My dad, Ken, is the man when it comes to all things garden and wine. Every year he has a huge garden full of garlic, potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes (just to name a few!), but the thing I love about his garden the most is when he uses his extra veggies to make homemade wine! He’s made every kind you can think of out of currants, blackberries and jalapenos, apples, apricots, and even tomatoes!
Unlike typical jam and jelly bread spreads this recipe is a sweet/tart mix. It’s a celebration of that time of year when the garden (or berry bush) is just bursting with freshness and our way of saying thanks to my dad for all the FREE homemade wine over the years.
Ok, it’s hot, here in Oklahoma and right when we were getting excited about the 70 and 80 degree weather! This is no longer the case, the hot dry wind of reality has started to blow. It caught me napping, I hope it didn’t catch you, but just in case here are a few pointers, learned the hard way, on how to beat the July heat, and help your garden out a little too.
I lost our entire batch of squash plants because I didn’t keep the watering as it needed. I’ll be replanting some myself. The pests look to be bad this year, so below I’ve attached a few links to some organic and natural pest fighting tools.
Enjoy, and keep those green thumbs growing!
From the Farm
Bath time has become a very busy time for us. We are learning to swim, and standup, and fall down, and standup, and fall down, and standup… Life is new, and marvelous, and wonderful. We are loving every new moment with our little ginger!
From the Farm
Our latest Creative Meetup was probably the most unorganized, and yet productive gathering thus far! We’ve struggled to remain inspired as we’ve tried to morph new ideas into possible business ventures. Instead of flushing out our initial creative sparks we’ve instantly come up with a 12 step program to “make it happen”. This whole process has left us completely overwhelmed and uninspired to move forward. This last Saturday we decided to throw all the “pressure” out the window, and get back to what we started with in the first place.
A meeting of friends.
Sharing creative ideas.
And seeing where this goes.
The front porch was our office and plush couches our launching pad.
We found DIY decorating and styling projects from the outside in.
Discovered classic recipes with a modern twist, healthy, and easy as toast.
Enjoyed residential design as a practical piece of art.
And, fell in love with a modist, energy efficient, and cost effective pre-fab home!
We don’t know exactly where this is going, but something in our bones tells us it’s good. Something in our spirit confirms that this is right and true. Something in our hearts says we must continue to dream, and let passion fuel our creativity. For when we take it upon ourselves to “make it happen” then it’s up to us to sustain it.
Purpose precedes design.
From the Farm
At the end of May we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary! We had been planning our first 24 hours without Baby James, and it turned into quite the adventure! Nestled in the basement of Cheever’s Cafe in Downtown OKC we sat with several other couples celebrating their anniversary as well. Drinking wine while attempting to eat our ice cream dessert, before it melted completely, we joked about at least this way we would die together?! We have really good Life Insurance (thanks Brad) so James would definitely be taken care of (Cale’s mom, our babysitter, didn’t think that was so funny!) . I know it sounds morbid, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.
After the tornadoes passed we made our way to the Skirvin. There was flooding all around the city so we had to watch out for down power lines and rushing waters. What was planned to be a romantic night turned into an apocalyptic-type adventure in the city. Oklahoma may not have giant mountains to climb or ocean waves to ride, but tornado season has proven to be quite the adrenaline rush (take that West Coast peeps!).
Nestled into our fancy hotel on the 9th floor (with AC!) we watched the world around us get a little dark and scary. We snuggled down and in between the latest HGTV Show (we don’t have cable so this was like Christmas to us!) we talked about some of our favorite memories together.
Memories like smoking a pipe on an inflatable river raft in California.
Constantly finding better ways to design our small farm house around our ever-growing family.
Moments where life was good, but still felt a little empty.
Projects we will NEVER volunteer for again (at least in July)!
Saying goodbye to our first baby, our handmade products.
Saying hello to our first real baby, James David.
Taking what feels like two steps back to move one step forward.
Being proud of our simple beginnings.
The past five years have been full of beautiful and hard moments. Moments of change and sacrifice. There have been days we have had to choose to love each other. Where love was raw, dry, and a bit bitter. Some days you give 90% and you get 10%. Others it’s 50/50. But we have found that when you push through the hard times, when you stick with it, and you work through it, when you walk through it together instead of alone you come out of it stronger, better equipped to take on future bumps in the road, and more appreciative of all that the other person brings to the table. It’s in that place that genuine love begins to flow fresh and new. It’s there you begin to see your lover through new eyes, and begin to fall for them all over again.
