Black Gold

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This is my black gold (compost) from last year. It was a little wet, so I opened up the lids to my compost bins. Then the compost got a little too dry…LOL. Gardening is never boring.

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I used some of the compost to plant this years seeds the other night. It’s hard to find more nutritious soil. Looking forward to see them sprout in a few days. I really enjoy growing my own (and other peoples) food.

Do you have a garden? How is your spring gardening coming along? What are you planting this year?

Yours,

Maria

Planning 2017’s Garden, Part 2

My garden plans have progressed a little since last week. I’ve picked a good place for a garden with an abundance of sunshine, and I started to clear it from unwanted vegetation.

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The fence was covered by a thick layer of ivy. To utilize the space, and the sunshine, I had to take it all down. There’s still some more leveling that needs to be done before I can put in garden beds. This year they will be of a more permanent kind, made of wood. thequeensgarden-1The garden beds for my annual vegetables are going to be on the left side, then a green house, and a tool shed to the right (grey rectangle.) The whole area is going to be fenced in. The little tree between the greenhouse and the garden beds is a young nectarine tree that someone already planted there. Of course I’m keeping the nectarine tree.

My container garden is going to be along another fence line, slightly in front of the toolshed. (Container Garden: 6 Olive Trees, 4 Fig Trees, 1 Nectarine Tree, 1 White Peach Tree, 4 Elberta Peach Trees, 1 Pomegranate Tree, 1 Sweet Cherry Tree, 1 Wild Plum Tree, a bunch of 1-2 year old apple and pear trees of unknown variety.)

Within two weeks I’m going to start seedlings inside, and in the beginning of April I’m hoping to have the garden beds in place, and everything in the ground. The green house, and the toolshed will be a project for later this summer. I have an idea of what I want to grow in my garden beds (heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, corn, pumpkins, watermelons, zucchini, Sweet Bell Peppers, Jalapeno hot peppers, baby spinache, strawberries, blueberries, basil, cilantro, oregano, rosemary,) but I haven’t figured out exactly how I’m going to organize the crops. The whole garden area has sunshine all day long. (I live in USDA plant hardiness zone 9.)

Are you in the middle of planning a garden of your own? What are you growing in your garden? How do you go around planning what to grow where?  I’d love to hear about it!

I hope you’re having an awesome weekend!

Yours,

Maria

Planning 2017’s Garden

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I absolutely love this time of the year! The time to plan, and soon plant, a garden. It’s exciting times!

 

The photo above is of my daughter, super proud over her zucchini’s, that she grew all by herself. We are mostly into growing food, a lot of food. This morning I wrote a list of the container garden we have now, and the annual garden I want to plant this year. It’s all based on what we enjoy eating. We are not vegetarians, but we eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, because we like it! This is the list I came up with.

 

 

Container garden:

6 Olive Trees

4 Fig trees (2 one year old + 2 three year olds.)

1 Nectarine Tree (1 year old.)

1 White Peach Tree (2-3 year old.)

4 Elberta Peach Trees (1 year old.)

1 Pomegranate tree (2-3 year old? Maybe get a couple more for better pollination?)

1 Sweet Cherry Tree (2-3 year old. Maybe get one other variety? Usually a good idea for better fruiting.)

1 Wild Plum Tree (BIG, and very beautiful.)

A bunch of 1-2 year old apple and pear trees of unknown variety.

 

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Annual Vegetable Garden:

Heirloom Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes (LOTS, my daughter’s favorite vegetable..)

Corn (my daughter’s second favorite.)

Pumpkins

Watermelons

Zucchini

Sweet Bell Peppers

Jalapeno Hot Peppers

Baby Spinach

Strawberries

Blueberries

Basil

Cilantro

Should I ad something to my annual garden? What did I forget? (We live in hardiness zone 9, with long hot summers.) I always love new ideas!!

I am going to make a garden at a new location. So I have to figure out what kind of garden beds I want to have. Something I’m planning on dedicating this weekend to. I’d love ideas about that as well. Last year I made garden beds out of old tires. It worked, but I might try something different this year. I want a bigger garden! I do like the ideas of garden beds, I feel that it makes me more in control. Bring it on! I want to hear all about your successful garden tips!

