My $5 Quilt Block – July

Finally, I’ve figured out how they get ya.  I haven’t missed a month yet so each pattern and fabric has been free ever since I paid $5 in January.  I decided to stop by to pick up enough fabric to finish my quilt when I’ve done all of the squares.  It ran almost $200 and that doesn’t even include the batting!  I’m starting quilting classes next week.  I’ve signed up for three different multi-day topics in August.  Something called Quilt As You Go, Binding, and they are finally offering owner instruction on the sewing/embroidery machine I got in February.  I think I’m about to become dangerous…


Saving Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Saving heirloom tomato seeds for next year’s garden is super easy.  We do it every year and have great success with it.  It’s important to save only heirloom, not hybrid tomato seeds because hybrids won’t produce true in the next generation.  We select the very best specimens of each variety while they are still on the vine.  You’re trying to replicate, so make sure you’re replicating the very best.  I usually pick them at ripe then further kind of over-ripen them on my windowsill.

The first step is to remove the seeds along with the jelly stuff that surrounds them.  I put it all in a clear water glass and throw out the remaining pulp and skins.  If they’re not too over-ripe, you can have a snack!

Pour about a half cup of water on top of the seeds and put them on your windowsill.  Leave them for a couple of days to ferment.

This is what the seeds/water mixture will look like when it’s fermented, stuff rises to the top of the water.  This is the yucky part.  I get in there with my fingers and squish what is floating around so the seeds fall to the bottom of the glass.  Carefully pour off the water and yucky stuff and add some more fresh water.  I let this sit for a half hour or so then pour the water off of the seeds again and replenish it.

Keep refreshing the water until you get what you see in the glass to the right.  Basically seeds and clearish water.  If any seeds continuously float to the top, go ahead and get rid of them.  No need to waste any effort next year trying to grow bad seeds.

Take a strainer and pour the entire glass of water into it and give them a rinse under running water.

Dump your strainer onto a piece of newspaper, spread the seeds out so they are in a single layer then put it aside and forget about it for 2 weeks.  At that time, the seeds will be fully dry and ready to be stored until planting time again.  Happy gardening!

Feathered Piggies

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Poultry eats a LOT!  We feed them veggie, fruit and bread scraps and give them a fresh 10 by 10 foot space of grass and bugs every day when we move the tractors.  We still manage to go through about two bags of feed a week between our turkeys, layers, roosters and meat chickens.   I ran errands this morning.  My husband went to get chicken feed while I was out… getting chicken feed.  The extra won’t go to waste!  We keep all of our feed in metal garbage cans to keep the rodents (and goats) out of it.  We’ve now got a two week stash.

An Early Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is four months away and our turkeys are already huge.   Dang it, we started too early.  We”ll either have humongous birds in November or will have birds available early.  These things have been a bit of trouble for us this year and eat a LOT.  I think we’ll probably just grow our own holiday birds from here on out.  We’ll find something else to experiment with next year.

Which One of These is Right Sized?

Actually, both of them!  That’s a gorgeous brandywine tomato and our very first canteloupe of the season.  It’s a small variety, like single serving sized.  We’re also harvesting okra.  The seeds were a gift.  I am thinking we’ll fry some of it and I’ll make a batch of gumbo.  Mmmm… gumbo!

They Grow Up So Quickly

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That’s Kat on the left side of the flock photo, with one of her boys standing behind her looking at the camera (the other one was off cavorting somewhere).  It’s hard to believe he was born just five months ago!

Seed Saving Time

Tomatoes are just coming in for some folks around here but, since we start early, it’s time for us to harvest seeds.  If you want to save seeds, it’s important to select only heirloom tomatoes.  You shouldn’t save seed from hybrid vegetables because they won’t produce true in the next generation.   I’ve started the process by selecting only the best specimens and letting them get overripe.   I’ll post some more photos of the process when we’re all done.

This Year’s Lambs

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It’s hard to believe our lambs were born just a few months ago.  There’s one little one we’re still able to catch and annoy pet.

Double Occupancy

Nugget, our little Sebring banty chicken gave us about a half dozen eggs this year then stopped laying.  She didn’t, however, stop sitting.  She parks herself in our kitty litter/laying box and refuses to move… even when someone who actually is contributing to my egg carton shows up.  As soon as Columbia, one of our Rhode Island Reds lays her giant brown egg, Nugget will settle in on it and wait for it to hatch.  Since we kicked our mean roosters out of the barn, that won’t be happening.  I’ve found her on as many as four eggs.  When the Americaunas start laying, she’ll have to flatten herself out even bigger to keep them all warm until we can gather them.

Mama’s Little Helper

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Jenna helped us dig fingerling potatoes in the garden this morning.  This is also known as napping under foot/getting in the way.  🙂

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