Monday, December 21, 2020

Happy Winter!!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Quote of the Week

"In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they're still beautiful."

                                       --Alice Walker

Friday, December 4, 2020

The Gifts of Rosemary and Sage

A friend recently gave me two aromatic gifts of rosemary and sage, and guess what?

I've never grown or taken care of either one.

I believe every gardener loves soaking in the newness of moments: learning something new, growing something new, tasting and smelling something new.

After looking up basic care needs for my new plant babies, I'm ready to take this plunge to expand my herb garden, my cooking skills with fresh herbs, my garden knowledge.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Thankful for the M&M's (Music & Memories)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I surely did! Dinner was kept real simple since it was just the six of us and we really didn't need a massive buffet of food. Being a household of seven over the years has always meant large quantities of food anyways and I really didn't want a week load of leftovers crammed in my frig, so we kept it simple with broiled lemon garlic butter salmon, mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach and one large tray of baked mac n cheese served with store bought Dutch apple pie and a peach cream pie.

Thanksgiving cooking isn't any fun without music playing in the background and the occasional dance moves around the kitchen. I love music and this year's playlist was filled with a lot of songs from the 70's &early 80's, a time celebrating my mom and dad's youth(teen years), courtship, marriage and my early years as a child.

As the Bar-kay's, Cameo, Brick, and many other phenomenal funk bands played from my phone, I smiled as I made the final touches to our side dishes.....this was my way of celebrating my parents' lives and their love of music.

My sister and I loss our mother 20 years ago to breast cancer, and loss our father to colon cancer in March. So yeah, this is our first holiday season without a parent being present in this world with us. Also, Thanksgiving Day was my mom's birthday, so it was a day filled with lots of smiles, memories and music.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

First Sprouts from 30 Cloves

Some of the garlic from the first group planting has sprouted. Sorry for the weeds--had lots of rain, and the weeds are roaring back. However, if you look closely you'll be able to see thick green blades sprouting from the ground.

First Sprouts from 30 Cloves

Some of the garlic from the first group planting has sprouted. Sorry for the weeds--had lots of rain, and the weeds are roaring back. However, if you look closely you'll be able to see thick green blades sprouting from the ground.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

30 Cloves and Counting

It's fall, y'all and that means: time to plant some garlic!! Garlic is such a staple in my garden. I've been gardening for a little over 13 years now and for nine years straight, I always found space to plant a few cloves, every year, and every year more and more cloves were planted. Before my family and I moved into the house we're in now, I think the most garlic I've ever planted and harvested was sixty.

Last gardening season marked the end of a streak of these hands meticulously breaking down garlic bulbs searching for the biggest cloves from each bulb to plant. Yup, there wouldn't be a 10th Anniversary planting to celebrate simply because I couldn't find anywhere to plant them in time, and when I finally decided to plant a few, I felt it was too late-weather wise.

I really missed having garlic in the garden and won't be missing out this year.After harvesting the corn and some of the sunflowers, this area become the perfect spot to start planting.

The plan is to slowly clear off more space as the rest of the sunflowers are pulled up, so
garlic goes in. Right now, thirty cloves have been planted and who knows how many more to come.....hopefully 100!!

We'll see.

#backyardgardener, #garlic, #organicgardening, #growfood

Monday, September 7, 2020

From Pain to Love

Been a bit sidelined these past 3 weeks with a large boil on the top of my foot, so many of the gardening and household duties haven't been my top priority. Not being able to do many of my daily tasks was been a bit annoying at first, but self-care is more important than making sure all the laundry is done on laundry day, every wall is wiped down on Fridays, and making sure weeds and dying plants are pulled. Even though these tasks are important, nothing wasn't as important as staying off of my foot as much as possible.

Before I continue, I would like to thank my children and my husband for all the help and support they gave. Love you, guys!

Now back to the post.......

