"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived" Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)

"Judge every day not by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you sow." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, December 2, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

 Fire and Ice

Sorry to be away from my blog for a few weeks.  I had a bit of a set back, oh the bumps in life.  But alls good and ready to share about my neck of the woods.

Had a wonderful Thanksgiving and decorating for Christmas.  Hopes for snow!

Planted a few bulbs today for spring flowers.   So not to late to get some out if you can work the soil. 

These photos I call Fire and Ice.  It got down to freezing and I had a ice cream container filled with water and left outside. Next day it was frozen, tipped over and ice cube fell out with a hollow center, perfect for a candle.  A couple of leaves fell in before it frozen and made a nice decoration.   These are so easy to make, you could add coloring and decorations for the holidays.  Last a long time if it stays cold.  I moved mine out of the sunshine to keep from melting.  Pretty in day and super cool at night. 

Seed catalogs will be coming in and I'm so excited about next seasons garden.   Its fun to plan during the winter months, cup of coffee , seed catalogs, sitting next to the wood stove and snow flying.  Makes winter not so bad.

Winter sowing will start in Jan.  So will be sharing about that a little later.

Happy Holidays and thanks for your visits

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

Green Dragon Arisaema dracontium

This bright red berries are from the Green Dragon plant, growing wild along the banks of the creek and in the woods it bright berries show up easy.   The leaves are big and horse shoe shape.  When berries are green they almost look like corn growing.

Birds and critters like eating the berries which are said to be bitter and can irritate the mouth.

Heres a link for more info and pictures Green Dragon

Homestead update:
Weekend was cool and trees are turning.  Won't be long before we fire up the wood stove.  I really over did the turnip patches.  I sowed really thick.  I'll need to thin and use for greens which is a good thing.  I hope to have lots of turnips.  You either like them or not.  I like to boil the turnip chunks in a little sugar water.  Then eat with salt, pepper and butter when tender.  They taste like cauliflower that way.      

Tomatoes still coming on and peppers to.  Digging up potatoes all through the spring and summer and looks like plenty for fall to.  Theres still a lot of new potatoes.  I will dig some up for seed potatoes. 

Lots and lots of Marigolds from saved seeds.   There will be many to gather later along with Zinnias and other flower seeds.  Most these seeds I just direct sow and I do have a lot of volunteers as well. 

Soon there will be leaves to rake and compost will be filled with the leaves.  They take a long time to break down so running the mower over the pile helps chop them up a bit.  They go in the bag and that is then dumped in the compost.   The leaves are also great to put in the chicken Hen Den, let them break it down to a nice compost.  

Leaves changing colors, cooler weather, pumpkin patch, candy, orange, fall decoration, Thanksgiving, turkey and dressing.  I love Autumn and all the Blessings that come with this time of the year.

Have a great week, thanks for dropping by

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

Blue lobelia  Lobelia siphilitica

Also know as Great lobelia.  The water is down in the creek so I took a look for rocks and arrowheads.  I found these growing along the banks, altho not many.  It can grow 3 ft and comes in colors of light or dark violet, light or dark blue or lavender, rarely white.

Plant contains a narcotic poison and was used in medicine.

Heres a link for more info Blue lobelia

Sometimes the little beauties of nature might be in the garden or along a creek bank, always keep looking.

Have a great week , Autumn is in the air : )

Monday, September 23, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's


Zinnia  Zinnia elegans

One of the flowers that I save seeds each year and they never fail to make a nice summer and Autumn showing.  Zinnias work so well in the garden and having a butterfly garden with lots of hummingbirds and other little critters which like these beautiful flowers.    

Great for cut flowers and the more you cut the more they grow.  Also a nice dry flower as well for fall arrangements.  

So easy to grow, here's a good link for more info:  Zinnia 
Alto the Zinnia is a common flower it is nice to see all the different colors blooming.  Great garden addition. 

