Category Archives: Baskets for Butterflies

Fall Garden Festival and Plant Sale (Oct 29)

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My daughter, Tiffany, and I will be at this event with bells on, literally — dressed as Hippies (my old leather-strip vests, ankles of jeans split up the sides, headbands, and more).

But we won’t come alone, we’ve been busy making all sorts of crafts which we will have for sale. We’ve reserved two adjoining spaces to accommodate all of the great stuff!

Jewelry

Macrame

My book, Baskets for Butterflies.

Come join the fun!

Free Admission

………………………………………

About the event:

October 29 (Sat)

Plants grown by Maricopa County Master Gardeners, Metro Tech students and invited growers.

  • Food, fashion, gardening implements and more from Metro Tech student clubs.
  • Garden accessories from local garden clubs and vendors.

This premier Valley gardening event also features trained Master Gardeners providing how-to demonstrations and expert advice to help your plants succeed. The fundraiser supplements Metro Tech’s student programs, and supports community outreach and education by Maricopa County Master Gardeners, under the auspices of the University of Arizona’s Continuing Education and Extension program.

Metro Tech High School
1900 W. Thomas Rd., Phoenix
(Corner of Thomas and 19 Ave.)

Craft Fair Saturday

birdfeed_090816aSept. 10, 2016
(Saturday)

Glendale Landmark Middle School

5730 W MYRTLE AVE GLENDALE AZ 85301

My daughter, Tiffany, and I will be staffing a table of items for sale.
I’ll have copies of my book, Baskets for Butterflies, and assorted macramé projects. She is bringing lots of jewelry and some crocheted items.
The craft fair at the school goes from 10am – 4pm.
It is associated with the 12th Annual Teddy Bear Day.
wallplant1_090816a

Metro Tech Fall Festival and Plant Sale

MacrameTulip1Mark your calendars for plants, crafts, and Groovy fun!

October 29 (Sat) from 8am – 1pm

Of course, I’ll have my book, Baskets for Butterflies.

But that’s not all . . . In honor of my macramé items, I’m going to celebrate the 1960’s and 70’s by dressing up as a hippie!

Friendship1Where did I find the clothes? (My closet). Where did I wear them? (West High School, which was the original name for Metro Tech High.) There are more embarrassing details below, but here’s the event info first:

Metro Tech High School
1900 W. Thomas Rd., Phoenix
(NW corner of Thomas Rd. and 19 Ave.)
October 29 (Sat) from 8am – 1pm

Admission is free.

Continue reading Metro Tech Fall Festival and Plant Sale

Bitter Lettuce and Talking Plants

Loose-leaf lettuce_______________________I go into my Arizona garden each morning with a knife and a colander to gather the day’s harvest. _______________________

I bend over to slice the central stem of a pretty, green, loose-leaf lettuce. White liquid pools up in a circle on the severed stalk. I hesitantly guide a leaf into my mouth to taste.

“Ptooey!” I spit it on the ground.

Why does lettuce turn bitter?

It has to do with the turning of the earth over eons of time. Continue reading Bitter Lettuce and Talking Plants

2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards

2015 FinalistBaskets for Butterflies

Places as Finalist in

2015 New Mexico – Arizona Book Awards

 

In the garden . . .

“Gnome, where are you!”

I hold several white papers close to my breast as I run, so the precious sheets don’t tear in my excitement. The awkward position puts my body off balance, causing me to wobble while racing to the garden . . . a little jump over the first dry creek bed, across the soft mulched orchard, and then another hop over the second bare sandy watercourse. I wonder, not for the first time, about why I put my planting bed in the back section of acreage. Continue reading 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards

Heirloom seeds, garden knowledge, and folklore.

My garden buddyIt’s Saturday, I’m standing at my vendor’s table at the Fall Festival and Plant Sale at Metro Tech High School.

 

“Are you familiar with heirloom vegetables?” I ask a female attendee?

“Yes, those plants are . . . old, right?”

Most people who stop by to chat with me understand that heirlooms are living antiques. Many also have heard that varieties are becoming extinct on a massive scale. However, few attendees have a clue that, not only are heirloom plants threatened, but also are the methods for growing, caring for, and harvesting the crops . . . along with rich cultural traditions, beliefs, and folklore associated with these endangered gems. Continue reading Heirloom seeds, garden knowledge, and folklore.

Weekend Events (Oct 10/11)

Table BannerThis weekend you can join me at this event

 

Rocker 7 Farm Patch in Buckeye (Fall Festival & farmers’ market)
I have a vendor table (selling & signing Baskets for Butterflies) from 9am-6pm. Stop by and talk to me about gardening.

