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The Gypsy Homestead

~All Good Things Are Wild And Free~

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The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for Saturday March 27, 2021

The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for March 27, 2021:
Stop the repeating patterns. The Moon remains in Virgo where she creates mostly stressful reactions. If you are using old ways of responding, such as, control, anger, or abdication it's time to level up and work through difficulties with a positive attitude. Be a part of the solution today rather than piling on more stress. Higher personal vibrations mean new ways of flowing through life's lessons. Visualize the outcome you want today and then work towards getting that outcome. If everything is working well then this day is great for finishing projects or finally clearing out those things you no longer need.
Don't overthink everything under this lunar signature. Virgo Moon would rather focus on your health and help you break up with old, unhealthy habits. So be it. Keep it simple this evening with a cozy time at home. The key is to create balance and harmony amongst all the changes that are taking place in the outer world. At 10:22 pm (PDT/USA + 8 hrs UK) the Moon will enter friendly Libra. Then, we'll get back on track with romance and teamwork. Before you go to bed ask yourself what things about yourself you learned this week. You might be surprised.
You may want to work with Lapis Lazuli as way to set up optimum good vibes for Sunday's Full Moon in Libra. It can draw in prophetic dreams and a bit of good magic under the Moon's light. It also supports rising above pettiness. The scent of Cedar blends with this stone.
As always if you'd like a personal Tarot Reading you can contact me via my website at www.TheGypsyHomestead.com
 
May be an image of text that says 'Everything that happens to you is your teacher. The secret is to learn to sit at the feet of your own life and be taught by it. -Polly B. Berends'

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The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for Friday March 26, 2021

The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for March 26, 2021
The meaning of the Sun/Venus conjunction
The Sun will conjoin Venus in Aries at 2:58 am EDT on Friday March 26, but the two brilliant and bright planetary bodies have been within a degree all week. The Sun and Venus collide about every 9-1/2 months: once when Venus appears to be at its closest point to Earth when retrograde, and once when Venus is at its farthest point when traveling direct. From our perspective, the Sun appears to be between Venus and the Earth and there is a culmination of sorts - an awakening and illumination of the interconnectedness of all humans.
With the Sun and Venus both in Aries, the sign of the individual, this idea of interconnectedness must acknowledge the fact that we are all separate humans with our own unique viewpoints and destinies. This in fact is the theme of the upcoming Libra Full Moon, so we will be observing these themes for much of the week. Somehow we must find a way to achieve self-satisfaction and the thrill of our own unique adventure while at the same time bringing a sense of balance and harmony to all of our interpersonal relationships. There is also a need now to readjust and integrate our values and our own self-esteem into our conscious awareness so that we are better served by these important ideas.
As always if you'd like a personal Tarot Reading you can contact me via my website at www.TheGypsyHomestead.com
 
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Delicious Homemade Sloppy Joe Mix

Delicious Homemade Sloppy Joe Mix!  For more recipes you can follow me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheGypsyHomestead 

May be an image of food and text that says 'HOMEMADE SLOPPY JOES 2 pounds ground beef 1 medium onion 1 green bell pepper 1/2 cup celery 1 can tomato sauce 1 can tomato paste 3/4 cup ketchup 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon worcestershire 2 tablespoons brown sugar'

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The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for Friday March 26, 2021

The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for March 26, 2021:
Venus and the Sun join up in Aries to say let's get going on those new plans. But, the Moon in Virgo holds us back by not being able to fully commit to big changes. That's okay. Go at your own pace. Take this time to revisit and recheck your plans. Then, check to make sure your intuition and heart have also signed on to them. New starts can come in two weeks with the New Moon. Finish projects that are already in the works this weekend and get ready to celebrate the Full Moon in Libra on Sunday. In other words, chill a bit and do not let the nervous tension of today's Virgo Moon push you around.
Health issues can be addressed today with changes in self care and diet. Virgo Moon loves to keep meals simple and pure. With the help of Uranus you can break bad habits starting today. Make the choice to succeed. To help you stay in charge of your own energies use the scent of Bergamot and the crystal called Prehnite. This stone helps you say no to stress, overthinking, or unreasonable demands. It also helps with detoxing and lowers blood pressure. Stay in your high vibes today!
The planets are settled in their current signs for the rest of the month. Only the Moon will change signs every few days.
Sun: Aries,
Mercury: Pisces,
Venus: Aries,
Mars: Gemini,
Jupiter: Aquarius,
Saturn: Aquarius,
Uranus: Taurus,
Neptune: Pisces,
Pluto: Capricorn.
As always if you'd like a personal Tarot Reading you can contact me via my website at www.TheGypsyHomestead.com
 
May be an image of sky and text that says 'I I am moving forward toward my highest and greatest good. I am releasing everything that no longer serves me. am open to receive. am free. am Healing Energy Tools'

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Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Brookies

Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Brookies
Ingredients:
1 (10oz) bag of brownie mix (plus the oil & egg to make the batter)
1 (6 pack) Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (12 cups total)
1 (16oz) package of refrigerated cookie dough
Instructions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a regular size muffin tin.
Prepare the brownie mix according the package directions; set aside.
Separate the cookie dough into 12 even balls and then squish them down into the bottom of each muffin cup.
Place a Reese's peanut butter cup upside down on top of the cookie dough.
Evenly distribute the brownie batter on top of each peanut butter cup until the wells are about 90% full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the brownie batter is cooked through.
Allow them to cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the pan, and then enjoy while they are still warm.
 
