry in the  Linky tools space to your  Farmgirl Friday post.
  3. Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
  4. Enter up to three entries per hop

Thank you for joining and sharing and visiting each other! It is not a hop without you.

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart – MaryJaneButters



Who Let the Birds Out?

IMG_20160608_132634706I had a great time last week helping my farmgirl pal Liz out at Nightfall Farm move her chicks out to their new digs in the field. It was a true “right of passage” for me in my long line of “rights” since moving to Indiana. This was one of my most fun and delightful experiences.

Liz and Nate raise animals and they have a meat CSA in our area you can join plus they sell at farmers’ markets, restaurants and direct.  Their animals are well cared for, fed wonderful things and you just feel good buying from them. We first met them when we bought our turkey from them last Thanksgiving.  We had our second introduction at the Small Farm Conference that we went to in February. Both Nate and Liz led and shared in sessions there.

Liz and I have become friends since then and she knows we are in the process of becoming farmers. She is always more than happy to listen, brainstorm and YES share her mucky jobs with me if I am willing. So when she called and said she needed help moving 200 chicks I was in!

Now…when I say “help” I use that term loosely as I had no idea what I was in for or what to do. But Liz is a great (and patient) teacher. She had another friend helping (that knew what she was doing) so in a few hours we were successful.

The first trick is simply scooping them up one at a time (well Liz can do two at a time) and placing them carefully in a temporary tub so that we can transport them across the farm.

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During the day we moved 200+ chicks from their enclosed home in the barn to their clover fields homes outside right next door to their “cousins.” They settled in quickly- but then who wouldn’t with an all you can eat buffet and endless happy hour?

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Cleaning out their old home is next. That takes some real farmgirl muscles. It was HARD work! Many of you already know this from experience.

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During the day I was fortunate to also meet their very happy and friendly pigs and to see their glee at getting sprayed midday. They were more exited about the hose than their lunch!

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And look at these gorgeous sheep!

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IMG_20160608_140330226They all look like they have it rough huh? All their animals have spectacular surroundings, lots to munch on and tons of nurturing and care. If you are in Indiana, look them up!

Thank you Liz for sharing your day with me and all that I learned! We will see what you ping me for next time; I am anxiously waiting.

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Happy Unleashing!

FGU

Honey I’m Home!

IMG_20160610_202359567We brought our 3 nucs home on 6/4. One was struggling and we lost many of them due to over crowding in the nuc. We got a replacement and currently have three hives working hard gathering pollen and feeding brood. We hope to add a 4th this week.

 

Here are some pictures of the install for those of you that have not experienced bringing home several thousand bees in a little box. 🙂

The small box is the nuc and the larger is the deep or brood box that will become their new home.

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You will see that there are 5 frames in the deep. There are also 5 in the nuc so after the install there will be 10 frames. The nuc frames go in the middle.

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This is the nuc after opening. You can see all the bees hanging out.

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A little spritz of sugar water calms them down a bit (who wouldn’t like a little spritz of sugar water?)

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One by one we added the frames from the nuc to the deep.

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Seeing frames full of capped brood (babies) makes you smile.

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And the last one goes in.

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Inner cover goes on then (the piece with the oval cut out) and then the feeder. Ball jars are perfect for holding the sugar for the gals.

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Another deep or honey super goes on to protect the sugar water and then the outer cover or lid.

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The girls are doing great and buzzing around. They are loving our clover and that keeps me from cutting all of our grass. I don’t have the heart to take away their food!

Do you have bees? Do you want bees? The honey is a great by product, but watching them is simply fascinating.

Happy Unleashing! BUZZ!!!!

FGU

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #227

FGF LogoV2Welcome to Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

Summer seems to have arrived! Yippee! No rain the last few days and warm temps. Garden is loving life right now and still much to plant. And we are getting another nuc of bees today. I am so excited.

Ginger Dawn was thinking turkey though last week and shared Trash Can Turkey with us! I am intrigued!!! How about you?

Thank you for sharing! Has anyone else tried this?

Let’s get hopping! Here’s some simple guidelines:

  1. Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals,  quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!
  2. Leave your entry in the  Linky tools space to your  Farmgirl Friday post.
  3. Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
  4. Enter up to three entries per hop

Thank you for joining and sharing and visiting each other!

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart – MaryJaneButters



Welcome Home Bees!

IMG_20160603_190827296We had a long trip up and back to pick up our bees today. The buzz coming back was noticeable as they stuck their little heads out of the screens. Only one bee managed to squeeze out and then she spent the rest of the drive confused and failing at attempts to rejoin her family.

