Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

Rainbow on my counter

Red mild jalapenos, Roma and Ester Hess tomatoes, a random cucumber and green mild jalapenos

Red mild jalapenos, Roma and Ester Hess tomatoes, a random cucumber and green mild jalapenos

I realized today that with the yellow throw in there I had quite an assortment of colors on my counter.

I realized today that with the yellow throw in there I had quite an assortment of colors on my counter.

The Good and The Bad in July so far

The Good - Harvested 2013 Garlic

The Good – Harvested 2013 Garlic

Garlic as far as the eye can see.  I harvested all the garlic from both my own back yard and the farm location where I ran a trial garden over the last year.  This year it didn’t grow quite as large as last year, but I still think it was a success.  I need to get it a bit more separated for curing, but right now it’s so hot and dry out that it’s drying nicely even in a heap.  I’ll hang them from the rafters soon.  With a little bit of luck this garlic, replanted, will turn into a for-profit crop in 2014

The Bad - They took my corn!

The Bad – They took my corn!

Last night when I went to bed I had about 30 ears of sweet corn JUST about ready to pick in my 10′x10′ three sisters garden.  This morning there were about 7 or 8 little ones left.  Something–probably Raccoons–harvested all the rest and removed them while I was sleeping 20 feet away.  They knocked down and broke the corn stalks, so now the pole beans have nothing to grow on either.  And obviously if they ate here once, they could be back for the cucumbers and melons that are starting to grow on all those vines.  This is what we get for no longer letting our cat(s) outside.

But enough bad–More good!  I have been eating tomatoes every night all week.  This year of trialling new varieties has exposed me to at least 2 more favorites that are doing quite well in my yard.  I will definitely add “Church” to my permanent list of tomatoes to grow, and I think “Pink Sweet” will be on there as well.  I will review them here within the next week or 3.

My 8 pepper plants seems to be doing better than average this year.  I usually don’t get to pick any peppers until August and this year they are already sizing up and producing lots of fruit.

How is your garden growing?

Working outside in the garden

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After weeks of work, this is what I have to show for it.  A garden that is just beginning to look ok for the year, with a new 100 square foot area being used for 1 year as a three sisters garden.

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I am slowly but surely changing the layout in a barely noticeable way. :D  One by one, the beds made with pine boards back in 2008 and 2009 are rotting away.  I am replacing them with cedar frames, but I will also be resizing them from their current 6 foot width to a more manageable 8×4 feet.  Basically it’s just going to be a whole bunch of digging and moving dirt.  It’s actually a great workout.

Do yourself a favor if you’re reading this in time.  Make your garden beds 4 feet wide or less.  6 foot width is NO GOOD for raised beds in most cases.

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I planted some herbs out and I am hardening off everything else when the weather cooperates.  I hope to plant some tomatoes this weekend, probably.

The garlic is growing well, both in this yard and at my off-site garden where I planted 4 rows as a test last fall.

And if I can get my hands on some reasonably priced apple trees, I will be attempting to create a two-dimensional fruit tree.

Sending Seeds in the Mail

I have test-sprouted (>90% germination), packaged, packed, sealed and sent your envelopes of Cabin Tomato seeds. 7 envelopes went out on Wednesday, and 6 more are going out in Thursday’s mail. I still have about 4 or 5 more remaining.

I am incredibly grateful to you growers who are willing to try growing your own Cabin tomatoes in the 2013 season. If you can, grow a plant for friend too. If you can, save seeds for the next year too.

If you don’t receive the seeds I promised you within a week from today, please contact me again. There was one pack going to Canada, so I don’t know how long that should take.

Everything is going well for Jimmy, I just haven’t had much blog motivation lately.

Thank you all!

Small-Audience “Blogging” – Cook Book Notes

I don’t trust the memory of my future self.  I learned this the hard way many times.  So I write notes to…ME…in all our cook books.  Surely I’m not the only one?

Below you can tell which pieces were fried after I figured out the missing ingredient in this recipe.  Both are fried, but the left side is more my style.

Sauercrock Sauercracked, Sauerkraut Sauercanned

My Sauerkraut was finished some time ago.  I held it in the refrigerator to SLOOOOW down the fermentation for a while, then I canned 2/3 of it.  The remaining third will be eaten the proper way…alive.

While I was scooping kraut out of my fermenting crock, I noticed some bad news:

My 4 gallon crock has developed a crack all the way through from the inside, out.  That stain is dried cabbage juice and salt.  This is disappointing, because I don’t want to spend a small fortune on a new one, but I can’t trust this one again.

This is the color I achieved this year with my mixture of purple and green cabbages.  I hate to kill the beneficial bacteria by canning it, but the kraut won’t last until next July if I don’t can some of it.

On an unrelated note, today is the first day in 8 days that I haven’t taken any headache medicine.  I have been down twice with a migraine, and it’s still up there, lurking around, threatening to come back again.

 

 

It’s dead, Jim.

Cucumbers

Sweet Potato Vines

 

Brussels that didn’t sprout

Gourd Vines

I am giving up on much of the garden for the next few weeks. Isn’t it nice that when there is a drought I can just run to the grocery store instead of worrying about how I’ll live until spring on a few gourds?

Yes, I am done watering everything except two of my four tomatoes, and MAYBE my sweet potato hills, we will see.

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