Saturday, January 29, 2011


around the homestead-beautiful day

It was a sunny and beautiful day today. It got up to 65, and it was splendorific as we have not seen anything over 55 since before Thanksgiving. That is a pretty long cold snap for Ga.
Since it was such a beautiful day, we spent most of the afternoon outdoors catching up on chores and getting late winter stuff done around the place. Manthing was downing and cutting next years wood and I worked at pruning back the grapes, blueberries, and quince. I also started to clean up the herb beds and then harvested some carrots, turnips, mizuna, pak choy and some other funky Asian green. Because the weather is so nice and is going to continue to be for a few days, it was a good time to get clothes washing caught up. And, of course, we had to spend some time watching the baby goats.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Please bear with me and the current mess I have here!!! Silly self decided to spruce up the blog and make it all pretty and instead I have screwed it up and majorly so!! Hey, I was taught that if I do something, do it good. So I did, but wrongly of course.

To be honest,I don't know what is missing off the page other than blogs that I follow. Other things may be missing too for all I know. Any who, I am hoping to fix everything in the next day or two and things should be back as they should be. I hope!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

round 1-starting seeds

Yesterday I finally got my tail in gear and started some some of our early planting crops. Although I said I was not going to grow cabbage and broccoli in the spring again, I could not start seeds and at least start a few of each. Most of our cole crops I direct seed but I do like to start onion seed, cabbage, broccoli and this year some pak choy that is not part of a mix of greens. I started tobacco too because it takes so long for it to get growing and I would like to plant both an early crop and a late crop of it this year. For experimental purposes and with hope of a few early producing veggies I started a few zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes. All total, I started 16 trays of various veggies and tobacco, 2 containers of basil and a large container bed of thyme, parsley and cilantro ,a dozen cucumbers and sixteen tomato plants.

Since it is still way too cold to put seedlings in the green house, I again used the loft of the shack for my starter room. It gets more light than any other room so we can get by with very little supplemental lighting and I do not have to worry about my babies freezing. The only disadvantage to using a second story room is that it is second story. Everything that goes up must come back down and we do not have a typical stair case but more of a ladder. Most of our seeds now get started in large styrofoam trays rather than individual cups or tray packs. For the onions and and tobacco it completely simplifies the process as both need very little soil, need to keep moistened and do quite well in shallow flats until transplant time or graduation to a grow cup. I even do this with my tomatoes as maters like to be transplanted and I can bury the roots deeper into individual grow cups when the time comes. For the cukes and zucchini I make mini greenhouses from recycled plastic containers much like would be done if you were to winter sow seeds. Most of ours are nondairy creamer containers because it is the one absolutely horrible for you, made of garbage, not even close to a real food item that we still use and regularly. The lids have conveniently vent holes that can be opened and the container is large enough to keep the plantling until it is ready for the garden. It also makes them very easy to move in and out according to the weather.

Monday, January 24, 2011

simple supper-mashed tater enchiladas

This is a very simple, budget friendly yet satisfying meal to make and even making everything from scratch, it can be completed in about an hours’ time. Enchilada sauce and tortillas can be purchased and left over mashed potatoes can be used for the filling which would cut preparation time in half. Spices, flour and oil are the only ingredients we have to buy which makes this a very cheap meal to make. For those purchasing all ingredients four to five dollars would more than cover the costs. This recipe will make approximately 8 filled tortillas and will more than feed a family.


3 cups mashed potatoes

one medium onion-dices

2 cloves garlic-minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 to 2 jalapeño chili peppers-seeded, minced

1 tsp salt

Enchilada sauce

4 Tbsp chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon crushed oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup flour

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

Flour tortillas (8 large)

First make the enchilada sauce. Mix chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and flour and oil in small pan. Cook for a minute or two, until fragrant. Slowly whisk in the water, until smooth. Let come to a simmer, cook for a minute, then remove from heat, cover and set aside.

To prepare the filling: Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and jalapeños and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Stir in mashed potatoes and mix well. Remove from heat.

To assemble: warm tortillas slightly so that they are pliable. Place 1/3 to 1/2 cup of filling in tortilla and roll. In a large baking dish put ½ cup of sauce on bottom of pan and spread evenly. Place rolled tortillas in pan then cover with remaining sauce. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

I typically top with cheese, lettuce or cabbage shreds, green onion and a dollop of sour cream. Guacamole can also be served as a condiment. I serve this with beans or a small salad