Homestead update:  Super nice weather, walnuts and hickory nuts falling each day along with acorns.  Squirrels are working for their winter stash.   Building up the wood stack and getting ready for cooler weather that could happen anytime from here on out. Hummers are still around and they will be off on their long journey.
Tomatoes, peppers, okra,  beans still going strong.  Planted a few beds in turnips and they were up in less then a week. 
Picked up a couple of pumpkins today for Autumn decoration. 

Need to get some garlic bulbs planted and different spring flower bulbs as well.  The walnut leaves are the first to start falling and its quite a show when they leave their summer home. 

Happy Autumn

Monday, September 16, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)

These little wild flowers grow along the creek bank and very pretty altho not a very good shot.  But they are not pretty if eaten.  Seems they can poison cattle and can cause sickness and death if humans drink the milk of a cow that has ate this weed.  Called "milk-sickness" many an early settlers were killed by the poisoned milk including Lincoln's mother.  So beware of this weed, effects other animals as well.   Also has a medical purpose, so is interesting to check out.   

Heres a link to more info: White Snakeroot

Garden update:
Planted turnips, a little late but they are a cold crop so might get some greens out of the beds.  Turn over for green composts too.

Thanks for your visit and have a great week--- fall is almost here : )

Monday, September 9, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

Wildflower: Morning Glory (Ipomoea hederacea)

These Wild Morning Glories are growing in the bean patch.  Theres some darker ones growing on an old root stump in the garden. So very pretty.  They last only a day just like the Day Lily so I'm glad theres many coming on.  The bees and butterflies and birds seem to like these very well and they are such a surprise among all the green.  

Here's some more pictures on the this wildflower , also called Ivy-leaf Morning Glory Wild Morning Glory

Garden update:
Second planting of beans were picked yesterday with more to pick in a couple of days.  Green beans and new potatoes for tomorrows dinner.   Pumpkins did not do well.  Tomatoes doing well.  Corn did not. Hot peppers need picking.    

All have a great week and thanks so much for visiting the camp

Monday, September 2, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

"Best I love September's yellow,
 Morns of dew strung gossamer,
 Thoughtful days without a stir,
 Rooky clamours, brazen leaves,
 Stubble dotted o'er with sheaves
 More than Spring's bright uncontrol
 Suit the Autumn of my soul."
                                      Alex Smith

Black-eyed Susan-  Rudbeckia hirta

These wildflower beauties are almost everywhere.  They take the summer heat and last awhile.  I like for cut flowers and dry them as well for fall decorations. 

Bees, birds and butterflies love this plant. 

The root is used in teas for worms, colds; external wash for sores, snakebites, swelling; root juice for earaches..  Here's the link for more info:Black-eyed Susan

I hope you have this flower in your area. 

Have a great Labor Day and a good week coming up.
Thank you for your visit : )

Monday, August 26, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

Crownbeard  Verbesina helianthoides 
This wildflower Crownbeard is new to my wildflower garden, It looks almost like the same set up I did a couple of week ago with the wildflower Partridge Pea.  I like black frames around yellow flowers and I have a lot yellow flowers. : )
Also called Wing-stem , Its in the Aster family--- Asteraceae
If you look at the bigger picture you will see a spider on the bottom flower.
Here's a link to more pictures, need to scroll down to get some really nice pictures.  The seed pod also called a Wing-stem will be a nice fall decoration.  Well be saving seeds on this one.  Crownbeard
Thank you all for stopping by, we still have hot weather this week and I can't wait tell fall.
Have a great week, I'll try and post more homestead happenings this week.  Take good care.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

Amaranth Amaranthus cruentus
Hopi Red Dye

I didn't plant any of the Amaranth in my garden this year, it came up on its own.  I just let it grow where it wanted to.  Its so very pretty. 

Amaranth leaves when young can be used, the bright fuscia pink is great to add to your fresh salads.
Matures leaves turn to a deep red and the stunning flowers have nutritious black seeds.  The Hopi use these seeds to make their famous red corn breads. 

I have not tried the seeds but would be fun to do. I love cornbread.  Would make a nice Autumn color to go along with meals.

