03.19.19 The Big Red Barn – Madisyn’s 10th and Kallie’s 18th birthdays!

Our oldest grandchild turns 18 today!  Happy 18th Birthday Kallie Barnes!
Can’t wait to see how this beautiful lady rocks this world as an adult!

We just discovered the coolest, most adorable, fun place in Ponchatoula where we attended Madisyn’s 10th birthday party.  The Big Red Barn Creative Art Center is a perfect place for many different activities, parties, art classes, paint and play, art camps and sewing classes.

As the owner says on her website,

“It’s not Big, it’s not Red and it’s not a Barn, but it is A LOT OF FUN.”

If you have children or grandchildren this is a place you must take them to.  I didn’t know it existed until we learned Madisyn’s 10th birthday party would be there. Now I’m wishing I was a 10 year old so I could go to all of the activities there.

The brilliant young lady behind the Big Red Barn is Melissa Durel-Porter: artist, teacher, dreamer, and dabbler.

Melissa (known as Ms. Missy) has 23 years in arts education for over 23 years. This experience includes dance, creative dramatics, visual art, and music appreciation.  As soon as I met her I liked her!

When you walk in the front door you are in her cheerful play room, filled with toys.  The playroom is used for class discussions, stories, rug/lesson time, and free play. These two pieces of art made up of various miscellaneous objects create a tree and a pink flamingo!

Through a pair of french doors is her art room where most of Madisyn’s birthday party took place.  The room is filled with light and color and is perfect for all sorts of creative art activities.

I am aware that I “may” look out of place with all those little girls but I can’t tell you how much I loved getting to paint with them.

The library/lounge was a comfortable place where the children played and adults rested while the girls painted.  The sewing room has several sewing machines, tons of fabric scraps and vintage sewing patterns and notions.

Another play room had doll houses, a tent play area and just about anything a child would want to play with.

This blog post could be (but isn’t) very very long since there is so much to share about the amazing spaces she’s created at The Big Red Barn.  Every square inch of all the walls are filled with creative art, art supplies, toys, etc.  I throughly enjoyed being there. There are so many activities taking place there that the list would be very long.

I’m going to stop here because her website and facebook space describe it all so much better than I could.

THE BIG RED BARN WEBSITE  http://bigredbarn4kids.com/index.html

THE BIG RED BARN FACEBOOK SPACE https://www.facebook.com/bigredbarn4kids/

Madisyn’s birthday party there was fabulous.  The party theme was Hawaiian luau and all things beachy so we started off by painting flip flops, sand and water on canvas with instruction from Ms. Missy.  I say “we” because yes Grannie Rosalyn and 12 little girls participated in the painting.  I loved it!  One thing I thought was cool was that there was no “example” to look at.  This was to let us be as creative as we wanted to instead of trying to copy the example.

Chip and Misty provided pizza, fruit/vegetables and desserts. The girls and us sang Happy Birthday to Madisyn.  This is such a great birthday party idea and every one of the girls loved it.  Here’s some of their flip flop creations!

Madisyn had a big smile on her face the whole time and was a beautiful Happy Birthday girl! Several of the girls went home with Madisyn for a sleep over. We weren’t there but from the looks of the pics it was a great night which included getting made up by Madisyn’s big sis Kallie!

If you like what you see here or on their website here’s The Big Red Barn’s contact info, 234 SE Railroad Ave, Ponchatoula, LA 70454,  985-373-0468.

After all this fun on Friday night we rested Saturday. I went with Chip’s family to Metairie on Sunday for the St. Patrick’s Day parade!  All about that in our next blog post!
Ya’ll have a blessed week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

03.12.19 Chauvin Produce Company update – sticks, sticks and more sticks

Progress is being made in the garden.  A little bit at a time.

This update is long and not all that interesting 🙂 I wrote it to help me keep track of how the garden is progressing and to look back on how this years garden was grown when planning the next garden.  If you want to learn with us as we experiment with this spring’s garden read on!! If not, feel free to go outside and walk around a while enjoying God’s beautiful world instead of reading on!

