Southern Summer… Making Homemade Ice Cream

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Southern Summer Mornings

The summer season is here!!! The Dog Days of Summer are quickly approaching and this Southern Summer has already been hot! What summer cold treats do you offer to family and friends to cool down?? Homemade ice cream is definitely a Southern favorite.

The only thing that could make this hot summer day better is ice cream! 🍨🍨🍨🍨

Nothing seems to excite my family more than the treat of homemade ice cream. Homemade Ice cream just simply tastes like a southern summer at its best. Last year, I posted my favorite vanilla homemade ice cream on Pinterest and it has definitely been a hit!

As the July 4th holiday approaches, I thought it would be a great time to share this very simple recipe with y’all today. This recipe works well with my current ice cream maker. You can add fresh summer fruit into the mix or simply sprinkle across the top as a beautiful garnish.

Fresh peaches or strawberries are amazing with Homemade vanilla ice cream
Gather your ingredients…
I use whole milk
1 cup will give you a very sweet cream mix
Mix together all ingredients and make sure sugar is fully incorporated into milk/cream mixture. Pour into 2 quart ice cream maker.
I have one that is similar to the ice cream maker on the left. These are currently available for purchase at WCH!
Life is like ice cream, you need to enjoy it before it melts 🍨

Pulling Weeds

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As your garden grows, so do the weeds😳! Weeds, the unwanted earthy material we desire to rid our flower & vegetable gardens of forever. Weeds can somehow creep into your garden and appear almost overnight. Weeds steal valuable water & nutrients from your growing garden. Before you know it, your once gorgeous garden is chocked full of weeds and struggling to survive. So, as a gardener, an ongoing task is weeding.

Some people say, that pulling weeds is a laborious task, while others seem to get lost in the joy of nature. Regardless, of your mindset, it is a maintenance task that must be routinely addressed as a homeowner in order to keep an approachable, well maintained landscape.

On the blog today , I have researched and found my Top Weeding Tips to share with y’all. These are not fool proof, but it could help you with your summer garden maintenance routine.

Top Ten Weeding Tips:

1. Timing is Everything … Pulling weeds is a much easier task after a good soaking rain. Those of us who live in red clay soil zones, can definitely attest to the ease of pulling after a rain versus the dry, hard clay soil. Smaller weeds are much easier to yank than larger ones. So don’t ignore the task of weeding. Pulling weeds in morning or later evening are definitely easier during those long, hot summer days.

After a rain is a perfect time to walk in garden to see the beauty of your labor & be active in weeding out those pesky little weeds.

2. Tools… the right tools for the job are important! I usually carry a small bucket for weeding to dispose of those pesky things. A weeding tool, gardening spade, gloves, and gardening hoe are essential for getting the job done, get the root out!

Great tools make quick work of weed control!

3. Think about your mulch layer… If you mulch heavy( 3-4 inches deep) it should help somewhat with weed control. Simply putting down an inch or two of mulch around perennials, annuals and shrubs is simply not going to cut it. A shallow layer of mulch won’t keep weed seeds buried in the soil below from germinating. The key to weed control is to smother them out! Weed seeds need light, water, & air in order to thrive and grow. Make conditions harsh for weeds to prosper. Also, don’t forget to think about the birds who float in weed seeds that can get into the soil below to sprout and grow. Mulch in flowerbeds should be at a minimum of depth of 4 inches.

4. Tilling… the least amount of soil that is disturbed, the better chance you have to keep weed seeds from being distributed . Weed seeds are buried in every inch of your beautiful garden, but only those in the top inch or two of soil get enough light to trigger germination. Digging and cultivating brings hidden weed seeds to the surface. So don’t dig or till unless absolutely necessary!

5. Think about planting more… the unused garden space in your garden invites the opportunity for more weeds to grow. It maybe time to grow more veggies or flowers!

On sale now!!! All remaining flower & vegetable seeds

6. Turn the pages of your Almanac!!! Pulling weeds during a barren sign(Leo, Gemini, Virgo, Aquarius) is impactful!

I usually consult my Almanac before I go pull weeds. It is a fruitless task to weed control on a day that is unsuited for it. I never weed on good planting days.

7. Take a daily walk through your garden, & pull a few weeks everyday. Pick a section to focus on each day and just work in it.

8. Technology time… plant apps are readily available to help you identify plant material. Weeds can be identified and help you determine how to get rid of it. How does this weed spread… seed, runners, or rhizomes/root based ???

Consider using a plant identification app.

9. Talent… use your talent as an amazing gardener by never leaving the roots behind. If you pull only the leaves, weeds will grow back. Grab the weed close to the ground and pull straight up. Remove the entire root for a successful weeding session. For those really hard ones to kill, we have some amazing chemicals to try, if you need them. Our customers have requested chemicals that are people/pet friendly that work! We have them!!! Come stop by and talk to us about options available.

