Saturday, July 31, 2010

fun in the... dirt?

Hello hello!!

Today is a busy Saturday. Full of seed planting.. heat loving greens, herbs, and yummy beans

I have new red seeded aspargus beans (18 in to 24 in long), then I have the neat looking asain winged bean.

Malabar spinach which can grow vines up to 15 ft long with yummy heat loving green leaves

Green leaf amaranth which leaves can be cooked many diffrent ways, including stuffed like grape leaves.

Friday, July 30, 2010

natural cleaners...

Filtered or Distilled Water – the minerals in tap water can build up over time depositing lime and calcium to surfaces, so I recommend using filtered or distilled water in all you cleaning solutions!

Baking Soda – Non abrasive Cleanser, Odor Remover, Laundry Booster, Drain Cleaner, and Water softener.

Borax – Laundry Booster, Grease Remover, Hand Cleaner, Carpet Cleaner, Disinfectant, Cleans painted or papered walls.

Castile Soap – Cleans without leaving a soapy buildup. Use anywhere you would use soap. Makes great shampoo’s and body washes. Gentle enough for baby. Can be used to clean baby’s cloths too.

Club Soda – Spot remover, especially for red wine. The carbonized liquid simply lifts stains out.

Corn Starch – Removes oily or greasy spots from clothing or carpets. Cleans windows. Polishes furniture. Spray Starch, Gentle Cleanser, Deodorizer.

Distilled White Vinegar – All purpose cleaner, for kitchen, bath, windows, carpeting and hardwood floors. Add to laundry to sweeten musty clothing. Clean drains and leave them smelling fresh. Grease remover. Deodorizer. Note* apple cider vinegar works equally as well, but can stain.

Hair Spray – Removes Ink stains.

Hydrogen Peroxide – Disinfectant. Mold and mildew cleaner. Bathroom and Kitchen cleaner.

Isopropyl or Rubbing Alcohol – Disinfectant. Cleans windows, mirrors, TV or monitor screens and eyeglasses to a streak-free shine.

Kosher Salt – The abrasive action of kosher salt, is excellent for scrubbing tough stuck on grime. Add to baking soda to make a great scouring powder. Mix into a paste with lemon juice, put on stained white clothing and allow to dry in the direct sun, clothes come out sparkling white and stain free.

Lemons or Lemon Juice – Stain Remover, including sweat. Glass Cleaner. Polish brass and copper. Make drains sweet smelling. The oil from the rind is an effective furniture polish/oil. Great all purpose cleaner for kitchen and bath. And will lighten hair naturally with a little sunshine.

Washing Soda – All purpose general cleaner, Grease Cutter, removes stains, works in bath and kitchen. Great for removing bath tub ring. Removes odors.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

make your own vegetable oil (sunflower oil)

I received an email tonight from a wonderful lasy who discovered this blog she sent me this link thinking I would enjoy it and I did. Here's the link for a homesteader to build a oil press mill!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Reuse recycle

Have old silverware laying around? Turn it into a neat looking windchime.

Old mason jars? Add some pretty rocks to the bottom 2 inchs fill with soil and plant a flower.

Old cds? Get your aggresion out and break them into small pieces and glue to a old piece of wood in a cool design

Old furniture? Give it an updated look with some paint!

Old newspaper clippings? Frame and turn into a funky piece of art.

Pantyhose with runs? Turn into plant ties or melon helper (slip melon or pumpkin into foot part and tie to fence/ trellis for that need support

Old mismatched plates? Dig into the ground and make a funky edging for your garden!!

Anything else you just really wanna throw away? Don't! First offer it on a site like freecycle or criagslist. Odds are someone wants it!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

building a hen coop..

After reading an article on a fellow bloggers site I have decided it is time to persue my chicken craze. I'm planning on building sturdy almost free coop. Looking for fence pieces (chain link and wood).. looking for wood pallets and carpet pieces. Tin roofing various length cords and wire. Also wire netting/ mesh. Old wooden crates, metal pails/ bins. Concreate blocks. And ect.

If you have any of this stuff laying around or know someone who does email me at!!

Thanks everyone. Have a great day!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

new order of seeds...

