Brighter Planet's 350 challenge Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
(used with permission from Jordanne Dervais)

Counting it down, are you prepared??

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gotta love bargains!

It was so nice to hang out with friends and get a chance to go to one of the local farmers markets Friday. Urban Farms is an amazing farm and market that brings fresh and local food to one of Memphis's many food deserts.  Sadly, our dear city has many and efforts are being made by urban Farms and others to help bring fresh healthy food to these areas  On Friday when I went in they were putting out local blackberries.  I went out to their patio where they had a few tomato plants and some flowers left, and that is where the bargain shopping began...the plants were 50 cents a piece!!!  I got 8 tomato plants (arkansas traveler, celebrity, tomato steakhouse & a couple more) and mexican heather.  You know I had to share with my best friend who watched my kids while I shopped.  Anyway, other goodies to be had at this market was raw cheddar cheese, 8oz for $3.99, fresh cilantro, bananas, locally roasted coffees (omg they are amazing!) and so much more.  If you are ever in the Memphis area, stop in and check out this amazing little market!!!

Other goodies I have gotten recently for a steal has been a bunch of bamboo stalks (I'm using as tomato stakes) I found on Freecycle, and a peach tree for $12! Our fruit trees normally aren't that cheap, I paid $20 or 25 for my apple tree last year.

Our favorite freebie we have received lately?  Dexter...

What good garden bargains have you gotten recently?  Do you utilize websites like Freecycle and Craigslist to help you find things cheap/free?


Oh, while I am here....what do you all do to keep the squirrels out of your garden goodies?  They have been attacking my poor tomatoes everyday. I understand they have to eat too, but I have food set out for the squirrels and the birds elsewhere.  Do you use netting? Hang pie plates?  Any ideas that doesn't involve a bb gun (although i must admit it's tempting sometimes) or poison are welcome!!!
I scared off the squirrel and he left my poor tomato behind. LOL

Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's beginning to look (and feel) a lot like Summer! (lots of pics)

Things have been super busy around here, been getting a fresh layer of compost on the beds, checking for pests (thankfully none yet), and waiting. Lots of waiting and I must say I am quite impatient!! But, there are quite a few things growing despite the record high heat we have had.  I think we skipped spring all together and went straight into summer!

cluster of heirloom yellow cherry tomatoes ( I don't remember the variety)

1 of my 3 surviving Rutgers

Black Prince

L to R: zucchini, crookneck squash, front: banana peppers

the largest zucchini (3-4in)

back on trellis: ambrosia melon, front on tripod: bush cucumbers

cucumber. I have a few this size (3-4in)

my poor apple tree. We thought she was dead after receiving storm and kid damage, 
but she's a fighter!

We also have blueberries, strawberries, grapevine, honeydew, white beans, wax beans, corn, and tons of herbs, but nothing exciting is happening on them.  How are things in your garden growing?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Death of Writers Block

Writer's Block has been slain like the demon it is!  Things around here have been busy, both in the yard and the house.  We are working on redecorating the inside and have painted the dining room and kitchen, my son's room is next.

Out in the garden, we turned new beds, lined them with black garden fabric and planted tons of stuff!

This is 6 tomato plants (1 mortgage lifter, 1 black prince & 4 rutgers, 1 sweet basil, 1 hungarian hot pepper & 2 tomatillos. We have since finished laying the fabric

The left section with the planter is the herb bed. The top tier of the planter is greek oregano, the bottom of the planter in this pic is sage but we moved it to the ground in front of the planter since they get 2-3' tall. Now there is french tarragon and sweet marjoram in the bottom of the planter.

The bed with the trellis in it has 2 ambrosia melons against the trellis and 2 bush crop cucumbers in front. The larger bed at the time of this pic was 3 chubby checker corn plants, 2 sweet banana pepper plants, 2 each of zucchini and crookneck squash.

Since taking these pictures, we have lost 1 tomatillo to a badly placed husband's knee, all 3 pepper plants to a hungry hen, all 3 corn plants to either a scratching hen or a digging dog..c'est la vie right?!

Ooh, also found out you can regrow things like celery, bok choy and romaine lettuce by putting the 'butts' in warm water!  After 2 days I am seeing new growth on my bok choy!!!

We are also hoping no crazy weather hits, it is already warmer than normal and we have already seen days creeping toward 90 degrees. April is usually a month of wild electrical storms and some tornadoes for us, so here's hoping we miss it this time around, although the occasional shower would be great! 

Check out what the Almanac says about the past couple and next couple days:
10th-12th Barren Period. Do No Planting.
13th-14th Favorable Days For Planting Beets, Carrots, Turnips, Radishes, Onions, And Root Crops.

 Glad I saw that ahead of time!! Thank to Tim at Oleo Acres Farm for sharing these tidbits from the Almanac on his Facebook page. Be sure to click the link and like his page!!

Other than gardening and painting, I have been canning up a storm, gotta love the clearance produce from Kroger and Easy Way! So far in the past couple weeks I have put up half pints of strawberry preserves, sugar free raspberry preserves, mixed berry jam, sriracha, pickled green tomato relish, and pints & quarts of glazed carrots and cajun spiced yellow squash. i need to get some pics up of all the pretty jars. sorry i'm a slacker without a camera at the moment.

