After a year of planting, digging, watering and pruning, Doug and I have decided that gardening is just one big experiment. And since it seems that we really enjoy the scientific method, with all it’s trials, successes and errors, we thought we’d name this laboratory of ours.
Introducing Obtaining Mercy Croft!
CROFT: a fenced piece of land used for small-scale food production, usually near a house
We’ve planted, without exaggeration, over 125 different fruits and vegetables since last spring. Many of them didn’t do well, some did better than we expected. Some we planted in our sandy backyard and others we potted up into containers, buckets and half-barrels.
We’ve discovered things we don’t like to eat and some lovely things we were surprised that we liked.
And we’ve been amazed at all the beauty to be seen in the garden.
The most astonishing thing, I think, that we’ve learned in the garden is that the garden teaches us so many spiritual truths. We’re constantly learning something about soil or seeds or pruning or watering that exactly mirrors a truth that can be found in Scripture.
And that is going to be our new focus here on the blog.
Along with more regular updates on Isaac and on the garden, you will see more posts of a devotional nature, sharing some tidbit of truth that we’ve gleaned from the Croft.
And…you won’t just be hearing from me, as you have for so many years now, but you’ll also be hearing from Doug.
I know you will enjoy the truths that he has to share!
So…a few changes. Nothing drastic. But we’re excited about our new focus!
We hope you’ll join us as we study our Master Gardener and the things He teaches us here at Obtaining Mercy Croft.
I’ve won the occasional online giveaway of a Kindle book here and there and a couple times, won an actual book, as opposed to a digital one. And truly, I love those gifts, because I love to read!
But this is the first time I’ve won a GARDEN GIVEAWAY! And I couldn’t be more thrilled!!!
Brijette over at the San Diego Seed Company‘s channel on Youtube recently celebrated her 10,000 subscriber mark by hosting a giveaway.
We’re fairly new subscribers to her Youtube channel, but we’ve been enjoying the content she puts out. It’s extremely educational and – bonus for us – it is targeted to those growing in Zones 9 and 10 of the Plant Hardiness Zones. That is perfect for us here in central Florida.
I was super ecstatic to receive the message that I won that giveaway!!! I giggled and squeeeeed and clapped and kept saying, “I won! I won!” Honest…you can ask my husband. I was *that* excited!
My box arrived yesterday. It was full of awesome goodies that I can’t wait to use.
So…first thing…this insect spray.
I’ve been so nervous to choose something to use in my garden. I don’t want to use chemicals and I don’t want lose my crops to bugs either. But I had no idea which product to use. Well, now that problem is solved. I’ll be using the Insect Killing Spray by Safer to spray on anything that’s munching on my garden babies.
These lovely plant clips were also in the package Brijette sent.
The reason they’re so cool is that they are made from corn and are biodegradable. If they accidently get caught up in any spent vegetable matter that’s headed to my compost bin, they won’t be leaching plastics into the compost.
These awesome things are called Tomahooks! They’re for growing tomatoes!
We used shade cloth this past summer to cover our sitting/potting area and to cover some of our veggies that were in 5-gallon pots. It does an incredible job of dropping the temp in that area by several degrees. That is a great thing during the hot spring and summer days here in Florida. The cloth Brijette sent is white, which will reflect that sun even more, and there’s a really good-sized piece of it.
And the calendar! Oh my goodness…it’s a thing of beauty!
Every month’s page is full of tips, information and helps for planting in our Zone. She lets you know which seeds should be sown each month and how to adjust for the weather as it warms up. It’s a treasure trove of info for the backyard gardener!
And lastly – these seeds!!!
Brijette was incredibly generous with this seed collection. There are veggies, flowers, fruits and gourds. I was just overwhelmed by the variety. I told Doug we might need to lay out new garden beds just to get them all in for this season.
And here’s the really cool thing about these seeds, the San Diego Seed Company has grown each and every one of these seeds. Much of their farm is designated for growth of plants to harvest the seeds. They grow heirloom, non-gmo, organic plants in a sustainable way for their area. These seeds are adapted to their growing conditions and are therefore healthier and stronger for farmers in those same zones. I’m excited to try them out!
All in all, can you believe this awesome package of goodies I received??? I am just so grateful for small business owners who reach out to help others grow and improve their skills. It’s a very generous practice and it will grow a successful, loyal customer base for their products. Pretty smart, if you ask me!
Thanks for checking out my prizes! I’ll let you know how everything goes.
I’ve been so excited to share our latest venture with you:
We’ve added a double paneled arch to the garden! One end will have Top Mark Melons (cantaloupes) on it and the other end will have Sugar Baby Watermelons.
