Monday, 27 June 2016

Pallet Benches


Hi!  Today I'd love to share with you some pallet benches that we made this spring.  We needed some new seating in the yard, had these pallets, and decided to give it a try.  No they're not perfect, but they're strong enough to handle lots of sitting on. :)

We used some pallets and also some extra boards that we scavenged at the local dump.  I love that people throw away perfectly good wood that I can take home.


Along with the wood, they were were all screwed together like a fence and so when we scavenged the wood, all the screws came with it and then we didn't need to buy any to screw the bench together. That was an extra bonus. :)



Well the second bench is not yet put together, but has all the parts ready for assembly at this point.  We went ahead and stained the above bench and our picnic table to match.  So, still a work in progress with the other bench not yet finished, but we hope to have it done by this coming weekend.  
When the other bench is finished, it will go beside this one around the fire pit.  We put a board over the fire pit to keep it dry, and the rock is to keep it from blowing off.  We get some good gusts by the riverside. 





Thanks so much for dropping by!  




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Beautiful Arnica


Hello!  Today I would like to share with you a bit about arnica. I found some arnica flowers this week for the very first time!  I was so very excited and delighted that I could now have this herb available to me.  It is a wonderful healing herb that has pain relief properties.  I 'm not a very technical girl, but in plain english, it's a wonderful herb that helps to heal the body.  As I've learned more about natural remedies for things I can only think of how the Lord God has created all these things for our benefit.

Genesis 1:11 "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so."

I am going to be steeping these flowers once they're dried in olive oil (I do this with a variety of herbs in a crockpot.)  Here is a good post on infusing oils at Learning and Yearning.   I'll be adding it to some homemade salve that I make.  It is wonderful to be able to find herbs to use in their natural setting away from regular pollutants.  Although I have had the thought of after they're done flowering digging up some to transplant in my yard.
Here is a website that I've read and found helpful about arnica. Called the Wellness Mama.  

Do you use arnica in any form?  I have also found that using arnica cell salts for pain relief has been SO very helpful to my family.  Don't worry, I don't make any thing to ingest from the plants.  I'm not that learned at this point.
Thank you so much for dropping by!  If you use arnica, I'd love to hear how you first started and how you use yours.

                           

Sharing with The Art of Homemaking Monday.



Tuesday, 21 June 2016

A Yukon Garden


Our Yukon Garden

Hi All!  Today I'd love to share with you my garden.  This year I've been trying a bunch of new things and it's been exciting to see what is growing.  

This year I tried a new technique with the garden.  Instead of just sewing rows of seeds, I hilled up rows to create a bit of raise bed effect. (I saw my neighbour do it and thought I give it a try myself) Thus far it's been great!  We hand water our garden and so it's working fine to keep it moist, but when we get a lot of rain (which we have this year) it doesn't sit on the plants but runs down into the furrows instead.   
We planted a bunch of peas, carrots, spinach, lettuce, kale, beets, garlic, onions, chives and radishes in the garden plot this year.  Along with some marigolds, borage and calendula. 





  This  year we made a box around the strawberries with a chicken wire top to keep out the squirrels. (they've tried to get in and it's funny to watch them bouncing around on the wire until they give up.) Then we mulched it with straw so the berries will hopefully not be sitting on the soil once they start coming.

                                              

Then here is the river we live beside.  It's all brown and rushing as it's been raining a lot as of late.  Most of the time it's a beautiful green/ clear.  This is where we go down and get our water from for the garden.  Then when it's clear we also get the water for the house from it.

                                     

In the greenhouse we have tomatoes, spaghetti squash, zucchini, one pepper plant, cucumbers and some herbs and flowers.  This year we found and added a big black water barrel to the greenhouse to make compost tea in and also to use as a heat sink for the nights.  We don't have a way of heating our greenhouse at this time, so the water barrel helps to dispel the frost and chill.  (yes, I said frost, for it was frosting even up until a couple weeks ago here.) It still gets very cool at night sometimes, but the plants are still growing  nicely.








We also built some small raised beds to grow beans in.  Then we ended up with some sprouting blue potatoes so we tossed them in there also and they're growing well thus far.  We'll hill them with straw through the summer.  The beans are just starting to come up.  The first set didn't take or got frosted off.  The fava beans (which we've never grown before) are doing extremely well in the cooler damp weather.  They are surrounded by fireweed so there should be lots of pollinators around.  I've actually had to cut down a bunch of the fireweed for it was shading the beds too much.   I hope to try fireweed jelly later in the season.



This year we have also added a few more flower barrels and pots around the yard.  We grew most of the flowers from seed also and it's exciting to see them flourishing.





We have also been blessed with a gift of raspberry saplings.  We potted them up this year and will dig holes in the ground for the pots in a few days.  Then they can be moved if need be without being disturbed again.  We'll put them out by the rhubarb and see how they do there.  If they don't like that location we can easily move them somewhere else.



