Thursday, April 29, 2010

goat pens gardens and other happenings

I took the quilt to the winner yesterday. She has a very nice garden. She gave me some plants for my garden which I doubt I remember all of them. Oregano, parsley, fennel, chives, sage, mint, two tomato plants, broccoli, mustard greens, and a bleeding heart and lamb's ears.

She also gave me advice on asparagus. Everything I have read said to pull out the little volunteers. She just lets hers go wild and always has lots of asparagus. This is my first year with it and I was going to let it go wild anyway but if that is all there is to it than I will just let it grow and eat it when I can.

Another lady was giving away some sweet potatoes, seed potatoes and cabbage plants. I went there to get some and she lives in a bottom close to a year round creek. She has a big really nice house that they are remodeling and a huge garden. She saves her own seed so she has to buy very little. The cabbage was two year old seed and she didn't think it would all come up but did. So she had plenty to give away. I planted all of them besides what i gave to my boys. They have decided to make there own garden this year. Good luck to them.

This lady also use to have goats and gave me the name of someone who might have a billy I could borrow. I redid the goat pen the day before. Chicken wire will not hold a goat for long. I was repairing holes almost daily. So I tore down that section and because of the amount of rigging and repairs that was hard work. The kids enjoyed raking up and helping fertilize the garden. While my husband and i rebuilt the fence using red top field wire.
Today I need to build something to grow sweet potato slips in and plant more regular potatoes. There is always weeding, mowing, housework, and other things to do. But at the end of the day i sure sleep well.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Auction

This is a picture of a very beautiful quilt donated by for a raffle to raise money for James Rains Jr.

We also held a pie auction. Many local businesses donated items and we baked pies for two days. i wrote on here earlier about everything that happened and it said it couldn't connect, gave me some error code and i lost everything
I finally made a really good pecan pie and my husband bid on it and won. I really liked it maybe to much.
We had the drawing today for the BB gun and the Quilt. Congratulations to George Gilliam for winning the BB gun and Tracy Smith for the quilt.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Yesterday I was talking to a teacher while she was digging a flowerbed in the head start playground. She hit a rabbit nest and bunnies went everywhere. My four year old son in spite of warnings that they bite and scratch caught one. Other kids tried to catch the others but with no luck. He named him Cocoa. I told him again that they bite and he said "yeah but not hard". I didn't have the heart to make him put it down because they were just going to let the other kids have it. We have a rabbit hutch so i thought we could take care of the thing. People began telling me how hard it was to take care of a baby rabbit so when I got home i looked it up. I do believe it will be to hard. I got the thing some rabbit pellets and a water bottle. I have it in a box, in the house, in a quiet place so as not to give the thing a heart attack. Well this morning it was out of the box. We found it but I haven't gotten it to eat anything so I think Iwill turn it loose at the school this afternoon and just get the kids a domestic rabbit.

My oldest caught a turtle yesterday. He has to keep it for 30 days for Boy Scouts. I need to look up and see how to take care of a turtle. I don't think it will be as hard as the rabbit. We need to get an aquarium or something for him to stay in. I don't think a bucket gives him enough room.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I have never had very much luck with lettuce before. something always eats it. This is our first garden at our new place and it seems that lettuce likes it here. Late last season we discs the garden spot. Early this season a neighbor let us get two truck loads of turkey litter. we tilled the garden twice and i started planting with my root vegetables and lettuce.

Of course something started eating it. No telling what so i put up netting around it. Two plants died anyway. I thought it was getting to dry so i added leaves as mulch and them some fish emulsions as fertilizer. it took off. I fixed a nice salad for when my brother came down to visit form the garden. If you have never had garden lettuce and onions you don't know what you are missing. I just pick more yesterday and we had a big salad for supper and enough for another salad in a day or two. lettuce only keeps a little while in my refrigerator before it gets slimy. i am going to invest in a scale so that i can keep track of how much produce i get out of my garden this year.
I think i will make BLT's for supper. My husband will even eat lettuce that way.