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The Gypsy Homestead Full Moon Astro-Vibe for Thursday March 25, 2021

The Gypsy Homestead Full Moon Astro-Vibe.
On March 28th, 2021 we have a Full Moon in Libra, one of the most intense Full Moons of the year.
The Full Moon is at 8° Libra, and Sun, Venus and Chiron are all conjunct very very tightly at 8° Aries, opposing the Moon.
The Full Moon is trine Mars in Gemini and Saturn in Aquarius and forms a beautiful aspect pattern called “Kite”.
If you look at the chart of the Full Moon in Libra you will see a kite-shaped pattern with the Moon at the base, and the Sun, Venus and Chiron heading upwards.
The Moon in Libra is the propeller of this kite, guiding its moves. Sun, Venus and Chiron are at the apex – finding new avenues of creative expression.
The Moon is in Libra, and Libra is the sign of relationships. Moon in Libra is very accommodating and quickly picks on the moods and needs of others.
The Full Moon in Libra opposite the planets in Aries will create a conflict between (...)
As always if you'd like a personal Tarot Reading you can contact me via my website at www.TheGypsyHomestead.com
 
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Delicious Doritos Chicken Casserole!!!!

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For this and many other recipes follow me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheGypsyHomestead 

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The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for Wednesday March 24, 2021

The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for March 24, 2021:
Planetary meetups create tension during the early hours of the day. Stubborn reactions to sudden issues or mistakes can upset plans or make work twice as difficult. Step back and remember that clarity brings better answers than anger. The Cosmos is asking us know what is best by using our intuition and through listening to our thoughts and adjusting them to be vibrationally higher. We may see that relationships are also changing. It's okay. You can say no. You can also make room for new horizons, people, and goals.
The Moon remains in Leo and highlights positive actions later in the day. Use Citrine and Lemon Balm to help keep your intentions pure and in your best interest. Moon in Leo infuses a huge dose of courage into your own energies. Take advantage of the social situations that can crop up during this time. Citrine is excellent for drawing in health and prosperity. Enjoy the energetic push from the fiery Aries Sun and Leo Moon. See the future and head towards it.
The sign of Leo embraces the concept of personal sovereignty. It understands that only you have the true and truthful knowledge of what your soul journey is about. Listen to your heart.
As always if you'd like a personal Tarot Reading you can contact me via my website at www.TheGypsyHomestead.com
 
May be an image of text that says 'There'sa sacred energy guiding you That's why lately you've been distancing yourself from who and what no longer serves yOu and/or lowers your vibration, Instead you've now begun attracting and manifesting who and what does serve you, elevate you, nourish you and inspire VOU to Vibrate Higher daily. 우'

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Relief from Allergy Season!!!!

Allergies have everyone a mess right now! This is my go to oil that brings almost instant relief!

If you're needing any Breathe or any other oils, drop by www.mydoterra.com/gypsymoon and stock up!

 

May be an image of text that says 'Breathe Respiratory Blend... Breathe is a remarkable blend of CPTG essential oils which combine to do just that help you breathe easier. doTERRA's proprietary blend of laurel leaf, peppermint, eucalyptus, melaleuca, lemon, and ravensara cleanses and soothes the airways. ミ 15 Antiviral Anxiety Asthma Bronchitis Congestion Cough Emphysema Influenza Mono Pneumonia Sinusitis dÃTERRA Breathe Respiratory Blend wwW. mydoterra.com gypsymoon' May be an image of text that says 'dÃTERRA Breathe™ Respiratory Blend Aromatic, Topical Benefits .Promotes a restful night's sleep •Helps minimize the effects of seasonal threats •Maintains feelings of clear airways and easy breathing Uses •Diffuse at bedtime for sleep Use when outdoors to minimize the effects of seasonal threats •Diffuse or rub on chest or feet when seasonal and environmental threats are high restful night's mL 15 dÃTERRA® Breathe 사이 Blend' May be an image of text that says 'top 10 essential oils: Breathe Apply topically to maintain clear airways and breathing Supports overall respiratory health + Diffuse at bedtime for more restful sleep and to reduce snoring mL TM 15 +Apply to chest or bottom of feet to minimize seasonal threats and dÃTERRA® Breathe Respiratory Blend respiratory discomfort'

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Creamy Chicken Ceasar Salad

*Creamy Chicken Ceasar Salad*
Ingredients:
3 cloves garlic
3/4 c real mayo
2 tsp anchovy paste
2 tbsp parmesean
1 tsp worcestershire
1 tsp mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt - pepper
1 head torn romaine
1/3 c shaved parmesean
4 cups croutons
Cooked chicken breast cut into strips
* In a bowl, combine the garlic, mayo, anchovy, grated parmesean, worcestershire, mustard, & lemon juice. Whisk to combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
When ready to serve, place torn lettuce into a large serving bowl. Drizzle desired amount of dressing and toss. Add shaved parmesean and desired amount of cooked chicken strips and gently toss. Top with croutons.
For more recipes visit
www.TheGypsyHomestead.com and www.Facebook.com/TheGypsyHomestead
 
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The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for Tuesday March 23, 2021

The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for for March 23, 2021:

Getting on with it. The morning hours (USA) can feel restrictive with the Moon in Cancer wanting to stay home, but Mars in Gemini says let's go. Attend to the tasks or issues you need to get off your desk. Be a little self protective if that will help you find balance. Pay attention to what you're doing as that Mars in Gemini can be highly distracted by too much going on around you or too much information. Keep breathing and let the Moon move into Leo at 2:56 pm (PDT/USA + 8 hrs UK) before, finally, letting loose. Then, you can focus more on yourself and loved ones at dinner.

