Friday, February 5, 2016

Feed Sacks, Organized

For the last few months,
I've been selling daisy totes.
They are upcycled tote bags made from used feed sacks.
It's been a fun and educational undertaking.
There were a few people who were able to supply me with sacks.
Once things started taking off,
I knew that I'd need to find more resources.
Enter Craig's List.
I placed an ad under the "Farm & Garden" section,
stating that I was looking for feed sacks that were no longer needed.

The call was answered.
Seems there are a lot of folks in our area who love animals.
Horses, birds, cows, pigs, rabbits, and a multitude of poultry
all need to be fed.
Most people I meet up with say that if we didn't take the sacks,
they would be burned or thrown away.
It's a good feeling to know that they will be collected
for something useful.

Storing them in a systematic way makes sense.
I call myself "chronically organized" because I don't do well with anything less.
Last weekend was the perfect opportunity to tackle this task. 
The weather was cool and I had the garage all to myself.

As with any organizing project,
it's best to sort like objects.
Sacks were laid in piles according to type of feed.

 Some, like these Egg Maker sacks, were so numerous,
that I decided to use one bag to hold some of them.
Many were received this way from contributors.
This takes up less space than if they were all stored separately.

Needless to say,
we'll have sacks to keep me busy for quite some time.
The ad was promptly taken off of Craig's List.
There are still some folks who call me as repeat customers,
to come and collect their excess sacks.

We happen to have quite a few moving boxes,
so they were used to corral the sacks.
Of course, labeling always helps one to find what is needed.

Even when we sell our house and move,
these will be taken with us so that I can get right to work
at whatever Farmers' Markets or local events might serve as a good venue for the daisy totes.

I think we'll be ready.

circa 2011 The ORIGINAL Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop #90

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Maple Hill Hop 118

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Grab the button above to link back to Maple Hill 101.*

With our unusually warm winter,
we decided to host a plant giveaway.
We do this a few times a year,
and it was the perfect time to share the wealth.
Folks are asked to bring their own shovel, 
and a container for the plants they choose.
This time, we also requested some canned food for our local
Meals on Wheels program.
Everyone wins!
Here are some of the lovelies that found new homes:


African Iris

Flax lily

Native salvia


Bulbine bloom

Crape Myrtle

All of our giveaways are either native or Florida-friendly,
meaning that the new owners will be able to enjoy their beauty
without a lot of work.
(You can search our plant profiles for these and other Florida-friendly plants using the search engine or our tab under the header.)
It feels good knowing that we are encouraging new gardeners
while supporting more experienced  ones.
We still have plenty of plants for our local pollinators to employ.
God's bounty never ceases.

What's going on outside where you are?
Let's HOP!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Plant Profile-Beach Sunflower

There are "mistakes" that sometimes happen and are a catastrophe.
This isn't one of those times.
Thank goodness, this error is completely in my favor.
Love when that happens!

These little beauties have been referred to as "Faye's sunflowers",
as my farmer friend Faye allowed me to take some seed from her plant
and redistribute it in our backyard garden.
I thought it a bit odd that they did not seem to be displaying the same growing habit.
When she came for a visit, she noticed right off that the leaves were entirely different.

The mystery remained until it hit me.
These are actually beach sunflowers
that I stole acquired from a vacant house in the neighborhood.
I wish I had taken a picture of the plants that were enveloping that house.
The entire front walkway (including the sidewalk up to the front door)
were one gorgeous mass of sunflowers. 
It was really something to see.
On one of my morning walks, I decided the former occupants
most likely wouldn't mind sharing a few seeds.
After all, we gardeners are a generous bunch, no?
You can't know how thrilled I was to make the discovery,
as this has been one of the plants on my wish list for a very long time.

 I planted them in June of last year,
and they haven't stopped blooming since.
They spread easily, are drought tolerant and almost care-free.
What a beautiful addition to the garden.

They are so cheery, even in the darkest of days,
when clouds smother the sky and there is no sun to be found.
These glorious works of art continue to shine all day long.
They self-seed readily and attract a variety of pollinators.
It makes a body feel mighty blessed.

The recent cold snap (30's) didn't deter them one bit.
That gives me hope that I will be able to grow them further north.
In fact, according to this website,
they can be grown as an annual in areas that freeze.
Seeds will be saved for just that purpose.
Even if they only grow during the warmer seasons,
they are worth taking the time to save.
As for the seeds I got from Faye,
I think I forgot to plant them.
(These senior moments are becoming more frequent.)

I know it's the dead of winter,
and most folks don't get to have sunflowers now.
But I also realize that many of my gardening buddies are busy 
planning their spring and summer gardens.
Wouldn't these make a lovely border around your veggie beds?
I am happy to share seeds if anyone would like some.
Believe me, we have plenty!
Just email me and we'll get you squared away.
And until Old Man Winter bids a fond farewell,
enjoy Maple Hill's sunny collection.
We'd love to be a part of your warm weather garden.
Stay toasty, y'all!

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop #90

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

circa 2011 The ORIGINAL Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Maple Hill Hop 117

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Grab the button above to link back to Maple Hill 101.*

We've had a mild winter this year,
until this past weekend when temps dipped into the 30's.
I covered the tomatoes, just in case.

Brandywine tomatoes

I enjoy perusing my favorite blogs
to see how Old Man Winter is treating the folks further north.
I have to say that although the snow seems magical,
I remember what a nightmare it could be to deal with.
(I'm originally from Illinois.)
My hat's off to those of you tough birds up there,
and all that you have to do to get through the season.

We offer our version of a white blanket winter.

Star Jasmine



native cotton


African Iris
African Iris
What's happening outside where you are?
HOP on!