Showing posts with label flowers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flowers. Show all posts

26 August 2015


There are flowers all over the farm right now.
I'm terrible at maintaining perennials, but I do save seed from my zinnias and cosmos every year...and they come up great for me.  I also bought some cut flower mix, nasturtium and marigold seeds from Fedco Seeds and those are blooming and beautiful right now.
Sunflowers grow everywhere on our farm.  I mentioned in my last "around the farm" post about these volunteer sunflowers.  After tearing up our backyard this spring for some work we had to do, the turned-over soil sprouted thousands of sunflowers.  It was amazing.  I convinced Adam to leave me a large area (that was where the boys' nature garden had been).  They are so thick, they're choking out the milkweed that had been such a large part of that garden.
Morning glories sprout all over the farm, too.  So, each spring I transplant morning glories and sunflowers until I finally have to pull some up, pass some along to friends (or let them grow because I don't have the heart to pull them--like the last photos of them coming up in the middle of my flowers and ferns near our house)
I'm so thankful for flowers on the farm.

01 August 2014


Early this summer, as I was weeding the garden rows that Adam planted, I found a special surprise... 50 (or more) feet of zinnias that he planted for me.  (Did I already share this surprise?  ...Oh well!)
I love zinnias.
I could just take photo after photo of these flowers.  

12 June 2014

around the farm

chickens on pasture
endless weeding
little helpers
our "new" tractor (new to us last year, we are bartering for it!)
melons and peppers
my ferns and bleeding hearts (my favorites)

What's going on around your farm, garden or homestead?

10 September 2013

goodbye summer

Our temps have been dipping quite low at night.  We've covered some delicate crops.  We've picked raspberries and flowers at dusk, just in case of frost.
I found local, organic peaches at the farmers' market (a rare treat in Vermont)
and we are enjoying these final bits of summer.

03 September 2013


I've grown Hopi Dye sunflowers in the past, but never got around to using them for natural dyeing.  This year, I decided to try using my Moulin Rouge sunflowers with some natural colored peace fleece wool (Thanks, Tonya!)

Using some info from my great find (50% off at a local bookstore), I simmered the sunflowers (and stems) for about 30 minutes.  Then I let the dye bath cool.  
Meanwhile, I put my (already wet) wool into a mordant bath with alum and cream of tartar.  Seems like there is a lot of variation for how much to use, but I used 6 g cream of tartar and 18 g alum for 100 g of wool.  This simmered for about an hour.  I was careful to heat it slowly and not stir the wool much for fear of felting.  
Now, being inexperienced and not finding info easily, I tried to remove excess water and then put the wool into my dye bath.  I let it soak for 20-30 minutes and then gently rinsed it.  

I wish more of the purple color stayed, but it's mostly a grey color now.

Please feel free to chime in with any insights or advice for me.  I haven't dyed wool naturally since college (!!) and I've never used sunflowers before.