In keeping with the topic of store sales, we have also stocked up on what we can for an emergency situation. It's good to keep at least a month's worth of food on hand in case of an emergency or unexpected situation like loss of income.  My friend's think I'm nuts, but 3 of them have already said "I know where I'm coming when SHTF." I said "Oh really? What are you bringing with you, ain't no free rides here?"  LOL  By the way, scroll back to the top and check out the ZA counter..only 8 months and such left, be prepared people!!!!!
Prepared Pantry - 30 day supply

So my questions for you all are, what's going on in your garden? And what are you doing to prepare for an emergency situation? (This is especially for my TN friends, cuz you now the weather here in April is CRAZY!)

Ok, I think I'm done ramblin' for the night. I'm going to bed now.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pepper Joe's & Penny's Tomatoes Seed giveaway!

FREE SEEDS CONTEST: 6 Big Winners will win EIGHT Freebies each...(pack of myco blast and Soil Blast soil conditoners, 3 packs of Tomato seeds and 3 packs of Hot Pepper seeds)....$40 value. WOW. 1 Grand Winner gets a 'Volcano in a Box"...$45 value 7 winners in all.

HOW TO WIN: Easy. We give you one entry for everywhere you place a post/plug for Pepper Joe's and Penny's Tomatoes. Place a post on your Facebook page...1 entry. Place a post on your a post on a Gardening entry...Linked entry. etc. Postings can be on ANY site out there. You decide where. No limit to how many entries you can have. Post a listing on your webpage... and you get THREE entries. Or on someone elses Website. That's right 3 entries! We love being on websites.

The BEST Website post/plug wins the Volcano in a Box. Please include our website addresses on all postings--->>Pepper Joes and Pennys Tomatoes

HOW TO ENTER: Send me an email to with CONTEST in the Subj. Tell me how many places and where you did a posting. We'll give you the right amount of entries. Please list the WEBSITE ADDRESSES so we can take a peek at them. List your mailing address to receive the Free Prizes. 

TIP: The more places you post us, the better your chances are to win. Anybody with FIVE or more postings...we'll DOUBLE your entries. I.E. give us 6 get 12 entries. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Grey Water

First off, let me steal the definition from wikipedia..
Greywater is wastewater generated from domestic activities such as laundry, dishwashing, and bathing, which can be recycled on-site for uses such as landscape irrigation and constructed wetlands. Greywater differs from water from the toilets which is designated sewage or blackwater to indicate it contains human waste.   Greywater gets its name from its cloudy appearance and from its status as being between fresh, potable water (known as "white water") and sewage water ("black water"). In a household context, greywater is the leftover water from baths, showers, hand basins and washing machines only. Some definitions of greywater include water from the kitchen sink. Any water containing human waste is considered black water.
Since I have yet to incorporate this into my home, I will be link sharing, hope you don't mind  :)

Rain Barrels & Greywater Diversion

Now, for places like Memphis that don't get near enough rain in the summer, I think this is a wonderfully awesome idea!  We are checking around with locals who have similar systems and comparing prices for different materials. Over the next couple months as we get beds positioned and dug, I will be posting picture/video updates of the progress. I'm hoping for a mister and underground soaker system.  Am I ambitious?  YES!  Will I find a way to get it done on my non-existent budget?  YOU BET!!

Do you reuse greywater or know anyone who does? Have some great resources to share with us? Please post them!!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday means weekend updates!

Well, thanks to Mother Nature, who has blessed us with decent weather this weekend (its in the 60s now) we got quite a bit accomplished around here!  Had a friend bring us some deer meat Friday, so we got that cut down and vaccuum sealed and in the freezer.  The biggest accomplishment being the chicken coop (it's now shingled. planning a raised bed on top)

Then, we rehung the 2 long clotheslines, turned the compost, turned a patch of dirt where I am planting beans, added compost to that patch and turned it again. I started some turnip and beet seeds using a method I found on Wintersown, I can't wait to chart their progress! Hmm...let's see...oh, while digging in the dirt with the kids, I found quite a few purple sweet potatoes that were hiding from me when I harvested.  Most were molded but  few pieces were good enough to save to root and plant.  Pics to come soon!

What's going on on your homestead?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Change of plans & My first GIVEAWAY!!!!!!

So yo know that big post I did the other day about all the seeds I was about to order, well the budget got re-appropriated for a more important bill.  But no fear, I found this wonderful site called Listia (thank you Adventures of a Thrifty Mama for sharing the link!) where I have won jerusalem artichoke seeds and mustard green seeds and have bids out on a few others including blackberries and strawberries.  The best part?  They are all free and all the ones I have bid on are free shipping also!!

And now for the giveaway!  It's a really cute tomato planter with a bag of organic growing medium (ain't it funny how they make dirt sound fancy?) and a package of tiny tim cherry tomato seeds!!  I'm asking you do 2 things to enter:

-share the link to the blog on social media and leave a comment here with a link to it
-leave a comment here on what you plan to grow this spring

I will then leave it up to a random number generator to decide who wins!!  Good luck to all that enter, you have till January 31st to get those comments in!!!

Pic to come as soon as my connection stops being so fickle and lets me upload!