Moon in Leo rules the heart and your responses to the outside world's views that concern the wellbeing of those you love. To bridge the two moon energies today, you may want to choose Clear Quartz to draw in clarity or Citrine to transform any negative energies into a source of positivity. It will also help release pressure caused by too much stress. Citrus scents will keep the fiery vibes positive. Since the Leo Moon is heart centered it's a good time to review who you see yourself as and make any adjustments in beliefs or actions that will better reflect that. We are leveling up. When you know yourself well it acts as a type of amour. You won't be easily swayed by the usual 3D messages. You know the truth.
Sweet dreams! The Moon and Venus meet up overnight. Ask for a glimpse into your romantic future or give alot of gratitude for the good relationship you have with your partner.
As always if you'd like a personal Tarot Reading you can contact me via my website at www.TheGypsyHomestead.com 

May be an image of 1 person and text that says '"SPIRITUALITY IS NOT ABOUT CHANGING WHO YOU ARE. IT'S ABOUT DISCOVERING WHO YOU ARE." MYSTIC MAHADEV ~SHUNYA'

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The Gypsy Homestead Extended Astro-Vibe for Saturday March 20-April 19, 2021

The Gypsy Homestead extended Astro-Vibe for
Spring Equinox/Sun In Aries
March 20 – April 19, 2021
For All Zodiac Signs
The Sun shifts into firey Aries on March 20, 2021, and officially kicks off the first day of Spring. And the “Spring Equinox” (Vernal Equinox) occurs, which is also the first day of the “Astrological New Year Calendar.”
Aries Season
The Sun enters into the sign of fiery Aries from March 20, 2021, through April 19, 2021, and Aries Season begins! But did you know this affects every one of us, no matter your Sun Sign! Happy Birthday to my Aries peps!
With the Sun moving into fiery Aries, we are empowered and awakened. There’s some great stuff on the horizon. It’s a time for New Beginnings, as the Sun’s light slowly takes over the dark. We are more determined and motivated during the Sun in Aries cycle. Still, we should be careful and watch for being impulsive or hasty, as mishaps and mistakes can be made, and accidents can occur. Just remember to take a break from time to time.
Our personal goals become very important, and there’s a strong urge to move forward and get things done under this new cycle. We are motivated to initiate something by taking the lead and making our own path. Our gut instincts are strong, so we pick up on what’s being communicated under this influence. It’s a good time to listen to our higher-self and pay attention!
The world starts moving at a much faster pace now, and for some, this energy moves almost too fast, so you may have to get used to it. Once mental Mercury (our minds) and Venus (our hearts) shift also into Aries, will be moving even faster! This boost of energy will be strong, especially in love and in things that involve our security and finances.
The Sun shifts into fiery Aries today, and this starts the “Spring Equinox” (Vernal Equinox), which is the first day of the Astrological New Year. There are great things on the horizon with such empowering energy helping us with this new Zodiac cycle. This is a time of new beginnings, as the light of the Sun slowly takes over the dark. The Spring Equinox is when Sun’s time here on planet Earth slowly grows through the Summer Solstice. We get to live more outwardly again as we crawl back out to the land of the living and get outdoors again from the winter season.
Spring is a season of growth and rejuvenation, and this Astrological New Year is urging you to explore new directions. During this time of year, lots of people worldwide celebrate the Spring Equinox with all kinds of interesting traditions and festivities that honor the Goddess of Renewal and the Spring Season. Along with the Earth’s ability to regenerate itself again, this season is obviously very important for many different reasons. It’s a time of awakenings, new beginnings, and positive energy chasing the dark away.
Many people also celebrate this season with religious or spiritual celebrations, but it all stems from the fact that this is, first and foremost, a major “Astrological Event.” This event is about the Sun’s light expanding as it moves from the sensitive waters of Pisces and into more action-packed Aries! This extra sunlight represents the promise of a greater, more warm life-changing energy coming into our lives.
If you’ve had a rough time through the Winter months, with all the stressful Cosmic influences at play and the ongoing Pandemic stress, then consider the Spring Equinox to be just like a calendar New Year! In fact, its energy can be much stronger because it’s an Equinox. Be inspired! It’s an opportunity for growth and a renewed energy coming in to take over the darker winter energies.
May the Sun’s warmth and Spring’s renewed energy bring you new beginnings, ones that lead to your deepest dreams and desires coming true.
As always if you'd like a personal Tarot Reading you can contact me via my website at www.TheGypsyHomestead.com
 
