Winter Gardening

chard, dandelion greens and green onions from my winter garden


These hoop houses fit perfectly over my 55 gallon raised beds!

These hoop houses fit perfectly over my 55 gallon raised beds!

So I’m not doing much gardening this winter because we decided we need a break after all the work of summer gardening. Because we live in zone 7 and we had already planted some plants (that should hopefully live through the winter) I have decided to clear out the beds which are full of dead plants and weeds. I’m going to try to keep my kale chard and onions alive if nothing else!



plastic barrel raised bed winter gardening

Here’s my harvest

I was super surprised to see some of the beds were loaded with the biggest and healthiest looking dandelions I had ever seen. I decided to go ahead and harvest them. These aren’t really my favorite green (they have a bitter taste) but they were in my organic raised bed and they had even been fertilized with the boogie brew. So I decided to harvest them with the rest of my greens and not pull them out for the winter and I’m curious to see if they can handle the drop in temperature as well.
Have you ever tried winter gardening where you live? If so what has worked for you any tips?




How To Make A Soaker Hose Part 2

Here’s part 2 of “How To Make A Soaker Hose”. This video will be focusing on how to get proper water pressure and the use of rain barrels and pumps in order to use chlorine free water. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out how to make a soaker hose part 1 which focuses on the construction of the irrigation system.  Keep scrolling to the end for a link to the pump I use.  I highly recommend it it’s very powerful.

How To Make A Soaker Hose Part 2

This is the pump I use to connect my rain barrels to my soaker hose irrigation system that I built from scratch.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT – How To Make A Soaker Hose Part 2

Well hello everybody this is josh and I wanted to give you just a couple pieces of follow up information. Last time I had visited this project we had the overall soaker hoses finished. We had the raised bed irrigation finished across 3 10×4 beds and then 1 4×40 bed. And I got a lot of questions about how to handle the aspect of city water pressure and how to calculate the gallons per minute and then how much pressure was needed. And so I wanted to answer some of those questions here in a follow up video. And just kind of show you where I took things to figure out that problem, because quite honestly I wasn’t sure what the answer was and so I had to do a lot of calculations had to call a lot of companies and then finally figured out a solution that I think works well that actually opened up the opportunity to take rain barrels and push them out here to the raised beds.

And so I’ll just kind of show with my fancy camera work here on my cell phone, I’m about to winterize for a winter garden, so I just took out a lot of my summer crops. I’m about to put on the different hoop houses and kind of get things rolling to germinate my seeds in here but before I did that I wanted to kind of capture what I did with the irrigation system tied to rain barrels and then also tied to the opportunity to push through a pump. And wanted to give some of the details about how I calculated how many gallons per minute I was going to need to figure out the power of the pump I was going to need to push out here. So I’m going to go ahead and cut to the pump itself and then we’ll go ahead and go through those calculations. Modern homemakers video intro and theme song.

So this is the information I captured for everybody that kind of shows how I calculated the number of gallons per minute I was gonna need to get enough pressure to push through those pvc pipes that I had drilled in order to get the soaker hose setup that we had. And so these are the details, city pressure, what I did to figure that out was I took a 5 gallon bucket and I timed how long it took to fill that all the way to the top. And that was 40 seconds, and then I determined we’ll roughly add about 7.5 gallons per minute and then calculated that out by 60 to get 440 gallons per hour. Now, I didn’t check my math before I started recording this but you kind of see the problem solving process I kind of went through here.

So then I started looking at water pumps, started get what their gallons per hour would be and then dividing that down to get gallons per minute and then I had to run it through that calculation to figure out that for my instance it was 40 seconds to fill it up and then I had to run it through a calculation to get that what it would be for 60 seconds for example. So then I found a couple that were close, I got into this irington, and I got several at home depot but they weren’t enough gallons per hour, but I found the wayne pump which is 720 gallons per hour and this puppy is designed to like take down lakes and all sorts of stuff where you can drain lakes and anyway so that’s what I went with ad I’m very glad I did. I thought it was going to be too powerful but it was actually not at all, it was actually perfect as you’ll see here in just a moment.

