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As spring rapidly approaches, I’ve been feeling the need for a homestead journal. Every Friday, I’m going to share our homesteading activities done over the week prior. I’m calling it The Weekly Digs.
My onion seeds really started shooting up this week. Varieties for this year:
Valencia, Candy, Expression, Rossa Di Milano, NY Early, and Cabernet. Leeks: Bulgarian Giant. This is a combination of last years seeds and this years.
They say onion seeds last one year. I found out that they last for two years. I got a really good germination rate, 80-90%, from seeds packed for 2018. I did a mixture of 2017 leek seeds and 2019. The 2017 seeds haven’t sprouted at all! It was a good experiment to learn to use up my onions within two years time.
After 3 days of 60-70ºF weather, the blueberries buds have started to open. I lost 40% of the potential blueberries last year from a late frost. I’m really hoping those blueberries hold back a bit until it really warms up!
Since they were starting to bud, I got out there and did some pruning. The blueberry plants are on their 4th year which is the first year to start pruning. They didn’t really need much taken off.
For the smaller bushes, the only thing I did was prune the extra twiggy growth at the base of the plant and some of the low lying branches that were too close to the ground. The larger ones got the same treatment plus I trimmed a few of the crossing branches at the base.
I made my own chicken stock this week and pressure canned it. It’s taken me a long time to get the courage to pressure can. I’m not worried about anything exploding, I just have some anxiety about botulism. A little bit is good, I think, to make sure you are safe. But I had so much fear it kept me from doing anything!
I updated my Mom’s old All american dial gauge canner. Instead of a dial and petcock, it now has a dial and weighted gauge. It’s so much easier because it keeps the pressure more consistent! I love that I can hear and see that the pressure is correct.
I eased into pressure canning by doing tomatoes this summer because they can be done in water bath or pressure canned. So I figured if I messed up it wouldn’t be as risky. The chicken stock seemed a logical next step since it’s so easy. I checked the directions about ten times to be sure it was done right. I’m feeling more confident about it now. Baby steps.