Growing with the Farm (Tips and yearly comparisons)

Well its been a while, between the farm and my to little boys my mind has gone insane. Luckily enough I wrote a ton of blogging ideas down for the future. One of the main ones is filling y’all in on how the farming is going! In my personal opinion, compared to last year it is absolutely amazing. A few hiccups here and there, but we are all human. I mean around this time last year we had only lived here for a month so I was very behind, plus pregnant and new to larger scale farming. What I had learned over the past year though is that there are lessons learned everywhere and you can never ask to many questions.

Tilling: In 2017 we tilled only once in late march about a week before planting. Boy was that a mistake, especially since the tiller wasn’t set low enough to till all the roots up. They all just regrew and I couldn’t keep up with the weeding. I mean its 100 foot by 50 foot and 10 rows… Being 6 months pregnant in the heat, it’s not happening.

This year we tilled so far twice. The first time to just loosen the top soil, and just this past week we re-tilled and lowered the tiller deeper and even lined out the edges. Since we are getting a good amount of rain we are letting the soil settle and plan on transplanting the seedlings and direct seeding next month. Here in about a week or two we are going to do our final till, unless I decided one more won’t hurt, and I will spread some Corn Meal over the soil. It acts like a weed birth control and breaks down in the soil and adds more nitrogen and helps produce more fruit. I’m excited to see how that goes, I will fill you guys in with some results. * Update 3/22/18 Thanks to one of our readers I was notified that this is not a good idea, my whole crop would have been ruined. This is a good preventive on the service to keep weeds from sprouting, along with any other seeds I plant as well. and it is Corn Gluten. See I am still learning every day. 

Planting: Back in 2017 since we were so behind and waiting on our seeds to arrive we direct sowed (or planted the seed directly to the soil) and that did not go over well, especially the tomatoes. I had ONE plant sprout and didn’t produce anything before it got too hot. Not only that I just grabbed the seeds I wanted went outside one day and put them in the ground not paying any attention to when they needed to be planted.

This year I ordered my seeds in December and planned out where the rows and what would be in the rows, I makes it so much easier and less stressful. I got my tomatoes and peppers march first and most of them have sprouted and I am so happy and very optimistic. Today I started my cucumbers as well since they can be started early indoors and because last year they didn’t get much growth or produce much. I do blame the weeds on a lot of the problems. I’m looking over my row plans and writing down what I planted, when I planted and how many so I can see the results of sprouting for the future. I even planted a few extras for the seeds that don’t germinate. Here soon when I transplant I will also plant my seeds that are direct sow as well.

Seedling Care: Now this one I really don’t have much for last year expect for a few tomato plants I bought last year and forgot about in the greenhouse, oops. This year was more of a learning experience in itself because the only experience I had been from college and a lot of the care was done by the teachers and aids. Yes we had those odd experiment with soils and lights etc. but again, care wasn’t completely on us due to the fact of school schedules. If we did have to care for them it was a team effort and we had to rely on one another to water.

This year when I started I decided I was gonna make my own soil, I am very happy with it. I’ll share my recipe below. Well I planted my seeds, got me a watering bucket and checked them every day to make sure they didn’t dry out. Well after a week and a half I had nothing. I was so confused, I decided to be patient and hopefully something would come up. Well that weekend I had to leave town so I asked my grandmother to watch them for me since she has her own gardens. Well I come back and half of them had sprouted. Apparently she had a little trick, water them with warm water with a turkey baster. I isn’t as rough on the seeds and moving the soil as much, they each get the same amount of water, and the warm water helps with germination. Fun little tid bit to learn. Also don’t let the soil dry out, but DON’T water every day or it can mold the seeds, or cause root rot.

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Soil recipe

3 part compost

2 parts peat moss (or coco noir)

1/2 part vermiculite

1/2 part pearlite

Tree care: Well I know I have talked about my peach trees and some of their care before but last year was my first year EVER caring for a tree, or a fruiting tree for that fact. Last year I just let them do their thing and It was a disaster. I had tent caterpillars we had to burn off, and tree borers. I didn’t take off any extra blossoms or fruit from limbs to help the others grow better and boy was it a mess.

