Thursday, July 15, 2010

Peanut beans

 This is a little late.  I have been telling you about trying to grow sweet potatoes from my own slips.  well I grew the slips and we planted them in hills.  It has rained so hard lately that I haven't been out there to  take new pictures but they are finally taken off.  Not all of the ones we planted survived but I still have two hot beds with slips more that what I can use and I think it is getting to late in the season to plant more but I am going to plant some more and see.  sweet potatoes are better after a frost anyway and although we could see one in October we usually don't until November or December.  I have never had much luck with sweet potatoes so I will keep you posted.
A friend gave me some new kinds of beans.  One called Peanut beans and the other Anasazi beans. Neither seem to be common.  The plants are up and starting to see runners but no beans yet.  Keep your fingers crossed.  The Kentucky wonders I planted in the corn are finally starting to take off. No beans yet but the corn is almost done and I don't know how I am going to work this one.  I also need to find something to plant where the corn is coming out of.  I don't want non productive space.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I love vegetables

 My tomatoes are finally getting over the blossom end rot.  But now the rain has not let up the last couple of days.  We needed the rain everything was drying up and I was trying to keep the garden watered.  But now with the rain things like my tomatoes are getting to much and starting to crack and bust.  I'm starting to get enough to can.  I love home made canned tomatoes.
 The corn is ripe.  We have been picking some for supper.  I cooked some last night.  I haven't had the time to put up any yet but i need to get on it quick. What we froze tasted wonderful last winter.  I froze most on the cob then creamed some.  we didn't like the creamed corn. I pick up all the flavors from the freezer but the stuff on the cob was all eaten
 I have froze some peas and snaps already this year.  I need to freeze a bunch more.  This was one of my dad's favorites when he comes to visit.  Mine too.  I didn't have much of a garden last year due to just moving here but where the telephone company dug to lay the phone line i planted peas all the way down.  I was expecting and couldn't walk down the hill to check them so i kept asking my kids if they were ready.  The kids said no.  Then it was time to turn the cows in the field.  I asked my husband to please check one last time before the cows got them.  He brought me four groceries bags full.  I was so happy.
I start picking mine young.  The plants continue to put on peas and you can shell them and snap them. Most people wait until they dry in the vine but I prefer them green.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

squash, squash, and more squash

 I keep track of the weight of the vegetables that we get out of the garden.  This way I can tell if we are doing better from year to year. I also like to find out the current price to see how much money i am saving by growing and putting up our own vegetables. So I went by the stores and no one has fresh okra.  So I got online and the only fresh okra I could find was $25.00 a pound.  That can't be right. So why does no one sell fresh okra.  I have plenty that I could sell but what would you charge for it.  Not $25.00 a pound.
 I have a freezer full of squash but am still getting alot of squash.  I think I am going to try some different recipes and make some chutneys and squash pickles.  I have to do something with it.  I don't want anything to go to waste this year.
Brussel sprouts are being eat up by worms.  I can't spray the plants with anything because it just rolls off the leaves. I really need to figure this one out.  The kids love brussel sprouts.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wild Blackberries

Yesterday was a decent day so I went to the garden to weed eat the back fence and  the weed eater was broken.  I tried to fix it but couldn't so I had to find something else to do.  I gathered up what squash I could pick and put the kids on the four wheeler and drove to town to sell squash.  Not much luck I only sold $5 dollars worth so then I decided to pick black berries because they are ready.

We got on long sleeves, pants and boots. I left the baby down the hill at Grandpa's house and we went back up to pick the berries.  The first bush we came to had huge berries.  I think we ate more than we kept. Emily started crying to go home so I loaded everyone and took them to Grandpa's too.  My husband was so impressed with the berries him and his daddy went back with me.  
  My bucket was full and by this time Kyle was putting in to go home. So I loaded him and took him to Grandpa's emptied my bucket and went back for more. I picked one more bucket before calling it a day. Buddy picked a gallon jug.
  When we got home I started washing the berries that we didn't eat.  I put them in a colander and submerse them in water.  Most of the debris comes to the top to be scooped off. I then drain the water and start again until the rinse water is clean.  Then I drain the berries in the colander and put them in a single layer on cookie sheets. Then into the freezer until frozen.  I did this before bed so I just left them till morning.  Then I put them in gallon bags.  The berries are not frozen together so I can measure them out as needed. I prefer it this way because I never know what I am going to make so pre-measuring them would be impossible.  We got a total of two gallon bags frozen yesterday and another bowl in the refrigerator for cereal in the morning. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We have been really busy lately to busy for me to get on the computer and write it all down.  I regret that because if I don't write it down then iIforget it.
 We took the kids to the park. We didn't intend to feed the ducks but the ducks had different plans.  They would actually eat right out of your hands. My husband reached out and caught one of the babies.  Three adults came after him.  Only two of the ducks could have been the parents I wonder what interest the other duck had in the situation.