Monday, April 19, 2010


my onions and garlic are up and running. Yesterday Sugar(the big goat) stuck her head through the fence and ate 3 of my red onions. I didn't realize that a goat would eat onions. I didn't think that any animal except humans would eat onions. Boy was i wrong. I replanted the bottoms so that they will come back with little damage.

My potatoes are doing well. I need to weed and mulch them. i was using the old hay around the pole shed to mulch them but my husband got a bee in his bonnet and racked it all up and burnt it. I told him what i was using it for but he said all i was doing was planting bermuda.

My first attempt at chinese cabage. They are doing great. I have green leafy lettuce right behind it. Although it is doing well things keep eating it and i am only one of those things. Right now i have it double fenced. I have the garden fence and then netting around it. Salads taste better out of the garden.


Here are a few of the chickens and a rooster that help keep the insects under control on the farm. They aren't caged at all, they are allowed to range free all over the farm except in the garden.
The smaller ones are kept pinned for their own protection. In these cages are three chickens and one rooster. The roosters name is Sunday. when they get larger the chickens will be turned out with the other chickens but the Rooster will be kept caged to fatten him out for the dinner that bears his name. Sunday Dinner.

This pony is one of the three organic lawn mowers. Her name is Ginger and she does a nice Job of keeping the lawn mowed.
This little lawn mower has horns and keeps getting her head caught in the fence. Sometimes she needs assistance in getting out.

The first Bon-fire

My niece Casey Keen and Robbie(roasting hot dogs). Emily and my other niece.
Jackie fixing plates
The fire after it had burnt down a little Josh not enjoying himself
We had planned this for days. my husbans had pushed up a huge pile of brush and trees while clearing for a fence. It was all dried out and ready. We invited family and freinds. Bought all the food and drinks. drug out chairs and camping stuff. The whole nine yards.
The night turned out cool but we thought we would have a fire and it would be no big deal. My husband lit the fire and while it was still light we cleaned up around the pile. Some people started to get cold and ready to go and we haven't even pulled out the hot dogs yet so we hurried to get the food ready and you guessed it, the fire was to hot to roast anything. We started cutting down small saplings just to get something long enough. The smoke was everywhere. If you got far enough away to get out of the smoke well then you were cold.
well it got dark and the kids had a ball. They played hide and seek in the dark. The adults sat around the fire and talked. It really was a nice night. Everyone who stayed had a great time. We were already planning the next one while packing up from this one. The one thing we learned was to start the fire earlier in the day so that you can get close enough to roast the hot dogs and marshmallows, then throw some more wood on and sit back and enjoy the fire.

The big cook out

The best way to get the area cleaned up and have family fun at the same time is to have a hot dog and marshmallow roast. The big kids gather up twigs and branches and saplings that have been cut down into a big pile.

The little kids pretend to help, but they are really just playing in the sunshine.

After the fire burns down some of the coals are separated off to the side to make it easier to get close enough to roast the hot dogs and marshmallows.

The tailgate of the truck makes an excellent portable picnic table.
All in all it made for a wonderful day

Friday, April 9, 2010

Canning part 3

Canning fruits: All fruits may be canned with plain water, with unsweetened fruit juice, or with sirup. Here is the break down on the types of sirup.
Light sirup 1 part sugar to 3 parts water or fruit juice
Medium sirup 1 part sugar to 2 parts water or fruit juice
Heavy sirup 1 part sugar to 1 part water or fruit juice
Extra Heavy sirup 2 parts sugar to 1 part water or fruit juice.

To make the sirup, mix the sugar and water or fruit juice in a sauce pan, boil until sugar dissolves. Keep it hot.

These instructions are for use at altitudes of 1000 feet of less. The times given are for processing quarts, use the same time for pints, or reduce by 5%, the results are practically the same, increase time one-half for half-gallons.
I will list the product, type of sirup, type of pack, water bath process time and in parentheses oven process time at 275 degrees.

