How To Collect Seeds-Green Onions!

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I love green onions! I toss them in almost everything; soups, salads, and even in my sandwiches. I love them fresh, and sautéed in any oil or butter, and grilled!

You’ve seen how I propagate them in my window sill here…but I also grow them in my garden. I collect the seeds so that I can do it all over again…why? Because I love green onions!

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You can re-grow green onions this way…Cut off most of the green tops and plant the white part and roots (of course) in good soil. In a few days you will see it start to grow. What “green” you see here is about 2-3 days of growth. They grow fast. They love a sunny window sill and gentle watering.

If you’ve ever grown green onions and let them bolt, then you already know the flowers are so pretty! Another plus is the bees like them too! So I always let a good amount of my green onions bloom to show some love to the bees! They work so hard and this is the least I can do for them!

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Flowers + Bees—Bees + Flowers! The wonders in nature never cease to amaze me. I am humbled each time I step outside to see the beauty of it all.

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Mint in the background. I love to brush my hand along the mint. Such a refreshing fragrance! Inhale deeply and smile. Give it a try!

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Half of this garden bed I’ve allowed to “bolt” (a fancy way of saying letting the plant “flower” so you can harvest the seeds off it). After the green onion flowers, I leave the flowers on the plant to dry. It is in each little blossom where the onion seeds are found. How cool is mother nature?!

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After the blossoms dry, I will either store the “whole” head or take them apart like you see here. Just make sure the blossoms are totally dry so you don’t get any mold growth.

You can “re-grow” green onions by putting the bottom parts in water or soil and if you grow them outdoors, you can allow a few to bloom flowers and then collect their seeds and then plant the seeds! Amazing right?! And simple as well! I love that.

I harvest the green onion by snipping them with scissors. Even the plants that are bolting; I will snip the long green stems (NOT the stems with flowers on them). If I let the plant grow too much and the greens are thicker, I make a soup with the greens, much like you would do with leeks. I’ve also grilled them. Rarely anything goes to waste in the garden and really if I don’t eat everything, it all gets composted back in!

Did you know?

Green onions are full of vitamin K and C.

Green onions are good for your eyes. With vitamin A and carotenoids (cancer fighting properties) and both Zeaxanthin and Lutein, working together to keep the eyes healthy!

One last picture…..

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A nice surprise: If you already follow me on instagram, you’ve already seen this little guy! (Eastern milk snake). I found him on one of my walks along a trail I mowed on the back half of my property. What a cutie right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green onions are one of the easiest plants to grow. I hope you give this plant a try. If you’ve thought you didn’t have a “green thumb”, this plant will give you hope! Collect the seeds and you will never have to buy them again!

Like it, share it! With love and peace, Koko 🙂

DIY Garden Gate

I hope you enjoy the video as much as I enjoyed building the gates. I share what I do/build to show that you too can do it! The garden gate was a plan in my head and thankfully it came out just as I pictured. This really was an easy build. I am NOT a skilled woodworker, so when I say you can do this… I really believe that! You can see past posts on gates I’ve done here and here.

*You may have to adjust your volume. I apologize ahead of time if it’s loud.* The music is by my daughter. She wrote the lyrics and music and sings. The song has special meaning to her. I hope you enjoy it.

Peace be with you today and everyday! Like the song’s title “Stand”, I hope you take a stand to be happy, healthy, to love big, show kindness, be the one to reach out to someone, to care, and most of all to love yourself. Koko

 

 

 

How To Store Seeds

There are many ways to store seeds. You can use plastic zip baggies, jars, small paper bags, tiny boxes (ie. jewelry boxes). Below is one of the ways I store them.

Allowing a few cilantro plants to bolt.

Here, I’ve allowed a few cilantro plants to bolt.

Collecting cilantro seeds.

Collecting cilantro seeds. I like to use a white paper towel so I can see the seeds. As for seeds like my oak leaf lettuce; being white/light grey, I will sometimes use brown paper towels. Clear large zip bags work great too for light colored seeds, well, for any seeds for that matter… 😉

One way I store them is making “paper towel” envelopes.

Cut a paper towel to size. This one was a "select a size" type paper towel and I cut it in half.

Cut a paper towel to size. This one was a “select a size” type paper towel and I cut it in half. (Oh and the seeds you see here in this photo happens to be onion seeds.)

After putting a a bit of seeds in the center...I eyeball folding the paper in three. I a third of the paper over the seeds then the other third over that.

