Friday, June 17, 2011

More gardening, couponing, extras.

Today is a beautifully hot, muggy day here in Ohio. So hot, in fact, I had to close up the windows I have had open for the past few days and turn on the air conditioners. Our weather here is absolutely unpredictable. It can be a beautiful day and then it will rain. It can be warm in the morning and be absolutely cold by afternoon and vice-versa. As they say, "Ohio is the only state that you can run your heater and air conditioner in the same day". I have found this fact to be very true.

 Such a beautiful representation of God's promise isn't it? Yesterday was  a nice sunny day and then boom a cloud came over and it rained. I can't complain too much because it gave us this beautiful rainbow AND the rain watered my garden for me.

 I took this picture earlier in the week. I think it was the night before the full moon. I thought the moonlight reflecting off of those clouds was absolutely stunning and I was lucky enough that my camera picked it up!!!

 Here is 2 squares of my lovely romaine lettuce. This stuff just keeps growing and producing nice salad leaves for me. These are before I did some gathering.

 Here are some after I gathered the matured leaves. They look so scrawny and bare right now but I know in a few days they will be ready to give me more wonderful romaine leaves.

 I also gathered some of my herbs today. Dill (seen above) is my absolute favorite. I love to make dill mayo and put it on chicken or in a marinade. So yummy!

 My squash will be producing it's yummy yellow fruit soon. I get so excited when I think of all the yummy food I get to cook, give away, and try to can this year. I have never canned food before so I really hope I can do it properly!!

 I also found this beautiful bean as I was rummaging through my garden beds and checking my plants for bugs and weeding around the plant bases. Ooooh I just can't wait to cook a nice fresh pot of beans.

 Another of my spices. This one is cilantro or some people call it coriander. I haven;t had a chance to cook with it yet but as far as research goes, the entire plant from leaves to stems to roots and seeds are edible. Will be a nice plant to experiment with.

 My basil. This herb amazes me how it grows. It's leaves are gorgeous. As will all of my herbs, I will wash and put some in the fridge for cooking and I will dry some to use over the winter months.

 My poor chives. They just can't decide whether to thrive or not. I am hoping for them to get a lot bigger before I harvest them.

 My blackberry bushes I planted earlier this spring have produced a few fruits this year. We are waiting for them to turn their gorgeous black color so we can munch on them. This fall I will cut them back so spring they will grow. They usually begin to produce lots of fruit the second year. Can't wait til then lol.

 I have mint growing in this pot since it is so very invasive. I planted seeds all around the pot and only one began to grow and very slowly. I nursed and nurtured it and now look at it. This one is spearmint. I want to get some peppermint, apple mint, and chocolate mint.

 My sage. I have been trying to grow sage forever. This is the first time any of it sprouted. This will be another plant I will be nurturing. I want to make some permanent patio planters and grow all of my herbs on my back deck which is off of the laundry room, next to my kitchen.

 My youngest son (who's 6th birthday was yesterday) brought home a lima bean he had started to grow at school. We planted it and it never grew. We tried to dig it up and it was gone!!! So he got to pick whatever he wanted to grow out of my leftover seeds and he chose cantaloupe. He is excited about watching it grow and change every day.

 Here is my lavender. I haven't killed it yet so I think I am doing good. I don't really know what to do with it except dry it and use for sachets. Anyone know what else? I am open to suggestions.

 My rosemary. I have topped it off twice now and have dried some. I love the way it smells.

 Now for the loot from my garden. My bunch of dill.

 Bunch of sage.

 Bunch of Cilantro.
 My bunch of rosemary.

My garden basket full of nice romaine lettuce. Yummy!!

My garden is growing so well and changes every day and with every rain shower we get. I am super proud of it. I am hoping I obtain enough produce to use immediately, to can, and to give away! My kiddos want to plant another bed just for giving away. Maybe next year we will!

Oh and I am going to start trying to do the couponing (also called Extreme Couponing) thing. For those of you who aren't sure about it, couponing is where you match coupons with sales and you can get your foods for rock bottom prices. Usually at 30% of cost or even free. So what you do is collect multiples of a coupon (i plan on buying multiples of the Sunday newspaper and to get them online and maybe pay a clipping service), watch the sales ads and wait for products you use to go on sale so with the sale and the coupon you can get the product for 70%  or more off, and then you buy multiples of that product to build a stockpile. You should stockpile for a month, 3 months, or 6 months (6 months is usually how long it takes for a product to cycle to rock bottom prices again). I have a full basement and an extra area upstairs i can use for stockpiling. With that and canning my own produce I should be able to save thousands of dollars on groceries and toiletries) For more information I use How to Extreme Coupon and Stockpiling Moms. Both break down how couponing is done and Stockpiling moms has a coupon database where you can print online coupons. I will keep everyone updated on how it all goes and share pictures as my stockpile grows!

Well I need to fold some clothes and wash more, vacuum some floors, and do some flowerbed weeding! Until we meet again, Be Blessed!!!!


  1. Wow, Erin.. a lot of things in this post! My granddaughter is here for a sleepover and she was loving roaming about our garden.. she adores mint and collected Peppermint, Spearmint, Lemon Mint and Chocolate Mint from our yard and pots. I have never know anyone else to have all those varieties of mint like I do!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. Couponing sounds like a good idea! You guys over in the States have been very clever in your house building (I assume you have a basement?) as most houses in England don't and it's such a good use of space! I am loving (and am slightly green eyed!) all your herbs! Give the chives a chance, mine were very weedy at first but have improved and even flowered - yippeee!! I think they prefer a fair amount of water whereas some herbs prefer less :-) xx