While it was a very simple project – hammer in the t-posts and tie the cattle panel to the posts – it was a big step for us.
Those cattle panels are 16 feet long! Yeah…we couldn’t exactly pop those into the back of the mini van to bring them home. We actually had to pay to have them delivered. It’s like we’re a real farm or something! Ha!
Thankfully there were multiple videos available to tell us what to buy, how to set them up and even what handy little tool to wrap the wires around the posts and panel.
I’m so impressed with how they look and couldn’t wait to show you the final project.
As with any project, there were some really important tools that we needed to get the job done. I thought I’d share those with you today. (The picture and title are clickable. Links may be affiliate links that provide us with a small commission at no extra expense to you.)
The second tool I mentioned above is the Clip Bender. It’s specifically made to help wrap the t-post clips tightly and to secure them to the panels.
Of course you need to start with the cattle panels and t-posts to accomplish this kind of project. I’d suggest checking out your local Tractor Supply Company for those.
We were able to pot up 3 of the recent purchases we made for our fruit forest. Getting trees and plants into matching pots and lined up along the walkway make me a happy, happy gardener!
This is a Cranberry Hibiscus, Longevity Spinach and a Jamaican Cherry Tree.
We hope to have our Dwarf Everbearing Mulberry and Longan Berry Trees in pots by the end of the week, and to get the seeds started for a Red and a Yellow Roselle Hibiscus. I’m very excited to have all of these growing in our garden.
It’s called “The Summer of Me” not to enforce a totally selfish mindset, but to remind us that WE only accomplish what WE plan to accomplish. No one else can set our goals for us. They must be something we’ve determined through prayer, Bible study, advice from trusted counselors and the Holy Spirit’s leading.
This little planner has 3 month calendar pages:
14 weekly pages:
Several pages for notes, summer activities and a look toward the Fall, and a Daily planner layout for each page of the Summer.
It has everything you need to plan a great Summer and actually succeed at having one!
When you pick one up, I’d love it if you left a review – pro or con – whether you like it or not. This is my first foray into self-publishing and I’d really like to know what you think!
I was so intrigued by the lovely baby things in her shop that I contacted her to see if she would be willing to make something for Isaac.
Not only was she willing, but she also quickly sent us 3 handsome bibs for Isaac to try. I chose the Dr. Seuss print. You can see for yourself, they are fabulous!
Isaac looked so great in that yellow "Thing 1" print…or is it "Thing 2"???
Here are the other 2 prints: Rainbow and Red Thing 1…or 2.
Each bib has a very strong snap at the back. (Yay – no more tying on bandanas!) I have seen Isaac pull on these bibs, too, but he has not been able to unfasten the snap!
The back of each bib is "Oh So Soft Minky" which makes the bib incredibly soft and wonderfully absorbant. I have not seen any dribbles on Isaac's shirts while he was wearing these bibs.
He really seems to enjoy them. There is much less material bunched around his neck than with the usual bandanas.
Sally is giving my readers with special needs children a special deal, too!
She is offering us 1 bib for $9-$10, depending on the size. Isaac weighs almost 70 pounds, and his bibs measure as follows: 13 inches from the neck to the bottom tip and 15 inches around the neck opening. (This is substantially larger than her baby bib size, so that's good for those of us with big boys and girls!)
If you are interested in ordering a *special* bib from Sally, please email her at the email address on her business card above: email@example.com
Be sure to tell her that you read about her bibs on my blog!!!
I started blogging in 2007, which was a particulary difficult year for our family. I was just looking for a place to unwind, to share my thoughts and feelings, and to connect with other likeminded women.
I have been greatly blessed by the people I have met since then. I love my bloggy friends!
I also write about running a household, living with chronic conditions (fibromyalgia & osteoarthritis) and about our ongoing goal of fitness and health.
The writing that I am most passionate about is my A Door of Hope posts.
I reached a point in my life, when Isaac was so sick in 2007, that I felt absolutely hopeless. I had never experienced that kind of emptiness and pain before, and I was shocked and saddened by my inability to rise above those feelings.
So, I ran to God's Word, and I sunk myself into It to see what I could find about hope; and of course, the Bible's pages are brimming with verses and stories about the Hope that we can only find in God alone.
The Lord is so gracious and kind to give us all that we need to meet life's trials, when we read His Word. He wants our lives to be joyful and filled with hope.
As we come to know the character of God, we come to realize that as long as God lives, there is hope! It is ours for the asking, and it is bountiful and everlasting in its supply.