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Happy Sunday Morning!

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Thought I’d write up a little update though I’m still temporarily camera-less (my girls are away for the weekend). We finished filling 2 more of the tractor tires as well as one of the tubs yesterday, and Friday combined, I had gotten a Rhubarb plant from the MFA for $.75 and it went in the tub for now. We figure if it grows exponentially it’ll wind up in a tire.

This morning I planted some red onions, bushel gourds, and cantaloupes. Tomorrow I should have my pole beans in and my cucumbers as well. I also need to do more of my green bush beans. Not to mention getting in my herb seeds. One of the Zucchini seeds has sprouted so if nothing else comes up by this Friday I’ll replant the rest. I have about seven acorn squash coming up as well.

I noticed something yesterday in my sun choke bed. We have a volunteer tomato plant. Since I have no clue what kind it is I am leaving it where it is, as it’s on the edge of the bed anyway so it should be safe. I’ll just have to figure out how I’m going to stake it up. My peas are starting to flower, the spinach is doing well and I’ve been getting a little of it daily. (waiting for it to really take off) The eggplant looks to have a flower forming, and the bucket tomato is flowering.

My two Does are looking fatter daily (I wish I knew exactly when they got pregnant), I am hoping to have two sets of twins but as long as they are healthy and grow well I don’t really care. Still need a boyfriend for Strawberry, also a better cage for her too, but we’ll get there. We should have ducks any day now, as they have hatched and it’s a matter of when they get here.

I spent half of last evening making banana bread on our new (to us) gas stove. Our neighbors gave us a small propane stove. Makes me happy I can stop using the electric one. I have over a case of bananas in my freezer that I’m going to be making into more quick bread. One of those fun freebies we received.

We’ve been eating lambs’ quarters now that it’s growing everywhere. Silver gets a small amount in the morning with his breakfast wilted and dressed with a vinaigrette. Then we have some with our evening salad. The girls have about twenty days left of school, then when they are out we will move our big meal to midday-ish. Then have a snack like meal in the evenings. I like summer times as we eat better especially once the garden is doing well. I have hopes for over abundance. The acorn squashes no matter how many we get will be saved for winter eating..

Hope you’re all having a fun weekend.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Sunday Morning Chit Chat

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Good Sunday morning (for those of you in my neck of the woods). We’ve had a fun weekend so far, my girls were both gone yesterday morning. One went turkey hunting (didn’t see anything of course), her first time hunting too. The younger one was on a choir competition trip for school after which they went to 6 Flags. We have moved my birthday present (3 tractor tires) out to the garden and have started filling them with soil.

Friday I think it was I planted some bush green beans, in another week I’ll plant more. I am planning on putting cantaloupe’s into one of the large tires. The tomato bucket Silver set up, the tomato is starting to curl up and you can tell it’s growing. Still have lots of hope for that plant. WE were suppose to have a week of rain and it didn’t happen most of the rain had missed us so I had to water my fruit trees for the first time since planting them.

We set up a sprinkler we bought a month ago this morning. We had bought two of them but we discovered one of them didn’t work. So right now as I write this I have a sprinkler watering my garden. I do know that technically watering passively near the base of the plants is suppose to be better, however Nature waters the Earth from the sky so I personally feel as long as I make sure I water early in the morning (like before 10 am) and the sun light isn’t strong the plants should be just fine with overhead watering.

We have almost used up the truck load of top soil and all the composted sawdust we have on hand. I am hoping we can go tomorrow and get more sawdust, however we are suppose to help out a neighbor get his log splitter back from the mechanic so I don’t know if we’ll have the gas to do both before Friday. Helping the neighbor when we promised too is more important in my mind anyway.

I should be starting to pull lettuce out of my garden today as well as some spinach, The spinach isn’t doing as well as I thought it would but it might just be the amount of water it has had so we’ll see. I’m waiting on my transplanted tomatoes to put on some new growth, I am glad they haven’t wilted as they were very leggy. My peppers seem to be happy even though we had some cold nights. Thankfully none of the nights was below or at freezing, however we did brush near those temperatures.

Getting some greens out of the garden now is going to be a good thing as Silver had his yearly check up and the Doctor at the VA wants to put his on insulin because he’s not keeping his blood sugar down. Well since we had to tighten our belts when it comes to buying food lately we’ve haven’t been eating good for a diabetic of late so food from the garden means it’ll lower the blood sugar amounts. I have discovered watching his testing that is the heavy carbs are cut out (rice,pasta,potatoes) and only have nice healthy veggies (mostly greens) and a nice piece of protein his blood sugars run almost normal. I just have to be diligent with it and make sure he doesn’t cheat any.

Still waiting on our goats to give birth, and since I’m not sure when Oreo got them pregnant I am going to be surprised. I have ducklings coming soon and in a couple weeks Strawberry will have a new pen. We still need to find her a boy friend though. Why is it people always are selling what you need when you can’t afford it?

