sunflowers from the garden

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growing gardens

 As you may have noticed I have not sewn in months and my blogging has been pretty sparse as well. I have a very hard time being inside when the weather is so beautiful outside.


Instead of sewing I have been spending most of my time working around the house. I have been painting the house, adding onto my flower beds in the front as well as putting in two new walkways. And of course I have spent many hours out in the gardens.


The gardens are growing like crazy right now. I swear some days I could watch them grow right before my eyes. I took these pictures about a week ago and I am pretty sure it has doubled in size since then.



No matter how many times I plant a garden, I am always amazed at how fast a tiny little seed can grow into a large plant that bares fruit.


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I harvested a 1/2 bushel of broccoli and cauliflower last night and our summer squash and zucchini will be ready in a few days. I think it is time to finally open up my farm stand.


Doesn’t it look beautiful!?


Any of you grow a garden?

First Harvest of the Season

We started harvesting veggies from the garden the other day. It still amazes me how fast those little seeds turn into veggies and fruit!
garden 008The kiddos are starting to be good little helpers. They harvested the radishes all by themselves. One would pick, one would cut and one would put the radishes in the bucket.
garden 004garden 006 We have had some hot rainy weeks this year. It will help the veggies grow…along with the weeds! I try to stay ahead of the weeds, but as you can see this year it has been really hard. So how are your gardens growing?

My homegrown popcorn on Australian television

A few years ago I wrote this post about homegrown popcorn. I had actually forgotten all about the post until the other day when I was contacted by a reporter from Australia. She was writing a story about where popcorn comes from for a children’s news program and was asking permission to borrow a few of my pictures. Of course I said “yes” and couldn’t wait to see it.
popcornThe show aired yesterday on Australia TV and it is such a great video about where popcorn comes from. You can see it here. My pictures are only shown for a few seconds in the beginning part of the show. They say Courtesy of Christina Ray in the upper left. Yes, they misspelled my last name, but I don’t care. It was still exciting to see. It is crazy to think that some pictures of popcorn grown in New Hampshire is now being shown on TV over in Australia. The internet is a crazy thing isn’t it?! Make sure you watch it with your kiddo’s. It is a great little clip about popcorn, even I learned a few new things about it.

2013 Garden Plans

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Every year I intend on keeping track of what we plant in our gardens along with its variety, but before I know it I am too busy weeding the garden to care about any of that. Then once we start harvesting all of our veggies I start wishing that I really knew what we had planted. As some of you may know, certain varieties of veggies work better when it comes time to preserve them and unfortunately we never know until it to too late. Well this year since I had a garden apron I actually saved all of my seed packets and now I can finally keep track of what we planted. Of course it will take us a few years before we know which variety works best for us, but eventually we will figure it out.

We have two big gardens. In our Main garden we plant most of our veggies and in the Pumpkin garden we plant all of our peas, pumpkins and squash.

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2 Rows: Sunflowers (Velvet Queen Girasol, Giant Gray Striped Girasol, Dwarf Sungold Teddy Bear, Mammoth)

1 Row: Popcorn (Robust) & Ornamental Corn (Earth Tones Dent)

10 Rows: Corn (Robust, Silver Queen: 92 days, Sweet Corn, Incredible: 83 days, Sweet Corn, Butter and Sugar: 75 days, Sweet Corn, Early Choice: 67 days)

1 Row: Onions

2 Rows: Cucumbers (Wisconsin: Pickle, Marketmore 76)

2 Rows: Tomatoes (30 plants)

1 Row: Cabbage (18 plants)

1 Row:  Green Peppers & Jalapeno Peppers (18 plants)

1 Row: Eggplant (18 plants)

1 Row: Brussels Sprouts (18 plants)

1 Row: Broccoli (18 plants)

1 Row: Lettuce (Buttercrunch, Salad Bowl), Radishes (Champion), Swish Chard

2 Rows: Beets (Detroit Dark Red: 65 day)

2 Rows: Carrots (Royal Chantenay& Scarlet Nantes)

1 Row: Onions

2 Rows: Garden Beans (Long Tendergreen: 52 day)

Hills: Zucchini and Squash (Enterprise)

Hills: Watermelon (Sugar Baby)

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1 Long Row: Peas


Squash (Royal Acorn/ Mammoth Table Queen, Spaghetti, Buttercup

Snake Gourds, Birdhouse Gourd

Pumpkins: (Fairytale, Baby Boo, Jack O’Lantern, Silver Moon, Pumpkin & Squash Blend, Jaradale)

Total spent this year to plant the garden: $143 in seeds and $114 in plants.