The three beautifully sprouting militon plants were planted in the garden on Thursday, March 7th. These lived on top of the refrigerator until they started sprouting and then they lived outside for the last couple of weeks except for the freeze nights. After just a few days in the ground they have already sent out their little feelers and curled along the wire!  You see a little bit of the militon is sticking out above the ground.  That’s how it is suppose to be for them to grow right.  The end where the roots grow down and the vine grows up is below ground and the other end above ground.  Two newer militons that haven’t sprouted joined the first three in the ground on Saturday, March 9th. All five militons are planted along the wire Roy put up to give the militons and cucumbers a place to grow up.

The cucumber seeds have not done well, unlike how well they did last year.  With only 3 seeds sprouting I decided to plant 10 seeds directly in the garden on Saturday, March 9th along the same fence the militons are growing on. It looks like only sticks are growing there right now!

The potatoes that have been growing outside in a large container were planted in the garden on Thursday as well.  They sprouted and have been growing well outside in a pot, being moved inside when it froze. Two more potatoes are now cut in pieces with two eyes each waiting to sprout more and the outside hardening before going in the ground.

Half of one row is now planted with garlic and the other end with yellow onions. The three garlic I started inside have sprouted well and were planted in the garden on Thursday, March 7th.  Several more garlic cloves were planted directly in the garden on Thursday to see how that works compared to starting them inside and moving them outside when they sprout.

One yellow onion set (tiny onions) was planted inside and sprouted really well.  12 yellow onion sets were planted directly into the main garden. Ten sets were planted in a big pot a week ago and are still there.  18 sets were planted in an egg carton two weeks ago and were transplanted (with good roots growing) in the pond garden.  There are probably 40 onion sets left unplanted.  Those will be planted during the summer.

My efforts starting corn inside were pretty much a failure.  Only one did well and was planted in the garden on Thursday.  Around 20 corn seeds were planted directly in the garden on Thursday.  More research showed that starting inside is not a good idea so now I know for future gardens.

Here’s the garden with potatoes, garlic, onion sets, corn seeds, militons and cucumber seeds planted.

Sprouted watermelon (Jubilee) plants and cantaloupe plants (from our own seeds) were planted into the garden down by the pond on Thursday, March 7th.  Watermelon seeds of a different variety, Allsweet, were planted in the ground in a straight line in the pond garden.

The three sweet potatoes were cut with two eyes on each piece.  They were planted in an aluminum pan and were growing well in the pantry and have started to make leaves.  It will be a while before the splits are ready to be removed and planted in the ground but for now they have joined the rest of the other plants outside of the pantry!

The brussels sprout plants were dug up from last year and were planted last week in the pond garden are doing well in the ground.  When I planted them I saw tiny little brussels forming along the stalk.

Between 12 and 20 peanuts were planted near the Brussels sprouts last week but nothing is sprouting yet. 10 peanuts were planted in the flower garden along the fence near the front of our property.  Peanuts don’t require much care so I am planting them wherever there is an open space! This looks like pretty much just a bunch of popsicle sticks but there really are some small plants there!

The seed plantings that are not ready to plant outside are spending a couple of hours outside each day hardening them.  They are in a protected environment inside the kitchen which is drastically different than outside conditions.  Spending a bit more time each day outside in the elements help prepare them for when they live outside all the time.  I didn’t do any of that last year.  The seeds were planted in their little individual spaces and lived outside the whole time. Today is day 3 of their hardening process.

The seed plantings going through hardening right now are the bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, big tomatoes, okra, green onions, eggplants, cauliflower, broccoli.  All of them have 3 or more leaves on them and just need the hardening.

The beautiful leaves sprouting on our two fig trees froze earlier this week but there are new ones sprouting out already!  The eight blueberry bushes are all sprouting new leaves and blueberries.  Some bushes more than others, but they all seem to have survived the big transplant last year!

While gardening is a very fulfilling experience it has frustrated my brain this week. I thought I had some safety net things in place to help me remember what’s planted where. However, I planted some seeds in two containers and before I could make markers to identify what they were I forgot what I planted.  Didn’t even stay in my brain 10 minutes.  I had to dig them up to figure it out.  I have several small pots with cucumber markers in then that I don’t really know if there are seeds in there. Nothing is sprouting yet so there probably is just dirt but I’ll give it a bit longer hoping I did actually plant seeds in them.

My sweet honey Roy saw I needed more popsicle sticks for identifying plants as I’ve used all I had (sorry Madisyn, they use to be yours in your craft box!) He went to the store and bought me over 100 large wooden (popsicle like) sticks so I could write on both sides what the plant is to put one next to each one as I plant them.  There are now popsicle sticks all over the gardens.  Last year I painted rocks with the names of each vegetable.  Because I don’t remember what a plant is without seeing it’s name I painted a second one for each vegetable this year to put one at each end of the row.

