The Weekly Digs #183

by Becky

Harvest and Preserving

This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure can be found here.

I’m writing this as I listen to my pressure canner jiggle in the background. I made some canned baked beans for the first time ever. I haven’t tried the finished product but what I taste tested in the pot before it went in was so delicious! Recipe comes from THIS book. 

We are deep into harvest season, and it’s been an amazing week. The temperatures have been so perfect. The stress of the season is winding down, we are wrapping up the big harvests. This week we dug the sweet potatoes up and brought them to the garage to cure.

There is a little bit of vole damage on this sweet potato. Not a problem though, once it cures it will last as long as the unscathed ones. I chop off the damage immediately before cooking.

We also harvested a five gallon bucket of cowpeas. I’m planning on making our favorite Cajun Cowpeas later this week, this recipe comes from the same BOOK as the baked beans. The kids picked the cowpeas cheerfully because they said, “I can’t wait to make Cajun Cowpea Soup!”

As a family we also planted the last of the fall crops in the garden! Well, mostly. We transplanted spinach, winter lettuce, winter choy, leeks, and cilantro. The only thing left now is the collards. And at the beginning of November we will plant the garlic. 

The row we planted them in is on the far left. I had to cover it right away because there has been an armadillo tearing up some of the garden beds.

My goal for this next month is to work on finishing up the preserving and to do a lot of garden prep for the next season. I need to add a lot of compost and mulch. Spring is so busy and I don’t want to worry about adding compost in addition to all the planting.

We have Beef!

In other news, we sent one of our cows to the butcher a few weeks ago. I can’t remember if I mentioned it here or not! It’s the first time we’ve had it USDA inspected and packaged so that we can sell it. It was a natural next step for us to want to share this good food. We’ll be sharing through sales at our farm store. I’m glad to be able to produce more than we need that we can do that.

Getting our Soil in Order

We also had a farm/business friend visit our homestead this week. He is helping us get our soil to where it needs to be so our plants are healthy! I really needed a boost in motivation to do this and it’s been nice to have him consult with us on what we needed to do. When I first started to garden, I thought every soil problem could be fixed with enough compost. 

As a proponent of self-sufficiency, I really wanted to fix my soil without needing to rely on outside sources. But I found out quickly that adding a ton of organic matter was not enough to solve all my soil problems.

Sometimes it’s necessary to add specific nutrients and micronutrients the soil needs. After adding these things, the crops improve in health and vigor. I do still add plenty of compost too.

Cover crops coming up! I planted oats, hairy vetch, and crimson clover.

I sent out a soil test in the spring since the last time I had it tested was March 2020, when we bought our land. Unfortunately, my soil is still low in potassium. So I have been adding the recommended amount as I flip garden beds to get everything in the right range. All the micronutrients were in the right range already.

The only other thing I’ve been adding to improve the soil is an organic soil prebiotic called Ultra. This can be found HERE. If you want to try it, I do have a coupon code SH2022. I’ve been applying it every two weeks throughout the growing season.

Our friend who visited this week sent us a sample earlier in the summer to test it out. Full disclosure, he works for AgriGro, which is the small business that makes this fertilizer. Even though I am affiliated with this company, this is NOT a sponsored post. I’m sharing because the soil prebiotic has benefited my garden. I’ve done some side by side tests and was amazed at how much of a positive difference it made. 

The visit was short, but it was fun to be nerdy and talk about farming and gardening, my favorite subject of conversation!

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Ginger October 10, 2022 - 11:54 am

Becky, you and your family are so inspiring. I only discovered this blog and your YouTube channel a couple of months ago and I’ve been devouring your content ever since! Thank you for all of your wonderful information and for sharing your trials and successes.

theseasonalhomestead October 15, 2022 - 2:51 am

Thank you so much!

Joanna October 13, 2022 - 3:41 pm

I feel bad. I missed reading this blog until today (Thursday) Sometimes I don’t know where the days go. I thought I was signed up to get an email whenever you post but never have gotten one 🤷🏼‍♀️
Anyhow, I am so happy to hear that you are improving your soil composition better! That is fantastic ❤️


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