A Sea Of Green

Summer has hit for sure. It’s now hot and mostly dry. The garden isn’t growing at the phenomenal rate it boasted in late spring, but it continues on.

The no till, permaculture based, companion planted method we’re trying leaves the garden looking more than a bit wild at times, even when well weeded and neatly tended. My pole beans are as virulent as ivy or kudzu. They, more than anything else, have made me rethink what qualifies a plant as a “weed”. The whole garden looks like a sea of green, with summer breezes rolling leaves a bit like waves. It is producing fairly well, however, and I can’t say I have many complaints about the system. Pests have been minimal (a few beetles, some worms on my tomatoes, and strange ants that are very fond of eggplant have been it), wildlife has kept out, and the weeds have mostly provided excellent mulch. I’ve also found myself with so many peppers that in addition to eating them, pickling them, and using them in relishes and salads, I’m now finding myself participating in a time honored southern tradition of pawning off unused garden grown produce to unsuspecting relatives before it can go to waste.

That and the one where we fry things. Green tomatoes in this particular instance.

Green isn’t the only color to be found in abundance. Lilies, marigolds, and hydrangeas are in full bloom. Everything is awash with color.

If only it weren’t for the the heat. As things stand right now, I’m trying to stay out of the midday sun, but otherwise am continuing on as normal, just a bit closer to dawn and dusk. I can’t complain too much. It’s allowed me to witness some stunning sunsets.

There is nothing quite like the hum of crickets in the garden, a beautiful sunset, a homegrown meal, and a good night’s sleep.

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Roadtrip To Baby

We’re finally home again, arriving to be greeted by a massively overgrown garden (no pictures of it in full glory since I dove straight into clean up efforts upon arrival without thinking about taking any). That kept me busy last night, so I got all my pictures from the trip uploaded this morning.

Mellie was really amazing on the ride. She only really got fussy right before bedtime and shortly before we arrived back home after 3 hours in stop and go traffic.

We ended up staying for about a week and a half, during which Mellie learned to say “baby”..

..and we did some belly henna.

Then there was a special delivery!

Greetings From Maryland

My munchkin and I are visiting my best friend outside of Baltimore as she eagerly awaits the beginning of her own journey into parenthood. After a somewhat long road trip with a small child, we are here and settled in and have been for a few days. I have taken a ton of pictures, but my brilliant idea of bringing both camera and laptop and continuing to update like normal isn’t working out the way I had expected it to. Then again, how often do thing really go as planned?

Soon it will be back to normal schedule, but, until then, please wish my favorite Maryland mama-to-be (and the associated daddy) a quick, easy, uncomplicated birth for their first child!

How To Make Newspaper Seedling Cups

When I first started this whole blog thing I had fully intended to post a ton of tutorials and patterns as a way of giving back after years of learning that way myself. I’ve kind of failed in that area, but better late than never.

You can make biodegradable seedling cups out of misprinted printer paper, old newspapers, even junk mail. These are fantastic because when your seedlings are ready to go in the ground, you just stick pot and all in the dirt and let it grow. All you need it some kind of paper and a couple of cups about the size you want to make that fit together well.

To start, cut or tear your paper into strips that are a bit wider than the depth of the cup you plan to make. Mine are approximately 6 inches wide for roughly 3 and a half inch tall cups.

To start, fold over one of the long edges, just to give it a bit of stability.

Next, fold side at the top, wrap the paper around your cup.

Next, fold the ends below the bottom of the cup over to close the bottom.

Slide the second cup over this and press them together to mold the paper into the desired shape.

You now have a seedling cup that is perfectly usable, but for a little added strength, we’ll go a bit further. Take the seedling cup out of its mold and you will find there is a sort of loose edge.

Carefully fold the top edge of the cup down towards the inside of the cup, then slide back over your mold to really get a firm crease.

Now your seedling cup is ready to use! You can sandwich it between the cups you used for a mold overnight to get it really good and set into a cup-like shape, or you can fill it with some soil, drop a seed in it, and begin eagerly awaiting the first glimpse of green. Whatever you choose, enjoy!

Rainy Memorial Day Weekend

The weekend was on and off rainy. It would stop from time to time, but everything was a muddy mess. The garden has been growing with leaps and bounds due to all the wet weather though!

While certain things just had to be done, rainy or not, for the most part I stayed in. There was a little crafting done..

..but I mostly stuck to the kitchen. I was on a quest to use some of the radishes from the garden so they wouldn’t turn peppery and pithy before I got to them, to use up some of the contents of the fridge, and to stock up on some edibles to leave for the guys while I’m away (the birth of my second favorite little girl is imminent!).

The radishes themselves became pickles.

The radish leaves became pesto.

The pesto (about half of it) became muffins.

I was thrilled with how these came out. They’re a bit dense, but have a good flavor and freeze really well.

On Saturday we went to visit Pop-pop and Nena who were hosting a pre-Memorial Day crawfish boil. Mellie got to visit, touch a crawfish, and pull Pop-pop’s beard.

It was a pretty decent weekend, despite the weather.

A Hint Of Summer

Summer is sneaking up on us quickly! I got a reminder of this in the form of a sudden explosion of bright colored blooms around the house. I’m fighting a bit of a summer cold, but I managed to snap a few pictures yesterday before taking myself and a cup of tea to bed.

The gardenias are already starting to wilt a bit and no longer make for the loveliest of photos, but the air in the garden is thick with their fragrance.

We have also had an explosion of mint which I can’t really smell right now, but I know I normally like too.

The vegetable growing outside the kitchen are starting to mature as well. We’ve already picked some of the radishes with others to follow soon. The yellow crookneck squash, zucchini, tomato, and some of the eggplant varieties are all blooming. Some of them even have small veggies on them already.

Some of the beans have reached the tops of their poles as well now.

I hope it’s a fruitful summer. It’s certainly looking like it will be.

The World’s Biggest Baby Shower

I spent the weekend working the Georgia Birth Network booth at an event called “The World’s Biggest Baby Shower”. What a great weekend! I met some really awesome mama-to-be’s, some local prenatal, birth, and postpartum professionals that I’d not run into before, and even a couple of care providers.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!