Potato Bag- Part 1

So I ordered 2 potato bags to try and grow some potatoes. I am pretty sure I made some mistakes- so here it is- we tried to harvest some potatoes- since the rain battered the plants down- they didn’t get to flower. Mistake number one- Make sure the potato plants flower first!

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I did start another bag- and placed less potatoes in there- mistake number 2- don’t put a lot of potatoes in there- they end up rotting! So we are going to try this new bag and learn from the mistakes and go a little different!

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This was our harvest- most of them rotted! I only got 2 baby purple potatoes, and the reds were disintegrated! The germans seemed to do the best! Learn from the mistakes and work better next time! PLAN, PLAN, PLAN.

Mistake number 3- I added more dirt to cover too soon and didn’t give all the potato plants time to grow.

Let’s see how this next bag grows! I know I planted them late- but we can still see!

Any potato tips for me?

DIY- Poop Catcher

So safe water for animals is VERY important. We clean out and scrub the waterers for the chickens once a week. I need to deep clean the dog and goat waterer soon- but I digress.

We made the girls the cup bucket waterer so I didn’t have to worry as much about fresh water during the summer- well let’s just say they have a roost above the bucket- and it got covered in poop! OH, and how I worried it got in there- so cleaning the bucket was a must! I scrubbed it out- and the hubby and I made plans to adapt.

We rescued the metal trash can lid from the trash- and hubby drilled a hole and cut the handle- now I have a poop catcher yall! It looks so gross now- but no poop in the water! It will have to get scrubbed soon though!

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July Seed Shipment

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Here is July’s seed shipment. I am so in love with the Forget Me Nots, and eggplant and melon! I can’t wait to plan next years garden now! Expansion is coming!

Thanks Mike the Gardener- I love my little package I get every month! Something to definitely look forward to!

I am a member of the Affiliate program- which means I do get paid a small portion if someone purchases a membership from my site. If you’d like to help my homestead journey, you certainly can click on the link in this post or on the link on my homepage. Thanks in advance if you do!

Garden Update- July 15th

So the garden has halted a little, dare I say. I am praying I don’t have a one time huge harvest- that would be a little much on my weekend homestead. A lot of canning would have to be done on the weekend!

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This is the volunteer pumpkin plant. We do have one looking like it is growing- but it also looks to be rotting! I hope we can get a pumpkin or two by October! It is taking over a good part of the yard!

The watermelons are blooming and spreading on the yard! It took me so long to train them to grow this way! I can’t wait for more to grow and so we can eat them up!

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The tomatoes are growing very much, the low ones are not doing well- they are rotting from too much water. It looks like they will all bloom at once! Uh oh! But still it takes a lot of tomatoes to make salsa!

The pickling cucumbers and the cucumbers. I think my cucs are waning! I am still getting some, and I hope the pickling cucumbers pick up some more- so I can make plenty of pickles!

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I was able to harvest 2 squash- I do have to do some weeding- but I was able to nurse it back to health! Maybe some more squash soon!

Peppers are still growing! I have been putting up the banana peppers to pickle. I did have to place some support on 2 of the plants- the rain has been kicking our butt lately!

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The okra is growing tall- but no harvest yet- and it seems the ants are taking over! I need to get them off my plants!

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I don’t know if we will get cantaloupe- we will have to see!

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The pear tree needs some trimming and love- but it is still blooming- I am hoping to make some jelly!

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The harvest from today- some pickling cucumbers- one baby tomato- 2 squash- one cucumber- some more banana peppers- and a pepper! Soon maybe soon!

How does your garden grow?

 

Weekend Update- July 9th

So we got a lot accomplished this weekend. I worked on Saturday, it was just half a day. When I came home, I checked on the garden and was able to pull some harvest out. This is not a complete picture but it is everything I have right now- we are working on eating and getting ready to can some.

The cucumbers- the banana peppers (squash is from a co-worker, mine is not ready yet)- and pickling cucumbers.

We got the whole burn pile gone- and also trimmed the tree near the garden some so that it gets some more sun. That brush got burned as well. So no more huge pile in my yard- yay!

We did 2 other small projects- those are posts on their own.

We also got the building cleaned out and reorganized. YAY! It still needs a little work- but at least we can walk in there- and we can find what we need. No before and after- sorry!

The babies- well they are not so much babies anymore- so next week we are expanding.

Life is never dull on the homestead! More projects for next weekend!

