Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June harvest total

With this month approaching an end it is time for me to post our harvest for the month.
This month we produced 87 pounds and 4 oz. of good wholesome food from our own land.
I also have 31 jars of pickles canned, 4 bags of fresh green beans in the freezer and zucchini bread in the freezer.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

As I was canning today my daughter was talking about how one day I will have to go to her house so I can help her can her own garden. It made me smile and I was pleased to hear that she will want to keep her garden bounty for use in the colder months also. We ended up making 18 quarts and 2 pint jars of dill pickles yesterday. About 30 more jars of a pickle variety we should be set till the next harvest. With the way the cucumber plants are producing this year we should have no problem getting those without bartering or trading for more cucumbers.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Todays agenda

With the heat gearing up the central air will be on for a day of canning. Yeterday between rain showers I was able to get over 20 pounds of produce from the garden most of it from cucumbers. The above picture shows only a few of cucumbers harvested yesterday.So with the cucumbers growing fast the canning MUST start. Thats what I will be doing today. I will let you know how much I get canned. Last year we got only 10 jars of cucumbers becasue the plants died quickly. I hope to have way more then that this year.

What are you canning?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One good turn - deserves another

This morning while talking to my mom she was telling me about something that was done in a town a few hours away where I was born and spent most of my childhood at. A family friend said she had received plants for her garden. But these were not just any vegetable plants. These were truly amazing plants. Not only were they free but they stood for something. See they gave people these plants on one condition: If you don't use the produce yourself then give it to a soup kitchen or someone that needs the food. Yes Victory and Freedom gardens are popping up every where. It seems everyone is thinking of alternative ways to stay out of the grocery store.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

April, May, June Dollars

In March I posted Jan., Feb., March dollars which showed how much money we have used to start our garden and a bit of that money was also used for supplies like, dirt, fruit trees, tools etc. So then we have spent a Total of - $244
With the produce we have harvested thus far from April until June this is how it reads

At the grocery yesterday, after butter and milk, I seen that "FRESH GREEN BEANS" maybe fresh but might not be organic, were $2.49 a pound that said we have harvested 3 pounds from our garden saving us $7.47

Also cabbage, again probably not organic seeing how no sign advised that of it was $0.49 per pound after cutting just a couple heads we managed to get 5 pounds thus far saving us $2.45

The onions were $1.99 per bag which looked like approx. 5-6 onions in each bag we have harvested 5 pounds so far as my onions have been equalling around 4-5 per pound by my calculations we have saved $7.96

Next come carrots with one pound package carrots at $1.99 and again not organic at the store , we have harvested 2 pounds of carrots thus far saving $3.98

New potatoes at the store for the red ones we have harvested are 3.99 per 4 pound bag. Again our potatoes have saved us $3.99 with many more plants in the garden still.

Leaf lettuce in a one pound BAG at the store are selling for $2.49, on sale!! But I got my organic lettuce in the back yard for free with 5 pounds harvested we have saved $12.45

I have no idea how to calculate the peas seeings how they don't sell them in the store fresh around here. Zukes are not being sold in the store yet either but I have 2 pounds ready to make into bread.

For a grand total these three months of saving are $38.30 bringing our total for supplies out of pocket down from $244 to $205.70

How much are you saving? I would love to know!! Happy gardening

EDIT: Cucumbers were priced for 0.68 cents a pound at a store we were at last night. As we have harvested 44 pounds it comes to a savings of $29.92

Bringing the new total of savings to - $68.22 thus bringing our out of pocket expence to $175.78 and its just July!!

Ones first attempt to pressure canning...

I first went to my garden shed thus this shed also stores all my empty canning jars. Sorting through hundreds of jars, deciding which size to use, making sure they are not damaged in any way takes time.
Of course then they must be washed. So into the house we go to wash the jars I picked in hot soapy water. While those were soaking I was able to get the dishwasher unloaded and was thinking about storing the clean jars in it until I needed them.
I then went to the pantry to fetch my pressure canner out of the pantry. With eyes gleaming and heart pounding I was thrilled it was finally time to use my wonderful investment I made a few months ago. I sat down to read the instructions once again. I have never used a pressure canner before, shucks I have never seen anyone use one before. So reading the instructions a billion times hopefully will be enough for me to understand how to use it. I then, as illustrated in the book, proceeded to attach the gauge and regulator. Looks good. Last but not least I did the rest of the prep in the book for all first time Pressure canners.
Getting all that done I was excited to be ready to pick the green beans I have been longing to can. Every year we freeze them and this year is exciting for me. To get more freezer space and the green beans on the shelf. Anyways picking the green beans picked plenty for about 5 pint jars. Good enough for the first time , small batch, just in case I do something wrong and something should happen to them.
Get back to the house and then, its time to start supper. Dun dun dunnnnnnn Hmmmmmm. I guess the canning will have to wait, the beans will be with supper, and the rest will go to the freezer. Bad news is I wasn't able to use the pressure canner yet, good news is I have 4 quart bags of green beans in the freezer.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mid-month harvest update

With the garden growing fast and I would be completely unable to stay caught up if it wasn't for the rain. Of course the rain is probably the reason the gardens are growing so very well. Anyways with that said I am posting my June harvest thus far - in 15 days we have collected 20 pounds and 3 oz of fruits and veggies from our land.
On the preservation side I have put up carrots, peas, onions and a few potatoes. We are very excited to see how close or maybe even over we will come to our harvest goal.

