2015 Coastal Carolina Fair ~ Part 1

Yes, folks, it’s that time of year again. Our eleven day county fair just ended, and we had a great time. Unfortunately, I didn’t enter any of the competitions this year, but it was great to see the winners and runners up all the same. The strange thing was that the weather was much too warm for the fair. One of the nights I went, it was 85 degrees with a heat index of 90 – at 4:00 in the afternoon! That’s just not fair weather. However, it cooled down considerably by the last day of the fair with a drizzly day in the 50s. Regardless of the weather, it was fun, fun, fun. Here’s a taste of a county fair Charleston style – part 1. Coastal Carolina Fair!

Book Review: “The Backyard Homestead” by Carleen Madigan

The Backyard Homestead Bk Review picGood morning, everyone. I thought it was time to offer you another review on a book I keep for reference here on the homestead. Considering I’ve been doing this for only four years – and on an suburban homestead at that – I need good resources to turn to when I have questions. My Garden Wilson gave me this book my first year here in this house, and it was immensely helpful in many ways. I still turn to it when I have a question. The Backyard Homestead book review!

Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 11/3/15 ~ Signs of Autumn

Happy November, everyone. We’re six weeks into autumn, but you can’t tell by the temperature here in the Charleston area. We’ve had highs in the low 80s most of the week. Last year, the first frost was November 3, and it was November 14 the year before that. Looks like first frost is going to be late this year. Normally, we should have SOME color on the trees (albeit, most of the colors are tans and browns…NOTHING like New England), but we don’t even have that yet. Too warm, I guess. However, there are some signs on my homestead that autumn has arrived. This week’s garden pictures!

First Canning Session of the Year

Hot pepper relish 28Oct15 SGGood morning, everyone! If you’ve been following me through the summer, you all know what a problem I’ve had with my garden – heat, drought, problems with soil, more heat, deluge of rain. So, it’s not surprising that I haven’t had large enough harvests to can anything. Until this week. Forgive my excitement, but this is THE first thing I’ve canned all year! First canning of the year!

Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 10/27/15

Good morning, everyone. It’s been a while since I gave you an update on the garden and homestead, so I thought I’d share with you a few pictures as well as tell you how things are growing (or not) in the garden. We did have a couple nights in the 40s last week, but my excitement over autumn weather arriving was short-lived. Our lows are now in the upper 50s to mid 60s with highs in the mid 70s to low 80s. Not exactly autumn weather in this Yankee’s opinion, but at least it’s not scorching hot anymore. This week’s garden photos!

Steak and Pepper Stir Fry

Steak & Pepper Stir Fry picGood morning, everyone! It’s that time of year when you’re either grinning ear to ear because the weather has cooled off enough that your peppers and other plants are producing like crazy (harvest time!), or you’re scrambling to get everything off the vine before the first frost arrives. Either way, you may find yourself with an abundance of peppers. If you don’t want to stuff them (with beef or with chicken), why not try them in a stir fry? You could use your garlic and onions, too. Steak & Pepper Stir Fry!

A New Creature in the Garden

New Creature picGood morning, everyone. Yesterday, when I got home from an errand, I found a furry black caterpillar on the side of my front door. I’ve never seen this before! The closest thing to this that I’ve seen is the brown and black “woolly bear” we used to play with as kids. (“Woolly bears” are the caterpillars of the tiger moth.) Of course, we don’t have those down here in South Carolina, so I didn’t know what this was. What I did know is that I shouldn’t touch it because hairy caterpillars are often poisonous. So, it was on to Google for some research. New Creature in the Garden!

My Trees in Israel

Certificate for planting 3 pomegranate trees in Israel Oct15 SGGood morning, folks. I have to admit, yesterday was not one of my better days. Work is kicking my butt, and I had my hands full all day. However, after dragging my tired carcass home after work yesterday, I opened my mail and found something that turned my whole day around! My trees in Israel!

South Carolina Farms Suffer at Least $300M in Flood Damage

SC Farms Flood Damage PicGood morning, everyone. The flood woes in South Carolina aren’t over yet, the worst being in the middle part of the state, reaching into the northern area of my own county. Over the past weekend, we have had more evacuations, road and bridge closings, and dam breaches. To make matters worse, a line of strong thunderstorms with heavy rain passed through the state on Saturday, which caused the rivers (already over flood stage) to pour more water onto soggy land. Every day, more reports come in regarding the damages from the flooding South Carolina has been experiencing. A few days ago, the damage estimate for agricultural losses was determined. SC Agricultural Losses!

Fire Ants Escape South Carolina Flood

Fire Ants & Flood PicGood morning, everyone. I’m back to work and the downtown area of Charleston is starting to dry out. I can’t say the same for areas north of where I live, though. Dams are breaking around our capital (Columbia), and we’re downstream. Roads and bridges are collapsing or are in danger of doing so. Although Charleston and Berkeley County schools are back in session (as of yesterday), Dorchester County has closed their schools through the end of the week due to impassable roads and unsafe bridges. Meanwhile, as we deal with the mess caused by the flooding, we discovered yet another reason to NOT walk around in flood waters. Fire ants survive flood!