So northern tools has this pump “if you follow the link in the description back to modern homeakers I’ll post the exact pump there and where you can get it” and let me go ahead and click this link. Northern tool has the pump and also you can get the pump at amazon which is what I ended up doing, it was just a little bit better deal. In this case it looks like $160 bucks now. I don’t know if it’s still that price whenever you look. I think I got it for a little less I think it was on sale whenever I got it, but anyway I’ll show you the pump here in just a second but that’s just an image for you to reference here so that’s how I figured out how many gallons per minute gallons per hour I had with my city pressure because remember I designed the whole system to work off the city pressure. And then what happened was once I took the city pressure off when I realized all the chlorine was going to be killing the plants I then had to find another solution to make that work. Which I’ll walk through here in just a second. So basically we get to a point where we need to cut down all of the chlorine and we also need to have enough pressure to push the raised bed.

So it’s not the best showing with all of these leaves here coming down in the fall but I figured rather than blow the patio off I’d create this video and then be able to share this with everybody. So this is the pump that is about 1 horse power, that will take the um water, and you can do it a couple of different ways. Yeah, you could come straight in from the city and you could go into the inlet here, but keep in mind the inlet, I hope I’m informing right, I have the manual here in front of me but check the manual I think it’s a 1 inch inlet that then goes to a ¾ inch outlet and that’s kind of important. And you have to get the right type of hose that comes in. You have tpo get a reinforced hose on the inlet because it’s so powerful at the 1 horsepower that it’ll collapse anything that’s not a reinforced hose. It was a related item that I could purchase on amazon and so I was able to go that direction.

So with that reinforced hose, again it was a related item on amazon I just when ahead and went with it, I have not had any problems with it, it has allowed me to pull the water in, and the 1 horse power has not crushed and collapsed the hose. So my system is pretty simple, I can come straight out of a rain barrel I have a, let’s see what is this thing a 130 gallon rain barrel and I have 3 of these. If I don’t have rain collecting from the gutters I just zip the top off and then I just put the hose in here and it will suck the water all the way down to the very bottom, not a problem at all. I have a boggie blue water filter that will de-chlorinate the water. This is if I have to come straight out of the house if I don’t have rain water at the time to collect from then I push through the boogie blue and that is going to de-chlorinate it and I just literally set this on the side of the top, let the, I just let the water go on, I’ll just go ahead and turn this on and show you.

I just let the water go in, just like that and I just fill up a 130 gallons, and I’ve got that all set then. That’s going to de-chlorinate it, it goes really fast and then the only thing that I recommend that you do, the pump itself is not a self-priming pump, and so they recommend in the book that you take off this fitting “you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions” you unscrew this, you ill this section up with water, but I find that to be really cumbersome so what I do is I just hook my water source up to the inlet hose like so, I just join these together, and I push water into the inlet hose right here I just push it in and it will fill up the tank for me, and then once I have it primed I’m able to just turn.

Alright so I just want to introduce you here to kind of the overall flow. I have a the boogie blue filter that I take straight from the house, so it comes straight from the house into the boogie blue which then goes into a rain barrel I have approximately, oh I think it’s something like 400 gallons of rainbarrel capacity, but then if I don’ t actually have rainwater in them I use the de-chlorinator to fill up the rain barrel. And then I have a larger hose, that’s going to sit inside the rain barrel. That’ snakes down to the front of pump and then I have the wayne 1 horsepower portable lawn pump and that is what fits the standards necessary to push out all the pressure needed out to the rain barrels.

So basically we turn this on, and you have to prime the pump first, and it’s not too loud, I mean I’m right next to it and I’m able to talk over it, if I stand back a few feet it’s really not bad at all. Anyway so that’s going to take from the source water which is coming from the rain barrels into the pump, out the standard hose, and that’s going to go out to the raised beds. OK this will just show you what the pump does in terms of power when it’s hooked up. We have 10 rows and a 10×4 bed here, so I just actually took everything out for prepping for winter, and so you see the power, this is actually a little bit reduced because I have the second bed connected here and if I need to I can turn the power all the way off here on this second one, and watch what will happen to the first one, it’ll pop up with more pressure. So we have quite a bit of power available.

