Friday, June 19, 2015

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 201 and Giveaway Winners!

Welcome back to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop farmgirls!
Debbie and I are so excited to announce our two lucky winners from our 200th Anniversary Giveaway. But first, we want to thank everyone who stops by every Friday. We look forward to it as much as you do! Are ya ready?
Here we go!
Congratulations to winner #1, Alica  ( the mostly crunchy farmgirl ) farmgirl sister # 5232. She just had her first meeting of the Southern Indiana MaryJane Farmgirls chapter last Saturday. Another reason to celebrate! 

Winner # 2 is Tammy Taylor ( a North Texas Farmgirl)  from Taylor Made Ranch blog.
We can always count on Tammy for at least three posts a week and her recipes are always amazing and prepared with the cleanest, freshest ingredients you can get. Straight from her farm. 
We know without a doubt both gals will thoroughly enjoy all the farmgirl inspiration MaryJanesFarm magazine provides.

 Let's get to it! Link up and share what's doin' on your homestead, farmstead, backyard or deck.
We know you've got the goods, so bring it on farmgirls!

 I'm sharing my garden notes this week and Debbie is gearing up for her grandsons first birthday party this weekend.

We wish you all a wonderful week of farmgirl fun and sharing.
See you on the hop! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Garden Notes With Deb : Farmhands and Flowers

These two cutie pies are my sweet little farmhands. Well, sort of.  Our son and his girlfriend were over last weekend and helped us get started on installing 5 additional 4x12 raised beds for our backyard flower farm. They helped my hubby with measuring the distances between beds and some minor construction.

 Have you ever seen a tape measure like this? Every time we do a project my hubby pulls out some old tool I've never seen before. He must keep them hidden away just to surprise me when the time is right. He paid five bucks for it at a yard sale nearly 20 years ago. How have I never seen this? Anyway, it's 100' long and the handle on the side winds the tape in or out as needed. It worked great for our project and surprisingly the linen tape is still in very good condition. From what I can barely make out of the faded print, this one is a Non Metallic Rule Tape Measure made by the  made by Lufkin Rule Co.     A manufacturing company that came about during the Civil War.

 I love the aged leather-clad casing. I think it would make a great decorator item just sitting on a shelf with some vintage books and drafting props. 

It was pretty light work that day.  Then again, I was just carrying a camera around. The guy's worked out the distances and Tid-bit ( that's my nickname for Zach's girlfriend  )and Max helped with the measuring. 

You can see the zinnias are just abut 4 inches out of the ground now. Soon we'll be neck high in flowers! 

I planted the bed in the front of this photo with the summer annual, cockscomb which I purchased from Bakers Creek Seed Co.They are just starting to sprout.

Source Wiki
The shape and texture  of the large curly flower heads look just like a rooster comb which surely inspired its name. I hope they come up nice and tall. They are supposed to be good sellers at the Farmers Market, and I think they'll be fun fillers too! 

The dahlias are doing very well. I only had a few that didn't come in and I'm not sure why exactly. I need to dig them up and check for rot, mold or insect damage. I'm happy to report there have been no trace of slugs ( yet ) so I haven't had to do any pest control but I check daily because those slimy buggers could show up any minute and make a meal out of those lush green leaves.
 Its always a good idea to mulch dahlias as well. I've adding three inches of mulch to the tops of the dahlia beds. That will keep them nice and hydrated during mid-summer hot spells. 

All of my hydrangeas are loaded with buds right now.  They must have really liked the freezing weather we had this past winter. It's hard to believe this plant was under 6 feet of frozen snow all winter long. It looks so healthy and vibrant. I've also mulched all of my shrubs and perennials so they won't be quite as shocked when the heat and humidity return.

Ah.... what a relief it is to have farmhands and the promise of flowers again.

Now, who's gonna help me fill the new flower beds?  Looks like I might have to call on my loyal farm dog if not for muscle, then at least for moral support. He's always smiling and eager to ( get right in the middle of everything and drop his Frisbee at my feet) help. 

