The Weekly Digs #207

by Becky

100 Tomatoes

Planting tomatoes was a big project this week and we finished getting them all planted! 39 plants in my caterpillar tunnel, all indeterminate tomatoes. 

We planted Eva Purple Ball (a new favorite from last year), Kelloggs Breakfast, Cherokee Purple, Peacevine Cherry, Black Cherry, Sunrise Bumblebee, Pink Champagne, and Amish Paste.

I had a set of larger tomatoes that I started early as an experiment and they were in 4 inch soil blocks and very ready to plant.

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 I had the larger ones all labeled with popsicle sticks, but on a very windy stormy day the popsicle sticks got all blown over and mixed up. So it will be a surprise as each tomato bears fruit what variety they are. Luckily, I don’t have any look- alikes this year, so I’ll know when as they get bigger which is which 🙂

In a row outside the tunnel, I planted 46 paste tomato plants, which are a mix of Roma and San Marzano varieties. 

The rest of the tomatoes are scattered throughout the kids’ gardens.

Baby Bunnies

Remember how I saw a rabbit in my garden? Well turns out it is a she, and she decided to have her babies right in my strawberry patch. They are very small right now, with eyes closed all nested in there. 

I’m having a struggle right now, because I want them out before they get big enough to eat all the berries but I know if I relocate her nest of bunnies they’ll probably die. 

My garden fencing is still not secure, so she is moving freely in and out of the garden. It also thwarted my plans of getting the berries all covered with netting to keep both the birds and rabbits out. 

The kids have been doing amazing at cleaning out berries before any birds or even pests can get them. Noelle declared to me the other day that even the white ones were sweet, haha!

Cam and I decided to wait until the bunnies get a little bigger and less dependent on the mother then we would move them out. Which hopefully isn’t a mistake.

Cover Crops

We crimped and tarped the cover crops in the garden. It always seems like a fairly quick job, but it took a little longer than anticipated. The kids were helping and took a long break to eat strawberries and then another long break to chase around a garden snake they found under the tarp. 🙂 

After we covered that area, I replanted a new area with more cover crops. Because of baby coming it’s a simplified soil building garden year. I’m not going crazy and planting all kinds of experimental things like I usually do.

Freeze Dried Cilantro

I think I forgot to mention last week that we freeze dried a bunch of cilantro. It was enough to fill 8 trays. The flavor is so much better than dehydrated, it really maintains the color and pungency when freeze dried.

Meals from the Week

This week we did savory crepes again for dinner. This time with kale, canned chicken, pesto, and some of the family had pizza sauce and cheese on theirs too. Aside from that, we made some cornmeal crusted chicken tenders from THIS recipe book along with asparagus, salad, and fresh bread.

Cam made pizza for dinner on another night. Then Cam and I went on a date one night this week, so we tried a local place to eat, it was fresh and pretty good but nothing quite compares to eating at home! Cam says I just need to enjoy the fact I don’t have to cook! I was thankful for that.

Forgot to take pictures of any dinners so here is another thing we have been feasting on! The kids made strawberry frozen yogurt this week.

The kids ate popcorn and made smoothies for dinner while we were gone. Only a couple weeks before the baby so we are taking advantage of doing a date night up until that point.

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9 comments

Laura May 14, 2023 - 10:39 am

Last year a bunny made a nest in our strawberries too. We left the nest alone, but I regretted it when they got big. Ha!

Thanks for including what you are this week. It’s helpful to see that.

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Laurel M. May 16, 2023 - 2:02 pm

We raise rabbits for meat. Their eyes open at 10-12 days and they are weaned by four weeks. If they die, it is likely that mother is already pregnant again as she can have kits every 30 days. I hope that is helpful information. Those strawberries are awesome!!

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Alyssa May 14, 2023 - 12:38 pm

Thank you for the post & happy mother’s day! When you freeze-dry your harvest do you use a machine or is there a DIY method for this that works for you? Right now I am just freezing any extras but am looking for new ways to preserve this year. Thanks!

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Gardenlover May 14, 2023 - 7:43 pm

I’m pretty sure she uses the harvest right one, they have a sale and contest right now 🙂

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Joanna May 14, 2023 - 12:59 pm

Happy Mother’s day, beautiful mama 😂💐
I’m going to sound heartless but move the bunnies!!! Their gestation period is only 30 days so believe me, she will be having PLENTY more this year 🤷🏼‍♀️

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Gardenlover May 14, 2023 - 7:44 pm

Happy Mothers Day! Praying your labor and delivery go super smooth Thank You Jesus!
What recipe did you use for the frozen yogurt and did you use a ice cream maker?

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Stefanie May 18, 2023 - 1:33 pm

You are an inspiration to us all and I’m so glad you decided to leave the bunnies and give them a chance at life! We have dealt with everything in our large garden up here in Western NY from bears to raccoons and skunks to a groundhog mama standing at our rows of peas feeding them to her babies to deer and every little critter in between. Although we don’t have a lot of bunnies (probably because of all the bigger wildlife). Anyway, each year we mostly let them be. My daughter has loved watching them all in action all these years and her joy is worth what little bit of produce we lost. Plus we truly believe that whenever we share with God’s creatures we end up with an even bigger harvest of that particular food each year that it happens! Last year deer ate an entire long row of beans I planted but we had an abundance elsewhere in the garden and enough to freeze and can them for the entire winter. ❤️❤️❤️

🙏🙏🙏 We are praying for a safe delivery of your new little baby!!

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Jillian Durham May 21, 2023 - 2:32 am

They are so cute when they are babies and then they just turn into pests. I have a family of squirrels living under my shed here in Mesa AZ I saw 5 of them the other day eating alllllll my tomatoes 😔. We are moving to Taylor AZ soon to live out the dream of homesteading life!!! And I am worried about pests big time with moving there.. any tips?

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theseasonalhomestead June 1, 2023 - 9:05 pm

We used to have a problem with squirrels at our old house. But it was all location- we were in the middle of a wooded area. Now that my garden is in a pasture area, I haven’t seen one squirrel. But we do deal with more rodents. So there are always a couple of pests around. I fence for the big ones like deer and raccoons but the little ones like rabbits and mice are harder to manage. Sometimes you just have to plant a little extra to share! Or spend time trapping and removing them!

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