Monday, July 14, 2014

Garden Growing Nicely

This is my yard and garden a few weeks ago... On June 12th..

This is my garden now..
All this wonderful rain, humidity and sunshine has helped it grow wonderfully. In about 3 days we should be getting sun and high temperatures again so the tomatoes should start to ripen. Green and purple beans are growing well also and cabbages are starting to head nice. 

Except for the broken arm, couldn't ask for a nicer summer here.
Have a great day.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Putting in a new fence

I have on old ratty, rusted, falling down fence and have been working on it and for 2 years and it will probably be 2 more years till I get it done. Last year I did 1/2 of the right side and today I did 1/2 of left side and I only hammered my thumb once. It's pretty hard to hammer the stakes in with a broken arm, but I got it done. Will take a pain pill when I go to bed tonight for sure.

The reason it's taking so long is the cost. Limited income and I won't go higher than what I can afford to pay off in a year. Yes, I charged it. But I never have that kind of money all at once. I checked with the local contractors and they were way to much, so a little bit at a time works for me.

This is the old fence...

and this is the new second half...

I love this little black fence. Just hope Lowe's doesn't stop selling it before I get it all up.

It's been a beautiful day, hot but a nice breeze. I threw a steak and vegetables on the grill while I was working so it was all ready after I cleaned up the mess.

What can I get into tomorrow???

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

healthy bug spray

I was checking out my garden and noticed that the bugs have arrived. A whole bunch of them and they are having a wonderful meal on all my hard work.

After checking online I found a recipe for natural bug repellent and the best part was I had all the ingredients already.

2 cups chili peppers (I had dried ones)
1 head of garlic (I used about 8 cloves)
Blend these (I added a small amount of water till chopped and mushed fine) This smelled so good, I almost wanted to can it with some olive oil except I don't like hot stuff.

Put in bucket with 4 gallons of water and let sit 24 hours.
Strain through cheesecloth and add 3 Tbsp dish soap.
Spray on plants every 2-3 days or after a rain.

I'll let you know later how it works. I  have to get a better sprayer.
all I have now is a small household one and that will take forever to do all that needs done. Off to the store later today....

Learning as I go...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Plantain Salve

The other day I decided to make some plantain salve. I saw the recipe online and I noticed I have some within the brick walkway beside my house.

! cup plantain leaves (chopped)
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1 Tbsp grated beeswax (tightly packed)
1/2 - 1 tsp rosemary, tea tree oil or vitamin E oil (I used rosemary and vitamin E)

So I collected a bunch, chopped it, put it in a jar and covered it with olive oil. Put a towel in the bottom of a crock pot, put the jar on top of towel and fill with water about half way up the jar. (don't forget to put a lid on the jar). Set the crock pot at the lowest setting and cook for 12-24 hours. Then strain through cheesecloth. Heat bees wax in double boiler, add the plantain oil, mix, cool and store.
Great for stings, poison ivy, eczema, sunburn, diaper rash, psoriasis, and mosquito bites.

My granddaughter was up to visit Saturday and I was so glad I got the salve made because she burnt her fingers on a pan lid. I put some ointment on and she said it made it stop hurting right away.

Made me feel good.

Experiments in sustainability....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

My first post - Introduction.

As you can see by the title, I am new at this. I want to first introduce myself. My name is Mary and I am retired and enjoying my life as a single person. I live in Pennsylvania below Elysburg in a small community. I live in a small house and have been here for about 6 or so years.

I've taken my very small yard (12" wide) and created a healthy jungle out there.

These were pictures from a few weeks ago. Since we had all the rain it has all grown tremendously. I use no pesticides or chemicals of any kind. I want healthy food that is good for my body and tastes good.
My neighbor is a very nice person who lets me use his yard to plant some things and I really appreciate that.

I save seeds and try to plant non GMO seeds. I can, dehydrate and freeze what I don't eat. I would like to live somewhere with a little more land so I can have chickens and raise rabbits. It would be nice to have someone to help with work and expenses, but that's a tough one to figure out.

I had a worm farm but decided to just let them work on my compost and that has worked out great. Wonderful, dark, rich soil for free...

Not as much to do in the winter, so I crochet, quilt, sew and read. Learning all I can on homesteading and all the old time living ideas. So much to learn...

Well, that's me in a nutshell. Hope you stop by again soon. I've been busy making some salve and bug deterrents for the garden. I'll tell you about those next time.