Check out what we’ve been growing!

Has it really been 3 months since we’ve posted?! Let’s just say life got pretty busy this summer.

June had us going in every direction for baseball. Work was also crazy as we added two new hires and put on our 2nd annual summer conference for educators. I didn’t have much time to get out in the gardens though there wasn’t much happening in the gardens. Surprisingly, my bee balm didn’t return this year. I’ll need to research why this happened though I think it may be overcrowding by lemon balm and the cleome spider flowers.

But as the summer heat began to roll in come July, we got some exciting news about a surprise that has prolonged my absence form the gardens, and almost everything else.

We’re expecting Camp baby #4! Baby Camp is expected to arrive in mid/early March!

Though this pregnancy has been the roughest, with 3 months of queasy nausea–something I never really had with pervious pregnancies–we’re all so excited. Grace is beyond excited, praying for a girl and constantly giving belly kisses. Jr. is praying for a boy and no longer being outnumbered by girls, and Ella is the only one that has said she’ll help change diapers 🤣.

With all the nausea, I really haven’t been outside much as the heat makes me feel awful, so does reading, driving, the smell of just about everything–poor Sr. has about 7 new deodorants he can’t wear because I can’t stand them and he’s running our of options 🤣🤷🏻‍♀️.

I’ve been so thankful to the Norris family for taking care of the big garden and bringing us harvests as they get them. Clint has gotten so into it all, he’s taking over the design and early prep for the garden for next year, more on that in another blog.

My MIL Becky has also been helpful and either pulls weeds or clips blooms for a vase every time she comes over. Check out this bouquet she took home a few weeks ago:

This week, I enter the 2nd trimester and hopefully the nausea subsides and I can get back outside. I’m itching to work on the house gardens and fill the porches with mums–my favorite. I’ve taken a few pictures the few times I’ve been outside this summer of some of the blooms I’ve found. The Cherry-frost climbing roses are about as tall and me and the zinnias are blooming away in the cut flower garden. My gladiolus bulbs must not have been planed deep enough because they shot out leaves but no floral stems and the wildlife has enjoyed my sunflowers (they new got higher than a foot), most of the cosmos… and eventually the dahlias. I did manage to make a few bouquets in early August and have plenty of zinnias to make more. Next year I’ll have to create either a greater barrier or pick more animal resistant varieties.

So excited to continue to share our journey with y’all!


My Top Ten Favorite Things of Summer 2020! 😄

By Ella Camp, age 8

This week is the first week of Fall and you can tell. The weather is getting colder here. We went to my sister’s soccer game on Saturday morning and I was FREEZING! To celebrate the official end of summer, here are my top 10 favorite things about this past summer:

  1. On my neighbors birthday we did a hundred foot slip and slide with tons of dish soap! (see video at the bottom of the post)
  2. We made slime!
  3. We did summer crafts!
  4. We made popsicle stick superheros!
  5. We went school supply shopping!
  6. We slept in late!
  7. We had sleepovers!
  8. We played with our neighbors!
  9. We made rubber band bracelets!
  10. We stayed up late!



Our first egg!!!!

This evening, while cleaning the coop we found our first egg!

The kids wanted to know who’s butt it came out of. It’s a small egg so Ella said “It must be a small butt! Small butt, small egg!” 🤣 I can’t wait to see if there are more tomorrow!!!!


The Snake

By Brian Camp, age 10

Earlier this week, I was playing with my sisters, Ava ,and Vinny. They were running around the yard catching butterflies. Ella was about to step in our flower bed when she thought there was a stick on the ground. Suddenly she screamed as loud as she could, “Snake!”

My Mom jumped up, she was working on the deck with her computer, and told me to get the shovel from the shed. She said I needed to walk around the deck to bring her the shovel so I didn’t scare the snake and she could kill it.

When I handed her the shovel I said, “Don’t kill it unless it’s a poisonous snake! if it’s a garter snake we should let Andrew have it!” My friend Andrew has been wanting a garter snake forever. Mom said she didn’t know what kind of snake it was so Andrew better get here fast or it was going to be a DEAD snake. Mom texted Andrew’s mom and they headed right over–they live just up the street.

When Andrew got here, he looked at the snake and said it was a garter snake.. he was 99% sure and he said it’s harmless. He went to grab it but Mom made him put on gloves. So I gave him. moms rubber garden gloves and then he grabbed a pole off the deck. He put a pole on top of the snake and then he grabbed the snake behind the head and picked it up. Mom screamed. then took some pictures.

Andrew’s mom showed up and Andrew walked back to his house with the snake. At Andrew’s house, we made it a big cage. He was going to name him Fang but chose Slitherin instead. Then we played. That’s it.