After putting a bit of the seeds in the center…I eyeball, folding the paper in three. A third of the paper over the seeds, then the other third over that.

Then I fold that in thirds. Folding the bottom third towards the middle then the top third I make a triangle...

Then, again in thirds. I fold the bottom third towards the middle (over the seeds). The top third I make a triangle…

See a triangel? :)

See the triangle 🙂

I then tuck the triangle into the slot made from folding the paper in thirds.

From here I just tuck the triangle into the slot made from folding the paper in thirds.

When planting the seeds I will plant the paper towel too. Why not compost it? 🙂

Label the packet. Don't forget the date too!

Label the packet. Don’t forget the date too!

There you go, one way to store seeds. As I said before, there are many ways to store seeds. Why I especially like this method of seed storing is when I do plant them, I’ve pre-measured out the  perfect amount of seeds. I take a “packet” and all the seeds in “said” packet get planted. No fuss.

So allow a plant or two to bolt and collect the seeds. It’s so satisfying to know year after year the plants you grow are from seeds you’ve collected. It’s also nice to save money not having to buy more seed.

Tip: Only collect seeds from plants that you know taste good and grow well. If you allow a “poorly” producing plant to bolt and collect seed from that, you may be growing more poorly producing plants. So allow the best looking plant to bolt and collect from that one.

Tip: Make sure before you harvest the seeds the plant has finished blooming and has dried. I usually leave the plant alone until it’s dead. However it is difficult to control the weather and if you have especially strong winds, you may loose your seeds; such as lettuce seeds as the seeds have the same type of fuzzy tops like a dandelion and that fuzzy head will catch the wind and fly away! You can cut the plant and dry them indoors. As I type this, my bolted lettuce is drying on hooks above my kitchen sink.

Tip: I don’t worry too much about getting each seed totally “clean”. The fuzz or bits of dried stem won’t interfere with germination.

Eat well, be well. It’s up to you to take care of your health. Eating organic and non-GMO foods are great ways to a more healthful YOU! You’d be surprised how small changes you make can add up to huge benefits later on.

Cheers, Koko

Thank you for reading. I’d love to hear your comments. Do you have a favorite way to store seeds?

DIY Rustic Kitchen Island

Kitchen island; made to order!

Kitchen island; made to order! (That is Sherlock. He’s my inspector Kitty!)

You are gonna guess it right…my wood scrape pile is fairly large. With that said, I’ve been needing an island in the kitchen. As you all know I am short and after a big day of chopping and mixing on my kitchen counters, it starts to wear on my shoulders. So, I decided to build this island to give my shoulders a bit of a reprieve.

This post is to basically tell you if something isn’t working, build it to suit!

I built the top of this island first. I know, not very conventional, but I'm not conventional either! :P

I built the top of this island first. I know, not very conventional, but I’m not a conventional person either! 😛

The top of the island is basically 1×4’s. And a ton of screws! I really need to get a jig so I can make pocket holes. (Please Santa send me a kreg pocket jig ! I’ve been a really good girl!)

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I cut 2×4’s to the height that would work for me! And used 1×4 cross pieces for support which will also support a shelf.

I am not certain I like this color, but for now it will do. Mind you, I do love orange, just not sure about this particular shade. So one day on a future post you may see it a different color!

I am not certain I like this color, but for now it will do. Mind you, I do love orange, just not sure about this particular shade. So one day on a future post you may see it a different color!

Yep same as the first pic. As you can see there are two shelves. I used 1x4 cleat for the bottom shelf too.

Yep same as the first pic. As you can see there are two shelves. I used 1×4 cleat for the bottom shelf as well.  Notice the kitchen cabinets and floor. I am hoping this year to get to refinishing both! Stay tuned! 😀

This island dubs as a laundry folding center and has been a great computer table. When I use it as a computer table I take off all the bottom slats and one slat on the top shelf for leg room, still giving me a shelf for books and things. This could also work as a potting table outside. Just remember to coat it with a few coats of polyurethane to protect it from the elements.

So you see, scrap wood isn’t just for kindling…This was a simple project using 1×4’s and 2×4’s for legs. It can be done with 1×2’s, 1×6’s…4×4 legs would be awesome, really limitless in what you can build with just a basic table idea.

You too can do this! I believe in YOU!

Side note: The weather has been beautiful. I hope you all find the time to go outside and enjoy the sun. Read up on how important vitamin D is for you! Sunshine is so uplifting. Sadness just has a way of seeping away as the sun warms your skin. So get out there take deep breaths and let the rays fill you with happy!