I decided this year I was gonna do my research. In one of my previous blogs I mentioned I talked to Texas A&M AgriLife for help and care advise. It sure paid off. I trimmed back the trees, and was very hesitant and took off A LOT of limbs. Sure enough those trees where happy and bloomed shortly after and are now putting on leaves. I even added nitrogen to the soil to help boost fruiting production. To deal with my bug problem was a different story, I want to keep my farm organic and use no pesticides. I did some more research and decided to go with a 1 part 100% neem oil and 1 part spinosad. I need to keep up with it but its all organic, kills on contact and keeps the bugs away.  This year my trees are so very happy.

Over a year a transition from being very new and thinking I know what I am doing to, understanding I don’t know everything and help and advise is wise to listen to can help bunches. Now if I can only get my oldest to eat his veggies, hoping when I take him to harvest later this summer he will be more interested, but all in due time.

 

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Fashion Away from the Farm

As a Stay on the Farm (stay at home mom) I don’t really have the most amazing fashion sense. Since I’m always home I’m either in a t-shirt and jeans rocking that messy bun, but there are those days I do decide to dress up more. Whether I’m going to church, date night with the hubby, or I’m going to be into town for more than a few hours, I tend to dress up more.

When I go shopping I tend to stick to my top three rules. Comfort, longevity, and price. Comfort is absolutely huge to me, I don’t care how pretty it is, if I’m going to wear it a few hours or whatever the reasons I WON’T BUY IT. Heck I wore boots at my wedding because I can’t wear heels long and I don’t really want to spend money on something I might wear once. Longevity, well that’s a no brainier, I got a toddler and a baby, I don’t want a shirt that will fall apart with a yank. Finally price, sometimes I don’t follow this rule, like when my husband says “I don’t care what the price is” or I haven’t been shopping for me in a while, other than that, sorry Nordstroms your not in my price range.

Here I will tell you my favorite stores to shop at and what my must haves are. This can range from every day wear or my splurge outfits for those special occasions, maybe a few bonus stuff too.

Old Navy

Probably one of my first go to stores mainly for jeans and tanks, my absolute must haves. First and foremost the jean, oh my goodness I have fallen for their rockstar skinny jeans, they are sooooo comfortable. I was one of those girls growing up saying leggings aren’t pants, yoga pants are for working out and the famous ‘you’ll never see me in skinny jeans’ well I was wrong, those are my mommy life savers. The jeans are so soft and affordable too. They come in different styles and colors too! Now the tanks, I have a whole drawer dedicated to tanks. You can wear them on their own, layer them or use them as an under shirt, having a baby spit up all the time I tend to layer because I just take off the top shirt and tada! They breathe so well, very loose feel and come in so many colors. Finally Old Navy has the cutest items in store, I love shopping in the winter and stocking up on the flannel, kinda an obsession of mine…. but I do find a few in spring and summer. Bonus they have Maternity!!! 

I may or may not have gone online shopping while watching, I mean look how cute that sleeveless dobby is!♥

 

Western Stores

I love western stores, boot shopping, the smell of the leather and their cute outfits. I recently went shopping at one and found the cutest floral shirts, plus they have the best sales! Now of course boots is my everyday wear, I do have a pair of tennis shoes but boots take the cake, I have 3 pairs, a work pair, an every day pair and a fancy pair (no snip or pointed tips, sorry). They have the cutest shirts and dresses too. When I shop here, for me not my babies or husband, I go straight for the everyday/nicer wear. I use these for church, date night and the ‘I wanna dress up a little’ day. For Valentines day my hubby bought me these Ariat slip on moccasins and I love them. It actually got me out of boots for a bit. Its a little bit pricier, but worth it.

 

Local Boutiques

Now this being the most expensive I don’t shop boutiques often. When I do it sale racks and hoping I win that give away on Facebook. Now owning a business of my own I am all for supporting local small business, just sometimes I cant afford it. That being said they do have the cutest things that are cheaper as well, such as the cute novelty T’s. Also I tend to shop for some dresses here as well. I’m not one for dresses, but these are cute for dates and work well during pregnancy as well for all you pregnant moms out there.

 

 

Make-Up

When it comes to make-up I’m not the most practiced. I just do my eyes and put on some long lasting lip gloss and walk out the door, I’ve asked for help, but never really get it. When I do my make-up I tend to go more for the natural look, browns, copper, the occasional light pink and that’s it. Well I recently took a trip to ULTA and found the world of make-up, it was overwhelming, I got me some foundation and a new pallette for eye shadows which I fell for (I’m in this rose gold kick right now). When it comes to my lips I do have a few colors, but my main go to (other than chapstick) is the velvet matte from Victoria’s Secret. I grabbed it one day to make the money mark for a free item and I never looked back. 