This week on the Half-ass Homestead June 22-28, 2020

Grace has taken to driving the hens around… not sure if they like it as much as she does 🤣

The past two weeks have been busy one on the home front and with work for me. It’s weeks like these that I’m thankful to be doing this whole garden homesteading thing with the Norris family.

Work has ramped up between creating two online courses, preparing for our first virtual summit for educators, and meeting with customers to plan for next school year, I feel like I’ve been glued to my MacBook for two weeks straight. And, though Brian Sr. had a couple of days where he started to feel better, he quickly took a turn down hill with severe pressure and nausea. We’re hoping for more answers and relief next week given this new medicine he’s on. On top of that, I’ve discovered I’m now allergic to poison ivy (turns out it’s bound to happen when you spend three weekends with a weed eater killing that stuff). So much itching!

Last week I didn’t get out to the garden once but often looked out the window and would see Clint and Vinny watering the garden, hanging with the hens, or eating lettuce and spinach off the plant. Grace, Ella, and Brian Jr. often joined them. They even dropped off some radish on Father’s Day! So grateful for them!

The kids tried radish for the first time, Grace was the only one who liked it even a little. I really enjoy some fresh slices on my sandwich but look forward to a few suggestions from some of our Facebook friends, especially roasting them!

By the time I got out to the garden this Friday, it was in desperate need for some harvesting! It’s amazing how much of a different the grass mulch has made for our crops!

Tarin, who has been busy with work herself, joined Ella and I in the garden for some picking. We got quite a haul!

On Saturday, we harvested rhubarb and I picked up some straw to recover our walking paths. Grace took pictures:

It’s about time for a second planting of carrots and some other crops. I’ll have to do some research on what would be good to plant.

Sunday, I spent time in the house gardens, adding cobblestone to a some of the paths, and reconfiguring the front garden by removing a bush and widening the area around our front outdoor table. I plan to add stone or pea gravel to level the space out.

While I worked, Sr. relaxed inside, the girls played by the creek catching salamanders and Brian Jr. played ball in the yard and took breaks to play guitar for the hens. It may be a little crazy, but life on the homestead is good!


  • Lately on the Homestead: Backyard Reno
    Last summer, despite Sr.’s disapproval, I put a pool up. He was against the idea for two reasons 1. He’s not a fan of pools(unless there’s a slide going into the pool, he doesn’t see the point) and thinks they attract mosquitos. 🙄 2. He thought I’d ruin the grass. While it didn’t attack mosquitos, … Read More
  • Nursery Reveal!
    It’s been nearly three months since we’ve brought Bladen home and I’m excited to finally share my new favorite room in our home! The nursery took me much longer to put together than nurseries in the past, in part due to lack of energy and in part due to putting together some special touches, like … Read More
  • Meet the newest member of the Camp family
    Nearly three months ago we anxiously awaited the arrival of March. Not only would we be welcoming the newest member of our family to the world, but I’d also have 6 weeks of maternity leave and the plans I had to do with my time were endless! One of which was to get back on … Read More
  • On the homestead today
    It’s cool and cloudy here so I’m in the gardens getting dirty—planting new plants and taming old ones.4 years ago there were just 3 poppies on this plant, look how many this year! It’s my favorite plant and blooms around Memorial Day each year.
  • Quick update..finally!
    Check out this video update on what’s been happening and the huge garden renovation this year!

Watermelon Lemonade: The Perfect Drink for this Summer!

Y’all! There seriously couldn’t be a better summertime lemonade!

We have been so blessed these past few weeks after Brian Sr.’s brain surgery with dinners and treats from friends, neighbors, and family. The food has been delicious. One of our favorites was a taco dinner Bridgette made for us, complete with a cold pitcher of watermelon lemonade.

This lemonade was everything y’all! It was pretty–a sunset pink with little slices of lemon and chunks of watermelon. It was also simply delicious. We sucked it down before the day was over.

Sr. was still in the ICU and didn’t get to enjoy the lemonade with us so this weekend I decided to try and recreate it. I texted Bridgette for the recipe but there wasn’t one. She totally winged it! Bridgette did share what she could remember of how she made it so the girls and I took that and ran with it.

Now I have to be honest, Bridgette’s recipe included fresh squeezed lemons and organic cane sugar… I didn’t have enough lemons to make lemonade so I just used good ole Country Time lemonade mix–a pantry staple in our house when the weather is warm. We also added a garnish of lemon balm from the garden!

