The Weekly Digs #244

by Becky
Published: Updated:

Preserving

I have been doing a pantry clean out and preserving my sweet potatoes. I settled on freeze drying them because it’s easier to eat as a snack. When we switched over to less processed food and lots of homemade everything, the one thing that was an adjustment was the snacks.

We have a lot of options for homemade snacks at the house but it’s a little more difficult to come up with snacks for in the car or when we are in a hurry. 

An idea sparked in my mind the other day that I needed to freeze dry the sweet potatoes for a crunchy car or on-the-go snack. 

I spent 3 days slicing, dicing, and chopping sweet potatoes. Then adding seasonings, baking the sweet potatoes in the oven, then freeze drying them. 

It was pretty fun to test out all kinds of formulations and I had the kids be my taste testers. They had such good feedback! I love how honest they are with what they liked and didn’t like.

I’ve got what I hope will be my final batch of sweet potatoes in the freeze dryer right now. I will get the recipe and our favorite seasonings up on the blog by next week!

If you don’t have a freeze dryer, I think the sweet potato snack could also be achieved with a dehydrator. I will test this next week to find out.

We also canned some cranberry juice.

In the Garden

We have been chipping away at the planting. This year we are doing quite a bit of prep work to make sure there is less weeding later. For each row, we add compost, rake, then weed paper, and secure it down with wood chip mulch in the walking paths. 

It is slow going, but as I looked over the garden today I was happy because I didn’t feel the same feelings of overwhelm because of weeds. Everything is looking much more tidy and neat. The areas that don’t have weed barrier paper are either cover cropped or covered with a thick layer of compost so they don’t have many weeds. 

This week I got a lot of things planted or at least started to be planted. Here’s what we did:

  • Started planting Roma tomatoes.
  • The kids got started planting tomatoes in their garden too! I didn’t realize Dax had so many tomatoes he had potted up. He said he had 70! And he didn’t label any of them because he said he “wanted it to be a surprise”. We did a seed swap at our local library and Dax brought home at least 10 different tomato seed varieties earlier this year that he is now growing!
  • Cruz transplanted all the Dahlias I had in soil blocks and a couple zinnias.
  • I planted calendula in the onion row where there were some plants that had rotted back. I’m trying to fill in more of our gaps this year and make sure there is less area for weeds to grow.
  • Started in soil blocks H-19 little leaf cucumber. It was so prolific last year.
  • Worked on hilling potatoes
  • Started picking carrots!
  • We are still harvesting strawberries daily
  • Also harvesting green onions, lettuce, and I ate a couple snap peas that were very close to being mature 🙂
  • Picked a few raspberries.

Turkey Hatch Fail

Over the last several weeks one of our turkey hens has been dutifully sitting on eggs. We peeked in every once and a while but one day I found a dead poult that looked like it had been pecked next to her. 

By the next week, all the poults had hatched (although I never saw them walking around). One day Noelle checked on her and saw dead poults all around. We have no idea what happened. It was so sad! It didn’t seem like a predator problem. 

She was separated from our Tom and other hen.

Thankfully, our other turkey hen decided it was now her turn to sit on her eggs. I’m so nervous about it! I hope we don’t have a similar outcome. I need to do a little research and figure out if we need to do anything to help the situation. 

I tossed our incubator in the trash just a couple weeks ago because the styrofoam got eaten by a mouse over the winter and it was damaged beyond repair. We also never got more than a 50% hatch rate from that incubator. We may need to purchase a second so we can make sure the next batch poults don’t die.

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1 comment

Natalie May 31, 2024 - 1:09 pm

Hi Becky,
Just wanted to ask where do you get your aprons from? I’m in love!

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