I am finding that while I’ve done a lot of research about all of the vegetables I don’t remember most of it.  I made a spreadsheet with lots of the information to help me with that. But I have to remember to update the spreadsheet for it to be helpful, I haven’t updated it in a month.

I need some help figuring out where to plant things in the garden down by the pond and Roy helps me with that.  Seems like that should be something I’d never need any help with but I do every step I take with it.  He sits with me (I’m sitting in the dirt, he’s sitting in a chair) down by the pond and it gives me a great comfort. I also have a fear of snakes living under the storage building so Roy is also there to protect me from what he calls “sneaky snake!”

In this picture I am moving sprouting onion sets from the egg carton I started them in. They are now in the pond garden where I am hopeful they grow into full size yellow onions.  Had to shake my head when I saw what an old biddy I look like in the picture but that’s me when I’m crawling around in the dirt!  I require a shower and clean clothes every time I do that!

Well that’s it for gardening by the Chauvin’s this week.  More will be transferred to the garden next couple of weeks, I hope.  Today the high temperature was 80.  We had a delightful visit at our house with my sister Harriett and brother in law George and I got to show her all my gardening efforts!

Ya’ll have a blessed week!

 

03.02.19 Rosalyn and Harry’s Hometown

I only know Harry Connick Jr. through television. I love to hear him play the piano and sing.  His dad Harry Connick Sr. was very famous to us for his work as District Attorney in New Orleans for what seemed like decades.

Harry and I both grew up in Lakeview, a beautiful part of New Orleans so we  have the same hometown. I enjoyed the video below by Harry where he takes us around New Orleans to see some of what makes our hometown so special.

The video below includes his favorite food places

Cafe Du Monde,
Camellia Grill
Cava on Harrison Avenue
Plum Street Snowball

I love Cafe Du Monde where I always get beignets and chocolate milk. They now have 8 locations.

I love Camellia Grill. Roy makes something similar to their Chocolate Freeze which we call Slap Ya’ Mama.

I’ve never eaten at Cava but we should.

Plum Street Snowballs are outstanding. My favorite snowball stand in New Orleans is the one we always went to growing up, NOLA Snowballs at 908 Harrison Avenue in Lakeview. NOLA Snowballs had a different name when I was young.  I think it was Harrison Snowballs.  One thing I remember is that it was owned by my friend Worm’s dad.  I think it’s the name Worm that stuck in my mind!

Harry uses the media often to share his love for New Orleans.  I want to share this amazing city with ya’ll as I’ve done often in the past.  This isn’t the first New Orleans focused blog post I’ve done and it probably won’t be the last.

Contact info for his favorite food places:

Cafe Du Monde
800 Decatur Street
New Orleans 70116
504 525 4544

Camellia Grill
626 S Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans 70112
504 309 2679

Cava in Lakeview
789 Harrison Ave
New Orleans 70124
504 304 9034

Plum Street Snowballs – corner of Plum and Burdette St
1300 Burdette St
New Orleans 70118
504 866 7996

Hope you enjoyed Harry’s tour around New Orleans, our hometown!

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

02.28.19 Chauvin Produce Company Update – Hey HONEY let’s stop at the junk yard!

Monday we had some errands to run around Amite and Hammond.  I told Roy I’d like to find a metal table to use outside to have a place for repotting plants, etc.  He said he previously saw a glass and metal table at the junk yard. It’s a big yard with junk in it! They sell whatever people give them! As we were driving down Highway 16 towards downtown Amite we passed by there and stopped.  I love stopping there to see what they have for sale.

20190228_134928.jpg

I looked at the round glass and metal table but it just didn’t ring my happy bells. We saw a rectangular glass outside table with metal trim and legs.  We both agreed not only could it be a gardening table but we can use it for when company comes to eat and visit! We need to get an umbrella to go through the hole in the middle of the table for shade. I’ll take a used one if anyone wants to give us one!!!  We settled on a great price with the young lady at the junk yard and Roy figured out how to strap it to the top of our truck bed cover to bring it home.  A nice policeman followed us home I guess to make sure the table didn’t fall off and cause an accident.

