Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day!
Don't you wish we all got this excited to see our shadow :)   I got up this morning and realized that I did not have a valentines outfit for Gracie!!! I simply did not think about it because we did not have anything planned.  As I was searching in her drawer I found a skirt that I never put her in and a top that was all stained so I decided to make them into a dress for her and embellish it since I am rich with fabric around this house :) I just love how it turned out!! 

  Since I was at it I thought I am so tired of wearing jeans and old tee shirts (and I am sure that my husband is tired of seeing me in that) so I searched in my closet for something and put together a new dress for me as well and we went and had a lunch date with daddy for Valentines day.  It has been a great day so far!  

Gracie's outfit before....
Showing off her outfit after
An old maternity shirt (that I am ashamed to admit that I still wore sometimes.......)
A dress that was a strapless summer dress (and a REALLY bad photo of it :)
Once again this is a bad photo but at least I got one picture :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Grass to food!!!

From Grass To Food

I wanted to call this post from grass to food because when we moved here we had basically just a great grassy lawn that was perfectly fenced in but I saw it not as a great place for Gracie to run around in but as a great place for her to learn about where our food comes from.  She will have a chance, even in the urban area, to get her hands dirty and experience picking tomatoes right off the vine and eating them. We did a garden last year (with not much success) but in learning from this experience we are doing things a bit different this year.  The other way to turn our grass into food was to get chickens for the eggs!!! It has taken me a year to get them but I am so excited to say we have some new little ladies that are part of our family.  The last thing that we have recently done in our yard it make a compost pile.  I will talk about these three things in this blog post.  I have to say first and foremost I am NOT an expert in any way on these things but I am just trying to provide the best food for my family at the best cost possible and give my daughter the love of great food just like her mommy and daddy.  

We are doing our garden this year with the principles from the movie  Back to Eden Film (you can watch it for free online if you follow this link so no excuses to not watch it :) It is a great film that is biblical based and talks about when Adam and Eve left the garden it says that the first thing they did was till the soil and how that is not what God meant for us to do when growing.  It shows a way to get back to the way God designed us to garden. Even for a new gardener like myself it is a great video to watch to learn about gardening.   This first picture is the strawberry bed.  The back part was existing from last year and the part in the front is the expanded portion with the new gardening method.  When my strawberries start to grow I will spread them out to the whole patch. The picture below is my summer garden (or the start of it) I bought these trays with the pods at Walmart for $5.50 each and I have 100 starts that are all Baker Creek Seeds.  The reason I do Baker Creek Seeds is because they are not genetically modified in any way and if I am going to do an organic garden where I want to give my family the best possible produce why would I use genetically modified seeds to plant with?  It is just a personal preference though :)

 Celery Experiment
This is such a cool thing I had to share!! I saw on Pintrest that you could grow celery by simply chopping off the bottom couple of inches of the celery that you buy at the store and planting it.  I buy organic celery every week anyway so I thought it would not hurt to try.  This first picture was the first week I tried it (about 3 weeks ago) and it is totally sprouting and all I did was put the bottom of the celery in the ground.  You can see from this picture that with our new form of gardening you simply dig down through the mulch and plant into the soil.  I have not watered the garden once and it is totally growing!!! (I am still amazed since our water bill last year went up about $50.00 a month from the garden alone...).  The second picture is the second week and the third picture I just planted yesterday. 
The Compost Pile
 We re purposed some old fences that the neighbor was throwing out for the cutness factor and so that I did not have just a pile of compost in my corner that looked ugly :) Great idea Dad!!!  We just put our leaves and compost (before we got the chickens) under a tarp to "brew".  I am going to rake this out and let the chickens "turn" my compost for me so that I do not have to do it by hand.  Then I can use the compost to put on my garden when I am ready to put in my summer garden. The picture below is under the tarp. 

The Chickens!!!!
 This has got to be my favorite part of the new grass to food experiment.  One of my daughters first foods was egg yokes and we have been buying for a local guy for about 8 months and I really wanted to have some chickens of my own.  My parents have chickens and I have wanted to get some for our family for a long time.  I just think it is so cool to go out in the morning and see if there is any eggs for breakfast.   We just got 4 laying hens and hope to get possibly 2 more but being that they are laying hens they cost us $15.00 each so we will get more next week hopefully (by the way $15.00 is a good deal for a laying hen) My amazing dad came to visit and made this cool coop that we have nicknamed the Zamboni chicken coop (because it looks like a Zamboni my husband says :) My dad made it movable so that I can move it around the yard so the chickens can get fresh grass everyday without them eating my garden!!  We just got them yesterday and we already have 2 eggs!!!! I am so excited.
The girls eating their breakfast and hanging out

Our Zamboni chicken coop

Before we got the girls

Just another angle

The little door so that I can get eggs and let the out if I want.  (My husband is going to build another door on the other side so that I can put their food and water in easier.) 

The roost for them to rest on

Before we put the sawdust in but a picture of the laying boxes.    
I know this is a lot of info but there seems to be interest in my little experiment. That is the great thing about blogs, you can ramble about things in your life and someone may want to read it :) Hope this helps someone out there.  By the way we live in the middle of the city and do not have much land but we have made what we have work.  Even if you only have a little patio you can have a little garden :) Blessing to you all!!!