Wednesday, June 25, 2008

First fruits

We built a new pen for Ms.Tica and she loves being a semi-free rabbit again. I think she's the best fed rabbit in these parts, getting raw veggies and leaves from the garden every day. I'm thinking about ignoring those Home-owner association rules and putting some chickens in here. It's under the deck stairs so I don't think anyone would see them easily. Anyone know how well chickens and rabbits do together?

The herb garden is bursting at the seams now. There are several basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, summer savory, oregeno, marjoram, lavender, marigolds, dianthus, tithonia torch (mexican sunflower), sunflowers and morning glory. The Dill is all finished for now but I may start some in the fall again. Two volunteers share the herb bed...a roma tomato and watermelon, both from last year. I really need to move the watermelon but every bit of space I had left, went to the sweet potatoes.

I know it probably gets old seeing this same shot week after week, but I like seeing how it changes every time. I didn't get half of my goals accomplished this year, so it helps me to see the progress on what DID get done.:)

Another volunteer, sprung from the old compost bed. I thought it was zucchini at first, but it's kinda round. Might have been a hybrid, so we'll just have to see what it wants to be and whether it will be useful or not.

Cherry tomatoes hang gracefully on the vine,

Some plump peppers,

and a few knobby cukes.

My Brandywine tomatoes are filling out. Might be time for some fried green tomatoes soon!

This morning I unearthed a handful of Yukon Gold potatoes,

which became a simple and hearty breakfast of onions (also from the garden), potatoes and eggs from down the road. Yum.
There is nothing more buttery and smooth than a homegrown Yukon Gold. I can't believe the silky texture. Potatoes can handle long-term storage but they sure have great texture right from the garden! I can't think of many foods more pleasurable.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Good eating

We had been eating a lot of salad, up until the weather got a bit hot and things were going bitter. The above picture was typical for a few weeks though. Herbs, swiss chard, lettuces and broccoli or cabbage leaves were the norm. I still have a couple bags of lettuce in the fridge and we've planted some heat resistant varieties to see how they do.

There is one raised bed that gets a lot of shade that might make a good summer lettuce bed. We'll see. I've been told that July and August are the hardest months for lettuce but the rest of the year is pretty easy around here for growing them.

Our farmer's market bounty was a loaf of ciabatta, a brownie, lettuce, some strawberries and a bundle of lamb's quarter.

Our Brandywine tomatoes are doing fabulous. Since this picture was taken last week they've gotten quite a bit larger and are covered with blossoms. A few have set fruit too. One of the cherry tomatoes has several fruits and I'm eagerly awaiting the first harvest.

Sierra has become quite adept at building frames for the hives. I can whip out ten frames fairly quick now, with her help. One of the hives got a second hive body as they were starting to get crowded. The other hive hasn't even worked five of the ten frames very well yet, I'm starting to worry about that one. They need to get busy or they won't get through winter. Not sure what is going on but I'll get someone out to look with me soon.

The healthy hive is incredibly busy every day now.

Last week when I inspected the hives I had to scrape a lot of burr comb off the inner cover. I decided to strain out the little bit of honey that was in was so good and gave us a glimpse of future rewards.:)

The view from the hives is looking more filled in lately.

A meal that was almost zero miles...some scrambled eggs from about 1/10th of a mile down the road, chock full of herbs and greens from our garden with some mint tea to top it off.

The pizza was inspired by our visit to Touch the Earth Farm where we were fed very well. I used a puff pastry crust and topped it with olive oil, mozza and plenty of basil, oregeno, marjoram, garlic and some leeks. It was SOoooooo yummy!

The more we grow our own food, the more we enjoy the entire process. We've pulled a few potatoes this week (got my first purple tonight) and had a couple for breakfast a few days ago.

I've also taken to spending part of our grocery money on staples we can store long-term. We've got about 50# of flour, 25# of rice, lots of peanut butter, canned beans and dry beans, oats, baking soda, vinegar and more. The idea is to buy items we use all the time and get to the point where the budget is a lot about what we want to buy, rather than what we feel we have to buy.

The more we store and grow, the less dependent we can become. It's a slow process at times, but it feels good to be in process. I have a feeling this will be a winter where we will be very glad to have large stores of food. Prices aren't falling, that's for sure.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Found at Beth Fuller's blog....

“There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.”
~~Freya Stark

You get three words

This has been on my mind lately, don't ask why. I think of weird stuff at random times.:)

If there were three words to describe you after you died, what would they be? I decided that I hoped people would say of me "she was fearless". I can't think of a better legacy to leave behind. Still working on that fearless part.

What would people say about you? Three words. Go!

Oh, and publish a link if you put it at your blog or feel free to leave it in comments here. The above picture is one that Sierra and I did on February 29th. Fearlessly leaping. Yep.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Path to Freedom

I love the Path to Freedom website and just signed up for the 100 foot challenge. Part of me wonders how on earth I plan to meet the challenge with such a smallish garden, but then everything I've accomplished thus far has been by committing first and figuring it out later.;)

They give some space for including local foods and such, so the eggs I buy right down the street will probably be included at times. Connected with a couple that runs an organic farm at the beekeeping meeting last night. Very exciting! Mainly because they plan to have a booth at the newly started Jonesborough Farmer's Market.

Anyone who lives nearby should really think about supporting the market. It runs on Saturdays from 7am-11am in the library parking lot and for now the booths are free. Once they start charging it will be a $5 daily fee or you can rent for the season at a discount. I'd love to get enough herbs going to start taking some bundles down. For now I'm trying to eat them all.:)