One Tough Rose

I am so excited to have the “Peggy Martin Rose” for sale at the nursery. The Peggy Martin is a thornless climber that bears clusters of pink roses all season. What makes this rose especially unique is that it survived 20ft of salt water when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Talk about tough.

This rose is tolerant of most soils and is an easy keeper. No need for spraying or pamering.

The roses I have at The Farm On Holly’s Hill Nursery are grown from cuttings from the very rose bush in New Orleans.

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Passover Celebration

We celebrated Easter tonight with a Seder Meal. This is the traditional celebration done by the jewish community. We celebrate, not in anticipation of the coming Messiah, but in celebration that Jesus has come and set us free from sin! We all enjoy it so much.

I was so grateful when I was first taught about the seder meal. For a long time I wanted a celebration that would make Easter as special as Christmas. Without the crucifixtion and the resurection, Christmas would not be worth celebrating. I know we have Easter egg hunts, Easter Baskets, and Easter dresses, but that just was not enough for me. Frankly, I felt like the real reason for Easter was missed with all the other “stuff”. So, when I learned about the seder meal and how each step symbolizes our bondage and how Christ came and set us free, I was overjoyed.

During the course of the meal, the glass is filled 4 times. The first seder meal we celebrated as a family at home, Jonathan was not even 2. I can remember him sitting at the table, holding his wine glass by the stem saying “mo, mama, mo” while he waved the glass at me. His cup was filled about 8 times. Now he is going to turn 10 in June. I will say, that all the kids enjoy this celebration just as much as they ever enjoyed hunting eggs. We still do that- sort of. Now everyone thinks they are too old for the hunting part. They just want the candy! At least they can’t outgrow the seder meal.

On Sunday, we will get together with our extended family and eat and enjoy each other’s company. Praise God, Jesus came and bought our freedom from sin and our eternal life with Him. So, celebrate- it honors God when you do!

Van Zandt County Youth Expo 2011

Well, it is hard to believe that the youth expo has come and gone. From January on, this is the main event on our minds. All the kids have worked very hard on their animal projects. Savannah had 2 goats, Cheyenne choose a lamb for the first time this year, and Sierra and Jonathan both got pigs. Well, we had a lot to learn on the pigs. Feeding a show pig is very different from feeding a regular ol’ pig. Our pigs did not make the minimum weight of 225lbs. However, next year we will know what to do. You are always learning something when it comes to livestock. Savannah’s goats looked great and we were all very proud of them. Sadly, the judge did not share our sentiment. Cheyenne’s lamb on the other hand did make the sale. We were hoping for a much higher placing, but the sale is a good thing. Each year, you choose your animal and do your best feeding and exercising them, then it comes down to what the judge thinks. This was not our year with goats. The lamb would have probably placed higher with last year’s judge- but that is just the gamble of it. In the end, the kids have a great time, make lots of memories, and develope one heck of a worth ethic. That is the main thing. Now we have the county fair to look forward to, it will be in June. All though we will not have a livestock entry, we will have entries in the arts & crafts, and horticulture contests. Plus, we get to hang out with our friends again.

Whats in your garden?

I can’t believe that I already have green tomatoes in my garden! I am so excited. Many other veggies are growing also. The peppers (banana, red bell, green bell, and mexibell), eggplant, cucumbers, and squash are all growing great. There are little bitty cukes on the bush types. I did notice flea beetles on the eggplants today- yuck. I had a hard time beating them last year. I will use pepper tea in the morning and if that doesn’t work I will use rotenone. While rotenone is an organic pesticide, it is very strong. It is toxic to pigs and birds. I rarely use this since I like to weed and give the “organic greens” to the pigs and chickens. However, last year the flea beetles were so bad that I did not get one eggplant. So, I must get the upper hand. Given that there is not much in the way of weeds in the beds, I don’t have to worry about the pigs or chickens. The young ducklings I have in a pen won’t be released until the rotenone is passed the danger stage. All in all, it is shaping up to be a great garden.

At the nursery we have vegetable plants for $1.00 each. I hope lots of folks come and get some. Every kid should have the joy of planting something and then getting to pick and eat the food they grew. Thursday is the beginning of the week for us. Thursday- Saturday, 8am until 5:30pm. I look forward to this all week!

Busy Day At The Nursery

Today was a great at the nursery. We had a lot of business and sold a lot of plants. The nicest people have come in and I have really enjoyed meeting fellow plant lovers. Folks are asking questions about the herbs, which is my passion. As I get further along in the business, I hope to show the importance of the medicinal herbs and how simple it is to use the herbs for health. Many people are familiar with herbs in their cooking. That is not a far stretch since fennel smells like a pizzaria and sage makes you think of Thanksgiving dinner. What people don’t realize is how nutritious those herbs are. I also believe that the Dandelion plant is the most misunderstood herb around. If people only knew what those little leaves could do for their health, they would not be trying to kill it. But, maybe with time that will change. Our Grand Opening will be 2 weeks from today. There will be a petting zoo and hot dogs. I am looking forward to a really fun day.

It’s Been A While…

We have been really busy around here. Not only have we been getting our gardens prepared and planted, we have also opened our very own nursery. The Farm on Holly’s Hill Nursery and Organic Gardening Supplies. My focus will be herbs, both medicinal and culinary, and Texas Natives. Of course I carry all manner of flowers and shrubs. Doing the buying for the nursery has been great fun! I am like a kid in a candy store. It can be hard to choose with so many beautiful choices. We have opened a permant location next door to Canton Hardware. We are so excited to have that location. Things are going very well so far. When I have extra produce from our gardens, we will sell it at the nursery, too. Right now, we have lots of lettuce, raddishes and herbs. In just a few weeks, the veggies will be going strong.