Just ordered from a brand new seed catalog I received (new to me)... bountiful gardens a non-profit seed catalog that has well priced between $1 and $4. They have summer heat loving greens and wild shrubs and fruits.

I ordered:
Leaf amaranth
Malabar spinach
Egyptian spinach
Aurora spinch
Lettuce ( 3 kinds )
French sorrel
White sage (used for smudging)
Raspberry (wild) will survive to zone 10

I am also ordering some new items from my favorite bakers creek company.
- yard long bean
- winged bean
- spinach ( 2 kinds)
- bee balm
- hawaiian papaya
- pepper cress
- lao purple stripe eggplant
- sunset lettuce

Should receive at least the bakers creek later this week ( they have super fast shipping )

Saturday, July 24, 2010

noodle making

As of today I now know just how easy it is to make your own noodles!

Basic noodles:
2 eggs
A pinch of salt.
And as much flour as the eggs will soak up

Whisk the salt and eggs for about 30 sec, slowly start pouring flour cup by cup and mic each time.
Do this until you have a thick (very thick) dough. Knead with your hands if you have to
Roll out on a floured counter or cutting board. Trim off edges to make rectangle.
Slowly start cutting your noodles in long strips. Place each noodle on a wax papered flat surface.
Let dry till they are easy to snap (like store bought noodles) bone dry. These can store for 1 month!

Can't wait to try mine!! Yummmm


remember my friends to freecycle.. its all about keeping things others can use out of the landfills.. look for your local group on yahoo. tampa bay area heres yours..

Friday, July 23, 2010

this 3 day weekend...

Well with my hour cuts at work I now have a 3 day weekend to spend with family.

I think I'm going to spend part of this time planning my garden beds for fall planting and lay out my plans for the back and front yard overhaul I plan to do.

Front yard I see tall waves of amaranth and sorghum blowing in the breeze, and in the back a small chicken coop with 3 chickens free ranging the garden, a play area for my wonderful daughter to fun around, a wildflower patch in the back corner covering the ugly chain link fences, and 7 raised garden beds filled with fresh producing wonderful veggies : )

Also I will soon maybe even this weekend try my hand at home noodle making... ill keep you updated

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


So I have been seriously thinking about chickens just 2 or 3 in a small 4x4x4 coop with open chicken wire sides and a single nesting box and a nice roost to sleep on. Then I would like a open 5 ft by 10ft daily run with limited access to the garden to forage for bugs off the plants.

There of course would be no rooster just 3 egg layers as a constant egg supply and for wonderful pets.

Very excited about this possibility and will keep you updated.

Tampa does not currently allow chickens inside their city limits. : ( working on a way around this setback...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

no guilt great deals...

If your like me everytime you go to make a purchase may if be food/ diapers/ cookware/ etc there is always that no I can't let this go notion that passes through my head.

And after spending that money may it be $20 or $100 I always just seem miserable for at least an hour afterwards.
This coming from a mom who on her lastest trip to the store spent $55 in diapers (those swimmy ones any public pool thing makes the babies wear are like $10 a pack of 12 geez)

Well if you want a night out with the honey, or to grab a quick bite to eat with the family this place has half of gift certificates...

Its from creative loafing and centered around the tampa bay area.

A florida summer salad??

Well as most florida veggie growers know its near I'm possiable to get lettuce or spinich to grow this time of year as the heat makes the crops bolt and turn bitter.

Well as I have been sitting the past few months dreaming of the colder season where I could once again harvest beautiful colors of lettuce from pink to dark green I started thinking there must be a better way...

Well guess what my friends? There is.. in my newest catalog arrived at my doorstep and I poured the the pages of same old same old heirloom veggies I'm stopped as I see heat loving summertime greens. Could this be real could I really have my wonderful salads all year long?

Well its not lettuce but salad greens none the less

- egyptian spinich (molokheiya): used as fresh leaves in summer salads, or as cooked greens

- malabar spinich: an asain vegetable, dark green leaves on a vine, used fresh in salads or as a cooked green

- purslane: (warning some speices invasive plant in contained area) a crunchy lemon flavored green best used fresh in summer salads but in many countries used as a cooked green and in soups. Pulls salts out of soil.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

the good bad and ugly

Well let's start with the ugly... I have just been released from half my hours at work meaning half pay but still full bills which is why I have been freaking out to much to update this week.

