June Garden Tour 2015

Homesteading Friends!! I am in the brink of some harvests so I have to give you a peek and my June garden.

You can check out my Spring Garden Tour here. The change is amazing!

We are having so much fun this year. Not just with the garden but with watching our oldest son learn and eat our hard work right off the bush….or off the vine…..or out of the patch….or bed!!

Our peas are already almost completely over the trellis and Mr. Precious LOVES to ride his 4-wheeler under it and eat snap peas for hours.

Speaking of his 4-wheeler……I have one lonely blueberry bush left after he took out the other 3 one day when backing up and not paying attention. I am so upset. This is the first year that we have some good fruit on each one. Of course none of it was ripe yet on the bushes he took out. So guess what…….I’ve decided I’m not going to be very frugal or “homesteady”. I’m going to drop some cash at the end of summer and buy big blueberry and raspberry bushes since I’m sick of waiting for them to mature!!

So there ya have it friends. Enjoy and as usual of you have any pointers at all please feel free to comment!! I am only 3 years in so I have a lot to learn!!

Starting off….here are the Red, Gold, and Russet Potaotes. I’m still waiting for my hubby to build me a giant potatoes box. As soon as that happens (hopefully in the next couple months) I plan on planting a bunch more and doing sweet potatoes in these tubs. I’m going to attempt to grow potatoes year round!!

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As we walk into the garden you see the first trellis. That is zucchini that is growing up that and I have already stole some babies off of it and they were delish!! There is also cabbage and corn in this bed. I know the corn looks silly and I only have 6 plants. I always fail with corn so I’m pretty much just growing it to decorate with the leaves in the fall :). I’ve also decided to find a place in the ground to plant my fall cabbage because HELLO!! It takes up the entire freaking bed!!

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The next bed over are 4 tomatoes, yellow squash, green beans and basil. I’m so sad. I am a basil fanatic and I grew it from seed in this bed. It is taking FOR. EV. ER. To grow to my basil fanatic needs. I literally planned for 2 big rows of giant basil plants. I make a to-die for vegan pesto and planned on making it weekly for the freezer and having it all winter long. I think this will be another homesteading fail. I will probably sneak to Trader Joe’s one day and buy 10 of their big kitchen basil plants!!

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The next bed is what I call our salsa bed!! Is has 11 pepper plants, I gigantic tomatillo, 4 eggplant and more basil!! Yes I realize eggplant and basil don’t go in salsa.

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Next bed is kind of sad right now. See those little shoots in the front? That is my spinach!! I have no idea what I did wrong but has never been good and then quickly went to seed. I’m going to pull it up in the next few days and find something else to put there. This is my salad bed. Normally I do well with greens but this year my spinach needs to be added to my fail list!! The rest is red and green lettuce and purple and green kale. Oh and how can you miss the peas!! I am in love with my peas this year!! Last year we obviously didn’t do well since they only climbed half way up the trellis. I can’t wait for the cucumber to meet them in the middle on the other side and have a shade tunnel for my little guy to ride his 4-wheeler under!!

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This crazy bed has taught me a lesson or two this year. It is broccoli, cauliflower and that Forrest in the back is dill!! I am going to try fall broccoli in the ground as well because again…..what a huge waste of bed space.  I am also harvesting the dill today and can’t wait to make pickles with it!!

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Sigh……I wish you could see this bed better. It is probably the most pretty bed out there. It’s my root vegetable bed and it has already been so abundant in yield. We eat beet greens in our smoothies daily and carrots are munched on while we water. I just thinned the beets last night and can’t wait to do a harvest post!! Along with carrots and beets this bed has turnips and parsnips.

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This is probably one of my husband’s favorite beds. He is an onion fanatic and there are red and white onions and garlic here. He gets very impatient with onions and how long they take. I may not even bother doing them from seed next year so I don’t have to listen to the constant whining!!

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Ahhh I love this view. Can’t wait for the tunnels to be complete!!

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My lone blueberry bush ;( My child is lucky I love him so much!!image

The Hawthorne Homestead Spring Garden Tour

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One of my favorite things about our little homestead Is that I have infinant possibilities for our garden. We live on over 1/3 of an acre and most of it is in our back yard. The owners before us put a chain link fence to separate the front half and the back half of the back yard. At first I HATED it. It was ugly and the second I could get it removed it was going to be gone.

But then I started planning our mini homestead and it really has fit in nicely.

We will be bringing a black lab puppy home this weekend so I’m sure being able to keep him away from the garden and future chickens will be a good thing and I won’t hate the fence so much. I also have plans to grow grapes up it (as soon as I can find a good deal on Craigslist!!).