How are things shaping up in your garden? June weather has been a little cool and wet in places and that always makes us gardeners/farmers nervous. Rain brings pests and cool weather stunts newly seeded rows of summer loving annuals. Anticipation can quickly turn to anxiety. After all, we can plan, till and toil with every intention of making our garden dreams come true, but we can't control the weather. I have flower farming friends who are waging wars on aphids, and others who are battling too much water due to flooding. Losing plants whether it be a few precious blooms in pots on your doorstep or a field of flowers or veggies is a loss deeply felt to the tender hearted gardener.

  So... I'll leave you with this hope-filled garden quote by Audrey Hepburn.

" To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow" 

I believe. Do you?
Till next Wednesday!

Friday, June 12, 2015

200th Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop ANNIVERSARY & GIVEAWAY

 Welcome to the 200th Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop ANNIVERSARY and GIVEAWAY!
This Lil ole blog hop has been going strong since March of 2011! 

Each week we corral up the best of the best farmgirl bloggers, homesteaders, homemakers, farmers, gardeners, animal lovers, chicken keepers, artsy-crafts y types and dish up the best plate of Farmgirl Soul-food you can get your hands on in the blogisphere!

What is a Farmgirl, exactly? I'm so glad you asked!

 We are an apron wear'n, family love'n, bee keep'n, cow milk'n, goat show'n, chicken keep'n, egg gather'n, enterprisi'n, farm'n, garden'n and glamp'n, wood-work'n, cook'n and craft'n, sew'n and sow'n, bunch of gals who love to inspire an be inspired by other like-minded farmgirls.

But let's give credit where credit is due. If it wasn't for Mary Jane Butters the GIRL GENIUS behind MaryJanesFarm Magazine we might never have crossed paths. She's the conduit for farmgirls connecting world-wide today via her amazingly popular magazine, and virtual sites she created just for us!

Plus she even started the Farmgirl Sisterhood where farmgirls can earn badges for doing things they love and trying new things to boot! Think Girl Scouts for grown ups! She's the author of 5 books but if you ask her she'll tell you she's a milk- maid at heart. Looking for a backyard cow to complete your homestead? MJ is behind you 100%. She founded the Heritage Jersey Organization so folks can learn more about backyard cow keeping, housing, proper care and how to locate breeders. 
What can't she do?

 One thing is for certain. If it wasn't for MaryJanesFarm magazine I would have missed out on finding ( and fulfilling) a special piece of my farmgirl heart. I wouldn't have had the opportunities I've had to start a writing career in the second act of my life. And most importantly, I would have missed meeting all of you!
 I feel like we are all old friends. Not in a can't control our bladders kind of way, ( although, if we do 200 more hops it could happen) but in the comfortable, heart-warming way you feel when you're in the company of kindred spirits.
That's why Debbie and I are giving away 2 one year subscriptions of MaryJanesFarm Magazine to celebrate our 200th Anniversary today!


We're making it simple to enter too! None of this "go" here and "go" there, " like" this and "like" that.
 Just leave a comment on both of our blogs and finish this statement if you "like" !

You might be a farmgirl if...
" you have more plants than you do shoes "
Your turn! 

I know Debbie ( Farmgirl Unleashed ) and I have said it before, but Farmgirl Friday is our favorite blogging day of the week, all because of you! So we'll keep hosting if you'll keep linking up! Deal?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Garden Notes with Deb: Sweet Spring Cuttings

Dear friends, 
How's your garden growing? All of a sudden I turned around and my peonies were in bloom!
I have the scented gardenia variety and I look so forward to them every year. I used to leave them on the bush outside so when I walked by I would get a sweet whiff of that beautiful scent. NO MORE!
Sometimes the rain would weigh the delicate blossoms down and I would find them laying on the ground. 
Now I cut them as the first sign of opening ( or a little later)  and arrange them to enjoy inside.


 I don't grow enough to make them part of my flower farm stock but they are perfect for making a few sweet spring arrangements. 

They are lovely on their own, but I like to add other elements for contrast and interest. For the longest stems possible, cut from the top of the crown of the plant. That way you'll have as much length as you need for small, medium, and large jars, vases, pitchers, etc.