This boil has been so painful and itchy. Even though my toes felt numb, and at times the boil felt like it was hitting a nerve in my foot, nothing and I mean nothing drove me crazy like the itchiness. The itchiness felt like my foot was on fire and was traveling up toward my lower leg. Apparently, as the boil was forming a head it became larger and the itchiness intensified which also became the start of the healing process.

As the boil grew, I started soaking my foot in warm water with Epsom Salt and tea tree oil. These foot soaks which eventually became feet soaking times happened three times a day while I took my daily French lessons from the Duolingo app(haven't missed a lesson yet, 235 days strong), or watching gardening videos and making plans for next season. This little time for self-care started off as just trying to ease pain for myself and I thought that I would leave it as that, but I'm happy to say, I'll be adding foot soaking twice a week to my life as a little love letter to moi.

Do you have a simple self-care routine that's a must for you?

#selfcare #agardenerheals #agreenhaven, #footcare #boil

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Beauty in the Garden

Sometimes something just catches one's eye and that something was the water droplets that sat on my elephant ears, yesterday.

With the abundance of rain my area has been receiving this summer, unfortunately I haven't been able to catch a picture like this all year. It always seemed like it rained later in the evenings or earlier in the day and any trace of rain would've dried up before noon, and I'm glad I was able to catch such a nourishing moment.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Quote of the Week

No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden. 

                             -Hugh Johnson

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Be a Seed Saver

*This post was written a few weeks back and with all of life's happenings, I totally forgot about this post....Oops!
**I grow heirloom varieties only.

A bit of my Saturday was spent collecting seeds from the radish pods that were allowed to dry in the driveway for a few weeks.
Last week I spoke about seed collecting as being an exciting part of gardening and how summer is the height of gardening season, and just knowing that you grew something that will nourish your body, and help ease your grocery budget.

Another financial ease is seed collecting and if you grow your own food, you should at least consider saving seeds. It would be great if you could save seeds from everything you grow, but if you can't that's okay, but try to save seeds from a few of your favorite things to grow, and then add to your seed collecting over the time.

Tomato seeds were the first seeds that I ever saved in my first years of gardening--mainly because that's the only thing I ever grew in my garden, my first two years as a gardener. I guess you could say, I was the female, Benjamin Buford Blue--Bubba, of Forrest Gump fame. Not only did I use tomatoes in a variety of dishes, I tried to grow a plethora of them: yellow ones, cherry tomatoes, paste or Roma, and I can't forget Cherokee Purple- such a beautiful tomato. These were the mainstays in the garden, and others would come along overtime.

Growing my own tomatoes and tasting the incredible deliciousness of homegrown tomatoes convinced me to always grow tomatoes in my garden for years to come, and in order to save some money when it came to seeds, I would need to start seed saving. Of course, every now and then there's a new tomato variety I might want to try, so I'm okay with spending a little money here and there.

Saving tomato seeds is a pretty easy task and collecting radish seeds are, too---it's fun, they germinate better,and saves us gardeners money, too!

#agreenhaven, #growfood, #saveseeds, #backyardgardener,#tomatoes, #budgetgardener, #radishes

Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Height of Gardening Season

*There are no photos or pictures in this post, just my thoughts and words.

The joys of midsummer for this gardener are: seeing the abundance of crops that I've invested my time and energy into become a source of nutrition for me and my family, and if I have enough, friends and neighbors as well.....preparing new compost bins/piles for the fall garden, collecting seeds and making wish lists for seeds that I would like to order from my favorite catalogs or shops. All of these things make midsummer so special to me: its the height of gardening season--- growth, harvest time and planning all wrapped up into one season!

As a gardener, what thing(s) do you love most about this time of year? 

#growfood, #harvest, #gardening

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Corn Is Coming In

Corn and zucchini plants are coming along, even have a few
ears--eight to be precise.

Here's another angle from my yard. As you can tell some of the corn is a lot shorter than others, that's because some corn became stunted and died off early on and my daughter and I had to plant more.

