July to August , Summers Bounty

Been a real busy month on the Farm. We got a hold of 200 cedar trees on a special deal as a nursery wanted to get shut of the over stock they had so I planted some along the north fence line  . of course planting trees in July is not ideal but with such a good price, why not! Of course at this time of year you do need to put in irrigation for them too.

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Harvest has started happening with lots of beets, Rutabaga, and Carrots.

some of the harvest some of the harvest

 

I had seen a great deal on a large enameled pot in a local store ,  just  $35 I thought it would be great to use for our sauerkraut  as our demand for it has increased but it got its first try with making rutabaga sauerkraut , im sure this has a name of its own but I don’t know it so I call it turnipkraut . it was a very large batch.

the $35 pot finished turnip sauerkraut

 

With the Beets I canned them and pickled them and also pickled some of the rutabaga in a spicy recipe, they turned out nice.

canned beets spicy pickled rutabaga

 

Lots of carrots which we blanched and froze and of course the bees had been real busy and I got to test out the honey extractor which was great to have as we pulled about 60 pints of honey from one hive.

lots of carrots frame full of honey

 

Filtering the honey Honey

that’s all until next time.

Planting the Orchard

 

i have been talking about setting up an orchard on part of the land since we moved in and there is nothing like leaving it to the last minute when my nose is to the wire to get me started. we are putting in a perimeter fence and on the south line there is a beautiful big old cherry tree that over time had self seeded a bunch of cherry’s along the base , some of them are quite tall and i didn’t want to just waste them by cutting them up to get to the fence line so i decided to move them (plus it was an excuse to test out the backhoe). So i got started on my Orchard which just consists of some cherry trees right now but i hope to get to putting in apples ,pears , nuts and what ever else i can get my hands on that will grow here.

here are some pictures of the start of the orchard. the photos are before the stakes have been added

 

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Pumpkin Harvest – Happy Halloween

More harvest fun!

we had been saving the last of the corn for a family visit and it turned out it was past its prime but still tasted good , just not as juicy as the previous ones .

We have had quite a lot of pumpkins from the 4 or 5 plants we planted early in the year , i had already made 4 pumpkin pies before i decided to harvest the rest of the pumpkins.  Processing so many pupkins at one time is quite hard work , i did 10 at once and decided to bake them rather than steam them just because it was easier to put them all in the oven to make the pumpkin goop. i scooped out all the seed and roasted them separately. i just froze most of the goop but i did make pumpkin soup with some of it which turned out to be delicious. the recipes will be below .

i also had the last of the chilli’s to do something with so i decided to air dry them and use my grinder attachment on my kitcheaid mixer to grind them in to powder , kind of cayene pepper. i just air dried them whole and then cut the stems off broke them in to pieces and fed them through the grinder , just the little particles in the air had my nose and eyes running .

This Pumpkin Pie is a combination and modification of two recipes i found on the web, one on http://www.pickyourown.org and the other on some cooking channel i forget . the soup is just a basic vegetable broth i use and added pumpkin.
Pumpkin Pie
==========ingredients
3cups of prepared pumpkin (1 pumpkin 8” or two smaller ones to make 3 cups)
5 ginger snap cookies
¼ cup of walnuts
4 large eggs
1 ½  cup of whiping cream(not whipped)
1 cup of sugar
1 ½ teaspoon cinamon
2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
pie crustsMaking the prepared pumpkin
========================
cut pumpkins into halves, remove the stalk and scoop out the seeds (save seeds for roasting recipie)
steam the pumpkin for 30 min
remove the pumpkin meat from the skin and then put the meat in to the mixer (use paddle) for about 5 min just to change it to a smooth texture.
Then measure out 3 cups

Everything else
============
Pre heat oven to 425F

put cookies and walnuts in to a food processor until they are crumb like use this to thinly  coat the bottom of the pie crust .

combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix together until combined.

pour the mixture in the prepared pie crusts

put the pies in the pre heated oven at 425F for 15 min and then reduce the heat to 350F and bake for a further 45 – 60 min , check at the 30 min mark.

Pumpkin Soup
===========
2 x onions
3 x carrots
2 sticks of cellerry
5 cups of  prepared pumpkin
1 tspsalt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayene pepper
1 tbspn minced garlic
1 qt of water aprox
2 tbspn gapeseed oil
Dice carrots , onions and celery
put oil in a large soup pot add diced carrots , onion , celery and garlic
heat over medium heat until they get soft (about 10 min)Add a cup of waterthen blend mixture in a blender until smooth (usually takes two blender loads)

pour the blended mixture back in to the pot  add pumpkin , salt , pepper and cayene pepper .

gradually add water until you get the desired thickness

simmer the mixture for about 20 min

serv . season to taste.

