Sunday Garden Update

Warning 20 pictures to view!

We have been enjoying a couple or 5 snap peas on a daily basis! This are so good and tender that they never last long!

Our squash plants are alive and thriving!  We were able to use these three small but delicious squash as part of our dinner.  I did buy these starts and will plan to seed save for next year!

These are zucchini plants they don’t have blossoms yet, but they are beautiful.

We have approximately 100 green bean plants that are at different stages but are looking great.

Peppers are looking great with small peppers on the one bell pepper plant I purchased!  The pimento plants also have a small start.  Most of our pepper starts have survived and hopefully will get larger soon.

The tomatoes are now way over the beds in just a week. The Cherokee purple and roma tomato have blooms!

This is our fail.  Both the cherry tomato plant and the pepper plant that I put in this bed are basically dead. I purchased another cherry tomato plant on Saturday so I hope it will survive!

The cucumbers are at very different stages but they are growing and green!

We did add mulch to our blueberry bed which is looking very promising especially this one!

Current view of the back garden area!

 

Garden Update

 

I am so excited to post this update!  We have had almost a solid week of rain with more expected in the coming week. Tomato’s have taken off! They have officially peeked over the top of their beds!

Wildflowers are going in front of the tomatoes.

We have about 10 baby squash, we are diligently attempting to keep the squash bugs away. We are using coffee spray and trying this cloth as a barrier. Three zucchini plants have survived not flowers yet!

24 cucumber plants have sprouted from seed with an additional 2 self seeding and I moved to be with the others!

Peppers do not like rain but these plants have started to bouncy back. This weekend we found Ashe County Pimento plants and have plant those in a different bed. We also went back and plant 7 more wax pepper seeds.

We have two containers of cantaloupe plants from the seeds we saved last year!

Five watermelon plants are hanging on as well!

This bed is in front of the house, it currently has 4 broccoli plants, snap peas, a cherry tomato, a pepper and basil has finally spouted!

Cherokee purple tomatoes and another cherry tomato.  One wax man pepper and we planted alot more!

Finally the green stalk is blooming!

 

5 Things Friday- Summer is Coming

  1. I officially have 5 weeks left to finish out the school year!  I will have one holiday and two other days that I will be off during that time.  I can do it. Lily is starting her new summer semester next week.  Kendall has three weeks and a week of exams. Zach has 4 weeks.  Kendall and Zach will both be heading to camp during my last week of work.
  2. I have alot of things I want to get accomplished during the summer including re-stocking our freezer and pantries if needed. I purchased 50# of flour today to get the process started. I am hoping that by spreading out the expense we can maintain and even lower our grocery budget for the year.
  3. We plan to purchase and receive a whole cow in two weeks. This means that I have been spending some time trying to clean out and re-arrange our freezers.  Currently our chest freezer is unplugged. I am working on the freezers in the house as well as continuing to eat food from the freezer in the building. We wil be having steaks for dinner tomorrow just for that reason.
  4. I brought out a whole chicken last week. I cooked it on Thursday and even Lily said it was some of the best she has eaten.  I decided to start our stock up this weekend. I cooked chicken stock in my roaster oven Thursday night. I have been working on pressure canning it this evening. We will end up with 5 quarts and 25 pints of chicken stock!
  5. We will be having the floor measured in the kitchen and dining room this weekend. This has led to us cleaning the canning closet, kitchen pantry and most of the laundry room!   Organized stuff makes me happy!

Gardening Update

We have several days of humid rain, no storms but just rain but it has been perfect for my garden!  I was excited to see that we have green beans that are starting to grow! We also have pea blossoms!

The tomatoes are starting to take off as well. I was not going to take any pictures this week but I had to because of the progress! I bet by next week they will be seen over the top of the boards!

I am very pleased with the progress of the Greenstalks!

Saving on Saturday!

Sometimes to save money you have to spend money. This is the case for today!  Lily, Kendall and I were at a women’s conference this morning. Matt and Zach worked on my canning closet!  Matt has added three more shelves to make room for lots of spaghetti sauce and other canning projects that I want to do this summer!  I am so excited to  have everything labelled and put in place.  The total cost was approximately $80. But I found several items I had forgot about and this will save lots of time and money this summer!  I was also able to confirm that I do not need to purchase jar!  I have around 6 dozen unused ones!  Goal for the summer will be to use up all the available jars!

