Saturday, August 30, 2014

The garden is almost done for the year.

The garden is almost finished for the summer! One more round of beans, and then just waiting til sweet potatoes are ready! Our 1/2 runners and Bush  beans did  marvelous. One tip on Bush beans... plant a few seeds every 2 weeks so you will have a plant continuously giving beans,  We were very excited since it was our first garden, and we planted late into the season. We started out with a patio garden. But we quickly we found a tiller and moved everything down to a true garden :) and added more!

 I have several bags of frozen beans in our freezer.  Our corn was really good too. The corn  was even more exciting since our neighbor said the last owner tried to grow corn but was unsuccessful. We planted tomatoes and a few plants did really well but, a few died not sure why????

We also planted sweet peppers hot peppers and cucumbers each did decent. The butternut squash also did really good. I just discovered this wonderful squash a few months back.

 This was a great trial run for us. WE quickly learned a garden is A LOT of work but... Let me just say it is very satisfying to eat food that you grew yourself and know that no pesticides were used. ( we did use Neams oil.... OMG that stuff stinks but it work )

Next year we will be doing a larger garden, more corn, less sweet potatoes,  some okra, and more cucumbers since my family loves the dill and bread and butter pickles I can.

We also have blue raspberry bushes (native to E. TN) that we will be planting... I may do jam from them next year along with strawberries and blackberries.

I will hopefully post pictures of some of my canning success :) We have already went through several jars of pickles and blackberry jelly! They are my grandmother's recipe and I love them so much.

We are learning as we go I would love to hear from all of you about things you learned as you go!

happy homesteading everyone!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Our first homesteading adventure! It's a learning process...

My family and I have been trying to be more self sufficient. Our first adventure was chickens! OH MY I love my chickens. My dear hubby searched online til we found some laying hens and a rooster along with its tractor. Once we got them we realized we would prefer a tractor inside a pen so they could run about.

They have been a joy to watch. Learning which is the "Queen chick" and the pecking order was interesting. We have 4 hens, Henny Penny, she lays speckled eggs, Queenie who of course is the boss and the other two have gone unnamed :) but big Pimp our rooster is a beautiful guardian of his ladies. I have witnessed when a hawk flies over head he shoos them into a corner between the side of the pen and their house. This way they are covered by the roof hangover.  We get 3 to 4 eggs every day and they are so much better than our store bought ones.

Next we ventured into a garden! That will be a blog all its own :) I also started a rag quilt, and canned jellies and jams and pickles for the first time EVER!!! All this along with recipes and my newest adventure of homemade soaps, lotions,and salves to come in a future blog.