I’m teaching a class at noon (Heirloom Gardening). I’m bringing a Tohono O’odham Multiplier Onion to display. This endangered onion was brought to Arizona by Father Kino in the 1600s. Learn more about this rare but tough little plant–and why you should grow it.

Oct 10/11 (Sat/Sun):
19601 W. Broadway Rd. (Buckeye)

Look for my yellow and blue table banner.

See you there!

Join me at these events!

Donna Hamill, authorLook for me and my book, Baskets for Butterflies,
at these garden events.

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 10/11 (Sat/Sun):
Rocker 7 Farm Patch (Fall Festival & farmers’ market
19601 W. Broadway Rd.  (Buckeye)
I have a vendor table (selling & signing books) from 9am-6pm
I’m teaching a class at noon (Heirloom Gardening/also selling & signing Baskets for Butterflies)

Oct 17 (Sat)
Metro Tech Fall Festival and Plant Sale
1900 W. Thomas Rd. (Phoenix)
I have a vendor table (selling & signing books) from 8am-1pm

Oct 18 (Sun)
Rocker 7 Farm Patch (Fall Festival & farmers’ market)
19601 W. Broadway Rd. (Buckeye)
I’m teaching a class at noon (Heirloom Gardening/also selling & signing Baskets for Butterflies)

Oct 24/25 (Sat/Sun)
Rocker 7 Farm Patch (Fall Festival & farmers’ market)
19601 W. Broadway Rd. (Buckeye)
I’m teaching a class at noon (The Fall Garden/also selling & signing Baskets for Butterflies)

Oct 31/Nov 1 (Sat/Sun)
Rocker 7 Farm Patch (Fall Festival & farmers’ market)
19601 W. Broadway Rd. (Buckeye)
I’m teaching a class at noon (Seed Saving/also selling & signing Baskets for Butterflies)

Nov 7/8 (Sat/Sun)
Rocker 7 Farm Patch (Fall Festival & farmers’ market)
19601 W. Broadway Rd. (Buckeye)
I’m teaching a class at noon (Garden Mistakes/also selling & signing Baskets for Butterflies)

I hope to see you there!

Preparing for the Upcoming Fall Festival (Oct 17)

Newly planted onionsEach year, Metro Tech High School coordinates with the Maricopa County Master Gardeners to present the Fall Festival and Plant Sale (Phoenix).

Once again, Gnome’s Heirloom Garden will host a vendor table at this popular event, scheduled for Saturday, October 17. I’ll bring lots of books to sell and sign. My daughter (and editor), Tiffany, will also join me.

In the meantime, I’ll be nurturing these cups full of Tohono O’odham I’itoi Multiplying onions (newly planted and not yet spouted). Some will be for my table (possibly for sale) and the others donated to the plant sale.

Since master gardeners host the event, many of the plants available are rare and unusual (like my onions).

Don’t miss this!

Knight of the Realm

Buff Orpington“Chickens bond with each other, just as people do.”

____________

While feeding the chickens, I enter a separate pen to check on the baby cockerels. They’re big boys, now—not babies. Each day I study them closely, mentally measuring their bulk against the openings in the chain-link of the main chicken coop.

I grab the closest guy. “Are you too big to slip through the mesh? I’d hate to lose you.”

We exit the small pen together, and the gate closes behind me. Then I put him on the ground inside the main coop.

The cockerel immediately tries to get back into the enclosure with his brothers, pacing back and forth testing the wire fence. His siblings do the same dance on the other side, trying to get to him. They want to be together. Continue reading Knight of the Realm

My Friend Bonnie

donna and I-L 3- Clocks-1-L 57 cat-1-L 58 table detail-1-L 53 chandelier-1-LBonnie Wright scared me to death when I first met her.

I was employed for fifteen years with a local non-profit. Most of that time, Bonnie was the CEO of that organization. She never gave me any reason to be frightened. In fact, this lady was an awesome, intelligent, and caring CEO; I have fond memories of my employment. But I was just a little country girl employed at a lowly position, and she was—well, CEO. At the time, the gap between our social stations seemed overwhelming—to me, anyway. Over time, Bonnie’s warm personality melted my unwarranted fear, and we developed a lasting friendship.

So Bonnie and her friend, Mary, visited my homestead earlier this month. She brought along a professional-level camera (a nice change from my plastic point-and-shoot). Before they left, Bonnie said she would send me the pictures; I gave them an endangered Tohono O’odham I’itoi onion to take home.