The second way I am saving money this week is by shopping a sale. My mom text me last Thursday to let me know that Food Lion, would have 2 Liter Diet Cokes on Sale for ninety nine cents.  This is the best deal I have seen in almost a year!  So I sent Matt and Zach for the first round. They were able to grab a total of 8 between the two of them. Matt used some “reward points” for his four!  The second stop was all 5 of us for 20 more bottles and the third stop was another 20 bottles. We were surprised to learn that we had earned another $3 in reward points. So I ended up paying 81 cent a bottle and saving over $105 by purchasing all of these on the same day!

 

April in Review

April was a really fun month. We started it off at Disney so how can I complain? I did come home with a nasty cold which put me out for the first two weeks of the month.  This month I have also been dealing with increased pain due to my psoriatic arthritis.  My insurance stopped paying for Humera and it took almost a full month to get the new prescription.   I am hoping it will help and I can get back to life. 

Groceries- Budget $975/ $450   $ 945.76 Goal Met! By the skin of my teeth! 

Auto/ Gas. Goal -= $600.  Goal Met!  We have spent $257.17 without gas to and from Disney. Including Disney gas we ended up at $750. 

Blogging- 15 posts per month. 4 posts this month. Yeap a struggle.  I knew this was low but wow this may be the least ever. 

Exercise-We walked a total of 25 miles at Disney. I have not been able to walk since.  Better things are coming once I get all my medications fixed. 

Earn extra money: a $50 gift card from Fetch.  They moved the goal but I was able to cash in for a $50 gift card to Amazon!   I will only go for $10 in the future as it took me a year to earn this card.

TIME for Summer Goals
1. Kitchen Floor
2. Bathroom Floor (Matt responsible)
3. New to me car
4. Back Deck?  Redo  if possible
5.  Purchase and process a whole cow including canning broth and ground hamburger
6. Restock freezer with 100 meals and at least 50 breakfast burritos and 52 packs of bagels.

Sounds like I am going to be super busy!

Sunday Garden Update

I am so excited we have things growing in our garden. We were able to bring everything out of the greenhouse and get in the dirt by the end of the day. I think we only lost a couple of pepper plants.  Unfortunately, the two wax pepper plants that I started may or may not survive. They suffered a watering crisis but we planted them out just because we have hope! They are in the bottom row left corner bucket. This bucket garden also has 4 Cherokee purple tomatoes, one was sent to my mother. And one of our two surviving cherry tomato plants.

In total we have 21 Roma tomatoes and 13 slicing tomato’s.  We did end up purchasing a cattle panel to use in the second tomato bed. I am anxious to see how well the tomatoes grow and produce this time.

The greenhouse turned out to be an awesome way to start peppers! This just makes me happy!

We currently have    2 banana peppers (purchased)
24 green peppers (purchased 1)
12 lunch box peppers.
The bed in front of the house has one cherry tomato, one slicing tomato, along with one pepper plant. The snap peas are beginning to reach the trelis and the broccli is getting bigger. I am doubtful that I get anything usable from this but.


In the above beds I have plants about 100 basil plants and 18 green bean plants.  I am also doubtful that any basil plants grow.

We currently have 27cucumber plants!  Including one that has self seeded in the pepper bed!

I purchased 4 yellow squash plants.   I also planted 4 or 5 zucchini seed. Only two of the zucchini seeds have sprouted. .

I saved cantaloupe seeds from last year and they have sprouted!  I will be transplanting about half to another bed to see which grows better.

I purchased 5 watermelon starts so hopefully they will grow as well!

This is the most germination and time I have spent on gardening so I am hoping for a huge pay off. Stick around to see where the garden takes us this year!

 

Sunday Garden Report

I am very happy to report that our greenhouse worked very well while we were in Disney. We came back to healthy and growing plants. We have continued to leave things in the greenhouse until I was a bit more comfortable with no frost or freeze. The predicted last frost date is April 24th. I have been stalking the weather and with no temperatures below 40 in the next 2 weeks, I wanted to get started!  This week, I have been focused on getting some seeds in the ground in order to give them a good start. I have planted cucumbers, basil, zucchini and cantaloupe from seed.  I also purchased flowers, a few strawberry plants and herbs over the last week. The green stalk containers are starting to look pretty.