I cleaned the table this morning and the next phase of gardening began.  Most all of my little vegetable and fruit seeds have grown big enough plants to transfer them to bigger pots. That took a long time but I got to know them all really well.  I’ve always talked to my plants even before having dementia.  They respond well, so if you haven’t tried it start talking to yours!  It will be a while until these tiny plants are ready to go in the garden but we now have a kitchen floor full of pots. It was not sunny today but spending hours outside was such a blessing!

These pictures above were taken before the table got full and I finally realized that sitting down in a chair made the whole process easier…………… duh!

The brussells sprouts plants from last year have been replanted down by the pond. There are seven of them and when I took them out of the container they were in I saw tiny brussells sprouts growing!  We’ll see how that turns out!

Both fig trees are blooming!

All of the eight transplanted blueberry bushes are blooming and one even has a few blueberries on it already!!

I also planted 5 more peanut plants down there.  I planted 6 last week in the front of the garden along the fence.  I just planted the 5 peanuts and 7 brussells sprouts and after an active day I am pooped out.  I’ll plant more peanuts tomorrow.  The soil down there with what Roy added and tilled is beautiful and so easy to work with, it’s just the bending and digging that’s rough!  Thanks again honey for my second garden!

I have mirliton vines and potatoes ready to plant.  Next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we will have freezing temperatures at night.  Once that is past I’ll begin planting those in the garden. The watermelon, cantaloupe seeds have nice size plants now and will be planted down by the pond then.  The cucumbers will also be ready for the garden and will be planted on the same end that the mirliton vines will be on growing up the fence Roy constructed!

Not ours but a mirliton vine with mirlitons on it. That’s what I’m striving for!

This is what a mirliton vine and mirlitons look like.  Roy’s mama always had one and we enjoyed many of her stuffed mirlitons!

Roy created rows in the garden last week.  It’s beginning to take shape. It’s only growing a couple of weeds right now but soon it will be filled with lots of vegetables.

Ya’ll have a blessed weekend!

 

02.19.19 SOLD!! Coast to Coast Premier RV Resort Network Membership SOLD!!

UPDATE: WE HAVE SOLD OUR COAST TO COAST MEMBERSHIP

If you live in an RV or travel often throughout our beautiful country in an RV, you will be most happy to learn that we are selling our Coast to Coast Premier Membership for only $2,000. New memberships can go as high as $10,000 for the exact same benefits.

Our Coast to Coast membership was one of the absolute best purchases we made when starting out on our adventures.  It paid for itself in the first six months. We no longer have our motor home so we are offering our Coast to Coast membership for sale!

Included in this membership with Coast to Coast, you first become a member of a home park.

Our home park is TLC Wolf River in Pass Christian, Mississippi. If you purchase our Coast to Coast membership then TLC Wolf River will be your home park.  They have 140 full hook-up RV sites, waterfront RV campsites, a swimming pool, play area for children, a boat launch, laundry, Wi-Fi, and clubhouse with cable TV and showers.

One of the great benefits of a home park is that while most parks are closed to reservations during holiday weeks or weekends, reservations are open to home park members.

As a home park member, you can stay there for two weeks at a time, for just $5.00 per night. There is no limit on the amount of times you can visit during a year. After you’ve stayed a period of 8–14 days, you must leave the park for one week before you are allowed to return.

TLC WOLF RIVER MAP

You can even show up any time you want at your home park! You do not need to make a reservation. They don’t offer guaranteed sites but you give them your three favorite sites and they will try their best to give one of those to you when you stay there! If you want to make reservations you can ask for your favorite spot then!

If you don’t have your RV with you when you plan to stay there they have rental travel trailers and 5th Wheels available for $35.00 per night.

Your membership also allows for guest usage. If your guest is closely related to you, they are allowed to come stay at the park even without your company. If your guest is a friend, neighbor, or distant relative, we ask that you be here with them while they stay. Guests can stay at the park for $20.00 per night or in a rental for $35.00 per night, and with the exception of a small handful of holidays and special events, they can camp as often as you do.

TLC Wolf River Resort’s memberships can be left to your children which is an incredible benefit if your children get bit by the RV bug like you were. Memberships expire upon the death of their third owner.

TLC Wolf River is so close to many of the amazing attractions the Gulf Coast has to offer. TLC Wolf River is just three miles north of the 26 miles of sugar white sand beaches that run along the coast.  Some of the best seafood around can be found at the 13 resort style casinos along the coast.

