Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Look at this. BLUE skies all around me! We have not had blue skies in SO long here. It's beautiful!

These are some of the Locust trees out back. The bees are all over them. There are also some Princess trees out back farther that are so pretty. All purple. I love them. Wonder if the bees do.

I sure hope it stays this way for a long time. We need this mud pit dried up. We are 12" over normal for this time of year, which is fantastic. My garden and so many others are, have been under water for too long too. Some farmers have lost most of their crops, not to mention all the time and money they've lost as well. I had planted okra and more kale last week and most of it has been washed away. Sure would be nice if other parts of the country could get some of this now. I know God knows what He's doing though.

Enjoy your day. I know I will!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Painted tire flower garden. Done!

I finally got my tires painted and the flowers planted in my little tire flower garden. I bought all the flowers a few weeks ago and they kept calling out to me that they needed to be planted soon. So Thursday, while the sun was out for a little while, I got all the tires painted. Then went out back and got 2 wagon loads of that good soil back there. Filled up the 4 bottom tires. Then had to find something for the top tire. My husband had an old oil pan that fit just perfectly in the tire. I had to punch holes for drainage after all the rain we had. Forgot about that. But all is well now. And the flowers are all happy. It should look much different in a month.

I'd like to find some little lawn mower tires for in between the big tires. That would be pretty. We do have 4 of them that are dry rotted. Husband needs to take the rims off though.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Checking the bee hive this morning

It's been the craziest weather lately. Cold one day and hot the next. Dry a few days then a monsoon for 3 days. Yesterday I went to the farmer's market and got sopping wet and came home and turned the heat on. It's just whacky crazy here.

So I was worried about my bees. I hadn't seen a lot of activity the past few days. I got my hat, long sleeve shirt and gloves on. Filled a mason jar with organic sugar water and got the water thingy that goes on the front of the hive.

When I first went out, there were no bees out. Just some dead ones in the front. That's why I decided to check on them. I put the sugar water on the front. Then took the top off. That's when I see bees. They did this in the front, all at the bottom.

I lifted the top lid and then I saw a lot more bees. All happy and healthy looking and working away in the top box. I had put the queen excluder in between the 2 top hives last week. And I was just a bit nervous and not really knowing what I was doing. So didn't even think to look for the queen. Then I worried about her being in that top box this whole time. She may be, I don't know yet. But the bees look good here. I did see what looked like little brown roaches in the top when I took the lid off. I smooshed them. Are they hive beetles? Or roaches? Yuck anyway.

This is after I was done. They didn't llok all clustered up at the entrance then.

Right now, the locust trees are blooming. And the Princess trees are too. They are so pretty all purple. With all the rain, some of the blooms are being knocked off the trees. I was reading a bee blog from Atlanta and she was saying how with all the rain they've had, that the Tulip Poplar flowers are all falling off. Not a good thing. I hope all will be ok when this rain stops. It's supposed to rain some more today, then clear a few days. It's just been crazy! But I am happy to see the bees are ok.

All you bee experts out there, do they look good to you? Am I doing this right?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Another market day and the amazing dandelion

Saturday, from 10-12, I'll be at the Brainerd Farmer's market. I'll be taking some dandelion jelly and peppermint jelly. Also more dandelion greens. I was just looking up the health benefits of the dandelion. It's amazing. And more healthy than spinach. Full of Vitamin A and all the B's and potassium,  magnesium, iron, manganese, folic acid, riboflavin, calcium, Vitamin E and C. The list goes on and on. And people kill this herb all day long. Makes me sad. It's also good for diabetics. It's great fiber. Helps in liver disease and kidney function. Just an amazing "weed". But people were buying the greens and happy to do it.

What was so neat the other day, several people who stopped at my booth said they remember going out with their grandmothers and picking the greens and flowers. It brought back happy memories for lots of people. That made my day.

