Hello Again!

Happy Fall!

I have been on a bit of a hiatus. For me it is a good thing to do now and then. It is nice to focus on what I am doing and not be so concerned with camera angles while taking pictures and making sure that I am not missing a picture or redoing something just to capture the picture. I am pretty certain that if you blog you can relate to that! So every once in a while I put the camera aside, take pictures just for me and detach just a bit from the electronics.

We have had a full and fun late summer however. Much of me still feels I am in summer. The temperatures are cooler and the fall garden is planted but the summer garden is still producing heavily. So canning and eating summer food is still in the forefront. Canning is on the calendar again this week. Last Tuesday I canned 55 pounds of tomatoes. It makes me so excited to think I will be able to enjoy them all winter long!

img_20160922_101150031_hdr

img_20160922_101155451

img_20160922_101137357_hdr

The produce is still coming in!

img_20160805_080817822_hdr

img_20160805_080748663

img_20160805_081807305

img_20160805_081120442_hdr

img_20160805_080829307_hdr

I have lots of winter squash coming in now, but no pictures. Like I said, my electronics and I have been working on practicing a little separation.

Kitchen! Yes, kitchen is progressing nicely. Cabinets on the walls now and gorgeous counter tops. I am super excited about the counter space I have now and the big sink!

img_20160913_105710518

img_20160913_102658837

img_20160913_102655756

img_20160913_072137112

img_20160911_155133742

img_20160911_145155425

And of course life would not bring quite as many smiles without a visit to this little guy!

img_20160901_105804125

I hope you are enjoying the transition of the seasons! What are some of your favs this time of year?

Happy Unleashing into Fall!

FGU

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 #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



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!

IMG_20160522_140801987

IMG_20160525_115211025

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



First Green Babies Hit the Ground!

The rain gave us a break this week which meant some of my green babies got in the ground!

This batch had been hardening off and I imagine they were excited to get in the back of Ms. Tupelo to ride back to their garden home.

IMG_20160525_101905073

These were truly the strongest bunch of plants I have ever had. They all looked awesome as they went in.

IMG_20160525_115211025 (1)

I plant so many varieties of tomatoes that I decided to color code them with tie wraps this year. Early in year I can recall my layout. Later in the year when it is a tomato jungle out there, it becomes more difficult to distinguish. The difference between a Green Zebra and Purple Cherokee is obvious but 5 different Romas can become challenging as they all start to intertwine with one another.

IMG_20160525_184933194

I also am planting eggplant this year. I hope they do well. I am looking forward to Eggplant Parmesan from these and my tomatoes.

IMG_20160525_184921738

Bottom line is that these first green babies are happy to be in and this farmgirl was even happier to get some soil under the nails and sunshine!

IMG_20160525_103940792

Happy Unleashing!

FGU

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #223

FGF LogoV2Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

We are heading to Georgia to visit our daughter #2 and her family, do some dog sitting and more visiting with daughter #1. D#3 couldn’t make it on this trip, so next time for her.

 

DSCN2982We are building a raised bed for D2 and her family. I cannot wait to get my little grandson in the dirt with me! The raised bed is part of their Christmas present. They all LOVE veggies (including little Arlo) and we thought teaching them all how to grow some of their own would be fun. We got them hand tools and gloves and stuff for Christmas. This weekend we will build the bed. I have a few green babies that I am taking and we will be planting some seeds.

DSCN2979We will do the square foot gardening method which is easy and what got me hooked on gardening a few years ago. Low on weeds and high on success. These 2 pictures are from my first try a few years ago (2012).  It got me obsessed with gardening and I am hoping to bring them the same thrill. Wish us all fun in the sun and soil!

I love looking through all the entries on our hop. Recipes, animals, animal babies, health tips, pretty pictures and more! How about you? Did you get a chance to look through the link ups from last week? How about this adorable basket from scraps?

This is so beautiful and looks like fun! What a great way to use up some of those many, many bins of scraps I continue to save. Thank you Farmgirl Freckles for sharing!

Let’s get hopping! Brag on what you are up to this week. Here are some guidelines if you are new here.

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



Tomatoes are Rocking! (early)

Previously I shared with you that I changed up a couple things this year with my green babies (who doesn’t like to experiment right?).

Hubby built a beautiful (and very functional) grown shelf-

IMG_20160225_212157766

I bought a system of trays that are sturdy, domed (until sprouting) and bottom waterers-

IMG_20160324_123852016_HDR

Well my little green babies popped up in a matter of 48 hours! They have been going strong, strong, strong.

IMG_20160324_123834508_HDR

The addition of cinnamon has seriously stomped out the ground gnats and damping off. And I have been adding a bit of fish emulsion to the water every other week. That does make for some interesting smells in the basement. 🙂

The broccoli and cabbages got planted about 1 week ago. Perfect timing for them.

