Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Awesome harvest today

These are the potatoes I dug out of our garden today! It was like digging for gold! It was awesome...I was so excited! We saw the one green top of the potato all wilted and when it does that, it means they are ready for eating! We are only getting one potato per green top so far...but only 2 greens were wilted. So hopefully there will be more as the rest go. I do have more time so I think I might replant some new potatoes to keep it going. These are red potatoes....they sprouted first before the I do not think the russets will wilt in time for me to replant those. This was an awesome learning experience so far and I am excited to see where it goes from here!

We are also getting onions now as well. They are not as big as I had hoped (forgot to take a picture, I will add one a little later) I think our soil was too compacted. They are still about 100 times bigger then when we planted them, I was just hoping for the ones I buy from the farmer's market that are the size of Mr. Smith's fist! We have harvested 3 onions so far...but all the green tops are now falling over and are telling us they are ready as well. The strawberries we planted next to them have taken over the it looks like we are going to have to plant more onions in another area. The strawberries taking over is nice for next years strawberry harvest!

Our broccoli has started to get heads and I waited 2 days too long to cut the one head and it started to it may be on the starchy side. Oh well. :)  I only got 1 head so far and its on the small side.

My blueberry bushes surprised me, I was not expecting blueberries this year since we just planted them this past fall, but they have given me a pretty nice harvest so far!

The peas....are slow and steady. We really missed the ball on those. I tried string with them and it wasn't working and then my husband got an old chicken fence...but it wasn't long enough and they haven't been producing well.

Corn is insane right now. When I was reading up on corn all the blogs and garden posts and everything said I would only get 1 cob per stalk....but I am getting 2 or 3 cobs per stalk so far and the pole green beans are running crazy all over the corn its great! No beans yet, but it is great to see. I still have not planted the next wave of corn and today was perfect weather to do it....the baby just wasn't agreeing with me or the weather. So I shall just have to hope and pray the baby will let me plant them tomorrow since Mr. Smith is supposed to get home from work early!

Zucchini has started to form from the flowers...I have about 3 or 4 started but a billion flowers! So I think it will be a good harvest year for we only eat zucchini in we shall have a lot of zucchini bread over the winter, which is great with hot chocolate on the cold winter nights cuddling with my hubby!

Kidney beans are finally coming in...very slow as well. Only have 3 for the entire season so far and I don't think its going to get any better...we just kept running into too many problems. Navy beans are non existent in the garden for the very same reason.

We have jalapeno peppers forming I saw 4-5 of them. I also saw 2-3 sweet yellow banana peppers and 2 green bell peppers.

We have so many wild tomato plants that I am no longer worried about planting more to make enough spaghetti sauce! We only really use tomatoes for spaghetti sauce and husband likes them on his grilled cheese and I like them in hoagies. I would like to try tomato soup again this winter...but I have yet to find a recipe that my kids will eat. So we shall see.

We did replant seedlings from a friend who had leftovers and they do not seem to be growing. I am going to try for the 3rd time to do pickle cukes...and I know I am running out of time.

This weekend Mr. Smith and I HAVE to sit down and figure out what we are doing for our fall harvest....this is the weekend to start that! Crazy that its already here and the season is already 1/2 way over.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Blueberry season has begun!

So as strawberry season closes, blueberry season opens! we have gotten 20 blueberries in the past 2 kids are running by and eating them right off the bush :) We definitely need to get more blueberry bushes this fall.

Only 2 more weeks till its time to butcher the other 24 broilers.

I also found more room to plant another 2 waves of corn. The 1st wave is already making nice looking corn and the 2nd wave should soon be following! So this weekend I plan to plant the other wave of corn and in 3 weeks plant the final wave of corn. I counted backwards from the 1st frost date, using the harvest days on the pack of the seed packet and gave myself an extra week in case October decides to be extra cold so we can still get more corn! Our first potato greens have started to wither and dry...meaning about time to dig up those potatoes! I am so seems like everything is moving smoothly and we shall see how long this lasts us. My zucchini and pumpkins have begun to flower and the broccoli is growing insanely! I will have to add pictures soon....we had a crazy week and have ignored my garden for the past 4 has surprised me in that time...and also exploded with weeds. :(

Friday, June 17, 2011

Strawberries are dwindling.