We also had to tie one of the stalks up with a grocery bag around a stick for some extra support---we've been experiencing some very windy and wet weather, lately. Hopefully, staking those particular plants for a bit can eventually make them stronger and no more staking will be needed.

The corn is a real headturner;my children and I have noticed several cars slow down to look or point at the corn. Now, people could be geniuely happy to the corn in the yard, and I'm sure there might be some that don't think corn should be out front like that---but guess what....I don't care...I feel it's neatly placed and besides, I can't grow it in my partially shaded backyard, as well as the front. 

Until next time my gardening friends....keep growing and happy gardening!

#corn, #growfood, #organicgardener, #agreenhaven 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Quote of the Week

There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.


                      - Janet Kilburn Phillips

Friday, June 12, 2020

Compost: Two's a Great Start

My two bins of compost have been producing some fantastic compost for the garden; I'm really impressed with how much compost I've been able to produce this year.
Last year, I only used one bin and that definitely wasn't enough to maintain my midsize garden.

As a former open composter-it's still my favorite way to compost;however, where I live now I don't have the space in my backyard to compost like that anymore. So, since bins are the only way I can make compost, I can honestly recommend two large bins for a small to midsize garden to make your compost in. 
Happy Gardening!!

P.S. Don't forget to put holes in your bins for drainage. Sometimes a rain shower might sneak up on you and you might have to tilt the bins to get the water out. If you don't mind tilting the bins then don't worry about adding the holes. 


Monday, June 8, 2020

Quote of the Week

No matter where you are, you can grow something to eat. Shift your thinking and you'd be surprised at the places your food can be grown! Windowsill, fire escape and rooftop gardens have the same potential to provide impressive harvests as backyard gardens, greenhouses and community spaces.

                                 --Greg Peterson,
                    Grow Wherever You Go!
                    Discovering the Place
                     Where Your Garden
                                Lives, 2009

#Greg Peterson 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Quote of the Week

I know that if odour were visible, as colour is, I'd see the summer harden in rainbow clouds.

                                - Robert Bridges
                           'Testament of Beauty

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Thinning

Late Tuesday evening I finally took the time to thin out/ space out these Shin Kuroda carrots----the tops look nice, don't they?
Yeah, they look nice and healthy, and are coming in very well;however, if I want nice root development, I'll need to space out the seedlings, some. This job can be very time consuming, but so worth it in the long run.
The picture above is what I started with and these are the the seedlings that I took out, and many of them
were re-planted to other parts of the garden because their roots were long and intact. I only discarded five seedlings with broken or weak looking roots. I could have easily put these five seedlings into a salad, but honestly, after hours of thinning and re-planting, I didn't feel up to making a salad(I usually make large salads, too)...I just wanted something quick, so I opted for the vegetable soup that I made earlier in the day.

After thinning, this is how the
container looks, now. Still a little closeness, but still room to grow and develop. It's recommended that thinning should be 1 - 3" apart, and I think I'm good.

Here's an area in my garden where the other seedlings were planted.
Since carrots are companions to brussel sprouts and tomatoes, the seedlings will have a new home around both companions. Sorry, I didn't take a picture of the tomatoes, but you get the idea. The seedlings will be planted around the brussel sprouts and tomatoes to help aid each other from any pests.

Here's the picture of the carrots nestled in between the brussel sprouts.

Now they have some space, and I carry so much pride and satisfaction, that I didn't destroy too many roots along the way.

Happy Gardening 😊

#agreenhaven, # thinning, #carrots,

Monday, April 27, 2020

Quote of the Week

It takes so little to make me happy: An hour of planting cucumbers, squash, tomato is an hour-filled with gold.  
                                                                -                             ---Alice Walker,
               from "Rich," 'Hard Times Require Furious Dancing,' 2010


Saturday, April 25, 2020

A Hodgepodge of Temperatures

The corn is coming along pretty well.This Blue Hopi corn was planted in my front yard in late March and with the cool spring temperatures and the occasional rain showers with a hint of summer day temps...a hodgepodge of temps for some nice growth for the corn.

