Friday, July 29, 2011

Favorite vegetable of the summer

This is by far my favorite new variety for the garden this summer!  It's been such a fun thing to grow and everyone gets such a kick out of it when I show it to them!

This is an eight ball zucchini!!!  The plants are quite prolific--you can pick them at golf ball size up to a softball size---this one is probably in between.  They are beautiful and delicious. Between these and my regular zucchini, I have about 14 cups of zucchini frozen and shredded in the freezer, plus the plenty we have eaten already.  We just can't get enough zucchini around here!!!  Can you imagine stuffing one of these for dinner???  I'm going to do it!!!  I'll let you know how it turns out!

What new varieties are you growing???  Have a great weekend...I'm still behind in posts because I have so much to blog about, but we've got an exciting weekend planned so I'll have to tell you all about it next time!  Have a beautiful weekend...blessings!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Recycled Jean Quilt is Finished!!!

So much has been going on the last two weeks that I don't even know where to start!  I will keep this post to this quilt.  I had worked on getting it quilted and I really had to hurry because I have a daughter who was entering an apron in the county fair (that is going to be a whole other post!).  I hate having to recalibrate the machine because it took me forever to switch everything over to sew on the denim.  But lo and behold, it is finished!!!!  This is our summer picnic quilt.

There are six of us in the family and every one of us has jeans in this quilt.  The sweltering heat made it really uncomfortable to sew this behemoth!!!  It weighs about seven pounds and I was sweating while I was quilting it on my machine. At one point, I had to go outside with my machine and set up in the shade because it was over 85 my house!!!!  I like how it turned out...because I used some stretchy jeans, some of the corners do not match perfectly...OH WELL!!!  This is one of those workhorse kind of quilts so I'm not too worried about the imperfections...that's the whole point of this quilt.  It's all been recycled and getting new life.  

The quilt laid out in the driveway.

Detail of the center...again from jeans we had! (sorry, bad picture)

I hope you are all having a productive summer.  I can finally check one project off my list!  How about you???  Blessings to you, and may you keep cool in this heat!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Garden happenings

I don't know about your garden, but one of my self-seeding plants in the garden is my cilantro.  I can seriously consider it a weed because it grows everywhere!!!!  Every year, I let it flower because it is so inviting to all the beneficial insects and then it goes to seed (which I try to control) and then it's growing season is over while everything else starts ramping tomatoes.  I always make salsa and can it and you have no idea how infuriated I am with myself because I have to buy cilantro...from the store...and it's not very cheap...and I had pounds of it weeks before!!!!  Well, no more, my friends...I picked half a pound of it today and I could still get a lot more...I'll keep picking as this week progresses.  I'm freezing it so that I have plenty when it's time for salsa making or if I want to make Chipotle-style burritos!!!  I saw a blog where they clean the cilantro, take off stems, barely put olive oil on it so that everything gets an extremely light coat of it, then I bagged it up and stuck it in the freezer.  I am so thrilled!  Here's what half a pound of cilantro looks like:

The salad spinner I have the cilantro in is not a small one--it's a pretty large hefty one that can really hold some greens!  (I got it at the thrift store for around $5...this brand usually runs around $'s already earned it's keep around here!)

Other homestead updates

The garden is just swinging along.  I have my own personal army of's been so exciting to see that because it helps me feel that the garden is in balance. The lacewings are out, too, so the beneficials are really working hard this summer season.

 I will probably have some yellow squash and zucchini by the end of the week.  We've had some beautiful salads lately and we are just chomping at the bit for the zucchini!!! The peas are prolific and tomatoes are forming left and right.  All in all, it's been a good growing season so far.  

The chickens have been so fun to watch and feed.  I give them tons of garden scraps and I never knew chickens could "honk" like geese.  It's the funniest thing.  Here is something I found on clearance at our local grocery store.  I wanted to do a rooster stencil on our chicken coop, but the bargains never cease to amaze me.  This is the before...

It's a rooster chalkboard.  I paid $3.59 for it because it no longer came with it's stand.  No problem.  I didn't want it as a chalkboard anyway!  Here's where it is now!

This is actually the door of our chicken coop.  We painted the rooster white like the trim, and I hardly had to put any effort into it!!!

Here's the actual full coop pretty much finished.  I have one more thing I have to do with it if I get some time, but it is fully functional and complete!  My husband did such a nice job!!!  The flowers on the front give it a nice touch, too.

The yellow flowers, calibrochoa, I picked up from the store, and just peeking up in the back is one of two agastache (will be purple) that I started from seed indoors.  They should be a striking combination!!!  

I hope all is growing well in your part of the world.  To all my fellow Americans, happy Fourth of July!!!  Be safe and God bless!!!