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Jul 14, 2018

Independence Days Challenge

Here's a snapshot of what we've been up to lately! It's still hot, around high 90's/100 degrees, just more summer!

1. Plant Something-
Recently I planted some mint for tea and cool salads. I bought some Italian Parsley seeds (mine died) and Calendula seeds. I also bought a perennial for an empty spot in the backyard- 

Sweet Mint

Little Cutie Blondie Coral Bells, good for shady spot, Poesy eating in back

Water Lettuce pond plants multiplying

We are done planting for the year, unless I find more random veggies on sale 75% off!

2. Harvest Something-
Our vegetable garden is looking really good, we have tons of green tomatoes, peppers, etc. We have harvested our first sweet Gypsy peppers, blackberries, raspberries and some of the first ripening Marion berries. From the chickens we are also harvesting eggs! Here's a snap shot of the backyard-

Gypsy peppers



Tons of lemon cukes blossoms

Nasturtiums I planted from seed

Potatoes almost ready

2 volunteer tomatoes in the cold frame

Fail- No radishes, but edible greens, not enough sun sadly, no carrots  lesson learned

Monster Italian Kale

The three new chicks are doing really well and getting bigger by the day. I watched a snippet of Lord of the Rings the other day and thought of the and heard the phrase halflings, I think I'll call them half-hens!

They're getting along with the two older hens and are sharing the coop really well. They found out how to get up to the very top roost in the coop. The other night they were all on the top and weren't bothering each other. They took a little while to realize that there was more to the chicken run that just a little square area, so they are exploring more. I let them out today into the main backyard with Dave's help-

babies first field trip

looking at Dave pruning raspberries, whatcha doing?

The other 2 came out to play as well-


Ellie and Rosie

I've trained all of our hens three basic commands of let's go outside, let's go inside, and do you want some food? Going outside means going out in the yard, going inside means going back into the coop or run, and are you hungry means I have a snack! 

My wintered-over geraniums are blooming great-

3. Preserve/Store Something-
Will be harvesting some rhubarb former neighbors Garden that she likes to give us so I'll be freezing all of that. Too early for anything else. Canning will proceed when the peaches, apples and pears ripen. My Curtido is ready, I pulled out and re-jarred and into the fridge it went-

Homemade goodness

When I find some pickling cukes I'll ferment some of those too!

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep-
Got a great deal on some work dress slacks at the Eddie Bauer outlet with a $10 off coupon, for a total of $5.00!  I got a nice work blouse on eBay, clearance one on LL Bean, bought a pair of heavy leather sandals from Skechers for everyday use. My last pair lasted 3 years so that worked out pretty well, much cheaper than Birks-

I found this cute garden stake at Hobby Lobby clearance priced, $6.00, will go with the new plant, sort of a faux mini gazing ball with a chicken on top!

My $7.00 mister finally died, so we found this to replace it, has 2 misters instead of one, $12.00-

The mister is outside, hens are loving it since it's 95 degrees.

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe-
I've made this recipe for years and made some last weekend, Spicy Fried Chicken It's a pretty simple recipe and the buttermilk is key! I served it with homemade corn relish, salad w/homemade buttermilk dressing, green onions, and red pickled onions. I found this new free recipe from, looks good and love all the lime juice-

Spicy Ranch Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeno pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6. Build Community Food Systems-
Will be harvesting some rhubarb from our neighbor's garden that she gives us every year, will be selling eggs once the three half-hens start laying. Most hens start laying around 5 to 6 months old which should put our girls into October or so. I should have plenty to sell!

7. Recycle/Re-Use-
I filled up both our hummingbird feeders are they getting used! Dave got some old cedar boards from one of our girls a while back. They had some really tall planters they inherited when they bought their house that they didn't like, so Dave salvaged them. I'll have him build a small planter box for me this/next weekend so I can plant my new seeds. We took donations to the thrift store, shoes, clothes and household items. I bought some used baseballs for $2.00 for a craft project but wound up liking them as-is in my basin!

Summer decor!

I found another booster chair for one of the grand kids, since they're too big for a high chair, $5.00. I will sell the high chair on Craigslist. Thrifting seems to come in waves and I haven't been buying much lately, and that's ok.  I'm currently re-purposing some things for a new display, will post soon!

8. Skill Up-
I learned about how the Juror calling system works in Boise since I was on jury duty for the week of July 4th. You just call in every night the night before and listen to see if they pull your number. I didn't get called since they didn't call any jurors at all for 3 days. Then on the other my number wasn't called. I wouldn't have minded doing it since I believe that's a part of being a citizen.

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something-
Ditto the cedar boards. 


Susan said...

I love that age of chicken - sort of a tweenager. Gangly but adorable. Your vegetables look great even with that heat!

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Great thanks Susan yes they are kind of like long-legged teenagers haha! And the vegetables are hanging in there just a lot of watering and we mulched quite a bit with our compost last month which really helps a lot