Saturday, October 30, 2010

Garden Clean Up 2010

We plowed the big garden where the corn and beans were planted several weeks ago.  Today we finally got around to pulling out everything in the raised beds.   There were a few unfrozen peppers and tomatoes so we gathered them up along with the rest of the asian pears.  I'm hoping we can store them in the garage and have the fresh fruit for another month or so.
While we were cleaning out the garden, we cut the artichoke plants down, covered them with sawdust, then several thick layers of newspaper, and finally some netting to keep the newspapers from blowing away.  We would have used leaves, but the trees haven't dropped enough yet.  Now we're crossing our fingers that the plants will survive the winter and really produce next year.  The Prudent Homemaker was able to harvest 100+ artichokes last year.  (this fact triggers salivating...)
The part without newspaper is where the onions are.  We harvested the bigger ones and left the small ones for next year.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shameless Friend Promotion

My totally amazing former college roommate is the author of the blog The Great Fitness Experiment.  She's hilarious and wonderful, and now you can enjoy even more hilarity in her book (preorder it now-I did-, once it's out, the price will go back up):

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion

I've been feeling wordy lately.  Check out my guest posts at Feminist Mormon Housewives and Wheat and Tares.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Getting Through the Winter/Propagating Grapes

It's supposed to snow.

Yesterday, I sat in the garage loading sliced and peeled apples into jars, and admitted to my Mister, that canning apples (and grape juice) made it finally feel like fall.

If it snows, that means the garden will freeze soon, and there won't be any more fresh tomatoes. I like fall, with the leaves changing color, and the garden in full swing. I like eating squash. I don't really like winter. The only redeeming thing about winter is playing in freshly fallen snow, and drinking tea or hot chocolate by a fire. I'd be good if winter was condensed a bit and we had a week around christmas time where it snowed, and no one had to go to work or school, and we could play and wrap up in blankets around the fire. Then it could be spring again and I could start a new garden.

Since gardening is my main hobby, winter gets a little old fast. This year to get me through, I'm planning on bringing a cherry tomato plant indoors and see how long I can keep it going, as well as a couple of regular tomato plants we have growing in the green house already.  We'll also do indoor lettuce again, they were a little leggy last year, but it was fun to have fresh home grown lettuce in december.

The thing I'm most excited about is propagating some grape vines. My parents house, where we are living was build around 1890. There are grape vines that we're not quite sure how long they've been around, but know that they were here before my parents got married. My mom says they're called agwumps. They make the best grape juice. Concord grapes are nothing in comparison. They grow along the driveway, and when we build our new house, we may not have as easy access to them (not to mention that when my parents get home from Peru, the might want to use the grapes themselves), so we're going to take cuttings to plant in our own yard. I got the instructions from this website.  It looks pretty easy.  Cutting dried stems with three or four buds, dipping them in rooting hormone, and planting them in potting soil and repotting in individual pots as they get bigger.  The website says that by spring when it's time to plant them outdoors, they should be around 6 feet tall.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gotta love conference bingo

The most fun part about conference bingo (aside from the candy) is hearing the kids yell, "PRAYER!  THEY SAID PRAYER" as they're grabbing candy to mark their cards.

I did something right, sort of...

You may (or may not) remember a post I wrote about growing artichokes.   Here is the result:
Out of 12 seeds that came in the packet, I ended up with 5 healthy plants.  Out of five healthy plants, one produced an artichoke.  (actually it produced two, but the other was so dinky, i'm not counting it.)  I debated whether to pick and eat the artichoke or not, but it wasn't huge, and there was only one, and if I picked it and ate it my kids would want some, and I decided it wasn't worth it, besides I'd heard they have beautiful blossoms, so maybe it would be better to just leave it.  (phew, sorry about that rambling)

I'm glad I did, the flower IS beautiful.  I'll try to save some seeds to start again this winter.  I'm also planning on cutting the plants back, covering them with leaves and plastic and hoping against hope that they somehow survive the winter and REALLY produce some artichokes next year!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Getting back to normal?

Aside from the thoughts that perhaps I now have more children than I can really handle (I really only think that between 3:30 and 5:30 pm on school days), I think we're adjusting to having a new baby.  Here's the evidence:
I got new bread pans several months ago, but hadn't ever used them.  They're narrower and longer than regular bread pans, which work well for sandwiches to send to school with my boys.

Can you believe these were made with freshly ground 30-year-old wheat?  Go food storage!