Luna Moths are on their way! :D

Last evening, after returning from a hard day at work (Allandale Farm: Nursery and Greenhouse staff employee) -I felt it was time to purchase a set of three Luna Moths for the month of April. Luna Moths, as far as I have learned of them recently; tend to emerge from their cocoons in the month of April. They have the lifespan of a mere one week and have an average wingspan of three in a half to four inches. So, if I happen to receive not all males or females: my studies in Luna Moth care, will not just be the adult stage part. 🙂  😛

I should be getting these three lovelies on March 29th. In the meanwhile, I shall be looking for a rather large (globe shaped hopefully) terrarium, small chicken wire (to protect them from our kitties in the house/to not escape) and natural habitat plants for their transition of adoption. 🙂

Once everything is set up and they arrive: I shall be documenting their progress and of anything I happen to learn with this hands-on lesson of mine. I will of course, take photos of these beautiful moths in cocoon stage and their later progress, and upload their photographs here. 🙂 Maybe, I’ll even post a link from youtube to a short video (we’ll see). 😉 😀
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Update: March 29th, 2017

Hooray! The three babies are here. 😀 ~ ❤ The Luna Moths should emerge from their cocoons within three weeks. If not, I place them in the refrigerator for at least two weeks at 45 degrees Fahrenheit (the Luna Moths are probably in diapause; hibernation if they do not come out of their cocoons roughly in three weeks from now). Then I will allow another two weeks at room temperature for their emergence. 🙂  I also shall be misting them daily to keep the cocoons moist. I placed a small glass water bowl in the terrarium nearby the cocoons to help keep the air moist.

Hopefully, they will make their debut in the next three weeks. 😀

Luna Moth Practice

In  the beginning  of April, I plan to purchase a set of three Luna Moth Cocoons for hands on experience. With the future plans of creating a butterfly sanctuary; an indoor butterfly/moth room will be designed in regards of conservation (population growth and release) and education. 🙂 Once the butterflies in the butterfly sanctuary have undergone their metamorphosis into adulthood – I shall release the native New Zealand butterflies out into the wild. 🙂

Since I do not have much hands on experience in caring for moths or butterflies; I feel on my spare time, while still living in the USA – I could purchase moths and butterflies in order to learn. 🙂 I will be creating a habitat in a large glass globe terrarium for the Luna Moths to live in.

Luna Moths are a great way to get one started in caring for our winged friends. I will never release them out into the wild, due that there is no certainty the moths or butterflies purchased from an online store has non-diseased moths or butterflies. Secondly, the butterflies I am planning on purchasing could be potential pests to which local populations are vulnerable to (even if they are considered a native species).

When the Luna Moth has passed away after a life-span week of adult stage, I shall place them in a glass case to bring with us to New Zealand. I want to have them in the cob walls of our home as a sentimental memoir. 🙂 ❤

Growing from the kitchen leftovers..

After watching a video on how to grow from grocery vegetables, I thought I should give it a try. Being the earth-loving person I am, I knew one could grow potatoes in the ground and apple seeds from apples 😉 🙂 – I knew it was time to further my knowledge of what veggies one would grow again, within having a ‘second life.’ 🙂

To my delight, I chopped up some scallions (which are just baby onions; and leave so many inches above the developing roots) and planted them into soil. By July, I should have some decent sized onions. And it’s okay to plant scallions into shallow pots like the one shown in my photos below. If you where to look out into a garden- many raised beds are just as shallow and the onions really don’t care. 🙂

Video I watched can be found here “Grow from your Groceries”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-mM9e9Z9NQ

Growing Mint cuttings

I‘ve quite-successfully grew roots in water with Coleus (Hybrid Coleus) cuttings I earned by accident as a gardening/landscaping seasonal job. 🙂 It expanded happily afterwards in rich organic soil.

Using the cuttings from an organic store, the thought of seeing if one could propagate mint into a ‘mini-army’ came to mind. 😛 hehe To my joyous delight- one can grow them in water! 😀

1.) Cut the tips with a sterile knife or pair of scissors.
2.) Pinch off any leaves from the ends. This is so then no leaves can touch the water and produce leaf rot.
3.) Place the containers (jars, bottles, champagne glasses) in bright light; but not direct sunlight. Change the container’s water every other day.
4.) Transplant the mint into small pots when they have grown a reasonable amount of rooting (one half inch to one inch of rooting). Pinch the stem-tip off roughly a half an inch to trigger the mint herb to branch out in further growth after transplanted.
5.) Plant outdoors after the last frost in spring. Mint loves full warm sunshine! ❤

Update: 8:54 p.m.

