~*~ Sarah's (sarahsunshine) Lodge ~*~ - Page 8
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Thread: ~*~ Sarah's (sarahsunshine) Lodge ~*~

  1. #71
    Posting Addict momW's Avatar
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    In the past we've done a lot more than we are doing this year. I just don't have the energy to do it all this year. Some of my favorites are bread and butter jalapenos, jalapeno jelly, sweet relish (my FIL is supposed to be giving me his recipe because his is AMAZING!), pickled beets, canned pears (from BIL's pear tree), apple pie filling (it was a flop the first year but next year or depending on baby time this year I would like to try again), applesauce. We've had some flops, okay, we've had more than a few flops but it's fun to try new canning recipes and see how they taste over the winter. Our garden this year is brand new so it doesn't have quite the growing "power" of our old one, it'll be nice to get some horse crap on it after this season and get it going in full force next year. My next big adventure next year is to do an herb garden. I tried Cilantro in a planter this year but it was up by the house which evidently made it my responsibility to water and well, it didn't get watered during the 100+ degree weeks we had so it's a shriveled up mess. I should've put it out by DH's precious tomatoes, then he probably would've cared for it for me

  2. #72
    Community Host sarahsunshine's Avatar
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    We need toget a good canner to can things properly. Right now it's down to those we can do with our relatively large but not that deep pots... in other words, things we can boil and put in jars, but not necessarily use a canner. If our garden gets big enough, we'll have to invest!

    I'm starting a list this year for things I'd like to add to the garden (gee I wish I had fresh Rosemary!). Late planting this year (mid June) means that we've got many things dispite a late start, but next year I hope to start early with some cold frames to fend off the frost. Then we can expand our growing season and get more out of our raised beds.

    On top of that, it's so much nicer to be out back now than on a big deck that gets to 120f!!! The garden definitely moderates the temperature quite a bit!
    Skyler Dylan 22 April 1999
    Reed Aslan 17 June 2007 ~ 8 September 2008
    Ivy Rayne 3 May 2009
    Leo Spencer 2 Sept 2010
    Forrest Reed 15 Aug 2012


  3. #73
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    Great backyard pics! Awesome transformation.
    ~Kimia
    Married to my sweet DH Olivier on 06/27/03

    Our precious kids...

    Jordan 06/04/04
    Jasmine 05/05/07
    Jaeda 09/30/09
    Jacob 08/17/12
    Expecting our unplanned surprise - baby #5 - due on January 10, 2014


  4. #74
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    Wow what an awesome transformation! We didn't get around to starting a garden this year (new house) but I already want to start planning things for next year. I'm really intrigued by the the mosquito repelling plants as we have a swamp behind our property and it gets a bit buggy here.
    Mia
    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers


  5. #75
    Community Host sarahsunshine's Avatar
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    Some photos:

    Leo and the dog/play house:


    Belly photos:
    Canoeing a week ago:



    Today:


    Updated backyard photo from this afternoon:
    Skyler Dylan 22 April 1999
    Reed Aslan 17 June 2007 ~ 8 September 2008
    Ivy Rayne 3 May 2009
    Leo Spencer 2 Sept 2010
    Forrest Reed 15 Aug 2012


  6. #76
    Posting Addict momW's Avatar
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    Oh wow!!! You're backyard looks so inviting and cozy! I would spend all day and night out there. You and the kiddos look really good too Awesome pictures!

  7. #77
    Community Host sarahsunshine's Avatar
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    The backyard really is inviting and cozy! DH was really worried (and I was too) about getting rid of the deck - I mean, who gets RID of a deck? But really, it's completely transformed our back yard and we are out there every chance we get (and so are the kids). Ivy can now identify a bunch of vegetable plants, and wants to pick beans, lettuce, and tomatoes (though she says potatoes because she confuses the words).

    Had MW home visit appt today. Measuring 35wks (up from 32 last week), bp 102/60-something, heart rate 132bpm... nothing outstanding except that she LOVES the new backyard.

    DH again did a ton of work - finished putting the deck back together around the hot tub mostly, but a bunch of other little things. Once again I felt like a lazy butt...

    Tomorrow we are hoping to go to the international festival in town.

