Hi there. I received the elderberry cuttings I ordered from Burnt Ridge Nursery. Our family has been sick, so we are quarantined, and I wasn’t able to get out and buy some pots to start them in. Instead, I drilled some holes in large yogurt containers using our drill press. I made them large enough to drain well, but not so large to lose a lot of soil.
Next I added about 1/2 soil mix, to 1/2 perlite in each container, and wetted them down well.
I took the cuttings, wetted down the bottom end, dipped it in rooting hormone, made a hole in the planting mix, and put five cuttings to each container. It is not necessary to use rooting hormone, I just wanted added insurance.
Then I put a plastic bag over the top to keep the cuttings from drying out. I also labeled the containers and bags to keep them identified.
I will make sure to keep the soil moist, and keep you updated on their progress. The first year, if it flowers, I will cut the flowers off, and dry them for tea. I won’t want the plant fruiting the first year so that it will concentrate more on growing roots, and becoming established.
I’m planning on planting them along a fence line to our north, to screen our property from the neighbors there. It is recommended to plant them six to ten feet apart. I will want to test the soil soon, and see what I need to amend it with. I will also mix in some compost, cover the soil with carboard, and put some mulch on top. I plan to once a week look for any weeds sprouting up, and pull or hoe them, before they get big.
GETTING READY FOR HARVEST
One other thing I purchased to help with preserving the harvest was an Excalibur food dehydrator. I recently made some banana chips. I was able to cut the banana’s fairly uniformly to the recommended 1/8th inch thickness. I put at the recommended 135 degrees, and even though I went over the suggested time of 6 to 10 hours, they didn’t turn out the brittle that we wanted, but still rather stiff, and a bit chewy. All in all, it is really very good.
This will be one of the main ways for me to preserve the elderberries, and elderflowers. But of course we will be doing so much more with it, preserving the harvest of our garden, and seasonal fruits we purchase.
A hobby that I learned in a high school course was calligraphy. I recently purchased a new calligraphy set, and want to print quotes from the Bible to have in the home. Here is one of them.
One of the more exciting things in my knitting and crocheting hobby, is that I have sent away to become a certified knitting instructor through the Craft Yarn Council of America. They have two levels of learning for knitting, and two levels for crochet. I intend to do both sets eventually. They give you six months to do each level. I also spoke with the library in town, and they would like to have someone teach knitting, possibly as soon as March. Part of my instruction is to teach fifteen hours of knitting, so that will work out well! There is also a couple that will be opening a shop in town for people to display and sell hand crafted items. Looks like God’s timing is perfect.
My dream is to teach knitting and crocheting to low income people to have them sell things to increase their income, as well as their self-esteem. I would love for the town I am in to become well known for its splendid craft work, and bring in many people who appreciate the skilled craftmanship.
Here is a picture of my third ever sweater finished. It is a pattern and yarn from Love Knits called the Mountaineer Sweater. This is the second of the type I have made, the first was supposed to be for him, but turned out just a smidge too small. So that one is for me, and I made the second larger for him.
Here is a picture of the two together, before blocking.
I was feeling daunted by the known blocking process of wetting the garment, pinning it to shape, and letting it dry. I found another method called steam blocking that I seemedB much easier, and less time consuming. This was on a YouTube video from Carlos and Arnie, two professional knitters from Norway. You wet a towel, lay it over the garment, and use a steam iron on the wool setting to block it. It worked perfectly, and took just a little time. Here is a picture.
A reminder from the Bible to read His word, and keep it in our heart.
Psalm 119: 1-8
Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statues and seek him with all their heart-they do no wrong but follow His ways.
You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your degrees; do not utterly forsake me.
That’s all for now.
Blessings to you and yours,