Saturday, April 9, 2011

New garden beds

Here is the expansion to our garden this year.
 We had old beams from a really really old building that fell down and we used them to make our raised beds.

Here is Mr. Smith using our 1970's tractor with tiller attachment. It makes farming soooo much easier!

First run through. It was like a jumping kangaroo trying to get through all those roots.

Mr. Smith ran through the dirt about 4 times per side of each bed. he is going to do another run through tomorrow to work through more of the clumps. I am planning on putting my potatoes in there. Russet, Red and Sweet.

I made spilt pea soup in my crock pot since I knew it was going to be a working day and who wants to think about cooking after a hard day out in the "fields" Ha Ha What I do is when I am making breakfast I get my crock pot out, pour the peas in and 4 cups water, turn on high and add in a pork or beef bone that was leftover from the packages I buy of either to make our own ground beef or sausages. (We use EVERY part we can! We don't like to be wasteful) Then I turn down the pot to low after an hour and just let it go. About an hour before serving I add 1 1/2 more cups of water, stir and let it go. Right before serving I scrape the meat off the bones and stir in salt and pepper to taste. During nap time I make Irish Soda Bread, I make it every time because they are just so scrumptious together! :D
Irish Soda Bread
4 cups flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoon butter
1 cup raisins
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.
2. Using your hands work butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, then stir in raisins. In another bowl, beat egg and buttermilk together, add to flour mixture. Knead with hands.
3. Transfer dough to a large, lightly greased baking sheet (it will flatten out a bit on the baking sheet) Using a serrated knife, score top of dough about an inch and half deep in an "X" shape. This is to help get the heat into the center of the dough while it cooks. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown and bottom sounds hollow. About 35-45 minutes. Insert skewer, if clean...then done!

Here is what my coarse meal or flour mixture with butter looked like.

My bread before.

The knife I use.

Right before it goes into the oven.

20 minutes into baking. As you can see 2 of the peaks are a little scorched.

So this is what I do to prevent that from happening and only do it halfway through cooking. Its a tin foil tent. It will still cook the bread the right way, but prevent further scorching of the top of the bread.


This bread is amazing. I skip the raisins because only kiddo #1 likes them and I use milk versus buttermilk and it tastes the same.



  1. Yummy! I've always wanted to make homemade bread! One day..when I get a bigger kitchen, I want to make homemade bread. Especially french bread!

  2. I just made a baguette like 2 weeks ago! It was amazing! :D I love to make my own breads and I am experimenting with new kinds. I have a bunch of recipes I want to try out yet. I will post them as I make them! I did post the baguette as well!

  3. I'm jealous of your tractor. Granted, we only have about half an acre so it's not really necessary but even a rotary tiller would be useful. :/ I'm stuck going out there with a mattock and digging out and turning the beds by hand.

  4. Also, have you thought about getting beef by the whole/half cow? We find that works out much cheaper and we only have to buy beef once or twice a year. Most places will make it into ground beef, roasts, sausages and such at no extra charge.

  5. Sandra: My dad runs a small engine repair shop and he had this sitting around....we had been borrowing it for awhile too, but he gave it to us. Which was awesome! <3

    We go to a local butcher every time we can afford it. It has fresh local meat and they have just about everything they do themselves and I get to watch them cut up the ribs of the cow and so on. I don't think we could afford to buy a 1/2 cow all at once. So we are just kind of making it till we can afford to get our animals one by one and grow them till we can eat them. :)