Monday, August 14, 2017

New Compost Bin

Isn't it crazy how the simplest things can give us such great pleasure?

 My new compost bin is definitely one of those things! I have been wanting one in the back yard for the past few years just to make life easier (I am all about trying to make life easier any way I can!). Our previous compost bin was on the other side of the house and just far enough away that I didn't get out to it as often as I should, plus it was a pain for getting the compost to the planters.

My husband got the new one built a few weeks ago and I am loving it. It's convenient to the kitchen and planters and I am looking forward to using some of the wonderful compost next spring!

Monday, July 24, 2017

The New Gardening Plan

As I mentioned in my last post gardening has become more difficult for me because of health reasons, however we still want to grow as much of our food as possible and have some to can/preserve for Winter. The solution? Planters.

We have a lovely deck off the front of the house which has become full of planters growing an assortment of zucchini, herbs, turnip, lettuce and greens and winter squash. I had hoped to get more done this year, but we will expand on this next year and have even more out front. The railing is covered with grape vines, so grape harvesting is very easy to do. We also have a large patch of thyme right outside the door. In fact, if it is raining I don't even have to step out side to pick some!

Along the drive way we have spearmint and chocolate mint growing, so a refreshing cup of tea is close by.

Out back we have another deck that has more zucchini and tomatoes in pots. Around the boules court we put in some raised bed/planters and have strawberries, asparagus, cucumbers, squash and lettuce growing there.

It's a far cry from the gardens we used to have  but I have been pleasantly surprised at how much food we are able to grow in such a small space.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Where Does The Time Go!

I haven't been here since last September. Wow. How did that happen? Life sometimes gets in the way of, well, life. Last fall  an elderly relative of ours fell and got to the point where he could no longer live alone, so he has moved in with us. He's a city boy and we are definitely not in the city. It's been an adjustment for all.

Around the same time that we were getting the place ready for him to move in I was diagnosed with Sjogrens Syndrome. Something else to research and adjust to. I was actually happy to get the diagnosis because something has been wrong for years....little things here and there. At least now I know why.

So the gardens aren't as big (lots and lots of planters) and I try not to get too stressed out about the little things. We are still thankful everyday to get to live in such a beautiful space. Especially on days like today when the sun is shinning, the chickens are running around the yard, cows are grazing and the cucumbers are growing.

Things are falling into place more and I have missed my blog. I am hoping to get back to regular posts soon.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Well, We Finally Had to Have a New Well

For the past 13 years we have had to be very careful with our water consumption during dry summers because we only have a 16' dug well and if it is a dry summer our well will go dry. We only had it go completely dry once, but we are very careful every summer and be sure to conserve and use rain water as much as possible.

This year has been about the driest summer since we've lived here and we finally had a well drilled about a month ago. If we hadn't we would be out of water now, even with careful use.

It is nice to have the drilled well. It goes down about 140 feet and we should be able to water gardens  (and ourselves) much easier in dry years.

We will still be using all the rain water we possibly can, especially in the garden room. The plants really thrive being watered with rain water.

We still need to have the water tested, but we did get the HealthyWise TDS meter water test kit

The  meter is easy to use, simple and to the point. No calibration, no fuss, just dip the end into your water and wait a minute or so for the reading to settle in and that's it. I used this to help determine what condition our new well is in, we are going to have it tested by a regular lab but this tester gave us an idea of what could be wrong, if anything, with our water. It shows that our new well is, well -- good, (I know that wasn't that funny, it sounded better in my thoughts, guess it should have stayed there).

I figured as soon as we had the well done we'd get a ton of rain, but that hasn't been the case. It is still very dry here. Hopefully it will be a rainy fall or we could be in for a rough year next year too!


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Review for Night Provision TX11 Tactical Flashlight Torch Cree XPL-HD 1000 Lumen LED

Every once in a while we get a product that we just love and fits in with our way of life. Flashlights are something we have a lot of and are always looking for better ones. 
Out of all the flashlights that I have tried this one so far is the best. The TX11 Tactical Flashlight is small enough that you can put in in you pocket with out any trouble yet it is powerful enough to light up the night giving you light where you need it. There are several different light settings allowing you to conserve battery life if you are going to be out for long periods but then with the push of a button you're back to full power when you need it. The The TX11 Tactical Flashlight is a bit more than a lot of other tactical lights on the market but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for and what you're paying for here is quality and durability, something that in an emergency situation you can depend on. This light carries a 5 year warranty but I've got a feeling that it will last way beyond that. It comes in a really nice box suitable for a gift, a holster to put on your belt, a lanyard and two O rings and a spare button cover.

 Disclosure: We received this product for free/discount in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. This review is our opinion of the quality and function of the item. We have not been compensated for this review nor are we affiliated with the seller. This review is our opinion and our opinion only.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Actually Had Some Rain Today!

Yesterday I posted about us having such a dry summer and today it rained! Not a lot, but enough to give the garden and plants a good drink. I should have posted weeks ago, maybe the rain would have come sooner!

Every year we try to add to our gardening tools; last year it was shovels, this year it is hose nozzles. I know that sounds odd, but I like to have a decent nozzle at every hose. We have a hose in the garden room, one on the back deck, one on the front deck and one for the garden. The hose on the front deck has the RY Gardener nozzle and the nozzle works out really well because I can use it as a light mist all the way up to high pressure. Plus the handle is a no slip grip so even when my hands are wet I can hang onto it easily. I have used it for seedlings and even high pressure for cleaning off the deck.

I am already thinking of what will be on next year's shopping list. Floating row covers. We have had ours for about 13 years and they are really getting worn out.  I use them not only for plant protection from frost, but also plant protection from chickens. They love any freshly turned ground.

I think rain is in the forecast for tomorrow as well. I hope so!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Dry Year and The Plants Are Suffering

This has been an unusually dry and hot summer for us and it is really starting to show in our garden. Our well is only a 16' dug well, which has gone dry on us in past years so we are very careful with our water usage in years like this.

We save and use as much rain water as we can but even that storage is almost gone.

This year we have grown more food in planters and large pots on the deck and have an expandable hose with a fireman style nozzle that has been very handy. The nozzle makes it easy to control the flow of water so I don't feel as I am over watering and wasting water.
The weather forecast is for rain this weekend. I hope so, but that has also been the forecast the past few weekends and we  have yet so see any of this rain. The next town over has, but not us. Meanwhile I will save all of the cooking water (full of nutrition for the plants) and water sparingly.