To be honest life is probably the simplest it’s ever been, and we don’t plan on changing that anytime soon. We have dreams and visions for new things, but we won’t let the pursuit of those dreams get in the way of enjoying life. Of enjoying our family. Of simply taking time to be in the moment, and being in the day to day. Green Couch Design might be changing, but the heart behind why we do what we do is the same. Our dream of designing and building a modern farm house gets closer everyday, and we love sharing our journey with you as business owners, designers, parents, and friends.
The good, the bad, and the sometimes awkward.
From the Farm
Our hearts and prayers truly go out to those who were affected by the storms this spring in Oklahoma. If you are able donate or volunteer you can find more information here.
A cool wet spring has given our garden here in Oklahoma a great start. I’ve barely watered yet… I say yet, because I have this gut feeling that mother nature is going to switch on the oven soon. That being said, it’s time to talk gardening again. Most plants have been planted very late this year due to the cool and almost fall type weather this spring so let’s keep the watering and the soil comments on the list. Keep in mind that very soon you will need to add a mid afternoon watering time to give your plants a little relief.
Good luck and keep up the green thumb practices. Don’t forget to check back with your planting schedule if you’re using Traditional Seed Company’s Online Garden Planner. These plans can be very helpful in organizing your next steps towards a great summer garden.
Also, don’t think that it’s too late to plant… As I mention above many warm weather plants can just now go it. Tomatoes, Okra, melons, and squash can all be planted now for great crops mid-summer.
From The Farm
Around here things feel like they are finally moving forward! It seems projects we have been waiting to start are finally underway and we couldn’t be more excited!
After several cold days, and then a few late, late, late frosts (May 4th, seriously?!!) I “think” it’s safe to say that spring is officially here!
We planted 40 tomato plants! I had to put Cale’s eyeballs back in their sockets when I told him how many plants I wanted to plant this year. Since I won’t be eight months pregnant (like last summer) I plan on canning my little heart out and stocking up good for the winter. Look for our “Canning with… Series” starting back up in June!
Remember our refrigerator that had to be held shut by a bungee cord? We’ll it’s moved to “The Shop” and been replaced by this beauty! We had some friends actually give us this one for FREE! What an amazing and totally unexpected blessing (Thanks Williamson Family)!
At 8 months old Little James is scooting/army crawling around and loving being outside. We’ve given up on trying to get him to stop eating the grass. After all, a little dirt is good for ya right?!
For Oklahoma the Irises are always a sign that spring is here! We planted these a few years ago from extra bulbs Cale’s Grandpa was splitting. They have gotten so tall that I can see them above the windows in our kitchen! Makes my heart happy and I love filling our home with fresh cut flowers from around the yard.
I think I have finally perfected one of our favorite breakfast dishes, a crustless quiche (based off of this recipe)! Gotta get in all the oven goodies I can before the summer heat sets in.
After five years of marriage we are repainting/updating our bedroom! I was super excited about this until the gray/purple color I picked out was actually lavender! Our house is so small that all the wall colors need to gel together otherwise things can get really out of hand. The new gray/purple choice, alongside the other rooms, is starting to make our home feel like a rainbow! Looks like I”ll be choosing a a new color direction (and starting over)!
Anyone wanna come over for a painting party?!
We had our first play date in the water on the front lawn! What started as a fun way for the kids to cool off ended with our little niece running around butt naked and James completely soaked and muddy. I’m not gonna lie, I definitely felt like ” The Cool Mom”!
And finally, the chicken coop is completed! This used to be the old hen house where they would raise baby chicks. Cale cut a door in the back end and created a little run for our chickens. After loosing one chick to a big snake we’ve already had to face the good and the bad side of having real animals on The Farm. Cale reminded me that I need to get used to it since I’ve already made plans for owning bees, pigs, etc. Becoming a mom has definitely made me a softy so I’m gonna have to put on my big girl
panties boots if I want to be a legit country girl!
What spring projects have you accomplished thus far? Are you feeling caught up yet or still falling behind?