The bad... It doesn't seem like the garden exchange in september is going to happen.

The good... since the garden exchange may not happen I will have a open garden exchange ongoing here on my blog. This will include the items said person has and how to contact them. (Please email me with a current list of items if you want to trade or sell (if selling please include a price)) also the good is since I will be working less often : ( I will have more time to work on my garden and house! : )
Seed/ garden exchange is pending location for the sept 4th event. Thanks for all interested.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

seed exchange

Wow what a great rain spell that has swept over the tampa bay area this week. : ) it makes me excited about going and working in the garden to prepare it for the coming growing season.

Speaking of the coming growing season (this will be your fall season garden which here in zone 9 is a mix of warm and long season cold weather crops) I am planning my first seed exchange and already have some people interested!

This is an exchange of seeds / plants/ and any other gardening items you care to exchange (organic fertilizers, garden crafts/ anything garden related.

I am looking to have a variety of veggies/ fruits/ and flowers.

What to bring:

- Please package seeds that you wish to trade into small packs of 20 or less seeds and have the package labeled with how many seeds are in there. (This is because when you buy a seed packet you get anywhere from 15-300 seeds and usually way more then anyone needs for a growing season) its also nice to include planting depth and if the item wants full sun/partial sun/ shade etc

- please have plants to trade in a pot or container that you don't want back (they will be taking the whole thing home so don't plant a tradable seedling inside your great great great grandmothers favorite pot.

- crafts or anything else you wish to trade please be fair about you can ask for multiple seeds /plants or whatever for your craft but remeber this is an exchange

- a blanket or table for your items and if you don't feel like sitting on your blanket a chair

- and most of all bring your storys ideas questions and knowledge. There will be begginers to experinced gardeners so share what you know

This will take place September 4th at Noon till 3. I will update with location.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Looking Back...

my wonderful garden from last season is helping me to decide what to plant next season. corn. squash. tomatoes. and so much more.


Its a funny little plant that dill well in my current case not so little. In my patio I grow a range of herbs and have had no proplem. Stevia, thyme, oregano, basil, diffrent mints, rosemart, etc but never dill. Everytime I planted it the seeds would sprout get maybe 3-4 inches high and die. I mean I tried this 4 or 5 time before I almost gave up all together. But last planting season I had about a sq ft of space left so I sprinkled dill seeds. The came up faster then normal then shot up. Now standing about 2 ft tall and beautful. Just started flowering and going to seed. So now they look like little yellow fireworks! I love this plant now. I guess they just don't like containers!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What to do in the garden in july..

Well here in zone 9 our seasons are switched with those of most other zones. In the nothern zones their gardens are just starting to produce and become lush.
well this is our no planting time.
With the heat and intense sun the only limited veggies will grow beans like the yard long and winged bean will grow, as well as some summer greens for a summer salad, hot peppers, okra, and some others will grow but its still to hot for most plants.

But Now is a good time (if you can stand the heat) to work the yard.
Prepare your soil for the august/september growing season.
- Add compost to garden beds and mix well. This is in addition to the top compost you put around planted veggies during growing season.
- Mix in peat moss and good quality top soil to build your beds up.
- Make new beds because they say you need 150-200 sq ft of veggie space per member of the household to be self sufficent.
- if making a new bed in florida and have a known nemotoad problem creat your bed and cover with a big black tarp. And let sit for 6 weeks. The heat from the summer sun will kill most anything in that soil, leaving you with healthy nemotoad free soil or almost free soil.
- since most veggies and fruit like loose fertile soil and we here in florida we have compact sandy soil we really need a lot of prep. From creating a at least 6 inch raised bed using anything (I use non treated wood planks). Dig current soil and remove all grass and weeds from the area and dig the soil down at least another 6 inchs preferably a ft.
- add a mix of peat moss/ top soil/ and compost to make a black fertile top layer you want to build this mix up to the top of the 6 inch wood.

July is also a good time to re sod or grass seed your lawn as we are now in the rainy season. Use flroida freindly grass like bermuda and st augstine.

In july watch for pests and diseases that the rainy weather tends to bring. Try to keep plants leaves out of the water to help with cases of powdery mildew.