Yours,

Maria

Merry Christmas!

Virginia Range Mustangs Wood Print featuring the photograph Virginia Range Mustangs by Maria Jansson

I wrote this motivating post about achievements, and goals, almost a year ago. With 2017 quickly approaching, it’s time to look over my long term goals, and see how they are progressing. Am I on the right path? Enjoy the post! The updates of my longterm goals are written in red, directly after the goals.

 

Designing Happiness 

Lately I’ve been thinking about who YOU are. I’m grateful that YOU found your way here, and I would love to get to know YOU. Who are YOU, amazing, awesome person that smile when you see my photos? And relate to my story? I believe you are a unique person that appreciate beauty, happiness, and the kind of ”not settling for the Joneses” kind of adventure. That’s why we connected? Right?

We’re more than half way through the first month of 2016. Everyone is starting out the new year with big, and bold new years resolutions. This year my only resolution is going to be; Say yes more, and be kinder. It may sound simple enough, but when you think about it, the two often contradict each other. Saying yes to others sometimes means that I am saying no to myself, and vice versa. My new years resolution is that I am going to try my best to find a balance. Saying yes to learning new things, and helping others, while staying true to the beliefs that I actually find worth fighting for. One of my tactics for knowing when it’s a good idea to say YES, is to make sure that I know where I’m coming from, and where I am going = my past achievements, and future goals.

 

Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design. – Jim Rohn

 

I’ve found that it is easier to stand straight, and look forward, when I’m clear about what I already achieved. Is it in line with what I want? Where I want to go?

If you try this method, be sure to turn the more challenging experiences of the past to your favor. (I’m certainly no saint, or perfect in any way.) The purpose of the exercise is to become happier, more focused, and motivated. A list of your ”failures” will not help you achieve that. Becoming a single mom was not in my plan, nether was a failed marriage, but by writing about what I actually overcame/learned from it, motivates me.

A year is a relatively short period of time, you can do this exercise on a yearly basis, but I found it more helpful to use it for a bigger picture. That’s why I am looking at the past five years, and the next five years to come. This is, even though they are personal, more general achievements and goals, that can be broken down in smaller pieces for shorter periods of time. I’m simply sharing them with you, because it’s part of a routine that helps me wake up happy every morning. That makes it possible for me to experience the”not settling for the Joneses” kind of adventures, and since you’re here I’m guessing that something that you have some kind of interest in, right?

 

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. Jim Rohn

 

My achievements the past five years:

Complete a University Education.

Get a well paid/fun job based on my education.

Quit the same job in pursuit of happiness.

Had the guts to change my universe by moving to another continent.

Learned to be more open to new things/possibilities.

Became fluid in written, and spoken English.

Overcame my strong dislike for weapons. (Something that have given me peace of mind, when I’ve spent time in wilderness areas. Even though I’ve only used it on rattle snakes a couple of times.)

Developed my skills as a photographer (camera use/editing/marketing/sales.)

Survived the first three years with a new baby, in a new culture, without a supportive network (doing so feeling good about my role as a mother.)

Learned more about living in the moment, and letting go of guilt, based on subconscious beliefs from my childhood.

Discovered what I need in a relationship, and what I don’t need. What I can contribute with, and what I am not willing to contribute with.

Gaining the trust of numerous rescue horses, and one wild horse.

Creating a system for passive income through my photography.

 
Equine Photography Wood Print featuring the photograph Happiness by Maria Jansson

 

Goals for my next five (now four) years:

Becoming a master of marketing my products! I am working on this. I need to continue working on it!

Improve my English skills further; grammar, and becoming a better story teller. I’ll let you decide about this one!

Grow my blog. Yes, to some degree my blog is growing. Thank YOU! I could, and I am going to work more on this 2017.

Create a positive cash flow to my business. Learn more about building a sustainable business, in todays ever changing world. Working on this. You have seen my new wood prints, right? I love them, and I am excited about this new venue!

Grow as a photographer by only working with the best (most suitable for me) equipment, explore extraordinary nature with my camera, participate in photography workshops etc. I did purchase a new camera body, and one good lens during 2016. I have been practicing different kinds of photography. I completed a photography/business class during 2016, that helped me to further niche  my business.