    Right now there's a thunder storm cooling everything off. WOOHOO!
    Skyler Dylan 22 April 1999
    Reed Aslan 17 June 2007 ~ 8 September 2008
    Ivy Rayne 3 May 2009
    Leo Spencer 2 Sept 2010
    Forrest Reed 15 Aug 2012


  8. #78
    Posting Addict momW's Avatar
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    your pictures of the backyard are really making me question the plans we have for ours. we are planning to put in about $4000 worth of a concrete patio but you're right, it's going to make it sweltering. I figured we'd use it mostly for evenings because we have plenty of backyard for daytime playing but still, now I'm wondering if it would even be worth it to put in the concrete. I need to get some professional help because I'm NOT good with landscaping stuff, AT ALL!!!! How do you feel about making a trip down to IL to design my backyard LOL

  9. #79
    Posting Addict gardenbug's Avatar
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    Did W get feeder fish with the kiddos?
    Did you call the diaper service?
    Has Skyler called with questions?
    Have fun today. Hope it is cooler and dry.
    I will try to start packing today. I was attacked by wasps but am OK.
    Have gifts for the gang...of course. They will be spoiled.
    Leo (3 1/2) with Malcolm the cat

  10. #80
    Community Host sarahsunshine's Avatar
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    MomW - Depending on what you want the back yard for, your willingness to put in the energy and work yourself, and what is available for you, I would try to find a local permaculture group.

    Permaculture is a movement that is going towards growing soil through sustainable agricultural practices. I just took a course in permaculture design, and incorporate the needs of my family (natural play, exploration for kids, growing food, esthetics, gathering areas) into our design. The plant growing design incorporates several things, but most importantly moving water effectively around your property to avoid "waste" water and soil runoff (using various strategies like water barrels and directing downspouts and making swales, or even recycling water depending on your situation).

    As an example of a permaculture practice, if you have compacted and poor soil, you could plant a seed crop of radishes that have deep roots, they would grow and pull up nutrients from the subsoil, you could eat some of them (I'm not keen on radishes personally), then come fall you could chop the tops off them and leave them on the ground to decompose and create a mulch. The mulch will hold moisture in the soil, the decomposing radishes will incorporate all those nutrients from the subsoil into the top soil, and the deep roots act as aeration to decompact the soil. The following spring you do NOT turn the soil (this kills the good bacterial and fungal communities that are decomposing the radishes and help the plant immune/mineral gathering systems), but you simply plant through it what you will be growing the following season. You would also find something that would grow best in that type of soil (melons, nasturtiums or other) rather than just planting what you want for the following season, and add a bunch of compost and aerobic manure (top dressing) to help increase your soil quality.

    I think that my garden design is leaning a little towards the landscaping side, but it really depends on your budget, time, and needs. Some people incorporate outdoor cob ovens, rocket mass heaters, greenhouses, all the way to food forests, harvestable wind rows, and wildlife corridors depending on the size of the property, budget, goals and needs.

    The nice thing about permaculture is it's geared towards the community aspect. Many local groups will have people who are working to get experience and will put designs together for free. Then they can get local enthusiastes to come and do a "blitz", which is a one-day gathering of people who come out to help and learn various strategies. You can also get a local designer who will charge money, and hire a landscaper to install it, or install it yourself with help from your friends. Having local enthusiastes doing it does mean that you won't necessarily get a "professional" result (grass coming through in places, rocks not quite hroizontal), but you need to decide what matters most to you. It does mean, however, that you get to know a whole bunch of really neat people who are excited about similar things as you!

    Ours was a combination of "blitz" and DIY... but it meant not spending thousands of dollars on hiring people to come. I think we spent a bit more than $2000 on supplies (mostly rocks for the raised beds), but some on soil, compost, seeds and mulch. Many of those things you can even find for free on kijiji or Craig's list if you have time and patience! Then you need to spend a couple years playing around with plant communities, learning about biotic soil systems and how to help them, and getting used to a "messy" garden that is composting and growing soil at the same time as growing food!

    Personally, I would LOVE to come down and help design something! Don't think I could afford the trip right now, though!
    Last edited by sarahsunshine; 08-05-2012 at 10:53 AM.
    Skyler Dylan 22 April 1999
    Reed Aslan 17 June 2007 ~ 8 September 2008
    Ivy Rayne 3 May 2009
    Leo Spencer 2 Sept 2010
    Forrest Reed 15 Aug 2012


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