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Showing posts with label vegetables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetables. Show all posts

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Farmer's Market Challenge

It's time again for the Farmer's Market Challenge hosted by Squirrel Queen at The Road to HereThe purpose of this challenge is to raise awareness for purchasing locally produced foods. Be it fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, or any related items we want to know what's available where you live.

I have too many posts on our garden crops to link here.  Please visit my earlier posts to see all the goodies we grow for ourselves.  This year we didn't sell any vegetables, since we planted a lot more variety of vegetables.  We only planted for ourselves and to give away.

This is the harvest edition.  All our crops have been picked and stored for the winter.   We have enough green beans and corn in the freezer to last until next fall's harvest.  There are also many bags of shredded zucchini in the freezer.  Mr J uses it to make his special bread.  We gave away most of our Tabasco chili peppers.  It was our first year for growing them and sweet potatoes.  Mr J built a rack in the basement to store the potatoes.

 Danger:  Intense Heat!  We don't use a lot of these...
 Our fruit harvest is small, but tasty.  The trees are still young.

Even though the leaves are mostly gone and the garden is tilled under, we still have home grown food.  Our hens are laying between two and three dozen eggs a day!  These we do sell.  We hope to make enough to pay for the feed.  The green eggs are popular with the kids.  They are super yummy!

We are blessed to be able to grow so much of our own food.  We know our hens are not shot up with all kinds of hormones and antibiotics.  We know our vegetables aren't tainted with pesticides.  Our fruit may have spots from bugs, but I know it won't make our grandchildren sick.

Today, farmer's markets are gaining in popularity.  Almost everyone lives close enough to one to enjoy fresh organic fruits and vegetables.  I encourage you to take advantage of these markets.  And don't just buy enough for dinner, but enough to freeze or can.  It's not only a healthier choice... it's a tastier choice!  Fresh without chemicals is always better.

Please visit Squirrel Queen's blog to find other posts on the fall harvest.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Today's Harvest

Yesterday, you saw the peppers Hubby harvested from the smaller of his Tabasco chili pepper plants. Today he pulled up the larger plant to harvest its peppers. I think we now have a lifetime supply, plus plenty to give away!
Of course, he couldn't have done it without help from Sadie...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

September Farmer's Market Challenge

Judy, a.k.a. Squirrel Queen over at The Road to Here is the gracious hostess for the Farmer's Market Challenge.

SQ states, "The purpose of this challenge is to raise awareness for purchasing locally produced foods. Be it fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, or any related items we want to know what's available where you live."

I finally took my camera with me down the road to a neighbor's farm stand. They have an awesome garden! They grow peaches, strawberries, melons, tomatoes, corn, peppers, sweet potatoes, and other veggies. Their stand operates on the honor system. On the main table is a set of scales and a chart to help you calculate the price of your purchase. There is also a box for your money. She says they have great luck with it, people pay for what they take.

Here is a load of melons
just brought up from the field...

This is my oldest grand, Dani, trying to decide
which tomatoes she wants to buy...

Sweet potatoes! Yum! We'll be digging ours this week.
They just brought these up while I was there...

The tomatoes are so colorful. They really stand out
between the neutrals of the melons and potatoes...

Here is some squash given to us by Hubby's boss. It was delicious. A family chef told us how to best cook it. Using a long nail, punch a hole to the center from top and bottom to release steam pressure, then bake it. No hard cutting! Scrape out the seeds after it is cooked.

He also gave us these banana peppers from his garden.

These are Hubby's Tobasco Chili Peppers!!! Tiny... but they pack a big punch!

Recently I posted about our first green egg.
We have fifty hens.
Here is a photo of our farm fresh eggs...

Here is a pear that came from one of our fruit trees. We have several apple trees, too. One of these days I'll add peach trees to the mix, and replace the plum trees we lost.

Here's a peek at our zucchini earlier this year...
Guess how much you'll pay to
send 3 loaves of zucchini bread
from Ohio to Florida, next day?
$42! ...but my dad and brother loved it!

Here is a shot of our sweet potatoes early in the season. Hubby planted two different varieties. I recently posted about the four-and-a-quarter pound potato. You'll have to visit my earlier posts to see pics of them.

We have a freezer full of green beans and corn on the cob from the garden, along with some shredded zucchini for making bread during the winter. (It does quite well, as long as you use it as soon as it thaws.) We also grew tomatoes, cucumbers, muskmelon, green onions, and chives. The shelves in the basement are now full of enough sweet potatoes to get us through the winter.

Visit Judy's blog and add your link to Mister Linky and participate in this worthwhile challenge!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hubby's record breaker!

Hubby's still talking about that 4 1/4 lb sweet potato. Tonight he got curious... "I wonder what the biggest sweet potato on record is?" He had a glint in his eye. I could even read his mind: "It's gotta be close. Wouldn't that be great if I got in THE record book! If it's not big enough, maybe net year."

So I asked him, "You want me to look it up?"

"Can you do that?"