Veggies Galore

The raised beds have really worked out well. i had 100% germination of the turnips so we have had a lot of turnips , we only lost a few to pests .They would develop a hole and then turn to mush inside. i think this was slugs .

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the cabbages just shot up after i stopped pulling them out thinking they were weeds. there is a weed that grows here that looks a lot like a cabbage seedling.

i decided with my first two cabbages that i would make sauerkraut . i followed a recipe i found on line and it turned out a little salty  but i am eating it anyways . i put it in a big jar and in to the fridge .

i pulled the majority of the turnips this week because with this hot weather i believe it makes them woody so i peeled the turnips , cut them up , blanched them and froze them . i also did the same 2 min blanche  with some of the greens and also the beet greens . the beets i cooked and peeled and then froze them also .

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the corn is coming along well and has the little tassels showing on top but no signs off cobs yet.

the summer squash and pumpkin plants just look like the triffids , they are taking over every where.

i had so many cucumbers that i did not know what to do with them so i decided to make pickles whichIMG_20110702_135427 is very easy you just cook up the brine fill the jars with sliced cucumber and then top up with brine and process in the canner . its very simple . i added some dill and some garlic in to my jars too , you then have to leave them for at least six weeks for the flavors to set up. it been a little longer than that as we still have a large jar of costco pickles in the fridge so I am looking forward to trying them on a burger soon.

we have had a few green beans and there are more to come , as well as the peas are starting to be ready now . tomatoes are on their way and there are a few hot peppers ready that I intend to make chilli infused olive oil with , I just love that stuff on pizza. the cantaloupe are sprawling out and have lots of flowers but are yet to have any fruit .

More From The Farm .Trimming , Tidying and Fertilizing

This week has been another very busy week.

as i started to weed the front garden from its dense weed ridden state after years of neglect i found some very beautiful plant and noticed a lot of work had originally been put in. there had been some of the spiral trees in that had not been trimmed for some time and only vaguely showed the spiral so i decided to give it a go at reshaping them i am not very good at it and the great thing is that they will grow back but i managed to shape them something like all with the exception of one of them that had a nest in as i noticed a bird fly out as i was triming the bottom so i left that some what unfinished to be completed when the babies have flown the nest.

On checking on my vegetable beds finally things had started to happen there. and i realised that it is not so easy to remember what plants i had planted where when they are just seedlings . i should have really marked them ….well you live and learn and next year i will but in the mean time i found a website that showed images of new seedlings and what they where so i was able to identify which ones they are so i can thin them out , but there are still no signs of carrots yet .

i also recently bought a book on organic gardening called organic gardening for the 21st century by john fedor in there were directions for making a plant feed tea from nettle leaves so off i went to the back of the property and filled up the trailer on the back of my little ride on . i had bought some burlap (Hessian) sheeting earlier so i stitched it together with garden twine in to a bag that i filled with the nettles , put it in a garbage bin full of water and there it will sit for 2 weeks when i will mix it with water and apply ti the plants. the book says to dilute 1:15 with water or it could burn the plants …. i will try it on  a small scale at first just because what can go wrong generally does .

 


 

Moving to the country

We are in our new house now and the previous owners had let the gardens go somewhat , so reclaiming and tidying them up is proving to be quite a lot of work, added to that the fact that as always I like to grow my own vegetables and moving at the end of planting season meant even more work getting all the veggies in the ground.

with not having much time to get soil ready and for easy management I decided to go with some raised beds. I didn’t really plan sizes or anything I just saw that there was some wood left over from some construction or something that was left near the garage the are 8 x 2 in 12ft so I thought that would do. Being new to this farm life I was eager to test out the tractor that came with the

place and some of its attachments so I hooked up the tiller and got to work, I tilled 4 strips 12ft long and then used the front loader to just take off the top sod . I then placed my boards to make may raised beds and filled them with organic soil. After filling two of the beds with the front loader on the tractor , the tractor got injured on a different job so I had to fill the remaining two by carting the soil by hand in a wheel barrow . yes very hard work

with all the beds filled with soil I got to planting. I planted corn, potatoes, carrots, beets, summer squash, pumpkins, beans, lettuce, onions and probably some more I have missed out. I did some googling and companion planted where I could , if you are not familiar with companion planting it is where plants help each other out in some way like replenishing soil nutrients or helping stave off disease etc. with all the seeds in I wanted to set up some sort of watering system , so I linked up some soaker hoses , it is best to water with soaker so the water does not go on the leaver of the plant to help reduce blights and fungus.

I am looking forward to the fresh veggies this year , and there is lots more work to do here so I will have lots to post about but getting the time to do so is another matter.

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