Photo: Great grandparents at their farm in Blandinsville, IL, with five of their six children .. my grandpa was yet a twinkle in grandma's eye. Stable boy and governess also pictured. Hodges farm, circa 1903-4

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday Ramblings At Home

garden peas
Summer finally arrived on the first day of summer, imagine that!  We had a long, cold wet spring again this year.  With just a few days of warm temps this past week, the garden is taking off.

Yesterday I tackled the weeds, applied fresh (homemade) compost around some of the veggies and gave everything a drink of fish emulsion-water.  With last nights thunder-lightening storm, the charged air and metal fence surrounding the garden produced a natural nitrogen fertilizer.  

The apple trees have been thinned of excess fruit to keep the branches from breaking.  This needs to be done before the fruit gets too big and wastes energy.  We'll have enough to store and can lots of apple sauce and make pie fillings for winter.  The sour cherry tree is loaded with fruit as well.  For several years our trees were producing every other year .. and this is the second year for consecutive fruiting.  Yea!

apples getting thinned out
jalapeno pickled eggs
dried peony flowers for winter pot-potpourri
The kitchen counters are brimming with homemade sourdough starter, pickled eggs, homemade stick deodorant, flowers drying for pot-potpourri and dishes needing to be washed.  What's going on in your garden/home?

update:  here's a link to homemade deodorant .  I use a little less tea-tree oil and add a little lavender oil.   Start with the room temp coconut oil .. and gradually add up to the suggested amount in the recipe of corn starch and baking soda .. I prefer organic corn starch (minus Monsanto round up ready corn)  and organic baking soda (aluminum free).  If you live in a hot, hot climate, you might need more cornstarch .. or make it as a powder form and skip using the coconut oil and place in a small jar with a screw cap lid.  Store in a cool location during the summer.  If you make this in a cold climate during the winter, the mixing bowl needs to be warmed to help soften the coconut oil. 
'refilled' deodorant containers


Em said...

Today's the big Weed All The Things day, if I can motivate myself to get up out of this chair long enough to brave the heat here in NE.

(Yesterday was Clean All The Things day, so it's much more pleasant and fresh-smelling in here, but oh, the aching muscles!)

Anonymous said...

Goodness, we are hot here... hitting triple digits. Nonetheless, I've been canning the salsa made from our garden's tomatoes and jalapenos. Its hard the a/c, but without a outside kitchen, it must be done inside. And, nope, sorry folks, not going without a/c. its one thing to go without when its hitting the 80s and 60s at night, but totally different game when its 100s outside and barely hitting 70 at night.

Sounds exciting there Mrs. Mac. I'm impressed with how much you can get done!

Sue said...

Oh, you're making me even more homesick than I thought possible.
I'd even gladly wash the dishes!
Did I miss a post on homemade deoderant????

Mrs. Mac said...

@ Sue .. I added a link update in the post for the deodorant recipe.

Sandy said...

Mrs. Mac,

Your garden peas look amazing! Fish emulsion-water is some really good stuff. Now that is very interesting how the fish emulsion mixture, fence and lightening produced created a natural nitrogen fertilizer.
I so miss the apple trees, we used to have all kinds up in Northern Michigan along with plums and cherry trees. What type of apples do you have?
I'm curious, have you tried the deodorant yet? Do you like it? I'm going borrow the recipe and try making it myself. Thank you for sharing, I'm always intrigued when it comes to making your own personal hygiene items. Have a Blessed Night.

Mrs. Mac said...

@ Em .. what is your 'day' project for tomorrow? :) At least that's one way to get motivated.

@ Sandy .. yes, I use this deodorant. I ran out and was busy the past few months so just used hubby's store bought and cringed each time I applied it .. Yuck. If you make it, let me know how it works in the heat of Texas. You might try leaving out the coconut oil during the summer and keep the mixture in a little lidded jar. Don't use as much tea-tree oil as called for either.

My apple trees are Haralson ( .. cold hardy and disease resistant, and McIntosh. Chery tree is Montmorency sour ... also found in Michigan :)

Deb said...

Thanks for the deodorant link!....I was just telling Olivia the other day that we need to look into making our own. I have all the ingredients--perhaps I'll do that when we get lieu of taking my class.

Mrs. Mac said...

Hey .. if you make the deodorant, be sure to use the brand in the link .. or use refined as it does not smell like coconut. Trust me .. you don't want your deodorant to smell like coconut :)

Pat said...

They probably sell coconut scented deodorant under the name Tropical Fragrance!
I may just try make some of it, I take it is the same formula for men or women?
You continue to be an so many ways!

Becky said...

sour dough starter is what i picked up in this post. can you email me YOUR recepie? pleeeease.
thank you.

Anonymous said...

Okay...I am amazed that you make homemade deodorant! Your potpourri is going to be beautiful.

Felisol said...

Dear Mrs. Mac,
I love your garden blog. Our peonies are just about to blossom now, and I'd like to try to dry some. Also the jasmines which come later.
We tried to dry some last year, by they went rotten. Do you have any good suggestions?

Mrs. Mac said...

@ Felisol ..I'll try and post about drying the flowers.

Felisol said...

Dear Mrs. Mac,
You are too kind.
I'll be looking forwards to it, since our summer is so short and we need to keep memories and fragrances till darker times come.