Then if I want in this bed right here I’ll go ahead and just simply turn this one on, and turn this one off, and you’re going to notice here that we have quite a bit of pressure that’s going to push through that whole network to get out here to the beds. And then same thing, if I, I just planted a bunch of seeds in here for example, so I’ll vary the placement where the water hits simply by taking this bed, turning it on just ever so slightly. You’re going to notice what happens, I’m able to take the pressure down on this bed and kind of distribute it between the 2. And I can take it down to a trickle if needed as well. And then this bed will start to get some of that water and it will start to push out as well. So the 1 horsepower pump has quite a bit of push on it and it’s really what’s necessary to take it from a rain barrel all the way through to your raised beds. All right, that’s it. Just a quick overview, we jumped from 1 bed, I have 3 10×4 beds that are all connected into this network and then those jump all the way over here to another 10×40 bed. And so the 10×40 bed is going to have the same pump capabilities as we’ve found here with all these other beds and the irrigation that pushes through that 1 horsepower pump. Please subscribe to our youtube channel. You might also like how to make a soaker hose.






Pigtail Braids

hair braiding styles

2 french braids

pigtail braids


Here’s an easy hair tutorial for how to do pigtail braids. It’s not really a french braid but it sure looks like it!  You might also like this post on how to french braid hair.





Christmas Coloring Pages

Here’s something for you can print off for your kiddos.  These Christmas coloring pages are fun to color and they make great decorations.  I normally let each of my kids cover their bedroom doors with holiday artwork.  Make sure to click the blue hyperlink below each picture to get a full screen pdf version that you can print without ads!


Christmas Coloring Pages – Elf

christmas coloring pages for kids

Click the link below to print your Christmas Coloring Page

christmas coloring pages – elf

Christmas Coloring Pages – Christmas Tree With Presents

christmas coloring pages free

Click the link below to print your Christmas coloring pages

christmas coloring pages – christmas tree

Christmas Coloring Pages – Snowman

printable christmas coloring pages

Click the link below to print your Christmas Coloring Pages

christmas coloring pages – snowman


Christmas Coloring Pages – Christmas Party

christmas coloring pages online

Click the link below to print your Christmas coloring page

christmas coloring pages – christmas party

Christmas Coloring Pages – Playing in the snow

free christmas coloring pages to print

Click the link below to print your Christmas coloring pages

christmas coloring pages – playing in the snow





How To Be A Good Husband – The Chauffeur

Continuing in our series on how to be a good husband, Travis explains why he chooses to be the chauffeur.





Crochet Snowman Headband

crochet snowman

Are you ready to make your own crochet snowman headband?

Could the holidays get any cuter than this Crochet Snowman Headband, maybe I’m a little biased, but I just don’t think so!  Keep scrolling down for the free crochet pattern and don’t forget to watch the videos where I give step by step instructions on how to crochet and put together your snowman headband


crochet snowman hat

This i a fast crochet project!

Crochet Snowman Headband Part 1


Crochet Headband Pattern Part 2

christmas crochet patterns

This makes a great homemade gift.

Crochet Snowman Headband – Crochet Pattern

You will need:

H hook

white, red, black, green, and orange yarn

Crochet Headband

With green yarn:

Chain 11, dc in the 3rd space from the hook, ch 2, 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc

(chain 2, turn, 1 dc, ch 2, 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) x 37 rows or however many you need until it’s long enough to go around the head of whoever you’re making it for!

Cut a long tail, tie off, and use a crochet hook to “sew” the two ends of the headband together.


Crochet Hat

Chain 20, join loop with a slip stitch

ch 1, skip 1, work 19 sc around

ch 1, skip 1, work 18 sc around

ch 1, skip 1, work 17 sc around

ch 1, (3 sc, skip 1) x 4

ch 1, skip 1, (2 sc, skip 1) x 4

join in the middle with a slip stitch, cut, tie off, and hide threads.