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The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for Saturday March 20, 2021

The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for March 20, 2021:
Brimming with ideas. Enthusiasm is in the air as the Sun's move into Aries at 2:37 am (PDT/USA + 7 hrs UK) marks a time of new beginnings and the new zodiacal year. All things are possible and the Moon in Gemini's curiosity or desire for new information can set our thoughts to hyper mode. Jupiter also lends his powers of expansion and abundance to the mix. Think in terms of renewal and improving your space or situation. Mars in Gemini also brings in expansive viewpoints and the fortitude to research new information. Let the day's vibes and a little serendipity put you into the flow. No need to plan it all out today!
Watch for announcements or events that tip the energies into a higher frequency. Enjoy gentle or relaxed moments with loved ones tonight. Venus will move into Aries tomorrow and that means we'll be tempted to relate to others in a more superficial way over the next three weeks. Amber will help draw in prosperity. It will also help cool the aggressive tendencies of Aries. It will also enhance the body's own healing mechanisms. Call in the magic of the season and allow it to light your path. Have a beautiful day.
Aries vibrates to the 4th or The Emperor card of the major arcana of Tarot. This card asks us to use power wisely so that it does not lead to rigid beliefs or conflict. Also, the power you need always lies within yourself.
As always, if you'd like a personal Tarot Reading you can contact me via my website at www.TheGypsyHomestead.com
 
May be an image of text that says 'OSTARA BLESSINGS welcoming the magic of Spring'

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The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for Friday March 19, 2021

The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for March 19, 2021:
Moving through the wheel of the year. Today is the last day of Winter or Summer depending on where you are on the planet. It's also is the last full day of the Sun's trek through mystical Pisces. The energies are layered with both peace and anticipation. One moment you may feel like retreating into a dream world and then breaking out of your shell the next. If you find yourself being pulled in many directions it will be wise to center your feelings and actions before interacting with others. You've learned spiritual lessons over the last thirty days. Put your new knowledge into practice. We are leveling up rapidly now. Leave stress and anger behind as much as possible. Unfinished projects can be completed. A new chapter is calling.
Now that the Moon is in Gemini higher awareness may come from many different directions. Stress can come though overthinking or simply absorbing too much energy or information too fast. Go slow. Savor the day. Wear Clear Quartz or Herkimer Diamonds to keep the channels open today. Patchouli will keep the vibes friendly. Be sure to turn off the distractions and rest tonight. Once the Sun enters Aries at 2:37 am (PDT/USA + 7 hrs UK) Saturday morning a new cycle of the astrological year will begin. Here's to new and positive beginnings!
Pay attention to what is going on below the surface in the outer world. Big changes are slowly being introduced. Old beliefs and habits will be challenged. Be curious about new subjects and be willing to grow out of old ruts.
May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'AVPRI Reaching beyond all the drama is what the spiritua! search is -about:'
 
As always if you'd like a personal Tarot Reading you can contact me via my website at:
 
 ~Until We Meet Again~
~Namaste'~

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DIY Easy to Make Bunny Soaps!!!!!!

DIY Easy to Make Bunny Soaps!!!!!!

DIY Bunny Soap - These handmade bunny shaped soaps made with orange essential oil make a great candy alternative for Easter baskets.

The kids are officially on spring break for the next 10 days and I’m still having a hard time believing Easter is just around the corner.  Celebrating Easter Season and the first day of spring break make us want to decorate eggs. We plan on using some cool ideas to decorate, dye and paint our eggs....  Stay tuned for Egg Decorating Ideads!   Its also a good idea to also get the kid’s Easter baskets prepared with a few handmade gifts. Personally I try to keep  baskets simple with a chocolate bunny, maybe a small toy or plush animal, and then fill the rest with handmade gifts. Kids love homemade gifts!!!!!  Some cool ideas for easy handmade gifts are bath bombs in the shape of an egg using plastic eggs as the molds or my favorite, these small Bunny Soaps.

To make them I used a melt and pour soap base, a Bunny Silicone mold, and orange essential oil. 

 

How to make Easter Bunny Soap

  • Bunny Mold
  • Soap Base (Melt and Pour)
  • Orange Essential Oil
  • Soap Colorant
  • Step one: cut soap base into cubes and place in a large microwaveable bowl (I like to use a large pyrex cup). I love using this Goats Milk Soap Base. Melt soap by stirring often.
  • Step two: stir in essential oil and soap colorant. You can also use 1-2 drops of food coloring (if you only use a small amount it won’t dye your hands).
  • DIY Bunny Soap - These handmade bunny shaped soaps made with orange essential oil make a great candy alternative for Easter baskets.
  • Step three: pour soap into the mold and allow soap to set for a few hours before removing.
  • DIY Bunny Soap - These handmade bunny shaped soaps made with orange essential oil make a great candy alternative for Easter baskets.
  • I plan to wrap them in small cellophane bags with paper grass!  What an adorable addition to any Easter Basket (child OR adult!)  So many varieties can be made, switch out colors, use glycerin base,  switch out essential oils to the scents you love- So many options for such an adorable easy gift made with love! Enjoy these adorable bunnies and God Bless!!!!                                                                          www.TheGypsyHomestead.com

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Adorable Easter Bunny Cake

Adorable Easter Bunny Cake!!!!