Well hope everyone has a good Sunday.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Ah Freebies!

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I really like the people my girls go to church with because they can be so helpful.  We were asked to drive over on Saturday, to pick up a few things.

We got two of these tractor tires, Silver cut the side walls out and we’re going to put acorn squash in one (for now) and carrots int he other.  Our regular soil here isn’t good enough for carrots but having something that big will give me the chance to fill with enough soil to do carrots.

Then these two barrels, there are at least 6 more waiting for us when we can get them.

See how it’s sitting?  These are  going to be a bake oven for my outdoor kitchen.  We just need one more barrel but it has to be a food grade one.  The bottom one will have a rocket like fire chamber but permit larger wood pieces.  That top one will be split in half to be used as the way to let the heat travel around the baking chamber.  We’re going to use parts from a barrel stove kit to make this.

This wonderful person who gave us these items also has more regular tires, manure and garden soil they’re giving to us for free!  We picked up[ a load of the garden soil yesterday.. three “bucket” loads which only gave that poor 1/2 ton pickup 6 inch clearance on the road on the way home.  Silver said that it wasn’t “bottomed out” yet though.  However I don’t think i want that much in there again.  It looked like we had half a low rider when we got home and we scraped on our dirt road coming in because of it.

Oh as to the garden…  This is a sun choke sprout:

Eh ok a couple of sprouts, as when I tried for one it was too blurry to be seen.  However the sun chokes do have a war going on with a native plant that I’m not sure I want to kill as I’m like to harvest some when they are ripe.

Those are Mayapples… not a good idea to eat unless you pick when ripe and only eat the fruit.   Around here it’s common to make jam with them.  I’ve been wanting to make some for years, but they don’t like direct sun so I’m not sure why they haven’t died yet.  They are trying to give my sun chokes a run for their money however.

I have elected as it’s been so nice that I’m going to “test” plant a few things that have to wait till after last frost.  As technically normal last frost is about April 15th, however last year we had frosts till mid May.  So I am going to take a partial chance at some plantings and wait on the rest till after mid May to plant.  I am hoping for no more frosts.

Hope your garden is going well!

Be Well, BE Safe, and Blessed Be…

Outdoor Work

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So we got started on a long over due project today.  The outdoor kitchen.

The wood has been sitting for a while now and the weather has been cooperating with us while Silver is feeling mobile enough to do some building.

We have been waiting to get this built as we really want to be cooking outside again, and in the summer it’s better to bake outside in the heat than in the house.  After a long winter I can’t stand the being cooped up feel of having too cook inside the house.

Our intern was helping out with this today, we have discovered she is very good at eyeballing distance.  See the corner post in the fore ground?  It is made with 3 2X4’s glued and nailed together.  Silver has a habit of making buildings that’ll live a few hundred years..  Or that you could prob store an elephant in.

We should get the roof finished on it tomorrow which is good because we have storms coming in Tuesday.  The floor’ll be put in later and some half walls on the side.  We’re going to use that water tank to catch water off the roof for my herb garden.  We’re hoping the first cooking item placed in (err just outside) will be the cinder block cook stove Silver made that first year we were here.  It was fun to cook on it especially in the early mornings when the sun is just beginning to rise.

Looks like we should have across the street neighbors soon, we had 2 groups stop by today to check out the property there.  I hope someone decides soon.

Hope your Sunday went well.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Early Morning Bread

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So I’m sitting here this morning baking bread and I figured I’d at least mention what I’m doing different to it.  I am using my sourdough dinner roll recipe, and I’m going to stuff them before baking.  Well, all but one that is.  My son the picky eater is getting a plain one.  The stuffed ones are going to be stuffed with some   fine diced lean pork, bell pepper,onion, and cheese.  I have precooked the pork to be safe at the second rising so that when I form the rolls I can do the stuffing.  Also that perhaps the meat will be slightly cool then.

 

Dinner Roll recipe follows…

 

Sponge:

 

1C sourdough starter

1 1/2 C white flour

1C warm water

 

Place your starter in a at least 2 quart bowl,  add flour and water and mix.  Cover to prevent flies or anything else from getting into it and set in a warmish place for 8hrs or overnight.  Before working the second part return 1C from this to your starter.

 

Rolls:

1 1/2 C of the sponge (remember you put back 1C)

1 T sugar

1/2 t salt

2 T melted butter

1 egg beaten

1 3/4 C flour

 

First make sure your ingredients are at room temperature.  Then (I use the same bowl that the sponge grew in), make sure your sponge is in a warm bowl and add to it the salt,sugar, and melted butter and mix in; I use a tablespoon to do this.   Then add in the beaten egg and mix it in well.  Then you add in 1 cup of the flour and mix until it kinda forms into a single piece of dough.  Then turn out onto a floured (3/4 C ) board and knead until smooth and elastic.  Then place in a warm bowl (I grease it first) and cover with a towel for at most 2 hours or until it is doubled in bulk.  (fyi… easy way to tell is to take your first 2 fingers and try to make a depression and if it leave a depression it’s double)  Then punch it down and let rise again for an hour and a half.  Then you put it on your board and shape it into the size rolls you wish, place on a greased baking sheet and let rise again for about 30 minutes.  Then bake in a preheated oven (400 degrees) for 20 minutes or until browned.

