5 Things Friday – 3/30/18

Welcome back to 5 Things Friday 3/30/18! I hope you all had a great week! Sorry for this late posting today, I have been fighting a sinus infection, and after a second night of no sleep at all due to all the coughing, I went in to urgent care this morning and got some drugs. So hopefully they kick in fast and I get back to normal quickly. Hope you and yours are all healthy…..seems everyone I know has got something going on right now. ANYWAY, please comment with one of your favorite things that happened this week, or something that you are thankful for. 🙂 Every Friday I aim to post about 5 of my favorite things that week. I will try to post one thing for each of these categories: Homestead Garden, Homestead Critters, Homestead Kitchen, Homesteader Entertainment and Personal a thing from my Homesteader life. These may be handy gadgets, recipe’s, quotes or moments in time. I hope you will all share some of your Friday Favorites with me as well! Homestead Gardening Favorite: This week, my 5 Things Friday favorite gardening thing was finally being done with planting all the peppers and tomatoes! My seed starting rack is full, almost to the point of overflowing! I got a late start on some of these, so I hope they will do ok this year. I still need to plant a bunch of annuals, but I think I will do that using the winter sowing method if I have enough energy this weekend. Homestead Critters Favorite: This week, my 5 Things Friday favorite critter thing is our other Puggle Toby. Now that I’ve mentioned Figgy and Pi, I figure I better mention Toby, or he won’t be happy! Toby…

Seed Starting 101: Planting Tomato Seed

Today we will be talking all about how to plant tomato seeds including which varieties to grow! Tomatoes are my favorite! I soooo miss them in the winter months! I grow way more than I should, and have the most difficult time trying to narrow down which varieties to grow! I want at least one of every color and shape and size! Don’t worry, I make use of everything I grow! I hope you will have better luck narrowing down the choices. 🙂 Related articles you may be interested in: Seed Starting 101: Essential Seed Starting Equipment How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings Benefits of Freezing Your Tomato HarvestOur favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! Choosing New & Unique Tomato Varieties to Plant I am adding this video to this post, in September 2019. This is a video that Jessica from Roots & Refuge did with Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms at the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, CA the same month. For those who don’t know who Brad is, he is THE Tomato Man. He has created a lot of the new tomatoes that everyone wants got grow such as Blue Beauty, Black Beauty, Dark Galaxy, Barry’s Crazy Cherry, Atomic Grape, and many many more. In this video, he talks about how he creates new tomato varieties and how he grows them. I hope after watching this, you too, will grow some new to you varieties! (Go give some love to Wild Boar Farms on Facebook or Instagram, and go Subscribe to Roots & Refuge YouTube Channel!)   Choosing Tomatoes For Different Purposes When you are deciding which tomatoes to grow, think about how you will use them. I like to make a lot of tomato sauce to can up…

5 Things Friday – 3/23/18

Welcome back to 5 Things Friday 3/23/18! I hope you all had a great week! Please comment with one of your favorite things that happened this week, or something that you are thankful for. 🙂 Every Friday I aim to post about 5 of my favorite things that week. I will try to post one thing for each of these categories: Homestead Garden, Homestead Critters, Homestead Kitchen, Homesteader Entertainment and Personal a thing from my Homesteader life. These may be handy gadgets, recipe’s, quotes or moments in time. I hope you will all share some of your Friday Favorites with me as well! Homestead Gardening Favorite: This week, my 5 Things Friday favorite gardening thing was this new pair of Ariat work boots that I bought myself. I have been dealing with extremely bad plantar fasciitis in both feet for the last 4-5 years. It got so bad this last fall, I ended up having surgery on my right foot. I was off my feet for a month before surgery and then slowly worked my way back up to being back on my feet. Since I’ve been working in the garden, I noticed that my tendons, ligaments, muscles, what have you are still weak, and I have almost turned my ankle easily over a dozen times in the last 2 months working outside. So I decided I needed some ankle support instead of wearing my Crocs or Oofos slip ons out in the garden. These boots are a dream! So comfy! And cute to boot! Ha! So cute in fact, my FFA daughter decided she needed a pair too! So now we are twinning! If you need a good pair of garden or homestead work boots, you should check them out. Homestead Critters Favorite…