We’ve found it to be a very peaceful, relaxing park where we’ve met many great RVers.  We love to park along the lazy Wolf River! If you want to learn more about TLC Wolf River Resort, visit their website at http://www.tlcwolfriverresort.com, or you can go to their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Tlcwolfriverresort.   They are located at 23098 Freddie Frank Rd, Pass Christian, Mississippi 39571 (228) 452-9100.

TLC Transfer Fee and Annual Dues:

TLC has a Home Park Transfer Fee of $250.00
TLC Current Annual Dues are $349.00

Once you’ve become a member of a home park like TLC Wolf River, you can become a member of Coast to Coast, the RV Resort network.

Purchasing our Coast to Coast Premier plan will allow you to stay at their network of over 200 private, member-only resorts across the United States and Canada.  At these private resorts you get to stay there FREE, YES FREE!!!

Coast to Coast members can stay FREE at around 200 high-quality RV resorts across North America for 2 weeks at a time during peak season, and 3 weeks at a time during non-peak season.  Some resorts have a sales tax or electricity fee. It was never more than $5 a night during our travels.

Many of these Coast to Coast parks have rental RVs as well.

Coast to Coast also gives you access to over 200 Good Neighbor parks. These parks are 4 and 5 star rated Woodall’s public campgrounds. You may stay at these parks for $15.00 per night.

Every year when you renew your Coast to Coast membership, you will receive a complimentary Good Sam membership card which you can use to get discounts at Camping World and discounted access to over 2,200 Good Sam parks.

Coast to Coast offers a variety of discounts on other products and services as well.

  • Affordable week-long getaways through Hopscotch Holidays to fabulous condominium resorts around the world starting at only $99 a week
  • Vacation packages for destinations in the U.S. and internationally
  • Ocean cruises and river cruises to explore new worlds
  • Airline tickets, hotel, and rental car reservations for leisure or business travel
  • Dining, shopping, entertainment, movie, recreation, and golf discounts you can use to save money every day

Coast to Coast is a really great program. One of the best investments we ever made. There is a lot to learn about Coast to Coast to get the most out of your membership.   Check out their website at https://www.coastresorts.com/ to learn more!  Our membership is an original Premier membership.  The new ones they promote on their site have a little different rules than ours does.  Like there is a $10 a night charge with the new premier memberships, but in our membership it is FREE!

We first visited TLC Wolf River when we first began RVing full time we attended a presentation about joining Coast to Coast and having TLCWR as our home park.  We went there thinking “we’re not going to buy anything they are selling!”  After hearing all about this amazing opportunity we signed up quickly!  We have NEVER regretted that decision!

Coast to Coast Premier Transfer Fee:

Coast to Coast Premier Transfer Fee: $250  This Transfer Fee include your first year’s annual dues of $199

Email us at rosalyn@selu.edu or call us at (985) 320-8640 to purchase our membership or for more information!

Roy and Rosalyn Chauvin

02.12.19 Chauvin Produce Company – Getting the Gardens Ready

It would be oh so nice for gardening to just be dumping some dirt out, making rows, planting some seeds and watching them grow!  But OH NO that is not how it is!

Our venture into gardening vegetables in the fall was a learning experience.  This year we are going the extra mile in every step along the way.

When I say “we” I mostly mean Roy.  I’m usually along for the ride helping make decisions, or doing some of the grunt work or supervising! For over a week we’ve been spending large chunks of most days on getting the garden ready to accept the plants when the seeds, the mirlitons, potatoes, garlic and sweet potatoes are ready to plant.

Again, our friends Chuck and Donna loaned us their tiller and our very gracious neighbor Daniel loaned us his trailer to pick up the tiller, dirt, and other items.  We used the tiller last year to prepare the blueberry beds and the small garden in the back yard.  This year Roy expanded the garden from 8′ x 16′ to 16′ x 16′.  We also prepared an area down by the pond where crawling fruit like watermelon and cantaloupe can grow.

I’ve tried to document with pictures all we’ve done and will try to identify what’s going on in each picture below.  I’m already thinking this may become a two part post because I’ve identified over 50 pics I want to share.  We’ll see.

