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Revisiting Priorities Summer 2014

A quiet chat in the garden

Chatting in the garden

potted plants in the garden

Chamomile in the garden


PRIORITIES… A term that has been ringing in my head for several months now. A few years back it was all so simple, these days I find most of my time being consumed by work (our on line shops) and our growing family. Where does the time go, I don’t seem to get 1/3 done each day that needs to be done. Yes, I have loads of support from everyone here but still no time to do the things most important to me.

chamomile in the garden


Gardening is a biggie the past couple of years, first its the constant pain in my neck and back from a ruptured disc. This has caused me to scale back to a very small veggie garden and to be honest most of what gets done in it is when I can convince some one, mostly son #1 to help me get it done. This year it was Daisy who put in most of the seeds. Such a responsibility for an 8 year old, and she surpassed all my expectations in doing it. Guess she had a good teacher.

Second it simply a lack of time needed to grow a successful garden. There is no point in putting in the work then not caring for it, because there are little to no rewards as in a pantry full of freshly filled jars come Fall.

A few months back I made the decision the ask for outside help in the shop and my prayers were answered with Miss. Zoe, not only is she a very dear friend, she is a co-leader with me in Daisy’s Girl Scout Troop and now she gladly helps out in the shop. Filling orders, answering emails, and many moments of silliness make my days easier.

I have been working on learning materials, organizing supplies, and plenty of school time for both him and Daisy.

Big Boy turns 5

Big Boy turns 5

Our growing family… we recently added full time our Grandson, Shaye to the family for a few months while his mother works out some major personal issues and hopefully some soul searching for his wellbeing. This change has brought less room in the house, added “things” and another huge chunk of my time dedicated to some schooling before he starts Kindergarten in the Fall. He has major catching up to do just to be at a level his peers are, never mind added life and social skills he lacks.

So here I am my priorities for the busy Summer, how about you. What are your most important goals for the season?


A Weekend of Canning

outside temp. at 10am I should have started earlier in the morning.

I had put this project off for over a week now, it’s been so hot I couldn’t bring myself to start the stove. But if I didn’t do it over the weekend it would have to wait until next weekend and by then the green beans will be ready and I would be so far behind…



This spring I planted a 4 x 6 foot area of Bulls Blood beets. 17.25 pounds I pulled and canned. I never took the proper time to thin them right so some were huge and others very small. I’ll get the area cleaned out and reseed with more beets for a fall harvest.

I like Bulls Blood pretty well for canning because they seem to hold their color a bit better than some of the others I have tried. Detroit is my choice if I’m going to pickle them, that’s what the next batch will be for.

I ended up with 14 pints of beets.




Next up was a project I have been wanting to try for a couple of years now but the radishes never cooperated. Late in June I planed French Breakfast Radish under the tomato and pepper plants with the hope there would be plenty to make relish with, I think I succeeded with that goal. I have another pile of these radishes just as big. These and Belle are my favorite for flavor and looks.  My goal was to make radish relish. I pulled all of them and set out to make the relish.






The recipe I have calls for onions and no one here at the house likes onions so I replaced them with carrots. Daisy and I have tried a new to us variety called Dragon.  Dragon is a pretty carrot, being purple on the outside and orange inside. It should make a pretty salad or relishes. I only pulled enough to make what I thought would be 2 cups of shredded. So there are more to can and eat fresh.







They are very pretty and grew well in the new raised bed we set up last year just for carrots. It is extra deep so the carrots would grow long and straight. This week it is also time to put in another batch of yellow wax beans, peas, broccoli. Of course more radishes, I would like to make another couple of baches for the holiday season. I have several of the Ball Elite jars saved for this gift giving project. With this heat I’ll have to put up the row covers and use some burlap to cover the seeds. This will help in keeping the soil cooler and moist so the seeds don’t dry out.

I don’t have a summer sink set up yet, I’m still looking for an old cast iron one that I can use. Until then I use the hose and the table just outside the garden. This saves on the amount of dirt coming into the kitchen and going down our drains.



So what did you do this weekend? How is your garden growing?







Peas by the 4th of July

early peas growing in the garden

A favorite saying around here I hear from the old farmers, I didn’t think we would make it this year. Well actually we didn’t make it we had our fist taste of peas on the 6th…

This is a new variety called Early Burpeena. I planted some 2 weeks early and some right on time when the leaves were the size of mouse ears. I don’t see that they are any earlier than the other varieties I tried this year, but are they tasty.


Daisy's Radish

This is a small raised bed built just for Daisy, in it she planted radish, lettuce and spinach. She has kept the weeds out and watered it every day. At 6 years old she sure is a good gardener isn’t she. She tells me she doesn’t like radishes but grew some to feed her rooster, Fire Cracker.

What a sweet girl, let’s hope Puppa doesn’t spy that radish! He will be the one eating it not the rooster.

How is your garden growing?


I ordered this beautiful organic Lavender from a farm in Maine if you can believe it. I love the color and it smells so nice.

I just finished up my second batch of salve with it and I like it very well. I put some up on the Farm Store Blog if anyone is interested.

I have had luck growing two varieties here and would like to add more to the gardens this year. I played around with trying to make Lavender wands this past summer, I think it will take some practice before any one gets some as gifts. The ones I made still smell very nice in my dresser and in the linen closet.

I also have some nice new Irish linen and started some embroidery to make some dryer and drawer sachet for gifts this year. I figured why not since I have the embroidery basket out and I’m working on an embroidered bread bag. I hope to have that finished soon. All I have to do is work on it, I’ve been in bed early these days so not much time to sew.

Hope your day is going well.


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