Easter Bunny CakeEaster Bunny Cake

Easter and bunnies basically go hand in hand and this might just be the cutest cottontail (cake) ever! With a tie made of jelly beans and a coconut and vanilla frosted face, we’re pretty sure both your adult and little Easter guests will be coming back for more than one slice.

All you need is a box of yellow cake mix to construct the adorable Easter bunny cake, plus a few other ingredients you may even have in your cabinet at the moment. 

How to Make an Easter Bunny Cake Kids and Grownups Will Obsess Over

 

Easter and bunnies basically go hand in hand and this might just be the cutest cottontail (cake) ever! With a tie made of jelly beans and a coconut and vanilla frosted face, we’re pretty sure both your adult and little Easter guests will be coming back for more than one slice.

All you need is a box of yellow cake mix to construct the adorable Easter bunny cake, plus a few other ingredients you may even have in your cabinet at the moment. 

 
  • SERVES

    16

  • ACTIVE TIME

  • TOTAL TIME

 

INGREDIENTS

  • (18.25-oz) box yellow cake mix
  • Vanilla frosting
  • 2 cups coconut, divided
  • Red food coloring
  • Jellybeans
  • Small candies
  • DIRECTIONS

  • Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Bake in two 9-inch round pans at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove to a rack and cool for 1 hour.

  • Set 1 cake on a large serving tray. Cut other cake into 2 large bunny ears and a bow tie; arrange as shown. Cover cake with vanilla frosting.

  • Tint 1 cup coconut pink by shaking in a plastic bag with a few drops of red food coloring; sprinkle on ears. Sprinkle head with 1 cup white coconut. Decorate with jellybeans and small candies.

  • KITCHEN COUNTER

    Serves 16Per Serving: 480 calories, 73g carbs, 3g protein, 20g fat, 360mg sodium, 25mg cholesterol, 1g fiber

    Enjoy this Adorable Easter Bunny Cake with your family this year!!!!   Thank you for stopping by and God Bless!!!!!! 

    www.TheGypsyHomestead.com 

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How to Start Seeds Indoors: When and How to Start your Seeds!

How to Start Seeds Indoors:  When and How to Start your Seeds! 

Cabbage Seedlings

WHY START FROM SEEDS?

When planning for a garden, a key thing to consider is whether you want to start your garden from seeds or from young plants (“transplants”) bought from a local nursery.

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. Buying transplants is certainly a lot easier and more convenient, but you are also limited to only growing the types of vegetables and flowers that you can find. Seeds, on the other hand, offer a wide range of varieties to try. Here are the main things to think about:

  • If you want to grow a lot of plants, buying packs of seeds is usually cheaper than buying individual seedlings from the nursery.
  • While some nursery plants are grown really nicely, others may be of poor quality. When you plant your own seeds, you have control over the way the young plant is raised. This may be especially important if you are an organic gardener.
  • Finally, there isn’t always a great selection of plants at local nurseries. When you plant from seed, you have a much wider choice of varieties, tastes, and textures—and you can experiment with new ones, too!

For absolute beginners, it’s not a bad idea to start off with buying transplants, as you won’t have to stress over things like the timing of starting seeds or the care of young seedlings. That being said, there are many vegetables—such as carrots and radishes—that do best when started from seed, so consider employing both methods to suit your needs.

Pepper seedlings

STARTING SEEDS INDOORS VS. OUTDOORS

Once you’ve decided to try your hand at starting your own seeds, it’s time to think about starting them indoors or outdoors. There are many benefits to starting seeds indoors rather than waiting to sow them outdoors (aka “direct-sowing”). The main reason is to get an early start on the gardening season, but that’s not the only consideration:

  • In colder climates with short growing seasons, starting seeds indoors allows you to gain a few precious weeks of growing time, which can really make a difference when frost looms in the fall. Slow-growing crops such as tomatoes may not even have enough time to reach maturity if they are started outdoors.
  • In warmer regions, starting seeds indoors can allow you to get in an extra round of crops (especially cool-weather crops) before the heat of summer stifles growth. 

WHICH SEEDS SHOULD YOU START INDOORS?

Not all seeds should be started indoors. In fact, most vegetables grow perfectly well when started outdoors and even prefer not to be transplanted. Ultimately, it’s important to consider how each type of vegetable grows.

 Research which crops are typically started indoors and which are typically started outdoors. Keep in mind that there isn’t a hard-and-fast rule about what you can start indoors and outdoors; it varies by your experience, your personal preference, your location, and the plant itself.

