Friday, April 29, 2011

Home Ec - Vegetable Gardening 101 - 2

In my last post I talked about a class I taught on vegetable gardening. If you missed that post scroll down and check it out before you read this one. This post is the second part of my Vegetable Gardeing 101.
Now on to where I left off.....

4. What to Plant:
     So you might be wondering "should I start my own seeds or buy plants from a garden center?" I start my own seed. I love being able to plant the seeds and watch them grow. However, seeds can sometimes be finiky and that can be frustrating. I recomend that if you have never had a garden before and this is your first time or if you don't have the time to start seeds, buy plants. They are just fine. They should grow great!
    When starting seeds I use this:
You can get them at a home center for around $5. Follow the instructions on the box and you shouldn't have any trouble.
      The most common and easy plants to grow are: Tomatoes, Lettuce, Peppers, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Green beans. All of these plants are pretty prolific growers and I recommend them for a beginner. There are many different varieties of these plants and that could get confusing. When you go to buy plants just read the labels and they will give a description of that plant. For instance, Roma Tomatoes - are good for sauces, Big Boy Tomatoes are good for slicing, Yellow Tomatoes are low acidic. The labels tell you a lot of info as well as the seed packets. The seed packets will also give you planting info.
      There are a few things you will buy in seed, Lettuce- comes in seed and you want to directly sow it into the garden. Corn, and Beans also get directly sowed into the garden. Again the label or packet should say whether it is recommended to directly sow the seed in the garden or start the seed inside.

5. Heirloom vs. Hybrid
      A Heirloom plant is a plant that has been around for many years. They are self pollinating. Say you grow an heirloom tomato and save the seeds out that tomato, you plant the seeds the next year, they should grow and produce more fruit.
      A Hybrid plant is a product of man crossbreeding different plants to produce a plant that has certain qualities. If you grow a hybrid tomato, save the seeds from that tomato, plant the seeds, a plant may grow but it will not produce fruit. Hybrids are very hardy and strong. They are resistant to a lot of diseases. I grow both heirloom and hybrid.

6. Companion Planting
     This is where you plant things that are compatable to each other. There are certain plants that like to be friends and there are certain plants that don't get along. here is an article along with a list of companion planting. Just keep these in mind when planting. Did you know when you plant the combo of tomatoes and marigolds they help keep garden pest away!! Neat stuff!

7. Keys to Success
      Hard work!! That's what it boils down to anyway. I would love to have a magic cure for weeds!! But there are none really. There are a few things you can do to deter weed growth: Mulching the rows and around the plants, you can use newspaper (biodegradable), grassclippings, or straw for this as well. But mostly you just have to get out there with a little elbow grease!

Well, I hope this has been helpful to someone. If you are an experienced gardener and have noticed something that is incorrect or you would like to add something, please let me know. I am not a professional and I only know what I know because of what I've tried in my own garden.

Happy Gardening!!

p.s. Did anyone else get up at the crack of dawn to watch a common girl named kate become a princess???

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Home Ec - Vegetable Gardening 101

Ok, so we are doing this series at church on Wednesday nights, where we offer different classes that each  last six weeks. During this six week session we are offering one class called Home Ec 101. Each week a different topic will be discussed by a different lady. This past Wednesday was Vegetable Gardening and I was the lucky lady who was teaching!! A little nervous I might add.
I didn't really feel that I was qualified to teach the class. It's not like I went to college for vegetable gardening or anything ( I do have a teaching degree in business) but still not very sure of myself. It's a little different teaching adults rather than teenagers. I am glad to report it went very well and actually I was able to answer most of the questions with confidence!

I thought I would share some of what we talked about and went over in the class, here on my blog. This may take more than one post....

1. My Experience/ My hearts desire:
     If you have not heard the story of how we ended up in our home go visit the Farm House page first!!! This will tell you my heart's desire to be a homemaker and a good steward with what God has given me, not only with my house but also with my land!
     As I mentioned I don't really have a lot of experience other than what I've tried over the past 6 years. I know what I know because I have tried things for myself. I read a lot of magazines, books, web sites, whatever I find that might be helpful and interesting. I think we learn best by doing!!!

2. Why have a Garden:
      There are many reasons...when it comes to homemaking I always think of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. She was the ultimate homemaker!! Proverbs 31:16 - She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. Even the virtuous woman played in the dirt. She was thrifty and a good steward of the land God had given her.
      Having a garden will provide you with fresh, organic food. Our gardens are chemical free. I believe so much that all the disease and health issues today stem from how we eat! Everything is processed and drowning in chemicals!
      Fresh food is Live food. Food that was living at one time can nourish our bodies in a way that processed food can not. It is so much better for our health.
      Gardening is a great way to eat healthy in a cost effective way. It saves money, not only in the summer but if you freeze or can your bounty, it can save you money year round.
      For me, gardening is a hobby. I enjoy it. I love watching things grow and being able to go out and pick a salad for dinner! So fun! It is rewarding to know that I can provide good food for my family! I am a little extreme comparied to most people. We have two very large gardens and I put up a lot of food. But again I enjoy it!!

