Saturday, September 4, 2010

doggie bag

In the past, manthing and I have seen the upcycled tote bags  and thought what a neat idea, and at one point we had good intentions of making them. Unfortunately, it is one of those things, that although we say we will get around to it, we never do.  When he started  the new job, he needed a tote  to haul all his small tools for work but he didn't feel  like going to town to buy an overpriced piece of crap made in China that would last a month and break.

Because he is 1/3 hillbilly,  he decided to  be resourceful and make his own bag. Being 1/3 hippie, he did not want to make handles  and sew them on, and because of the 1/3 white trash in him, he does love his duck tape.  This is his doggie bag that he made and I must say, it works quite well. So well in fact, that I think  he I might just make me 10 or 12 and begin using them for our grocery bags from now on. It isn't like we will stop feeding the dogs anytime soon, so we will always have a supply of them  and the duck tape is only a few bucks a roll, so theoretically, he I could make  a few dozen  for a couple bucks.  We could get all fancy  and get the red or blue tape and make it match the doggie bag too. Hey, I wonder if we could get the dog food company to push this  and get a life time supply of dog food for nothing because of our  manthing's brilliance.
 Anywho, this is the bag and I think it is self explanatory how he made it. Just in case though, all he did is cut it off at the height he wanted. He then took a razor knife and cut his handle holes in. The last step was to  tape off all the cut areas and wallah, a doggie bag .

Friday, September 3, 2010

preserving the harvest-N GA roasters

Today I started to preserve a few of the N GA roaster squash. While the majority of them will go in the root cellar and be stored, I wanted to get an idea of how far each squash will go and make sure that we had some froze, just in case.
 I chose to freeze just three of the squash for now. All I did was peel them, wash them off, and cut how I wanted them.  I label the package and put a date on it and toss them in to the freezer. These fellers peel quite easy, simply run a  veggie peeler down the squash. I  cut some into cubes, some into slices and made others in to fries. I ended up with  nine very full quarts  and enough left for dinner tonight.
 I, of course, saved all my seeds for future planting, but then realized that just three squash gave way more  seed than I or any of my friends could ever use.And to think, I have approximately 50 more squash yet to deal with.  Rather than throwing them out, I am going to roast  many of them and dehydrate some others for critter snacks.
 Pumpkin  and sunflower seeds are not  the only seed that can be roasted and eaten. Some squash varieties are much tastier than pumpkin seed are and many are  much meatier. They  are also very healthy to eat as they are full of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper and vitamin K. They are also a great source for fiber in  the diet.To roast the seeds of any winter squash; Wash, allow to dry overnight on a cookie sheet,  toss with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a bit of sea salt and roast at 275 for about twenty minutes. Allow them to cool and store in an airtight container.

All the remaining guts and peels can be fed to  the critters for a snack ,so no part of the squash  is going to waste. All pumpkin and winter squash seeds are natural worming agents. They
contain a deworming compound called cocurbitacin. Now  this compound does not work on all parasites but along with natural doses of vitamin A and a healthy diet, one can almost eliminate worm  issues with livestock. To use as a wormer, just grind the seeds up  and mix into feed rations.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

today's haul

I have my work cut out for me over the next couple of days. Yes, this is  a large wheel-barrel with a large tote on top of it all. I pulled the last  few of the winter squash this morning along with the last of the water melon. There is still one melon almost ready for picking  but I lost several due to splitting this week so decided to pull all the plants but the one. The thai  melon is also splitting, so I pulled those plants too and fed the split melons to the chickens. The green bag is full of okra  and I found some carrots that some how did not get pulled this spring.  In the tote is tobacco leaves on top and the bottom has golden delicious winter squash and  some acorn squash. There is also the tomatoes , a spaghetti squash and a delicata squash  down in the heap. I have more to say but  it will have to wait, I gotta go  get busy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

simple supper-pasta, bacon and tomato

One of my favorite meals in the world is this simple and quick dish of pasta. My gran  made this for us when we were young and it is something I eat at least once a month, to this day. The best thing about this dish is that it  can be made with any sort of pasta and you can add herbs  or other meat or meat type product and it still tastes delicious. This is my favorite sort of pasta to bake as the flavors once  melding for a day or two, are wonderful.