The cool weather recently has allowed us to work for hours on end without being drained like the heat does.  We were worn slap out and our joints/muscles screamed at us after a few hours and overnight but we’re still standing and I have to think it was a healthy week of working out, at the very least.

Nothing is ever easy.  After Roy dug up all the grass where the garden expansion was he had to locate the electrical wire he laid down there last year to run electricity to our storage building. We couldn’t find pictures that showed exactly where it was so he dug until he found it.  The tiller would rip up the wire at the level it was, so after finding it he dug much deeper and relaid the line.  This was a full day’s project after the two days he spent digging up the grass.

We shopped for more frame lumber to go around the expansion portion of the garden and the rebar to make it all stable and stay in place. Here’s Roy working on putting it all together.

When we bought the boards and rebar we also bought five fence posts to create the fencing for my cucumbers and merlitons to grow all around.  Last years flimsy structure that cucumbers grew one was pitiful.  This one will withstand a hurricane!

The original gardens dirt/compost/peatmoss and the new gardens just dirt was tilled.  Over the course of this week I’d say Roy tilled both gardens entirely 10 different times.

One day last week Roy and I visited three different dirt pit locations to see, price and decide which dirt was best for us.  We chose a place called Zemurray Pit a few miles from here.  The guy running the place was very helpful and worked with us to get the best dirt before the rains came.

The next day Roy went to Lowe’s to buy the Peat Moss and Cow manure/compost, pick up the tiller and came home to till all that in. After the first tilling four huge bags of peat moss were added, I kicked it apart, raked it in several directions, Roy tilled it and I raked it one last time.

Here’s the bags of cow manure/compost that Roy added and I raked it out.  Roy tilled all of the peat moss and manure into the dirt. He tilled for a couple of hours before calling it a day.

He got up at 7:30 am the next morning (I know alot of ya’ll are at work then!) and went to get a huge load of dirt from Zemurray Pit.  He brought that home and tilled that into the stuff he tilled the day before. I got up when he came home and had worked for an hour and a day full of fun began for me.  What’s seen on the trailer below is what was left after he put half of the dirt in the garden with the nutrients and tilled it. 

Here’s the finished product.  One 16′ x 16′  vegetable garden that will withstand earthquakes, hurricanes and who knows whatelse!   Between doing research, shopping, and labor I estimate 30 hours went into this.  Certainly not the simple garden that the garden looks like! It’s amazing what all goes into it!

Here’s the view from the garden of what I call “down by the pond.”  The second garden that is down there isn’t as structured as this but many hours of work went into it also.

On our way down there looking back up the hill to the first garden.

Here’s where we tried out growing watermelons and cantaloupe last year.  There are some weeds that I knew would only get worse if I didn’t dig them up, so I did. Two hours later I was finished and Roy brought down the hill the remaining dirt.  At one point I crawled on top of the dirt to throw out onto the ground chunks of dirt.  It helped break them up to get ready to be tilled. Look at all my grey hair.  Can’t wait for the blonde stuff to go away so it will all be grey!

This is just the dirt raked out.  There are several inches of sand underneath the dirt. After church yesterday we went to Home Depot and picked up more Peat Moss for this garden area and several larger peat pots to move the seeded vegetables into when they get bigger, before they are ready to move outside. .

Here it is after Roy tilled the sand, dirt and peat moss together.

Roy handed me the shovel and sent me off to the front of the storage building to dig up sand that washed down the hill and settled there over time.  Roy rescued me and took over the digging going much deeper than I did.  He got several wheelbarrows of sand from that spot and dumped it behind the storage building for the garden. 

It was tilled before the dirt was added, after the dirt was added and after the peat moss was added.  I thought Roy was going to stop at that point but oh no, he kept on.

A lot of the dirt mixture behind the shed was shoveled into around 15 wheelbarrow loads and moved up the hill.  It is a steep hill and very difficult to get up with a wheelbarrow.  My honey did it though and about every couple of loads he’d rake the dirt over a large area next to the house we’ve been working on to get grass to grow for a while.  I have to admit I worried he’d pass out or die at this point.  I asked what I could do to help but he kept saying no.  He did rest often which is probably what saved my honey from something bad happening.

This is the area he dumped the dirt and spread it out before calling it a day and making a campfire near where Dora use to live so we could enjoy the beautiful weather outside after dark yesterday.  The soil mixture that he left behind the storage building is plenty for me to grow the second garden watermelon, cantaloupes, peanuts and maybe a couple of tomato plants there.

