Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oh My Gods!

Ok so I went out into the garden at 6:30am today to try to get a jump on the grass problem again. I tied up the tomatoes that I staked and was pulling away when Bill got home a lil after 7am. So we did our morning garden walk looking at what was coming in, while Bill lamented the loss of the watermelon I just HAD to pick yesterday. Well lo and behold I was clearing out the grass that was swallowing the watermelon and found 2 more big ones!! I left them be. So we decided to go through everything and good thing cuz we got a huge haul.

Massive amounts of jalepenos
A dozen or so of Turnips
4 large cukes
A nice batch of pickling cukes

So here I am with this stuff with more blossoms all over and Im thinking...ok here we go sink or swim Stephanie. The tomatoes are starting to get big, as are the spaghetti squash, the green peppers are starting to get to a good size and the green beans, cantaloupe and honeydew are flowering too.

I dont have a BBB of canning hell I dont even have a jar lifter, or lids for my jars. But Rural king is having a sale Bill said and I have to read the flyer he brought home. I found a pickle recipe in my Back to Basics book that seems fairly reasonable to do. It says I have to soak the cukes overnight in brine and gave me a recipe for the brine as 1/3 c salt to 1/2 gal water....Um can I use table salt cuz it doesnt say pickling salt or anything.
Didnt get my hair cut yet..the girl who does my hair was going to do it Tues but her partner got called in (he's a RN) and she had to watch the kids. So maybe this afternoon. My sleep schedule is off.... I pretty much stayed in bed with Bill and lounged today. I did get out Tuesday morning. Picked a watermelon and found out it wasnt ripe :( Bill warned me. Oh and I have revamped the music, I hope you enjoy. I will have an abundance of jalepenos this year. Um does anyone have a pepper jelly know the kind that later you can mix it with sour cream or cream cheese to make a yummy dip? Im really wanting to do something besides dehydrate....but I have pictures of that too. Gotta find out where Bill put my camera

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Im stressed out and a feeling a more that a little out of control of my life so Im cutting my hair off tomorrow and possibly going blonde. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gardening and confession

So the weeding is coming along...slowly but surely. We had wicked T-storms and wind last night but I didnt think much about it outside of it was raining. We didnt do our normal garden walk this morning and when we did get out there we found many of our plants had been knocked around or down. One of my jalepenos that was NOT blown around looks like it is just up and dying. Not sure what is going on there..It looks like it's drying up or something. Everyone else in the row was doing good. Forgot to get a picture. I will remedy it tomorrow.

We have lots of things finally flowering and actually have the beginnings of edibles!!! The herb patch is going well. I harvested a lot of basil and some thyme and they are in the dehydrator as we speak. I have some actual watermelons thats getting bigger and round. The cantaloup and honeydew have massive flowers. The spaghetti squash is massive too. I have picked a few worries about salmonella here lemme tell ya! And I found out that the cayenne peppers aren't cayenne...which sucks. The peppers seem to be coming along very nicely besides that little snafu. The corn is coming along as well as the pole beans...though I need bigger poles next year. The cukes are doing great and Bill harvested a small turnip and declared it divine. The bush green beans seem to be struggling. I think thats due to the beetle attack. The tomatoes are massive flowering but not much fruit. I am going to go through and pinch some of the flowers off so the plant can focus on bigger fruits. Only one type of lettuce came up. A few carrots have survived and sprouted. The gourd patch is growing but not flowering.

I do have a confession. We used Sevin dust this year. Im not comfortable with that at all but a decision had to be made and Bill kind of made it for me. He has promised that if I can find something else that actually works against the japanese beetles that tried to invade then we will do that next year. He felt his hands were a bit tied as well. We haven't used any pesticides on the garden til now. Haven't even used fertilizer. Quite honestly I feel like a fraud and am disappointed. People I've talked to round here don't seem to get why Im a bit upset about it. With the exception of two people, they saw it as completely normal. Those two thankfully didnt try to stone me or anything, they said that I should just focus on next year and plan, plan, plan.

Im a little wired tonight so I will probably post later but I need to get a shower. So to wrap it up I do have some questions for you guys. Dill - How do you usually harvest yours? Also, what all can you use Texas Tarragon for?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Should I bust out my war paint?

