Fermenting Fun!

I have big plans for this summer.  We moved our garden and made it a little bigger for this year.  I am hoping to be able to plant a larger variety of fruits and veggies with better success.  I also want to use more of my herbs, learning to make oils, teas, tinctures and syrups taking a more holistic approach.  I’d like to be able to incorporate my herbs, fruits and vegetables into my homemade goat soap and candles.   My goal this year will be to put up more of my crop to last us longer through the winter months and to feed my family and animals healthier.  One way I’d like to do this is through fermentation. I’ve been reading a lot about natural fermentation and all its many health benefits.  I want to learn to culture vegetables, fruits and to make my own condiments.  Lacto-fermentation increases the…

Winter Sowing.

It has been a long, cold, snowy winter.  I’m so ready for Spring.  And sun.  And my gardens. Last years garden, which was my first ever real garden! Not too shabby huh? I thought I would get a jump start on things this year so I’m trying something new. Winter Sowing. It doesn’t seem too hard and it has been very therapeutic.  I get to play in the dirt and watch the snow falling outside.  I bought myself some seed trays, the ones that are biodegradable so you can plant the whole thing right into the ground when the time comes and the ones that have a built in water tray and a clear cover.  I also saved some pots from last years garden which I washed and reused.  I still need more. Biodegradable ones (not my favorite, they dry out fast!) I like these better because they have a…

Rag wreaths

I have fallen in love with rag wreaths!  I’ve been seeing them all over the internet and finally found the time to actually try making one.  They are simple to do, they don’t require a lot of different supplies and you don’t need any artistic ability!  My kind of craft project for sure! Rag Wreath 12 inch foam wreath ring (or what ever shape you would like) 1 1/2 yards of fabric white glue ribbon for hanging scissors, skewer Cut the fabric into strips approximately 1 inch wide by 3 inches long.  These don’t have to be exact because once you put them onto the wreath you won’t even be able to tell if they aren’t perfect. Push the fabric strips into the foam ring using a skewer, dipping the end into a little bit of white glue first it hold it in place.  The skewer only needs to be…

Homemade Cleaners

Last year I started making my own cleaning products.  It is really easy to do and very economical.  I like the fact that I know exactly what is in them and I don’t have to worry about any harsh chemicals because we have a a well and septic system.  This year I thought I would start the New Year by restocking my cleaning supplies so that I don’t have to deal with it later and that would free up some time so I can concentrate on other tasks. Out with the old..In with the new… homemade cleaners! (except my Thieves, love it!) With four men living in this house you can just imagine the amount of laundry that gets done on a weekly basis. I found that making my own laundry detergent is much cheaper and you can get everything you need right at the grocery store.  Plus I really…

Chunky, rustic, candleholders

I keep seeing these chunky, rustic, candle holders that are made from tree branches everywhere.  They are in all the stores and  catalogs.  All they are is a piece of wood with a tea light candle inserted in the top.  Do you know the ones I mean? These are the ones.  So simple. Well, I love them.  I think they would be great for the fall and the holidays. They are so simple that I think they would go with just about everything.  Leave them as is or tie them with a wide ribbon, twine or raffia.  Use them in a centerpiece with apples, pears and acorns; pumpkins, gourds and bittersweet; or holly berries, pine boughs and pinecones. I’ve been wanting to make these forever so this morning that is exactly what I did. You will need: 1 tree branch about 3 inches in diameter  tea-light candles  saw, I used…

Paper Bag Pumpkin

Looking for a quick fall decoration? Then you have come to the right place because I’m all about quick.  If you have a brown paper bag, paint, stain, glue, stuffing and about 1 hour then your golden.  I made a simple pumpkin template from my computer and traced it onto a brown paper bag.  Next I painted it with orange paint, leaving a bit of the brown paper to show through.  I wanted this to be rustic and kinda old looking so I was not careful and I made sure I didn’t stay in the lines. After I let this dry I slopped on some stain.  Again, no need for careful, you are just going to cut it out after anyway. Once this dried I cut it out, a front and a back piece, leaving about a 1/2 inch border.  I ran some tacky glue around the edge of the…

There’s Gold In them thar…..Barrels!

I have two compost bins.  My hub made them for me.  They work great, they hold a ton and they are easy to use.  You just load them up on the top and then give them a couple of spins and all that kitchen and garden waste gets mixed up and starts to work its magic. My Compost Bins Within two weeks I already had what looked like some good old fashioned “Black Gold”.  Perfect!!!!! There is one slight problem…. If you haven’t noticed they are Blue.  Big, Bright and Blue.  Now I love the color blue.  Yes  I do.  It has always been one of my favorites.  I have four boys remember, so I’ve lived with blue, everywhere. I just don’t like it in my gardens. At least not this Much of it!  I can’t hide my compost.  It sticks out like a sore thumb for all to see,…

Good Clean Fun!

Today my daughter and my grandson came over to help me make soap.  O.K. They came over to swim in the pool, but when they heard I was making soap they reluctantly willingly were forced volunteered to help me. My willing volunteers If you’ve never made soap before let me tell you, it’s a very rewarding experience.  It is a way to let those creative juices flow.  You can make all kinds off different soap, different colors, different textures, different scents.  Today we are making Rosemary-Lavender Soap.  My herb garden is overflowing right now with both of those ingredients so I thought it would be the perfect way to use them.  Just keep in mind that when you make soap you are working with Lye.  Lye is a very dangerous substance so you need to take all the necessary precautions. Wear gloves  Tie back long hair keep pets and small children out…