Saturday, May 22, 2010

the country life, how I love thee

We were walking down to pick some veg this noon and something caught our eye. I ran back to the shack to catch the camera and watch the little fella. It was quite amazing to watch as when he rolled his little pooball he was  standing on his head and backward..

Friday, May 21, 2010

two of my girls

Gumbalina is a growing girl. She was 11 weeks old in this picture a couple weeks ago and as you can see she is already learning how to fold and put away laundry.

Here she is with her momma yesterday. Yes that is drool n bubbles coming from her mouth as she is cutting teeth already.

garden 2010-tobacco update

Yesterday we planted another round of tobacco plants into the garden.  We still have one round to go yet and we are thinking of trying a few guerrilla style as we will have more than will fit in to the garden area that we have set aside.

The plants have stayed very small this year and  I am curious as to the reason why. We did kick them to the GH very early this season  and last season grew them under  lights in the shack. I am wondering if the warmth factor in the shack was a reason   although  the GH gets plenty warm even on very cool days.  Last season I used our own soil, this year I used purchased soil, I wonder if that could be a reason as well.

Some of the plantlings are still under two inches tall and  just starting to get more than two leaves. No matter I threw the tiny babies in the ground anyway, I was sick of tending them. They are in true  tobacco fashion  starting to  go in to their growth spurt as  the ones that we planted last week  have doubled in size already.

Here is a view of the planted tobacco patch. This pic only shows about a quarter of the bed, this is our largest  bed on the property and is about 150x40. The remainder of the patch will also be planted in tobacco. I have also planted 3 squash or melon plants in each row of tobacco. This could be interesting to watch this garden grow.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

midweek mumblings

We had a nice little rain over the weekend as well as a nice break from  gardening and other homestead chores.  A break from both were much needed and praise be that we didn't get inundated or get any bad weather along with the rains. We so need a  good year from the gardens this season so each time I hear of bad weather I wish it on to someplace other than here.

The gardens are doing well thus far.  Everything in the ground is up now with the exception of my Asian long beans  of which only one sprouted, grew three inches and promptly keeled over and died.  I threw some corn and squash in its place and they are doing fine. Okra is a bit slow to come up but it is there and growing. I  am going to pick up a bit more okra seed  on the next town trip and plant it as we enjoy our okras both a food dish as well as a coffee substitute.  We are now harvesting, turnips, greens, salads, broccoli,  strawberries   and peas. We should also be picking our first cucumbers,  and  cabbage this week both from  the greenhouse and some rhubarb should also be ready.

I am now a school girl again.  It is something I have pondered and tossed around in my head for a couple years. Though I am trained in nursing,  it is not something I can do again on a full time basis. No place in their right mind would hire me because of health issues and I know that while I can still do it, my body would revolt  and it simply wouldn't be worth the pain it would put me in. The economy does not seem to be getting any better  and if anything is on a road straight to the toilet if the pump monkeys  would stop pumping and printing.  Employment here in the mtns is few and far between so finding a puny manual labor job that can pay our few bills has proven to be a difficult task but we still need to have a small income  to keep afloat.  As much as we  would like to think we could keep growing the gardens and sell  extra in a market  atmosphere, it too has proven to be difficult to provide all our own food let alone have enough extra to sell and make enough money to live on

As a kid I wanted to be an educator or doctor.  Med school is still at 40 out of the question and I no longer believe in our system of public education. We have no plans of relocating unless absolutely necessary so getting a degree in education would be pretty useless where there are no real alternative forms of school to go and teach in.  The medical field  however is still one of the fields that is growing and will continue to do so over the next several years. With the new goobermint health care overhaul   medical records, billing and transcription are  fields that are expected to grow exponentially  so I  have enrolled full time   in a degree program for this field.  

School starts today so if on occasion I miss a few days of bloggin it is for this reason and keeping up with things on the homestead.   We are coming in to our busiest time of the year around the farm and I will  be trying to adjust to being a school girl again, something I haven't been in about 15 years now. It should be interesting for sure.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

simple supper-stuffed baked potatoes

Baked potatoes stuffed with anything from veggies to steak, topped with some cheese and sour cream and serve with a side salad.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

today's harvest 5-16

Yay! It is finally getting to be the time of year when the majority of our daily food is what we pick  that day. While most of our food here is what we have grown and some of it is always fresh, the summer months are my favorite when food goes from ground to  tummy in a few short hours.  I love not having to preserve my food in any way shape or form  and is one of my reasons for wanting to become successful at growing a well rounded garden through all four seasons.

Each year I talk about wanting to write down and photograph each days harvest and meals and try to eat nothing but what has come from the farm or foraged  but I never  do. I won't again this year as it would be too time consuming and I would forget more days than I would remember  but I am going to try and show a bit more of our daily harvest through the summer months.

Here  is  today's  harvest from the homestead. When I say one meal it is one meal for two adults.  Salad greens for two meals, one main course and one side dish. One meal of peas as main veggie.One main course meal of turnips. If I had saved the greens for our consumption it would have been two but the critters needed a treat and  quite frankly I am tiring of green vegetation. 6 eggs which is a meal for us with an extra one for me another day   because I am on a crazy egg kick lately and one for  big white dog because he is spoilt rotten. A couple cups of goat milk for  cooking ,making cheese and yogurt. I also made the rose jam this morning  but since I have to buy sugar  that is only half a harvest.

rose petal jam

A couple days ago one of the blogs I like to follow made a post on rose petal jam. Having just come inside from taking pictures of the roses I decided that rather than let them go to waste on the bush I was going to make me some jam.

This morning since we had the fire built up good for some cooking I decided to make it. I followed the recipe  from here and it turned out quite lovely looking. Now if it doesn't taste like a giant bottle of perfume we are all set.