From The Farm
I get inspired by people who enjoy the process. There is something fun and beautiful about making something with your hands. Sometimes we let a lack of resources stop us from enjoying the creative process, but often times, if we actually slow down, we will notice that the tools we need are all around us.
“…a directing team working in film, art, community building, and agriculture …their unorthodox, hands-on working style often includes direct creation in all aspects of production – writing, designing, painting, sculpting, animating, photographing, directing, editing, composition, and scoring.” – Encyclopedia Pictura
“They are passionate about gardening, farming, construction, villages, augmented reality, science visualization, social ecology, technological empowerment, adventure, and country living.” - Encyclopedia Pictura
Sounds like the kind of people we’d like to be friends with!
Number two, “Camping Rafts”, is my personal favorite. There is something very quaint and magical about chilling on the water with a good friend and tasty snacks.
What’s your favorite Fortrait in the series? What about it inspires you?
From The Farm
You know it’s wedding season when your mail box is full of wedding and shower invites. Some of our dear friends are getting married in May and recently bought their first home. We wanted to do something special to help them celebrate so we threw them a DIY Around the House Couple’s Shower. We really tried to think through the decor and made sure that everything we created for the decorations was something the couple could turn around and use in their new home.
Of course what new home isn’t full of paint swatches, brushes, paint cans, stir sticks, and messy floors? We loved the paint chip garland tutorial found here but instead of getting out the sewing machine we just used a glue stick.
For an afternoon Sunday shower we wanted to keep the food simple and sweet. We decided to do a cookie bar (complete with cold whole milk of course!) and asked a few close guests to share a batch of homemade cookies.
The large paint swatches (found for FREE at your local paint store) worked great as simple ways to label each platter and table activities.
Each table was furnished with a house plant and brown kraft paper painted with teal and purple smudges. We wanted to come up with a fun way to encourage guest interaction. Each table was assigned a different activity and guests were encouraged to move from table to table throughout the shower.
HIM Table: Guests were asked to write “tips and tricks on how to love a man” on blue paint swatches for the wife to be.
- HER Table: Guests were asked to write “tips and tricks on how to love a woman” on purple paint swatches for the husband to be.
DATEGAME NIGHT Table: Guests were asked to choose a month out of the couples first year of marriage to host the newlyweds. Mickey and Reagan love spending time with their friends and playing games. This was a fun way to keep in touch with friends and a creative solution for inexpensive date nights throughout their first year of marriage. We printed this lovely 8.5 x11 2013 calendar here and had guests write down what month they would host the newlyweds.
- BLESSINGS Table: Guests were asked to write marriage advice and/or prayers for the couple.
Notice the handmade burlap pillows? One of them says “lets make…” while the other pillow says “pie” on one side and “whoopie” on the other. I’ve seen this done with “coffee” and “love” before as well. Either way, it’s a really cute way to customize a gift that relates to the couple’s since of humor. Find a basic tutorial here.
Overall it was a wonderful afternoon and we enjoyed blessing our friends with love and good things for their life together as a married couple. The shower was perfectly simple and definitely made for easy cleanup.
From The Farm
* Review more work like this and others by visiting our graphic design portfolio at Green Couch Design.
This is the third year we’ve hosted a birthday for our good friend Scott. I don’t know why it takes people asking us before we actually slow down and “plan” something at our place (we need to work on that) but it was a blast! Instead of the typical burgers and dogs we wanted to switch things up a bit. We knew there would be meat eaters and vegetarians attending the party so we decided a grilled cheese bar would do just the trick! I found 9 fancy grilled cheese recipes here and based my toppings off of the ones that looked good to me. Even though everyone had to wait some for their sandwiches they were well worth the wait! Everyone LOVED the entire process and kept coming back for seconds (and thirds!).
Our top favorite toppings from the night included:
- Banana Peppers & Jalapenos
- Provolone & Swiss Cheese
- Summer Sausage (sliced thin)
- Bacon (of course)
- Green Apples (sliced thin)
Our Grilled Cheese Grill Party was definitely a family friendly way to create something for everyone’s taste buds! Plus, if our guests didn’t like their sandwiches we could blame it on the fact that they got to choose their own dang toppings!
cheese everyone! Spring is here.
From The Farm