APPLES: medium to heavy, hot pack, 15 min (35 min)
APRICOTS: medium to heavy, hot pack , 15min (35 min), or cold pack, 20 min (50 min)
BERRIES: medium to heavy, hot pack, 5 min (25 min), or cold pack, 20 min (50 min)
CHERRIES: medium to heavy, hot pack, 10 min (35 min), or cold pack, 20 min (50 min)
CURRANTS: medium to heavy, hot pack, 5 min (25 min), or cold pack, 20 min (50 min)
FIGS: medium to heavy, hot pack, 30 min (50 min)
GRAPES: light to medium, hot pack, 5 min (25 min), or cold pack, 20 min (50 min)
PEACHES: heavy to extra heavy, hot pack, 10 min (35 min), or cold pack, 30 min (60 min)
PEARS: light to medium, hot pack, 20-25 min (50 min)
PLUMS: medium to heavy, hot pack, 10 min (35 min), or cold pack, 20 min (50 min)
RHUBARB: heavy, hot pack, 5 min (25 min), or cold pack, 20 min (50 min)
STRAWBERRIES: hot pack, 5 min (35 min)
FRUIT JUICES: hot pack, 5 min (25 min)
* If using a pressure cooker for processing fruit: cold pack and process berries, grapes and rhubarb 8 minutes at 5 pounds pressure, and all other fruits 10 minutes at 5 pounds pressure.

Most of the Information about canning that I have came out of Granddaughter's Inglenook Cookbook. The copyright is dated 1942. When I was looking at the timetables for processing, I saw a little footnote that said: All tables in this section are used by permission of Ball Brothers.
So I did a search for Ball brothers canning time tables, and found a web site that had this information and much more. The site is They had everything a person would need in the kitchen including all kinds of different shaped baking pans to all kinds of canning supplies, just everything. The book with the food processing tables in it is called "Ball Blue Book guide to preserving" and the price is $7.95. I have not ordered it yet, but I will. If you are looking for something special for your kitchen that you can't find in a store, you should look at that web site.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


There are several different ways of canning and preserving food. Here I will discuss the process involved in them.
Open Kettle Canning:
This is limited to the canning of fruits and vegetables which are highly acidic such as tomatoes, peaches, cherries and plums. Since the temperature reached never exceeds the boiling point (212), non-acid foods cannot be safely canned this way. In this procedure the foods are simply brought to the boiling point, cooked until tender, and then placed in sterile jars, filled to the brim with juice, covered with sterile lids and sealed. One difficulty may be encountered, that is soft foods may break in packing. On the other hand, no further shrinkage will take place after the jars are filled.

Hot Water Bath (Can-cooking):
Any large kettle or pot may be used provided the bottom is fitted with a wooden or metal rack. The filled jars are placed so that they will not touch each other. The container is filled with water to about 1" above the top of the jars. Do not start counting the length of time of processing until the water boils. Follow the time table to ascertain the processing time for individual foods. Remove jars and seal lids. This method is recommended for fruits and acidic vegetables only.

Pressure Cooker (Can-cooking):
Canning in a pressure cooker is the only way in which the contents of the jar or can may be heated to temperatures higher than boiling. It is the only way in which one can be sure of killing certain bacterial spores which are found in nonacid vegetables, such as peas and corn, and in meats. Follow carefully the instructions that came with the cooker.

Oven Canning (Can-cooking):
This procedure is satisfactory for fruits and tomatoes. Place the filled cans on a rack or a pan in the oven and set temperature for 275. Do not start timing until the oven has reached that temperature. Leave 1-2" space in the top of each can to allow for boiling.