Here's a bit more on the plant, hope you have this in your garden Amaranth Hopi Red Dye

Thanks for stopping by the camp, have a great week

Monday, August 12, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

Partridge Pea  Chamaecrista fasciculata

A new discovery on the homestead is Partridge Pea. I'm sure it was always here but I just took notice and seen a couple of plants.

Its a pretty little wildflower plant that gets about 2 ft tall.  The leaves look like ferns.  Fruit is a short bean like pod.  Not sure if this plant is edible.

The quail and many other birds do like the seeds.  Partridge Pea is seen along roadside around early fall. 

The leaflets will fold up when touched.  I cut a few for a bouquet but it did not do well, and probably because of the sensitive flowers.  Best to let grow wild and have your bouquets outside. 

Here's a link with more info. Partridge Pea It does say that if live stock eats large quantities of this plant it can be fatal.  So maybe not a good human food.  The deer love it and does not harm them. 

So many beautiful wild flowers that get looked over and mowed down.  Getting out and really studing wildflowers make them no longer weeds to me : )

Well until next week , I'll be checking around to see what other wilds I will find.  I'll be doing veggies to, nuts and trees.  If it grows will have it on the Plant Camp.

Thanks for your visits and have a great week

Monday, August 5, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

Goat's Beard

Goat's Beard Tragopogon dubius

If you seen some super sized dandelion like white fluffs along a country road , your probably looking at Goat's Beard.  

Its gets  2 1/2 ft tall with a beautiful yellow flower.  Then when its time for it to go to seed its a whole new look like this photo, It truly is beautiful.  
I don't have this growing on the homestead yet, but saved the seeds for next season.  I may try some winter sowing on the seeds as well. 

The name dubius is Latin meaning "doubtful" because the plant was long mistaken for another species. 

More pictures of flower and some info on this wonderful weed Goat's Beard

Hope you have some growing where you live

Thanks for dropping by, have a great weeks and see ya later

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Herbal Salves

I completed my herbal salves the other day, finally got the bees wax.  They turned out good.  Was able to find these tins and I like to get more of them.  The small jar works great to. 

I was able to get a hard salve and a softer one.  You can work the wax to make it the consistency you like.

Theres only three herbs that worked while I was sunny them in the window, Thyme,Yarrow and Chamomile.  The Plantain and Nettle did not do well and I know why too.  I did not have them completely covered in olive oil.  They molded.  Must be covered.  And those two I wanted the most.  Need to get more oil and do again. 

These salves are great for rashes, insect bites and stings to scraps ad cuts.   Always check information on herbs before you apply.  Some herbs are very potent.  So please check first. 

I have lots of herbs and how to's but not until I got spring and summer issue of Mary Janes Farm magazine and her easy to follow and inspiring article that I jump right in doing something I had talked of doing for many years.  I'm so pleased with the results and will be adding other herbs to my collection and hope I never have to use them but its good to have on hand.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, July 29, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

Forget-Me-Nots  Myosotis laxa

I came to growing these little beauties from a stand outside of a store. They were taking donation for Alzheimers disease and giving away packets of Forget-Me-Nots.  I could not think of a more appropriate flower.  They will remind me how devastating the disease yet the beauty of love ones and their strength to carry on.

"(Ouote from text)---Henry David Thoreau wrote, "The moose-ear forget-me-not, Myosotis laxa, has now extended its racemes very much, and hangs over the edge of the brook. It is one of the most interesting minute flowers. It is the more beautiful for being small and unpretending; even flowers must be modest."