  • Crops that are best started indoors include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, and tomatoes. Those with a slower root development, like cauliflower, celery, eggplant, and peppers, should also be started indoors.
  • Tender vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers are very susceptible to the cold temperatures of spring, so it’s best to start them indoors and keep them safe from unpredictable weather.
  • Plants that do not transplant well and are therefore best started outdoors or in containers include cucumbers, muskmelon, pumpkins, squash, and watermelon. These are all tender, however, so refrain from sowing them outdoors while frost is still a threat.
  • Some plants truly resist transplanting. For example, root vegetables like carrots and beets don’t like having their roots disturbed, so it’s usually safer to just start their seeds outdoors in the ground rather than transplant them later on. Plants with long tap roots also do not like to be transplanted; examples include dill and parsley.
  • Finally, plants like radishes and peas are so fast growing and cold tolerant that it just makes sense to get them right in the ground! 
  •  

  • TIPS BEFORE YOU START SEEDS INDOORS

  •  
  • Be seed-savvy. Obtain seed catalogues from several companies and compare their offering and prices. Some of the regional companies may carry varieties better suited to your area.
  • Make a list of what you’d like to grow. A good rule-of-thumb is to imagine your garden one-quarter the size that it really is. This allows for good spacing practices! 
  • Prepare for some losses. Though it’s good not to plant too much for your garden space, it’s also good to assume that some of your seeds won’t germinate, or that they will inexplicably die off later. Plant a few extra, just in case.
  • Consider a grow light if you start in late winter. Most veggies need between 6 to 8 hours of direct sun (minimum), so it’s important to have a grow light if you are sowing your vegetable seeds indoors in late winter. A grow light will also keep your seedlings from getting too leggy. 
  • Use clean containers. Most seed catalogs offer seedling flats, peat pots, and other growing containers, but egg cartons make good containers for the earliest stages of seed starting, too. Be sure to poke holes in the sides near the bottom of the containers you use in order to allow excess water to drain. Keep in mind that you might need to transplant your seedlings into larger containers at some point before moving them into the garden.
  • Label your containers now! There’s nothing more frustrating than forgetting what you planted, especially when you are testing out different varieties of the same plant.
  • You may have to soak, scratch, or chill seeds before planting, as directed on packet.
  • Seeds sprout best at temperatures of 65 to 75°F (18-24°C). Don’t let it get too cold.
  • Rotate your seedlings. If you keep your seedlings next to a window, remember to rotate the containers every so often to keep the seedlings growing evenly. If you’re using a grow light, remember to raise it a few inches above the tallest seedling every couple of days.
  • Seedlings. Photo by Sergii Kononenko/Shutterstock
  • WHEN TO START SEEDS INDOORS

  • The Planting Calendar lists the ideal dates to start your vegetables indoors. You can find a customized tool that’s based on your zip code and local frost dates!
  • As a general rule, most annual vegetables should be sown indoors about six weeks before the last frost in your area. See local frost dates.
  • Do not sow too early in the season or you’ll end up having to transplant seedlings into bigger containers more often because conditions outside still aren’t suitable for outdoor planting. 
  • Your packet of seeds will often list when the seeds should be started indoors. For example, it may say, “start indoors 8 weeks before last expected frost date in your area.”
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  • TYPES OF SEED-STARTING CONTAINERS

    Plastic Food Containers (Yogurt Cups, Sour Cream Containers, etc.)

    Plastic food containers such as yogurt cups or sour cream containers make for excellent seed-starting pots. Simply clean them out and poke a few drainage holes in their bottoms. They are generally large enough to house one or two small seedlings for a few weeks. Eventually, seedlings will need to be transplanted into their own pots.

    Seed Flats or Trays

    A seed flat or tray is a single tray-like container that is useful for sowing very tiny seeds such as basil or easy-to-transplant flower seeds. The seeds are sown in the tray and, when big enough to handle, are transplanted on to their own individual pots or plug trays. The compact size of seed trays makes for a very efficient use of space during this first stage of growth.

  • For easy cool-season crops—everything from onions to celery to cabbage—you can sow multiple seeds in the same container or seed flat. You can even stack trays up after sowing to save on space. After two or three days, start checking daily for signs of germination then move them out to the greenhouse or cold frame to continue growing. Or you can continue to grow seedlings on indoors, using grow lights to ensure strong, even growth.
  • Note: Larger seedlings, or those of tender crops such as tomatoes or peppers, will likely need to be potted up to a larger container at least once. They grow fast and will need to be pricked out into individual pots before they are transplanted into their final outdoor growing spots once the threat of frost has passed.
  • Plug Trays

    Plug trays are basically containers with individual pockets for each seed. They minimize root disturbance and save time, because often seedlings can go straight from their plug tray to the outdoors.

  • Trays with smaller plugs suit most leafy greens and radishes, especially if they will be transplanted promptly (within three or four weeks of sowing).
  • Those with larger plugs are great for sowing chunkier seeds such as beans and bigger, hungrier seedlings such as those of the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.). 
  • Well-made trays of rigid plastic can potentially last for many years, but if you want to avoid plastic, look for alternatives made of biodegradable fiber. 

