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Friday, December 2, 2011


Hi everyone out there, I know it's been a while and; sorry but we do not have internet again as yet. I am having a cheap lunch at a local restaurant that has WIFI. There has been a lot going on though so I will let you know all of that now while I still have a chance before we head on out of here.

First, our “boxed” tomatoes did so well! They however, did all wind up cross pollinating so we wound up with some interesting plum type tomatoes. I froze a few and am now adding them to stews as we have them. They finally wilted when we had the real hard freeze in the middle of November. We will be growing the cucumbers in that box next year and I am really hoping for a bumper crop! I now have two little Purple Smudge tomato plants growing inside for winter tomatoes. Hopefully they will do well.

We put in our wood heater, it wasn't the mass heater we wanted. It is a barrel stove, we put a concrete/vermiculite mixture; with a piece of goat panel into the bottom. It holds heat there very well, so even after hours past burning we have warm still radiating out. Also, the concrete has not degraded any I wonder if it's because it was portland cement we used? We purchased the bag or portland from Lowes in their damaged $2 spot and the bag was almost completely full!

We finally have a flush toilet, we installed the free toilet we found over the summer; at the beginning of November. The septic we dug is doing a very good job, I hope it keeps doing well during the winter time; we will see. We will be installing a old claw foot tub that is being given to us from a member of the church my girls attend. We also have a lead on a electric water heater that just needs it's elements replaced.

...and speaking of water heaters. The gas one we picked up at the local free store could not be repaired, however we have tried out an experiment we saw from You Tube. A few different people have tried turning old gas water heaters into wood fired ones. Well, Silver tried it out the other day while it was a good enough of a day to have a bath in our outdoor bathing area. It worked wonderfully! We heated a whole heater full in the time it took us to heat 20 gallons of water on the stove. Also with only the equivalent of two good sized logs worth of wood.

We had our “home grown Tom” turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner and he only just barely fit into my small oven. As it was he barely fit into our roasting pan, he legs hung over the side and I had to creatively foil him to cook him properly. So I know the “Jenny” will fit in our oven.

Now, we are short our car as one lovely fall day; we went out to head to the store just it seems at the wrong time. The highway department was working on the main road just off of ours and it seems it was just after they added the stone/dirt, but before they smoothed it out. A large stone tore out the whole bottom of the engine and our car is no longer driveable. We are looking for -something- we can buy and get inspected that won't cost much, but there doesn't seem to be any around us. We are getting rides to the store when we need it from some wonderful friends of ours. THANKS GUYS!

We fully butchered a doe a couple weeks ago from field dressed. Again, a nice person from the girls' church had gone hunting on the first day of deer season and when she got one that day she offered it to us. I have tot ell you chili made with venison is wonderful! We also still have some nice bones hidden away in the freezer for making some nice stocks.

I want to tank anyone who has been keeping an eye out for updates and I'm sorry that it probably will be a while before I will be putting up another one. We are hoping this winter to get the internet bill caught up so we can get it back on... maybe. We actually are not sure if we want it back on, it's something we are thinking about.

I did have a surprise for one of my fellow bloggers (and I do hope one day to catch up on my reading), I did finally find the book that talked about making your own stock feed.

The Manual of Practical Homesteading

written by: John Vivian

ISBN# 0-87857-092-6 (hardbound)

0-87857-154-X (paperback)

Here is the passage about making your own feed: (pg 244)

“We don't shell the corn or strip off the sun flower seeds. It's a waste of time, and I figure that there are some nutrients and a while lot of good roughage in the cobs, husks, and flower heads. So, once we get a truckload of corn back to the barn, we crank up the shredder/grinder and run a few ears of corn through. If it is dry enough the ears will literally explode into chicken-nibblums. Then we take a break and go through the dried-out sweet corn for culls and to pick up the drying gourds, pumpkins, and squash, which usually amount to five or more bushels. Then the grinding begins. The big shredder has powered wheels and I just run it up onto the truck bed, hang a feed sack over the discharge chute, and the kids begin feeding in grain, steady sprinklings of dolomitic limestone, plus heads of whatever small grain we may have grown that year. Also added are the gourds, pumpkins, and squash if they are dry enough.”

Now they do talk through out the book about other things that are saved at odd times to be fed over the winter or fresh out of the garden when picked for family eating. Also they also tell you how to do silage, as he had to when his grain crop would not ripen fully. He lived in eastern US so had a short growing season, so if you check out the book keep that in mind.

This is our newest aquisition:

Clawfoot tub given to us by a member of Little Creek Baptist church! Thank you very much!

Now I need to say good bye for a bit again I hope everyone has a Happy Yule, Merry Christmas and a good holiday no matter which one(s) you have in the coming months. So...