Some of the non seed plants we are helping sprout are our potatoes, garlic, mirlitons , sweet potatoes and Brussels sprout plants dug up from last years crop. Southerners know what mirlitons are and how absolutely wonderful the dishes they are cooked in are.  When our crop starts producing I’ll share some of the ways we cook it down here in the south!

We purchased three seed sweet potatoes.  They are cut up with either two eyes on them or the end for sprouting vines that are pretty.  Lots of people grow the vines in their garden just for the leaves, not the sweet potatoes! I’ve learned a lot about the difference between potatoes and sweet potatoes.  They are in no way related and grow in very different ways.  When the vines get to a certain point they are removed from the sweet potato since they don’t need it anymore.  They’ve grown roots by then and the vine with its roots are planted in the garden to grow more sweet potatoes.

The larger peat pots are in the picture below.  Our kitchen has turned into a plant sprouting place.  You can see the sprouts coming up really well in the other two pictures.  We’ve already decided that next years seeds will be planted in the little Jiffy pucks which are the little things in the smaller container in the second picture.

The only thing that isn’t planted for sprouting somewhere are the 100 yellow onion bulbs.  Those produce quickly and can wait a bit longer before being planted and can go directly into the ground.

Roy and I love the time we’ve spent on the road sitting around campfires visiting and enjoying the warmth of the fire.  We have some old wood we’ve wanted to burn for a while so Roy did that yesterday after it got dark.  Chip even came over to join us and got to have some dad/son bonding time when mama went to bed!

This garden project is wonderful for my brain because I am always doing research to find out something about growing some plant.  I don’t remember a lot for very long so I document it to go back to when the information is needed. That brings us current on the Chauvin Produce Company. Looks like I fit it into one post!

We are resting, catching up on things like this and a bit of being lazy today! Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

02.01.19 Chauvin Produce Company expansion

Here we go with the 2019 Chauvin Produce Company expansion!  Also known as Rosie’s garden version 2.0!!

Our 8′ x 16′ garden is now 16′ x 16′!  256 square feet!

My honey spent two grueling days this week digging up the grass from where the garden will be and replanting it in the side yard, just like he did the original garden last year.  At least this years garden was begun while the weather is still cool.  Last year was during the heat of the summer, ick!

I needed a way to identify each row of seeds so I selected some flat rocks and fit as much of the plants name as I could on the rock sealing them with clear nail polish!  It worked!

This years garden will include January plantings of 100 tiny peat pots filled with planting soil and seeds of cantaloupe, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, eggplants, cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, green onions and iceberg lettuce.  Yeah that’s quite a variety.  We’re still learning and I want to see what grows best here.  When those have sprout enough in the container they will get moved outside to acclimate and then get planted in the garden where we will have crops galore!!!

These are the two containers with peat pots, soil and seeds. 

In late February we’ll plant the watermelon seeds, cucumbers, okra, seed sweet potatoes, yellow onion sets and peanuts. Three merlitons are sprouting to be planted when ready.

Roy is building a raised trellis for the merlitons and cucumbers to grown on.  Some of the garden may be planted down by the pond like we did last year with the watermelon and cantaloupe.  We’ll see!

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

11.11.18 Chauvin Produce Company ends its 2018 production due to freeze

Monday, November 11, 2018 – Yes, I knew what I’d be doing today! My little venture into gardening is probably over for the year but I’ve learned so many lessons that will help with our spring crops! Recommendations for what we should grow in the spring are welcome!

We picked lots of radishes before Monday but these were the last of the radish crop! I’ve been enjoying them in my salads made from lettuce, cucumber and radishes from the garden!!!

Somehow this photo makes my carrot crop look like the carrots are bigger than they are.  The largest was no bigger than my little finger 🙂 but they will be perfect in a salad.

The little carrots and radishes after being cleaned up

I was growing the turnips for the bottoms. I think they didn’t have enough time in the ground to get nice and large.  Roy however loves the turnip tops so that meant we spent some hubby wife time at the kitchen sink rinsing, and rinsing, and rinsing then peeling the leaves off the stems, then rinsing and rinsing some more.  The tiny bottoms will be cleaned up and cooked along with the tops.  Here’s the little bottoms:

Here’s a few of the turnip green tops:

Here’s the two bags of turnip green leaves, and a picture with the tiny turnip bottoms in it, after all the washing and work.  It’s amazing to me that we grew two rows of turnips and MAYBE we’ll get two meals of turnip greens.