Bonnie is now a professional photographer. Her work reflects the quality and excellence that she devotes to everything she does.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of the photos she took at my little farm. Here is the first installment, entitled, “Our Home.”

The following excerpt from my book, Baskets for Butterflies, describes our house and property. Continue reading My Friend Bonnie

Baskets for Butterflies now available to Metro Tech students.

Ready for checkout
Ready for checkout

It can be at your local school, too!

My editor (and daughter), Tiffany, has donated two copies of my book to Metro Tech High School in Phoenix. We plan to distribute many more books to schools across the valley along with my offer to speak to young people about heirloom gardening, homesteading, or self-publishing.

I would be equally thrilled for anyone else to purchase a copy or two and make this same donation to their local school. My offer to speak is open to any school in Maricopa County.

Paperback Released!

Can a garden gnome really come to life to help me?
Can a garden gnome really come to life to help me?

Baskets for Butterflies

(Kindle format available, too.)

Purchase:
http://amzn.com/B00OSER3PO

I finished formatting the inside text and cover layout of my paperback book last month. Then I ordered a sample copy, called a ‘proof,’ which gave me a chance to view the product in physical form before approving it.

My feet paced the floor, waiting for that treasure to arrive in the mail. When the package finally came, it felt heavy in my hands. I was afraid to open it. This was the first time I had formatted a book. Continue reading Paperback Released!

The self-publishing journey

ButterflyTitle_112014

 

 

I’m a do-it-yourself sort of person. Living on rural property has taught me to enjoy tackling unfamiliar projects. I was a quick study when it came to learning drip irrigation, running fences, gardening, and animal management. So, when the ‘paperback’ version of Baskets for Butterflies became ready to format for publication, it never occurred to me not to design the cover and arrange the internal pieces myself.

What fun is a task if I let other people do it for me? Continue reading The self-publishing journey

Metro Tech Fall Festival and Plant Sale

Metro Tech Fair 2014
Metro Tech Fair 2014

The lady in the picture with me is my editor (my older daughter, Tiffany). She and I had a wonderful time at the Fall Festival at Metro Tech High School  Saturday.

This event is sponsored cooperatively by the school and the Maricopa County Master Gardeners. Tiffany and I have been attending together for a number of years because this is a great place to buy unusual plants. This year, for example, I purchased a Yellow Tropical Milkweed as an addition to my monarch garden. Continue reading Metro Tech Fall Festival and Plant Sale

ANNOUNCING! Baskets for Butterflies in Kindle edition!

Can a garden gnome really come to life to help me?
Can a garden gnome really come to life to help me?

Buy Baskets for Butterflies,
Kindle edition ($3.99)
http://amzn.com/B00OSER3PO

(Paperback coming in several weeks.)

And I have a wonderful surprise! My book is a contestant for a local literary award called ONEBOOKAZ. Winners will be revealed in March.

Coordinated by the Arizona State Library, the goals of ONEBOOKAZ is to “celebrate literature, foster a sense of community, support Arizona authors, and enhance digital literacy skills.” They do this by selecting one book in each age category and encouraging readers across the state to read the same book at the same time. Baskets for Butterflies competes in the ‘adult’ category along with some other great literature. Please cross your fingers because winning this award could educate Arizonans about heirloom seeds—to help keep these treasures from slipping into the ‘Darkness’ that my little garden gnome and I both fear. (http://www.onebookaz.org)

I want to thank Ken Johnson (www.YourEbookBuilder.com) who did so much more than program electronic files. He worked like the dickens to meet a tight submission deadline for ONEBOOKAZ. He acted as mentor, educating me regarding self-publishing activities, including the marketing complexities of ‘keywords.’ (Thank you.)

I also want to thank the wonderful person who provided my first review. As an author, the most meaningful encouragement I can receive is to hear that someone ‘got what I was trying to say.’ As you folks read the book, please remember to leave a review. (Thank you.)

This is so exciting!

Can a garden gnome really come to life to help me?
Can a garden gnome really come to life to help me?

Baskets for Butterflies is ready to take flight!

Ohmygosh! I can’t believe my book is almost ready for publication!

Here’s the latest update:

Written—complete. Readers can share four months of my crazy life on an Arizona heritage farm with dairy goats, turkeys, chickens, and a few mishaps. My organic garden struggles in the extreme Arizona heat. Thank goodness, my seeds are heirlooms from the ancient Native Americans. Unfortunately, many of these priceless treasures near extinction! I wish a mentor were here to help—and then mystical forces conjure just the gnome I need. Who knew that the little guy needed me, too? To me, the art of garden lore and storytelling is as endangered as the seeds I grow. Continue reading