 

Bonus:

Well there is one store that every girl can’t pass up, and that’s Target. I will spend hours in there and not even spend money, ok that’s a lie. With the Starbucks, Adorable kids clothes, and dollar section whats not to love? When I go, I usually go for my boys. They have the cutest clothes, I mean look at that, Wyatt is my cuddle bear or ‘bear’ so anything that has a bear on it I’m sold. Now their nightgowns changed my life in my opinion. I was the one putting on my husbands shirts to go to bed at night. Well after him constantly complaining about where his clothes went, *cough* I gave in and went shopping. These are so comfortable I can stay in them all day long! They are really affordable too. Now lastly Joanna’s Hearth and Hand, I have no words how excited I was for this. I took a trip to Magnolia and loved all their stuff, just not the crowds or prices. When they came out with the Target brand I was skeptical but very surprised. You need to check it out in my opinion.

If you do plan on shopping and don’t know the sale days let me do you a favor. 😉

Monday – Electronics, Accessories, Kids Clothing, Books, Baby and Stationery

Tuesday — Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and Market (food items)

Wednesday — Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Diapers, Lawn & Garden items and Furniture

Thursday — Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor & Luggage

Friday — Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry

I mean look at this stuff!

 

 


Happy Shopping!!!!

Mary♥

I Choose Joy

Well today I sit in my house during a week straight of rain, we are expected to get 6 inches throughout the week (goodness gracious). Though I am super happy that the drought is breaking, the farm is getting watered and my rain tanks are filling, I am still a little frustrated because I still need to get outside and finish the peach trees. Well there is nothing I can do about the weather but make the most of it.

I woke up this morning grabbed my favorite essential oils to defuse an I love snuggles on a cold rainy day and now I get a WHOLE WEEK!!! Even with the frustrations of the world around me and feeling like everything is going wrong instead of hiding in my work I’m making the most of it and “Choosing Joy”.

Whether the devil is out and roaming, or God is testing your faithfulness it is all for a reason. How can you tell? Well God gives you what you need and the devil gives you what you want. Not only that but my husband always tells me to prepare for the Lords help. There is a story he always tells me that helps me get through tough times…

There were two farmers who were in desperate need of rain. They both prayed everyday for rain for their crops, but only one farmer prepared his field for the rain. The farmer who prepared his field got rain and his crops flourished.

Sometimes praying isn’t the only thing you need to do. If you get something handed to you without working with God there is usually a price to pay with it as well. I found the story fitting since just days before the rain I had just fertilized the trees. Maybe this is his way of telling me to relax and enjoy time with my family. So all my problems and woes I am leaving at His feet and enjoying my family time before more hard work comes my way. I even made a list of family time activities, rather than constantly worry about what ‘may’ happen.

Family FUN:

√    Jumping in puddles

  • Watching movies
  • Reading books
  • Cook a meal together
  • Fun art project
  • Dance party
  • Bubble Baths
  • Build a fort

During nap times Ill get my few items to be taken care of done, but the boys only stay small for a short while. So no matter what has you down, what struggles you face and maybe when your down and out, that is just God saying, “You’ve done good rest up and I’ll take it from here.” Remember to always keep the faith and CHOOSE JOY!†

♥Mary♥

 

Mommy Stress

This blog post I thought a lot about and prayed over several times. This post is about my main stress in my life, and as you can probably guess from my previous post it is about my torn life as a mother and farm owner. Since we moved here a year ago I have learned so much about myself as a mother, wife and woman. I’ve learned that I am good at multitasking, but very poor with time management. Yea you’d think those go hand in hand, but I’m just weird that way I guess. I even bought a planner for everyday life from Day Designer (which I absolutely love) and it has helped me so much.

Even though this planner has helped me organize my life and things I need to do, it doesn’t prevent the daily pop ups of being a mom to a toddler and infant. Each day I set aside time for family and learning and a separate time for working outside, sometimes that just doesn’t work out. This past week I have had to take a play pen out and watch the boys while I work. They love it, up until Wyatt wants to be held and Will takes off to go explore his world he is still trying to get to know. This usually ends up with me very frustrated, and having to finish up early. Even though the farm needs me, my family needs me more and it will get done.