I promised a garden tour a long time ago and I just couldn’t wait any longer. I have been sick so I apologize for the low quality pictures. Most everything in our garden has been grown from seed but as usual, I’ve had some more garden fails this year so starts had to be bought 🙂

Lets get this tour started!!

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This first picture captures strawberries growing in gutters as well as one of the beds. FYI – Pinterest is wrong…..strawberries do not do good in gutters. That was a gardening fail last year. I’m hoping to get a strawberry patch put in this weekend so I am going to move these to that.

In the bed we have corn, cabbage, and zucchini. Yes folks we grow our zucchini up trellises to save room. It works great and I love having the tunnel for the boys to walk under.

The corn and zucchini are from seed and the cabbage is from starts that we bought. My cabbage failed so bad it didn’t even sprout!!

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Gahh!! These pictures are terrible. I promise I will do an update later in the summer when everything is bigger.

In this bed we have radishes (which we have been harvesting and replanting all March and April!!), different types of cherry and grape tomatoes, and cucumbers that will also be growing up the trellis.

All was from seed accept the tomatoes. We decided to just buy tomatoes and peppers this year because I have struggles so much with growing them from seed. If anyone has any pointers I would be so appreciative!!

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In in this bed we have peas (growing up the trellis), leaf lettuce, romaine mix, spinach, and purple and green kale. All grown from seed

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This bed looks a little bare but it won’t be for long. Along the trellis we have green beans that are sprouting and yellow squash. In the middle we have tomatoes of the larger variety like beefsteak and Roma. The row closest to us (which looks bare) is actually basil that will hopefully grow quite a few plants. Everything here was grown from seed but the tomatoes.

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This is yummy bed has 10 pepper plants!! My husband picked them all because he is in charge of the salsa every year. It’s fun that he has so much fun with gardening. Even when we lived in a rental we would grow things in containers and he was still in charge of the peppers!! There is also two different kind of eggplant, a tomatillo and more basil (I’m pretty ridiculous about how much I love basil and I make a vegan pesto that I freeze so I need tons of it!!). Oh and speaking of the tomatillo. I totally failed with this last year. Any pointers on a hearty harvest for them?

Sadly everything aside from the basil was purchased as a start. In this bed.

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I don’t know why but this bed is just fun to look at. Maybe it’s my favorite because it grows the least weeds? It is cauliflower, broccoli, and dill, all grown from seed. Yes it’s a lot of dill but I love making pickles and there’s nothing better than knowing you also grew the dill in your pickles 😉

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This bed is another one of my faves. It has to be because it complements my OCD with its straight lines and conformity. This is my root vegetable bed. In it is beets, turnips, parsnips, and carrots of all colors. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to see the look on Mr. Precious’s face when he pulls a purple carrot out of the ground!! All of these were done from seed and incredibly easy. Are you afraid of gardening!!?? Don’t be. Try some of these root veggies. Heck we grew them all the way into winter last year. I literally went out and harvested carrots on Thanksgiving Day for my Maple Glazed Carrot Recipe!! How cool is that!?

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Garlic and Onions grown from bulbs and seed

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We have 4 of these but I only showed 2. We planted our gold and russet potatoes in these and Daddy Bear is building a potatoes tower this weekend that I will be planting our red and purple potatoes in. Our potatoes always give us a great yield. We used to grow them out of rubber maid storage containers. This is another plant that you can totally grow so easily!! I let my organic potatoes grow their little eyes and then I cut them in chunks and throw them in the pot with a little soil over them. That’s it!!

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I am so excited about this picture!! This is a little baby peach growing on our young peach tree. Our first fruit on the beginnings of our mini orchard!! There are a couple more but I couldn’t get them in the picture. We also have a pink lady apple tree, cherry tree, and Asian pear tree.

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I know this picture doesn’t really look like anything but this big line of bushes really give us a lot. In mid to late July it is full of wild black berries that I do my best to get out and pick every other night. Our wonderful neighbor Jerry lets us pick all of his behind his house too (I pay him with cobbler!!). This gives me on average, 7-10 gallon freezer bags full of blackberries!! It’s an awesome thing to have in the winter for smoothies, cobbler or just snacking!!

imageThis…..I’m ashamed to say…….is my herb bed. I planted from seed all of your typical kitchen herbs and they are just now coming up. My chives are here from last year and I threw some carrots and cabbage in there over winter that are ready for harvesting. I may go down and just buy some herbs to plant in here. I love this little bed. My husband put it in for me last year and it’s so nice to have. It’s right out side my kitchen sliding glass door.

