Thursday, May 2, 2013

We're Growing Strawberries Plants

Check out our strawberry plants! We planted these last year and really just let them run "rogue" doing what strawberries plants do best, put out runners.

2012 First Year  Strawberry Plants

 So here is what our strawberry patch looks like this year.

2013 Strawberry Plants

Well, this is what it looks like after we pulled some weeds and cleared the leaves, put down some mulch and build this make-shift structure to put the Easy Gardener Bird Block netting up, to keep out the critters.

 As much of gardening is trial and error, here are a few tips we learned so far with strawberries :

  1. It's true, first year strawberry plants do not produce fruit. (We thought they were kidding!) 
  2. Use mulch. We are using shredded hardwood mulch because straw is not readily available in our area. It helps keep the soil moist and the weeds down. 
  3. Keep your strawberry plants watered. They like well drained, moist soil.
  4. Double your plants by letting the runners take root.  You will need to pinch off the first blooms for new plants to allow for root growth. This will also make for a healthier plant and more fruit production.
For more tips on gardening check out this resourse for Strawberry Plant Care.


Lastly, it always a good thing to see a lady bug in the garden.


Happy gardening... and check back for strawberry updates.

~Michelle

 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gardens and Summer Storms

Well, yesterday we had a severe thunder storm move through the area, including hail and extreme wind.  While certainly  not a hurricane it had the aftermath reminiscent of Hurricane Irene last August.  Many of surrounding areas don't have power, trees are down and chain saws are humming.

Looking out the door at the peak of the down pour. Usually you can see the street.


 Then came the hail and wind....


Initial inspection of the garden.....

The good new the stems were not broken!



 Unfortunately we lost this sunflower

The hail broke though the leaves like they were paper...



The kids and I spent the morning propping up the pepper plants, tying up the tomatoes and squash, and general clean up.  All in all the garden will recover.  We even let the guinea pigs help with the lettuce.

This is Sundae!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

See Our Garden Grow: Picture Update

Here they are...... some extremely over due pictures:


The big picture....Monster Cucumbers.  This is a small sampling of the cukes we have harvested.  The kids are going to open a cuke stand in the front yard. LOL!



After 3 years of trying to grow carrots.... SUCCESS!


Peppers are coming in nicely!


Kids: What's for dinner, mom? 
Me: Squash and Zucchini with a side of cucumbers 


We have brought in 4 cherry tomatoes, just waiting for the rest to ripen.  Then we will be up to our eyeballs in cucumbers and tomatoes..... yummy.

Happy Gardening!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: 5/7/12







Menu Plan for the week of May 7th, 2012.

We have a lot of left overs from last week so I am going to do my best to use up what we have as creatively as I can.

Monday: "Left over" Steak Soft Taco's
Tuesday: Spaghetti with "left over" meat sauce, Salad and breadsticks
Wednesday: Chicken Ceasar Salad Pizza (using left over chicken)
Thursday: BBQ Cheddar Chicken, baked potato and carrots
Friday: Left Over or eat out
Saturday: Hamburgers on the grill with potatoes salad and green beans

Linking up to:


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Better, but not done

If you are like me, when you decide you want to do something.  Or.... you get a wonderful vision of "how things should be"....  how YOU want them to be.  Then you get a terrible case of "so it was spoken, so it shall be done" syndrome.  That's me.   I want instant gratification, and  I MUST GET IT IMMEDIATELY.   Meaning if my project has not come to completion by the end of the day, or when ever I deem it to be enough time.  In my mind, I mark is as a fail....... baby steps... who wants to take a baby step when you can leap right in.

Que.... discouragement and frustration, please!!! 

Well, you see that was my old way of doing it.  I am in the process of teaching myself to take baby steps.  That is one of the reason why, I was avoiding my kitchen reorganization.  I knew once I started...

  1. I would want it to be finished in a day.  (Not going to happen, nor should it)
  2. The old me would get half way thru the process and get discourage, which means stop
  3. One area would impact another area, enter frustration.  (Must create stopping points)

So for the last 2 weeks, I have been baby stepping through my kitchen.  Things ARE better, but I keep reminding myself it is not done..... and that is o.k.

The Utensil Drawers

Disorganized utensil drawers can be huge time wasters. At any give time when cooking, I would need to look in a minimum of 3 drawers for the needed utensil.  This could take me 2 or 3 minutes, as I look through the drawer,  that is if I can find it.  More time if I can't which happens quite often.

So I empty all my utensil drawers....



How in the world did I end up with 3 meat thermometers  This picture was taken after I did some purging and did not include the silverware that I sorted and purged.  However, this is a great example of how being unorganized can cost you time and money.  Yes, I had 3 meat thermometers, really!

Here are the before and after pictures of my silverware drawer and my general utensil drawer.


For my silverware, I empty and CLEANED, my silverware tray.  The blue basket I had and the white one I got for .50 cents at the grocery store.

For my general utensil drawer, I got the white tray for about 3.00 at target and the black basket were also, .50 cents.

Remember the baby steps.  There are two other drawers I am working on and I will post about later.

Better, but not done!

Spices

 Before, my spices were spread out between two cabinets.   They were hard to see.  Some were pushed into the back.

Below, these are our bulk spices, they took up to much room.  I am in the process (not done) of putting them into smaller jars and labeling them. Blog post to come on that!.
Add caption

As I empty out the spice cabinets, it became clear pretty quickly.  There were numerous spices where I had multiple jars.  This is pictures is just representing a few --------->

I purged by checking the expiration dates, then I combined some.  Some I just had to bite the bullet and toss them.
This is the current state of my spices.

Better, but  not done.  And that is o.k. 

To be continued....












Wednesday, May 2, 2012