IMG_20160420_184354751

The first tomato plants that I started have been jumping out of their pots. You can see that I have already transplanted many to 4″ pots.

IMG_20160426_150138728

You can also see these are strong stems that have many leaves. Below are blossoms.

IMG_20160426_150143252

We are in 6a so it is too soon for me to put them in the garden. I do not tempt fate out there and my last frost date is still 2 1/2 weeks away. I typically wait a week or so after that before planting so I don’t get any surprises.

BUT I could not resist grabbing a couple of these guys and putting them in large pots on the deck. I can bring them in if the weather does snap. It was so exciting to see them outside in these large pots.

IMG_20160426_165528002

Then it stormed… I mean wind and hard, hard rain, multiple times last evening and overnight. It was so bad that Jasmine our pup slept on the floor in our room. She was a nervous, pacing doggie.

But my over-sized (I mean that in a good way) green babies weathered (ha ha) the storm and were looking good this morning!

IMG_20160426_165523683_HDR

I planted some herb and flower seeds in pots yesterday too. I hope they did not wash or splash away. Only time will tell me their fate. But for my tomato teenagers, they seem to be A-OK!

Are you jumping the gun on planting anything? It is hard to resist isn’t it?

Happy Unleashing!

FGU

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #217

FGF Logo

Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop and

Happy Easter to those that celebrate this weekend!

While some of you are still suffering through snow we are feeling spring. With that does come rain, but I will take that! Many of us are starting plants right now and planning our gardens. Take a look at the great grow shelf that hubby made me. 🙂 I love it, but more importantly my green babies love it!

IMG_20160324_123834508_HDR

Summer Acres shared the CUTEST ever pictures of her baby goats and a great blog on the kidding process. As someone that does not have goats (yet) I vicariously lived through this post! How can you not look at that and say “ahhhhh….” Thanks for sharing!

Mother Goat Caring for Newborn Kid

What are you up to? I have green babies but many of you have the furry kind like Summer Acres keeping you busy.  Are you ready to share??

Thank you for joining and enjoy your Easter weekend!

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!

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart – MaryJaneButters



My New Grow Shelf and Green Babies!

This is my 3rd year gardening and each year we tweak and change our process. We keep the stuff that is working and we dump the stuff that is not. Most things just get adjusted however.

This year I wanted to grow my green babies on shelves. It is more efficient for the space I currently have. Later when we have a tunnel and a grow house, I will change it up again, but for this year I wanted to add shelves to our process of starting plants.

I found one that I adored in a catalog. The unit was a great size, the lights raised up and down and they had those fantastic T5 HO bulbs – bright but not hot. I showed it to hubby with much excitement and he was supportive, but then saw the price. 🙂 He promised me he could make me just as fabulous a shelf for much less. Since hubby is an ultimate handy man, I had confidence in this promise. So the project began!

A shelf from Sam’s, lights from Home Depot, some rope, pulleys and a timer was what we used.

Hubby attached two strip lights (that hold two bulbs) to some wood. We have then a set of two strips for each shelf.

IMG_20160219_183023310

Eyes were attached so the rope could be threaded.

IMG_20160219_183059010

IMG_20160219_183338921

On the cart itself he attached an anchor to wrap the rope around to steady the lights after being raised and lowered. The anchor is attached with some plumbers strap he had.

IMG_20160219_184443857

IMG_20160219_184649503

Then for some fancy tying. Hubby is a sailor and those knots come in handy. I cannot mimic these but they work GREAT!

IMG_20160219_185304831

IMG_20160219_185712219

There are pulleys on each end that the ropes come up through so that everything moves together.

IMG_20160219_191326173

We can raise and lower and then the tie to the anchor to hold it all in place.

IMG_20160219_191326173

IMG_20160219_185924216

We threaded all the electrical cords down the side so that they are not ever in the way.

IMG_20160225_211807253

I got to planting some starters. Oh I love playing outside on my planting cart!

IMG_20160227_150735973_HDR

IMG_20160227_150802819_HDR

I also got trays that water from the bottom this year. They have mats in them and you fill the bottom of the unit. The mat works in capillary action and waters from the bottom. I also got domes to try out. So far I love them.

IMG_20160324_123852016_HDR

My grow shelves can have heat mats and that was great for starting my green babies.

They are loving life!

IMG_20160324_123834508_HDR

IMG_20160324_123840888_HDR

IMG_20160324_123857344_HDR

IMG_20160324_123904136_HDR

So far success! I love my shelf and my hubby for putting it together for me. I also love these bottom water trays. They are perfect in this situation. No drips and they do not need watered often. After these babies were at it for about 2 weeks, I added fish emulsion to the water. That did not smell great in the basement, but my green babies loved it. We all sacrifice for our babies right?

What is your process for starting plants? Have you started? Some of these (the brassicas) are about ready for the ground here!

Happy Planting!

FGU