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August 3, 2021
Growing Calendula in Florida from Crafty Gemini

Calendula has to be one of my favorite flowers to grow on our homestead in North Central Florida.

Here are just a few reasons why:

  1. Easy to start from seed and transplant.
  2. Beautiful flowers that attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
  3. Has beneficial medicinal benefits, it’s edible and and can be used as a natural dye!

If you’re new to gardening I think calendula is a great place to start growing something!

Note: I’m talking about Calendula officinalis in this post. While some people call it pot marigold, common marigold or Scotch marigold it is not actually ...

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May 28, 2021
The Decision Has Been Made.... from Appalachian Quilts

 You have probably noticed I am posting fewer blog posts.  It's gardening season!  :)  When it's gardening season, the only quilting I am doing is usually for customers.  (I do have a sewing project to do that I will post pics of, but it's not your usual project....)

Keeping up with all the social media platforms is time-consuming.  So, I have decided the blog will be for quilting posts mostly.  Gardening posts will be posted on our YouTube channel.  Being able to watch a video is so much more informative for the gardening than just the pics.  You ...

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May 17, 2021
Before and After from Appalachian Quilts

Hubs asked me what I wanted for our anniversary.  I'm not a 'present' kind of gal.  I know we are in the middle of the remodel and I hate to ask him to do anything, but.....

I enjoy our back patio.  There is a huge tree for shade.  I have my porch swing out there.  We have all kinds of furniture out there, and I love having my morning coffee, listening to the birds and having my devotions....all out there.  There is an area I just stare at.  I can't stop thinking about what a mess it ...

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May 10, 2021
This One is For the Birds! from Appalachian Quilts

When I was younger, I remember strolling through craft fairs and admiring the painted gourds.  I loved how something so simple could be made so beautiful.  The talent that some of those artists could exhibit on something so simple as a birdhouse gourd was awe-inspiring.  Having young kids, it was never really 'in the budget' to be able to buy one.  I've always wanted one, though.  I've seen everything from all natural to painted to artists who have burned patterns into the outside of them.  (Google some pics - you will definitely end up in a rabbit hole!)

While ...

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May 7, 2021
"She" tried!!! from Appalachian Quilts

We got hit with a surprise snow.  Mother Nature was up to her usual tricks of trying to put a bump in my road.  Usually if your trees or veggies have put out buds, you will lose them.  It has caused many a farmer concern about how much fruit they will lose.  Not the case in my strawberry bed.  Look at all the blooms!

As the saying goes, it was like these strawberries said "here, hold my beer".  I was a tad anxious when I went out to check them, but all is well.  They need thinned AGAIN!  I'm ...

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May 5, 2021
Farm Life from Appalachian Quilts

 I posted this pic on Instagram from Saturday with the caption "I think his tractor's sexy".

There is just something about a Saturday here on our little farm.  Saturday is about us doing 'farmy' things together and working toward our goals.  Truth is - if I ask for something, he usually finds a way to make it happen for me.  I try to do the same for him.  When we take our little stroll in the brisk air of a Spring Saturday morning and figure things out it's like all of the planets align and the birds start singing ...

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April 26, 2021
Everyone Needs A Friend from Appalachian Quilts

I got my love of gardening from my Granny.  I've talked about that a lot.  While I wish I could reach out and ask her how she dealt with pests, fertilization, etc., in her garden, I can't.  She is no longer with us. my down time I study.  Whether it is winter - a stormy summer day - while I was patiently waiting to move to my little farm - whatever that down time was, I studied and took notes.  (Did you know that writing things down actually increases your memory of those facts?)

I've studied permaculture a ...

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April 23, 2021
Will It Ever Be Enough?? from Appalachian Quilts

 Help me understand why we have all these animals and I am still buying compost - that is the conversation I had with the Hubs.  He moved the compost 'bins' further away from the chicken barn and closer to the garden.  It does create a little more work when I clean out the barn, but I'm thinking I will eventually adjust.  (It's outside the garden fence, so he's not bound to the 'my garden, my rules' commandment.  LOL)  He did make it stronger by using the pallets and recently added the third bin for obvious reasons.  We had ...

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April 20, 2021
Let's Get This Party Started! from Appalachian Quilts

I love Saturdays!  Saturdays are work until you drop days for us.  We try to get a weekend worth of work done in one day since we don't work on Sundays.  Morning chatter/planning this weekend started with Hubs telling me that we need to plant a lot more corn this year.  Prodigal Son and Army Son have also said they want us to plant more corn.  As Hubs was telling me what his plans were for the day and I was telling him what my plans were for the day, he brought up the whole 'where can we ...

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April 7, 2021
Babies!!!! from Appalachian Quilts

Spring around a homestead is an exciting time.  As you watch the bulbs start to bloom and the seeds you started peek through the soil, hope and excitement fill your soul.  While trees start to bud out and grass starts to green, birds start building nests and breeding season brings even more life.  

Our first attempt at breeding the rabbits didn't "take".  Olaf had never been in that position before and really didn't know what he was doing.  Sadly we have no baby bunnies, but everything happens for a reason.  As we scrambled to make sure we had ...

