Sunday, August 28, 2016

Summer 2016

I have managed to go all summer without a single post, which is baffling to me.
I guess life is busy these days and sometimes sitting down to write just doesn't find a spare moment in the day.
I am in the garden quite a bit and this summer has been a successful one at the stand!








As a second year flower farmer, I was so pleased that I met my goal of growing enough to sustain the stand! I tried the flower bar idea...but that seemed to not go over as well. I think it might be something that works better for a farmer's market. I found that the flowers just went to waste.

My planning went fairly well in succession planting.
Using the weed fabric, some of my seeds {Snaps, Burpleurum, Stock} didn't even germinate.
I am just now getting a stray few that must have made it.
I'll definitely be doing something different next year.

Many of my flowers did wonderfully direct seeded!
Sunflowers, Ammi, Cosmos, Sweet Peas, Zinnias, Marigolds, Asters all did impeccably well!
I also invested in dahlias. They love this climate and have bloomed profusely!
Next year I hope to have over 200! 

And my peonies....oh boy are they my favorite!
Old fashioned, fairly drought tolerant, they don't especially liked to be messed with, and they can live to 100. To say the least, they are sure easy!

As for the rest of the summer, we really enjoyed being home, together, and preparing for the Fair with the animals! Add in fishing, camping, hiking, and swimming in the rivers, and it was a good summer!







 Mirror Lake hike in the Cascades of Washington State.










Jumping in at Cooper Hole on the Cooper River in Salmon La Sac, Washington.
Best swimming hole ever! 




 Jack really enjoys helping out!


We are getting ready for the summer wrap up at the Fair for 5 days!
It is such a great experience for the kids and an end to all of their hard work.

How has your summer been?
I'd love to hear!
Wishing you the best end to these last summer days.

~Julia

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Simple Sugar Scrub






I don't know about you, but when I am gardening my hands really pay the price. 
Even with gloves, it seems like my hands are ready for a super scrub by the time I come in.
I keep a small jar full of this simple sugar scrub by the sink and use it often.
It leaves my hands clean, exfoliated, and moisturized!
Best of all, it is inexpensive, simple, and would even make a great gift.

Try it! I know you will be hooked!

SIMPLE SUGAR SCRUB

brown sugar
white sugar
olive, apricot, or sweet almond oil
essential oil

Fill 1/2 small jar with brown sugar, 1/2 with white sugar...leaving some head room at the top.
Saturate with the oil of your choice. You want the sugar to completely soak up the oil and be quite moist....not dry.
Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil...or even vanilla.
Lavendar, lemon, geranium, peppermint are all good choices.

Now....enjoy!
You can use in the shower or just place a little jar near your kitchen sink.
It's lovely!


~Julia

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Baby Chickies




The other day, Darren made the comment as to why we had 4 chickens and only one who actually laid an egg.
I know...not too productive!
The animals on our farm have jobs and we kind of expect them to "pull their weight."
So, I went and ordered 12 more chicks.
This morning, to the delight of my two homeschooled kids, we went and picked them up.
What a fun way to start the day!

And now, math, spelling, and phonics are being done to the tune of some noisy chicks...currently hanging out in the kitchen in an old metal bin.
A sweet little memory to tuck away.





{Sleepy chicks :) }



Hope you are having a great start to your day!

~Julia

Follow me on Instagram for more fun farm pictures.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Lemon Pie


Do you watch the TV show, Fixer Upper?
Oh, how I love that one. Joanna has a lovely blog , too, and shared this pretty perfect lemon pie recipe.
It was super simple and equally delicious!
I made it for Mother's Day and brought it to our picnic.
Even though my pie plate did not exactly fit in the cooler, and the whipped cream frosting slid a little off the plate....we really loved this pie!
{The Mothers on Mother's Day! L-R: My Mom, SIL Ange, sister Charity, and me!} 

Definitely one of those go-to recipes to save for get togethers, new neighbor gifts, or just because :)

You can get the recipe HERE.

Hope your Mother's Day was a lovely one!

~Julia


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fighting for Family Rituals


We sit every morning at the kitchen table, cups of tea in hand, ruminating over our day ahead. It starts the day off right and our little family ritual helps hold our family tight.

Kisses good-bye, hugs before bed, shutting off the TV for time together, spending time outside in nature, popcorn and movie night every Friday. These things we fight for because they are the glue that binds our family together.
Knit and woven are we to traditions, daily moments that the kids count on.
Prayers before meals, talking about one positive thing that happened that day over dinner, sitting down each night together for a family meal. 
A family wide trip to the lake each summer...
These traditions are hard to keep going at times. It seems like as a Mother, I have a lot stacked against me to continue small rituals. Phones are buzzing, days are busy and stressful, the kids are active and busy with outside activities, other responsibilities tug at me.
But when I hear them talk about memories....the good ones, the ones that really count and make them who they are today....it's always centered around our traditions.
Discipline means sometimes doing things even when you don't feel like it, to achieve something you love.
So I fight to keep these traditions going.
And I know it's never too late to start a new one.
To begin something that changes your family's story forever.

Wishing you a lovely Mother's Day!

~Julia


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dreaming of Flowers

To say that this time of the year brings my anticipation of flowers to an all time high is an understatement.
The breeze in Ellensburg is drenched in the scent of lilacs, and I tend to inhale deeply, drinking in the scent.
Oh, it's lovely.

And on my kitchen table, they are even more lovely!
The variety I have in my yard is a mystery, but the plants came to Ellensburg with some of the first settlers.
They are old, and hardy, and slightly romantic :)

And peonies...
My heart is captivated by this old-time flower.
I have poured over books and the internet in hopes of growing them here.
36 out of my 38 roots made it through the winter and are doing fantastic.



My flower seeds are slowly making it into the ground.
Enough to fill my little farm stand with bouquets all summer long.
I am smitten with old fashioned flowers and heirloom varieties.
They tend to be easy to grow, tough enough to stand our inclement weather, and I love the fact that my Great Grandma had them in her garden.
Sometimes the old varieties get lost in all the new hybrids available today.




It's a family affair...the kids love to make bouquets and harvest veggies for the stand, too.





Occasionally, we have an extra little helper in the garden.
Last year, little bully found a way through the fence each morning into the raspberries and carrots.










{A bouquet from my SIL's flower farm, Earth's Gift.}
She is amazingly talented!


I am humming with ideas and dreams of which seeds to plant where, how to aesthetically lay out my garden.
Such fun this time of the year!

Looking for ideas and inspiration?
Are you an aspiring flower farmer...or maybe just want to grow blooms for your own use?
Here is a list of my favorite resources...

A wonderful blog chock full of planting tutorials.

An amazing book on growing cool weather flowers.

Wonderful seed company.

Another great source for seeds.




~Julia
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