Friday, July 31, 2009

It's Picnic Time

Elizabeth and I are headed to a picnic this evening with a home school group we recently joined.Our contribution to the meal will be 48 chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate dipped strawberries.
Jonathan kept coming into the kitchen asking if he could have just "ONE". Sorry sonny, not this time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Green Beans

My green bean plants are looking so good; very plush and healthy.
And some of the plants have even begun putting on beans!
I am so excited and looking forward to eating these in the near future!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Nancy Drew

For as long as I can remember I have loved reading Nancy Drew books.
When I was 13 my mom gave me a copy of book number one; "The Secret of the Old Clock".
Over the years I have found used copies of the books at garage sales, thrift stores and antique stores.
Now that Elizabeth is old enough to enjoy chapter books I have begun reading Nancy Drew to her.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Orchard Fence pt. 1

Work on the orchard fence began today with digging holes 2-feet deep for the larger fence posts.
The posts are a very heavy metal pipe that Pat cut to 5-foot lengths.
We mixed cement to put around each post so they would not shift in any way.
We managed to get a total of three post into the ground.
Only 8 more post to go and then it will be time to add the standard T-Post in between the larger heavy posts. The chickens are going to be well protected when the fence is finished.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A New Project

Today Pat went to the hardware store for rolls of fence, gates and small hardware.We will soon begin the very big job of fencing in the orchard so the chickens can benefit from the bugs and the trees can benefit from the chicken droppings; a win win situation!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Good Bye Old Friend...Hello New Friend

For the past year I have been saving the egg money and saving my sewing money while Jonathan has been saving his paychecks from his part time job at Tech. We needed another auto since sharing my explorer was getting too hard; either Jonathan was always waiting on me or I was having to wait on him. So, after searching, pricing and comparing autos we made a decision yesterday; Jonathan will get my well loved and cherished explorer;And I will drive this very pretty, very plush smooth driving Buick La Sabre.
We are both happy with our new autos... especially Jonathan since he gets to keep most of the money he saved!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rain Rain Glorious Rain

I'm so excited...we have had rain for most of the day! Not real heavy rain but a very nice steady rain; just right for soaking into the ground. My garden is loving it just as much as I am.
My cucumbers are doing so much better now that I have been watering them twice a day; the leaves look better and the plants are blooming once again.
I planted more cucumbers just in case these do not make it; and I planted dill too. Hopefully I will be able to make some pickles before the garden season is over.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fresh Garden Corn

The leaves on a lot of the corn we have planted has started drying; this has me concerned a little so I decided to pick an ear to see how it looked. Two green worms were feasting on the corn kernels.
I promptly fed the worms to the chickens;
And put the cob in the steamer.
Although the cob was not very plump, it was very tasty. The kids and I shared this one little cob and enjoyed every bite.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Sweet Bargain

Recently I walked into a Wal-Mart store and found red ripe strawberries marked at 98-cents per pound.These will stay in the freezer until the weather cools and I have time to turn them into strawberry jelly.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hot and Dry

We have been having hot and dry weather! My poor garden is really suffering from it, especially my cucumbers.
Until we get some rain I have started watering my garden twice a day; once in the morning and once in the evening.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Home Grown Bounty

I have always canned foods...but on a smaller scale. Now as I look at what I have so far it looks like I "over did it"!
However, once winter is here I will probably wish I had canned more.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

1st Cucumber

We picked our first cucumber and split it 4-ways.
It was so good and more will be ready very soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Canning Is So Fun

Yesterday I was looking through my canning book and found this chart; a guide for preserving a years worth of food for a family of four. My garden wouldn't even provide a Fourth of what is needed for a year. It's a good thing we have grocery stores to fall back on.
This week I found red potatoes on sale for 50-cents a pound; and since we love red potatoes better than russet potatoes; and since my garden didn't produce as many potatoes as I had hoped; I decided to take advantage of the sale and bought just over 25-pounds.
After a very full afternoon and evening of canning I ended up with 20 quarts.
Here is my cost breakdown;

Potatoes: $12.54

Lids: ? (I purchased these several years ago on clearance; I think for 50-cents)

Each quart comes out to 63-cents; each quart should have just over 1-pound of potatoes.

The cheapest canned potatoes at the store sells for 79-cents per 12-ounce can; I believe one quart of my potatoes is equivalent to at least 2 cans of potatoes sold at the store.

Canning is so fun; maybe next year I will increase my garden to see if it is possible to can at least half a years worth of food.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

If I Had...

If I had $15 I would buy 20-pounds of peaches so I could stay up past midnight canning them.If I had 20-pounds of peaches I would feed peach skins to my chickens for breakfast.
If I had 9-quarts of newly canned peaches I would add them to my other jars and be satisfied there was enough for winter cobblers.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Our New Neighbors

We have new neighbors living in our orchard; they were greeted by the "welcome wagon".
Meet the "Deer Family".
Mama, papa, older sister and the twins.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Spy In The Garden

Elizabeth and I searched the garden this morning and found a small green tomato;
Many cute little cucumbers;
Several ears of corn;
A cute little cantaloupe;
A pumpkin or squash, we aren't sure;
And a watermelon the size of a baseball.
What a nice way to start our day!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Day of Bargains

Today has been a day of bargains. On Craig's List I found two stoneware crocks for $20;
At the thrift store I found this tall wicker basket, with handles, for $1.30 (I plan on using it to hold my yarn);
And a vintage weaving loom for $2.60.
The hardware inside the box is still sealed in plastic so I guess the loom has never been used.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Evening Work

This evening Pat used the weed eater and cut down the weeds on the outer edge of the garden. While he did this I hoed and pulled weeds. My green beans are looking so nice; I'm getting so anxious to begin picking them.
I ran out of tomato cages so this evening I put up several stakes around the last of my tomato plants.
Each time I plant a garden I always put the vining plants too close together; this year was no different. Some of the watermelon plants have worked their way into the corn patch.
Elizabeth has been having fun finding small watermelons.
It's hard to believe the garden is doing so well after all the problems in the beginning.

Potato Harvest

My potatoes were beginning to look pretty sad with leaves turning brown and the plants falling over. According to the Internet potatoes are ready in 3 to 4 months (my plants were 3 months) but my mom said if you get rain sometimes the potatoes will begin to sprout and grow more potato plants.
Since we have been receiving some really nice rain this year I decided to dig up one of my plants and sure enough the potatoes had begun to sprout.
We didn't get as many potatoes as I had hoped for; they just do not grow well for us.
Last night I began canning the potatoes for using in soups this winter. I decided to see if using a second canner would save time; while the first pressure canner was going I prepared the second pressure canner and had it ready to go by the time the 1st canner was cooling down. I saved a little time but having two canners on the stove took up too much space.
After all the potatoes were canned I ended up with 13 quarts.
My garden now looks bare but I am planning to start a fall garden right where the potatoes were.
I have a nice hill of potato plants I wanted to give my chickens but am too afraid; I have always heard potato plants are poisonous.

However I did give them worms we found while digging the potatoes.

msn live statistics
Hewlett Packard Laptop