    HOW TO SOW SEEDS

  • Fill clean containers with an all-purpose potting mix or seed compost. Pre-formed seed starters (such as Jiffy pellets) work well, too. Do NOT use regular potting soil. It’s not fine enough for many seeds’ roots to easily penetrate the soil and does not allow oxygen to flow. 
  • If you are using plug trays, push potting mix down into the plugs with your fingers so it’s nice and firm, then add a little more potting mix.
  • Now make shallow depressions with your fingertips. Plant your seeds into the depressions at the depth listed on the seed packet. Most seeds can simply be gently pressed into the mixture; you can use the eraser end of a pencil to do so. When choosing which seeds to plant, choose the largest seeds in the packet for the best chance at germination. Many vegetables, including common crops such as salads, onions, beets, peas, and radishes, may be sown in pinches of three to five seeds per plug for planting out as a cluster of seedlings. Larger seeds, like beans, are sown individually into deeper holes made with a finger, pencil, or dibber.
  • Once you’re done sowing, sieve a little more potting mix over the top. Gently skim over the surface of the tray with your hands to ensure all the seeds are buried. Water trays carefully using a watering can or clean turkey baster. A pitcher may let the water out too forcefully, dislodging the seeds or young seedlings’ fragile roots. A mist sprayer is gentle but can take a long time. We recommend using a meat-basting syringe (aka “turkey baster”), which will dispense the water effectively without causing too much soil disruption. Go over the trays a couple of times so that the potting mix is completely moistened through. Label trays with the variety and date of sowing.
  • Cover containers loosely with plastic or an otherwise clear, waterproof covering to keep them from drying out too quickly. Poke a few holes in the plastic with a toothpick for ventilation; mold growth can occur if containers are not allowed to “breath.”
  • Check trays and pots regularly for moisture. Lifting them up is a good way to judge how much moisture there is in the potting mix. If it’s light, water. One way to achieve a thorough watering is to pop trays into a reservoir to soak up water through their drainage holes. Remove them once you can see it’s moist at the surface.
  • When seedlings start to appear, remove the plastic covering and move containers to a bright window or under grow lights. 
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  • PRICKING OUT, POTTING UP

    If you grew seedlings all together in a tray, you can transfer them into their own plugs or pots of potting mix. Start pricking them out as soon as the seedlings are big enough to handle.

    Carefully ease the seedlings out of the tray they were growing in then gently tease them apart. Try to retain as much of the original potting mix around the roots as you can. Work with small batches of seedlings so they don’t dry out while their roots are bare.

    Make holes in the potting mix with your finger, a pencil, or something similar. Lift each seedling carefully and avoid pinching their delicate leaves, roots, and stems. Carefully feed the roots right down into the hole then gently firm the seedling in. You can bury some of the stem if the seedlings are looking a little leggy and drawn. This will help to support them.

    Once you’re done, gently water the seedlings with a watering can. Don’t worry too much if the seedlings get a little flattened, they’ll soon recover.

    PREPARING SEEDLINGS FOR PLANTING

    Water seedlings to keep the potting mix moist, but be careful not to overwater. If you’re growing in a greenhouse, tunnel or cold frame, ventilate it on mild, sunny days. This will help keep the air inside moving, and reduce the risk of disease and molds.

    Cool-season crops such as lettuce, onions, beets, or peas can go straight outside as soon as the ground is ready, meaning that the soil is no longer cold and wet, and has reached around 50ºF (10ºC). You can help encourage stronger seedlings in preparation for the move by occasionally running your hand gently over the seedlings.

    Plant seedlings out while they are still quite young if outdoor conditions allow—sometimes as soon as three to four weeks after sowing. Younger seedlings tend to establish quicker than those that have become root bound in their containers.

  • Once you have raised your seedlings indoors, it is important to take steps to acclimatize them to their new outdoor home however, or you risk losing your plants and wasting all that hard work. This is a process known to gardeners as “hardening off.” This will prepare the seedlings for the harsh realities (i.e., climate) of the outside world! 

    Hardening off should take a minimum of a week and may take up to two. Suddenly moving plants from a stable environment to one with wide variations in temperature, light and wind can seriously weaken plants.

  • For most plants, start hardening off about a week before the final frost date for your area. Check the Gardening Calendar (or instructions on back of seed packets)  for safe dates to plant outside and work back from there. Withhold fertilizer and water them less often.
  • Seven to ten days before transplanting, set the seedlings outdoors in dappled shade for a short time. Make sure the spot is sheltered from winds.
  •  
  • Gradually extend the amount of time that plants are outside over the course of a week or two, until they’re staying out all day.
  • Keep the soil moist at all times during this period. Dry air and spring breezes can result in rapid transpiration. If possible, transplant on overcast days or in the early morning, when the sun won’t be too harsh.
  •  
  • If you’re not able to be around to bring your seedlings back in during the day, another option is to place your seedlings into a cold frame and gradually increase the amount of ventilation by opening vents progressively wider each day. Make sure to shut them down completely before dark.
  •  
  • How to Transplant Seedlings

    After the hardening-off period, your seedlings are ready for transplanting. Read articles about transplanting seedlings .Consult the library  for growing guides, which provide planting, care, and harvesting information for all the common vegetables, fruit, and herbs.

  • Happy Gardening!!!

  • As Always you can find more daily information on my facebook page at www.Facebook.com/TheGypsyHomestead

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Delicious St. Patricks Day "Bring Good Luck Meal" of Corned Beef Cabbage

Delicious St. Patricks Day "Bring Good Luck Meal" of Corned Beef and Cabbage

No photo description available.

Surprisingly, corned beef and cabbage is not an Irish tradition. It is an Irish-American tradition. Corned pork and cabbage is more common in the Emerald Isles, but Irish immigrants to the U.S. found beef more plentiful in their lower Manhattan  where the butchers were mostly kosher and pork was verboten.