2017 Goals- June Check-In

So on this post here, I listed my goals for 2017. We will probably be adding more as the year goes on- but here is June’s check! Did you set goals? How are you doing? See the updates in red! Check out my progress- January Check-In February Check-In March Check-In April Check-In May Check-In

  1. Personal- Quit Smoking. It will save money and my health. This year I am dead serious on quitting smoking. I am also trying to make the switch from caffeine or other drinks to strictly water. That is a slow progression as I tend to get migraines when I lose the caffeine. (I have been drinking more water since it is so hot out and we have been doing some more work. The goal for July is to get down to only one 20 oz a day, and then I can cut from there. As far as smoking- no progress 😦 Maybe this month.)
  2. Quail-Finish the quail coop. We did get started with the coop- but it needs to be finished. We are also looking at buying some more babies. I would like to raise and sell eggs/babies. (I am looking to modify the coop- and then I will order some chicks, or hatch out my own. This is a fall project. We may not go for Texas A &M, I am having a hard time finding them local- or I may since that is the case.)
  3. Chickens- Build a bigger chicken coop- and get some more chickens. I have 2 separate breeds, and have not decided whether I want roosters or not. (I have 27 hens still- and the expansion is coming. We are looking at how I will separate the girls- and we may build another coop. I am not sure if I want to raise to breed or not. I do know we are looking at next spring doing a batch of meat birds.)
  4. Gardening- Start an herb garden. Plant some fruit trees. Start some seeds and a small garden to manage so we can save more money. ( The garden has been going great. I am looking at planning the fall garden and we will be doing some more planning for the Spring as to placement and a bigger garden!)
  5. Small Home Organization and Projects- Organize the shed. Clean out the rest of our stuff from my in-laws. Declutter a lot of stuff. We have a few renovation projects to complete, which we already have the supplies for. (We have organized the shed some. I will have to go through the holiday supplies, and narrow it down. We are looking at doing some projects in the fall since it will be cooler. We have also gotten the feed/garden shed which will definitely help.)
  6. Save More Money! (I am looking at options to do this automatically each week- and a different way to track this.)
  7. Food Preservation- I got a gift card for Christmas- so I bought a dehydrator. We will start with that. I am also stocking up on canning supplies so I can start with some water bath canning. I have a flat top stove- so we have to look and see if our model will allow us to can, otherwise I will find something else to do. ( We are looking at canning some pickles and more jam soon.)
  8. Cook From Scratch- Right now I am working on getting rid of some premade things in the pantry, but we will start slow with that and making our own bread.
  9. Rain Barrel- Get the rain barrel set up. This does involve buying some gutter guards- but we have material to build a stand for it to sit on. (We do have a basic setup on the barrel- it’s not hooked up to the house but we are looking at placement, and other options for the house. We are saving to buy some materials to continue this project.)

How are you doing on your goals?

And the winner is…

So if you follow my blog- you know I had a contest for a packet of seeds- we were without internet until now- so I am just now able to post the winner. Thanks goes to New Garden Homestead, Illinois Homestead, No Harm in Farmin, and Tackle Mayhem Farms for your entries. Through the random name generator- the name that was pulled is…

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As in the original rules– you have 24 hours to claim your prize- you can contact me on the page with your name, email and address, and I will get your seeds out in the mail.

Thanks to all who participated! I look forward to being able to have more giveaways in the future!

Garden Update- July 5th

So I forgot to get a picture of the harvest this week. I got some pickling cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and banana peppers. I am hoping I will have enough to pickle the banana peppers and the cucumbers this weekend.

This is the volunteer pumpkin plant. You can see it is starting some blooms. I found them when I picked up the plant to move it, partly to stop it from making more roots, and to move it to point away from my house.

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I planted some more potatoes in my second bag. the first is ready to harvest. We will have to see how many I got and evaluate the bag system!

The herbs are doing well. I need to trim my mint back this weekend, it is growing a little wild there. I can’t decide if the green pot is cilantro or parsley? Can you tell? The basil is coming back after I cut it way back- so that is nice!

I think the cherry tomatoes are coming to an end. I only had the one plant- but next year I will have several, it has done great in the pot. The other tomato plant was saved enough to where there is 2 or 3 tomatoes, not ripe yet- but I think that may be all we get from that. The 2 rows are definitely growing better now. I had some plants that fell, and the tomatoes had rotted- so I have to prune those back a little, but there are green buds and growing tomatoes everywhere. I am hoping for a good harvest for salsa, and some to eat.

I still have 2 pickling cucumber plants, and 2 cucumber plants, and the more I harvest- the more they grow. There are new growths everywhere!

