This Fuller Life

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Category: Gardening (page 1 of 4)

Herbal Remedies with Milky Oats

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The first time I heard about using Oats (Avena sativa) as a health tonic was a podcast by Susan Weed talking about reproductive health. She referenced this plant as the best herb for “staying juicy, increasing libido, and amping up performance in bed”. Naturally, I was intrigued. Continue reading

Garden Update June 30th, 2014

The garden is growing! What a wonderful time of year :).

A friend gave me a new houseplant. In a jelly mold pan! I believe it is a non-edible type of purslane.

My herbs are overrunning the beds and I have been harvesting lots of dill, basil, parsley and oregano for sauces and zucchini cakes. Next on my list is to make a few big batches of pesto to freeze.

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Garden Update June 7th, 2014

Happy Summer everyone! We have had some crazy weather here in Georgia, but things are heating up and the garden is doing great! Lots of exciting things have happened since we talked last. My husband got accepted into a masters program at UGA and started classes a couple of days ago. He will be taking 2 classes a semester (summer, fall, spring) for the next 2 years. I am very proud of him.

Also, we left for a week to go on a vacation! The vacation was absolutely wonderful. We got to hang out with family and went on a cruise. We spent lots of time at the beach, soaking up the sun, swimming in the ocean, and of course eating lots of delicious food. I couldn’t have asked for a better time!

I was nervous that my newly planted garden would suffer in my absence, but my fears were unfounded. We got back on Monday and I was surprised and delighted to see that everything was thriving and growing.

There are lots of updates in this post, so first I will show you pictures of the garden before we left, as well as my first harvest, pictures from garden today, a fallen limb that almost took out the garden, and building a gate.

Like I said, I was nervous about the garden shriveling up while were gone, so I put a thick layer of leaves so the soil would retain more water.

Now that you have seen the before pictures, here is what things look like now.

I have peppers and okra here, they are doing okay. Not great, but hopefully they will hit their stride soon and really take off. If not I can always plant more beans.

My 3 zucchini plants have taken off! They are getting so big and I can already see 2 or 3 little zucchinis starting to grow.

They are so cute. This is my first time growing zucchini and I am enchanted.

My cucumbers are also growing really well, especially once they started growing up the fence.

My first one should be ready to pick in 2 or 3 more days.

The rest of this garden bed has tomatoes and tomatillos and basil which are also coming along nicely.  A big difference from just 2 weeks ago. I plan to tie them to the fence with twine to keep them supported.

Here is a picture of both beds. Again, I am pleasantly surprised at the growth I am seeing and will be thrilled to be eating cucumbers and zucchini in just a couple of days!

My anise hyssop plant next to the garden is growing beautifully and has started to bloom.

 The bees love it!

My herbs are also doing very well.

I am most excited about the dill. This is my first year growing dill and I have determined I am going to make pickles with my dill and cucumbers.

I had my first harvest of parsley a couple of days ago.

I made a cole slaw with cabbage, carrots, parsley, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Truthfully, I didn’t like it that much. I make another coleslaw with lime juice and cilantro that I liked much better. I wasn’t going to throw it away, so for dinner I took the leftover coleslaw and cooked it in a little bit of leftover beef broth and tomatoes. Then I really liked it and want to make more as soon as I get more parsley.

In other news, apparently there was a big storm while we were gone and lots of limbs fell in our yard. Thankfully none of the limbs fell on our house or vehicles. One of the limbs fell on our fence that I built to trellis the tomatoes. Thankfully, our neighbor saw it and pulled it off while we were gone, and since it fell on the fence, none of the plants were harmed.

It even punctured a hole in the board when it fell. It was definitely a close call and I am so thankful the fence was there.

On Thursday, we finally cut our grass and collected all the limbs and branches that fell in the storm. I look at the pile and give thanks that nothing was damaged!

As far as our summer, Chris and I are both enjoying some down-time and have had the opportunity to work on some projects around the house. Since we got back on Monday we have cleaned out the garage and hung cabinets, cleaned up our yard and Chris built a gate so we can get from our back deck to the yard. I told Chris that I finally feel like a responsible homeowner :).