Last year we started some rosemary from seed, overwintered it in the house, and then put it back out on the deck this year.  It's seeming to love the warmth and sunshine.  I love having it right by my door so that I can snag some whenever I want.  This year I'm also growing english thyme, sage, dill, parsley, and basil, but most are in the greenhouse at this time.

                                        

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and check out our gardening efforts this year!  I hope you have a beautiful day!

Sharing with The Art of Homemaking Mondays.



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Monday, 20 June 2016

Sweet Smelling Roses

Hello Friends!  Today I'd like to share with you what we've done with some wild roses that we picked around our place.

We decided to make some rose water with some of the petals, following some instructions we found online.  We also poured some into ice cube trays and froze them to see if that would help preserve it longer than just putting it in the fridge.



The petals were all removed from the main flower stems and then the stems were discarded.  They smelled so amazing and it was interesting that the rose water came out a lovely yellow when the flowers were pink?  But it smells so delightful and we'll be spritzing it on bedding and perhaps even using in a facial toner as well.  Do you use rose water?   How do you use it?

                           

To just enjoy some rose scent, put a rose in a jar floating in a bit of water and it smells so pretty and lasts a long time.
One of the joys of summertime!
Thanks for dropping by!

Sharing with The Art of Homemaking Mondays.

                                           


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In The Kitchen

Hello Friends!

As of late I've been enjoying more time in my kitchen.  I've been attempting to get more made from scratch instead of leaning on what I can buy.  It just takes a bit more planning on my part...one of the things I'm working harder at.

First off I was blessed with finding a bunch of strawberries on mark down at the grocery and made some jam.  In the jars the fruit is separated, but once opened we stirred it and it all stays nicely mixed.  One of my families favourites.  This year we are attempting to grow more of our own strawberries so we will have to wait and see how that works out.  It's still very early in the season for them in the Yukon.  We have a small patch and hope that there'll be enough at the same time for strawberry shortcake. :)

There will be lots more jam making to come this summer.


Then, there is the usual cookie baking.   Chocolate chip cookies this time, but we love our cinnamon oatmeal, & peanut butter ones as well.


I have been hearing about fermented pickles and thought I'd give it a try.  I found a great tutorial at Back to the Homestead HERE.  I used some pickles that I got at the grocery store since we don't have any of our own yet.  We left them for a week and the liquid turned all murky.  When we opened the jar it all bubbled up and smelled nice and dilly. :)  The pickles taste really good, and we will be doing this again.  They are now in the fridge waiting to be all eaten, which won't take long.


For Father's Day we made a chocolate pie with Reese peanut butter mini cups in the bottom.  It tasted SO good. :)


I made a few pie shells (one cooked and the others un-cooked), put them in freezer bags and tucked them in the freezer for quick deserts later.  I also tucked away some filling in the freezer so it'll be easy to combine them and pop in the oven.


I have gotten into the regular rhythm of making bread, and it's such a comfort food for us.  Buns for lunches and loaves for toast, french toast or garlic toast.  We go through a lot of bread in our house and make it every couple of days.  I make a double batch (two loaves, and a pan full of buns).  I wanted to make larger batches, but my stove is little and they over rise and fall while waiting to bake.  So I make it more often.  I really need to take the time to make more and tuck it in the freezer...on my to do list. :)


One other thing we love in our house are brownies.  How about you?  In the pic you can see I had the oven a touch too hot and it burned the edges of the parchment paper.  But the brownies were perfect.  I found a wonderful recipe that uses cocoa powder instead of the chocolate bricks.  Now they turn out perfect each time for me.  If you'd like the recipe you can find it HERE.  I clipped mine out of an old magazine I had been given but found it online for you.


Thanks so much for dropping by!  I hope that you have a beautiful day!

Sharing with The Art of Homemaking Mondays.


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Monday, 6 June 2016

Frolicking Along The Riverside


Hello! Do any of you like spontaneous walks in nature?  The past weekend my girls and I were sitting on our benches by the river and saw a big eagle land up river on the shore.  It seemed to be looking for something so we thought we'd get a closer look.  Well he flew off, but we found the otter/ muskrat tunnel leading away from the river into a pond just off the river.  Then we found a little river coming from the pond to the big river a bit further up...then we saw the trail that leads along the river.  Well, we just kept going and had fun looking at some sweet little details.  Like the little river that reminded my girls of a snake,


the grasses,


  little wildflowers,

                           
   
The calmer parts of the river with a nice shore that you could sit and enjoy a picnic on,


Fallen trees surrounded by caribou moss,


and just all around fun curves and changes in the terrain.


We had fun my girls and I.  Just a little spontaneous walk that was filled with talks about God's beautiful creation,  fun, and giggles.  Especially as we went barefoot on the way home, running along the path through the trees and grasses. :)  Cherished memories. Sometimes those simple things are the things we remember the most.

Sharing with the Art of Homemaking Mondays.


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