Tag Archives: Summer

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

Using Natural Materials: Straw In The Garden

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know we live in Texas.  You also know it’s typically hot and dry during our summertime months.  So I’m careful to mulch our garden heavily.  Mulching helps the plants in many ways.  It not only conserves that precious moisture, but it also moderates soil temps.  I like to mulch with natural materials whenever possible.  A typical gardening year will see me mulching with grass clippings, leaves or spent hay.

But I have a section of my garden that holds my Concord Grapevine.  I’ve trained it to grow along the fence.  It’s LOADED with grapes!  But I’ve also vowed to keep the Bermuda grass from creeping into my garden.  So all the walkways in the garden plus a wide perimeter swath is mulched with wood chips.  But the grapevine is right at the lifeline.  So to keep bermuda from creeping in around the grapevine I surrounded it with 3 bales of wheat straw.  The purpose was just to deny sneaky Bermuda the sunlight as it attempts to grow beneath the bales to get into my garden.  Permission:  DENIED!

But those straw bales are several years old now.  They’re just spent and starting to deteriorate.  I need to replace them.

I use organic matter for mulch in my garden - often grass clippings or spent hay. But come see how a bale of straw does double duty! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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

by Tammy Taylor~

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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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Cantaloupe Bread with Pecan Praline Glaze

by Tammy Taylor~

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My veggie garden did very well this year.  Usually by the middle of July the searing sun has wiped out anything that struggled to remain during the hot summer months.  But even though it’s been hot this year my garden has provided garden deliciousness well into the fall months.  Yea!  One of the fall feast-or-famine goodies from the garden is cantaloupe.  Now I didn’t plant cantaloupe this year, the vines volunteered from my compost.   But I let them grow to become a living mulch for the rest of the garden.  RancherMan eats only a modest amount of fresh cantaloupe & although I love it, how’s a girl to eat that much by herself??  I wondered if there was something I could do with all the excess cantaloupe – as it turns out, there is!

If you have extra fresh cantaloupe, make this Sweet Cantaloupe Bread with Pecan Praline Glaze. DELICIOUS and so easy! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Wordless Wednesday: Wild Plums

by Tammy Taylor~

 

The fruits of a wild plum tree are tiny, only about the size of a cherry. But they make some delicious jelly!  #TaylorMadeHomestead The fruits of a wild plum tree are tiny, only about the size of a cherry. But they make some delicious jelly!

~TMH~

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