Even though family ALWAYS comes first I find myself wanting to get outside and work. After a long time of prayer and thinking I have realized, me working outside is ME time and helps me release my stress of the day. I want to get away from being a mom for 5 minutes and focus on me and my stress, I mean any mother out there can say raising a toddler is tough. They are pushing boundaries and exploring what they don’t know. I always thought I had the patience for this, and now I pray every morning for the patience because my son is learning and attempting to understand the world around him.

There are moments that do get away from me though. I yell at him and raise my voice at him, shoot this morning he got a hold of the shampoo and poured it all over the carpet then ran off with my cell phone. Yesterday he took my cup of coffee and flung it across the room. Yes he is really testing my patience. Well after putting him down for a nap today I went to my room and scrolled through Facebook and this quote someone wrote came up in my feed, “mans’ wrath does not produce the righteousness of God”. This got my thinking, if I’m raising my kids on the word of God and to be kind to others, then that doesn’t excuse me.

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

James 1: 19-20

This verse is my focus of this week, as I contemplate on it I know to use it not only in the home, but everywhere. As Will is learning and watching my husband and I not only need to practice this verse towards him, but to everyone. If I have to take him back outside and work and watch him, maybe I should show him what I am doing and help him learn. Also I need to find ways to unwind like every mother should. For the first time in two years my husband told me to go out, take time for myself and focus on me (which I’m looking forward to).

With raising these boys and being so stressed, no matter what, they will always be my little blessing and fill my heart. To all moms reading this, no matter how much of a mess they make, how much they scream and drive you nuts just remember, that juice can be mopped up, but time with them is precious and will be gone, make every second with them count.

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My whole world!

Getting Rid of Stress:

  • Take a 10 minute bath, I usually find that this helps me calm down and focus on my thoughts with a few minutes in the bathroom with no audience.
  • Listen to music. To me music really speaks to me on an emotional level, it helps me center myself and calm down.
  • Essential Oils are also a really good for mind and body. They are natural and some are even specific for stress relief. Talk to your local seller for more information, I sell Doterra and I LOVE my oils. #oilymom
  • Read, whether its your favorite romance novel or your daily devotional, it will help you unplug from the world.
  • Chores, I know this sounds odd, but I find myself focusing more on the cleaning rather than everything else in the day. Plus to me the more stressed I am the cleaner everything is. One day I took apart my stove, rearranged my whole kitchen and it was like walking into a model home.
  • Finally take a mommy day or night, for you or with the girls. My husband gave me my first mommy day in TWO years this month and I got to focus on me and relax. I felts so amazing when I got home it was like someone hit a restart button.

♥Mary♥

My Month at a Glance – February 2018

Well I was thinking about my next post, and I had absolutely no idea where to start. I feel like I have so much to say, but not sure where to start. Well I bought me a new Day planner I love, to help me keep organized by each day. This planner starts off with yearly goals, all the way down to what my goals for each day are. Well I was filling out my monthly goals and thought to myself, ‘hey since my blog is a window into my life, why not actually give the readers an idea of my month ahead.’

Well that leads me to here. My month ahead is a busy one with spring on the way and other personal goals I would hopefully like to accomplish.

February Goals

  • Finish trimming back the blackberry bushes, and taking out all the dead shoots….Its gonna start blooming in a few months and clearing is easier for harvest and for more blooms.
  • Fertilize the each trees. (This one I had to do a lot of research on. I ended up calling the Texas A&M agrilife extension service about how to go about it since I don’t have much experience in trees.) *Information added to the bottom for those farmers/gardeners out there.
  • Trim back the peach trees
  • Will’s 2nd Birthday next weekend. (We got a tractor theme planned foe his birthday and his john deer tractor present comes in Saturday! I’m still in panic mode though because I feel like nothing is ready. Pictures to come.)
  • Plant the fruits and veggies in the greenhouse
  • Prep the land for future planting.
  • Get Wyatt sleeping in his own room (this one hurts me because I HATE teaching to self sooth, the crying tears me up inside and I hope it moves along like his brothers, fast.)
  • Make some more signs for my craft show stock pile
  • Set aside some personal time with God and one of my many devotionals. (I always by them and never start, then when I  have time I find another I like and the process repeats. Well I have told myself this is a MUST! If I want to guide my boys in the word of God, just going to church isn’t enough. They need to see me every day living in Gods word, praying with them and over them. So this is a biggie for me.)

