Homemade Gourd Bird Feeder DIY – blog post at #MomItForward

Happy Fall, Friends! The crops are coming out of the fields and my garden out here in Eastern Iowa and we’re getting ready for winter. One thing we love to do during the winter is feed the birds. I grew some crazy gourds in my garden this year, and my son designed a bird feeder out of one!

Gourd-Bird-Feeder-DIY

Check out my post over at MomItForward with a DIY tutorial you can follow to make your own Homemade Gourd Bird Feeder!

Have you ever made a bird feeder out of a gourd? What did you think?

 

#TuesdayGardenParty – Garden Inspiration for 9-23-2014

Tuesday Garden Party Co-Hosts_header.2

An Oregon CottageFacebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Google+

Frugal Family HomeFacebook | Pinterest |Instagram |Twitter | Google+

Simplify Live LoveFacebook | Pinterest | Instagram |Twitter | Google+

Creative Country MomFacebook | Pinterest | TwitterGoogle+

Thank you for sharing all your gardening progress, wisdom and inspiration with us each week! When you link your post here it will automatically be seen on all four blogs – all you have to do is link to ONE of our sites. Feel free to follow our Tuesday Garden Party Pinterest board where you may get a sneak peak of our weekly favorites and features, and search and follow #TuesdayGardenParty on any of your social media!

This week’s host is Michelle from Simplify, Live, Love.

simplivelove #tuesdaygardenparty collage
Greetings from Eastern Iowa! I hope you are enjoying glorious fall weather this Tuesday, the first official day of fall! Fall is definitely in the air out here on my little homestead. The days are getting shorter and the air is getting cooler – although, it’s supposed to be 80 on Friday. I’ve been busy freezing okra, digging up the last of my potatoes and taking in all of the butternut and acorn squash I grew. Sweet potatoes will be coming out of the garden in the next few days and I’m still harvesting broccoli side shoots and enough tomatoes to get a nice sized pot of sauce every few days.
Potatotes
But my big garden accomplishment this past week has to do with potatoes. Two years ago I read about the no-dig potato planting method in one of my favorite gardening books, the Rodale Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. This is the second year I have planted my potatoes using the no-dig method and I continue to be very pleased with the results. The first year, I grew over 200 pounds of potatoes, and this year I’m sure I did too even though I have not managed to weigh them. I have three big bushel baskets full of potatoes again this year, just like I got last year and I’m excited to have them to eat all winter again this year. You can read how I store my potatoes and how they fared over the winter last year here.

On to the Tuesday Garden Party’s Featured Posts from last week!

#TuesdayGardenParty featured posts 9.23.14

1. Garden Up Green – Establishing a Raised Bed - I love the helpful hints Carole provides on starting a raised garden bed! Getting the soil right is sooo important.
2. Sprouts - The Wilder Homestead Heritage Gardens Part 1 - I have to tell you a secret. I have read the whole Little House series multiple times {even as an adult} and I love every single one of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books! My kids and I are headed to New York in a couple of weeks and visiting Malone to see the Farmer Boy home site was on my list of places to visit, BUT – they close the week before we get there. So, I will make do with this tour from  Sprouts!
3. Garden Matter – Harvest Tomato Pie - I might try this tonight! It looks so good.
4. Upstairs Downstairs – Free Natural Materials for Fall Decorating - Love the ideas for pretty items you can gather right outside like Okra pods {I happen to have a bunch of them!}! FREE!
5. Michelle’s Little Piece of Heaven – Canning Zucchini - I freeze a bit of zucchini, but canning it is an interesting concept!
I loved all the posts last week! Thank you all for continuing to link up to this great party! I can’t wait to see what you share this week!

#TuesdayGardenParty – Garden Inspiration for 9-23-2014

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How to Store Potatoes Over Winter

How to store potatoes over winter

2014 marks the second year I have planted potatoes following the no-dig potato planting method. I first tried this method in 2013 after reading about it in my Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. Last year, I had an awesome potato harvest – well over 200 pounds. And this year, I ended up with about the same. I don’t have quite as many to store this year because we’ve eaten more of them so far, but since many people have asked me how my potatoes fared last year, I thought it was time for a post!

