This time of year after RancherMan & I gather documents needed for our income tax return, we always do a quick cleanup of the remaining confidential documents that we no longer need.
We utilize electronic bill-pay for almost all of our bills. And we enroll in paperless billing whenever possible. But there are still some cases where paper receipts are received such as packing slips, receipts, etc. So even though we fight against extraneous paper coming into our home, come it does!
Many people shred these documents for security’s sake. But we don’t have a shredder and I don’t fancy ripping all the paper by hand. So here’s what I do to actually USEthat ‘trash’ instead. Check out this Homestead Hack:
Several months ago I found a very used 100-gallon galvanized trough at our metal recycling place. It had interior rust, a few small holes & was missing the plug. So it obviously wasn’t being used to water livestock anymore.
But it would be perfect for my vegetable garden. I’d love to fill it with soil and garden plants. I love the look – seems I’m obsessed with galvanized metal, y’all!
And it should also certainly ease harvest in this section of my vegetable garden. I’m not getting any younger, ya know! I’m constantly looking for ways to simplify my garden tasks.
So I asked if they’d sell it to me. For $10 it was mine! But to plant this huge 100-gallon trough, I first needed to put something at the bottom to allow for drainage.
In a potted plant you can add broken pieces of pottery and such. But I needed something much larger & chunkier for this much space. I decided to make up a few ‘ecobricks’.
Okra is a powerhouse in the garden. Heat? Drought? Poor soil? It just seems to laugh at it all! My garden struggled this year due to the prolonged cool, wet spring. When the sun finally did come out & the temps warmed, many of the things I’d planted had already given up the ghost. But not the okra.
Now okra will produce you out of house & home if you let it. So I only planted four (count ’em – f-o-u-r) plants! It’s been about right to supply RancherMan & me with okra. But I’ll need to harvest & accumulate enough okra for frying up for us. Thankfully it’s easy!
I lost a sweet friend recently. She was an older woman, but so special to me. Very kind & a strong family person. A tender soul and a devout Christian. But her health had been failing lately. She’d become quite frail.
RancherMan & I were on the road when we got the sad news. We quickly made plans to attend her memorial service. It was a delightful service, filled with people sharing their memories of her. Some were quite humorous, not unusual for this spunky woman. There were laughs as well as tears. A fitting service for one so special. But at this service I saw something I’d never seen before…
I love blueberries. And I’d love to grow my own. But I’ve planted blueberry bushes repeatedly only to have them succumb. I guess I’m not paying enough attention to the acidity. I’d given up on growing blueberries.
But recently at a plant fair I looked longingly at the blueberry bushes. RancherMan said “Look! You love blueberries”.
Well, yes, but…
The woman at the booth overheard & said this blueberry was a miniature so it works well in a large pot. And she mentioned that if you have it in a pot, it’s easier to moderate and correct the PH levels. Hummmm…. SOLD!
We’ve all done it – that zucchini is relished when it first starts producing in the garden. But after a while you find yourself (and your family) growing tired of the excess. Even your zucchini-loving family moans when they hear it’s on the menu tonight… yet again!
But you hate to waste it. I mean, you planted that seed, tenderly took care of the seedling and delighted in its production. What can you do?
A few years ago I started something called my ‘Blessing Basket’. Here’s how it works:
The heat & humidity here in Texas during a typical summer can create some gardening challenges. And in our area of NE Texas, we’ve been in drought conditions for several years in a row. It can feel like an expensive losing battle to keep your garden watered.
But I don’t pay for treated water to irrigate my gardens. They’re all watered with harvested rainwater. Come see three rainwater harvesting systems that work best for us.
Several years ago our daughter mentioned casually that she was growing Stevia. Wait, Stevia? You mean, the sweetener? You can GROW THAT!!?? I had no idea!
Excitedly I sat out to find a place to purchase the plant. I found it at a local discount warehouse-type store and brought it home. I plunked it into my landscaping bed as part of my edible landscape. It’s a pretty enough plant, so why not?
I’ve had this plant for a couple of years and it always comes back in the spring. But now that I’m growing my own zero-calorie sweetener, what should I do with it?
May is typically a great month for veggie gardening in NE Texas. In May the temps usually haven’t heated up too drastically. And in a normal year there’s still spring rains swinging through each week so you don’t typically have to struggle quite as much with your garden maintenance workload.
C’mon and walk with me through the garden & let’s see what’s “growing” on these days.