Vegetable Garden Update: June

by Tammy Taylor~

Unfortunately our area of NE Texas has slipped into yet another drought this year.  Oh there’s been plenty of rain in surrounding areas but it’s mostly managed to miss our homestead!  What we have gotten is lots of the cloudiness associated with that precious rain.  But so many cloudy days means my garden is really behind where it should be this time of year.  My tomatoes are nowhere near producing yet and my peppers are all still tiny.  But I’ve had some successes too.  C’mon into my garden, y’all.  I’ll give you the tour!

Come with me and walk through our vegetable garden. We're still struggling with the weather but we have some successes! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How To Line-Dry Sheets On A Windy Day

by Tammy Taylor~

*affiliate link

We have a gas clothes dryer but we don’t ever use it.  If I weren’t afraid we’d need it in an emergency situation I’d sell it – I could sure use the chunk of real estate it takes up to store my large stock pots & my *9-Tray Excalibur Dehydrator! LOL.  I typically dry our laundry on a *retractable clothesline most of the time.  If the weather is inclement for days on end I’ll pull out my folding clothes *drying racks and dry our clothes in the guest bedroom.  I can close that door in the event of unexpected company.  But what about those windy spring days?  You know the drill, you fight the sheets onto the line.  Then the wind catches them & makes them want to set sail into the next county!

Sometimes it's hard to dry your sheets outside due to the wind. But I've discovered a secret to keeping the sheets on the line! #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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How To Make A Rustic Cedar Log Solar Light

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

Right next to the house lies our barn paddock.  It is a small paddock that features our amazing 1880’s barn as well as a small fenced area.  This paddock is used often to wean calves, work the herd or separate specific cows for whatever reason.  In this paddock was a huge, very old cedar tree.  I loved that thing, it was massive!  But last year it died and RancherMan had to pull it down.  Broke my heart, y’all!  He took one of the huge limbs and made me a laundry pole, I love that.  And he used several of the straight branches to make beautiful walking sticks too.  Then the rest of this tree was hauled to our burn pile.

But with our annual RanchFest family reunion coming up I panicked.  In a few days that bonfire will be lit & it’ll be gone forever!  So I asked RancherMan to go to the burn pile & cut off about 5 ft of that huge tree.  Puzzled, he placated me…

I made a cute rustic 3-tier cedar log solar light feature for my home's front walk. I love the way it turned out and it was inexpensive #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Beekeeping – Adding A Honey Super Box to the Beehive

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know we bought our very first bees last year & it’s been a blast raising these girls.  But there’s typically no honey harvest that first year as they’re getting established. The honey they make during that first year needs to remain with the hive to see them through the winter.  We overwintered our bees and they came through this spring with flying colors!  So we split the hives about 8 weeks ago.  Bibbidy-bobbedy-boo our 2 hives turned into 4!  After the split we allowed the hives to recover a bit before we inspected them again.  The hives without a queen raised a new queen to take her place, the hives that retained their queen kept on with business as usual.  Our inspection today showed that now we’re ready to add a honey super to the two stronger hives.

It's time to add a honey super box to our beehives. The bees will fill it with the sweet honey we crave! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Another Great Use For Repurposed Coffee Canisters

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

So y’all know RancherMan & I are coffee drinkers.  You know, like in “Stay away until I’ve had my coffee” kinda coffee drinkers.  Having a ‘Skip Coffee Day’ is never an option, so don’t even ask.  But we don’t want sweetsy, foamy flavored, overly-sugared drinks.  We want coffee.  Strong, black, delicious.  We prefer Folders coffee in the Taylor Household.  That plastic canister it’s sold in comes in handy for many uses when it’s empty.  We store chicken feed and dog food in them.  And RancherMan uses them in the shop to gather bolts & hardware together.  And I’ve even spray painted them and used them for sharing plants from my garden with friends.  But I still need to put them to use.  Our coffee consumption goes on, ya know??  So here’s another simple way those empty canisters still help me out.

