Monday, February 27, 2012

This is my seed list for 2012


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Alyssum Aphrodite Mix
Aster Giant Princess mix
Baby's Breath Covenent Garden
Balsam mixed
Canterberry bells
Carnation Chaubaud giant mixed
Coleus mixed
Cosmos Sea Shell Mix mixed
Delphinium Pacific giants mixed
Dianthus village pink
Kale Osaka mix
Lychinis rose campion
Nasturtium climbing, fragrant mixed
Nasturtium cherry rose
Poppy Hungarian bread seed Blue
Poppy Wild Greek red mix
Straw flower tall, double mixed
Sunflower Mammoth Russian
Zinnia dark jewel mixed
Flower Garden Mix

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Beans- Bush Romano
Beans- Bush Triumphe DeFancy- Heirloom
Beet bulls blood
Beet-Chioggia - Heirloom
Broccoli Raab- Heirloom
Broccoli - mystery - Heirloom
Broccoli - Pricclcaba
Broccoli - Calabrese sprouting
Carrot - Yellowstone
Carrot- Red cored chanenay
Carrot - Danverse Half Long
Carrot - Chanenay
Cabbage - Baby Choy
Cabbage Royal Savoy
Celery Ventura
Celeriac Brilliant
Corn Lancelot, bi-color hybrid
Corn Salad Mache heirloom
Cucumber - homemade pickles
Cucumber - Armenian
Cucumber - National Pickling
Cucumber - Sumpter
Cucumber - Burpee Pickler
Eggplant - Diamond
Kale - Lacinato
Kale - Red Russian , organic
Leek - King Richard
Leek - American Flag
Lettuce - Prizehaed
Lettuce - Oakleaf
Lettuce - Dark Seeded Simpson
Lettuce - Buttercrunch
Lettuce - Rosalita
Lettuce - Mescluin
Peas - Progress No 9
Peas - Alaska
Peas - Little Marvel
Peas- Oregon Sugar Pod
Peas - Cascadia
Peas - Dwarf Grey Sugar
Peas - Mammoth Melting sugar
Pea - super snappy
Pepper - Red Knight
Radish - Cherry Belle
Radish - Early Scarlet Globe
Radish- Sparkler White Tip
Radish - White Icicle
Spinach -Razzle Dazzle Hybrid
Spinach - Bloomsdale Long Standing
Spinach- Giant Noble
Spinach - Harmony
Spinach - Salad Fresh
Squash -Sum Jackpot

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Basil Genovese
Basil Opal
Borage
Burnet Salad
Chamomile
Eucalyptus Silver Dollar
Savory Summer
Thyme Garden


Friday, February 17, 2012

Chicken Chores

I love having a small flock of chickens. Every time I reach for a freshly laid egg, it's like receiving a small gift. It's a moment of joy.

Chickens are easy to care for, not much work at all. I open the coop in the morning and they come out to a fresh bowl of water and a measure of layer feed. I do a quick head count, observe them briefly for signs of injury or illness. Then I open the coop and check for early morning eggs and inspect the condition of the coop. Several times during the day I will check on them, do they have enough fresh water, do they need more feed or maybe bring them a treat of scaps and scrapings from the plates. They sure do love scrambled eggs and milk that is going sour.

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Today is nice and warm for this time of year. I am doing out to clean up and scape out some of the poo that is matted and nasty. I am consoling myself by thinking how beneficial chicken manure is for the garden.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's So Juicy

I'm anticipating a good harvest and "putting food up" season. In preparation for this, I've been tiding up the storage areas. I rearranged and cleaned the shelves, swept the floor, taken inventory of the empty jars. (note to self, I have 3 cases regular quart jars, one case of wide mouth quart, 1 case wide pints, 2.5 cases regular pints, a half case of 6 oz jelly jars and a half case of 4 oz. jars.) Today I'm tackling the freezer. On the top shelf I store bags of fruit. Last year I foraged gallons of fruit; elderberries, blackberries, mulberries, chokecherries, blueberries, even a few raspberries. Add to that some bags of pick-your-own strawberries, some extra cranberries (store bought), and a bag of garden rhubarb I found stuffed in the back.

I'm simmering all the fruit along with a few sticks of cinnamon, some orange peels and plus , a few cloves in a big pots to make lots of mixed juice that I'll be canning. I'll add a little sugar and lemon or lime juice to taste, then I'll pour them into sterilized jars, cover and process 20 min in a hot water bath.

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Elderberry ( Sambucus canadensis )

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Choke Cherry ( Prunus virginiana )

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Mulberry ( Morus nigra )

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Wild Blueberry ( Vaccinium sp.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Jars and jars

I have lots of canning jars. At lest some would think so. I have purchased new jars from box stores and small hard ware stores, I found jars at garage sales and on Craigs List. Twice I had a chance to buy dozens of used jars at a great price but I only took a small portion of what was offered. The last time this happened, about a year ago I took 50 wide mouth pints at 25-cents each. He had about 250 jars to sell. I thought those 50 would be more than enough. I was wrong. Here I am with 75 lb. of potatoes to can and I only have 14 wide mouth quarts, and 1 wide mouth pint then a few cases each of regular quarts and pints . I'd use those up and be done with it but as I'm planning on putting up much more of the harvest this year I will have to buy more jars and it might as well be what I need.
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Why can so many potatoes you ask. They are cheap enough at the store.
Well it's like this, I want to know where my food come from. I want to controll what I put into my mouth. I want local food with out extra ingredients including salt.

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What are you canning right now ?