#agreenhaven, #growfood

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Bringing the Pollinators

Added a little pop of color around the mailbox. Yellow is my favorite color and I love looking out my bedroom window seeing the marigolds, and since it's been more than two weeks since I planted them, I've seen some growth and more blossoms, and I can't forget...the butterflies!
The marigolds were bought at Ace Hardware, and I also put some seeds out to bring some more pollinators to my yard. I actually have a seed packet called the pollinator blend, and it consists of Echinacea, Cosmos, Tickweed, Blazing Star, Scarlet Sage, and Black-Eyed Susan. This will be my first time trying to grow all of these flowers, except Cosmos.
Cosmos are tall and very colorful and don't require a lot of upkeep--perfect for a gardener like me. I love simplicity, lots of color, and bringing pollinators to my yard.

Peace and Love :)


Monday, April 20, 2020

Quote of the Week

We think that diamonds are very important, gold is very important, all these minerals are very important. We call them precious minerals, but they are all forms of the soil. But that part of thus mineral that is on top, like it is skin of the earth, that is the most precious of the commons.

                             -Wangari Maathai
                               Dirt! The Movie,

#agreenhaven, #growfood 
#DirtTheMovie, #WangariMaathai

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Y'all Hanging in There

Been away a bit working tiredlessy in my garden: weeding, digging, planting and sowing, so my post have been very sporadic and then to add on the pandemic life changing issues, it's a wonder that I even get a few hours in my garden. How are you guys holding up with our new normal and have you found yourself doing more or less gardening?

#agreenhaven, #gardeningmoreorless

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

A Small Harvest

Over the weekend my daughter, Kennedy (she's my gardening buddy)and I decided to get out into the yard to do some yard clean up(We're slowly cleaning up a fallen/dead tree in our yard), and it was just a nice way to relax and  honor my father.

Being able to play in the dirt and find these little cuties just made my day, and I know my dad was just as proud. 

These carrots were grown in containers to help me save gardening space, so remember, you don't need a lot of space to grow food. You just need the will and determination. 

Peace, love, and grow😚


Monday, March 23, 2020

Quote of the Week

It was such a pleasure to sink one's hands into the warm earth, to feel at one's fingertips the possibilities of the new season.

                                 -Kate Morton,
                                   "The Forgotten                                         Garden"

#gardenquote, #agreenhaven, #atlantagardener, #newseason

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Free As a Bird

I've been trying to keep my energy up and maintain all of this garden stuff and all of my other responsibilities as a wife and mother, all the while trying to keep my mind together as my dad was across the country fighting cancer. Well, I couldn't figure out why I had a bit more energy today and even wanted to start more seeds, well, now I know---this morning at 8:00 a.m. Pacific time, my dad--the only parent my sister and I had left(our mom passed almost 20 years ago from breast cancer)has completed his journey on this Earth. I believe he was guiding me toward the thing that we both loved and enjoyed so much---gardening. Daddy and I could sit and talk for hours about gardening. We would share our successes and failures, lol...I'm going to miss our talks, ya!

#gardening, #gardeningtalkswithdad,

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Monday, March 2, 2020

Quote of the Week

Let nature be in your garden. 

                                -Greg Peterson

#gardenquotes, #Greg Peterson, #agreenhaven 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Quote of the Week

Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.

                            ---Thomas Fuller
                              Gnomologia, 1732

#gardenquotes, #ThomasFuller, #agreenhaven

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Dreaming of Summer

To perk up this cloudy grayish day, I've decided to plant some Brandywine tomatoes. Just the simple act, of sowing these seeds has my mind swirling with thoughts of a bountiful summer harvest, lots of tomato filled salads, and sandwiches...boy, oh boy, I can't wait!


Monday, February 17, 2020

Quote of the Week

The garden is a love song, a duet between a human being and mother nature. 