My method of potato storage last year was really high tech. I threw all my potatoes together in wooden bushel baskets I found a while back at Goodwill (they’re for sale on Amazon too, if you’re looking for some) and then stored them in my barn kitchen. When I needed potatoes, I just grabbed some out of the baskets and cooked them. A few did rot, but for the most part, my family of 6 was able to eat most of them over the winter and spring with little spoilage.

Since then, I have been thinking maybe I should do a better job of storing my potatoes. So, I’ve done a bit of research and here’s what I fount out.

How to Store Potatoes Over Winter

Plant the right type of potato

I planted four types of potatoes this year, and one criteria I always look for when choosing which varieties to plant is how well they store. Some potatoes, like Yukon Gold, are better keepers than other potatoes. For a comprehensive list of potatoes types and qualities, read this article from WSU, or read seed catalog descriptions too. That’s what I do, and here’s a list of my favorite free seed catalogs.

This year, I planted about 18 plants of each of the following potato varieties:

  • Yukon Gold
  • Kennebec
  • Purple Viking
  • Yellow Finn

Continue reading “How to Store Potatoes Over Winter” »

Tuesday Garden Party – Garden Inspiration for 9/16/2014

Happy Tuesday, Friends! I hope this week finds you well. As I look back on my blog from the last week, I realize I have not been sharing much with you recently. We are trying hard to get into the swing of homeschooling, homeschool coops, fall sports, and life in general. I’m not going to lie, we’re having a hard time adjusting to four kids in school at the same time and all at home. We’ll work through it, but phew. It’s taking a lot of time and effort.

Weather wise, we’ve had our first frost already! Really super crazy early. And since then, I’ve been reading about cold winter projections again for this year. I was so hopeful that we’d have a mild winter after the harsh weather we had last year. Last week, we covered the tomatoes and peppers on our coldest night to prolong their life and it worked, though I really don’t think it was quite cold enough to kill them off completely just yet. Temperatures are up this week and I’m still harvesting!

Tuesday Garden Party Co-Hosts_header.2

An Oregon CottageFacebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Google+

Frugal Family HomeFacebook | Pinterest |Instagram |Twitter | Google+

Simplify Live LoveFacebook | Pinterest | Instagram |Twitter | Google+

Creative Country MomFacebook | Pinterest | TwitterGoogle+

Thank you for sharing all your gardening progress, wisdom and inspiration with us each week! When you link your post here it will automatically be seen on all four blogs – all you have to do is link to ONE of our sites. Feel free to follow our Tuesday Garden Party Pinterest board where you may get a sneak peak of our weekly favorites and features, and search and follow #TuesdayGardenParty on any of your social media!
This week’s host is Brooke from Creative Country Mom.

Tuesday Garden Party - signs of autumn

Glorious Fall!
Well… not quite yet, but we have been in the low 60′s this weekend.
And it feels divine!  Fantastic actually.
Days that start with a light coat and end in short selves are my favorites.
Nights best spent by the fire, morning on the porch swing.
Colors more vibrant, deeper somehow.
Everything we love about fall in the Midwest.
Will it stay this way?
Of course not, we will have a few more hot days I am sure.
But until then I am dreaming of hayrides, caramel apples and pumpkins.
xxx….Brooke
Now onto the feature posts from last week’s Tuesday Garden Party,
I know we usually pick 5… but they were so good… I added two more!
91614-TGP-Features

1. Three Dogs in a Garden, “A Secret Garden

2. Panoply, “Late Summer Garden Thoughts
3. Homeward Found Decor, “Farmhouse Fall
4. On the Home Front, “My Garden: September Clean Up
5. Fishtail Cottage, “Fall is in the Air
6. Wife, Mother Gardener, “Progress in the Knot Garden
7. My 1929 Charmer, “Dinner With Friends on the Deck

Now Lets Get To The Party!
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