Amazing products inside WCH!!!

10. Tenacity will pay off… there will always be weeds in the garden, hopefully less than more… if you use a few of these tips to help reduce your weeding chores. Don’t give up on your garden. The joy it brings is definitely worth it and persistence is key in weeding the garden.

June Gardening Guide

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Gardening became a lovely little side hobby of mine when we purchased our first home years ago. I loved learning about all the different types of trees and flowers in my yard. The gardening gene runs deep in my family. From my youngest memories, my family always had a garden full of veggies and beautiful flowers dotted the yard.

Snowball Hydrangeas were a staple in our yard growing up.

June is normally a month when your flowers and vegetables begin to show off in full beauty. The hard work of May and the other spring months pays off but it is not a time to relax just yet!!!

For a beautiful garden, June is a month when watering, weeding/hoeing, and monitoring for insects & disease can reap rewards. If these go unchecked during the summer months, it can definitely lead to disaster!!!

I love, love 💕 this water hose for watering plants!!! It is lightweight and easy to move around in the yard to water flowers during those drought filled days.

Wilkes County Hardware has the tools in order to help you be a successful gardener this summer. Don’t forget to stop by and consult with our staff if you have questions, concerns, or if you need gardening supplies. We will be there to assist you.

Black Wonder soil builder has been a garden favorite of our gardening customers!!! What a great way to supplement your soil and add much needed nutrients!!! You will definitely see the difference!!!

According to 2022 Blum’s Almanac, June is a great time to continue to plant tomatoes 🍅, eggplant, peppers 🌶, cabbage, beans, and celery. Sowing seeds for later transplanting…collards, cabbage, & cauliflower. Plant blackeye, crowder, and lady peas, squash, cucumber, and pumpkins 🎃.

Only a few of these are left! Gardening calendars still available.

In your flower garden, plant all types of lovely cut flowers like zinnias, marigolds, dahlias, calendula, nasturtium, phlox for later fall flowers. Remember to monitor your gardens carefully for insects 🕷, pests, or disease.

Deer 🦌 are always in my yard. I use the deer spray pictured here to keep activity at bay. It works well for me! Spray your plants routinely for 3 weeks to get the scent firmly established on the plants. Reapply if you have a heavy rain. After the 3 weeks, you should be able to apply once a month depending on the rain.
Plants looking stressed??? Use this concentrated spray to give your plants a boost! Good for struggling house plants too!!!

The “Best” days to plant 🪴 for June … 1-2, 8-11, 18-19, 23-24, 28-29.

We still have seeds left for planting!!!

The “Best” Weed killing days are June 16-17, 25-27. But these 3 barren signs (Leo, Gemini, Virgo) is usually a good time to spray weeds.

Wilkes County Hardware has several options available for your weed control needs.

Tuesday June 14 will bring the Strawberry 🍓 Moon!!! This moon is named after the wild strawberries that ripen in the month of June.

I love fresh strawberries!!! This dishpan makes it easy work. Yes, these dishpans are available at Wilkes County Hardware 😎

Also, Don’t forget to fly your American flag 🇺🇸 on June 14th for Flag Day!!

Need a new flag??? Don’t worry, you can drop off your old flag at Wilkes County Hardware too!

Happy Gardening Y’all!!! 👩🏻‍🌾👩🏻‍🌾

New ladies gardening t-shirt !! This one is selling fast!!!

Dog Stories

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“The best therapist has four paws and fur.” Sometimes after the long, hard days all I need is the endless love of my sweet pups.

I believe in our entire married life, Richard & I have always had at least one dog. Most of them rescues.

The first house we purchased in North Wilkesboro, literally came with a dog! That was totally an unexpected surprise when we went to closing and the previous owners asked us to care for the neighbors dog that virtually lived at our new “soon to be home”. The seller was crushed that the neighbors were unwilling to sell the dog to him, hence the request to us. We could tell that the seller was very attached to the dog, so we agreed to care for the dog and keep him updated on the dog, which we all called Sugar Bear…our very first rescue pup. Sugar Bear quickly became a cherished pup. We all loved her dearly and she was a fantastic guard dog.

Sugar Bear loved to be inside as well as outside.
A pic of our first kitchen… Sugar Bear was terrified of thunder storms. She would try to crawl inside my bottom kitchen cabinets or bathroom cabinets during a bad storm

Today is National Rescue Pup Day. Over the years, we have had the opportunity to bring a few special rescue pups home. The joy & memories of these furry friends still linger. Here’s a glimpse back into time to our “fur babies” that we loved dearly and a small portion of their rescue stories.