Things to remember:
1. Do not use cans which show cracks or chips.
2. Can nothing but sound, fresh foods.
3. Tighten caps immediately upon bringing them from canner.
4. Do not turn the sealed can upside down to test for leakage.
5. Never tighten the lid after the can cools. The seal may be broken.
6. Never set a hot jar on a cold surface, or in a cold draft of air.
7. Be certain to use all precautions mentioned with the pressure cooker.
8. Store in a cool, dark, dry place.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Canning Part 1

The modern homemaker is often inclined to depend upon commercial agencies for preservation of her winter's supply of food or else to rely upon fresh foods. The latter method is extremely expensive and not altogether satisfactory since vegetables, particularly, may change in nutritive value during shipping and marketing. Home canned and dried foods are usually more economical and often more tasty.
Canning is the process whereby food is sterilized and kept under sterile conditions in which bacteria, yeast, mold, etc., are not allowed to grow.
Firm, ripe fruits which show no signs of decay and few blemishes should be selected. Vegetables should be canned while they are yet tender and full flavored. They should be gathered early in the morning and canned shortly thereafter.
After essential preparation such as peeling, shelling and washing, foods either may be cooked and placed in the jar, or may be can-cooked, that is, cooked or processed in the can. In the can-cooked method, the food is packed in the can either raw,blanched, or precooked. Since blanching and precooking cause loss of flavor and nutritive value, they are used only in cases where they aid in peeling, in packing, and in preventing excessive shrinkage in the cans. The only foods which need to be precooked are asparagus, green beans, spinach and meat; others may or may not be, as desired. Blanching may be done by dipping in hot water for a few minutes which makes the removal of tomato and peach skins easier. Precooking is most satisfactorily done by steaming.
All jars and lids should be sterilized. This is done by placing them in water kept boiling for 15-20 minutes. Do not let the interior come in contact with unsterile materials before using. Do not boil rubber rings; soak them in soda solution made with 1 tsp. soda per cup of water. After the food and cans have been carefully prepared, in the can-cooked method pack the cans firmly and securely, but not too tightly. Exceptions to this rule are peas, shelled beans, corn and meat which should be packed loosely to insure thorough sterilization. Cover with hot water to within 1/2" of jar top and 1 tsp. salt per quart of food for vegetables. In the case of fruits, a sirup of desired consistency usually takes the place of water. Place the lids and tighten as much as possible with thumb and finger, or tighten completely and then turn back 1/4".

Monday, April 5, 2010

Getting the most out of a small area

Choose Indeterminate tomatoes. They keep growing and producing fruit until a killing frost. The other kind, which are called Determinate varieties save space because they are a smaller plant, but they produce all there fruit at once and then they are done. This is the kind that large scale tomato producers use so they can pick them all at once and sell to canneries.
The one I chose is BIG BOY from Bonnie Plants. It is an indeterminate variety, it grows in full sun, and maturity in 78 days. The tomatoes are large for slicing. We got our plants from Lowe's, but lots of places carry this brand. I planted 3 of these. I think that will be plenty to have fresh tomatoes on the table all through the summer plus enough to make my chow-chow, canned tomatoes, and tomato sauce. I might even try a few bottles of cat sup.

Other things to remember when planting in a small space is plant only the things your family will eat. No since in wasting precious garden space by planting stuff no one wants. I learned my lesson last year when I planted beans. I found out after just one or two batches of beans that my husband hates them. I like them OK, but not enough to work that hard on them so I pulled them out.
In the spring, plant cool-season vegetables like lettuce, mescalin , arugula, scallions, and spinach. They are ready to harvest in a short time, and they act as space holders until the warm-season vegetables fill in.
Grow vertically. Peas, small melons, squash, cucumbers, and pole beans have a small foot print when grown vertically. Plus they yield more over a longer time than bush types. I tried squash last year and the plants got huge and beautiful with plenty of blossoms, but no produce at all. It must be my soil. I had no luck at all so I am not going to try it again. I have planted black-eye peas (that's our favorite). Plants like broccoli, eggplants, peppers, chard, and kale are worth the space they take for a long season. As long as you keep harvesting, they keep right on producing. I did Chinese eggplant last year, and they did very well. It seems like those potato bugs are attracted to them though, I did have to use a lot of insecticide. The peppers that I planted this year is Jalapeno, also from Bonnie Plants. I did green and red sweet bell peppers last year only to find out that, like the beans, no one would eat them.
by Kay longboy