So There ha have it!! The spring tour. I will be back In mid July with a very different looking garden 🙂

What’s sprouting on your homestead? Have you had any garden fails yet?

At Home Pre-School Schedule

Do you have littles at home that are ready for pre-school? Are you still a little nervous about sending them off? Or maybe you can’t afford the high price tag on early child hood education??

Before I begin I want to say that this is just what works for our family. If having your kids in pre school at 2 works for you, that is great!! If no pre school is how you want it, that is awesome too!!

My husband and I did some real soul-searching on this over a year ago when our oldest was 2.

Of course we were getting the usual well-meant instructions from people all around us on how to educate our son. “He’s not in day care!!! He must go to pre-school or he won’t know how to have friends!!”…….”How will he ever make it in elementary school if he doesn’t go to pre-school”…….”He needs to know certain things before kindergarten”.

That last one cracks me up the most!!

So we Hymned and we hawed about it and even toured a few preschools (including the one at the private school that we plan on sending the boys for elementary).

The thing that we kept learning along the way is that everything that they are taught in pre school seems to be stuff that you learn at home anyway!! And almost everything on these lists of curriculum that was being taught, our child already knew!!

Now I’m sure a bunch of you seasoned parents are thinking ‘Duh Emily!! Every one knows this’, but to be honest…….my husband and I didn’t!!

Pre-School has always been portrayed as a right of passage that you must let your kids do!! A right of passage that would cost us up to $400 a month…….for stuff he already knew………just so he could make more friends.

We made the decision that because we will most likely be paying for their education from kindergarten on, that we would take pre-school on at home.

We are lucky to already have a playroom so we took it upon ourselves to turn it into a mini classroom. I got these amazing home-schooled items at Target in the dollar section!! Sorry about the poor picture quality!! There are two calendars and three sections to go over what yesterday, today and tomorrow are. There are also two signs that you can chose what the weather is today and what it will be tomorrow. This little coffee table is actually used for his train set. He has so much fun creating different tracks above and below.

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Below is their little desk that we got at IKEA for $19.99!! We plan on buying another one because it has been so awesome and we plan on adding another rug rat so we will need more seating!! The rug was a Costco score for $19.99 and the map was also from Costco!! On the other wall is a United States of America Map. I got both of them for  $14.99!! They are so awesome and dry erase so we can write on them. Every Time Nana goes on vacation we draw lines to where each flight connects and we talk about where she’s going. There are also flags all along the bottom so they can learn flags for each country. He always says “there is our flag” when he sees the American flag or the Oregon flag flying.

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Now I want to warn you that our schedule is very simple, and basic. If it’s not a good day for it then we don’t do school!!

Every day I get the boys up at around 7:30 for the day (I have normally been up since 5:30 working from home). We do breakfast, beds, teeth, and get dressed and then we head upstairs to do “school”. We do this M, T, W, and F. On Thursdays we visit their Ouma and Oupa (They are close family friends from South Africa. I feel like this is an education in itself   because their Oupa will speak Afrikaans to them and they feed the birds and squirrels and read foreign books!!).

Here is our little Schedule that you all have been requesting!!

8:00

– Pledge of Allegiance

– Letters and Numbers (I found an amazing dry erase book at     Costco that has tracing exercises for numbers and letters. I know there are iPad apps that do the same but we keep iPad use to a minimum for him.

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– Months and Seasons (we also did days of the week here but he’s known them for about a year).

-Art Project (I try to include scissor use and other hand/eye coordination tasks. We also LOVE doing projects around holidays like turkey hands or ornaments!!). We used to do colors and shapes last year too but he is sick of “baby stuff”.

This is pretty much it for the “classroom portion”

We always go outside after “school” and work in the garden (rain or shine). I can’t even tell you how much a little person can learn by just getting outside. We compost and tend to the garden beds, we are always harvesting veggies right up until about January, we talk about life and death with the plants and the rain and the sun and the clouds. There is so much to talk about and learn about outside and we only live on 1/3 of an acre!! Right now we are learning about seed saving and are in the process of drying our beans and squash seeds for next year. I know there are so many things that I am forgetting to list that we do because we are normally out there for a couple hours!!

Another way that I try to keep the learning process going is at the grocery store. We go grocery shopping every Thursday and we talk about prices and pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. He now gets to clean out the change from my purse when we get home and gets to keep each coin that he can identify!! Boy that is great motivation for him to get his dimes and nickels right!!

So three you have it Homesteading Friends!! Do you pre school at home? If so I would LOVE to see your work area and hear about your “curriculum”!!

Thanks for reading today,

Emily

emilysutten.myshaklee.com