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!!!

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