Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ever Changing

We are like the seasons, ever changing.

We test things and as they work or dont work we change to meet those needs, mother nature can work very well for you if you have a general idea of how she works.

Winter winds tend to come from the North West but always from the north, so plant your cold loving or tolerant plants on the side. Warm winds come from the South and many times the South East, so you need to plant you cold sensitive plants towards that area.

The sun rises in the east with a less powerful sun, and it slowly builds in strength as it travels over us, leading to harshest sun directly above us till before sunset.
Some plants do best in morning sun, some are ok with all day sun. Learn about your plants needs when you plant!

I have made many mistakes and that is how I learn. I think its the VERY best way as every person yard, patio, etc is different, faces different ways and lives in different regions. I have peach trees in the southern end of my garden that needs to dug carefully and moved, I recently moved garden beds that were in our southern corner to the northern side for plants like onions, lettuce, broccoli and other winter veggies! We are ever changing and that is best because if you fail at something over and over its time to reexamine your gardens and plants needs and be open to change!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wed. Morning (10-24-12)

Its a lovely morning here at Sunny Spot Gardens. The sky has been misting all morning, with light grey clouds moving across the sky, letting the morning sun peak through only for a moment making to water drops sparkle on the green on the plants.

We woke up and took our daughter to school, then went outside to start work, we pulled a large pile of grass and weeds and put them into the compost area, we then laid out a HUGE black tarp which will eventually become our tilapia pond, right now it is killing all the grass and left over weeds so we have a much easier time digging. I cannot wait to be able to raise and harvest our own fish! :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Today: 10-23-12

Today was busy! We were told Brooke couldn't go back to Pre-K until she had a physical so we ran around like crazy trying to find a place who would take her in on a walk in, we ended up finding a place close to my work. So we filled out the forms and got her clean bill of health and ready to return to school tomorrow!

Then I went to work until 6:30 when I rushed home to catch the last rays of light as the sunset. With my work clothes still on I grabbed my seed packs and headed to the garden where I sprinkled lettuce seeds in my kiddie pool gardens. I then moved on to the garden beds where I had created little rows in the mulch and sowed carrots, kale, swiss chard, and radish seeds.

I hope they all germinate well and give us a bountiful harvest.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hibiscus radiatus an amazing flower

I'm a edible plant girl through and through, but there is something about watching bees fly flower to flower or the butterflies flitting through the garden that lends an air of need to flowers.

I am recently discovering you can have a happy mix, planting flowers and edibles together but some edibles have such amazing blooms themselves.

My now favorite is the short day blooming Hibiscus Radiatus. I call it lemon hibiscus because they leaves have a tart lemon flavor.

The leaves are very cannabis like in looks but it has no relation.

The Blooms are the most glorious shade of reddish purple...

I am in love with these blooms!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pictures around Sunny Spot Gardens (10-19-2012)

Daddy and Brooke:

Black Racer I cut free:

Front Yard:

Ronnie planting our creole garlic:

Ronnie making friends with a bird at out feed store:

Tomato Flower:

Tortoise at Holloway Farm Feed Store:

Seminole Pumpkins:

Date Night in the Gardens (set up by the DH):

A lovely flower out front:

Mulching are garden beds with halfway decomposed mulch:

Who needs Salt Life when you have:


Friday, October 19, 2012

Garden Extravaganza Pictures

We hosted a Garden Extravaganza at Sunny Spot last Sunday! Here are some pictures from the day!!!

Flyers:

Sign my daughter colored for the cooler:

Straw Bales set up for seating:

Food sign for potluck:

Entrance Info:

Gathering:

Swaping plants, seeds, cuttings:


Listening:

Wild Edible Walks:


Vendors:


Music:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wookiefoot: Junk Food

To all the free range humans
and organic life forms everywhere
Hold your forks up with solidarity
Remember you vote with your wallet
Your dollar bills your ballets
Alone it’s just a whisper
But together you can’t stop it

OMG it’s the GMO’s
From the labs and tubes where the fast foods grow
If you are what you eat then i’m a UFO
Hope to god that my body still can decompose
Cause i’m biodegradable and your biodegradable gotta stay biodegradable
And you’ll find that the mind is highly persuadable

Doesn’t matter if you came through the canal or your cesarean
If your an omnivore or maybe more a vegetarian
You choose to eat an animal a vegetable a mineral
Eat what you are it’s never been more literal

Come chemical come dumbin’ down the food chain
Come dumb us down whose super power seed grain
Come Monsanto come with your new campaign
All the politicians sing along with the refrain

No more junk in my food

We want it slow not fast like they grew in the past
With green dream coming growing up in the youth
Please no more junk in my food

You say something here but i can’t understand

Then McDonalds got a farm GM GM GMO
And on that farm he had a chicken and a cow
But they do now you really don’t wanna know
Why must we label it organic
When that’s the way we’ve been growing it for ten thousand years
I think the farm factory should label honestly
To admit what they add genetically and chemically
Is there a bioengineer in the house
Is there a bioengineer i need some help with this label
How do you say this calcium polyphosphate
Is this nutritional claim a fairytale or a fable

Come chemical come dumbin’ down the food chain
Come dumb us down whose super power seed grain
Come Monsanto come with your new campaign
All the politicians sing along with the refrain

No more junk in my food

Thursday, October 4, 2012

HUGE garden event here in the gardens!

Remember back in Spring I hosted an event here for International Permaculture Day? Well I am back!!!