BE Well, Be safe, and Blessed Be...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Our First Egg!

Yes I would first like to point out that our internet is momentarily on, but as the phone company said 8th at end of business day; we are guessing it will go at any time.

Now on to today's BIG news:

This is our very first egg! I found it this morning when I decided on a whim to go check out the yard, thinking that the girls aren't looking very closely and found it in the yard not the coop. Under the outdoor roost. It is a medium sized egg so we are figuring it came from the Polish Crested hen or maybe the Barred rock hens we have. So I am setting up a schedule with the kiddo's on a "chicken check" a couple times a day just to ensure that we will get all the eggs that the hens produce. ...also because I don't want them eating them, they didn't seem to notice this one when I went in to get it.

As for the root cellar... it looks like we will be waiting a bit to dig in it as it is 1/4 full of water from the rain we got and we are due more rain today... Yep, we need it... but this morning on the way to the hen house I commented to Silver that with the fog and light it looked like early spring outside. Being that it is still the "dog days" of summer that's an odd occurrance to me.

That's it for now as I want to get this in before our net does go down.

Be Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Final Word?

For now anyway right? AS it sands according to our phone company the internet will be off by end of business day today. So the plan is to get our building supplies with the money we save from turning off the internet. the hope is to get it put back on later on when we get the building projects done.

Now I would like to talk a moment about the weather, and I know weather is the -MOST- complained about thing out there, and right now I have a complaint. It has rained so much in the last couple of days it's like spring rains here...we're still in summer... Now do we need rain? Yep, we do; but not this much. We are suppose to get it all week too... yippie... Well considering all you can do about the weather is complain ... lets just say.... I AIN'T HAPPY...

Ok, got that out.. one mention before I go (for months?) yes I have a donate button I also on my profile have a amazon wishlist.. if anyone wants to lend a hand to us please go to the wish list till we get back online. If we can't catch a donation we won't get it. While we are effectively offline unless we can afford the gas to hit the library it's just not possible to check paypal.

So thanks to everyone who reads and I will be back at some point in time with probably a major update!

Be Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Rocket Stove Cooker!

Ok so for functionality our Rocket Stove cook stove is finished I do have a video of it here:

There is an occasional moments where the video halted before I uploaded it, and I'm not sure if it transferred that "hiccup" into the online copy. Now a few comments on this... We only spent about (give or take) 4 hours of work putting it together, and have about an hour or two more just to "finish" it. Though it's in working order. WE used 6 standard cinder blocks, 6 flat cinder blocks.. they cost a piece about $1.50. We used about $25 of concrete and chicken wire. The chicken wire was left over from our chicken yard, the concrete was some we bought for something and never used it. Oh.. odd thing about chicken wire... when you think you've used it all you have some left; almost as if it grows.

We bought one 10 pound bag of mortar mix to "glue" the blocks together. We used one bag of vermiculite at about $6. WE used one 6in elbow and one piece of the 6in 3ft long single wall stove pipe. The elbow we got for free and the 3ft section was a little over $5. We also "Scavenged" a few metal bits here and there for different parts we needed like that "face plate" we had above the opening for the burn chamber.

So just to point out again, this did not take hardly any time to make and I can say aside from "on the job experience" (with the cement application) anybody can make this. I hope to post more pictures when we have them and it gets finished. Also of our cook oven and the mass heater when they are both built!

The weather... not a complaint.. kinda...

WOW... rain for 2 DAYS!!!!! It's great... aside from the fact that it starts early in the morning with a intense thunderstorm. Being that it starts when it's still "dark" out my astraphobia kicks in... -yeah-?

Now being that said, it has cooled us off these last couple of days, we got our rocket stove cooker pretty much finished off and I'll have pics and a vid on it once it drys out enough for us to "fire" it up once. We still have some patch work to do on the cement, we used up 3 bags of ready mixed concrete and did it over chicken wire. Now this is the planned method for our full house construction down the line and it is showing us what we will need for that big project and how easy/hard it will be. I will say it takes more concrete than you think it will, so if you are going to chicken wire concrete something it will use more than you plan concrete wise. Also you need to make sure the chicken wire is -VERY- tight or you will be "stuffing" with concrete instead of just covering it in concrete.

Other than that it was fairly simple to do, more so for Silver as he's had experience working with concrete verses myself. This was my first time working with concrete, and it was interesting and took one bag of concrete for me to "learn" how to do it.

Well that's about it for now, yes the planned no internet for a while is still on for after the 8th so we'll see what goes on.

BE Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Few Words...

OK folks first thing, due to money issues here we are going to have our internet off for a month or 3 while we get the money for our building projects done. So after the 8th of this month I won't be online (according to the phone company).

