Welcome back to the Homestead, Happy Readers!
It’s been raining around here. A lot. Between that, mosquitos, temps in the 80-90s, and humidity in the OMG%, I have not done too much in the way of outside activities. I am so ready for FALL!
Even so, the plants don’t stop doing their thing, and neither does the bird flock.
Today’s blog is Part 1 of Edition #3. I’m just going to talk about the Garden & Canning and save the bird talk for another day.
Here’s what I’ve managed to get done.
Garden to Jar
Last time I talked about harvesting & canning stuff, I had made salsa & spaghetti sauce. Before that (pre-blog), I had put up quite a bit (30 pints) of homemade soup from all my tomatoes so far.
This time around, I couldn’t decide what to do with all the tomatoes, so first I froze a batch (about 2 gallons), and then the rains came.
After a day or two, the ones on the shelf ripened and then started to rot on me, and the ones in the garden began to split, so I had to do something with them or they would be wasted. So, I just put up more plain tomatoes. It’s not exactly what I wanted because I already had a lot left from last year. Oh well, waste not want not.
So, I gathered, cleaned and cooked up what I had fresh and then added in the frozen 2 gallons to make one big batch. I cooked the devil out of them and put them in quart jars, 7 total, with 2 quart bags back in the freezer (I didn’t want to run another pressure canner batch for just 2 quarts). That will all probably be used for homemade soup eventually.
This is probably the last of the tomatoes unless they start doing something crazy. I planted very close together (lots of plants) this year, so I removed all the sucker shoots from them all. This means that even though they are not super crowded and bushy, they are also not making nearly as many tomatoes as I’m used to per plant. I don’t think I’ll do that next year, even if it means I have a tomato jungle.
What has surprised me about the garden is the amount of purple hull peas I’ve gotten off the four 50′ rows I have. They are still producing like crazy. Much more that I thought they would. They took of an started climbing, which I didn’t know they did. I’m definitely planting more of these, and I may expand the trellis I made for the English peas just to work for these.
One thing I do need, though, is one of those Taylor pea shellers. It takes 2 to 3 hours to shell about 1 peck of these things by hand. The sheller would do it in about 5 minutes. Unfortunately, they are super expensive. Like around $600 expensive! I think I’ll shell by hand, thank you very much!
I blanched this last batch (made about a gallon) and froze it until I get enough to justify a canning. As of the writing of this blog (8/24), there are more ready to be picked, but it’s hot & I’m lazy.
Other Garden Goodies + Porch Plants
Here are pictures of my other harvested items (see captions). Also, my porch plants.
I checked on the carrot patch. It’s pretty sketchy, but I do have a few decent sized ones coming up. I’m learning how to grow these things, but the curve is long. Anyway, what have made it were being munched on by some colorful green, yellow & black dudes. I pulled them all off and was going to throw them to the chickens, but decided to do quick google search for their species.
Turns out they are Black Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillars. I like those and they are pollinators, so I decided to rehome them to the canna lily bed. I have no idea if they ‘like’ cannas, but they can’t have my poor struggling carrots. Good luck boys & girls!
The Dill’s Giant Pumpkin is off the fence now. It’s growing well, and the rain has helped.
I have not be taking daily pics, but here are a few.
Until next post…
That concludes Round #1 of this Homestead Update. I hope you enjoyed.
I’ll be posting Round #2 with the flock update in a day or two, so stay tuned.
This bears repeating: Be sure to ask any questions you might have in the comments. Let me know if there’s anything I mentioned that you would like more detail on. I’m just rambling for most of this, so pointing me in the direction of a topic would be helpful!
Lastly, if you want to get into canning foods and are looking for good equipment, these are thing I have bought for my own use and can recommend as good products.
BTW: if you follow the links below and end up buying something, you’ll be supporting me with a bit of a commission from the ‘zon.
Until next time…
Happy Reading, Canning, and/or Homesteading!
Help Feed the Chickens! Buy a book!
If Science Fiction Space Adventure is what you crave, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.
Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.
In this volume:
Quicksilver (short story)
The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.
Null Gravitas (short story)
New crew and new relationships form above the skies of Venus. A post-prequel to Escaping Aurora.
Escaping Aurora (novella)
The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.
If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!
Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.
Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?
Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.
- Tales From The Street (Urban Fantasy Flash Fiction)
- Influx, Oh Flux (Invasion Flash Fiction)
- Gears & Gallantry (Steampunk Flash Fiction)
- Take Me To Your Reader (Alien First Contact Flash Fiction)
- Children of the Corner (Horror Short Stories)
- Dragons & Dribbles (Fantasy Flash Fiction)
- Bugged Out Babblings (Apocalyptic Flash Fiction)
- Napkin Notes (Short Stories That Spring from the Corner of a Napkin)
- Prose & Cons (Convention Flash Fiction Stories)
- Drunken Cranberries and Other Holiday Musings (Christmas Flash Fiction Stories)
This is the re-released version and also includes TWO NEW STORIES for you to enjoy. So, even if you bought the previous one, for less than a buck you can get EVEN MORE ZOMBIES!
The vast wilds outside a place called Hope hold their own stories. When the end came, what happened to everyone else?
Massachusetts. Texas. Alabama. Tennessee. Pockets of humanity have persisted through the apocalypse. All have tales is survival and loss.
Mad Dog Mattis’ last stand at the Pentagon. The first Christmas after the end of the world. A family isolated on their homestead as the evolving dead press at the fences. A desperate quest for helicopters to destroy the undead.
Come read through this expansion of Daniel Humphreys’ Dragon Award nominated Z-Day universe. Twelve brand new survival stories written by the best up and coming independent sci-fi and fantasy writers will thrill fans of the series.
Find tales of hope in a desolate world and read Places Outside The Wild today!