Spring Outdoor Living Space Collab- Whimsical Herb Planter

Last week I participated in a Spring Outdoor Living Space Collab and since our weather outside is so fickle, I had to create something for my outdoor space.A friend tagged me in a Facebook post with some beautiful artwork.There was pictures of outdoor wall art of faces and behind the wall art was floral flowers or trees growing that made the image look like hair was growing from the head.

I began to think of ways that I could implement this idea in my outdoor space.Starting off with an old vintage pew seat, I had my husband draw a beautiful image on it and I used craft paint to color the image.Next, I added a flower pot on the back that I will add some herbs too and as it grows it’ll appear as hair is growing from her head.

Check out the video below to see how it turned out.

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Print this entry

3 Things We’re Saving From the Kitchen To the Garden

Today I want to share with you 3 things we’re saving from the kitchen to the garden.I know as gardeners we’re always talking about what we bring from the garden to put on the table, but there’s some items we use in our kitchen to prepare our garden for gardening season.

 

Those 3 things are:

1.Coffee Grounds

2.Egg Shells

3.Peanut Shells

 


Coffee Grounds have nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and other minerals. Our spinach and tomatoes will benefit from the nitrogen.The other minerals don’t go to waste either.


I save our coffee grounds by holding on to our K-Cups after we use them.Remove the coffee that’s left in them and store until use.Another thing I do is rinse the K-Cups in a bowl or pot of water.This leaves the excess coffee in the water and I use it as a compost tea to water our plants.

Starbucks is Gardener Friendly 

If you’re not a coffee drinker, you can build a relationship with your local Starbucks or coffee shop. Ask them to hold on to the coffee and you can pick them up at the time you’ve agreed upon.Starbucks is very gardener friendly and you know they make coffee all day long.

Egg Shells- add calcium to the gardening soil.

Last year our tomatoes had blight and blossom end rot which we then discovered that our soil was lacking calcium.A quicker remedy would be adding limestone, but we’re going the eggshell route.

Peanut Shells- offer nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus as well.

My husband goes to a restaurant that gives peanuts to their customers.We eat the peanut and save the shells for our garden.

Back in the day I remember my mother saving eggs and adding them to a gallon of water in a milk jug.She’d use that water to water her house plants.Do you remember your mother or grandmother using eggshells and water to water her plants when you were growing up?



 

 

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Print this entry

Growing Sweet Potato Shoots

We make plans when we garden and then there’s those things that just happen and you add them to the plans you made.There’s this large stockpot that my mom gave me.This pot is large enough to feed an army, type stockpot.I use it in the kitchen to hold my potatoes and as of late I’m using it to store the rest of our sweet potato harvest from last year.

While in the kitchen the other day, I looked down in the pot and saw an itty bitty leaf sticking out.You’d thought I found hidden treasure.

After seeing the leaves I called my husband to tell him what I found.This lead us to do some research on how we can create our own sweet potato plants.Every year my husband goes on a search to find sweet potato plants and it’s a quest because most of the garden nurserys don’t get them in stock until late spring or early summer.

We also have a 4×16 raised gardening bed to grow our sweet potatoes in.

Which means we have to plant a maximum of atleast 30 something sweet potato plants to fill this baby up.Purchasing the plants aren’t overly expensive, but what’s better than growing your own sweet potato plants from the previous season’s harvest?

Nothing gets better than that.

 

Some of our harvest from last year and this is just a portion of it.

After researching we found out that we need to get the sweet potatoes to make shoots by either placing them in water or cutting off the part of the potato that’s sprouting, place them in dirt and allow the roots to grow.

So, that’s what we did.Next, we just add a little more dirt, but not to cover them fully.

Follow up buy watering it.

And since we’re doing the winter sowing method we added tape to close the milk jug so we can take them outside and place them in our raised beds under our hoop houses.

Yeah, out here in this snow is where we have our plants growing under the hoop houses. Thank God for micr-climating.

This is crazy Chicago weather and here are some crazy Chicago gardeners.

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Stay tuned for an update on how our sweet potato shoots come out.

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Print this entry

Sweet Potato Pie FOR DAYS!

