Thursday, May 5, 2016

How I Grow Herbs

I enjoy growing and using herbs and I thought you might like to see how and where I have them growing.  Come along with me and lets take a tour ....

We'll start out front on the steps leading up to the porch, in the top pot you'll find basil, in the second pot is cilantro and in the bottom pot is rosemary and dill.



Around the corner is our elderberry bushes ...




Continuing on in the same direction you'll find a large pot of nettles, in the green pot is lavender, in the black pot is spearmint, in the pink pot is sage and in the remaining pot is a mosquito plant (not an herb)




Next is a big pot of plantain ...




 Peppermint is in the yellow pot below ....




In the large pot is lemon balm and in the other pot is turmeric. (The turmeric is just barely breaking through the ground.)




Out by one of the clothesline poles you'll find comfrey growing...




And in one of our tractor tire raised beds is garlic.




Not pictured is aloe and soapwort.  I need to get some oregano planted and have plans to add several other medicinal herbs to what I'm already growing.

Do you grow herbs?  If so, what are you growing and where do you have them planted?  In the ground, in a container, in a raised bed, etc?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Baby Bluebirds: One Last Visit!

This spring we were fortunate to come upon a bluebird nest with 4 eggs in it ...



Before long we saw this ...


Then a few days later, this is what we found ...


And yet a few more days and this is what those little bluebirds looked like ..


You can see a few days later that they have really filled out and gotten their feathers ...


And then on our next visit, this is what we found ...


The nest was empty ... the bluebirds had matured enough to leave the nest.

I hope you've enjoyed watching our bluebirds hatch this spring, we certainly enjoyed checking on and watching them every few days!  Just one of the little pleasures of spring time in our area!  (Only three of the four eggs hatched. My husband removed the fourth egg after the baby birds had left the nest.)

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Pantry Challenge #17 ... 2016

Every once in a while  a reader will send me a sweet surprise in the mail.  Today, I received one from a reader who also happens to be a member of the A WorkingPantry Facebook group.  Look what she sent me!  Just look at those crocheted dish cloths!  I love them!  And look at those note cards, aren’t they just beautiful!  I have my own personal card ministry that I do and these will be so useful … thank you Maria C.  (The dishcloth colors are perfect for my kitchen!)  Your package and sweet note of encouragement made my day!  

My to-do list from last time:

I didn’t set any and here’s why …. Two of my grandchildren and their mommy and daddy  (they live 12 hours away) came and spent the week with us … oh, how I enjoyed having my grandbabies here!

I did get a few additional things done though:

I started a jar of cider fire. 
I planted the rosemary starts that I talked about HERE.
I planted tomato plants that I grew from seeds.
I planted pepper plants that I grew from seeds.
Here’s something I want to get done in the upcoming week:

Start a jar of citrus vinegar using dehydrated lemons I have on hand.

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally this week?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Vicky Challenge: April 24th, 2016

I don’t have a lot of savings/earnings this week to report, but we did start several things (fig tree starts, rose starts (pictured on the left), things we planted in garden, etc.).  I’ll wait to count their value when we start harvesting from the garden, when we see if the starts are going to make it, etc.)

I/we saved/earned $107.07 this week in The Vicky Challenge!  

Here’s how it breaks down:

Made 2 quarts kefir milk:  Saved $2.04 per quart … total savings:  $4.08  (I enjoy a kefir smoothie almost every day so this is a weekly savings.)

Chickens laid 2 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $6

Saved $5 by taking advantage of a sale on avocados.  (We did very little grocery shopping last week!)

Baked banana bread using overripe bananas:  Saved: $16  ($4/loaf)

Downloaded A Cabin Full of Food:  Filling Your Pantry and Using it by Marie Beausoleil for free.  Saved:  $4.99  

Made a pound cake using ingredients on hand.  Saved$ 15

Used neither heat nor air conditioning 1 day this week: Saved $13  (The weather is getting warmer and warmer so this is a savings that we will lose in the not to distant future.)

Yard work/gardening/landscaping (does not include mowing) (4 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $40

I continue to work on earning Swagbucks that will be redeemed for a Walmart gift card, am doing Pinecone surveys whenever I can and am working on earning points through Bing which I’ll redeem for Amazon gift cards. At the end of the month I'll take what I've earned and do some 'free' shopping!

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $5,226.47, add this week’s amount ($104.07) and I/we have saved $5330.54.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I/we save/earn from home!

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Pantry Challenge #16 ... 2016 + other thrifty things we did this week!

Look at the latest picture of our baby bluebirds! They almost have all their feathers and are filling out.  The best we can tell there are 3 in the nest.


My to-do list from last time:

We’re being allowed to get some cuttings from a friend’s fig tree this week so we’ll do that.  We are going to attempt to root them and grow our own fig trees.  Done!  Read about it HERE.

Make banana bread using overripe bananas.  Done!  I made 4 loaves and added them to the freezer part of my pantry … after having a slice or two!!!

Complete my $5 or less challenge.  Done!  Read about it HERE!

Work on planting more of our garden.  Done!  I planted rabbit tobacco, replanted bunching onions, tomatoes, zucchini, dill, basil, and cherry tomatoes.

In addition:

I transferred my homemade liquid soap that I'm making to a larger bottle as it continues to increase as I add more soap slivers and well water to it.

I dried some rose petals from fragrant rose bushes in my yard with the intent to make potpourri.

I started another ‘soup bag’ for the freezer.  This is where I add little bits of leftovers, including broths, to make soup next fall/winter.

I propagated some rose cuttings using the same method as we used for figs.

We purchased 6 quarts of strawberries.  Blended enough of them to freeze 72 strawberry cubes for use in smoothies and sliced the rest to enjoy over a homemade pound cake.  

I did more direct composting.

The spring onions I planted last week are about finger high.  It won’t be long before they’ll be ready to eat!  Yum!

I strained up the comfrey tea concentrate, for fertilizing my garden, that I’ve had brewing.

I also strained up the nettles tea concentrate, for fertilizing my garden, that I’ve had brewing.

The rosemary cuttings that I started rooting last week are growing tiny new roots.  It won’t be long before they will be ready for planting.


We have 'a bit larger than marble size' peaches on our peach trees and 'a bit larger than marble size pears' on our pear trees.   I’m hoping for a good harvest of both this year.



I strained up a gallon of pure vanilla that I’ve been brewing for 5 years.  When I opened the jar, the most delicious smelling vanilla scent wafted out.  When my husband walked into the house, he commented that the house smelled like vanilla.  Guess I should start another jar so it’ll be ready when I use this batch up!  (The best I can remember I used about 30 vanilla beans to make this gallon of vanilla.)

Here’s my pantry to-do list for the upcoming week:

I’m not setting any pantry related goals for the upcoming week as 2 of my grandbabies, along with their mommy and daddy, are coming for a visit.  YIPHEE!

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally this week?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.


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