                                  -Jeff Cox

#gardenquotes, #agreenhaven 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Broccoli Harvest

Finally, I harvested some of the broccoli over the weekend. Been wanting to gather up the broccoli for awhile, but from the bizarre weather patterns we've been having in Atlanta to me being on the go for the past three weeks, I never got around to gathering my harvest.
Weather wasn't too bad this past Sunday, and surprisingly, I actually was at home all day---which I loved.

Since Sunday was such a simple and relaxed day, I decided to make it a soup day. A vegetable soup day to be more precise, and whenever I make veggie soup---it calls for roasted broccoli, too.

Roasted broccoli is amazing and it's the in veggie soup!

This soup takes a bit of time to make---since I make my own vegetable broth. You can cut time by pre-making your broth and freezing it, to use at a later date, or you can use store bought broth.

Here's the end resulta nice satisfying bowl of veggie soup with freshly picked broccoli.

Yeah, Sunday was a good day.


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Jumpstart the Season

*this post contains an affiliate link

Just now posting...sorry so late but this is a shot of some of the eggplants sprouting. I sowed the seeds on January 31st and predicted the seeds would probably sprout on February 10th. Pretty conservative guesstimate, but I've never used a heating mat before, and just assumed that the seeds would sprout early, but not within 4 days. I absolutely love the Vivosun mat, wished I could've gotten a larger one, but I'm glad I was able to afford what I got.
Now, the mat isn't that pricey, my budget is very tight and something that might be affordable for others, isn't for me.
So, if you're looking for a fairly priced heating mat, checkout the Vivosun, and get a jumpstart on the growing season!

#agreenhaven, #vivosun,#growfood

Monday, February 10, 2020

Quote of the Week

Creating your own urban farm is as simple as planting your flower beds with edibles.

                      -Greg Peterson,
My Ordinary Extraordinary Yard:
The Story of the Urban Farm

#gardenquotes, #urbanfarms,#growfood, #gregpeterson

Monday, February 3, 2020

Peppers are Popping Up

The jalapenos are moving right along on the heating mat. Seems like
when I walk back into the room another seedling sprouts...I'd like to think it's my presence, but I know the extra heat is bringing them forth.

Quote of the Week

The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.

                                                 -Abraham Lincoln

Friday, January 31, 2020

Getting Eggplant Ready

Two weeks ago, I started some sweet and jalapeno peppers, and yesterday I picked up some eggplant at my local Ace Hardware. I decided to go with the black beauty variety first, but I'll definitely pick up a few other varieties real soon. 
Now that I have a heating mat these should sprout a lot faster. I'll probably give them 10-14 days to sprout.  Well, here I stop...eggplant sproutlings.

#eggplant #blackbeauty, #organicgardener

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

My New Helper

The heating mat that I ordered from Amazon over the weekend
just arrived today and I'm a bit disappointed that I won't be able to play around /set it up today. Parent/Teacher conferences, Senior parent meeting and cooking tonight's meal take first priority. But tomorrow it'll be on......for Sure!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Quote of the Week

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.

                              --W.E. Johns

#gardenquotes, #agreenhaven, #gardeners

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Building My Dreams

As the title states, this isn't a gardening post at all. My intentions with this post is to highlight a free program that I'm participating in, 'The Best Decade Ever' the course is being taught by life coach, Mel Robbins, yes that Mel Robbins, best selling author, phenomenal public speaker and new daytime talk show host.
When I tell you that this woman and course is out of this world amazing---Mel's a complete inspiration, supporter and teacher.
This course is making me really think about my dreams and how to break them down into smaller goals. Honestly, this isn't where my struggle(s) manifest; dreaming and setting goals have never been a problem for me.
My issues are as follows: waiting for the perfect time to start(this can keep me from starting or slows me down with my goals) 2. the biggie...still allowing negative thoughts from my childhood play in my head, and for me...the statements of your too silly, girls don't act, say or do basically, not being able to fully be my authentic self because I allowed some family members views and perspectives to stunt my true personality and voice--grant it, I was a child, but it has had a tremendous impact on my life and building personal relationships.
This course has given me the opportunity to not only dream big and break these dreams down, but it has also pushed me to go inward to find the things that might be holding me back from accomplishing my dreams--and I definitely did!
If you're looking to jumpstart your dreams, I highly recommend giving, The Best Decade Ever a try, and sign up for the private Facebook group. I joined the group to find my voice once again--it's week 3,and I've been able to set some firm boundaries in my life, in order to reach my goal for 2020, and future goals beyond.