Over the weekend we my husband harvest our sweet potatoes.With the weather changing here in the Chicagoland area we were afraid a frost would sneak up on us and ruin our crop.I’m so glad we went ahead and harvest them.Last year my grandmother gave me a call to remind us not to let a frost catch us and this year we beat her to her reminder call.

wp-image-1346339819jpg.jpeg

Our daughter helped until she saw a centipede. Yeah, she’s not scared of any other bugs, but the centipede made her quit or was it the hard labor?

wp-image-484944756jpg.jpeg

We had an amazing, amAZING, AMAZING harvest!  I was so excited as I began to see the bags fill up with BIG sweet potatoes and Jala was so excited to pull this one out the bed.

wp-image-1192354889jpg.jpeg

 

Last year we had an okay harvest, we had some big sweet potatoes and a bunch of itty bitty not fun to prep for cooking potatoes.  The reason for the small sweet potatoes was because we planted over 32 seedlings and they weren’t spread out good.  However, this year we planted about the same amount, but they were spread out well.Our original plan was not to plant as many as last year, but after we planted them my grandmother gave us more to plant because someone had given them to her and she wasn’t growing any this year. So, we ended up with just as many as last year, but a better harvest.

After harvesting them my husband rinsed them off and wrapped them in towels to dry.

wp-image-575081736jpg.jpeg

Our next step will be placing them in paper bags and allowing them to cure and they should be ready in time for the holidays.

wp-image-1322177606jpg.jpeg

This is only a quarter of what we harvest and don’t they look yummy?Some of these things looked like the size of a newborn baby…..Well, not actually… But maybe the size of my daughter’s head 🙂

wp-image-1542493343jpg.jpeg

Did you grow sweet potatoes this year?If so, what’s your harvest looking like?

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Print this entry

Freezer Preserving Tomatoes & Peppers

One of the things I’ve been trying to perfect with gardening this season is preserving our harvest for future use.  Enjoying the fruit of your labor at a later date is one of the many perks of raising your own vegetables and that’s something I’m trying to culminate.

Dehydrating Garden Fresh Herbs

 

We’ve been doing good with preserving our herbs and now, that we have harvesting, dehydrating and storing herbs down, it’s time to do the same with the other vegetables.However, when it comes to preserving your harvest, what often happens is you may only have enough to harvest and eat now and nothing to eat later. So, the now and later plan goes out the window and you’re eating for the now. Of course that all depends on how much we plant and if everything goes well with the vegetables.  Thankfully we’ve been getting an overflow of roma tomatoes.

 

wp-image-381210643jpg.jpeg

Once we harvest one or two baskets, it’s time to harvest more.  To keep from becoming overwhelmed, I quickly take care of the batches of tomatoes as we bring them in the house.  I’ll start off by cleaning my harvest and prep them by removing the area the stem was and cutting an X on the bottom of the tomato.  After they’ve been cleaned and prepped I boil them for about 30 minutes and the amount of time depends on how many tomatoes I’m preparing. Many people roast their tomatoes, but with preparing so many, I like to make the task as easy as possible by boiling them.  Once they’ve boiled and cooled off, I remove the skin, put them in the crock pot and after a few hours blend them with a hand blender and add my fresh seasonings.

wp-image-309868628jpg.jpeg

Next year’s goal I’d like to learn how to can.  After having a bad experience with canning a few years ago, I gave canning up.  Although, seeing mason jars filled with garden fresh vegetables lined up on shelves will bring back childhood memories of my annual trips to Missouri with my grandma, lined up in my freezer will have to do.

wp-image-373108737jpg.jpeg

Another vegetable I’ve freezer preserved are those tasty poblano peppers.  Hubby planted poblano peppers this year and they’ve been plentiful as well, unlike last year.  Last year we got nothing.  Not one darn poblano.  My husband loves when I make stuffed poblano peppers.  They have the best flavor and make great appetizers or a meal when served with rice and some vegetables.

So, I harvest all the poblanos that were ready, cleaned them up and blanched them.  Once they cooled I layed them on a tray and placed them in the freezer to freeze.  After they were frozen I removed them from the freezer and place them all in a large freezer bag.  Freezing them before placing them in a bag assures that they won’t stick together and when I was ready to use them I can grab as many as I need.

wp-image-740093988jpg.jpeg

Although we’ve been getting a great harvest, we’ve also had some trouble in the garden.  One being powdery mildew and the other blossom end rot.   Although some of the tomatoes and peppers have been experiencing the blossom end rot, I’ve still been able to get some use out of the vegetables that have been plagued with this problem. Like this variety of pepper mix here that I put together.

wp-image-1813687657jpg.jpeg

All the peppers that had the blossom end rot, I removed the damaged part and cut up the part that was good, placed them in small portions in freezer bags to use in any meal. I can officially say that this week has been a successful week with freezer preserving tomatoes and peppers.  Have you been preserving any of your garden vegetables and if so, which vegetables and how do you like to preserve your vegetables?

Watch video below

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Print this entry