Here's a little something about them   Forget-Me-Nots

Thank you for dropping by
Have a great week

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Keeping A Journal

My Journal

Adding anything I like


I've started back at keeping a journal.  Set it aside and its hard to get back at it.   The upper two pictures are one of my journals.  Its a smaller book but great to take outside and sketch or jot down notes.   I even started some Haiku poems, these are fun three liners of anything you like.  Also working on sketches and watercolors.   
The last book is pure inspiration by Cathy Johnson, she is a artist ,naturalist, writer and shares so much in all fields.  She points out that no matter if you think that theres nothing to journal  about and it might be to mundane that even the little things can be captured in words and sketches to get us out of that way of thinking.   Shes so right.  You can journal no matter where you are.  Pick a subject , your thoughts anything you like.   The best part theres no rules, its yours, and you don't need to be an artist either.  I sometimes use stick people in my jounal to show family gatherings. 
If you can come across Cathy Johnsons book or others that will get you to keep one of your own, its so worth it. 
Do you keep a journal?  
Thanks for stopping by and Happy Journaling

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

Blazing Star 
The Blazing Star is blooming!  I don't have but a few plants but someday there will be many.  I'll save the seeds for winter sowing and then plant them next spring.  I have both purple and white

Blazing Star, Liatris pycnostachya is a wildflower.   Its also called Gayfeather and Button snakeroot.

Here's a link for more information on this lovely wildflower  Blazing Star

Garden:  Picking green beans and tomatoes, waiting for the squash. 
Even though would be for some rain the plants are still in good shape.

Have a great week and thanks again for your visits


Monday, July 15, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

This weeks featured plant on the homestead is the Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) plant.  I've been after this one for a couple of years. They went the first day at Powell Gardens plant day.   The leaves are beautiful purple and green.  Mine is doing well under the shade, hope it can take our summer heat.  A little over a ft high right now and those colors are still pretty.

Heres some info, check into this plant.  Persian Shield

Thank you for your visits, have a great week

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

This plant, Mullein also called Flannel Plant- Verbascum thapsus  grows all around the homestead.  It gets pretty tall, the leaves are velvet soft and the flowers our pretty, butterfly's like them too so I let them stay.

An extract  against respiratory problems was used by Native Americans and settlers. They also also smoked the leaves.    Was even used for diapers b/c of the super softness of the leaves.   It can be used today on walks in the wild incase nature calls.  I have not tried but good to know. 

Here's a link to more info:  Mullein

Always check before you use or eat anything in the wild.  Better to be safe then sorry. Esp when it comes to mushrooms and look alike plants.   Check with your doctor always before using a medical plant. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th. 

Take good care

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Coyote Stamp

I was working with digital apps on my Nook HD and alto I didn't get a realistic coyote this was what I ended with.  It's simple and it will work for my homestead stamp.  Maybe I can work on that nose, sort of got its tip cut off on the original drawing.   Anyway its fun to work with different  inks and effects on digital art.

Garden update:

Green beans will be ready to pick tomorrow.  Dig up new potatoes to add to the green beans, some garden onions , bacon, boy oh boy is that a great dish. 

Green beans this time of year always reminds me of a gathering we had, 101 people showed up, one friend was pregnant which made it 101 ppl : ). We furnished the meat and drinks, and everyone was to bring a side dish.  Most everyone brought green beans.  When you live in the country expect green beans to show up at the party esp on the 4th of July and hope everyone like beans : )

Chasing butterflies in the butterfly garden, the big ones I want to capture on camera are so fast.  I need to camp out in a flower clump and slowly pop up and get the shot.  Its tricky.

Take Good Care

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Plant Camp Monday's

Chicory, Cichorium intybus,  also called Blue Sailors.   Its in the Daisy family.

This wild flowers grows along our country roads.     The roots are used for coffee , altho I have never tried.   I like my Folgers : ).   But its good to know in case the coffee can gets low. 

I pick the long stem flowers here on the homestead for flower arrangements.   Altho treated like a weed its a beauty and is edible , leaves and roots can be used , flower can be eaten but is bitter.

Here's a link among many on the web about this plant.  Chicory

Hope you check it out and your sure to spot some growing in your neck of the woods.

Thanks for stopping by and see ya next Monday at the Plant Camp

take good care

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Herbal Salves

I started making herbal infused oils for herbal salves last week with herbs from the garden.  This one is Yarrow flowers. I have Nettle leaf, Thyme, Camomile flowers and Plantain leaf so far.  They are soaking in extra virgin olive oil for about 4 to 6 weeks by a sunny window.  I have to shake twice a day and when the oil starts to take on the color and aroma of the herb its ready to strain through cheese cloth.