Seed Starting 101: Planting Peas

Spring Gardening Begins with Peas Happy Spring! Soon it will be the first day of spring…..have you got your peas planted yet? Planting peas is usually my first act of getting the garden going for the year. It is the first thing that gets planted outside in the garden in the new year, along with fava beans. Also known as broad beans. Fava beans are simple, just stick them in the ground, down about an 1″ or 2″, and you are good to go. Peas are a little more tricky, so in this article I will share my tips for planting peas successfully. Be sure to see our favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! Not a Fan of Peas? If you or your family are not a fan of peas, have you ever tried them fresh from the garden? Eating raw peas fresh from the garden is like eating candy. They are so sweet and crisp and yummy! Nothing like store bought canned peas which in my opinion are just gross. Freezing peas from the garden are almost as good as fresh. See my article on freezing beans, I use the exact same method for freezing peas. After shelling them of course! Than blanch and follow the same exact procedure. Although you can preserve peas by canning them, I find them unappealing preserved that way. So give them another try and grow them yourself and you will see. Types of Peas There are three different types of peas, shelling peas, snap peas and snow peas. Shelling peas are the ones you shell, and harvest the round green peas from inside the shell. I prefer the Green Arrow variety, because it produces a lot of peas per shell and they are super sweet and…

5 Things Friday – 3/16/18

Welcome back to 5 Things Friday 3/16/18! I hope you all had a great week! Please comment with one of your favorite things that happened this week, or something that you are thankful for. 🙂 Every Friday I aim to post about 5 of my favorite things that week. I will try to post one thing for each of these categories: Homestead Garden, Homestead Critters, Homestead Kitchen, Homesteader Entertainment and Personal a thing from my Homesteader life. These may be handy gadgets, recipe’s, quotes or moments in time. I hope you will all share some of your Friday Favorites with me as well! Homestead Gardening Favorite: This week, my 5 Things Friday favorite gardening thing was again the weather! Sorry for the repeat, but it reached 70 degrees on Monday and has been gorgeous all week! OK, no, maybe it was this view while working in the garden! I got all my brassica’s planted this week, about half transplants and half by seed. I planted my peas. We made a little more progress on the Back to Eden orchard project thanks to my girl M. She also cleaned a couple more chicken coops for me.   I am slowly checking things off my March Homestead To Do List . This weekends focus will be to get the rest of the tomato and peppers started! What are you working on in the garden this weekend? Homestead Critters Favorite: This week, my 5 Things Friday favorite critter thing is my puggle girl Figgy Pudding. This puppy dog has my heart, and everyone else’s that she loves on. She loves to crawl up on your chest and give you a big hug, wrapping her paws around your neck and licking your face endlessly. She is the absolute best…

The Secret to Easy Gardening, Use Mulch for No Weeding!

In this article, I will explain the secret to easy gardening, no weeding using straw mulch! Gardening should be fun and therapeutic. It shouldn’t be all work! If you are working that hard where it is not enjoyable, you are doing something wrong! Often times, the weeds take over, and that is when folks give up. What if I were to tell you a simple gardening secret? Mulch! Mulch will prevent weeds, and benefit your plants in many ways as well! Use mulch for no weeding, it is the secret to easy gardening! Other articles you may be interested in: East Simple No Work DIY Composting How to Make a Straw Bale Cold Frame How to Use Eggshells in the Garden Our favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! Bare Ground = Weeds If you leave bare earth exposed, weed seeds will germinate. It is that simple really. Cover the earth, and they won’t! This is what I mean when I say mulch. A simple covering, that prevents light from reaching the dirt. If sunlight cannot be seen by the seeds, they will not germinate. Or only very few will. It is so much easier to remove a few weeds, than a jungle or forest of weeds, when there are too many to even count! Mulching creates easy gardening, no weeds! Here is photographic proof!         Reasons Why You Should Not Rototill Another thing that creates a great many weeds, is rototilling. Yes, it breaks up the lovely dirt, but you know what else it does? Brings up a thousand million trillion little weed seeds! Exposes them all to the sunlight! Eeeek! Many millions of baby weeds have just been born! So to get rid of the baby weeds, smother them with…