The kids wanted to catch one too, so we said go for it, knowing they couldn't catch one.

 We also took the kids swimming at the slab down from the house.  They always have a good time.  The water is really cold but they have lots of fun anyway
 Last year all of them were afraid of the water now they all just jump right in.
It was also vacation bible school.  It had a western theme and the kids had a great time. The last night was Wednesday and it was family night.  We had hamburgers and hot dogs then went outside for a marshmallow roast and then fun time in the water with a cow trough for swimming and a dunking booth.

The garden is doing well. yesterday I got a lot of weeding down in the afternoon.  It was the first time in weeks that it was cool enough to work outside for any length of time. I am going down the hill shortly to check on the blackberries.  This weekend is the forth of July and my parents are coming and they like blackberry cobbler.  I hope the blackberries are better this year and I will try a different recipe for the cobbler.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Family time in the midst of chaos

We had errands to run in town on Friday.  We stopped by the store and got things for a picnic lunch.  We went to the park to eat, play and feed the ducks.  I took pictures I will have to post later.  Our errands took us to Devito's restaurant that afternoon.  They have a fishing hole, that  the brothers have ran since the 70's.  The restaurant is a little out of our price range like all upscale restaurants are.  The fishing hole is of course their farm raised trout.  You  can fish there.  It is by appointment and you have to keep everything you catch.  The cost is $6.00 a pound but they clean, bag and put them on ice for you.  That  too is a little out of our price range but is a wonderful idea.  What my kids like is that you can buy fish food.  It is a dollar a bag and you can feed the fish.                                                                                                                                            
 Emily likes to wear flip flops like the older kids but can't keep them on her feet.  She also just woke up and wanted her big brother to tote her
The restaurant use to be close to the main highway but when they redid the road they bypassed the restaurant.
You have to cross an old bridge to get to the fishing hole.  The fish are raised a little farther up stream and then released down to the hole that is separated from the creek.
 Here is where they run the fishing hole from. They also do the cleaning and packing here
Here is where they raise the fish and separate from the creek.
Not the best picture but I wanted to see if my camera would take pictures of the fish in the water. We had a wonderful time. Kyle found out that if you stick your fingers in the water you will get bite. Fish don't have teeth but can still draw blood.  Leave it to Kyle. He is all boy

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I have had a very busy past few weeks.  I haven't had time to write anything down and that is disappointing to be because then I forget things.  I have a lot to do today as well so i will just post garden updates.

The corn is doing well it went from behind to the tallest in the area with all the rain we have had lately.  I had my four year old stand in the corn to give a perspective of how tall it is. It desperately needs weeded, but that will have to wait for another day.

 The butter beans are over the top of their support.  I do not see any blooms yet, and yes, it needs weeded too. As long as my plants are taller than my weeds I think I am doing good.
 The black eye peas are big and bushy but no runners or blooms yet.  These are one of my favorite things from the garden.  My mouth waters in anticipation of fresh peas and snaps.
 The okra finally decided to grow. I finally got the tall weeds knocked down so they could get light.  Okra needs hot weather to grow, and we are finally getting some.
 The sweet potato slips are up and the spot to plant them is tilled. Maybe this week I will get them planted.
 Tomatoes are doing great.  Big healthy plants. Not that many green tomatoes yet. I planted quite a few tomatoes so that I will have plenty to put up.
 We are eating squash now.  I have had two messes of it.  Squash is my son's favorite of all the garden vegetables.
We are also getting some new potatoes.  I was pricing them at the store and they are only .98 a pound.  I just thought they were more than that.
 Lots of onions.  We are using every other one so that we can have green onions now and bulb onions for later.  I plant the sweet onions so they don't last as long as the white onions.  I don't intend on trying to dry store that many in panty hose this year like I have done in the past.  They had got maggots and I really don't like that.  Maybe when I get that storage building built then they will keep better.
My lettuce has run away with me, but that is OK.  I am going to let it go to seed so that I can keep some to plant next year.  The less seed I have to buy the more profitable the garden.

