Let me take you back to when I was sick with stomach pains and acid reflux. I had been trying every diet imaginable and the latest one was Paleo. I ate strict paleo for almost a year. Because Paleo is heavy on meat and vegetables our average monthly grocery bill was $1200. We do have a family of six. I was the only one who was on the Paleo diet but dinners were made so that I could eat them too.Read More
We had another chicken death this week. This time it was an animal that got into their coop at night. I think it was a raccoon because it had to be something nimble enough to open a door against gravity. The raccoon or what ever it was had a good meal and left the carcass. Having animals kill the chickens is hard because it’s always quite a gruesome scene.Read More
My family has a subtle way of telling me whether or not dinner is delicious. They will fight over who get the leftovers for lunch. Occasionally if it’s something especially tasty it will disappear at breakfast. When you have a family of six it’s almost always a race to get to the food first. Asian Beef Noodle Soup is a fought over dish! My kids like to take to school for lunch and the leftovers are always gone by the next day.Read More
This year I did one seed per block for my peppers and tomatoes and it was a failure. My peppers I got less than 50% germination. The tomatoes was around 80-90%. I’m going to have to sow more peppers, this time I’ll do four seed per block to make sure I get the germination I need. Also I have new heat mats now so that should help! It was a great learning experiment.Read More
There is a Part II to gardening that often gets forgotten. It demands attention and yet is scarcely mentioned in the gardening community. It is: How to use the vegetables after they get picked and need to be eaten. Sure, most of us know how to nibble on cherry tomatoes and enjoy some steamed peas but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about using those vegetables for your everyday cooking and knowing how to do that with confidence.Read More
Last Saturday we had a thunderstorm followed by wind gusts of 50mph. A power pole about a mile from our home snapped in half, leaving live power lines scattered across the road. We were without power for seven hours while they repaired it.Read More
Tip #1 Plant at the right time of year.
This is a major key in growing broccoli successfully. During head formation broccoli plants need cool days and cool nights. In most of the United States they can be grown either in the fall or in the spring.
Spring planting: Start seed indoors before 8 to 10 weeks before the average last frost. Transplant into the garden 3-4 weeks before the average last frost.
Fall planting: Start seed indoors 15 to 17 weeks before average first frost of fall. Transplant outdoors 10-12 weeks before average first frost of fall…Read More
I’m at the point where winter just keeps dragging on and the gray days seem eternal. Thankfully, I can work on my gardening indoors to fight the winter blues!
This week, I seeded peppers. 36 plants so far. I will do at least another half tray to make 50+ peppers. Last year I didn’t have enough Jalapeno plants to keep up with my salsa making so I’m attempting a better balance this year!Read More
A few weeks ago, some of our good friends were planting apple trees and were asking me the basics you need to know for planting apple trees. In responding to their questions, I realized it’s not quite as simple as it seems. The act of planting apple trees is not complicated. But if you want apples in years to come there are some important things you need to know before the tree goes in the ground.
I’m going to cover several points.
Selecting a variety that works for your area and how you want to grow. (Organic or Conventional)
Where to buy quality trees.
Selecting the correct pollinators for your tree.
When to plant.
Where to plant. (Spacing and Location)
If this week had a theme it would be pruning! I finished the rest of my pruning that needed to be done before spring. I pruned:
I am confident in my pruning skills in everything except the apple trees. They still have me scratching my head a bit.Read More
In order to understand how to prune blackberries it’s important to understand the basics of how blackberries grow. Blackberries are perennials. This means that the root system will live for many years. The root system produces new canes yearly. Canes produced are biennial and die after two years.
The first year of growth on a blackberry is called a primocane. For many varieties of blackberries (though not all) this is primarily a vegetative year of growth and will not produce fruit.
The second year of growth on a blackberry is called a floricane. Floricanes will bear fruit.Read More
We spent the last week in Florida on vacation for a family reunion for Cameron’s family! After all our planned activities were done, I had to get over to a you pick farm! Oranges are in season in February so we were able to pick a few different kinds, temple and pineapple oranges…Read More