This year we decided to try planting a pumpkin patch for pick your own pumpkins this fall, along with a zinnia patch, sunflower patch and sweet corn. We also planted a large number of heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and perennials from seed that we hope to be able to sell later in the summer as well.
Dan invested in a few more tractor/farm implements, including a planter and a plow, and has prepared and planted the 5+ acres we had previously leased to a local farmer… we now have fields of timothy, clover, and switchgrass for cover crops/habitat, and we’re adding our garden fields of pumpkins, sunflowers, and raspberries. Its finally dry enough in the fields to be able to get out and do some planting! We’re hoping for a long fall to make the growing season long enough to make all farmers’ plantings worthwhile this year…
Here are some pictures from the homestead over the past couple of weeks (including today!). Many of the photos are courtesy of our daughter Eva.
grasses in the field
sunlight and field
zach and miriam in dad’s clover field
nibbling on clover
eva hanging out in the dirt
dan roto tiling the pumpkin row
team work getting the seeds planted
miriam putting in the seed
pumpkin seed – grow!
dad and zach getting the technique down
getting rocks out of field
checking out what is growing
raspberries – wild
snowy river the rooster
gretel who needs a hoof trim
heidi the goat
lane of grapes
dan’s planter coming home
our wild asparagus
wild asparagus – kids LOVE it
local second hand shop find – pottery bird feeder
jen harvesting nettle
basket of nettle
only half a jar to go
mr wolf “the bee guy” at his hives on our property
bee guy – putting up solar fence to keep the BEAR out
I got really attracted to these chalk painted mason jars I’ve seen around… Dan bought me a couple for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I really like how they look. We seem to have collected a large amount of canning jars recently so I thought this would be a perfect way to “declutter” … by making something out of them to give as gifts or sell as gifts.
Ideally, I would have had these ready for a little pre-Mother’s Day sale, but I wound up actually making 32 of them to use as table decorations for a conference I’m helping with, which is taking place the 2 days before Mother’s Day… I was happy to do it because it was fun and it was motivational to make a certain amount, by a certain time.
Here are some pics of my mason jar crafts which are adorning tables at Mystical Rose Gardens in Baldwin for a conference on Living in the Divine Will being held there this weekend. We plan to offer them for sale at the end of the conference, in case anyone needs a last minute Mother’s Day gift 🙂
Last year I ran across some really nice recipes for making lotion bars. Well, what I ran across first were some super cute lotion/soap bar molds that I fell in love with! So I ordered the molds, then decided to try making lotion bars. Someday I will try soap, but for now, I’m enjoying using beeswax from local honey bee keepers and experimenting with different combinations of essential oils.
I someday hope to have a little shop set up on our “homestead” where I can sell things like this and other crafts, but for now, I’m going to just spread the word and likely add these to my Etsy store.
If you are interested in purchasing one of these lotion bars and live locally, I’d be happy to prepare one for your wife, sister or mom for this upcoming Mother’s Day 🙂 I have them in the form of larger 4oz size flowers, which come with/on an antique (or antique-ish) saucer for $8 or in a smaller 2oz size in tin for $6.
Lotion bars are made with beeswax from local beekeeper, shea butter or mango butter, coconut oil and an essential oil. They have a very light fragrance – I have used a mixture of lavender and orange with some, and peppermint and orange for others. They work great for rubbing onto really dry spots on your skin, for travel, and for sitting next to your kitchen/bathroom sink or on a night stand… having it rest on the little saucer makes it handy to keep anywhere! And it looks cute! (if I do say so myself!)
Since the flowers are all in various designs and the saucers have been collected from second hand shops, there’s no guarantee that you will get exactly what you see online… please allow me to pick the right flower and saucer combo for you 🙂 Your purchase will come in a little bag with tissue paper and a tag, ready to give 🙂
Please fill out the contact form or send an email to jennifer at turningleafstudio.com if you would like to place an order 🙂 Thanks!
My husband Dan gets these emails periodically from the USDA about farming practices and farms across the US who are doing interesting things. One of the more interesting ones came in the other day about a farm in New Jersey, which is run by a doctor. He and his family bought a large acreage and now runs a farm in conjunction with his practice…
From the USDA article: “Two farmers help Dr. Weiss with the farm and run the Doctor’s Farm Market, with ‘doctor’s tips’ and ‘doctor’s recipes’ next to each fruit and vegetable…” Read the article Healing Patients on the Farm here. You can visit the doctor’s website at www.myethoshealth.com.
Image and info credit to Dr. Weiss/Ethos Health/Farmers.gov
As yucky of a topic as this is, I thought this was a very good and informational article by Whole-Fed Homestead about ticks, how they work, and how to use natural products, and common sense, to help prevent being bitten by the little buggers… it is so hard to decide between using something chemical that has proven nasty side effects, but is effective, and some natural options which require more effort and applications, and may be less effective. Either way, there are pros and cons. Every year, we weigh it out and often use both methods. But I felt this article covered a lot about how ticks work, which helps me decide what to do to protect myself and my children. Good luck!!
Taking orders for freshly picked apples from our family orchard! Apple varieties include Honeygold, McIntosh and Cortland. Selling in 10 lb bags for $5 and 15 lb bags for $7.50. (larger quantities available at $.50 per pound). Bags include mixed variety. We do not use any sprays or chemicals so the skins are blemished, but the apples taste great and are perfectly safe to eat. Please email orders to jennifer @ turningleafstudio.com or call 715.688.4010 and we will have them ready for you to pick up!
Also selling deer/wildlife apples from the ground in 50lb feed bags for $10.
So now I’m starting to think about summer and weeds and gardening and goats! We have some large areas that are way overgrown and I was looking up the best way to manage that before we got chickens. I ran across this great video about a lady who rents out her herd of about 70 goats specifically for eating invasive species of plants and weeds.