Tag Archives: home gardens

Homestead Update 6/25/16

26 Jun

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It has been so long since I posted anything I hardly know where to start. The picture above is what a good garden should look like, unfortunately it is not mine. I just grabbed one from the net to show what I hope to obtain someday. I do have my one raised bed that is looking very good, but now is the time of year to determine whether the raised bed gardening method is do-able. It is becoming very hot and dry so I will have to see how the bed holds up with the amount of irrigation I can apply to it.

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My longtime readers know I am a fan of Hostas. I recently received these Hostas in the mail. I was real leery of the condition these Hostas would arrive in, but they looked great! I ordered them from Hostasdirect.com and I have received one other order from them and it arrived perfectly as well.

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I planted them in pots and placed them under a tree. You might notice the two pots on the right seem to be empty. That is because they ARE empty! These pots are sitting on an 18 inch tall table, so the only thing I can figure is a squirrel got up there and ate them. Well, if it’s not slugs or Voles it is going to be squirrels. Just another reason to hate those filthy treerats!

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I’ve had another bad experience with my honeybees. I ended up with 7 swarms captured, but through my own neglect I lost one of them. I went out late one evening and picked up the trap then placed it atop the new hive where I intended to transfer it to. When I went out at 7:30 am to do the transfer, there was a passing, brief, pop-up thundershower occurring. I needed to go to work so I left, planning to be back by 10:00. It turned out to be 1:30 and when I opened the trap I was sick. Those bees were dead, suffocated from heat. I killed those bees plain and simple. Well, I will chalk it up to  a lesson learned. You can’t leave the traps out in the direct sun when the temperature is 85 degrees. That is making me wonder about my other hives sitting there in the full sun. I am definitely going to construct some wire vents to put on some of them when it really gets hot to check if they do better than the conventional hives.

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Two weeks ago, I developed a case of shingles. I had these red sores under my arm and running down my ribcage. I went to the doctor and got some medication for the problem. About one week after I started this round of medicine, I had a severe (and I do mean severe) allergic reaction to the drugs. The rash started out as whelps on my stomach and back and it has steadily gotten worse.

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Now I am covered with this rash, front and back, from my neck down to my knees. As you read this, I will be checked into the hospital receiving treatment, so I will update you on how this works out. Keep prepping everyone!

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Fresh Corn On The Cob

30 Apr

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I was in the grocery store today looking for baking potatoes and I spotted a display for fresh corn on the cob. HUH! I wonder where this came from. I think it would be too early to have corn from California, Texas or Florida. Maybe this corn came from Mexico or even South America. I don’t know where it came from, but I cooked it on the grill with a small steak (a small one was all I could afford, the price of meat is outrageous!) and the corn was delicious! I am going back for more tomorrow! I don’t think I can grow corn on the homestead until I work up a permanent plot and surround it with a solar electric fence, but that is in my future plans. Keep prepping everyone!

Handheld Roundup Rope Wick Applicator

21 Jul

If you remember we recently laid a lot of Bermuda sod around the house. Well, now we have a lot of our old grasses such as barnyard and goose grass growing up through our new sod. This just won’t do! So I need a handheld Roundup rope wick applicator . I tried to find one locally in some of the area farm supply stores but none were available. I found some on the internet for sale but I also found some instructions for making your own. How hard can it be?

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So off to Lowes I go and come back with these PVC fittings and 3 feet of nylon rope.

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After you put it together it looks just like this, exactly like the ones I saw for sale on the net. You pour the Roundup solution into the handle of the applicator and the rope at the bottom soaks up the Roundup and you carefully wipe the rope across the weeds while avoiding contact with the desirable plants. You can use this in your yard, or around your shrubs and flowers or in your garden. It would really cut down on that hoeing wouldn’t it?

After I got it together I poured a pint of water into the handle to test it out.

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Then I saw this; water just streaming out of the fitting dripping everywhere. That just won’t do, I can’t have Roundup dripping all over my desirable plants. So I go back and reread the instructions and I decide I don’t have enough twine wrapped inside the cap to provide a good seal so I go back and re-do the twine.

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Still dripping! That is when I realize I have a failure of epic proportions! After looking at it more closely I think my rope is just way too loose and porous. The water is not coming out around the rope, it is coming out through the rope. I am going to find a tighter weaved rope and give it one more try. If that doesn’t work I guess I will have to break down and just buy one.

Still Moving

23 Feb

Posting has been a little slow lately, mainly due to the wet weather and working on my taxes, I have not had much of anything exciting happen. We are still moving useless crap useful household articles to the new homestead from the old house.

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I carried three loads just like this one. A lot of this stuff was boxed up two years ago when we had new laminate flooring installed in our old house. It has been sitting there still boxed up for two years, so that shows how bad we actually needed that stuff doesn’t it?

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One good thing with moving, you find stuff you lost and couldn’t find. This is a Ball Home Canning Discovery Kit for people who are new to the art of canning. She signed up for a short course at the local Cooperative Extension Service last summer, and they gave each student one of the kits. Well as you can see, she hasn’t used it yet, but she intends to do some serious canning this summer when the farmers market starts up. We have been buying jars and lids whenever we see them available and when we have a little extra money in the budget. There is a lot of information on canning on different websites, and lots of videos on U-Tube, so even if you can’t get some real-life instruction, there is no reason you can’t learn some basics for canning. Keep prepping everyone!

Lettuce Recall

27 Aug

Do you ever wonder why many of us go to all the trouble of growing our own food when it is a lot easier to just go to the store and by it? You read articles like this every week, that’s why.

SALINAS, Calif. – A Northern California produce supplier said Sunday it is voluntarily recalling romaine lettuce that was shipped to 19 states, Puerto Rico and Canada over fears about possible E. coli contamination.

Salinas-based Tanimura & Antle said the recall is limited to a single lot of its Field Fresh Wrapped Single Head Romaine that was available at retail stores starting Aug. 2. The lettuce is packed in a plastic bag with the UPC number 0-27918-20314-9, and it may have a “best by” date of Aug. 19.

The company said some 2,095 cases were potentially affected. Of those, 1,969 cases were shipped to Puerto Rico and the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

The product was packed with either 12 or 18 heads per case.

The recall was being conducted in consultation with Food and Drug Administration, and was based on the testing of a random sample by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. There have been no reported illnesses associated with consumption of this product.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/20/california-supplier-recalls-lettuce-over-e-coli-fears/#ixzz246IlvFNn

I am almost afraid to eat anything store bought anymore. A few weeks ago I had a bad case of “stomach problems” and I know it was caused by something I ate. I don’t know what it was, but I was laid low for three days! Be careful out there!

Homemade Hot Pepper Salsa

13 Aug

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Our neighbor here in town brought over a pint jar of homemade hot pepper salsa. She used hot peppers, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro all from her garden. She said I hope it is not too hot for you! Well obviously not, this is how much we ate just trying it out. I hope she brings a gallon next time!

Heirloom Tomatoes

15 Jul

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Sweet Thing came home from the Ripley Tomato Festival with these Heirloom tomatoes. I tried them and I can almost eat them. They are not pretty, as is the case with most heirloom vegetables. She said they were really tasty, some of the best she ever ate. I am going to try to save the seeds out of one of them and see if I can raise some on the homestead next year. Maybe I can develop a taste for raw tomatoes, I know they would be good for me. Any of you have any favorite heirloom vegetables you like?