A Little Spring in Winter

Garden Books

It has been an unpredictable ride so far this winter with weather. One morning we took our dogs out at 7 am and it was 47 degrees; the next morning- same time, same place, it was windchill of 9 degrees! I don’t know if I should be in a t-shirt or bundled up in multiple sweaters. How about you?

I know some of you have consistently colder or warmer temperatures than I do currently. But no matter where you are, those of us who have visions of gardening in upcoming months, are busily leafing through seed catalogs and gardening books. To look and dream while turning the pages encourages the mind and heart to believe that spring will arrive in the future! I love January and looking at my garden plan and adjusting based on what worked last year, what needs to be tweaked and maybe planning something new to plant this year.

My plan is simple and uses excel. I track everything from seed inventory, ordering seeds, starting seeds and planting seeds in my garden. You can see by the tabs at the bottom I also track varieties that I have, companion plants, what I harvest and can and more. Every year I pull the one up from the previous year and adjust. January is a fun time to pull this out!

But there is nothing like going through the catalogs right? I have more seed packs than I can count (literally), but there is always another tomato or squash that I must have!

tomato page from catalog

How about you? Do you have favorite catalogs or gardening books that you just have to look at in January?

Happy Unleashing (that gardener in you in January!)


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.


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?





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.




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!



And look at these gorgeous sheep!


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.


Happy Unleashing!


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #213

FGF LogoWelcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

I am so excited!! I am starting seeds this weekend on my new grow shelves that hubby is putting together for me.

IMG_20160213_154306747Lights are being added as I type here and by the end of the weekend I will have some lovely little green babies just waiting to pop! Do you have spring fever too?

Last week I loved reading (and dreaming while reading) A Miniature Orchard, by Dogwood Lane Rambles. We have no fruit trees and we fantasize about having them. I loved seeing the photos in this blog and the terrific looking soil they have!

Did you have a favorite?

Let’s get to the hop!

Brag a bit on yourself and on your great farmgirl skills and passions!

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


Snow Fun!

IMG_20160215_093200287It snowed yesterday on Valentine’s Day which created a lovely, slow day at home. We ate good food, hung out together and just kept commenting on how pretty everything was with the snow. There is something so peaceful about watching the snow from the warmth of your home.

We were especially thankful that it did not hit hard until we returned home from church. The deck soon was covered.



Jasmine hates the rain but she loves the snow. She digs her little nose in and comes up with snow all over her snout.


Hubby needed to shovel our path to our office today. He thought about calling in and saying the commute was too tough today.



Then he thought it would be mighty fun to build a snowman.


It is about as tall as he is!

Are you frolicking in the snow or over it? I will admit I am not over it quite yet….

Happy Monday!


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #209 (and a giveaway!)


Welcome to Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! Deb has a great giveaway. Adorable Note cards!

Are they not the cutest? Head over, say Hi to Deb and see how to win. It is easy, peasy!

Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving? Does your kitchen smell of freshly baked pumpkin pie? Are you planning wonderful side dishes? Do you raise your own turkey or do you get it from a farmer nearby?

Our kitchen is in prep mode, but not for Thanksgiving cooking…Do you see a fridge or stove?


We are smack dab in the middle of our kitchen remodel and there are no appliances in sight. But sanding is going on tonight on our wood floors. They will be beautiful by the end of the weekend. IMG_20151120_173613272

Then we must leave for 7 days so they will cure. So we will head to my mom’s and dad’s for a lower key celebration and hopefully cook up a storm for Christmas!

Whatever you are doing have a blessed Thanksgiving. I hope you spend it with people you love and I hope you have much gratitude in your heart.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Now, go visit Deb, enter to win and join in the blog hop!

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #203


Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

I think you are probably busy with summer like me. We have traveled, gardened, dealt with flood waters and storms and today we kicked off our kitchen remodel! More on that to come in the following weeks.

On the travel side, we just returned from the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City Michigan.

Cherry Festival Sign

It was so much fun! And we brought back some yummy cherries that hubby used to bake a tart with last night! WOW!

And how about this “Chairy Drill Team” at the festival (get the play on words?) They were so fun!

Chairy Band

I will share some pictures from our Michigan adventures next week! We were celebrating our 10 year anniversary and we had a LOT of fun!

Deb is up to her eyeballs in colorful blooms! Well, at least up to her knees. If you want to see some of her great flowers check out her new page on Instagram! We have actually both started dappling a bit in Instagram and you can find me there as well. Stop by and say hi!

What you are doing this week? Harvesting, planting, preserving? Maybe you are at a fair showing animals. Or perhaps you are sipping on some ice tea about now. Whatever it is we are glad you are here!

Let’s start hopping!

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #199

apronWelcome to the 199th Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! Can you believe that we are about to hit 200????

Deb and I have a surprise for you on #200!

Deb has been harvesting rhubarb and she has a fabulous pie recipe (and beautiful picture) that she is sharing. Stop over and say hi and take a peak!

We have been playing in the bee yard and have added some more bees. 🙂


What have you been up to this week?  Come on and share your doin’s!

Let’s hop!

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #198


Yipee! It is Farmgirl Friday and I am back! I have not blogged for a couple of weeks. Lots happening and travel. We got back Wednesday night and I am getting back in my homestead groove.

I will be out with the green babies and gardens this evening and over the weekend. I will take some pictures and put up an update; some of you have inquired as to what is going on with those precious green babies! They are doing well for the most part. All of my eggplant got eaten while we were gone, but everyone else is happily growing. The potatoes are going to take us over if we are not careful…

Deb has a new Wednesday blog “Wednesday Garden Notes with Deb” This week is all about direct sowing annuals. Perfect timing for me as we just ordered some zinnia seeds and other pretty things to plant. I am a sucker for seeds and seed catalogs! Deb is also going to try succession planting this year with her flowers; I am doing the same with my veggies. We will have to compare notes.

So, I am ready to see what everyone is up to. I feel a little disconnected and there is nothing like Farmgirl Friday to connect in again!

Let’s get hopping! Stop by Deb’s and say “hi!” Thank you for joining in!


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #190


Welcome to Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop. Can you believe it is #190? When I typed that number I was blown away.

I was so inspired last week by the great blog that was shared by Unfettered Fox on Nasturtiums! Besides the gorgeous pictures that made me dream of warm days and color, she had GREAT information on all the wonderfulness of Nasturtiums. From their beauty, to their role as a trap plant and their edibleness. It made me want to plant these little critters everywhere! Aren’t they beautiful?


I have started seedlings this week. That is the first step for me in gardening so I feel like I am back to gardening! Deb is still thawing out as it much of the east coast. What are you up to? Your posts are always inspiring to me. I learn so much every week.

So let’s do it shall we?

Be sure to stop by Dandelion House and Deb’s to send warm thoughts her way to melt the remaining snow!