Saturday, May 12, 2012

traumatizing the mushroom logs

      Time to make the mushrooms fruit.  We are past last frost and the logs have been inoculated for a little over a year. To get them to begin fruiting they will be soaked  for 24 hours or so. It is also supposed to rain so maybe we can get by without having to flip them.  Once they come out of the water they will go back to their hidey-hole and be watered well a couple times a week (if it doesn't rain) so they can begin  fruiting.  In a couple few weeks we should begin harvesting from them and then we can  start the whole process again for the remainder of the summer.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

dehydrating herbs

The  solar dehydrating  season is in full swing.  The herbs are growing like crazy this  year so I am having to give many of them hair cuts early in the season. Today I  took an entire five gallon  pail of   trimmings off of two  small clumps of  parsley.  After washing and taking the stems out I was able to fill all three trays with  the herbs.

Up until this year all of our dehydrating has been  solar. Recently, a high school class mate offered me an electric one that she no longer uses. I could not resist as it will come in handy for when it gets too humid to use this one or on those days when we get our regular afternoon showers.  I will start the process in the solar  then transfer  it to the  electric reducing waste.   Here is  a previous post  on the dehydrator  as well as  some links to plans.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

catching up...

Sorry for such a long delay in posting. The manthing and I both  got the creeping crud after the last post and were completely down and out for two weeks.  Never in my life have I been that sick  for such a long period of time and I never hope to be again!

Last week, though we were both feeling much better, all of our time was spent catching up on things and stuff that we got behind on while ill.  Though we  will never ever be able to say that everything that needs doing is done,  we did get most everything back to a manageable  level of craziness.

 The greenhouse is emptying out finally and all that is left is a few tomatoes, peppers and tobacco. All the beds are planted but two and the tobacco patch. They are even mostly weeded, which is a rarity.  The last two days we got some much  needed rain to  kick all the plants into growing gear. The very early tomatoes I put out survived the two frosts in April and  are flowering  already and  a few of the volunteer squash are as well.

Early spring crops are already fizzling out due to the overly warm spring we have had.  We have had a pretty decent year for greens of all kinds and  for a change I was able to even freeze a few bags of peas.  We skipped out on spring cabbage this year  because we never have any luck with it but the broccoli is looking pretty good so far.   Our puny area of strawberries has given us a few snacks and  a couple meals of belgium waffles with fresh berries.  Today I was able to freeze some rhubarb to  make some chutney with  after  the next town trip.  It looks to be a banner year for  blueberries, grapes and blackberries but many of the fruits off the trees  dropped after the last cold spells.

 All in all it is looking like a decent year for the gardens. Hopefully we will have plentiful, but not too much, rain and warmth, but not like last year. Now all we  have to do is  teach these dogs  that bunnies are BAD, even though they look completely harmless, and  that they must be chased off. Heck, I will even allow them to eat them if they do.