Gardening Confession

by Becky Elmuccio on October 19, 2014


It’s was a tough summer for our garden. Between me being back at work full time and the winter that we had, things were either blooming too much or not at all. I figured I’d give an honest recap of our garden as we set about developing a plan to have a working kitchen garden with two working parents in our house next year. We can’t be alone in this endeavor and I hope to shed some light on how it can be done as we do it.

Winter Damaged Fig Tree - Crafty Garden Mama

First up is the fig tree. Oh, the poor fig tree. One of many that suffered from the harsh winter that we had in South Jersey, this poor guy was black and leafless for much of the spring. But, as the summer continued, I began to notice some leaves sprouting at the base. Recently, I was at Fordhook Farm at a luncheon for Burpee Seed Company, and I asked their fruits and perennials head what to do. Venelin said to cut the tree down to the point where the leaves were and keep them warm this winter. With the possibility of our first frost emerging this September, trim away I did and I have already set up the burlap to load in the leaves as they start to fall.

Neglected Tomato Bed - Crafty Garden Mama

Neglected Veggie Beds

Welcome to the beds. Oh the poor forgotten beds. The asparagus were affected by the cold too and we barely had any to enjoy this spring. I’ll give them another year to see how they do and if they don’t bounce back, I’ll order a new set. The tomatoes did ok, but we were so bad about picking stuff that the rabbits and squirrels truly enjoyed their organic dining experience this summer. The blackberries are getting trimmed back and posts put in order to make them more manageable next year. We grew grass really well in the bed at the top right!

Back Section - Crafty Garden Mama

The back corner and the new beds that I cleared last year were completely run over by grass and weeds. I have some serious pulling to do and there are some squash and pumpkins growing somewhere in there.

Peonies and Hydrangeas - Crafty Garden Mama

Hydrangeas and peonies were also hit hard by the winter and I am looking to transplant these away from the house to let them get some more sunshine and not have their root systems abutting my foundation. There are a ton of bulbs in here that also need relocating before the weather turns.

Front Lawn - Crafty Garden Mama

Grass seed will be the big ticket for the front lawn next year as it continued to languish. I think the share cast by the big tree in the front is a big factor, but I am hoping to remedy it.

Crape Myrtle - Crafty Garden Mama

So, what did do well this year? Our front crape myrtle was fantastic. This is the first year that ours bloomed like crazy and at the same time as the others on the street. In years past, we have always been 2-3 weeks behind on blooming.

We’ll be retooling what we do and how we do it for next year. I’ll be bringing you some details about the new 2015 Burpee seeds that I got a sneak peek at this past August. There are a ton that will help us out with our more limited gardening time, but still have great yields. Stay tuned!


International Can-It-Forward Day

by Becky Elmuccio on August 16, 2014


Can It Forward Day

We are canning newbies. For all the love of eating and living local, I have never canned before today. We’ll be cataloging our efforts today over on Instagram and following the live webcast from Jarden Home Brands for International Can-It-Forward Day. You can follow along here too by clicking on the video below. It starts at 10 am today and will include demonstrations from celebrity chef Hugh Acheson, Marisa McClellan from Food In Jars, and craft ideas for ways to use mason jars for home decor. I hope some of you can step out of your comfort zone and try something new in canning to help preserve the in-season harvest! Enjoy!


Ball Brand #CanItForward Giveaway

August 13, 2014

  On Saturday August 16, Jarden Home Brands will host the first annual International Can-It-Forward Day with special guest renowned chef and Bravo’s Top Chef judge, Hugh Acheson! A day to celebrate home canning, International Can-It-Forward Day allows food enthusiasts to connect via a variety of online and in-person activities. New and experienced canners can […]

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The Spring that Sprung

May 26, 2014

  How has everyone been? It’s been about two months since my last post and I wanted to check in with everyone. It has been an exciting and busy spring here. I’m sorry that I haven’t been around as much, but posts will be emerging soon as we transition into June. So, where have I […]

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Why the quiet?

March 24, 2014

I just wanted to pop in and give a quick update on why it has been so quiet here as of late. I have recently begun a new job, still in social media, but my focus is on that at this time. I will be popping in from time to time with some product reviews […]

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Tuesday Greens #63

March 11, 2014

  Welcome to Tuesday Greens #63! The weather is perking up here in NJ and I am starting to have some ideas about what to do in the garden this year. I think our main project will be eliminating the hedges in front of the house, one by one. It’ll be time consuming, but a […]

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Tuesday Greens #62

March 4, 2014

I am seeing higher temperatures later in the week and spring may just be in the air! My friend, Lauryn from The Vintage Mom, shared a great post here last week about Choosing a CSA and I can almost taste fresh fruit and veggies that are locally grown. Definitely check out her tips if you […]

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GE reveal LED Light Bulb Review

February 28, 2014

  Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was sent a GE reveal® LED bulb for review, but all opinions are my own. Earlier this year, I ran a giveaway for the new GE reveal® LED lightbulbs. We were sent a set to try out at our house and see what a difference it made in our […]

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Choosing Your CSA

February 26, 2014

I am so excited to have one of my good friends, Lauryn from The Vintage Mom, guest blogging today! She is a wife, mom of three, social media maven and locavore. Today’s she is sharing tips for choosing your CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and I hope you learn a lot from her post. Enjoy! So […]

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Tuesday Greens #61

February 25, 2014

Welcome to Tuesday Greens #60! I apologize for the delay in getting the post up this morning. I was at a meeting last night to discuss shopping local in one of our area towns. Shopping small and local has been of great importance for us. We value using our dollars locally and appreciate that we […]

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