Watermelon Lemonade Recipe

Prep Time: 10 – 15 minutes

This recipe uses 3 parts lemonade, one part watermelon juice. You can use whatever lemonade recipe you prefer–whether fresh squeezed or premixed.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ripe watermelon
  • 3+ cups of your favorite lemonade
  • Lemon slices (optional)
  • A few leaves of lemon balm (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make your lemonade. You’ll need at least 3 cups.
  2. Cut and juice the watermelon. You’ll need at least on cup of watermelon juice and a few cubes for garnishing your lemonade. To juice you can take what pools form cutting the watermelon, or you can make juice by placing watermelon in a cup or bowl and mashing it with a fork. Strain the watermelon juice into a measuring cup.
  3. Mix lemonade and watermelon juice in a pitcher – 3 parts lemonade and 1 part watermelon.
  4. Garnish with lemon slices, cubes of watermelon, and lemon balm leaves.

Voila! Serve chilled or over ice.



Peaches

by Grace, age 5

Peaches are the best thing in my life!

My garden’s 🍑s will be so sweet. when we eat then we will get the seeds and replant them so we can have more and more. We have a 🍑 tree 🌳 we planted it for my Opie, he died. I really wish we could have showed him, but we can’t. Mom say’s Opie would be proud.

Me nest tot he peach tree holding our first strawberry

I can’t wait to eat the the peaches from our tree. I want to make peach smoothies, peach pie, peach juice, eat them frozen and eat them fresh, maybe even in a salad! We also have strawberries and blueberries, which will be yummy with peaches. Peaches are good no matter how you eat them. But maybe not with onions and carrots 🤮

My Dad loves peach cobbler! I’m sure all my people love peaches too–Grandma, Papa, Opa, Gigi, Papa David, Aunt Rosey, Mr. Paul and Rachel….

Thats all about peaches.

Okay, bye!


This week on the Half-ass Homestead | May 31-June 1, 2020

The week Brian Sr. came home from his brain surgery and we were blessed with so much help on the Camp Farm from mowing the yard to delicious dinners. Honestly, I haven’t had to think about dinner all week. It’s been glorious, and super helpful as I pick up Sr.’s activities. So. much. laundry. We are so thankful for the continued support. Check out these awesome cookies my friend and colleague, Kyle made and sent to us from Houston!

As for Sr., it’s been pretty rough with severe nausea and pain. Mornings are the worst for him and walking is still pretty taxing as his neck is regaining strength and balance is still off. He’s supposed to work up to walking 5 miles a day. The first day he could gather strength to get out side and walk, he only made it across the street and back. We have a long way to go but each day he makes it a little further down the neighborhood and this weekend, he was able to walk with out his walking stick.

Ella and Grace have been playing entrepreneur all week, with an “Amazon delivery” adventure and having lots of meetings. It’s quite the business of the future. I don’t even have to order the items, the just show up in bags with “invoices”. And they are things I love, like my favorite books or high heels from my closet. 🤣

Little Miss Grace has gotten quite good on a bike and earned herself a shiny new one! And Jr. finally earned enough to get his new bike–thanks to his cat sitting job and helping in the yard and garden.

The hens continue to grow and have proven themselves capable of being able to roam free in the back yard mostly un supervised… I guess this means they’re now free range!

In the gardens, plants have been loving the sunshine this week. We’ve seen tons of growth in both the house gardens and big garden. My favorite peonies came into bloom and Ella and Grace helped me make a trellis for the peas and to support the green beans.

With all the extra sun, the soil in our growing rows was starting to dry out and crack. We hadn’t gotten around to adding mulch to the rows, or even deciding what kind of mulch we’d use, so I added grass clippings from our last mow. I’m hopeful this will be a good, free, solution.

Grace found our first strawberry and the girls helped me pull seeds out of a few melons and cucumbers for later planting since our first round of them didn’t take after all the heavy rains a few weeks ago. My sweet friend, neighbor, and fellow gardener, Amiée, brought us a few of her extra cucumber plants as well as a few extra goodies! I mean, I couldn’t be more excited about this book, y’all!


Our First Strawberry!

by Grace, age 5

Yesterday I was in the big garden with my Mom and I found a strawberry! It was not attached to the plant anymore, I guess maybe Vinny picked it. I don’t know how it could have grown not on the plant.

Our first strawberry!

The strawberry was a little bit tiny and red. We took it inside and washed it off. Mom said it was a little too ripe and we shouldn’t eat it. I’m so excited for more strawberries to come! And for the peaches and blueberries to come too! The blueberry bushes have lots of flowers that are almost going to grow to blueberries. We don’t have peaches yet but Momma bought some at the store.

Me by our peach tree with my strawberry

When we get more strawberries we will wash them and eat them. We can make strawberry pie, strawberry cake… I had strawberry cake for my graduation. Did you know I graduated pre-school?! I’m going to Kindergarten next year! I’ll get to ride the bus with Ella and Brian. I’m so excited!

Okay, bye!

*This post was dictated with an app by Grace and edited for spelling and punctuation (and a little bit of clarity) by Mom.