Crochet Scarf

With red yarn:

Chain 40, skip 1, 39 sc

cut, tie off, and hide threads.


Crochet Carrot Nose

With orange yarn:

Ch 3, 1 sc

(ch 1, 2 sc) x 2

cut, tie off and hide threads.






How To Perm Hair At Home

If you’ve ever paid for a perm you should know how expensive they are. Ready to save some money and learn how to perm hair at home? This is a five part series so make sure to watch all the videos to get all of the instructions.

If not done properly performing a permanent could be dangerous. If you choose to follow the steps outlined in the following videos you are assuming any risk.


Perm Part 1

Perm Part 2

Perm Part 3

Perm Part 4

Perm Part 5





Getting ready for Christmas


I know its over a month away and we haven’t even had our turkey dinner yet!  But if you’re making your own presents it’s time to start thinking about Christmas.  So bear with me because Modern Homemakers is probably going to be pretty craft heavy for the next few weeks.  I will try to share my projects with you (hopefully in video tutorial form) as I start stuffing those stockings and getting ready for the holidays.


I have multiple reasons for making my own presents, the primary one being the typical lack of extra funds in my household.  Throughout the year I keep my eye out for good deals and crazy clearance items but other than that I try to fill in the gaps with homemade items.  My other reason is that we try not to make gifts the focus of Christmas and buying out Toys R Us doesn’t typically accomplish that!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI want to make something for Gideon but he’s my first boy so I’m having a hard time deciding what to do with him.  Daddy might be breaking out some scrap wood to make something manly :-)   He can’t have anything that would be a choking hazard so he’s a big challenge.  On the plus side he’s starting to actually play with toys, so anything goes.  Last year I made him this plush train and car.





diy baby toys

how to make a toy car


how to make a toy train

How To Make A Toy Train


SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI’m not gonna lie , Eowyn is my easiest child to make presents for!  She loves dolls, and clothes, and crafts so I don’t typically have to think too hard for her.  In fact I’ve already made her a few Barbie dresses.  I’ve got a pattern and a video tutorial here that are super easy to make if you’re interested.













SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIsondra (my oldest) is the biggest challenge of all.  She doesn’t like dolls.  She could care less about clothes.  She’s a bit of a tom boy, so if anyone has any ideas of things I could make I’m all ears.  Last year I made her a checker board game and we still have fun with it but it wasn’t easy coming up with that idea.






free crochet pattern

how to make checkers










Are you planning on making any presents this year?

I know its over a month away and we haven’t even had our turkey dinner yet!  But if you’re making your own presents it’s time to start thinking about Christmas.  So bear with me because Modern Homemakers is probably going to be pretty craft heavy for the next few weeks.  I will try to share my projects with you (hopefully in video tutorial form) as I start stuffing those stockings and getting ready for the holidays.




How To Be A Good Husband – Errands

Here’s another tip on how to be a good husband from Travis. Today he’ll be talking about running errands and the evil honey do list!





Crochet Basket Pattern

Here’s a free crochet basket pattern that doesn’t cost any money to make.  That’s right, not only is the pattern free but the project is too! You might also like these homemade organizers I made “how to cover a box with fabric”.  

You may make these baskets for presents or even sell them but you may not sell the pattern.  Please give credit where it’s due.  :-)

Crochet Basket Pattern Part 2

Crochet Basket Pattern

You need an H Hook and a bunch of plastic grocery bags

the main portion of the basket

Chain 3, connect loop with a slip stitch

chain 1, 2 sc in each space (6 total) join with a slip stitch

ch 2, 2 dc in each space (12 total)

ch 2, (1 dc, 2, dc in same space) x 26 (45 total dc)

ch 2 (1 dc, 2 dc in same space) x 22 , 1 dc (67 total dc)

ch 2, 67 dc (x 10 rows)

for the handles

chain, attach to the 10th hole with a slip stitch, slip stitch in the next space

chain 1 and turn, work 14 sc across, slip stitch in next space, tie off, cut and hide “thread”

line up with the other side of the basket to figure out where the middle is and repeat all steps for the other handle



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