Monday, May 24, 2010

pioneer day

This weekend my parents came down. We had lots of things to do. My husband and my son went to a spaghetti supper for the Boy scouts. They didn't do very well, not enough advertising.They didn't get back until well after 10pm.
  Next Sunday is pioneer day at church. They will have song and testimony.  The choir is suppose to dress up. then we will have supper on the grounds and walk to the creek for a Baptismal.  I did not have anything old fashioned, so I decided to make something.  I was not looking forward to making a dress. My mother suggested a skirt like her grandma use to wear.  So we modified a shirt I already had, then made a skirt and bonnet. The apron was one my mother had made for my vacuum cleaner lady a couple of years ago it just happened to be perfect.  I think it makes me look huge but I agreed to have my picture taken anyway. Be looking at . I am sure that she will explain how it was made in more detail
Today is the day I have to go to town.  I do not enjoy driving to town. Maybe one day I will only have to go once a year.  I am working on a year round garden that makes enough to support us.  We raise chickens and cows for meat. My husband also loves hunting so I don't think we will be lacking in that area.  One day I plan to be off the grid, or at least close to it. The biggest thing standing in my way right now is storage. My husband did set the poles for the pole barn on Saturday and we have the wood for another storage shed.  I am planning on digging a storm/root cellar this summer.
 My daughter just had to try on the bonnet. I am thinking of making her one but doubt she would wear it if it was hers.
I asked for it back to put up till next Sunday and she just had to go show grandma.

Friday, May 21, 2010

What is happening to the chickens?

 The day before yesterday I found feathers in the yard. Now chickens lose feathers all the time especially when they are, but to have that many in one place usually means something happened.  I counted and one was missing so either something happened, or she went to sitting, but with all those feather I am betting on the first.  It has been a couple of days and she is still missing. It is kinda strange because if she was got at night then the feathers are usually under the tree she roost in but the feathers were between the house and the garden. Plus we have four dogs, they don't usually let anything in the yard.  It could have been a hawk.
Yesterday evening my husband brought home some turkey eggs.  While cutting hay he ran over a nest and the hen was killed.  We usually either hatch the eggs in an incubator or under a hen.  I had one hen sitting that had lost 2 other nest but was trying for number 3.  We were going to put the eggs under her this morning because both her eggs and the turkeys were about at the same point in development. I went out this morning and she is gone. Her nest is destroyed and feathers everywhere.  Still the dogs didn't bark. This time I know it wasn't a hawk. I am beginning to think it is one of our dogs. I am going to set up one of those game cameras to find out.  We now have only 3 laying hens.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More rain

The biddies have moved outside.  This a picture of the great escape from the brooder box. When they start flying around and getting out it is time to move them outside if the weather is nice enough. After moving them the first night it rained and we did lose two. So I put the heat lamps outside and cover them at night or when it is going to rain with a blanket. We haven't lost anymore. 
 It always rains in the spring. The last two weeks have been really rainy.  Not much you can do in the garden when it is that wet.  Our driveway is starting to wash.  My husband will need to drag it again soon to keep it passable.
I didn't notice until i seen the pictures.  This picture has two ducks. I only ever saw the one
 Since it has been raining so much and we can't garden we took a little ride the other day to see what kind of wildlife we could find.  Most of the pictures were not very good. Here is a wild duck in the neighbors pond. We also seen two turkeys and a turtle.

Here in the yard we found this salamander.  The ones we usually find are black spotted, but this one was smaller and light in color. It did have spots though. We also tried to get a good picture of a Great Blue Herring but they did come out either.  I am not fast enough.  The doves and blue birds were to far away to focus.  We like seeing what kinds of animals we can find, identify and take pictures of .

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ditch Digging

Yesterday was ditch digging day. We have to get power and water to the shed. My husband keeps wanting to wait until we can afford to rent a trencher. I find when we wait to rent something, it never happens, but when I go out and start something then he comes and finishes it. So yesterday I went out with a shovel and started digging form the corner of the house to the shed. I made it to the front windows when he came home. He was tired. He picked up the pick, that I can't swing, and would loosen a couple of feet for me than he would sit down. Well his daddy came while he was sitting and I was digging. A man usually cannot stand to have his wife out do him in front of people, so he took the shovel and started digging. They made it to the shed while I cooked supper. I made meatloaf, macaroni and tomatoes, mashed potatoes with gravy, and brussell sprouts.
I still have some digging to do today. The ditch has to be deeper here to get below the frost line, but I think I will have water and electricity maybe by the first of next week

Emily playing in the hole Robbie dug

Casey cleaning out the ditch