We lived in Minnesota for five months our first year on the road.  While there we grew tomatoes, some of which were still quite green when it was time for us to leave there.  We picked them and eventually all turned red and were delicious.  I am hopeful that’s what will happen with all of these tomatoes below.  I did leave a few small ones on the bushes to see what would happen with a couple of nights with freezing temperatures.  I went down the hill to where the watermelon’s are growing and said goodbye to the two little watermelons there.  Aren’t they precious!  Can’t wait to grow some next year at the right time of the year so they can be eaten!!!

The two peanut plants are doing well.  Don’t know how the freeze will affect them, we’ll see!

I left a few green onions, a few small tomatoes, a few cucumbers and all of the new okra so I can see how they do in a slight freeze. Another thing I hope to learn from.

This is all of the cucumbers I picked today.  Guess I’ll be pickling cucumbers this week!  

The small turnip roots all cleaned up (before they were chopped up and in the bag a few photos above) and what’s left of the green onions.  We’ve enjoyed going out to pick a fresh one to sprinkle on top when we’re having baked potatoes. 

I’ll let ya’ll know if any of the vegetables we left on the bush, vine, etc. make it through the freeze and do anything.  The weather experts now say that tonight will go down to 28 for four hours tomorrow night and the following night.  We’ll see!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

10.15.18 Update on the Chauvin Produce Company

Monday, October 15, 2018 – I am really pleased at how well our fall vegetable garden is doing.  Some of what I planted are not fall vegetable/fruits, like the watermelons and cantaloupes, but it was seeds from giant watermelons and delicious cantaloupe so why not, they didn’t cost us anything!  The cantaloupe vines have several flowers.  The watermelons have dozens of flowers on long 10 foot plus vines with four little bitty watermelons forming!  The biggest watermelon was like a marble yesterday and today it is the shape it will eventually be like a pecan.  I planted a couple of peanuts down by those plants just to see what would happen.  They have sprouted and have several leaves already!

The marble size watermelon

The regular garden has grown and grown.  I’ve already harvested a dozen nice size radishes and several green onions.  Where I pulled those vegetables out, I planted new seeds and in the case of the green onions new onion sets.  One vegetable that did absolutely very very little was green onion seeds.  I cleared those out and planted additional bell peppers.

The cucumber vines, okra plants and tomato plants are doing fabulous!

These were taken about three weeks ago.

These were from yesterday. The cucumber vines are at the bottom of the picture.  They are growing up multi colored ribbons leading to a wire thing where the cucumbers can grab on to as they grow. The three Big Boy tomatoes are on the right and the okra are to the left near the other end.

The okra are well over a foot high and needed some support so we located what we had around the house (tall sticks) to put next to each plant.  A couple of our medal hangers for the hummingbird feeders are holding two of the plants up.  It’s an odd collection but it works!

I am also growing bell peppers, lettuce, green onions, carrots, turnips, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. The only plant that wasn’t started from seeds are the tomato plants. 

I know that it might have been too late to start some of these vegetables from seed but it’s been a wonderful learning experience so far.  My brain has had to work really hard researching all of what’s involved in growing each of these plants and that’s a really good thing! I am happy to be able to still do that, for now!  If the lessons I am learning now make me better prepared to plant them next year at the right time, that’s a good thing.  If they do grow and produce this year before our first frost that’s a great thing!  I read a lot about tips for growing the different vegetables.

One thing I thought was cool but I ended up doing wrong was with the bell peppers.  I read that they need additional sulphur in the soil and that you can put a match stick upside down with the sulfur end in the group near the plant.  My plants were tiny and I put the match stick too close to the tiny plant and the little bell pepper plants withered, from I guess too much sulfur too close.

I have been surprised at how much effort it takes to keep this little garden going well.  Just pulling weeds is a daily job.  The compost and manure in the soil make the weeds go wild with growing!  I have everything growing on hills and am not sure they all should be.  That’s another matter to be researched.

Anyone with tips to help our little produce do as best they can, please share! Next year I am planning on planting peanuts, potatoes, egg plants and some of the ones we are growing now.  Any recommendations on what to plant in the spring in the south, let us know!!!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!