I appreciate every one of you liking, sharing, and following me. You are like the sun! Peace, Koko ❤

Organic Lettuce Grown From Seed

Pretty Lettuce!

Pretty lettuce…….Can you find what doesn’t belong?……. You guessed it. Cilantro! It sneaked in with the lettuce. That’s okay. I happen to love, love, love cilantro!

I allowed a lettuce to bolt and collected its seeds. You can read about it here. I was thrilled when bits of green popped through the soil. It worked! Eureka! I can’t help but be excited, after all I planted the seed, grew the plant, let it bolt, collected the seed, and did it all over again! Okay so maybe it wasn’t all me. Mother Nature should technically get the credit. I just helped facilitate it a little! Still cool.

To all gardeners or wannabe’s like me… What is your favorite vegetable you’ve planted this year? Have you collected seeds? What kind? I am still new at this so I am hoping for some tips! Please help a sista out! 🙂

I appreciate all the likes, follows and shares. You have made posting so worth while and I thank you for it! ❤

Have an awesome week! Peace, Koko❀

Autumn is near…

Autumn is near, I can see it in the fall of the leaves.  I get excited as I arm myself with a rake.  Big piles of golden brown leaves almost as high as I am tall!  I gather them up eagerly as a squirrel gathers up his nuts.  Standing back I see mounds of happiness as it makes me wanna jump.  No one is watching.  I dive in!  I am a kid again.

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Are you a fan of Autumn? What’s your favorite time of the year/why?

Mums The Word!

Mums the Word! Nay, nay… I will not be silent.  Oh mums how I love thee….

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Chrysanthemum Morifolium

Summer is fading and so are the flowers we all have loved like Calendula, daylily, the ever so delicate petunias, hibiscus, Echinacea, and one of my favorites; lavender. The list goes on and on, but don’t fret, the passing of summer blooms, come the renewal of fall beauties.

Today I am going to highlight mums. To be more precise, chrysanthemums. When I think of fall, I think of mums. I know it isn’t fall yet; I for one dislike rushing the seasons, yet with my garden center bursting with mums, I know fall is near, and this, excites me.

For a pop of color in your landscape, I highly suggest the chrysanthemum. This plant will be the rock star in your garden as it blooms like crazy showing off the many flowers. If you are not familiar with mums you are in for a color treat, because once it starts blooming, the entire plant looks like one giant bouquet! And the best part is the flowers don’t die out in a a day or three, but, lasting for a long, long time; weeks in fact! So you see why I say mums are like rock stars? They obviously like to show off their awesome talents with amazingly long lasting bloom-after- encore-bloom; which is fine by me.

For the most part mums are a perennial. I say that because if you plant them too late, they may not survive the winter as the roots might not have the chance to really “plant”
themselves. Planting in the spring time is best and with proper mulching it will give the plant a very good chance at surviving the cold winter months. If you plant them about six weeks before the frost, you should be fine. I am hoping that is the case with my mums. I couldn’t resist buying twelve of these beauties now. There’s something about looking outside and seeing bursts of color here and there when everything else goes dormant.
(When winter arrives and the blooms stop blooming, cut the plant back close to the ground.)

Did you know you can separate these plants? Well you can; but only do so every two years or so. What you do is dig up the entire plant and separate out the best looking parts; careful not to disturb the roots too much. Get them in the ground or a pot as soon as you can so you don’t dry out the tender roots, or put the plant in too much shock.

If you are looking for something to adorn your front porch this fall, try the chrysanthemum, as they make great container plants. Mums can make an inexpensive pot look like a million bucks! A couple of pumpkins around the base of the pot and you will have an adorable fallscape on your porch!

What fall flowers do you love?

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Mums, mums, and more mums!

Factoid Time:

Mums the word comes from Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2, Act 1, Scene 2. “Seal up your lips, and give no words but mum.”

Mums the word means to keep quiet.

In Middle English; mum means silent.

Grab your shovel and plant some happiness :D!  Here’s to all you awesome gardeners and wannabes like me!  Koko.

Collecting Lettuce Seeds

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Lettuce flowers to seeds!

Collecting seeds is a lot of fun.  Part of it is knowing I grew this plant, and will collect its seeds, and then grow it again.  There is something awesome in that.  I already can’t wait to plant them!

This years crop was really nice.  The lettuce was colorful, flavorful, and the heads were really full, so you can see how excited I am for next year.  I am hoping this years seedlings will produce the same amazing crop next year.

