Thursday, April 19, 2012

Is It Summer Yet?

While I was finishing up the post from earlier, my oldest woke up and snuggled next to me. "is it gonna be nice today?" she asked.
"Yes...almost 80."
"It's cold?"
"No, it's hot."
7:30 this morning she comes into the room wearing her bathing suit. I think she is ready for the warm weather.

Making Extra Money While Staying at Home

Right now I am sitting in bed watching the sun come up through the window. These quiet moments are few and far between. Soon the kids will be awake and I will be throwing laundry in the machine, making breakfast, and getting ready to work in the garden. I am fortunate to be able to stay home and raise my kids and play around with some of my hobbies. I am hoping to make a bit of extra cash so Scott could take a day or two off without it hurting our budget. My favorite idea so far is the micro farm produce stand. I really enjoy getting my hands dirty and growing something from seed. I enjoy feeding people and talking about the food I grow. The kids love being outside playing in the dirt, helping plant the seeds, learning about bugs and how things grow.

If all goes well, this will be my favorite job, aside from being a mom, that I ever had.
While this one is not a "money maker" unless you have time to market and advertise, I find making soap to be just as fun as gardening. I do have a few customers that come back time after time, which is nice. I like to know that I am providing all natural, good for your skin soap. And it also makes wonderful gifts, I call this one more of a hobby than a true money maker.
Lastly, I love sewing. I make a lot of the home decor things like throw pillows, pillow cases, seat covers and the likes. I have just started making pillowcase dresses. I know everyone and there mother makes them too, but if I find a few of the non sewers that are not Etsy customers then I will have some customers. Now if I make a few different sizes and sell them at the roadside market then I will probably make a bit more cash.
Turning a hobby into a money maker is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be. If you get a few loyal customers and make great products, eventually you be known by word of mouth and break even on your endeavors. If you have the time and money to market you could probably start making money, but in the mean time I am still considering them my hobbies and enjoying what I do.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

An Experiment

Scott bought me a very small, but invaluable asset to my obsession with starting all my plants from seed.

As you can see it was a rainy day. None better than to take pictures of my germinating seeds. All the seeds were planted on Monday. Before the storm.

In every pot there are 2 seeds, except the basil. They are such tiny seeds that I just added a pinch. When it comes to thinning I will have to figure something out.

I chose a lot of heirloom varieties like this Sebastopol Tomato. The story goes that the seeds were held onto by a lady for 70 years. Just had to try. I wish I had planted  a few more San Marzano Tomatoes though. I like can sauce and salsa for winter and it would be nice to do some plain tomatoes of this tasty kind.

I also did a few standard veggies, California Wonder Bell Peppers, Straight Eight Cucumber and Black Beauty Eggplant, all of which I plan to sell at my roadside market this summer.
Has anyone tasted a Cherokee Purple tomato? What is the flavor and the best use for it? Sandwiches? Salads? or Just off the vine warmed by the sun?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Memory Tray

I have a tray in the Master bedroom. It holds trinkets I hold dear to my heart. They are memories of people I want to think about everyday.

They came from my great grandmother & grandma  my sister, my husbands grandma, his father, and great aunt.

They are precious and priceless.

Please excuse the dust. They are my clutter and collection. They are pieces that mean the most to me.

They are good times I had with loved ones. Reminders...Memories.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Another Beautiful Day

It poured rain last night, but this is how the afternoon turned out. Beautiful!
I decided to wash and hang some of the quilts I have. Getting them ready for our Easter Picnic. This one is my favorite. My Mother sewed it and it has patches of fabric from clothes me and my sister wore, along with a few of my parents clothes. Such a fun and snugly blanket with lots of meaning and memories.

One of my helpers hard at work...fixing the wheel barrow tire.
My other one being a goof. She was moving my sign around to find the perfect spot.
Here is 3 varieties of thyme I grow in an old rim of my husbands 1963 Nova. They look a bit scraggly now but come summer I will have thyme growing out of my ears.
And here is my garden. I still have a TON of work to do, but I finally removed the straw and started a new compost pile. We still have to add our last years compost and till it all together then I will be ready to sketch the plant placement. My seeds shipped today so I will get them potted and in about 6 weeks I will have plants ready for the ground. Once the last frost has passed I can get the zucchini and yellow squash seeds in the ground.
If I get at least 2 more beds started then I will almost double my tomato plants to about 18 - 20. I can't wait to put all those tomatoes up for the winter.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Little Break in the Weather

Finally a day of sunshine. Cold, but sunny and after all that rain it just puts a smile on your face when you see the sun and feel the warmth of its rays.
And with the sunshine came the gardening itch. I ordered around $25 in seeds from Sustainable Seed Company (not endorsed by them, just like them). They carry a great collection of heirloom seeds. I picked out some great tomatoes, probably 6 different types: Red Calabash, San Marzano, Petrillo, Sebastopol Cherry, Big Rainbow and Yellow Pear, some peppers (3 types including Cubanelle which I have searched to no end and finally found) and 2 varieties of squash both zucchini, one yellow, one green stripes.
I hope to get them soon since I need to pot the tomatoes and peppers so they will be ready to plant when the weather warms up.

I also bought some flower seeds and priced redwood for a few new beds I want to add to expand our current garden. I am also looking at greenhouses. I would LOVE a 12x8 greenhouse with all the bells and whistles, but for right now I will settle for a cheap plastic zip up style.

All of these are from last years garden. I hope to have just as much luck if not more this year. I hope this gives all of you the itch to get out there and garden.