Traditional on St. Patrick's Day when everyone is Irish -- it is not served more often -- and my guess is that people just take it out of the wrapper and throw it in a pot with carrots, potatoes, cabbage and maybe some onions, and they feel they have met their obligation. But everything is soooooo salty, the meat is tough and fatty, and the veggies and potatoes are mushy.

Here's how to do the dish properly. If you have leftovers, make Rockin' Reuben Sandwiches, or Corned Beef Hash. But if you do it right, there won't be leftovers.

Makes. 6 servings (the meat shrinks quite a bit)
Preparation time. 10 minutes
Cooking time. 3 to 4 hours

Ingredients
1 (3 pound) slab of corned beef, preferably home made
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons pickling spices, preferably home made
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1" segments
2 pounds of potatoes, cleaned and cut into 2" chunks
1 small head of cabbage, outer leaves removed, cut in quarters

Do this
1) Open the package the meat came in and dump out all the liquid. Rinse thoroughly. Trim off all the fat cap. If you have made your own corned beef, and you should, it is just plain better, remove it from the brine, and rinse it well

2) Corned beef is essentially pickled in salt, and straight out of the pack it is way too salty. Before we can eat this cured meat, we need to cook it and desalinate it a bit. Place the beef in a large pot along with enough hot water to cover it by at least 1" and put the lid on. 

Turn the heat to medium and bring to a low simmer for 30 minutes. Do not let it boil. If you boil it, it will get tough and shrink. Beware that the meat is cold, so when it warms the water will slowly move from simmer to boil. Keep an eye on it and do not let it boil. After 30 minutes, dump out the water and cover the meat with fresh hot water. This time add the pickling spices.

Bring to a low simmer again, this time for 1 hour. Again dump the water and pickling spices and replace it with fresh hot water. Bring to a simmer and let it simmer for 1 hour. Add the carrots. After 30 minutes add the potatoes. After 10 minutes add the cabbage. After 15 minutes the cabbage will be done and so should everything else.

3) Remove the meat and place it on a carving board. There are often two horizontal muscles separated by a thick layer of fat. Separate them by sliding a knife through the fat. Carve and/or scrape off the fat layer. Carve the meat by cutting across the grain about the thickness of a pencil. Any thinner and it will fall apart, any thicker and it will be chewy.

5) Lift out the cabbage, potatoes and carrots and divide them into serving bowls. Place the meat in the bowl. Spoon some of the cooking liquid over them and serve. Happy Holiday!

2012-03-15-corned_beef_and_cabbage.jpg

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The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for Monday March 15, 2021

The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for March 15, 2021:
Moon in Aries is in a pushy mood. But, that's because she has Jupiter - the grand poobah of expansion - on her side today. Despite all the intense vibes - and make no mistake, they are intense - it's an excellent day to put plans on paper and vision how you'd like your life to go. As we move into a paradigm where your sovereignty is at the forefront it's time to practice being in charge. Of course, the Cosmos throws in a ringer that will keep you from doing anything too drastic. At 3:26 pm (PDT/USA + 7 hrs UK) Mercury enters Pisces. Yay! Or not. Okay. So, your dreams will gain a gentle side to them over the next few weeks. No matter what you've got on your plate today, start seeing beyond the immediate.
Moon in Aries always makes the head and neck vulnerable, so watch out for headaches and unfocused movements, or you may have a head meet cabinet door moment. Also, don't overdo any physical activities. Choose to be happy today. The week's vibes are going to be mostly positive despite all the chaos in the outer world's vibes. Turquoise and Sage will reset the vibes upwards. If you need more protection ask Archangel Michael to assist. Watch out for road rage or inattentive drivers, too.
 
As always, if you'd like a personal Tarot Reading you can contact me via my website at www.TheGypsyHomestead.com
 
May be an image of text that says 'Many blessings'

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The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for Sunday March 14, 2021

The Gypsy Homestead Astro-Vibe for Sunday March 14
We have the Moon in Aries and Mercury in it's final full day in Aquarius!
The Moon in Aries will be lighting up the Ceres, Chiron conjunction which can bring some strong emotions to any healing we are doing around mother energy. Aries energy often needs a physical outlet so if you are experiencing the feels... this is a call to action to allow the energies to move through. There is so much healing through this combination... but part of the healing process will be you allowing yourself to physically move it! Also Aries is sometimes known as the baby of the zodiac... so even through Leo is the sign generally connected to the inner child... you may need to tend to your inner child through this energy.
Besides this, we have the Moon in Aries connecting to Mars in Gemini and later Saturn in Aquarius... The Gemini and Aquarius energies are giving the day an overall strong airy, mental vibe. Mars in Gemini connecting to the Moon wants some play time... but Saturn is asking us to step in up in regards to our purpose and reason for being here... sometimes... we can actually combine the two and feel the "win/win" energy! This could support any inner child healing you are working on... How can you make your purpose fun again??
 
As always if you'd like a personal Tarot Reading contact me via my website at www.TheGypsyHomestead.com
May be an image of child, outdoors and text that says 'When When life tries to twist your tutu... just twirl around and dance. Photo Credit Pinterest muses from mystic'
 
 
 
 
 

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