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April 5, 2021
Soooo.....I did a thing! from Appalachian Quilts

 A few years ago I started looking into vermicomposting - growing compost/fertilizer with worms.  I joined a social media group and watched the posts.  We got so busy here that I 'unjoined' and decided that would be a project for later.  Recently Hubs started talking about it, unbeknownst to him that I had already looked into it and put the idea aside for later.  He had read that using rabbit manure was a good way to do it.  Hmmmm

Someone I follow on YT started raising worms and I watched the video.  Hmmmm  One of our grandsons got a worm ...

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March 30, 2021
While Julia Was Away, The Roosters Did Play from Needle and Foot

Remember the chicks Julia raised last fall in the laundry room? Well two of the four turned out to be roosters, Pete and Jack. This was somewhat disappointing as that obviously reduced the number of eggs we thought we would be getting. However they were very handsome birds and we got over our disappointment. Then we went up to Washington to celebrate the girl’s birthdays and those naughty roosters had a party of sorts.

When we left, the roosters were about five months old. We thought this was still young that they wouldn’t be fertilizing eggs yet. Oh ...

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March 8, 2021
Don't Do It!!! from Appalachian Quilts

I'm in growing zone 6A.  Last year I felt like I was behind everyone else in my seed starting.  Scrolling through the local gardening groups posts and pics of their seedlings all ready to go made me feel somewhat lax in what I was getting done.  I lurked and watched as they all got their seedlings in the ground while mine sat in the high tunnel.  Then 2020 showed just how contrary she could be and sent us that late frost and the rains.  I lost my first round of pumpkins from flooding in an area that doesn't ...

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January 4, 2021
My Word for the Year from Appalachian Quilts

Every year I pick my 'word for the year'.  A lot of people participate in this.  As a wise pastor has said, "you will move in the direction of your focus".  Think about it - if you are driving down the road and start to look at something in your peripheral, all of a sudden you are driving toward it.

My word for 2020 was Embrace.  I wanted to focus on embracing the circumstances and people surrounding me rather than hoping for something else.  Given the current atmosphere, you can only guess how hard that could have been.  Surprisingly, it wasn ...

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December 23, 2020
This is Going to be a Game Changer! from Appalachian Quilts

In early March every year, I head out to the high tunnel to start my seeds.  On more than one occasion, there has been snow or sleet falling from the sky dancing off the plastic as if Mother Nature is saying "let me in".  The bulbs are usually blooming and the whole row dances in the breeze while I am making dirt and planting seeds.  I enjoy the quiet solitude of it all.  If you are a gardener, you 'get it'....there's just something about the renewal of Spring.

The purpose of a high tunnel is to extend the ...

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December 2, 2020
Feeling like Cinderella! from Appalachian Quilts

 I do have to admit, as a kid I loved the story Cinderella.  I wonder if that is where my affinity for pumpkins came from.  I doubt it, but I do love me some pumpkins.  I love pumpkin anything - except don't even think about messing up a perfectly good cup of coffee with some flavored creamer.  That's just me.  (Understand that I don't even like for my food to touch on my plate, nor do I like things swirled in with my plain old ice cream, nor do I have any appreciation for my cake to touch ...

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November 25, 2020
Scrub A Dub Dub from Appalachian Quilts

Remember Larry Luffa?  He outdid himself this year.  We ended up getting a lot of luffas this year.  A lot of people don't realize that luffas are actually a variation of squash plant you can grow yourself.  Luffas make a great exfoliator for your skin, but did you know they are awesome to use on your pots and pans?  I can't even tell you the last time I have had to buy a scrubby for my pots and pans.  I made a batch of soap once that I really wasn't happy with (had a luffa in it ...

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November 18, 2020
Windy City from Appalachian Quilts

We all thought Chicago was the windy city - that was until Sunday.  High wind GUSTS they said.  Maybe some rain they we did a walkaround our little farm.  We secured the high tunnel doors, made sure there was nothing that would blow away and did all the things you do to make sure you are ready.  Hubs even hooked my swing to the tree with straps.  Yup we were ready!  Or so we thought.

I was going to do some longarming, but it was rainy and windy and I didn't want to go out to the shop ...

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November 16, 2020
Nighty night..... from Appalachian Quilts

I love Saturdays - Hubs and I usually find a project together.  He has worked so very hard this week.  I honestly figured he would be too tired to work on anything.  He (and one of our daughters) moved ALL of the asparagus from the 3 raised beds in the chicken run to the garden.  He de-constructed those raised beds AND the compost bins out there.  He made new compost bins closer to the garden, but still close enough to the chicken barn to make that task easier.  He mowed and weed whipped everything for one last time AND he moved ...

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November 11, 2020
Squeal!!! from Appalachian Quilts

Like a lot of homesteaders, Saturday is a 'get a bunch of work done' day for us.  The weather here was more like a late summer day with warm temps during the day and colder temps at night.  I got up early for a little garden clean-up.  Hubs started putting the finishing touches on the high tunnel.

When he took the plastic off the top to re-do the bracing, he also took the corrugated plastic off the doors.  He had to remove it to keep the windstorms that were coming from destroying the doors, but he also wanted to paint ...

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  • farm life
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