Gardener’s Hands

Are you hands on in the garden?  I start out with gloves, but end up working in our gardens with my bare hands.  There is something primal about touching, planting and working the soil with my hands.  I feel better connected to mother earth.

At one time in my life, having farmer hands was soooo embarrassing!  My hands can be rough and not look so, let’s say, well kept!  At this stage of my life though, I really don’t care what folks think.  I play in the dirt!  A LOT!

I keep my nails short and if I need to have them polished for a specific event (it has to be a good one), I get a gel polish. I can’t get out the door of a salon without ruining just a plain old manicure.  WHAAAAAA!  Who can relate?

I found this very easy Gardener’s Scrub on Pinterest (where else, LOL!).  I decided to give it a try.  My lovely assistant, Anna (my Granddaughter) assisted me every step of the way and took all the photos!  I must say, this scrub has helped the roughness of my hands and really cleans them up!

My theory is, the Epsom salts (I bought the kind with lavender in it because I’m thinking it would be lovely in a bath) and the Kosher salt which has large salt crystals will help to exfoliate and sooth my gardener hands.

The smell is incredible too!

Here we go with the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Zest of 1 Large Lemon
  • Juice of 1 Large Lemon
  • Leave of 5-6 Stems of Fresh Thyme (I used Rosemary because I have it in my garden)
  • 1-1/2 Cups of Epsom Salt (I used the kind infused with lavender because I thought it would be nice in a warm bath after a hard day’s work on the farm)
  • 1 Cup of Kosher Salt (I keep this in my kitchen and use it often to cook with)
  • ¼ Cup of Coconut Oil (I use coconut oil for the popcorn we grow – recipe to follow later)
  • ½ Cup of Natural Liquid Soap
  • Optional:
  • 5 drops of Essential Oil (lemon, rosemary, lavender) I didn’t use this

 

Instructions

  1.  Combine softened Coconut Oil with the Juice and Zest of 1 Large Lemon till smooth

IMG_E14682.  Add the Liquid Soap and the Leaves of Thyme or Rosemary and blend

IMG_E14723.  Add the Epsom Salts and Kosher Salt and combine well

4.  You may need more salt or liquid at this point – add sparingly

5.  Add the Optional Essential Oil

6.  Pack up in Mason Jars – we filled five 4 oz jelly jars. One for me and 4 to give away

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If you give as a gift, it would be nice to put a label on it and wrap twine around it. A little spoon would be nice too.  (As you can see, I just hand wrote what was in the jar and we moved on)

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I really like this scrub.  And, I’ve been given rave reviews from those that we gifted the scrub to.  I keep it by my sink and use it every day (sometime more than once)!

It was fun and very easy to make with my 11 year old granddaughter.  She thinks I should be vlogging (video blog – I had to google it – LOL)  instead of blogging.  I told her to give me time….YIKES – stall tactic!

Let me know what you think of the scrub!

By the way, it’s not too late to plant a cut flower garden!  I’m still planting cut flowers for our PYO Flower Garden that will open late June or early July.  Click HERE to find my 5 Favorite Easy Cut Flower varieties for your garden.

See you soon!

Karen

 

It’s Hard To Work The Plan….

My beloved Father-In-Law, Dick Doyle, once told me, “it’s fun to plan the work, but hard to work the plan”. I keep thinking about his words as I’m on my hands and knees this spring planting, planting, planting.  Why did I buy so many plants – YIKES, how many seeds do I have to plant?

Are any of you in the same boat?  This spring has been so unpredictable – one weekend I was wearing my winter coat with three layers under it while watching my granddaughter play lacrosse, the next week I was planting in 80+ degree weather.

The seed catalogs started rolling in just after Christmas.  My spring job here on the farm is to plan and plant our PYO Flower Garden.  I had so much fun picking out all the wonderful flowers I want to plant.  Someone, please make me STOP buying seeds!  Well, no one did. The hubs did roll his eyes at me as soon as the seed packets started arriving in the mail,  but it was too late!!

Don’t get me wrong – I love spring.  I love to plant something and watch it grow, but OH my aching back.   Ah, yes, it’s a labor of love.  I can’t wait to see all the flowers blooming and have folks taking a time out just for themselves, enjoying the garden and cutting beautiful blooms to take home.

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I’m sure many of you will be asking yourselves the same question over the next couple weeks – why did I buy so many plants?  How many zucchini do we really need?  Just remember:

It’s fun to plan the work, but hard to work the plan.

Can you dig it?  Bahhhaaa!

Every year, I get a lot of questions about how we constructed our vertical pallet flower fence at our roadside stand.  It’s so simple – maybe you have an area around your home for something like this.  I made a short video on how we did it…

 

Don’t forget to plant some flowers in your vegetable garden this year.  The flowers will attract beneficial insects and make your garden chores happier!  Check out my list of 5 Easy Annual Cut Flowers HERE.

See you soon!

Karen

 

 

Flower Power

We’re all itchin’ to get outside after this very long winter and spring!  Here on the farm we are planting Christmas trees and getting the gardens ready for veggies and flowers.  Have you started to think about what veggies you want to plant in your garden?  I know you have! 😉 Along with your favorite plants, why not add some flowers?

My grandmother’s garden always had marigolds in it.  I realize now that she planted them as a natural way of deterring aphids, bean beetles, squash bugs, etc. !  There are varieties of marigolds that are 8″-9″; however, there are some varieties that grow 40″!

Think about it: while you are harvesting your tomatoes you could be tip toeing through the tulips too.  Well, maybe not tulips, but how about some annual flowers that you can cut and bring into your home or give away to friends and relatives or someone you know who could use a little lift in their day.

There is no denying it.  The power of flowers is contagious!!

Here are a few reasons why planting flowers in your veggie garden is so very worthwhile:

  • Most annual flowers are EASY to grow right along with your vegetables.
  • The flowers will attract beneficial insects to your garden which will help with the pollination of your veggies! Yes, most insects are good!  Snakes too! YIKES!
  • Gosh, having flowers in your garden could make the hard work of gardening fun!
  • When you harvest your veggies (should be twice a week), harvest your flowers too! Keep them, or make someone’s day!

The key to a great garden is to pick, and pick often.  The annual that you plant will produce for one season.  It’s whole mission in life is to produce a seed.  If you keep picking, you are kind of tricking it into producing more and more!  If you are a seed saver, collect the seeds from the flowers that you plant at the end of the season.

We start a ton of our flowers and vegetables by seed each year along with plants.  When the plants are at the end of their useful life, you will have another crop of veggies or flowers coming along.  Succession planting is key to a long and healthy garden.

If you are interested in my Top 5 List of EASY Annual Flowers to plant in your garden, please click HERE.