Live a full, satisfying life, with a positive partner, that I’m crazy in love with. A man that lifts me up, that I can respect, and support with all my heart. I know this is asking a lot…

Teach my daughter true values, and become an even better role model for her, by being happy, and living a full life. I can honestly say that I am working on this every day!

Become more fit and healthy every year. My daughter and I grew the majority of our food this summer. I’ve learned a lot about gardening this year. Fitness level is about the same as previous year..

Improve my communication skills. Oops, I need to work more on this!

Read more books. I’ve been committed to this during 2016. I plan on making time to continue expanding my references, and learning new things through books during 2017.

Publish and launch a best selling book. I am writing on my book! There’s a few more pages adding up every week!

Create an off grid homestead, in a place I love. Still in the planning stages of this one, BUT my plans are getting more specific by the week. I want to lay a solid foundation for success. That is what I am doing now. There’s so many variables to think of, and so many things to learn. Of course there’s also the financial side of it, to make the dream work longterm. I am getting closer to this goal!

 
Color Wood Print featuring the photograph Colorful Appearance by Maria Jansson

 

Your turn! I strongly encourage you to try this method. It doesn’t have to be about winning the Nobel Peace Prize, or getting an Oscar’s. It’s OK if you don’t share it with anyone, I usually don’t. If you do feel like sharing your game plan, please do! Sharing goals is one way to kick your own a**. It’s very likely that you will work harder when you’ve made your goals more definite.

 

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. – Jim Rohn

 

Do you already have a method that keeps you on the right track? Tell me about it in a comment!

 

Love & Light, Always, and a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Maria

PS. Having the last Jim Rohn quote in the back of my mind have helped me to stand up for myself more than once..

Winter Is Coming – Prepping My Garden For Colder Weather

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Fall is definitely here. I really like it. After surviving my first hot summer in the Sacramento Valley (CA,) the cooler weather is a gift. I do really enjoy gardening in this area, and I can handle the heat of the summer, but I LOVE fall. It’s still warm (around 80 degrees,) during the day time, but the mornings are in the 40’s now, and it cools off after 5pm (the hottest time during the summer months.) I love it! We are suppose to get rain this week, and highs in the upper 60’s. That’s like winter weather here..lol.

For about a months time I have been preparing my garden for this. I’ve built two greenhouses, and I’ve started to get them organized. At first I was thinking of having one greenhouse for vegetables, and one for fruit trees. I realized that I had so many fruit tree seedlings, that I had to move some of them into the greenhouse for vegetables, to make room for my potted olive trees. I have six potted olive trees. They would of survived outside if they were planted in the ground. Since they are in pots, they need to be more protected. With the cooler weather coming up, I moved them into their greenhouse this past weekend. They each weigh 100+lbs. I purchased a garden cart earlier this week, to be able to work smarter in my garden. Very thankful for that!

I tried to push the trees up onto the cart (having taken the sides off,) using a piece of wood as a bridge. At first it didn’t work, the cart kept moving away, when the tree was almost on it. I placed a heavy weight on the handle of the cart, in front of it, and I also asked my daughter to sit on the cart, to add more weight. That worked! It was still a real effort to get my six olive trees in place. Now they are all enjoying their new home.

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The last trees to go into the greenhouse will be my fig trees. I currently have four potted fig trees. Two of them are big, and will probably start to bear fruit next summer. Their beautiful leaves are starting to fall off, and I am going to wait with their move until they’ve dropped all their leaves. They don’t need light after they lost their leaves, but I don’t have any other place than the greenhouse to protect them from the elements. I’m thinking it will be OK, they will be in a non-heated greenhouse.

The newly planted tomatoes, squash, and bell peppers, are thriving in their greenhouse. Looking forward to see how they progress. I have not had vegetables throughout the winter before, but I am hoping to have that this year. That was a little update from my organic backyard garden. Do you have a garden? Tell me about your crops! If you have any tips for winter gardening, I’d love to hear it!

Have a wonderful day!

Yours,

Maria