Working with Seed Freedom Fortnight (A campaign against GMO seed) I am hosting a HUGE event again here at the gardens October 14th.

The event starts at 10am with a half hour meet and greet and then launching into a day full of garden and green oriented talks.

Schedule:
Sunday~ October 14th

10am~ Welcome/Meet and Greet

10:30am~ Tom Carroll: Life through Permaculture

11:15~ Andy Firk: Wild Foods Nature Walk

12pm~ Jason Long: Intro to Urban Food Forestry (AKA: Tropical Home Gardens)

12:45~ Ryan Iacovacci: Collapsing Empire & The hope of Democratic Capitalism

1:30~ Potluck Lunch Break/ Music by: Deserie Valloreo & Rick Schettino

2~ Tricia Gaitan Medina: Going Zero Waste in the Home

2:45~ Brian Ritter: Superfood Smoothies as a Smooth Way to Start Your Day

3:15~ Mr Naturals Garden presents: An Intro to Hydroponics

4~ Deserie Valloreo: Using Herbs as Medicine

4:45~ John A Starnes: Least Toxic Pest Control

5:30~ Jack Slaydon from Healthy Heritage Grass Fed Beef Presents: Grass Fed vs Conventional Meat & Its Effects on You~ W/ samples

6:15~ Pinellas Chapter of FNPS: Introduction to Florida native edibles and their importance in Permaculture

7-8pm~ Free Time! BonFire!

I mean just look at the amazing line up! I am really lucky to be able to host events like these!

Just like last time we are asking people to park along the street, we are also using the street over since out projected attendance has doubled since the last event!

Some of our attendees are also local green vendors and will be offering their goods for sale. We will have a butcher with pastured raised meat, local candles, and other products!

Just like last time this is of course a potluck meaning bring a dish, or some drinks!

We are so excited and nervous about this whopper of an event!

Shoot me a email, or RSVP on facebook if you want to join the fun! :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rocket Stove

Looking forward to it being chilly out and firing up this baby again! :)

Hey readers! Its another Wednesday and you know what that means! Another Weekend Project Blog!!
This blog shows what my plans are for that coming weekend, gives instructions, and other needed info so you could 2 could make it your weekend project!

This weeks project?... A Rocket Stove

A rocket stove is a small compact stove used for outdoor cooking. This was a great idea for me since even the time it takes to boil water here during the summer the stove raises them temp in the kitchen noticably. I figure this well helps us save electric in both aspects of not having to use the electric stove and the air doesn't have to try to cool down that heated air : ) Win, win!

Ok there are many versions on the rocket stove including a simple metal can but the one I choose after much searching is a red brick stove.. I found it on Root Simple

What you need:

2 cinder blocks

1- 16 inch concrete slab

36 red bricks

Metal stove pipe ( a 4 inch extender, and angle)

A bucket of collected ash or vermiculite

Type M mortar

A piece of sheet metal

A grill piece


Total Cost: Around $30 if you have to buy everything.. I had or found most items


What to do:

First find a spot perfect for your stove, I choose near my backdoor.. set and level your 2 cinder blocks. On top of that lay your 16 inch concrete slab. Mix your mortar to thick pancake mix consistency.. lay your bricks out how you want them then start spreading your mortar and setting your bricks.. it was my first time so I can't teach how to properly set them but I watched a few youtube videos showing how.



*remember to leave your hole in the front for your fire feeding



Once your mortar has set (for 24 hours at least) stick your stove pipe in. It should fit just below the top bricks. Fill area all around stove pipe with collected ash. This is your insulating layer, you cannot use soil or sand because it has no air pockets and you need that so the heat doesn't make it go BOOM : )... you will have to cut and fit sheet metal around your bottom hole/stove pipe so the ash doesn't spill out the bottom, then take a tin can flatten it out and slide it in you bottom stovepipe like a shelf.. the twigs to cook go on top, news paper to light fire on bottom then the bottom provides airflow : ) here in FL we need some kind of cover to keep the insulating layer dry in our huge storms.. I'm thinking on of those upright tallish grill covers might work otherwise throw a tarp over it anyways once your completed add your grill piece to the top and start cooking

: )

I'm very excited about this project!!!


Above is my Rocket Stove laid out and bricks set with motar.. there on top is my cooking stove pipe.. all i need now is a grill to set my cast iron on, a bucket of ashes for insulation, and a piece of sheet metal : )


Update October 8th, 2011:

Wow friends this post has been sitting here and my half completed stove had been sitting outside all this time. Today I found my inspiration to finish it.. my upcoming potluck! I really really wanted to get it done and today was the day!

I couldn't find enough ash to fill the stove as a insulator so i went and bought a small bag of perlite it was $3.49.. i used chicken wire and tin foil around the metal pipe to keep the perlite in, and folded chicken wire as the shelf.

After completing it, i set up 2 bricks on top laid my scavenged metal grate on top of that set my cast iron skillet on top went and grabbed a small piece of cardboard (I ripped it into a strip about 3 inches by 5 inches) and 3 tiny pieces of wood im talking kindling type wood (LoL) lit the cardboard slid it in under my shelf, laid the wood on top and let the magic happen, it caught and was a wonderfully small but hot fire in about a minute.

I went to the chicken coop and reached in the nest box hoping for a fresh egg and score there was one, i cracked it into the skillet and within seconds it whitened, and cooked in about a minute