Tag Archives: Summer

Garden Update: August

by Tammy Taylor~

Whelp, it’s August y’all.  In TEXAS!  August typically means hot and dry weather.  Late July and early August are usually when I quit fighting the garden altogether and let it go dormant.  I mean, when it’s this hot nothing wants to set fruit anyway.  And during our typical summer when the taps of rain turn completely off in June, it’s impossible to keep the garden watered too.  Oh you can mulch and you can water and of course it helps.  But the water you drop on the garden will probably be wicked away quickly without really soaking into the ground next to the plant’s roots.

But this year our July was different.  Oh it was stiflingly hot and humid, but we got rain.  NINE different days of rain!  And not just a paltry 1/8″ but good, healthy 1-inch rains!  So although the garden is still bound to go dormant this month I’ve been lucky to have some harvest remaining.

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Solar Cooking: Cheesy Chile-Chicken Casserole

by Tammy Taylor~

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I bought my solar oven several years ago and I’m learning more & more how to use it.  Living in NE Texas, the summers are hot, humid and sticky.  I hate to fire up the oven in my kitchen.  So it’s the solar oven to the rescue!  I’m able to keep that cooking heat outside where it belongs!

But today the temps outside are spiking and humidity is on the rise.  It’s absolutely miserable outside!  So I’ll be utilizing my solar oven to make my casserole.

Cooking using the power of the SUN? YES! Cheesy Green Chile Chicken Casserole - I used my solar oven to make the casserole, but you could bake it in a regular oven too. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How To Protect Your Skin WITHOUT Using Sunblock

by Tammy Taylor~

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Sun protection is important, y’all! Our ranch is located in Northeast Texas where heat & humidity are the daily forecast almost every day during summer months.  But our work days are filled with outside chores such as working cattle or repairing fences, gardening or mowing pastures. Even though we spend many hours in the sun, I shy away from using sunblock whenever possible. Why?

Although sunblock is marketed as safe and effective, I just don’t know how I feel about slathering chemicals on my skin several times each and every day. Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when it makes sense to use sunblock.  But today I’m sharing seven easy ways I’m able to protect my skin from the sun’s harmful rays without resorting to sunblock.

Sun Protection is important but for me sunblock is used only as a last resort. Come see 7 easy way I protect my skin without sunblock #TaylorMadeHomestead

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GO GREEN – Compostable Utensils & Wooden Plates!

by Tammy Taylor~

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Did y’all know there’s such a thing as ‘Plastic-Free July’? Me neither! But you know I hate plastic so I’m loving anything that has to do with eliminating more of it.  And it’s perfect timing since recent buying decisions had me looking for disposable utensils.

Wait a minute, WHAT Tammy??!  I thought you hated disposable things!

Yes, you’re correct… But we were hosting an outdoor family reunion I didn’t want my good flatware going outside & being lost or thrown away accidentally.  And you KNOW I’m not gonna use anything plastic!  So I went online searching for options.  I was intrigued to find compostable forks, knives and spoons.  There are many manufacturers out there but PerfectWare utensils by Perfect Stix were actually WAXED.  I knew right then & there that I’d be buying those!

Compostable Waxed Flatware? YES! These waxed utensils are inexpensive and fully compostable. Used for backyard BBQ's & weddings! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Vegetable Garden Update: July

by Tammy Taylor~

Whelp, we made it to July, y’all!  As is typical, it’s feast or famine with the rain.  Although much rain has fallen in the area it always seemed to miss us.  But then?  Oh then my friends, the rain fell!  We got almost 3 glorious inches while we were away visiting relatives.  The garden responded with a hearty rebound.  Now I know here in NE Texas the rain taps will typically turn off about now and will stay off for the rest of the summer.  So we may get a little ole 1/4″ inch or so every now & then, but we can count on manually irrigating the garden from here on out.  But let’s stroll through the garden and see how it’s doing, shall we?

NE Texas Zone 8 Garden. Summer is here, y'all. July promises to be hot & dry here in NE Texas. But the garden has provided quite nicely. Come check it out! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Healthy Sugar-Free ‘Ice Cream’ Made With Frozen Fruit

by Tammy Taylor

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Recently we were honored to have a guest poster, Ashley share her experience of going through a full month with No.  Refined.  Sugar!  In her post about going through Week Two of that challenge she shared with us a quick & easy hot-weather treat – Healthy Sugar-Free ‘Ice Cream’ made with frozen bananas and berries.  Check out this recipe for a nice cool treat on a hot summer’s day that’s actually GOOD for you…

Healthy Frozen 'Ice Cream' Treat Using frozen berries & bananas. It's creamy like ice cream and the flavors are endless. Curious? Check it out. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How To Harvest Mammoth Sunflower Seeds

by Tammy Taylor~

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I love sunflowers!  As a matter of fact they may be my absolute favorite flower.  I mean, what’s not to love?  They’re super easy to grow, they bloom prolifically and I’ve always said “Yellow is a HAPPY color!”  I plant a row of Mammoth Sunflowers at the edge of my garden every year.  I love the look of the cheery yellow blossoms.  And my mom always comments about how beautiful they are when she visits.

This year I planted the sunflowers along the chicken fence side of the garden.  Those huge sunflower plants offer shade during the heat of the day for my chickens.  Oh, and our bees love them too. That’s a lot of bang for my package-of-seeds buck! But now it’s time to harvest those sunflower seeds.  Come see what I did.

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Beekeeping: Feeding Your Bees With A Frame Feeder

by Tammy Taylor~

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Busy as a bee!  Our hives have increased this year thanks to us performing splits and capturing swarms.  All our bees are busy, busy, busy these days!  During the spring when everything was abloom they had all they could harvest.  Those girls were coming & going from the hives with pollen pockets full!  But now that the heat of our NE Texas season is starting to set in the blooms are not quite as prolific.  Oh there are still wildflowers blooming, and the bees are all having a hayday in my garden alright.  But with the fading blooms and the fact that we’re trying to boost some of those smaller swarm hives, RancherMan & I decided perhaps we need to give them a little feed.  There are many ways to accomplish this, here’s what we do:

There are different ways to feed your bees sugar water when they need a little help. We like using a frame feeder best. #TaylorMadeHomestead Continue reading