Mom at home scientist

Ecology of my motherhood; analyzed, frugal, and (mostly) natural.


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Eviction Notice Served- To The Ants

It really must be spring, as the ants had returned this week. This time the ante was upped; from small sugar ants to large carpenter ants. Ugh!!! They were everywhere… my kitchen, living room, dining room, climbing on me while I was nursing my daughter. Last year, I tried putting down a chalk border line as my mother in-law had heard that they wouldn’t cross it. Numbers may have dropped but it didn’t STOP them. I can’t get chalk everywhere anyways. So I was checking Facebook early Sunday morning before church and came across a blog entry by the Thrifty Couple regarding ants.. so I combined several of these ideas in a spray bottle and misted the entrances to my house before walking out the door. I am pleased to say that I have not seen any additional intruders since then.

Ant Eviction Spray

2 C. White distilled vinegar
3 small bay leaves
5 drops cinnamon essential oil
5 drops peppermint essential oil
5 drops clove essential oil

Throw these all in a spray bottle, remember to label your bottle, and have fun with the eviction. Bonus, the house smells a lot better too!


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My Ohio Garden Chores in Late April

What I am doing for my garden update:

1) I cut a sweet potato in half today (from last year’s garden) and I am letting the cut cure. Then I will place the cut directly on soil in a pot inside the house. It will go wild with shoots, which I will snap off of the tater and put in a water vase. Within two weeks of that it will have rooted sufficiently and it should be ready to plant… I do this bare rooted.They are pretty temperature sensitive though, so be careful of your timing on planting in the garden. I also like them in containers for trailing foliage.

2) Dear hubby bought me seed potatoes, grade A. So I will have to cut them up and let them cure after rolling them in sulfur, to prevent rotting, for a couple of days. Then they will get planted every 1.5 ft apart in a deeply worked row of the garden that usually gets infringed by shade earlier in the fall, due to the seasonal changing sun position. It won’t bother them though as they will have died off around that time already.
I actually prefer grade B potatoes as they are smaller and then you don’t have to cut and cure them, just plant them as they come.

3) I am still running wheelbarrow loads of rabbit manure to the garden and covering the soil with a tarp to warm it up, speed up mulch breakdown and cut down on weeds.

4) Dear hubby also picked up a cold-frame from the side of the road meant for trash pick-up (old windows on frame still) and I will start lettuce and mustard greens asap under it.

5) Looming clean-up remains for the strawberry bed for spring production… I’ve been considering scrapping them for all the work and little produce you get if you try to do them organically here in Ohio… and I want a sweeter variety. Any suggestions?

6) I am still removing Sun-chokes/Jerusalem artichokes and feeding them to my rabbits. I’d like to move them all down to the creek-side since they are native, and let them do their thing down there…

7) If you haven’t done it already,  get a soil testing kit at a greenhouse to see how your proposed garden area needs amended (what you need to add to it). Grab Jerry Baker’s Garden Secrets for do-able natural amendments… though I’m not too convinced on the  efficacy of his tonics.

Oregon Trail Dairies Deliver

I did a Google search on our family farm, Billanjo Dairy, yesterday and found this news article which briefly mentions our family raw milk dairy farm, along with several others. These are specifically ones in the Klamath and Rogue Valleys of Southern Oregon.