I just learned how to grow a rosemary cutting in water, just a few minutes ago! 😀

The difference with soft stems verses more woody stems, like rosemary – is that you need to scrape with your nail most of the thin layer of bark at the end of the clipping, to help promote the roots better. Also, it takes a couple of weeks in comparison to spearmint, etc to grow root.  Another tip, is when you transplant the newly rooted clippings into soil, use the water it was growing in – so it can integrate better inside of the pot. 🙂

Moonlight Tea <3

I‘ve heard of it – but never attempted it before. 🙂 Nor have I looked into the moon’s calendar before. 🙂 There’s always a time to look into it; or there is a timing for everything.. 😉 So starting on the next full-moon, I shall try to make a batch of peppermint herbal tea by the full moon night. Hopefully it shall not be too cold on March 12th or 28th. Also, it is quite important to brew your mason jar on a full moon night with clear skies. 🙂 A-little cloudy at times is okay, but – one needs the light reflecting off of the moon in order to make a magic tea effectively before sunrise. 🙂

To see a link to the full moon calendar here is a delightful link I shall be using as a guide:
http://www.moongiant.com/Full_Moon_New_Moon_Calendar.php

Also, on the side of my various studies – I am looking further upon my endless adventures of learning about the world of herbs. 😀 There is a delightful free source I have been learning from which covers over fifty herb profiles. Some I have heard of, and others I have not. 🙂 When Daniel and I settle into The Butterfly Forests Homestead, there will be plenty of hiking trips in the sticks -to learn upon Maori Medicine/New Zealand herbs.

In the herbal beds surrounding the main house and various other areas where the four-hundred and fifty olive trees live; will have various common and non common herbs. 🙂 *Native and non-native types.

Link to current studies I am partaking in; the Herbal Profiles webpage: http://www.herbalmusings.com/herb-profiles

Micro-Greens!

I‘m beginning to dip the tips of my paws into the world of superfoods today. 🙂 I do know about Wheatgrass and will grow it, harvest and make into a quite bitter juice out of it.
Even so- I have only just begun to understand what mother nature offers for my overall health and well being physically. 🙂

After picking up my weekly stack of library books, I always tend to find something quite eye-catching to me. In the future, I plan to grow all of (or most) of these super-yummies at the Butterfly Forests Homestead; to sell and produce for our own consumption. 🙂
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Superfoods list:

Amaranth        Fennel                Sorrel
Basil                  Fenugreek         Sunflower
Beet                   Flax                     Wheatgrass
Bok Choy         Kale
Broccoli           Lentils
Cabbage          Mizuna
Celery             Mustard
Chives            Parsley
Clover             Purslane
Corn                Radish
Cress               Rocket (Arugula)
Endive            Shungiku
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Link to “How to grow microgreens” youtube video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwLxkOSG4gU

What I plan to do here, is to have a few of the superfoods which are listed here and then grow them from seed, harvest and make it a part of my daily diet. 🙂 I shall post photos below this paragraph when I begin the project shortly. ❤

Butterfly Forests on Etsy!

As of ten minutes ago, the Butterfly Forests Homestead etsy shop is up and running! 😀

This is a great way to start practicing more with online sales. In the future, the Butterfly Forests Homestead will primarily focus on in-person sales. But- artworks which can be sold world wide will be listed on the Etsy shop here.

As the Butterfly Forests Homestead gains popularity overtime, I imagine the shop will do pretty-well. In the meanwhile, this a great way for me to share my artworks to the world and maybe gain some funds from it. 🙂 *Who knows what the future’s treasures shall bring?* Either way, I am very grateful and feel blessed. ❤

Link to online shop can be found here:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ButterflyForests?ref=hdr_shop_menu

* I have noticed whilst I was setting up the shop: Etsy does not allow certain dimensions of artworks which just might be too big to sell on Etsy. Which is fine, since I wouldn’t mind selling them locally to those would love to own them. 🙂

So… in the future overall, any artworks which would be tricky to ship will be sold in the future, will be on Butterfly Forests Homestead website (Daniel will help me design/create the website in 2018).