Elvis & Gigi were adopted at the same time. They were definitely a dynamic duo.
Elvis never missed the opportunity for a good costume change. He had a great personality and loved his people.
Elvis loved a good nap
Elvis loved to spend time with us at the hardware store sniffing out all the good things
Gigi was our little diva dog.
Gigi had a severe burn that was healing on her back when we brought her home.
Gigi loved photo time
Annabelle “Bella” came to us after losing an eye. Eventually she lost her other one too. Blind Basset Hound was a first for our family. Bella navigated our home effortlessly. She was amazing
Bella would smile when she was happy.
Naps and love… Bella was always ready for both .

Our current rescue pups…

Joy is a fireball of energy. She loves to play all day long. Joy was rescued with her brothers and sisters… nine total.
It’s all about bones & finding a good blanket
Joy is definitely a mom’s girl…
Cookie came to our house to live with us this January. She was found abandoned at a car wash in town. So hard to believe how much she has grown since this original photo
Thus sweet pup loves to be close to us, scouting the neighborhood for any movement of cats, or people, and definitely playing with Joy.
Cookie loves snacks too & mom.

Our lives are definitely rich with love with memories of our former rescue pups and they are dearly missed. Cookie and Joy keep us active and busy now.

Each rescue pup came to us with a definite need, love & healing. All of these sweet babies found love and new home. Their story should not end. Their stories should be told so more rescues can find homes.

We are truly blessed and thankful for the Humane Society of Wilkes. The volunteers, & foster pet parents work tirelessly to keep local animals safe and happy. Consider supporting your local rescue organizations if you can.

Logistics

Logistics… in the business world, this is essential & crucial part of doing day to day work. The logistical problems of 2020-2021 brought about by a pandemic event has made it even more difficult for business to be carried out. 😳The supply chain difficulties have been unprecedented! The hardware business has unquestionably been impacted by logistical problems.

Empty shelves are definitely not what a business owner wants to see

What are we truly talking about when we say the term logistics?Logistics is the management of the flow of things from an originating point to the point of consumption. In essence, how resources are acquired, stored, transported to an ultimate final destination.

Last year in 2020, gardening chemicals were extremely difficult to keep in stock

Please bear with me a moment & I will share a simple example…Making your morning coffee, you need a coffee pot, water and coffee right??? Your resources must be available- water, coffee, coffee maker, & electricity in order to get brewing. What happens if one of those things becomes unavailable??? No coffee right??? 😢😢😢😢😢

During the height of Pandemic life many people were stuck at home. Many people turned to the world of internet shopping in order to meet the wants/needs of their lifestyle. Internet orders skyrocketed! I’m sure this is not news to most of you as you read this. Let’s go back to the intent of this blog post… logistics. The pace of transporting goods to customers skyrocketed. Goods weren’t moving quickly to meet the demand of the consumer. The logistical line was broken. Pandemic life and logistical issues were commonplace.

I think the general assumption was that 2021 would rectify the problems of logistics and the supply chain. That has not happened thus far.

From a business owners standpoint, we can see so many issues in convergence at one time and point. Here is a quick overview of a few issues we see each week when it comes to ordering for our customers.

1. Raw materials shortages( metals, resins/plastics, pvc, peat, electrical components, pool chemicals…) I could go on but… well the list is long😳

2. Shipping delays from issues directly at port, staffing, increasing costs, congestion at port areas…

3. Allocation buying- limits being placed on what you can purchase

4. Bulk buying of 3rd party resellers… ultimately makes products unavailable for us( businesses) to purchase and increases your price online 😳

5. Trucking issues- equipment & staffing issues.. and more

6. Many companies are now staffing employees in shifts around the clock in order to try to keep up with consumer demand. It takes a bit of time to add an entire new shift, (ie..3rd shift into your business model)

7. The reality of what is actually happening from our customers standpoint maybe slightly different. The topic of conversation sometimes comes up when they ask for a product and we may/not have it on shelf at that moment. We have heard lots of outlandish viewpoints on the pandemic, some are thought provoking, and others very poignant.

8. Richard and I are “digging” into our available inventory each week in order to keep our shelves stocked. That may mean items are new, or temporary replacement items until our tried and true brands can become available for purchase again. Keep checking back with us for a specific item if we don’t have it on hand. Items often go out of stock for a few weeks and become temporary unavailable.

Always viewing our order for substitutions when products are not available and looking for great new products to bring into our hardware store!!! Research is constantly being done by both of us.

9. FYI: Hands down the most requested item in 2020 & 2021 mason jars and canning lids!!!

Most asked about item during Pandemic

As logistics concerns continue into the last portion of 2021, we are dedicated to the process of vigorously working through shortages, allocation buying and grimacing through the third party resellers who gobble up much needed items of our customers.

Lastly, my thankful words to our loyal customers and friends today, we truly appreciate you dearly for shopping local with us. The more you shop local, the money can stay within our community and add buying power for our small business.