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Happenings Around the Homestead

Wow!  I logged in today and noticed it has been nearly a month without a post!  Needless to say, the last month has been very close to chaotic continually, and what little time I have had has been spent on living, not writing about living.  🙂

Despite the chaos, I have had a pretty productive month or so around the homestead, mostly in planning for the upcoming gardening year.  By next week I should be able to share the plans for my garden for 2015, which will be a very different garden than any I have planted before.  You have already read of the Back-to-Eden style gardening change that has been made, but I am also planning on a much wider use of companion planting this year in order to get the most out of the garden.  More to come on this soon.

I was pleased this Christmas to get a few new yard tools that I have been wanting, including a pole pruner, a pruning saw, and pruning shears.  The pole pruner is the only one of the three I have used yet, and it did great.  We have a couple of pecan trees on our property, and one of those has branches that stick out above the power lines coming into our house.  Twice since we have lived here those branches have caused and issue with our power after a winter storm and both times cost a considerable amount of money to fix.  I was able to safely trim the branches back for the most part where they didn’t extend over the power lines.  There is still one troublesome branch that is just a bit too high for me, but I may try to trim it back using a ladder on a warmer day.

The other pruning tools have a more interesting purpose.  I plan on pruning back my three fruit trees this year: two apple trees and a cherry tree.  I have been learning quite a bit about pruning, and I think I am ready to give it a shot.  More to come on this as well.

Finally, I have been blessed to already receive numerous seeds for the next growing cycle.  Today I am hoping to take some macro photographs of the seeds to share their amazing beauty with you.  Who would have thought a seed could be beautiful?  Just wait and see!

Oh, did I already say finally?  Hmm – I have one more thing.  😀  First, let me begin by thanking those who saved babyfood/small jars for me.  They have come in so handy.  Several of you have asked what I am using them for.  I grow popcorn, and I selectively save the seed from the popcorn in order to grow better popcorn next year.  In order to do this faster and better, I need a controlled environment for the popcorn so that I can ensure all the corn has the same moisture ratio.  Moisture is a key component of popcorn’s popping ability, and if I am going to truly save the best each year, I need to be sure the moisture is the same during the popping trials, which commence soon.  So, here is a picture of the filled jars:

Jars filled with unpopped popcorn.

Popcorn Jars

Even though I have enough of these for this year, I still need about 300 more jars, so if you or someone you know is feeding a baby babyfood, I would love to have the jars.  Even better are pimento jars or any other jar that holds about 4-6 ounces.  Bigger or smaller also work, but I don’t want anything larger than a half-pint.


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