I also, like this made with  either breakfast or Italian sausage instead of the bacon. Serve it with a side of salad and garlic bread and you have a simple supper that does not break the wallet. It is quite tasty served barely warm and is a great summer time meal when made with all, fresh from the garden ingredients.
 one large onion or 3 leeks -chopped
 1/2 pound bacon, cut in 1 inch  pieces
3 cloves garlic, chopped 
1 28-ounce can  chopped tomatoes or 5-6  fresh tomatoes chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped or tbsp dry parsley
1 pound spaghetti
Parmesan cheese
A handful of fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper

 Brown bacon to a crisp in pan, add the onion for the last 3-5 minutes  and garlic when near done. Drain grease, reserving 2 tbsp to add to the tomato mixture. Boil pasta to au dente in salted water, then drain.  Mix all ingredients and serve topped with Parmesan.

Monday, August 30, 2010

monday's mountain musings

 Just as soon as I thought I had most of the fall gardens planted, something got in the big  garden bed and ate  near all my baby plants. Since there are no tracks any where, I am assuming it was due to bugs as they are still around  quite bad. The plants were also a touch small but I had been spraying them  every few days and the bugs had been leaving them alone. The other night, we had to water and I did not bother spraying them, so now they are dead. Manthing is bringing me home a couple flats of broccoli and cabbage this evening and I will get them in the ground tomorrow since I do not have time to start new seeds.

The seeds that I planted last week in the upcycled bathroom garden are all coming up nicely, as are all the greens I planted a few days before them.  The peas and some green onions are all that have not sprouted as yet.

I pulled up my 2 North Ga Roaster plants today as I was plum sick of looking at them and they were dying back  and looking ugly. All total, I got  50 squash from the two plants, most of which are 5-10 pounds. Once I worked up the bed they were in,  carrots were planted in their place.

The tobacco is about 2/3  of the way harvested with the first crop and the second crop is growing nicely. Bugs and worms are still an issue with  the tobacco as well and is  keeping me quite busy. I try and schedule big harvests for when I know manthing will be home  so that I have help in hauling and  hanging it.

The remainder of the corn is going to be iffy on being able to harvest it. Okra is producing like crazy now  and  I am near done getting our yearly amount stashed away. Once that is done it will all be allowed to grow and be dried for coffee replacement. Coffee prices are fixing to go up so  we will mix  the okra and coffee about half and half in order to cut costs  through the winter.

Besides work, school and the gardens not much else has been going on in our little world. Chickens are producing nicely and we will have plenty of eggs stored away to get us through the winter. The bunny babies are growing nicely. Monkey bunny, my breeding doe, had to be put down last week as she  fell ill with something.  I think it may have just been old age and heat that took its toll on her as she was the one I brought home from the sanctuary, so I had no idea how old she was. Now we are looking for a new doe but they seem  hard to come by in  our area. I put an ad on craig's list in hopes someone  locally has one they are willing to part with.

I can not wait til  life slows down a bit and I get some extra time to fill. I have many projects that I am wanting to work on   and  have fun with , unfortunately I know if I start them now, they will be put aside and forgotten. This summer has been long too warm and too busy.  I am quite ready for fall to come so that I have a bit of free time to do what I choose, instead of what I have to do.

OH! I almost forgot, the day after I posted the saddleback  caterpillar, I got stung twice by one (faceplants).  I was picking tomatoes and it was on a tomato that I grabbed. Both stings were on fairly tough parts of my hands so while  they  were irritated and  a bit sore for a few hours, neither  sting caused much of a reaction. Of course, being allergic to bees and home alone  with no transportation I, on the side of caution took an overdose of  pm pain relief (they are the same thing as benadryl)  and was ready for bed  two hours later. Gotta say, it was the best nights sleep I have  had in a while.