I'm sitting here, with my laptop at the ends of my fingers... So, in a few seconds, I found this:

Heaviest sweet potato

The world's heaviest sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) weighed 37 kg (81 lb 9 oz) on 8 March 2004 and was grown by Manuel Pérez Pérez (Spain) in Güime, Lanzarote, Spain.

Yeah, maybe next year...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Harvest Smiles

Hubby was born to be a farmer. He loves growing things, and takes such pride in his harvest. This year, I suggested he grow sweet potatoes. They are so expensive at the stores, and my MIL and I eat them often throughout the winter.

It seems that as he digs up the mounds, the potatoes keep getting bigger and bigger! Here are two that he brought in today...

The one on the right weighs about three pounds.
The one on the left weighs over four and a quarter!
I not much of a potato eater in the summer,
but I might have to make an exception...


I love sweet potatoes! This is the first year we've grown
them in the garden. According to the seed catalog, you can
leave them in the ground much later than this, but my FIL
was anxious to dig a mound and see what they had.They got quite a lot out of each mound!
Some were long and skinny, some short and fat.
Some got so big they broke open!

When you look at this one, keep in mind that Hubby is 6'5" and wears a size 14 ring! Yep, it's a big potato!

Of course, anytime something's going on, Nekoda is nearby watching... and Buddy's never far from her.

The garden looks like a jungle now. The morning glory vines have staked their territory. There are a few tomatoes struggling to turn red. FIL has turnips left to harvest, too.
The rest will have to wait until tomorrow...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Farmer's Market Challenge

My Farmer's Market

Squirrel Queen, over at The Road to Here, is hosting another Farmer's Market Challenge. The purpose of this challenge is to raise awareness for purchasing locally produced foods. Be it fruits, vegetables, dairy products or related items we want to know what's available where you live.

I've been under the weather again or I would have taken some photos from around my 'neighborhood'. I'm a country gal. We live on a mini-farm just outside of town. Up the road is a farm market. He grows peaches, strawberries and a lot of the usual fare... corn & tomatoes. There are lots of farms around here that sell their excess produce.

Here's a look at our usual bumper crops... These are bush beans (stringless!) and of course, my cucumbers. Hubby grows them just for me!

On some past posts, I showed pictures of our tomatoes. Heirloom Brandywine is my favorite! The cool weather we had here in July really hurt the tomato harvest. We also raised our own hens from day-old chicks to layer. The babies are just now starting to lay on a daily basis. We have over fifty hens. We sell our excess eggs, too!

Here is our typical set-up for when we have surplus to sell. Last year we sold bush beans, white half-runners, tomatoes, cucumbers, & corn. Notice the garden in the background. That's Hubby, a.k.a. Farmer Ray, under the 'big top'.

This is our raised bed where we grow our Tennessee Muskmelons. They grow oblong, like a watermelon. I'm fearing the weather has really taken a toll on the melons. I do hope a few mature on the vine.

We put 250 ears of corn in the freezer this past week. This year Hubby went back to growing my favorite... Golden Jubilee. It is the yummiest, most tender corn ever! I eat it right out of the garden.

For more on our farm fresh vegetables, check out my my other posts for a previous Farmer's Market Challenge: Part I and Part II ...or just scroll through all my posts and see the chicks grow!

Please visit Squirrel Queen's Farmer's Market Challenge to see other Farmer's Markets from everywhere. There are usually lots of participants posting pictures of fabulous markets from all over the world!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Awards, Blogs, Brandywines and Bonfires...

DJan at D-Jan-ity has honored me with the Top 10 Fav's Award. Because I recently received this award and posted my list, I will not repeat it now. I did want to acknowledge her for honoring me and hope you check out her blog. She is an amazing person with a gusto for life. At this moment she could very well be free-falling or mountain hiking! Reading her blog is the only way I could possibly keep up with her.
Today shall be my Sabbath. The Lord wants us to rest one day each week. It was a commandment. We quite often skip over that one. I do have to take care of Mom's medicine later, but that is all the work I'm doing today. Well, OK, feed the dog and the horses.
I've been trying to catch up on all the posts I've fallen behind on reading. I just can't keep up anymore. For those of you that post wonderful pictures and entertaining stories, I'm still reading. I haven't left you; I just haven't posted as many comments. I'm still having laptop issues (only on Blogger) and it sometimes eats my comments. I gave up spending time rewriting them. Sorry. I also have to refresh a lot before it will let me view your pages. I think it's a compatibility issue with my browser. Duh... That says a lot. Anyway, it's gotten to the point that I must limit my time in Blogville or never get anything else accomplished.
For dinner this evening, I'll be having my first Brandywines of the season. It seems late for that, but our tomatoes are just now ripening. I've had cucumbers out the ying-yang (whatever that is) and loads of zucchini and green beans. But the tomatoes have kept me waiting. I'm most eager for the Black Sea tomatoes. They're like Brandywines only better! Yum. Don't serve me a sliced up yellow... I want a tomato that's acidy and tomatoey! You know, that old-fashioned tomato taste you only get with heirloom seeds.
It's supposed to rain today, but so far - nothing but dark clouds. This evening is supposed to be dry. I hope so. Our new neighbor (new as in hasn't moved in yet - been refurbishing for two years) just invited us over for tonight's bonfire. He doesn't mess around when it comes to fires. We could toast marshmallows from here! Anyway, he wants me to bring over one of the horses.
We were out riding in the fields one night when he had some people over. They got excited when they saw the horses. (city folks) He always asks us to bring them over again for the kids. I secretly think it's not just for the kids. So I might just take Maggie over for a bit.
For you people that love learning about country life from my blogs, this is what we do in our spare time... We gather and burn things. We either burn things, or watch other people burn things. First we burn paper and wood, then we burn hotdogs and marshmallows over the paper and wood. It's a rite of passage for field-dwellers. It's a social event. We call people up and ask them if they want to come over and burn things.
There are a few country folk that do not very often take part in the burning ceremonies. They practice a different ritual. They gather in a barn and drink large quantities of beer. I'm really surprised that Hallmark doesn't have boxed invitations for barn parties and bonfires. Don't they realize the market they're missing?
Well, that's my day. Catching up in Blogville (being honored is always nice), filling Mom's medicine box, eating veggies from the garden, and going over to watch Steve burn things. Sounds like a winner!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This Farmer's Market... Part II