So y'all go out and pick some dandelion greens this weekend. You'll be amazed too. And pick the flowers to make tea. It's a great spring tonic. Add some local honey.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


 Today was very busy for me. Trying to beat the rain coming. So started tilling some beds for tomatoes and peppers. Then the post office called. Said my chicks were there and the mail man was going to deliver them. How nice. I have the sweetest mail man, Joey. I called him and he said he had 2 special deliveries for me and would meet me half way. I had to go to town anyway. So got my chicks and my birth certificate! I can get my license now.

On the way back home, stopped at my friends at the Pocket Farm to pick up my Rutger tomato plants. I was going to get peppers too, but she needs to sort them all out. I got basil, rosemary and chives too.

Here they are all ready to go in the ground.

I love this side of the garden. It's like night and day over there. Isn't that strange how there is so much diversity in one area? This was like loamy sandy soil. I had beans over here last year. So decided to put the tomatoes here this year.

So got all them planted with the basil. Got them all mulched and staked too. My husband is home til Sunday. He came out and actually asked if I needed help. So I gave him the hammer and let him finish the staking. Such a sweet guy. He also got new latches for 2 of the chain link gates in the goat yard. And fixed the goat fence going into the milk room. He doesn't get a break when he's home! Yes he does. Just kidding.

Here are the CC meat chicks I got today. All nice and toasty in their brooder box. I got the pine pellets this time. I think I like them. These chicks came from a hatchery in Iowa. They sent 52. There are about 4 of them with black marks on them. Wonder if they are roosters? I ordered straight run. They are SO cute. I also requested they not be medicated. I give them vitamins in their water. And I deed non-medicated chick starter. I'll be feeding these guys the fermented grains at about 4 weeks. I also bought 10 CC chicks from the feed store Wed. They are 3 weeks old.

I hope when the Freedom Ranger chicks come May 15th, these guys will be outside.

Look at these bunny girls. They are growing so fast. We moved their tractor over to the chicken yard. There's lots more grass for them.  The other tire fell off when we were moving it. There was a hole I didn't see. And the dogs were over in the yard a lot while I was working in the yard. Stella was doing the Border Collie stare on them. And later, when I was going over next door to make jelly, one of them was gone. I found her under the little house porch. Had to get Kansas out of bed to help me catch her. We did. And I got the hole plugged up. And she's ok, thank goodness.

My Clematis vine in full bloom. I love this plant. And it seems like every time my husband starts to weed eat, he gets it. This is grown back I don't know how many times. Just gets prettier every time.

I made 10 more jars of dandelion jelly. And 10 jars of peppermint jelly. I'll take them to the Brainerd market Sat. I sold about a dozen jars of dandelion jelly at yesterday's market. And lots of dandelion greens and some flowers for tea. And lots of soap.

I hope you all had a great day.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

1st day at market

It was a nice day. A light breeze blowing. But the market is on a busy street downtown Chattanooga. It was quite warm with all that pavement. Not used to that. But the people are great. I had a really good time. met new farmers. And non farmers. Saw people from the other market there.

My garden is really slow and not anything out there yet to take. So I had to get creative. I have tons of dandelions all over. I made dandelion jelly. I also picked the greens. Washed them up and got them all bagged. Put them in the fridge til I was ready to go. Also picked the flowers for tea. Got 6 cups. And I had all my soap.

It was really busy. So busy, I didn't get to take pictures. Completely forgot. There were people at my booth the whole 2 hours. Even the market manager said every time she looked down there at my booth, there were people. I sold 8 jars of jelly, 7 bags of greens, 1 bag of flowers and lots of soap. It was so fun. I just love this market. So my first day at this new market (to me) was a success. And I am tired! So much preparation.

And tomorrow, I have got to get out in the garden. A friend of mine has Rutger tomato plants and pepper plants I have to go get in the morning. And I need to plant some eggplants. And flowers. And herbs. There is rain supposed to start Friday all the way through Tuesday. Good grief! If I don't get out there tomorrow, I'll not be able to for another month. And I can't sell soap at the Brainerd market on Saturdays.