Whooo, that’s a load, but that is a glance into a month of my life. I’m sure there are a few other things I’m missing, but it will get done (I hope). I have been telling myself when I’m discouraged that I can work through it because God wouldn’t give me anything I can’t handle, and when it feels that way it’s because I’m attempting to do it alone. He gives you these tasks and problems to work through with Him not by yourself.

When we bought this land I was so excited because deep in my heart I always wanted a garden, to dig in the dirt and live off the land. So I prayed, and when it feels like to much I look at a sign I made myself.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

Colossians 3:23

this sign reminds me that no matter what I do if i put my whole heart into it, as I do the Lord then I will get it done.

***For those still here about the tree advise excuse my long post, I guess I had more to say than I thought haha. Anyway, I called down to the extension department because google only does so much in my opinion, plus it isn’t out working either. I was curious about trimming back since our winters are being so, well Texan…. If you are unsure when to head back, wait until your tree begins to bud, at this time you can trim back at a 45° angle and make a vase shape so the tree will grow out and get the most sunlight on the leaves. Also cut back the main shoot at the top. This shoot will grow the fastest and will produce the smallest fruit.

I also asked about fertilizer because the previous owner to the land gave me a list so long I had no idea where to start. My advise I was given was a pure nitrogen fertilizer (24-0-0 or 48-0-0) the trees need nitrogen to produce the best fruit, but ALWAYS test your soil to make sure your not lacking in any other nutrients. 

If you ever need any other help or specific questions each county has its own Agrilife Extension Service you can call, worse case call your local college horticulture department and they can send you to someone who can answer your questions. I hope I helped. 🙂

Well thanks for sticking around and letting my talk your ear off. If you have any questions or would like to read about anything in particular leave me a message! Well I’m off to make my goals!!!

An Introduction

DSC_0066My name is Mary Trainor and I was a born and raised Texas girl. I love the outdoors, fishing, and nature in general. I’m a true southern girl at heart and show it everyday. I love farming, but I also not one to stray from Supernatural reruns, crafting and making signs. I grew up all over the great state of Texas, and my past and faith has shaped me to be who I am today.

I married My husband, Bill Trainor, in June of 2015. We met our first year in college and started dating a few months after we met. He is a mechanic and works hard every day to support us. Not only does he work hard at his job every day, but he comes home and works on the farm with me, as well as being an amazing father. He is a God sent man and goes out of his way every day to make every single one of us smile.

Together we have 2 boys, our first Will who is about to be 2 in 2 weeks (where has the time gone!) and a 4 month old boy Wyatt. They are my world and keep me on my toes constantly. Being a boy mom is no easy task, but everyday is a whole new adventure with them.

We own Sugarberry Hill Farm outside Fort Worth, Texas, and we live on the farm in our very own barndonium! The farm has an orchard of peaches, pomegranates, plums, apples, and pears. I also grow a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Also we raise chickens and soon hope to expand to goats and other animals. Each day working is a new learning experiance.

 

My trust in the Lord is my journey from where I was to where I am today.

Small tidbits about me:

  • I love food! If I could I would snack all day on my favorite foods.
  • My favorite season is fall. I know being a farmer you’d think it would be spring, but I just love the cold weather and the smell of bonfires.
  • The farm we live on was originally part of my grandparents land that was sold.
  • I graduated Texas A&M University with a Floral design degree with hope of ownign my own business. Well I guess that happened, but its a different kind of business.
  • Family is very important to me, and family isn’t just blood. I’m very close to my family and friends. When I make friends it is for life.
  • I love to travel and see nature. When I grew up for my birthday, since it was in the summer, my family would go camping across country. I’ve been all over, and so far my favorite place Nationally is between Gatlinburg, Tennessee, or Silverton, Colorado. Outside the country would have to be Bora Bora, it is so beautiful and the water is so clear! I can’t wait for my boys to get old enough so we can go on adventures of our own together! Trust me, I have a travel list, hahaha.
  • Finally, my favorite saying is “faith can move mountains” and I truly believe it. My husband and I worked hard to have a goal to own our own land, with several setbacks and rough times that we thought we wouldn’t get through, here we are. It took lots of prayer and never giving up. When we found out about this property it was like God was standing in front of us saying “I was saving this for you.
  • Also I’m an oily mom. I love essential oils, I sell doterra and use them every day. From weight loss, to relaxing, flavoring food, and even just for the smell. I might even add a few posts in the future.

 

Well that’s a little about me, hope you stick around for my adventures, and learning experiences.

I’d love to learn about you as well, leave a comment, and tell me about yourself! 🙂