Looks like the strawberry harvest is coming to a close....only got 1 today and doesn't look like any more are really growing. I don't see any more flowers either. Pea pods are going really slow right now as well. Cabbage is starting to get the roll leaves and are about to start forming a ball! Potatoes started to flow, blueberries are starting to get a slight blue hue and some pumpkins have flowered. My wild tomatoes have started to flower as well. In about 2 weeks I will have to start planting the fall seedlings. Ones that have the longest till harvest first of course. I will be talking to Mr. Smith about that this week. I am thinking there is room for one more wave of corn.... might just do it. The last wave I did I just started to see little sproutlets! They are all gorgeous :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Garden work

Got my last wave of sweet corn in over the weekend. Broccoli is starting to sprout heads, green beans within the 3 sisters are starting to climb the corn stalks, tomatoes are flowering and kidney beans are forming! :D Still have a lot to do to catch up and since it will be nicer out tonight, Mr. Smith and I will have to plant more transplants and get the peas growing upwards to grow more pea pods. I need to seed the cucumber pickles yet and in about 2-3 weeks it will be time to start seeding the fall crops. Well the fall broccoli and so on. crazy how fast the season goes. Onions are starting to flower so I can get their seeds? Which will be nice so I don't have to buy more seeds.

The layers are getting a little more courageous and started to look outside and thinking of going outside....soon they will be out there. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The first butchering

Pork Chop the chicken has left us.
It was a little weird at first but now it looks like a chicken you would buy from the store. Smaller, but still tasty looking. :) Will let you know how it tastes!!

We had so many strawberries everyday and the kids couldn't keep up eating them the whole time so we made muffins. :)
Strawberry Cinnamon Muffins
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups strawberries, washed, hulled and cut into small chunks

preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line pan with muffin cups.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together eggs and sugar until light. Add milk, yogurt, butter and vanilla. Gently whisk.
In another bowl, combine flour, powder, salt and cinnamon. Add to milk mixture and stir just until flour disappears. Fold in berries.
Spoon thick batter into muffin cups to the top. Bake 20-25 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins

Here are a few of our strawberries from our garden.

Cutting them up.

The thick batter.

Just a few minutes in the oven.

Close up of batter in muffin cups.

Close up of done muffin! YUM!

Here are all the muffins cooked!

They were so good! We are still getting a good number of berries and I am thinking of making homemade fruit roll ups! They look pretty easy so if i do get to do it I will post the recipe and pics :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pork Chop the chicken

One of our broilers, I call him pork chop because he is HUGE, broke his leg. I didn't really know at first....but this is day 3 of him laying there and I was really concerned. The broilers do lay down from time to time because they are hot and need to rest....but I was still worried. I had Mr.Smith look at him and he said it is definitely a broken leg. :( I know he is food but I still feel a little bad for the guy. He was supposed to live another 3.5 weeks and then get eaten. I followed advice and took their food away at night so we wouldn't run into this....Pork Chop just got to big to fast. So Mr. Smith is going to be butchering him tomorrow. There is no way to mend a fat chicken's leg....I checked. We have to wait 12 hours to get his system cleaned out before we butcher him. They can have water, but no food. Well at least we get a practice run at this before we do the rest of the flock. We are still REALLY NEW at this!! LOL

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Broilers are getting beefy!

We have had the chickens for 4 weeks now.
Look at the size difference between the broilers (left) and the layers (right) they are both the same age! The countdown continues! 4 more weeks till they are dinner!! :D I think the broiler is a male....they look like they are going to kiss ha ha ha. Obviously the wall isn't working too well either. They both keep squeezing into each other's sides. We also are going to be switching the broiler's feed in 2 weeks to a game bird feed which is really high in protein to help them do their final 2 week bulk up!

This is our family/farm dog. I love him! <3

I feeling a bit more energetic so hopefully later this evening when it cools down (it is 100 degrees outside right now) then I can do my final wave of corn. My sweet shelling peas are growing some good pods and are already filling with yummy yummy peas :) My one tomato plant has 2 flowers and I have to get the cages out tonight as well and get more string out there for my peas...they are getting so tall. Got another 22 strawberries today :) I am making muffins with them....recipe soon to follow with good pictures.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Layers 1st day out

So the layers had their first day outside. I may have rushed it a little since this is only their 3rd day in the coop. They were freaked out, but they will get more adventurous and leave the coop. I have also been getting anywhere from 10-35 strawberries a day depending on the weather. The hotter it is the more we get. I have been tired lately and haven't been able to do much else in the garden then just up keep....that has been rough for me as well. We just found out last week that we are pregnant with Smith child #5. I have been REALLY exhausted so I haven't been able to plant the next wave of corn....I am planning on this week, praying this butterbean lets me. I have seeded indoors more navy beans, kidney beans, shelling peas, and green beans. To give them a shot outside to make me some food! :D Blueberries are getting ever so closer to turning blue and becoming ripe and delicious!