My garden did really well this past summer and I am super excited to start planning for next year’s. No doubt most of the planning will happen during the dreary, cold winter but I just can’t wait. I have already been making a wishlist.
Garden victories for 2014 include:
* Growing flowers for the first time – calendula, sunflowers, lavender, nasturtium, and various wildflowers
* Growing three types of basil
* Growing three types of heirloom tomatoes from seed
* A great blackberry harvest
* A nice snap pea harvest
* First time growing potatoes and carrots
* Keeping birds out of the garden with a fake snake. It worked!
I recently posted about my garden and homestead goals for 2015. In order to make the goals happen I have started making a wishlist of things that would help…
Support hoops for garden fabric. This will help me extend the gardening season earlier in the spring and then also later in the fall. I have the raised beds, I just need the hoops. I like that they are steel and not plastic.
A garden cage or two would be nice to keep the birds and the deer out of my raised beds!! They have them in a variety of sizes but the large one (below) would be super handy!
I also need space. I have tools, pots, soil, and other garden goodies everywhere and I have no real work surfaces outside other than the ground or the railing on my deck. A potting bench would be heaven sent! I love that this one has an old farmhouse look and it is affordable.
What’s on your wishlist??
If you are a true essential oil enthusiast than you have a fairly large supply of the oils. After all, you can use them for so many things. Having your own natural remedies and green cleaners on hand can’t be beat. Over the years I have kept mine in a medicine cabinet because you need to keep them somewhere cool and dark to preserve their integrity. The issue now is that I just have too many to make that feasible and my youngest (who is autistic) can now reach the medicine cabinets if he chooses to explore.
Luckily there are numerous essential oil carrying cases on the market. There are also display cases but I don’t find those very practical and in fact they might make the oils more enticing to curious children. Having them “play” in mommy’s oils would be unsafe and also quite expensive. I needed a carrier or tote that could be tucked away from prying eyes.
I order to see what the oils are I ordered a batch of cap sticker/labels from Young Living for a couple bucks and now they are all safely stored but still easy to access when I need them. The only problem is that I filled the first 30 count carrier and I still have more… oh well, off to order another! I think I will get them in varying colors and then keep blends and standard oils separate and even easier to find.
Find essential oil carrying cases on Amazon. The specific one I got below is here.
A foot massage has to be one of the most enjoyable and popular massages. It might even be the reason why so many ladies love to have pedicures. Pretty toes are nice but the massage that comes with the pedicure can’t be beat! They are simple and easy to perform as well so trading massages with your spouse can be an excellent lazy evening at home idea.
It can be reviving and therapeutic! Our feet are super sensitive and super responsive. Many complimentary therapies (think reflexology or shiatsu) believe that we can cleanse and energize body systems and internal organs all through massage on your tootsies. It helps improve blood supply to the feet and thus aids in relieving aches and pains. It can also be a great stress reliever.
To get started grab a carrier oil like almond, fractionated coconut, olive, or grapeseed. Young Living has a great oil called V-6 that was designed for this purpose. Use 4-5 drops of the essential oils per 10ml of carrier oil. Also give your feet a quick wash beforehand.
Best Essential Oils for Happy “Oily” Feet:
Thyme – Invigorates and deodorizes, also good for athlete’s foot
Peppermint – Cools, deodorizes, and invigorates
Lemongrass – Great for sweaty feet and swollen cankles
Rosemary – Achy, painful feet
Lavender – For relaxation and “sleepy time” for kids
Tea Tree – Refreshment and helping eliminate warts, great anti-fungal properties
Geranium – good for blood flow and circulation
Grapefruit – Uplifting and immune boosting
Enjoy! And if you are interested in getting your hands on any of these amazing oils get more info below:
The gardening season has ended for 2014…for the most part. I still have a variety of peppers and some flowers doing well. I also have a cold frame with greens going strong but I have done a massive fall cleanup and most of my garden beds will rest until spring. With everything I learned this year I am already making plans for next!
My organic garden goals for 2015 are to grow everything I grew in 2014 and:
- Make potato cages and grow alot more
- Start my seedlings earlier!
- Add leeks and brussels sprouts for fall/winter
- Grow more carrots
- Grow different pumpkin varieties (jarrahdale and lady godiva) and grow more
- Add another raised bed and a hoop with a fabric covering
- Add more herbs and veggies
- Plant spring bulbs
- Add another rain barrel
My homesteading goals for 2015:
What are your goals???
This just might be my new favorite fall soup. It is scrumptious! Also pretty easy to make, just a bit long on cook time. I love pumpkin and you find great sales on pie pumpkins right about now but I am not big on making tons of sweets and pies. I usually put them in the slow cooker and make my own pumpkin puree for pancakes, smoothies, and souffles. That is about it…until now. You can bet I will be stocking up on pie pumpkins so I can make this soup throughout fall and winter!
1/2 cup cream
1 cup stock (veggie or chicken)
1 clove garlic
1 T butter
2 T olive or coconut oil (non virgin)
Half a small onion or the white part of a large leek
4 ounces goat cheese
One small apple (cored, skinned, chopped)
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium to large pie pumpkin
Preheat oven to 375. Cut out the top off the pumpkin as set aside, scoop out the seeds and the stringy pulp of the pumpkin. Make sure to set the seeds aside for gardening next spring…or you can use them for roasting. Oil the outside of the pumpkin and the inside of the pan (we used a cast iron dutch oven).
Inside the pumpkin bowl add butter, stock, cream, garlic, onion, apple, and some salt and pepper. No need to mix, just toss it in. Replace the top of the pumpkin and cook for 1.5 hours. Remove from oven and add the goat cheese and thyme. Cook for another half hour.
When finished remove from the oven and scrape the sides of the pumpkin gently to loosen the pumpkin flesh. Be careful not to pierce the pumpkin so that you won’t have a messy plan to clean up later. Use an immersion blender to puree all the ingredients into a thick soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. This soup serves 2-3 people so if you want to feed a larger family go with two pumpkins and a roasting pan.
It will be super hot so be careful! Enjoy!