Saturday, June 22, 2013

Deep Home Economics: Garage Sales!

Holy mackerel - we scored a sweet pile of deals at a local garage sale today!

Two hand made pottery items and a clay bread pan:

A like-new hot plate (this thing will cook like a charm during a power outage whereas our 220 volt stove would be a challenge to power up with our mid-size generator):

Four nice metal hanging plant baskets:

A canvas cot with solid oak folding frame:

An antique wall-mount cloths drying rack - perfect for small things such as socks:

A set of four whimsically decorated cloth napkins:

A colorful hand-made afghan:

A like-new hunting vest with game bag (perfect for fall/winter field outings since pockets and game pouch will hold field guides, camera, GPS, etc.):

A nice pair of jeans and insulated flannel shirt for Steve:

A hand-stitched table runner:

A hand-stitched wall hanging (painting the frame will liven it up!):

Any  guesses on how much we paid for this haul of great items???

Just 23 dollars...what a deal!!! Many of these items would have been at least that much, per item, at an antiques store so we feel pretty fortunate.

Garage sales are a win-win-win-win:

Seller makes money; buyer gets a deal, previous owner's legacy lives on; things stay out of the waste stream.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Strawberry Season

It's nearing the end of peak strawberry season here on our central Ohio farm, but we've eaten many pounds raw, shared with friends and family, made strawberry puree for homemade icecream, etc. and are preparing to make many half-pints of jam today to get us through the rest of the year.  We use Pomona Pectin so we don't need the huge amount of sugar called for in many traditional recipes.  It works great!  Tomorrow is the summer solstice...a bittersweet day, but one we will celebrate whole heartedly!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What It's All About

This is the first year at our Cardington, OH place that our attempts at creating the perfect mix of gardening for people and gardening for wildlife are bearing real fruit. Tonight we witnessed a perfect example as we were...

...taking our customary evening "tour". Here is Jennifer checking out our small wetland which is to the north of our vegetable garden and behind our small barn:

We then heard the frantic calling of a fledgling Chipping Sparrow and found him/her on the South side of our barn in a native prairie planting that provides flowers for pollinators (who then pollinate our garden plants). Here he/she is, can you see him/her - on the leaf of a Cup plant?:

Ok, let's zoom in. You can't miss him/her here. Now, for us, this is a pretty cool example of what it's all about, "it" being life - our's and his/her's and all the creatures, great and small, here and yonder! This is what happens when you kill your lawn!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Creating a Wetland, Part III

Related Past Posts:

Creating a Wetland, Part I

Creating a Wetland, Part II

It's been less than a year since we created the wetland as documented in the posts above and it's incredible how well our native wetland plants have done and how much wildlife is using the wetland. It's now also a favorite hangout spot for us too!

Here are just a few pics to illustrate:

You can see the wetland sedges, rushes, shrubs (Buttonbush, Swamp Rose), and herbaceous plants along the wetland margin:

The nodding seed heads of this native sedge are spectacular!

If those are spectacular then what is this Iris? Stupendous!

One of our favorite native plants that inhabits wet areas: Boneset. Cool name. Cool leaves that wrap the stem entirely.

Sedge seed heads:

A couple of happy residents (Green frogs):

Today we transplanted prairie plants along the rivulet in the background that drains water from the barn roof into the wetland. We like to cover all of the habitat bases.

The next generation of...

 the American toad!

This little wetland provides habitat for wildlife and endless fascination for us! If you are considering creating your own wetland, don't delay, it's a lot of fun!