So I had to go pay the water bill today. YAY! The water department is at the village hall a few blocks from where I live. While I was in I asked about having chickens. I was told emphatically that you can NOT have chickens -what so ever - in the city limits. Which nonetheless blows for me. However, I also know that DeSoto use to have a ban on pitbulls and that was contested and overturned. Now I'm not wanting to keep a large flock or anything like that. What I want is something similar to the Eglu setup which I would have a maximum of 4 laying hens (If I could afford something like this!) . But even if I built my own small coop and corresponding chicken tractor I still wouldn't have a huge flock of birds. I think that I should be able to. I mean people can keep chickens in London and Chicago for cryin out loud. I think that I am ready to rally for this right to have a few, well cared for, properly maintained, chickens on my own private property.

So with that out there....who the hell do I need to talk to about setting this up? I have absolutely no clue as to what I need to be doing but I do know it will take a lot of research, wording, and paperwork. Any ideas or advice you guys have I need desperately.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Havent been doing anything lately. The heat and wicked T storms have been keeping me in the house and lazy. But tonight it seems we've caught a break inbetween storms so I opened up the windows to cool off the house and I should be able to weed a little in the am if I get enough sleep. The garden is going well except for all the grass that got tilled under is trying to make a comback...and reference the lazy statement above. :( Im just not having a good week mentally. We are broke, things are paid for thankfully but little to nothing left over...and that makes some people grumpy who then make me grumpy......Im going to bed now.

PS on a good note (which i do find a LOT)
One of the yarrows has started to bloom
New leaves forming on the rose plant :D super happy about that!!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July recap and a sundry of other stuff

Just a note, I haven't forgotten that I was tagged for "What Things I Refuse to Do Without" I just really needed to take a bit to think about it in an honest light.

The first 4th at the house wasnt too eventful. I had to work from 8am t0 4:30 on 2 hours sleep. Caught an hour sleep during lunch in my car and another hour upon coming home. Bill and the Teen cooked and then she was off to see fireworks while we ran some errands and then came back home so that I could catch up on everyone's blog and he can finish belt favors for our fighting group. Ragnorok went well from the perspective of establishing a name for ourselves as a fighting group. It was also a great way for me to meet up with The Unusual Farmchick. As far as a honeymoon it was disasterous (with the storms, the chaos of Ragnorok and all, not to mention the truck crapping out on us). I would really like to save up some vacation time and go away for a weekend, even if its just something round here. Southern Illinois is actually very beautiful with the Shawnee National Forest, Garden of the Gods, FernClyffe, etc. Or maybe we could hit Cape Girardeau, MO or Paducah, KY since both are about an hour away.

The garden is chugging along at a steady (I think) pace so much sprouted and took off while we were gone. We did lose some seedlings, but I am happy with what we have so far. I worry with us getting started as late as we did that we will behind or have poor yield and not much for me to can. We tilled a chunk of the back yard up and I worry that I haven't used the space as efficiently as I could have. But I remind myself that this is our first month at the house let alone our first year, mistakes will be made, losses will be sustained logged and hopefully learned from and avoided. I have pictures on my flickr badge if you follow the link you can see my pics. I will be shooting more frequently because I got asked permission for use of one of my pics for a participatory news group called Now I was slightly amused, part flattered and said sure.

Another cool thing that happened lately was that I found out I won a reuseable tote bag from Earthbound Farm with a newsletter, some coupons and a book. I vaguely remember signing up for it back in April I think.. So all in all good day. But now Im tired and going to relenquish the computer to Bill. I have to get up and take pics of the garden...and weed like no tomorrow and also we are going to the farmers market.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

In short

Got married on the 20th the reception was awesome, left for Ragnorok on the 22nd...Met the Unusual Farmchick at Day 1 of Rag (Best part of the whole damn trip can't wait to do it again!!!) Stormed every night while there.....tried to leave to come home the followin Saturday (a day early) just past noon but the blazer's rear differential blew out 22 miles east of Dayton, OH. Got home at 9am Sunday morning. Will give you the full scoop when I get some sleep...oh and I have lots of pics