How to Make a Scarecrow.

scarecrow 025b copyThe kiddos and I made a scarecrow yesterday. It is one of those things we have wanted to make but just never seem to get around to it. Well this year I have already replanting my pumpkin patch twice. So before I replant it again I needed something to take care of the crow problem we seem to have. So I am really hoping this not so scary scarecrow will do its job and keep the crows out of the pumpkin patch.  Making a scarecrow is super easy and a fun activity to do with the kiddos.

How to make a scarecrow

What you will need:

* Some clothes. We used a button up shirt from the thrift store and an old pair of Daddy’s overalls. Of course you could use a dress or even add a cute little apron. The ideas are endless, so get creative!

* A hat. We purchased ours at the thrift store for $2.

* Some lumber. I used two pieces of scrap wood we had hanging around, but some 2 x 4’s would work perfectly too.

scarecrow 013 Cut your wood or 2 x 4’s to the desired size. My longest piece of wood was about 6-7 feet long and my shortest (cross-piece) was about 4 feet long. Remember to leave your longest piece of wood long enough so that you can bury it in the ground a foot or so. You don’t want your scarecrow falling over in the garden. Now nail the pieces of wood together like shown below. Leave about 10″ inches or so at the top so that you can attach the hat there. Ignore the bent over nails. They were the only ones tough enough to go through the wood. I was using cherry wood and it was so hard to hammer through. I’m no carpenter…but I try.scarecrow 015Now start dressing up your scarecrow. Depending on the size of your shirt you may need to cut the “arms” down a little bit to make the shirt fit on. I had to trim mine a little.scarecrow 016 This is the fun part for the kiddos. They get to button the buttons and put on the pants. When putting the pants on you are going to want to cut a little hole in the crotch so that you can slide the piece of wood through the pants. You want the pants to hang free and hopefully move in the breeze. Now put your scarecrow out in the garden. You may need to hammer it in so that is stays upright. Lastly nail your hat to the wood at the top and add any other accessories you may want to add.scarecrow 021 I made some scrappy bunting so that it would have more movement to the scarecrow. The more movement the better. You may even need to move the scarecrow around the garden every few days to keep the crows out. scarecrow 022 The kiddos think it is so funny because the scarecrow kinda looks like me. I guess I would have to agree.scarecrow 025 scarecrow 025ascarecrow 024 Here’s to hoping we keep the crows out of the garden…and our pumpkins can grow. scarecrow 027Do you have a scarecrow in your garden?

Pretty Peony

My peonies have started blooming.
bibs 017Isn’t it beautiful?! I’m not sure what kind it is other then it being white and beautiful. I really need to keep track of such things. So if any of you know, please pass on the info to me. I would love to buy like 50 more of these plants.
bibs 018See my cute little canning jar lid? Yes, another to add to my ever-growing canning jar collection. I purchased it from Decor Steals. Decor Steals is like a Pick Your Plum but for home decor items. They usually carry vintage knock-offs at super cheap prices. Their style is everything I love and I have a hard time not buying something everyday. Seriously go check it out!
bibs 019How are you flowers growing this year? What are your favorites?

Wilbur and Ray

We got our pigs two weeks ago. Yes, their names are Wilbur and Ray for the 3rd year in row. Funny how it is not even a question of what their names are going to be, it is just a given. In case you are wondering, Ray is the one red one and Wilbur is the white one.Aren’t they super cute?!

Flower Shopping

Last weekend the kiddos and I spent the day digging out flower beds along the front of the house. I thought May Day would be the perfect day to finally buy some flowers and start planting.
Looking at all the rows of beautiful flowers was so much fun and added so much cheer to our day. We spent nearly two hours smelling and admiring all of the flowers. The greenhouses were by far the girls favorite part.  They enjoyed our little shopping trip just as much as I did.Here’s to hoping I have a green thumb this year! Although I may have already messed up by planting my fall bulbs too early.

Harvesting the pumpkin patch.

We have spent the past few weeks harvesting the pumpkin patch. Yes, we could probably harvest the whole thing in about 1 hour, but it is more fun taking our time…especially since we have very little to harvest this year.In past years we have had trailer loads of pumpkins and gourds, not this year.My girls still think it more fun to find the smallest pumpkins and gourds then the biggest. I guess it is more fun to find something that you can carry. Me…I like to find the biggest!Of course picking the patch is more fun while wearing candycorn hats, but we were missing our chocolate candy corn.