Slugs and bugs - eeekks

As i was walking through the garden I discovered that it was time to run in the house and search the web for ways to get rid of potato bugs and cabbage worms.
After weeks of tiring to tempt anyone to pluck the little non beneficial bugs for a penny a piece, i still have had no takers. I'm sure the only reason no one wants the job is because they have watched me sit there for hours plucking the little boogers off the plants. After spending much of my time trying to displace them I am hoping to find a earth friendly- non abrasive- gentle to other beneficial bugs remedy. Thus I found if you sprinkle flour on the cabbage the worms then eat it and POOF. We shall see....
As for the potato bugs it took more then a few minutes to find something that might repel the bugs from eating the leaves off the plants. Which brings me to the hot pepper spray. A few hot peppers in some water. Let cool. Mix more water with the hot pepper juice ( so to speak). Spray the plants when cool. Done... Does it work who knows. Its not supposed to kill them just repel them. I am hoping it works. It would be really nice if it did. Not to mention this is easier on the pocket book.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Perfect start to a gloomy day

With several rows of potatoes I am pleased to see all my hard work with hilling them, picking off potato bugs, and pulling the weeds from around them is starting to pay off.

I collected 3 pounds of red new potatoes yesterday for our supper. Along with the very big and handsome onions in the picture also. The gardens are doing so very well this year. It must be the compost that I have been piling on the gardens throughout the year.

The harvest total for this month is drasticly rising which is good if we want to reach our goal weight!!

Go Rain Go!!!

No I am not going to say away. Recently I have heard alot about the rainy weather we have been experiencing but I am for one and alot of others around here tend to enjoy it. As in my way of looking at it, it gives me time to play catch up in the house with the cleaning. It helps the plants and veggies grow like crazy and gives me a slight break in packing water up to the gardens and new trees. It has given us time to redo the building that we traded for, it has kept our water barrels full,it has made the kitchen cool during canning, and our water bill low. Rain is my friend.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Just because

There are so many pictures I want to just unload but this is my favorite. It just seems everyone even the animals can't get enough of the fresh veggies. Here on of the kittens is in the Brussel sprouts.
Okay well that's all I have for tonight so I think I am going to bed. Good night!


With the weather changing every few seconds, it seems, I could not help myself but I had to take a few shots of the storm that was brewing out our back door the other day. The top on was right after they said our county could see hail. The bottom one was later that evening. I really love this shot becasue I can see aface in the clouds. Can you see it? Enjoy!

Peas and Carrots

With so much going on here on our "bit of soil" there is little time for computer. With that said this will be the first of a "grape" post. When I say "grape" I mean bunch of posts. With that said here I sit basking in the dark - maybe you was thinking sun? Sorry Like I said there is lots to do mostly in the daylight hours and no time or very little for basking.

But with so much to try to fit into the day we somehow get it all done. After getting out of the pool today the second time, or maybe it was the third, oh well. We then went to the raised bed garden to see if there was anything to munch on. I was happy and hte kids excited when we pulled the best looking carrot out of the ground. They said " look mom its a store carrot" This is the first year we had carrots that didnt take a whole row to make a side dish.
Todays harvest 1 pound of peas, 11 oz of carrots, 2 oz of potato.
This June month of harvest totals will be very exciting to see how heavy we are weighing!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

2, one

I feel like saying blast off. Okay there you go I said it. So anyways there are 2 more days of school here. I am so excited. Alright I know I am one of those parents that are excited about the kids being out of school? yup I am. I would rather them be home then anywhere else. (sigh)

Also in 2 days we will have kids yelling at each other about who gets in the pool first, or bugging about going to the movies or when we might go camping. Then they might have a few fights amongst each other but want to try to drag me into it by saying "MOM so and so did this" which usually I settle by simply saying " Lets keep our hands to ourselves".But any ways summer vacation is wonderful no matter what. Summer vacation is a staycation.

Our staycation will consist of fishing, camping, hiking, and exploring. We usually take a trip to the local fish hatchery and swim in the lake. We are simple and the family really enjoys anything we do. Only thing is to agree on what to do first and to keep them just busy enough so they don't have time to pick at each other.

That said, if I happen to be not here posting at my regular time then its because I will be busy with the daily chores and the kids home. I will post when I am avalible, probably around 2 am. Have a great gardening day!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

May happenings - update

So this month has been both busy and productive. We are very pleased with the new raised beds growing the veggies at an alarming rate.
- Our brussle sprouts are more then my knee height.
-The carrot greens are lush and plenty. Hopefully the roots will be just as wonderful.
-All the radish's are done for the spring but we hope to get more planted before the winter. Yes I said winter.
-We managed to get about 113 tomato plants in the ground this year and still have around 30 in the greenhouse.
-Our pepper plants are having a rough go of it due to the rains flooding the garden and washing out the plants by the handfuls. We were lucky enough to get more planted and with any luck will produce plenty.
-The onions are doing well although we are having a time with them blooming. This is the first year that has ever happened to me.
- As for the potatoes, they are fixing to bloom. I have had to hand pick the potato beetles off the plants almost every day but they seem to be disappearing.
- The melons are all doing well as well as the squash and cucumbers.
- Peas are coming along well and all the kids love peas now. They can't get enough of the sweet green fresh peas.
We have managed to get over 4 pounds of veggies out of the garden already and we are happy to think we won't have a hard time in getting to our goal this year.