Friday, April 2, 2010

My tiny little garden

I don't have much space but I love fresh vegetables from the garden, especially tomatoes, so last year I dug out this small section just behind my house and built a raised bed. My husband got the landscaping rock from Lowe's and my son helped me with the digging out of the old grass and the dirt moving. We used a pallet of top soil and a big bag of peat moss (these were also purchased at Lowe's) to fill it in. I had a pretty good yield and of course planned to do it every year.
Last year we used tomato cages on our tomatoes but it didn't work out for me very good. The tomato vines were so heavy and it can be very windy here in Missouri at times, so the cages kept falling down and I couldn't get them to stay up. That made picking the tomatoes more difficult rather than easier. So this year we put up a small section of stock fence anchored with T-post to attach our tomatoes. As the vines grow, I will just tie them to the fence. I saw my cousin Earl do this in his garden and thought it was a great idea.
Yesterday I read an article in MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine entitled Grow $700 of food in 100 square feet. It was all about this lady who had a 5' x 20' garden in her back yard and she wanted to see how much food she could produce in it. She kept track of all the expenses and what and how much she produced, along with the price those same vegetables cost at her local supermarket. She figured the total value of her little garden to be $746.52 then she subtracted the price of the plants, seeds, compost, and fertilizers, which came to about $63.09 . That means there was a $683.43 in savings on fresh vegetables for her.

I decided to try to keep track of what I get from my little space too. My space is about 4' x 18', but part of it is under the overhang of my roof and things don't like to grow there. There is also a crawl space thing on one end that takes out some of the usable area. I will get my husband to figure out the exact square footage for me. The other thing I am going to keep track of is the price of the water bill. That, to me, will make a difference in the total benefit also.
I will take pictures as the season progresses. Right now, I have 3 Big Boy tomato plants, Two Jalapeno pepper plants, Bib lettuce, green leaf lettuce (forgot the variety) and red leaf lettuce as well as plenty of onions. I planted black-eye peas this morning, they should be coming up in the next 10 days.
By Kay Longboy

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Old-World Rye Bread

This was my very first attempt at making rye bread. My mom told me that rye bread don't raise blood sugar levels like white or even wheat breads do, so I decided to try it. I went in search of rye flour and it was hard to find. Our local grocery stores in Mount Vernon don't carry it so I drove to Monet to the Wal-Mart and they didn't have it either. I was just about to give up when another customer and her daughter walked up beside me so I asked them if they knew who might carry rye flour. The answer was Ramey supermarket. They had a few different brands, but the one I chose was Hodgson Mill. I already had yeast so I didn't buy more, that was my mistake. The bread didn't raise well so it turned out heavy, but the flavor is wonderful. When I buy more yeast, I am going to try again on this recipe, and there are several other recipe's that I have run across for rye bread that I am going to try also.


2 packages (1/4 oz each) active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup molasses
6 TBS butter, softened
2 cups rye flour,
1/4 cup baking cocoa
2 TBS caraway seeds
2 tsp salt
3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

1) In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Beat in the molasses, butter, rye flour, cocoa, caraway seeds, salt and 2 cups all purpose flour to form a stiff dough.

2) Turn onto a floured surface; knead (working in the rest of the all purpose flour) until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a worm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

3) Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each piece into a loaf, about 10 inches long. Grease two baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves on prepared pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

4) Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each)
Nutritional facts: 1 slice ...146 calories, 3 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 229 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein.

After making this bread, I see that it does have a lot of all purpose flour in it and I am not sure if it is the answer to high blood suger after all. The search continues.

By Kay Longboy