 

 

I have in the last few days bought a few new plants.  a watermelon, a cantaloupe, and a lavender.  I planted them and didn’t water them as we were suppose to get rain.  Well the next morning I had to water them, as it did not rain.  We bought some cherries for $4 a bag at the store.. one for eating and one whole one for drying.  I love cherries and I want some for the winter. Maybe I’ll make some oatmeal cherry cookies this winter.

The kids go and visit my mom for a week starting Saturday, so me and Silver will be having a nice quiet week then.  Maybe we can “recharge”  as I think the teenager is designed to make a parent’s life stressful.  Well, I have to get back to my bread for breakfast.  Everyone have a great day!

 

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Rain, Rain.. we need it…

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We do, just hopefully not the severe stuff that is moving around.  My new day lilies are coming up and I have seen that the cattails are all sprouting nicely.  I was worried about the cattails, but seems that I did ok on the moving of the plants, a big THANK YOU to Rich and Daina who own the property kitty cornered to us for the cattails.

I got a plant/seed catalog the other day that has pond plants in it and I’m considering some of the irises.  I would not mind a few flowers there in addition to the other plants there.  My lettuce is coming up, and I believe my mini Pak Choi came up as evidanced by the “mowed down” look they have this morning.

I have found a variety of Jalapeno that is almost the size of my hand that we are considering planting this year so we can make our own “poppers”.  I had gotten some a year or two ago and we stuffed them with cheese and a beef/rice mix before breading and deep frying and they came out wonderful. I’d like to try it again.

My grape has flowers on it and the red current while it lost it’s top leaves, the lower buds are growing.  Also the Pecan tree seems to be holding it’s own.  My mother sent me an early (one week early) birthday gift off my Amazon.com wish list, it’s a large Ball brand water bath canner.  To see the wish list here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/L8YKMO2HVVP9/ref=cm_wl_act_vv?_encoding=UTF8&reveal=&visitor-view=1

 

It’s so pretty I can’t wait to get a chance to use it!  However it’ll probably be a few weeks as I need more lids to do more canning.  I am planning to make a “stew mix” to dry can as the year goes on, this will be a simple pour into pot add water and heat meal.  It’ll contain:

Jerky

bouillon

dried berries (probably blue and black though if the currents produce them too)

dried potatoes

dried garlic

dried onion

dried day lily buds

dried peppers

dried potato flakes (home made hopefully)

Now why two kinds of potato?  Simple mashed potato flakes make a good thickener.  So it’ll make it into a nice thick stew.  I’m going to tinker with it as I make them, and I’ll probably not “assemble” them till later in the year when I have everything setup.  So we’ll see how it goes.

 

BE Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

 

After the Storm

Well here we are the morning after the storm and I’m making brownies.  Sourdough brownies specifically, it takes about 25 minutes after the sponge sets most of the night to mix them.  However I am a tad worried that they might come out a bit burnt as my oven is now running a lot hotter than it was before.

As for the storm…?  Well we have ice, we have snow, and we have power.  That makes me happy, not long after my post yesterday our internet went out for the whole day, it was expected as we have satellite internet; breathe the wrong way and it goes out.  The kids again have no school so lets see… They had a total of 2 days of school this week, guess it’s better then them not having any school at all.  Granted though some school are having a late start today it would be near impossible for them to walk to the bus stop safely.  Also as Silver mentioned yesterday due to the ice, we are not driving for the next couple of days.

We are planning on either tomorrow or Sunday to go out and set the rebar stakes into the ground, more likely on Sunday as we are going to be in the 50’s then.  Maybe I’ll cook something outside on our mini grill if it’s going to be that nice out.  Though we had something interesting in the storm previous to yesterday’s.  The old dishwasher that was left on our property before we got here that we are going to turn into a smoker was knocked onto it’s side by wind.  Now it’s sat on it’s base for years and a couple of days ago it gets knocked over?  Defiantly a strong wind, or rather strong gusts.  The wind that day also picked up one of our 2 good outdoor chairs and dropped it in the pond breaking it.  So now we are down to one outdoor chair, we need a couple more; hopefully we can find some more cheaply as we still have building supplies to buy.

Speaking of which on next Friday we will have money again and after bills/animal  feed/gas are paid for and my DL is replaced we are going to go and buy soil for the apple trees then the next item on our building supply list.  Which may be either wire, pipe or fencing for the dome itself.  Depends on what we have left really.

 

Well have a nice day all, I have to go check my brownies as they are starting to smell very done way to soon.  Where did I put that aluminum foil again?

 

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

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