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I have 3 squash growing, and the plant has come back. It will get sprayed again soon. It seemed to help with the bugs. I am hoping to get some squash this year. I only really need 1 plant as I am the only one that eats it in my family.

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The watermelon plants- I have 2 are flourishing. I am going to check for some more buds, and then move the plants just like the pumpkins so I can train them where to grow, and so they don’t root into the ground. Supposedly if they root into the ground- it produces smaller fruit.

The pepper plants are doing great. This is something I will definitely plant more of next year. They are slow producing right now, but I think that it’s because there is a limb covering some of their sun. Plus all the rain we have had is drowning my plants. I see more when the garden is dryer.

The okra is just starting to produce which is making me happy, again like the peppers- it needs some more sun, I think.

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This is the cantaloupe plant, and it is slow growing. I am not sure I will get fruit from it or not. We will have to see.

How is your garden? I have a feeling mine is going to pop all at once, and harvest and canning will have to go quick! What have you been harvesting?

What to do with cut grass?

So Monday, we had to cut the grass. It was getting long, and we knew it had to be done to do the fireworks, and for the kids. I don’t like it to be kept long because of the bugs especially. Hubby borrowed his dads sweeper so we wouldn’t have grass flakes everywhere. Well what do you do with all of the cut grass? We have 3/4 of an acre, and most of it is grass, it was pretty long, so we had about 3 loads to do something with.

The first load got taken to the chicken pens, the girls freaked when we added it- but learned very quickly what it was. They were very happy after, as I’m sure it had a couple crickets- and yummy bugs as well. We are hoping it will cut down on the mud some- and reseed the area. The next 2 loads got taken to the goat pen to try to regrow the grass in there as well. The last load went into the compost.

This was right after, and I am hoping that it reseeds the ground. It is all dead and brown now- but at least it is in there preventing some more mud.

The goats were a little unsure- and they did not eat it- so that is a good sign!

I will have to let everyone know how well this works!

Staycations are fun…

I know we had a vacation just a little while ago- but that was out vacation for the whole year. I only get so much time off of work, and the hubby and I planned for us to have a staycation week this past week on the 4th. I worked Monday and I will work on Saturday, but it has been nice to catch up on some things on the homestead. We didn’t get to do anything “fun” so to say- but it was nice for the kids to just be home and for us to just spend time together- even it some of it was working.

July 4th we had an amazing day, had a bunch of awesome friends over for fireworks, and dinner. I spent all day cooking and cleaning up to have an awesome afternoon. The show was amazing- we did more than last year- and will have to plan some more for next year. All of the kids have fun- and I enjoyed having people over.

As out staycation ends- it does make me wish that I could just leave the 9 to 5 and stay home to take care of the homestead more and add some more things quicker. I am staying at my rat race job until our car is paid off. It just made me realize how grateful I am to have the time I did this week, and how grateful to have what property I do have to be able to have a mini homestead. So much so that I re-evaluated the goals we have for this year. But that is what goals are for to re-evaluate. It is very hard to work in the rat race and homestead- but we are doing it. That is another post for another day.

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July- and celebrated our independence. I am grateful to live in a country that I can homestead- and have the freedom to pretty much do anything.

Part of this week has been burning down the burn pile of limbs we have trimmed, and the parts of the tree that fell down. We had to use the barrel as the pile has been so wet from where it continues to rain (the garden is grateful!).

It is pretty much down to nothing, and we are planning on finishing some tree trimming by the garden and finishing the pile out this weekend.

By the way, I just learned this weekend, it is illegal to burn cardboard. We were just burning brush- but that is nice to know. By the way- both my husband and I volunteer for the local fire department. We are just volunteers- we aren’t big enough to have a paid department. I haven’t been able to run calls much as to I have the kids- and I have been working. Hubby runs when he can but works the Talladega races every year, twice a year, to earn the department money.

We also got a shed to put all the gardening stuff and feed in. It finally got put together this week. It took us awhile in between the rain. But now the carport and the back porch are all decluttered some, and all of the animal stuff and garden stuff are in the same space!

By the way- yes that is 4 sheets of plywood on top of my car. It is definitely nice to have the floor in there though. The building kit came with a flooring kit so the plywood should not rot as fast. There is still a plan to get the loft kit to get the hay off the floor- and to get some shelves in there so we can have more room for tools, and other stuff. We still have to rig the light as well, right now we just have a little light by the door that I can click on to see if it is night time.

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We also got to fashion the other hose by the goat pen. The original hose was too long, so we cut it, and hubby used the rest of it to make an additional hose so we can water chickens, or use it for washing things out. It is nice to have.

Just some of the projects that got done on our staycation!