Repurposing Coffee Canisters In The Garden. Those plastic coffee canisters. You love 'em, but how many can you use? I'm sharing another way I'm able to repurpose them. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Cooking With The Sun – SW Chicken w/Seasoned Brown Rice

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

Our homestead is located in the hot & humid south.  Here in NE Texas I do all I can to keep that  heat outside where it belongs when the temps (and the humidity) start to go up.  I have many ways of doing this.  For instance, our tea is usually brewed in a repurposed hourglass-shaped jar on the picnic table, courtesy of the sun.  And our clean laundry is almost always dried outside on our *Retractable Clothesline, even in the colder winter months.  But one of my favorite ways to keep heat outside is by using my *Solar Oven to cook our food.  My solar oven came with an enameled cooking set so I typically use those items when I’m cooking with the sun.  One of the included vessels is a double-stack black enamelware covered pan.  That will be perfect for today’s dish: Southwest Chicken served on a bed of seasoned brown rice.  Quick & easy, mix it & forget it.  The whole meal cooks at the same time!

Cooking With The Sun! Here in NE Texas I want to keep cooking heat & humidity outside. So I cooked my SW Chicken with seasoned brown rice in my solar oven! #TaylorMadeHomestead*

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How To Get FREE Veggie Plants For Your Garden

by Tammy Taylor~

So I recently shared an update on my veggie garden progress.  If you’ve read it you know my peppers and tomatoes were pretty much a bust this year due to our weird spring.  You see, I planted seeds in my indoor greenhouse and placed that greenhouse at a south-facing window in my home like I always do.  But the constant cloudy weather this spring hampered a good germination.  The few plants that did germinate were hardened off & placed in the garden.  But you know peppers and tomatoes like a little more sun, a little more heat.  All those seeds were just a big, fat bust. I’m disappointed since RancherMan had requested a Pico-De-Gallo garden this year.  Garlic?  Check.  Onions?  Check.  Cilantro?  Check.  Tomatoes?  Hummm… But I was recently able to replenish some of the vacant areas in my garden.  It cost me ZILCH.  “How can you get free veggie plants for your garden?” you might wonder.  I’m so glad you asked!

Free Volunteer Plants. Tomato planting was a bust in the garden this year, will I do w/o tomatoes? See how I've outfitted my veggie garden with FREE plants #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Wordless Wednesday: Beekeeper’s Delight

by Tammy Taylor~

Ever since beginning our beekeeping endeavor, I can no longer just merrily bounce across the grass. Now I'm taking very deliberate steps to assure I don't step on one of our honey-makers! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Ever since beginning our beekeeping endeavor, I can no longer just merrily bounce across the grass.  Now I’m taking very deliberate steps to assure I don’t accidentally step on one of our honey-makers!

~TMH~

(You can see ALL our posts about beekeeping HERE)

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

C’mon by & sit a spell!  Come hang out at our ~TMH~ Facebook Page . It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea.  There are lots of good folks sharing!  And you can also follow along on Pinterest, Twitter or GooglePlus.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Tammy Taylor~

Happy Mother's Day out there to all those moms workin' hard and lovin' their babies, no matter what their baby's age! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Mothers can look through a child’s eyes and see tomorrow.

-Reed Markham

 

Happy Mother’s Day out there to all those moms & grandmas – workin’ hard and lovin’ their babies, no matter what their baby’s age is!

~TMH~

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Vegetable Garden Update: May

by Tammy Taylor~

Well, it’s been a pretty strange spring so far for us in NE Texas.  Pretty strange indeed!  Many areas all around us have received plenty of spring rains but for some reason it always seems to miss us here on the homestead.  Although May is our rainiest month of the year we have areas in our backyard that are pretty bare where the ground is parched & cracked.  Scary!  Hopefully that’s not a sign of things to come this year.  I’ve been watering with a 2-gallon watering can which takes a lot of time and doesn’t water as thoroughly.  But RancherMan set up the cistern pump for me today so I’ll be able to use that rainwater captured in the 18-ft deep cement cistern from now on.  If we get any rain at all in the coming weeks that cistern will fill back up!  With the cloudy & cooler weather we’ve had, the garden has really been slow in taking off.  But I’ve had some successes too.  C’mon along with me for a stroll through our garden.

With the cloudy & cooler weather we've had, the garden has been slow taking off. C'mon along with me for a stroll through our garden. #TaylorMadeHomestead Continue reading

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