Monday, May 18, 2020

Growing Sweet Potato Slips

Hi my sweet friends!

Remember when you were back in school and we would sprout

a potato in a jar to make a cool house plant?

Did you know that it's a great way to start sweet potatoes in your backyard?

The starts are called slips and it's easy and cheap!

You need:

1 sweet potato-

Scrub potato with a brush-
Sometimes potatoes are sprayed with chemicals to prevent sprouting!

Use organic if you can

I used  just 1/2 of one

a few toothpicks

a jar

and water

Put the toothpicks around the middle of the sweet potato.

Set in the jar, fill with water.

That's it-

After a week or so you will see roots and buds starting to form.

See the tiny bud forming-

See the tiny roots-

One potato will give you plenty of slips.

After several weeks your potato will look like this-

Gently break off the stem at the base of the potato.

Then put it right back in the water and let it develop roots.

Bonus: The leaves are edible!

It doesn't take long.

These are ready to be removed from the potato.

The roots will grow.

And when the roots look strong,

they are ready to plant.

My sweet husband made a planter for my slips.

He used old scrap pallet wood. 

The filled the box with planter mix.

The sweet potatoes will be contained in the box,

 it will be easier for me to harvest.

I don't mind if the vines grow over the top.

Where the vines touch the soil, they will set roots and

the potatoes form off the roots.

After about 100 days......we should be able to dig up some

delicious sweet potatoes!

Since our quarantine we have been spending more time in the garden.

It's a great time to experiment with growing more of your own food-

I hope I have inspired you to give this a try.

xo Lisa S

Sunday, May 17, 2020

How to Make Your Own Calendula Infused Oil and Salve

Hi Friends,

This may sound complicated but stay with me-

The salve is a  two part process.

It is easy but it does take some waiting time.

The first step is making infused oil.

If you have Calendula -common name is Pot Marigold,

growing in your garden,


 you are going to need the petals to make your oil.

What you need from start to finish:

1 cup any oil-
preferably organic,
olive, almond, coconut or jojoba

1 cup dried Calendula petals
( dried petals can be purchased if you prefer )

1 mason jar with lid

1 oz. beeswax

containers for your salve
( This recipe will fill 12 - 2 oz. tins )

a metal sieve

a double broiler

    a drying rack  -

but you can spread out the petals on newspaper

Parchment paper or paper towel

My drying rack is a vintage screen door lying flat on a table.

It has great air flow for drying herbs and petals.

Pick your petals and set out to dry.

If the weather is warm it will only take a couple of days.

My flowers were yellow and orange, after they dried it seems like

 they are all the same orange color.

I stored my dried petals in a bag.

I used Almond Oil

I liked the scent but you can make your own favorite combination.

The Calendula petals do not have a strong scent on their own.

Fill your jar with dried petals and cover with 1 cup oil.

You will need 1 cup infused oil to make the salve.

You will need about 1 cup of petals.

If you have space in the jar you may add more petals,

 make sure the oil covers the petals.

Seal the jar with a canning lid and put away for approximately 2 to 4 weeks.

After a couple weeks, check to see if your oil has changed color.

Strain your oil with a metal sieve.

 Cheese cloth will absorb too much oil.

You can discard the flower petals.

What a beautiful golden color !

I only had to strain once, my oil was clear.
Strain twice if you see a lot of impurities.

This beeswax is great!

It has bars already measured to 1 oz.

I bought these tins on Amazon. I like the screw top lids.

They hold 2 oz. each.

This recipe will fill 12 of the 2 oz. tins.

Remove the lids and set out your tins on a paper towel or parchment paper.

That's just in case you spill.

I used a small stainless bowl to make a double broiler,

set the temperature to low.

Add 1 oz. of beeswax

I measured  1 cup of the infused oil and added it to the beeswax.

It took a few minutes to melt.

I used a wood skewer to stir.

Remove from stove.

 I used a small stainless measuring cup 

as a scoop to fill the tins.

Fill to just below the screw top lines.

Let the tins cool, try not to move them.

After they have cooled, they will set up.
So pretty!

After the tins are cool to the touch you can replace the lids.

Calendula is known to have antiseptic and healing properties.
Some people say it helps with their eczema.
I love to use the salve on my nails and cuticles!
A little goes a long way-

A couple of thoughts-

I would be careful not to leave your salve in a hot car or purse, extreme heat may cause
the tin to leak.

If you give the salve as a gift, remember to
list your ingredients to protect those who may have allergies.

And an update:

 I found some stickers but they can not go through the printer-
so I made each one by hand .

I  am not an expert by any means, but if I can make it so can you :)

If you have any questions please ask me in the comments.

xo Lisa S

Monday, May 11, 2020

Spending time in my Garden - Stenciling!

Hi Friends!

Welcome to my house!

We have been on lock-down for 10 weeks and still no end in sight

I've been spending a lot of time in the garden!

While we take a little tour of the garden, I will throw in some items

that I stenciled this past week.

In the backyard my pomegranate bush is blooming.

The mexican sage grows well here.

This dustpan holds just enough soil to keep succulents happy!

I added a tiny bow and flower.

An old picnic basket is a great place to store garden tools!

I added a stencil of a vintage label to the lid.

Yes, it's a rusty saw.

Of course it needed to be stenciled!

My husband made a bunch of these boxes a couple years ago.

I found the last one and stenciled it.

This watering can needed a monogram!

This chicken water/ feeder is different than my other one.

I used just an old cover and attached it to a pan to look-like a feeder!

Oh good! Something else to stencil

Saved from the trash, with all it's rusty goodness!

I decided to stencil inside the lid and front below the lock.

I wiped the tool box, removing any loose dirt.

Taped down the stencil.

I went with black paint.

I used a coco liner and 4 plastic pots.

The plants came from my garden.

A matching seed box.

My stash of seeds!

Here is my Vegetable Garden-

I have string beans on the right and blackberries all along the back fence.

Squash and radishes in front.

There's some tomatoes hiding in the bush.

There are peas growing on this vertical  fence scrap.

My husband made the heart out of barbed wire.

We are growing Calabacita Mexican squash this year instead of zucchini.

They grow smaller, and need less space.

They are delicious, tender with a smooth buttery taste.

We are in Zone 10-

And a couple more pictures of the backyard.

This is part of my herb garden.

Forget-me-nots, lambs' ear and nasturtiums

We have grapes growing on this arbor made from pallet wood.

My chickens love to eat lemon balm :)

Thanks for taking that little tour with me!

It was my Mom's idea and

I want to thank my Mom for sharing her photos.

She takes great pictures and always makes

everything look so nice.

I hope you are able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.

xo Lisa S

An Easy Book Repair and Share

Hi Friends! This sweet little children's book needed some repair. The covers had come apart but the inside pages were in good shape. I u...