These cuttings are from my established beds and borders.
The additional use of chive blossoms, catmint and Russian sage made for a heady herbal aroma!

The house smells wonderful! If you don't have any Gardenia Peony in your garden yet... You MUST get some!

My Ninebark shrub is just beginning to put on its tiny white blossoms. I added this shrub ( a native to New England) to our landscape garden two years ago and it's a beautiful performer;not to mention the color of the foliage is beautiful all season long and a few cuttings tucked into an autumn arrangement are right at home with the deep rich colors of the season.

All of the seedlings, tubers and corms are coming up in the raised beds. See those tiny green sprouts reaching for the sun? Such and exciting time of year for a backyard flower farmer. 

There's lots left to do here to get ready for the Farmers Market but I'm looking forward to it!
I'll be back to share next Wednesday in Garden Notes with Deb...

Friday, June 5, 2015

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 199

Welcome to the 199th Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop farmgirls! 
How long have you been coming to this hop?
  It's hard to believe we're just one hop away from our 200th Farmgirl Friday Anniversary!

Debbie ( Farmgirl Unleashed ) and I have an amazing Farmgirl-y giveaway planned so be sure to come by next week, share your posts and enter! 

 We harvested our first rhubarb this week so I made pie of course!
I shared a recipe for Sweet Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie on the Beach Farmgirl Blog
You'll never guess what's inside this pie, besides strawberries and rhubarb.

Debbie and her hubby added two new hives this week. She's got the scoop on the whole set-up here.

 It's a busy time of year with the school year coming to an end, graduations, weddings, and the rush of getting every thing planted too, but I wouldn't have it any other way, would you?  

Here's to a fabulous FARMGIRL week!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wedensday Garden Notes with Deb: Late-Spring Sprouts


Isn't this the sweetest bird-feeder? I call it my flowerbird ( yes, one word) feeder. It's made from a re-purposed silver-plated dish attached to copper tubing. My dear friend and artist  Sally Jo Pollard created it for her Patina collection. Sally loves to hunt for foundlings to use in her mixed media artwork. On of her many talents is to bring out the soul of an older piece by giving it a new purpose, and therefore a new life. My hubby and I were was thrilled to be her guest at one of her winter art shows this year. The day was a blustery, wet and dreary February day but this little flowerbird beeder sung to me from across the room and so it came home with me!

I've been waiting for the garden to come to life a bit before bringing it outside for the season. Last week I planted it in the deck garden where I can see it shining out of my kitchen window. I've yet to see any birds visit it but that might be due to the heavy rains and unusually cool temps we've had this week. I am happy to report, however that I've not seen one squirrel in my flowerbird! I think this may be the first bird feeder we've owned that's actually squirrel proof! The copper tubing the dish is perched on must be too slippery for them to climb up. Not that I have anything against feeding the squirrels, but I put that seed is for my winged friends!

All eight of the 4x12 raised beds are planted out. 
One bed is filled with snapdragons ( I purchased two flats already started) and some dusty miller which will make lovely fillers for bouquets.

Oriental Lily's and Gladiolus are all sprouting fine. I've only spotted a few red beetles on the lilies which I took care of with an organic soap spray. I may have to reapply more often than if I used something toxic but I don't want that stuff in my soil or near my pets.

Most of the dahlias are coming up beautifully. I'll need to keep an eye out for slugs with the rain we've had this week, but I'm ready for those little buggers... I've got my trusty Sluggo at the ready! 

In  two of the other raised beds I direct sowed Cosmos Rubenza. It's my first year growing them and I'm so in love with the deep, rich, ruby red petals and that cute little yellow button nose of a center.
I also planted Cockscomb... A popular market flower and gorgeous filler for bouquets too.

Now, if the temperatures would get back up into the 70's I'd relax a little and my zinnias and sunflowers would too!

It doesn't really matter if you're in the garden for 20 minutes or 2 hours. Spending time with your plants and flowers is sure to make any day in the garden a great one!
I hope you enjoy each and every minute ( yes, even the ones where you're so sore the next day you need assistance to get out of bed the next morning). 
How's your garden growing? 

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