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Showing posts from July, 2009

Gardens and Weeds…

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So the biggest question that has come my way of late has to do with the lack of weeds in my garden and how I do this..what is my secret??
The answer is:I pick them!..no big secret here.I hoe between the rows with my trusty stirrup hoe and pick them out of the rows.I spend anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour 4 to 5 days a week in my garden and most of that time is spent weeding.I don’t really know any other way to deal with them (aside from chemicals which I don’t want in my garden)..I could mulch and I do a little of that, but not enough to keep the weeds under control. I just try to consistently stay on top of them and get them picked before they take over and are overwhelming.This is why I have a great tan this summer!Haa.. haa.. I get exercise, sun and get to be outdoors and I get fresh veggies in the end for all my efforts.It’s a great package deal..

Garden Update..

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Isaac and I went down to water the garden last night and I was surprised to see how my green beans had grown so quickly!I planted bush beans and I moved the plants around a bit to see and saw a ton of green beans about ready!Really it seemed like overnight…. But I am thrilled!Besides eating them fresh I will be freezing any leftover ones and canning some 3 bean salad.I don’t think I really planted enough to bother with canning, we will see though.I may can some if it looks like I have enough.
Today the temps are soaring to around 100 and so Leanne and I went down to the garden this morning to water again.I wanted to make sure my garden gets plenty of water during this upcoming heat wave. I took some pics while I was there..
Lettuce..well, I planted a whole lot of lettuce and we are eating lots of salad but it seems that we barely put a dent in what I planted! LOL..so lesson learned?Plant less and plant ever few weeks instead of all at once..I knew this actually so why I did not follow t…

Updates from the Homestead

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Wow.. the last week has just flown by..We have been enjoying a few cool days and a few hot summer days!My garden is growing like crazy.So far I have harvested lettuce and cukes.I have one summer squash about ready (and hopefully many more coming soon!) and lots of green beans that seem very close to the first picking.The corn is getting taller and the flowers are starting to bloom..so it all is looking pretty.Oh.. and I have a nice tan from spending so much time working in the garden! LOL..
The kids have all been busy with summer fun and work.For Emily this has been finals week.Then she gets a break for a week and will start up more online classes from Thomas Edison State College.Leanne has been house sitting and caring for either goats or elderly ladies and seems gone lately more than she is home.Doing these jobs has given her time to study and she is working on her first year CLEPS for her degree.Jacob has been working quite a bit.. doing haying and other various jobs for neighbors a…

Using My Freezer Stash

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This last week I have been using my freezer stash and have loved the convenience!! Here is what I have done so far with the food I cooked up and froze..
Chicken Noodle Soup
1 bag of cooked chicken and 2 bags of chicken broth.I heated it up, added noodles and some chopped up carrots.Served it with a big green salad and whole wheat crackers.
Chicken & Rice Alfredo
I made my chicken alfredo sauce from this recipe: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/chickenalfredo.htmand added a bag of rice (instead of pasta) and a bag of chicken.Served it with a salad 
Hamburger, Bean and Pasta (I really don’t have a name for this as I just threw it together)
I had extra people to feed and wanted something for the crockpot.So I put 2 bags of cooked hamburger and 1 bag of cooked beans in the crockpot.I added 6 cups of beef broth (from the freezer) and 2 cans diced tomatoes.I added some Italian seasonings and a little chili powder.I let this cook on high for about one hour, until everything had defrosted and …

Facebook…

For all you Facebook folks..I now have a page for The Family Homestead if you would like to join..
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Family-Homestead/115582552812

Cooking for the Freezer

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Last week the weather cooled down quite a bit and even rained.I decided that I would do some cooking for the freezer.When we do have hot days I really don’t like spending them in the kitchen and I don’t like heating up the house.So I put together a lot of meal starters.Here is what I have in the freezer…
Lots of bags of cooked beans (12 or 15 quart bags with about 3 cups of beans in them).I cooked up a mix of pinto beans, red beans and black beans.
Roast beef – I cooked about 7 or 8lbs of beef roast in the crockpot and then pulled off the bones and fat and shredded the meat and added some salt and onions and let that cook a little longer and then bagged it all up.I ended up with about 5 or 6 bags of cooked beef that has 2 to 3 cups in each bag
Chicken – I bought 2 organic chickens and cooked those in the crockpot.I deboned the meat and bagged it up. I got 4 bags of chicken with 3 cups in each bag.I then cooked the bones in water to make broth and had 5 quart bags of chicken broth.. I tho…

Happy Birthday to the Best Hubby in the World…

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At least in my opinion ;)Yesterday my hubby celebrated his 48th birthday.We celebrated with pizza, salad and banana splits made with homemade vanilla ice cream.It was lots of fun.
Tobin is a hard working man who loves his family and is incredibly responsible.I feel blessed to have him in my life.He is loving, kind, thoughtful, logical, selfless, caring, talented in so many areas, strong, handsome and just an all around great guy!

Happy Birthday Tobin!!I love you!

Watering the Garden

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I have mentioned a little bit on how we water our garden and thought I would share some pics of the process and show you how my garden is growing.I had a few people comment on doing a “square foot garden” and one reason I don’t do that method is due to how I water.
We have 2 ponds.One is a small spring pond that feeds our big pond.The spring pond is what I use to water my garden. There is a pipe that runs underground from the spring to the garden.I can access the water from a faucet in the garden. The elevation from this pond to the garden is not much.I am not able to run sprinklers.I also can’t use soaker hoses because the spring pond has debris in it that plugs up the soaker hoses. You can see a pic here of the 2 ponds (the spring pond being the small one in front of the big pond) and you can see my garden to right.You can also see the little dam in the pic.The water needed to rise above the level of the pipe that carries the water from this pond to the garden….

After lots of trial an…

Updates from the Homestead

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Homestead Life
Well it has been awhile since I updated life on our homestead.There are so many details to share that I am just going to hit on the highlights!
On the first of the month Tobin and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary!! It was a wonderful day.We decided to stay home and have a bbq. I am glad we did.We grilled steaks and had potato salad and a nice green salad and homemade ice cream.We enjoyed spending the evening with our family and reminiscing on the last 29 years (we have been married for 25 and known each other for 29 years).. lots of sweet memories to share.
The 4th was very quiet at my house.Tobin had to work on the holiday so we did not have plans and the kids seemed to have their own plans brewing.Leanne was at a house sitting job and Isaac was with her.Emily, Jacob and Sierra spent the holiday with friends at the OregonCoast.Tobin and I really enjoyed our empty nest evening.He helped me water the garden and we enjoyed sitting out by our pond soaking in the suns…

Dealing with Moles in the Garden

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Moles are such a huge nuisance in my garden. They dig tunnels all through and wreak havoc with my veggies, uprooting them and such.The watering we do sometimes ends up down the mole hole instead of the plant roots.I was getting very tired of fighting them for another year.So I started doing a little research on how to get them out of my garden.Poison was my first thought..but I didn’t want that stuff in my garden.Traps are effective but expensive. So I looked for more affordable remedies.I came up with one that is easy to do.You make a mixture of castor oil and Joy dish soap (2:1 ratio).You add a few tablespoons of this mixture to a gallon of water and pour it down their holes.
I have been doing this with some success.The reason it can work is that moles have a heightened sense of smell and can’t stand the smell of castor oil.They also don’t like the feel of it on them.After a couple of applications some of the holes were not bothered any more but I still had some.So the next time I pu…