From there it will be melted with beeswax, add a few drops of essential oils like Lavender or Tea Tree and a few drops of Vitamin E oil, which is optional.  

I got the easy to do instructions from Mary Janes Farm mag.  I got tons of herb books but this method seems very easy.  So far so good and before to long I'll have wonderful salve from the herb garden.  Used for many things like bee stings, scratches, and anything that would be good for the skin. 

I need to pick up more olive oil b/c the Lavender is blooming.  I'm going to try Cayenne pepper, it helps for arthritis and sore muscles, helps with itching too.

I've grown herbs for years and use in cooking but this will be my first salves.  I'm glad I started this project.   Like many things we talk about doing, its really easy once we get over that before we start stage. 

If you havn't picked up a Mary Janes Farm magazine your missing a treat, if you have you already know how inspiring it is and know your are a Farm Girl no matter where you live.

Have good one, hope to share my homemade salves in a month. 


Monday, June 24, 2013

Coyote Creek Homestead

I still had a hard time getting back to blogging and then was encouraged by an artist friend on a new photo site I started posting my pic's lately and having a great time sharing my photos and seeing beautiful photos and art work by others.   Heres a link to my homepage http://www.ipernity.com/home/292513, also check out other beautiful pics, its a great place to show your photos.  Check it out!

Update on the Cabin in the Woods.  Well after almost 4 yrs trading homesteads with my daughter and her family I'm still loving it here in the woods better and better each and every day.   I change the title b/c the cabin has not been built yet and still living in the old mobil aka Vintage Cabin.  And boy is it a cabin and vintage to boot.  But seeing and hearing coyotes running the creek I name our homestead Coyote Creek Homestead.

Our V Cabin is mostly all windows looking out in the woods.  The kitchen I took all the cabinets out and let my cabin dishes show out on shelves.  It has the feel of  always on vacation.  I love it.  Heating with wood and using it for cooking in the winter time.  But still connected to the grid. 

I'm still working on my new Outpost, even made a teepee out of branches from the woods.  I went ahead an scrapped it for burning wood.   Another/ better one will be later.  The old club foot iron bath tub is still over at our first homestead, it will be a major project to move it up a very steep hill , it is in the woods too, I  may have to just bathe in the woods over there. (I love my vintage cabin showers, lol).  But I do have the creek here to wade in and the gkids have a blast playing in the creek and yell up a storm when they spot a snapping turtle, lol.  

 The gardens are doing well even with so much rain.  The raised beds really help in getting an early start.   I cut down on putting out so many heirloom tomato plants from 400 to just around a hundred, I think it will be enough, lol.   Oh I do get carried away with the tomatoes.   I gave lots of plants away cuz I think I'm getting lazy.

Peas to pick tonight and the green beans will be ready in a day or two, lots of little green beans are on the bush plants.   A little longer for the pole beans.  May have a tomato or two ripe by the 4th of July!

Oh and my fishing adventures with my sister (Yak Sisters), we have not even got our kayaks wet yet this year.  So much rain, but we've been talking and maybe in a week or two will catch some fish. 

I'd like to get my Plant Camp back and running, so hope your still with me and welcome new visitors.  It helps me learn whats growing on the homestead. 

Well off for now and thanks so much for stopping by
Take good care

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I'm Back

OH My Goodness.   Off line for such a long time.  Computer down for a long time, life got so very busy and then a down to go back , call it a block, overwhelmed  I don't know.   But I do know I missed it and missed my friends and all the cool stuff.    I'm so very sorry not to let you know  what was going on, getting to another computer just didn't happen.  Thank you for your prayers, good thoughts and missing my blog.   

Looks like I'll have to check out any new changes and new blogs, and get some blogging catch up.   Hope your all doing well.  

thank you linda
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