They have a little longer to wait before settling into their final destination. You see it is sprinkling and threatening rain. To take the chance of having the nuc opened at a cloud outburst is too great. Bees do not like to get rained on! So we have them hanging out in our lean to against the pole barn. It is covered well and they will not get wet and they can simply remain in the home that they have known now for several weeks. We will introduce them to their new, larger digs over the weekend.

You may ask “what is that brown on the concrete next to them?” It is cinnamon. The lean to is famous for having ants and ants love to visit hives. Cinnamon deters the ants and should keep the nucs ant free as they hang out there this evening.

A nuc is special in that the bees that are in there are all related to each other and to the queen that is in there. They are family (I hear a song in there somewhere). They have been living in the nuc now for several weeks building comb, raising brood and now they are ready for their larger home.

So welcome home little bees! We will get you in your new place tomorrow. Sleep well.

Happy Unleashing!

FGU

 

Raising Up a New Garden(er)

IMG_20160515_164641183We visited our daughter and family recently with the purpose of setting up a garden for them. They LOVE vegetables (even Arlo who is about to be 2) so having a raised bed makes so much sense for them. And what is more fun than sharing your passion with people you are passionate about?

Mike was in charge of the logistics of building the box — which simply means he got to play with his power tools. 🙂

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And of course being outside in Georgia means it was HOT. Arlo had to break from all the work for a quick dip in his pool while mom sat nearby looking at seed packets.

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Then off to Home Depot we went to load up on planting medium, worm castings and just miscellaneous fun gardening stuff.

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Unloading and dumping was next. Adam and hubby handled the honors.

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A little raking and smoothing action was needed and Arlo was up to the task with his cute blue gardening gloves on.

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We measured off squares with bright string and the planting began. We did a combination of seeds for things like beans, squash, radishes, carrots and cucs. I brought tomato, basil, pepper and eggplant green babies from home.

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And what’s a day in the sunshine without a ride in the garden cart?

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A toddler will be a toddler even with 4 adults around. Arlo enjoyed discovering how to work the hose and was extremely happy when he got squirted and wet— “again”, “again”, “again”, was the song that he sang.

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We all put together a fence with PVC and chicken wire. This will work great to keep bunnies out and maybe quick little hands.

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We did some sprucing up in the back also. It is always nicer to sit or play outside if you have some pretty things to look at also. Laura did a great job of cleaning out a spot under this little tree. We planted some flowers here. IMG_20160516_151325793

We also snuck in some pumpkin seeds. There is a slight drop here and we hope the pumpkins will vine a few inches down; they will have a wide open area for sprawling out then.

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Adam attacked and conquered (for now) the bamboo that was HUGE and spreading in the back.

IMG_20160516_163628131A barrel of herbs and a hanging planter finished us up.

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To end our day in the sun we had to take a couple of family photos right?

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We are all hoping the gardening goes well and they will be eating from their yard in a couple of months!

Happy Unleashing outside today!

FGU

 

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #226

Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

FGF LogoV2

Today this is short but ever so sweet. We are heading on a little bit of a drive to go pick up our bee nucs. We have three coming and are very excited. We did get honey last year but sadly our 2 queens were weak and the hives did not survive the winter. We again have positive expectations and are starting over. The hives are set up in the back, sugar water is in jars and waiting and now we need to head to the car for our journey north about 2 1/2 hours to get them.

I love spring and gardening. Kathy from Oak Hill Homestead shared on her blog about her garden expansion and beds. Love the pictures and her budget conscience, beautiful build out.

Raised garden beds

I am going to hit the road and ya’ll can get hopping. I will check in later! Happy Friday.

Here’s some simple guidelines!

  1. Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals,  quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!
  2. Leave your entry in the  Linky tools space to your  Farmgirl Friday post.
  3. Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
  4. Enter up to three entries per hop

Thank you for joining and sharing and visiting each other!

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart – MaryJaneButters



Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #225

FGF LogoV2

Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

This week has been a fun week of planting and working on our kitchen. Never a dull moment but that is how I like it!

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Gardening makes me dream of tomatoes and squash and the Sunny Italian Stew Recipe from Claudia at Avalon Media last week hit the spot! She said it was inspired by her time in Italy as a child and it looks wonderful! Be sure to check it out!

Tips for Gardening with a One Year Old was also delightful! Since we just came back from playing in the dirt with our daughter’s family (which includes an almost 2 year old) it seemed to be perfect timing for this read. Thank you Frugal Mama for sharing!

What are you up to? Late spring is full of action isn’t it?

Time to hop!

Welcome to all and thank you for joining!

It would not be a hop if you did not join in. 🙂

Here’s some simple guidelines!

  1. Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals,  quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!
  2. Leave your entry in the  Linky tools space to your  Farmgirl Friday post.
  3. Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
  4. Enter up to three entries per hop

Thank you for joining and sharing and visiting each other!

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart – MaryJaneButters