First my green speech... We try to live green. I like to re-purpose as much as I can. You'd be amazed at what I've used skids for... People are happy to have you haul them off! Free wood! A nearby bath-makeover place has skids that have five 2x4x10s each. You'll find some of those in the walls of the chicken house. We found a place that had stacks with really nice wood, not weathered and splintered. It's going on a wall in my basement bath. Whole skids make great fire-starters. OK, they're a little big for the fireplace, but outside they're wonderful. Stuff them with the important papers you usually shred, pile some limbs and logs on top, and light!

What does that have to do with a farmer's market? Glad you asked...

We have sold vegetables from our farm in the past. Selling at our local markets is not an option for hobby farmers that don't have much. By the time you pay for the permit and insurance (required) you'd have to sell an awfully lot of beans to break even! So we decided to sell our surplus right from home. We live back a long lane, so we wanted a sign at the road to advertise what we had available. I don't buy materials for projects like that. I use what I have. And what did I have? Skids!

So, here I am painting the skids that will make my sign. (Left-over paint of course.)

This is a terrible picture of me, but I had to include it as a tribute to Bob Dylan.I engineer, Hubby labors. Here he is using skid boards to fasten the sides of the sign together...

TADA! Doesn't it look nice?

Now, let's measure out some beans...

Here is our farm stand, complete with my recycled Frappucino boxes, 5 gallon paint buckets, and a $10 WalMart canopy. We couldn't survive without at least 20 paint buckets. Notice the table? Yep, recycled wiring spool. If you ask people at construction sites, they sometimes give them to you.

We also sold corn, tomatoes, and whatever else we might have ripe that day. It helped pay for the seeds for next year's crop. That's really all we want... free food!
Well, there you have it... our own farmer's market.

To see more farmer's markets, check out Squirrel Queen's challenge.

This Farmer's Market... Part I

This is my first herb. I planted this beside the new steps to the pool. Ali and I love to much the onion chives in the evening while sitting on the steps looking into the woods. Yum. I plan on adding garlic chives to the other side of the steps. This is where we 'buy' our fresh eggs. It will take eating the eggs for 200 years to really break even on the deal.
Here's a sample of the eggs. Notice the twins in the background?

This is our vegetable garden. Well, I should say, this is Hubby's and his dad's garden. You remember the old saying, two's company, three's a crowd?
These first rows are FIL's white half-runners. Yuck! Strings!

Aw, aren't the baby zucchini cute!

From left to right: FIL's beans, whole row of tomatoes (I don't know how many varieties this year), Hubby's beans (Kentucky bush beans - no strings!), sweet potatoes, and corn. Across the back, climbing the fence, are cucumbers.

The zucchini would be in the bottom of the picture if I hadn't cut them off! I see a stray plant next to the corn. The gardener's bench marks the spot where Hubby left off picking beans.

This raised bed is away from the garden so the melons don't mix. These are Tennessee Muskmelon. My FIL told Hubby about them a few years ago. I went online and found some heirloom seeds. They get long like a watermelon. The best I've ever eaten!

I tried to find some babies, but they hide... So here are some blossoms, and if you look closely... Do you see it? I'm soooo excited! It's a honey bee! While I was holding the blossoms, it came and visited them. (Stupid camera won't let me capture 'the' moment.) I saw another one this morning on the clover! These are the first honey bees I've spotted this year. Our area is one of those you hear about where the bees are disappearing. Seeing them made my day!

Back in the garden... Here are some of the bush beans yet to be picked. I like them young and tender. FIL likes them to get big beans inside. So we pick some early, some late.

Well, I must have reached the maximum for photo uploads on this post.
Check out Part II for the actual market...

To see more farmer's markets, check out Squirrel Queen's challenge.