Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Paranoid? Maybe. But experience has taught me that I'm VERY allergic to flee bites and this is something I'm just not willing to mess around with. It's been in the back of my mind as it's been really wet here, and a wet spring equals lots of flees, and now I have proof. Back in the 90's I had about a dozen bites on my legs they both swelled up to about twice their normal size and turned a purplish black color, I looked like I had been half beaten! Two trips to the doctor later and it was discovered that I had been bitten by a flee or two and had had a nasty reaction.
Oh and cats really don't like taking a bath!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Until the new freezer arrives it'll be an ongoing archeology dig in the upright as it's still producing a ice at a breakneck pace! There may be no glaciers atop the mountains but there is definately one growing my my upright freezer!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
The idea behind this potato growing method is as the starter potatoes send up shoots you put more straw, and another round of wood (or tires) and you keep doing this until you are ready to harvest. This is supposed to encourage more potatoes and less vines.
I don't put fencing materials over the top of the garden - yet anyway. The fencing keeps the rabbits out, and not the young ones or the chipmunks. To keep the small rabbits out I have, in the past, put a layer of hardware cloth around the bottom of the chickenwire fence. I have a friend that uses old screen windows to do this.
What I found that works really well for young tender plants is to use coffee cans, juice cans, milk jugs, and 2 gallon plastic buckets, all with the bottoms cut out as a barrier to critters. I put them around the plants until they are big enough that they are critter proof. Rabbits will eat a young squash or cucumber plant but when it's about 12 inches they don't bother them anymore. I then remove the coffee can from the plant. Mind you these plants are STILL inside of a fenced in garden space but a rabbit will jump a 30 inch fence, John and I have watched them do this, to get to young tender plants.
The cans etc., also protect young plants from wind damage and make them easy to cover in the event of a hard frost or freeze.
For the crows what I've used in the past are cds on strings etc. and strips of mylar from mylar balloons. I live in Iowa so wind is a constant here, most critters don't like the movement and tend to keep their distance. The crows seem to be enamored with snapping off my young tomato, pepper and squash plants. So the cans, I use the smaller coffee or juice cans, prevent them from getting close enough to do this. They also like digging up my onion sets! Hardware cloth tent prevents this from happening - but isn't chipmunk (ground squirrel) proof.
Daring squirrels - I have dogs so the squirrels are not as daring as they'd like to be, and they know I've no problems with taking them out, squirrel tastes really good with mashed potatoes and gravy btw! Fry it up like chicken. Critters seem to pick up on human attitudes ;-)
As for possums, they don't seem to navigate the fencing well, and I don't have skunks here - praise the Lord for that one! That could be a real nightmare with the weimeraner that loves to chase everything - she's not all that bright.
I'll go take pics of my garden and post them in a bit.
I found this recipe online and changed it to make it "taste" better.
1 3/4 cups instant mashed potato flakes
1 1/2 cups dry milk powder (I used dry whole milk as it's richer)
4 T. chicken bouillon granules (originally called for 2 T. we like ours richer)
2 T. dried minced onion
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (originally called for white pepper)
1/4 teaspoon dried chives (make sure you use onion chives and NOT garlic chives!!!)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (originally called for seasoned salt)
1/8 cup dehydrated leeks
2T. dehydrated carrot chunks (adds color)
1/4 cup dehydrated potato chunks (these can be whirled in a food processor but I didn't bother)
1.Combine potato flakes, dry milk, bouillon granules, onion,parsley, pepper and salt in a plastic bag and shake to mix (original recipe said to use a bowl to mix but I have lots of recycled sandwich bags and chose to use one of them instead). Pour into a 1 quart jar.
2. Attach the following instructions to jar (use waterproof ink on label glued to jar or card attached with a ribbon): To serve, place 1/2 cup soup mix in bowl. Stir in 1 cup boiling water until smooth.
If you want to use this in long term food storage or for camping, then put into mylar or food saver bags and vacuum seal shut. Assuming you used fresh ingredients this will keep for quite some time in a cool dark place.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Sunday, June 01, 2008
So the only thing that is left to tackle is the north garden, but the junk pile needs to be removed. First we need to find a source of clean fill dirt and then haul the remaining horse manure to the site and get it "composting".