3. Where to Plant Your Garden:
      We are living in a country where 85% (or more) of the population live in subdivisions. The yards are tiny, the dirt is depleted of nutrient rich soil, the HOA's are restrictive, and most yards are not conducive to gardening.
      You first need to decide how much space you have and determine the size you want your garden to be. Depending on your space, you may decide to do a raised bed or potted plants. A raised bed would be beneficial to those who have really bad soil, hard clay. You can find a good example of a raised bed here. Lowe's offers several different raised beds. Check them out here.
      If you don't have a lot of time or money to put into a raised bed, or if you will be the only person eating from your garden, pots are a great option. They are fairly inexpensive and easy to move to a sunny spot.
      You want to make sure your soil is prepared and has the adequate nutrients. Our local county soil and water conservation office offers free soil testing. They can tell you what your soil is lacking. I have found that adding some good, natural, fertilizer (in my case Chicken poop) does the soil good. I personally have never had my soil tested. I probably should....
       You want to pick a spot in your yard that get at least 6-8 hours of sun light a day. Most all plants are sun lovers! Lettuce can take partial shade...If you look at your seed packet or the label that comes with your plants it will tell you the ideal growing conditions for that plant.

 Ok, that was a lot of information for one post...I will post more about: What to Plant, Seeds or Plants, Companion planting, Spaceing plants, Heirloom/Hybrid, Keys to success.

If you have any questions please, please ask! Like I told my class, I don't know what you want to learn or what you have questions about. So ask and I will do my best to answer!!

Until next time,
Sarah Beth

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Pics

Hi friends!! I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! We spent time with my family and then went to my lovers side of the family. Unfortunately, most of them had already left, but we seen his sisters for a few minutes and then spent the rest of the evening with his parents.
Here are some pictures of my family!!
 The boys with basketballs under their shirts!!

 My brother and his family.

My love...
Me and my love...

My sisters kiddos...

 My sister and her kiddos...

 Mighty (that's what big brother calls her)

Fun day!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sewing Projects

So here is some of the stuff I've been working on...
 I love this donuts fabric!!

This is a changing pad that I found the pattern for here.

I made 2 of these.

These are burp clothes. Made 4.

They are flannel and terry cloth.
Bib and matching burp cloth. Made 2.
This is the other changing pad.

I even made my skirt for Easter!! I'll show that off next week!!

Happy Weekend!! Happy Easter!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

See My Garden Grow

This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship...

...between me and my garden!!

The peppers didn't come up so I will replant those, but everything else looks great!!!

Tomorrow I will share with you what baby things I've made this week!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sew Busy...

I have been busy sewing lately. I have these gifts I want to make. One of my projects is for my friend who is having a baby girl this week! I made her these pillows per her request...

 These pillows were pretty easy. The strap of color is not attached to the main pillow case so it can be removed for future use.
 The main pillow case is a simple envelope style case.

They match this bedroom perfectly!!

This is the cool part...

I was laying on the floor taking this picture of the ceiling.

Isn't this the coolest thing ever!!! Her baby girl is going to love this!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Love Me an Auction!!!

Hello all, hope you had a great weekend and a great start to your week! 
We had a great weekend. I got to spend every moment with my lover!!
We decided to hit the auction and it was fun!! I love going to auctions. You never know what you will find!!
The people there are hilarious to watch..people watching is one of my favorite past times!

So this is what we came home with...
 A basket full of silver flatware and serving pieces

 An old horse drawn sled running gear..this is my lovers purchase he has high hopes for what it could be someday! It's super heavy...cast iron!

 Gas cans...also my lovers...

 My lover also purchased two trash cans full of jars...for me I think!

 This neat rake. It has a long handle but I thought it would look cool hanging in the house somewhere..

(Sorry Santa is sideways)
 I love vintage Santa Clauses'...

 An old school slate..

 It has this detail around the edge along with a ruler, but it is hard to see.

This plate was in a box full of junk that was with something I bought. A nice surprise! Its still dirty. I think it might hang in the bathroom!

Total spent $74.00 not a bad day. We had fun together! We could totally be pickers for a living!! My problem would be that I wouldn't want to sell anything!!

Sarah Beth

Friday, April 15, 2011

God is Great...God is Good...and so is Life

This is how I started my day...
With a thankful helps the day go a little sweeter.

Happy Weekend!
Sarah Beth

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quilts Show

I started writing this post on I finally found my pictures!!

Well, I sit here with the sun shinning and warmth trying to push the cold out. The sun feels wonderful! 
However I have not got much done today due to a stomach virus that seems to have touched my side of the family. We were all together Monday evening and now many of us are sick! Not fun. My food for the day...Popsicle!

Anyways, over the weekend I had the opportunity to go to the International Quilt Festival with my friend Amanda. She is my only sewing friend...other than my sister, but my sissy doesn't have much time to sew. I'm pretty sure we were the youngest girls there! Here are a few pictures from our day! It was quite fun but it did not help with my fabric obsession by any means!

This is a quilt! Can you believe it! There is even  shadowing from the barn roof  on the barn! Crazy!

Love these pastel colors. The vintage fabrics are my favorite!

Super soft quilt.

Love this giant wood bowl full of thread!! A feast for the eyes!

 Very Patriotic..

Red and White...I'm in Love!


These are all vintage blue fabrics!!

I love the detail on this one..

Beautiful colors. I love all the colors of fabric!

Ok, you can't really tell but this quilt is nothing but tiny little squares. It's from the 1920's!! I'm not that patient.
This is the view from above, to the left...

to the right...huge!

A view of the city.

Pretty displays were everywhere...

What a fun way to spend a rainy day!!