Beginning Beekeeping: Expanding The Hive

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I are beginning beekeepers learning to raise our own hives of bees using the popular Langstroth hive.  If you’ve been following our Beekeeping Series, you’ll know we’ve already discussed preparation steps before you ever get your bees, then the steps needed when you actually receive your bees and even another post about internal hive inspections needed periodically.  (I’ve added links to all of those posts below)  But now you have your bees, you’ve kept up your periodical hive inspection and are wondering if you need to give your bees room to expand, so today we’re talking about how to tell when it’s time to expand the hive.

Beginning Beekeeping Series: Today we're talking about why and how to expand your bee hives. (We're using Langstroth hives) #TaylorMadeHomestead Continue reading

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Sun Protection: Rigid Canopy for Our Mid-Size Tractor

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I work outside every day, rain or shine.  We’re either working cattle or fixing fences.  There’s garden work and tractor work.  Day in, day out – we’re outside working.  Now we LOVE our lives here don’t get me wrong, but sun protection is something we take very seriously.  RancherMan made sure I had a heavy canvas canopy to protect me from the sun when I’m on my small blue Ford 32 hp tractor but his larger tractor didn’t come with a canopy, just a ROPS (roll bar).  Now I hated that he wasn’t protected and constantly nagged I mean reasoned with him to get something to protect himself from the sun.  But he protested mightily, saying: “I’m having trouble finding one that fits the ROPS on my tractor.  Plus I’d want a rigid canopy, and since I work around trees sometimes when I’m mowing or clearing I just don’t know if I should get one for my tractor”

Sun protection is important! We needed a canopy to be properly protected from the sun while on our tractors. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Super-Cute Diaper Wreath Tutorial

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I have dear friends that are expecting a baby soon.  I was beyond disappointed when I found out her baby shower was on a day that RancherMan & I had unchangeable plans.  We always have a pretty tight schedule but typically we can tweak something a few hours or even a day or so and work in things that come up, but not this time.  But I just couldn’t let this joyous occasion pass without our showing of love & excitement to them about their new baby.  Now I’m terrible at gift giving – I stress about what someone needs, what they want, or perhaps what they’ve already got so as not to duplicate.   Some people are really good at gift giving but not this girl right here.  To me it’s very, very STRESSFUL!  Then I remembered what my mama always told me – “Presentation is half the gift”.  EUREKA – I know what I want to give them, I decided to make a diaper wreath.

An easy diaper wreath, customizable for either boy or girl. A decorative (yet useful) gift presented beautifully! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Fall-Back Friday: Powerfully-Flavored HERB BOMBS!

by Tammy Taylor

*affiliate link

Now that summer is in full swing, the garden is growing wonderfully!  I’m harvesting and serving up as much of our fresh garden produce as I can, flavorful steamed dishes, hearty salads and homemade pickles are often on the menu.   But as much as we love steamed zucchini, you can only eat so much of it before you yearn for something more…  I’ve been making Zoodles (zucchini noodles) from our excess garden zucchini & I love this handy-dandy *vegetti device that turns an ordinary zucchini into a low-carb noodle with just the twist of the wrist.  I’m lightly cooking the zoodles using a powerful punch of flavor via these homemade Herb Bombs made with the herbs grown right outside my door.  What are Herb Bombs you say??  Well today to celebrate Fall-Back Friday, I’ll fall back into the archives to bring this post back to the surface & share this beauty with ya.  Oh man you’re gonna love this – check it out!

Homemade Herb Bombs are made with the herbs grown right outside my door. Powerful Flavor is as close as my freezer! #TaylorMadeHomestead(read more)

 

 

 

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Food Safety: Keeping Cold Food COLD

~by Tammy Taylor~

 

When the weather turns warm there are often many opportunities to get together.  And, you know, gatherings  often involve bringing your favorite dish to share with friends & family.  Picnics and cookouts – swim parties and birthday gatherings, BBQ’s and family reunions.  How fun!  I’ve written before about food safety and keeping your hot dish hot until it’s time to eat, but today I’m tackling the issue from the other side of the coin – keeping your cold dishes safely COLD!

Keeping cold food cold - Let's talk food safety: Cheap, effective ways of keeping your cold dishes safely COLD! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Vegetable Garden Update: July

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

WHEW – the temps have really heated UP here in NE Texas!  As it typically does during our summer months, the forecast has lots of 3-digit temps promised and no rain for weeks on end.  I’m doing what I can to keep everything watered, I’m using a *terra cotta stake using a repurposed water bottle to keep the porch planters watered, my rain barrel is so far keeping the back yard trees watered, but a mishap involving my cistern hose splitting and draining the entire rainwater content of our 18-ft underground cistern means I may have to amend my strict ‘no potable water on the ground’ rule.  So far other than the whole rainwater thing, the garden’s growing GREAT – come check it out!

My Veggie Garden Is Growing GREAT - I'm harvesting fresh produce each & every day! Come stroll through my garden with me. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Using Repurposed Denim To make Backyard Game Bags

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

As y’all already know, RancherMan & I wanted a personalized Ranch-Themed Cornhole game for our annual family reunion (ie: RanchFest) that we host each year.  We bought the materials and RancherMan got busy building the customized ranch-themed cornhole game.  Although we could have simply *purchased the bags to go with the game, I wanted to make the cornhole bags myself using my stash of denim scraps from RancherMan’s ripped jeans.  Luckily it was super easy even for a novice seamstress like myself.  (Oh c’mon, I don’t think I can’t call myself a seamstress, even a NOVICE one!)   But if I can do it, ANYONE can!  Come see how easy it is to whip up these cornhole bags yourself.

We needed 8 bags to go with our custom Cornhole Game. Look how easy it is to make your own Cornhole Game Bags - they turned out GREAT! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Repurposed Water Bottle Plant Watering System

by Tammy Taylor~

*Affiliate Link

WHEW! It’s summer in Texas, and as it typically does it’s turned hot and DRY!  I’m doing everything I can to keep my outside plants watered –  I have an 18-ft deep underground cistern that stores the rainwater that falls on our roof and I use it for watering our vegetable garden.  I also have a 55-gallon rain barrel that attaches to another gutter down spout for hand-watering potted plants and such.  But there are a few footed concrete planters that I have on my porch holding things such as chocolate mint, spearmint and my favorite herb Thyme!  Now the mints do pretty well in their planters because, well you know, MINT!  But I struggle to keep the Thyme healthy & watered and I’ve lost the plant and had to repurchase and replant thyme repeatedly in this cement planter over the years!  Thankfully the Plant Nanny folks agreed to send me one of their terracotta plant stakes to try.

Plant Nanny Watering System uses a porous Terracotta stake & a repurposed water bottle. Take the hassle out of keeping plants watered! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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