Lettuce looks like, well….lettuce!  But if you don’t pull out the whole plant, and let it grow, and grow, and grow, it will eventually shoot up flowers. (They call this “bolting”–“letting the plant “bolt”.) Aren’t the yellow flowers adorable? Yep, cute as a button.  Are buttons cute?

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Adorable yellow flowers 😉

Then if you wait, the flowers will get this soft white “downy” strands. Sort of looks like when the dandelions go to seed.  You remember…plucking them and making a wish on the puffy white “blossom”, then blowing them into the wind! Ahhhh so fun!

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See the “downy” soft puffs?

I picked them a couple different ways, but found plucking the whole head was best.  If I just picked the white puffy parts, I noticed some of the seed falling away.  I got smarter and got a large bowl and picked off all the “heads”.  I didn’t want to waste a single seed!

When it comes to planting time I can separate the seed from the chaff.  Though I have planted the seed before with the chaff and had just as good of outcome.  Makes sure before you put your seed away for next plantings, that you are positive that everything is dry.  If it molds, then you have to toss it.  Booooo. *insert tears here*  I have a cupboard that I lay them out on paper towels for a week to make sure.  Then store them in a glass jar, paper bag, plastic zip baggie.  Label and date the container.

The next time you plant lettuce, if you like the color, taste, texture, etc., let a plant or two “bolt” and you will be able to harvest the seeds for next planting.

Do you collect seeds?  If so, what kind?

Happy gardening! Koko ❀ ✿ ❁ ✾

Juvenile five-lined skink oh my!

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Please excuse the dirty hands, two hours mowing and two more digging will do that.

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It’d make a cool tattoo if I were so inclined!

Found another friend in the garden.  I was turning my mulch pile and this awesome creature scurried out.  I was super excited and ran in to show my daughter to which she backed away without panicking too much and I convinced her to take a peek.

The brilliant colors really are amazing in person.  You know this a juvenile because it’s tail is so striking and the blue (sometimes purple) tail is so vibrant.  You know you’ve found an adult male by it’s orange or reddish head.  Females are a bit duller but will still have the distinctive stripes and color.

These guys are often found in grassy areas or around wood piles and decaying vegetation. (Makes sense me finding him in my mulch pile!)  They can also be found around rock piles (I have tons of that; literally.)

They like to eat insects; such as grasshoppers and crickets, spiders, earthworms, larvae, other lizards, and even mice!

These guys are diurnal which means they live on the ground.  (Fancy name; diurnal 😉  )

Since they lay their eggs from May to June; the babies will hatch between June to August, and finding this one near, I’ve decided to leave my mulch pile alone.  Mostly because I like a creature that eats spiders and mice.  Not that I’ve seen any mice, but spiders…they are everywhere.  I’m not afraid of spiders and will often take them out bare handed, however getting bit is another story.  When I get bit by one, it takes days of healing using a concoction I make.

FYI: Five-lined Skinks are NOT poisonous; though some say they taste bad so as to discourage being eaten!

Skinks are territorial.

Females lay 10-20 eggs…They are oviparous, which means, they lay eggs with little or no embryonic development inside the mother; like a bird; it’s eggs embryonic fluids and such are inside the egg.  The development of the animal doesn’t come from “stewing” inside the mom.

The females take care of the eggs.  If they need to warm up, she will lay out in the sun and then return to the eggs to warm them up!  If the air is dry she will cover the eggs with soil so they don’t dry out and if they are too dry she will urinate on them to replenish the moisture.

If the momma suspects a rotten egg; she will eat it for added nutrition.

They are not harmful to humans.

Hope you enjoyed learning about these colorful creatures.  I’m off to dig up potatoes!  Have an awesome day! 😀

Kissing Frogs! Erm…Toads

LOOK WHAT I FOUND IN MY GARDEN!!!! ….

Prince Charming!

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An American toad came to visit me in my garden!  What a treat!  I squealed like a little girl seeing this cutie.  The only difference between then and now is I didn’t put it in my pocket!

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Can you see him smile?

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I love him; warts and all!

Technically toads are frogs, but here are some differences between the two. Frogs have smooth skin and are usually found near water. They also are good jumpers. Frogs have mad hops! 😉

Toads have dry bumpy/wart like skin. They are not usually found near water and their jumps are short and choppy.

They both are amphibians. Amphibians are cold-blooded.

“Take the time to look; to see things that are meant to be unseen.  Surprises are everywhere if you just take the time to look.”   Peace, Koko

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