Perseid Showers and Feeling Blessed

Image result for perseid meteor shower 2016WOW! I am hoping that many of you saw the Perseid Shower last night. This is not my photo but we did have a great view of the sky last night.

I recall several years ago, while living in the city, driving with my girls for a couple hours so we could get out and see the show in the sky. It was such a thrill to  count them all together as we saw the meteors shoot across the sky.

This year I felt so blessed living in the county away from city lights. We had eaten a late dinner and it was about 10 PM. We made some tea – Midsummer Nights Dream (I love a good theme) and turned out every light in the house so nothing would reflect.

As we wondered outside we first noticed how bright the moon was. We thought we had left an outdoor light on but it was simply moonlight.

We grabbed a seat on the deck and immediately one shot across the sky. We both yelled “there was one!”. It was so incredible to see from our own home that I could have went to bed then and been satisfied.

We knew the peak was after 1 AM. We had no expectation of staying out that long but grabbed a seat, drank tea and stared at the sky. The Big Dipper was so low we felt we could almost touch it from the deck. The Milky Way was above us. Stars were EVERYWHERE.

One after another they streaked. We didn’t count and had no idea how many meteors we had seen. BUT we did know it was a magnificent show. After what seemed a short time, we stated we really should go to bed. We looked at the time and it as 12:58 AM! Oh my goodness! Had we really been watching this for 3 hours!? Me who cannot watch a movie without falling asleep had sat outside in the dark with calming tea and I was still awake?

Seeing that it was about 1 AM we decided to stay longer and continued to see the beauty above us. It was a night to remember! We are so blessed to live somewhere that allows us to experience this in the comfort of our own home (and jammies).

Did you see the Perseid? If not, tonight is another opportunity!

Happy Unleashing while star gazing!

FGU

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #233

FGF LogoV2Welcome back to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! I was slammed at my day job last Friday so unfortunately blog hop did not happen. BUT we are back this week and we are in AUGUST!

Wow I cannot believe it. I love this time of year. This is when, for me, the hard work from spring planting comes to fruition and we have more food than we can eat. Preserving and sharing it begins!

Pickles were on the agenda this morning. Early this morning I picked over 11 pounds of cucumbers!

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The smaller ones got scrubbed and 8 pounds found themselves waiting to be pickled.

IMG_20160805_090510989We now have seven quarts of yummy, garlicky, “pickly” goodness.

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This is an easy and delicious recipe that I have used for the last three years. It is from DIY Natural and it is amazing.

I hope you are having an amazing summer. I know for many of you this is the time of year that your children are either headed back to school or you may be gearing up for a new homeschooling year. Cheers to a great school year!

So, let’s hop! I am sure you have been doing much over the last couple of weeks, so start your bragging on yourself!

 



Becoming a Farmer

I shared in February how at the Small Farm Conference we agreed that farming was something we wanted to pursue.

So the research and planning began. We have been visiting farms, reading great books like “The Lean Farm” and “The Accidental Farmers” for frameworks and inspiration. We have scoured the USDA, NRCS and FSA websites for information to help beginning farmers and to explore programs and grants offered. We have learned what all those acronyms (and more) are. Purdue Extension Services offers webinars, seminars, blogs, email and phone support. We have found tremendous help no matter what resource we have turned to.

After writing our own requirements and objectives for becoming farmers we reached out to NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Services) and invited them to come out to our place to visit. We wanted to share with them our plan and our dreams for a tunnel that we hope to get via an EQIP Grant We hope to irrigate via our pond dependent of course on how our water tests. We want to power our irrigation and electricity in the tunnel with solar power. We fantasize about providing fresh produce for our community year around using our outside resources and extending our growing season using the tunnel.

Two folks visited and walked our land with us. They spent a good amount of time listening. They were quite awesome and they left us with our next steps and a plan to help us on our path. Of course that meant a bunch of paperwork!

We are happy to share that our paper work is completed, signed, sealed and delivered. We are now in the hopper for tunnel next spring. HOW EXCITING!

Now the fun part begins (although it really is all fun). We are figuring out how to prep our land this fall to get it ready for the tunnel. We are positioning the tunnel where we currently grow, so after the season we will dump compost and plant cover crop. We are reading about planting in tunnels and visiting farmers that have them. I need to adopt my garden plan which is based on outside planting and elements and create a tunnel planting plan. It is all new stuff to learn- what varieties, when to plant, when to rotate, etc.

So we are becoming farmers. Not overnight, but we are on our journey and moving forward.

Happy Unleashing today!

FGU

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #232

FGF LogoV2Welcome to Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

Last week we were on a farm tour with Purdue extension services so there was no Farmgirl Friday blog hop that occurred. The tour was really good as it helped to clarify some things for us. That is ALWAYS valuable. We turned in our paperwork this week for our tunnel from the EQIP program from the USDA. Exciting times!

Whoa is it hot! How about where you are? We worked outside for 3 hours this morning before work because the heat index is expected to peak 105 degrees today and tomorrow. That is too hot even for me to work outside! I think this weekend will be filled with the kitchen remodel since that happens to occur in the air conditioning!

We got our first little summer harvest this week. It is such an exciting time of the year when that occurs.

How are you staying cool? What are you harvesting? What are you up to? Let’s get to the hop!

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



Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #231

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Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

You may be coming off a long weekend like we are. I love having the extra day from work to work in the garden and do other things around here. We are busy in the garden and busy in the kitchen with our remodel still going. Hubby got the sink out this week and by end of the weekend the new sink cabinet that he is building and our new apron sink should be in! Yipee!! For now we are using paper plates and cups and cooking on the grill. We have a sink in the basement but we figure the less dishes we make the better for a few days.

Last week I loved reading the blog on Hibiscus. I have Hibiscus and yet I buy tea with Hibiscus. Michelle from Seeking Joyful Simplicity shared a tea recipe and more on Hibiscus.

And who doesn’t like to put something old to good use. Lyn from Repurposed for Life showed us the new life her couch has received and boy is it pretty!

There were so many good link ups last week on the hop! Keep ’em coming as I love reading them.

Let’s blog hop!

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



Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #230

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Happy Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #230

AND

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

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Plans for picnics, BBQs and fireworks dance in my head. My cousin’s family has moved nearby (1 hour away) YIPEE! AND we will be spending some quality family time with them this weekend.

And yes gardening and lots of it this weekend. With a long weekend away from the day job that leaves much time for playing outside and getting a great farmgirl manicure.

Did you see the beautiful crafts made from blue bottles last week on the blog hop?

This was just one of the beautiful pictures and fun things that Lyn shared. I must admit however that these chimes were my favorite. Thanks to Lyn from sharing from Repurposed For Life.

Enjoy your 4th of July. But be sure to stop by and link up your blog to show off your farmgirl skills!

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart – MaryJaneButters



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