Yesterday, I was able to get 20 Roma tomato plants and 1 cherry tomato plant in the ground as well.  I want to remember that I need 22 Roma tomato plants for next year to completely fill the long bed.  I was pleasantly surprised to have 4 more Roma tomato plants that what I had counted before we left. I am hopeful that this trend continues! The goal is to get all the tomatoes and peppers planted in the ground by next Saturday unless of course a chance of frost pops up!

We have spent some money on the garden this year. I spent $85 in Mocksville at the farm stand and $21 at the Lexington Farm stand.  Last Sunday, we purchased a new pear tree, a new blueberry tree and a load of dirt for a total of $124.  Last night we also spent another $75 at Home Depot for some supplies such as ant killer and weed killer. This brings our total to $305 currently.  In order to plant the regular tomatoes we have decided to purchase a cattle panel to use as trellis.  I am hoping to keep the total cost to under $400 which is half of our grocery budget for the month.  If we can produce enough salsa and spaghetti sauce for the year then this is a huge money saver!

Hopefully next week we will have a recap of all the numbers and compare to what I thought we started with!

5 Things Friday Catch up Edition!

  1. Our Disney trip was AWESOME!  We enjoyed Easter Sunday with David and Haley at the Beach.  David and Haley also joined us and Braxton for a couple of days of Disney fun!   We were able to enjoy the campground and have discovered that Hoop De Doo Review is our favorite show!   We are also learning that sticking with what we know we like is maybe better than trying all the things.  This was our first and last trip to Steakhouse 71, burnt steak is not acceptable on any level.  Although it was suggested that we go for breakfast so maybe!
  2. I came home on Sunday feeling absolutely miserable! I walked inside, took a shower and went to bed. I had a cough that lasted for 10 days.  I still have a cough, but it is much better. I was discussing with Matt that I have been sick more and worse this year than I can ever remember.
  3. I still LOVE the camper.   Side note, it took us a full week to actually get it cleaned out this time.  However, I can say it is definitely our money pit. Each time we take it out we end up needing to replace some items.  This trip, the toilet has to be replaced.  It is leaking water both in the bowl and on the floor. Matt has already replaced the seal, so the full thing is replaced this time. We also have to replace a taillight that cracked and the latch on the screen door.  Sunday morning before leaving we discovered that a light bulb needed to be replaced!   Next up will likely be the door!
  4. Because of being so sick on the way home, it has taken almost a full two weeks for me to catch up on everything including blogging!  Now I can begin my count down to summer. Technically, we have 8 weeks left in the school year with 5 of actual treatment.
  5. I have been super busy this week, working on getting the garden planted. We or I should say Matt worked hard before we left, and the greenhouse worked like a charm!  I will be planting out all the tomatoes and green peppers in the next week depending on the weather.

Gardening Update

Yesterday was a huge day in the area of gardening around here.  I up potted all of my tomato plants. This is the first time I have ever felt the need to do this and hopefully it will be huge boost.  We also moved all the peppers and tomato plants out to the greenhouse. I did check on everything this afternoon and so far, so good.   I just checked the weather and hopefully we will be able to keep everything alive and it will grow grow grow.

I have not had any germination on the snap peas I planted about two weeks ago, however we have been having a swing in temperatures from 80 to 30 in a 24-hour period.  Once the weather starts to even out things should get better. Our last predicted frost date is April 20th, but we usually have at least one night of frost in May. I am going to wait until the first of May and then decided when to plant things.

I was excited to find that a couple of garlic plants have started. This is a totally new thing for me so anything is more than I have ever had.  I planted the broccoli outside  and lost two plants in the process.

Current Plant Total
15 lunch box peppers (one additional sprout)
2 wax peppers
16 bell peppers (10 of the 12 I started germinated)
21 Roma tomatoes (plus1)
14 Slicing tomatoes (plus 2)
3 cherry tomato (plus 1)
5 Cherokee Purple Tomato (plus one)

My goal is to post again in 2 weeks so we can compare to see what has survived in the greenhouse!