I think it turned out great.

So, what about you guys? Are you growing anything? Do you feel like an irresponsible homeowner when the grass isn’t cut?

Garden Update May 7th, 2014

I am done with the semester!!! I am relieved and thankful that it is over. Between buying a house, moving to the new house, having 5 tough classes in school, working, starting an herbal school, and the responsibilities of day-to-day living these past four months have been the hardest I have ever had to go through. Many times I felt like I wanted to quit. But, I am now on the other side, I have survived and I am stronger for it. It pushed my limits of productivity and discipline and helped me to realize how much I truly can accomplish when I am dedicated and put my mind to something :).

Now for the good stuff. My garden! Since we just moved in January, I had very low expectations for the 2014 summer growing season. I didn’t want to invest a bunch of time and money to get my hopes up and then not have anything grow. I have only spent $20 so far. $10 was spent on potting soil and the other $10 was spent on seeds. For the rest, I got old seeds out of the freezer from previous years and planted them in recycled containers on the porch so I wouldn’t have to take them inside and outside and wouldn’t have to baby them at all (less emotional investment, which means less devastation if nothing grew). At least I learned something from my damping off/mold fiasco from last year. Much to my surprise and delight, everything has sprouted and is growing nicely. I couldn’t be happier!

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Garden Update September 19, 2013

 Hey everyone! I know it has been a little while since I updated. I have been running like crazy since school started. It has been a full 6 weeks, with school and work along with a baby shower, traveling for a death in the family, making a wedding cake, and so much more.  My life is full of blessings and I am thankful to wake up and experience each new day.

 I finally had a chance to work out in the garden over the last couple of days without getting mauled by mosquitos. It has been lovely.

I started these seeds about 4 weeks ago. They started off with root rot, but they finally dried out and they seem to be doing really well now. Now that they have their first set of ‘true’ leaves I can put them in the garden. I actually planted half yesterday evening and finished putting in the rest after I got home from work today.

I planted Kale…

Mustard Greens…

Arugula…

and Cabbage :).

Hopefully they will mature before the first frost so I can have greens all winter!

 I took out all the basil and tomato plants to make room for all my greens. I am happy to report that we still got about 30 tomatoes, 30 tomatillos, and about 50 cucumbers throughout the summer. So, it was definitely worth the $7.50 in seeds that I bought. I know that once I get a garden spot with more sun my plants will be even more productive.

I planted a small patch of arugula 6 weeks ago that is doing really well. After I cut down the basil plants,  I cut off the tops of the rest of my green onion plants and used them to mulch the bed. Hopefully this will keep the caterpillars from munching on my new green seedlings.

My habanero plant finally started producing peppers. Hopefully they will all turn red before it gets too cold.

I am leaving my thai basil plant that has gone to seed as a food source for the bees. It also looks really pretty with the purple flower stalks and white flowers!

An extra tomatillo plant with lots of flowers for more bee food :).

My 3 okra plants are taller than me now. When we harvest regularly we can get 10-15 okra pods every 3 days. It is very productive, and Chris and both love eating okra. It has definitely slowed down since the weather is cooling off, but maybe we can get a few more harvests yet.

I am letting this big okra stay on the plant to dry out to save seed for next year.

Stevia. I recently harvested a lot and will harvest again before the first frost. I read that it gets sweeter when the weather cools down, so I am waiting for that to happen.

A little tiny okra plant that never got enough sun. Poor little plant got shadowed out.

Close up of arugula.

Lettuce that I planted 1 week ago. They also had root rot when they were first sprouting. AH! I even got soil from garden and made sure it wasn’t too wet. I hope I can figure out what to do next year to prevent this problem. But, it seems like they are surviving and hopefully their growth won’t be stunted too much.

Stevia drying.

Yesterday’s harvest. I also harvested 3 big okras to let them dry out inside as a backup in case something happens to the okra drying on the plant outside.

So, those are some pictures of what is going on in my garden right now. Next on the to do list is to repot some aloe that has grown more pups and dig up the aloe in the garden before the first frost.

We are going out of town for a wedding this weekend so I have to go now and take Bowdon to the kennel for boarding. Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

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