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…

Tamara


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Seed Starting 101: Planting Tomato Seed

Choosing Varieties to Plant Are you planting tomato seed this year? I will teach you how I grow many varieties of tomatoes from seed in this article. Have you decided which tomato varieties you will be growing this year? There are so many varieties, I think that is the hardest part of planting tomato seed! Just trying to decide! When you are deciding, think about how you will use them. I like to make a lot of tomato sauce to can up and keep in the pantry and I also like to freeze a bunch. I also love to eat them fresh. And I love to try new varieties as well as stick with the old that have worked well for me or taste the best. Below I have listed out which cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes and roma or paste tomatoes I will be growing this year.  Breaking them down into these three categories makes it a wee bit less intimidating! Cherry Tomatoes Past favorites that I have grown before and will grow again this year: Sungold: This is my favorite, and I think that goes for many people. A small orange cherry that is super sweet. Like candy! Yellow Pear: This is another favorite that I grow every year, not only for the color (I like lots of different colors, I would never plant all red tomatoes!), but it is also super sweet and it is fun to have a different shape as well. Blush: I grew this for the first time last year, and it was a quick favorite. The fruits are oblong in shape, almost like a mini paste tomato and they are a bit larger than most cherries. They are yellow, and as they ripen they get red and orange streaks down them. They have a…

Tamara


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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…

Tamara


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Seed Starting 101: Planting Peas

Happy Spring! Today is 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. 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 crisp. It takes a lot of time to shell each pea by hand, so I would rather get a lot of…

Tamara


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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…

Tamara


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The Secret to Easy Gardening, No Weeding!

In this article, I will explain the secret to easy gardening, no weeding! 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! 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! The No Till Method, aka Back to Eden Gardening Method 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! Unless, you smother them. With mulch! Lay it on there thick! Don’t let the sunlight in! This is also known as lasagna gardening. Layering on layers of mulch. Ruth Stout and Lee Reich both have books on this subject. But Paul Gautschi, is the man himself, famed for his Back to Eden documentary on this subject. See video down below. Rototilling also…

Tamara


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