#bestdecadeever, #melrobbins, #piecebypiece, #buildingmydreams,#agreenhaven

Monday, January 20, 2020

Quote of the Week

"Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination."

                      ---Mrs. C.W. Earle

#gardenquotes, #agreenhaven

Thursday, January 16, 2020

A Small Harvest

Picked a little Swiss Chard this afternoon to put in my pasta.


Kickoff to my 2020 Garden

So, I've finally got myself a little bit organized and after going through an array of new seed packets and tossing empty ones away, I thought to myself, Why not gradually jump start the season with the peppers instead of the tomatoes, since the peppers take a bit longer to get started than tomatoes.

I decided to go with some sweet peppers and jalapenos. Oh, quick shout out to my friend,Carla. She gave me the Cubanelle Peppers last summer and I purchased the jalapeno seeds over at Amazon from, The Seed Plant. This isn't an affiliate post at all,and with that being said,if you're looking for some affordable seeds then head over to The Seed Plant, actually I believe you can find them under the name of Seed and Plant, but if that doesn't work just type in The Seed Plant. Their seeds are Non-GMO, affordable, and did I mention FREE Shipping---when I saw the latter, I was completely sold...who can beat that? Not too many people,lol. If you're looking for some seeds at a good price, head on over there.
Now, getting back on track, honestly I probably should've started the eggplants first since germination takes the longest for them--out of all the seeds I have. But I wanted to have at least two more varieties to grow along with the Thai Purple eggplants. I really like to grow heirlooms, so I'm going for a black beauty and one other heirloom. I'm trying to decide from Ping Tong or the Rosa Bianca. What would you recommend, or are there others you would recommend?
Well, the season is still early and I'll have time to get the eggplants going real soon, but hey, I went with the peppers and now here we are...the first seeds to be planted for the 2020 garden.
Have you started your seeds, yet, and if so, what?

Keep Growing, y'all!
Peace and Love,

#atlantagardener, #2020garden, #startingseeds, #agreenhaven

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Getting Started

Finally found my bag of seeds--thank goodness because I was about to turn my house upside down, if I didn't find it.
Now that I've found it, I can start the process of planning my garden and getting the seeds organized, and today is a perfect day to get started---rainy days are the best days!

#atlantagardener, #organization #planning, #seeds

Monday, January 13, 2020

Quote of the Week

Learn to be an observer in all seasons. Every single day, your garden has something new and wonderful to show you. 

                           -Author Unknown

#gardenquotes, # atlantagardener, #agreenhaven 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Quote of the Week

There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter. One is the January thaw. The other is the seed catalogues.

                                     Hal Borland

Friday, January 3, 2020

Little Treasures

Found some great deals at Kroger the other day, and besides being hype about the great snacks, I can't wait to start growing some seeds in these containers! So ready to get this new garden season started!

#atlantagardener, #frugalgardener #re-use, #agreenhaven

Thursday, January 2, 2020

A New Year, a New Crop

Well 2020 has already started off with a bang in my garden. Went outside to check on the broccoli, and finally a head has made an appearance. I was starting to worry that I'll only have the leaves(which would've been fine, too, the leaves can be eaten, too) and no flower head. After countless months of growing and tending to, I have baby broccoli! 

#New Year 2020, #broccoli, ##atlantagardener
Here's to a great New Year and abundant growing season!