I will be keeping track of what goes on here so I can update when we get it back on. WE are going to be working on our outdoor stove in the next couple of days and provided we don't get rain before tomorrow afternoon we will get more digging done in the root cellar tomorrow. We are down about 2ft now and we need about another 5 ft.

I have made a couple of decisions on some of our “standard” crops at this point. We liked the lemon cucumbers more than standard cucumbers in flavor and how they grow so unless the dragon's egg variety does well and tastes better we will be sticking with only lemon cucumbers. By the way... we had one ripen fully so far and it was so GOOD!

As it stands we will be growing red noodle long beans as the green black seeded one was having a major bug issue. While we picks the same amount of both, all but one of the black seeded were “buggy”.

I seem to be having some major issues with my squashes this year. I still have no female flowers on them. Now I see them starting then they wilt and die. However, the male flowers are flourishing. Anyone know why? I'm wondering if it's been the heat wave causing it troubles.

I have some good news on the GMO front:

At least in two states a farmer can sue another for contamination by pesticides/herbicides and GMO infection. Read the article please and learn more!

I will be making my first jam/jelly attempt sometime this week as I know have everything I need to make some. Wish me luck and if I get it done before our net goes down I'll post my results.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

...and we have RAIN!

Yep you heard it RAIN! The Big "R" word! It's been raining for over forty minutes and we sat at the open door and watched it pouring down.. This is a definite "gullywasher", I wish I could send some up to Kansas for the fields and farm there, but we also needed it here.

I caught 2 pictures of the rain when it first started falling:

Yes, those are the actual rain drops as they fall. I thought it looked so cool that I got the drops as they fell. I guess *winks* I don't need a late afternoon watering on the garden(s).

Here is the other shot, it's in the same spot though:

Wonderful to see isn't it? Right now at 2:35 pm it is 75 degrees outside with a lovely breeze, and it's still raining. Not as heavy though. The rain started at about 1:40 pm and it's been so dark in the sky too. We had some close lightning, so close out power did go off briefly.

We have some standing puddles right now, the water was "running" downhill when we were at the heaviest just like in the spring. i am glad I already got the compost pile moved to the old potato plot so it's been wet-ed down by the rain.

I hope this rain helps the wild plants here are some of the prairie plants here were starting to die due to the heat and dry. MY herbs have also been suffering in this heat we have been having here and I hope this storm will help them perk up. ...I haven't been able to use any basil as it's been so droopy.

Be Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...

Final Potato Harvest!

So I have managed to get all my potatoes dug up, take a look:

These particular ones are "German Butterball" they are an heirloom variety, and I do have to say that I really did prefer them to the ones that we planted from our winter sprouters. Also I liked them more from the "local" seed potatoes as the heirlooms produced much more as you can see in the vid. Now I am going to walk you through my "experiment" process with this again. For those of you who want to know about it.

This is what we had started with a, about one inch layer of composted goat manure on some cleared ground. The area was about 5ftX10ft. We planted first our "over winter sprouters" in the first "row" (if you want to call it that). That was a mix of russets and fingerling potatoes that we bought over the winter from both of the discount grocery stores we shop at.

Then we both ordered the Butterball seed potatoes and bought some local seed potatoes as we didn't know how well any of them would produce. Also as I have never grown potatoes before it was a trial in many ways for me. I now understand why I have heard people say that "anyone can grow potatoes". They are very simple to grow and I barely watered them

I hope you can see what's in this image, it's one of the "sprouter" potatoes coming out of the ground. Now I learned that it takes quite some time for them to "get moving", so if you have never grown potatoes; don't worry they'll come up.

Here is where we started putting straw down to cover the base of the plants. I waited for them to produce a good amount of leaves before I started doing this, as I did not want to smother the plant.

This is after I stopped layering the straw over the base of the plants, the potatoes made such a nice "mini forest" at this point. They were also very lush and I still was not watering them at this point. I only watered them once we started getting a week or more without rain.

I am wondering to some extent if I had watered more would the potatoes have gotten bigger? Also all around the "pile" Lamb's quarter started growing, so we had some extra food growing. Yeah for Nature's bounty!

This is from my first harvest in the "pile" as you can see the ground is a lovely dark color under the straw. The straw right before the ground level has turned black and is "slimy" to an extent. A good "earthy" smell started coming up when I was digging through this.

I will say digging up potatoes is like going on a treasure hunt... you can see:

These were from my first harvest, and it is all we got from the store seed potatoes and the sprouters. Now, this does show that over wintered sprouters can be grown, they might not grow as much as "seed" potatoes; but some will produce. You can also see we got some russets and some golds.

That was about 5 Cups worth of potatoes we got in the first "half" of the "pile".

Of Course these are from the second half off my "pile", as you saw in the vid. I am very happy with how well the Butterball's did. I will be buying them again next year, I am thinking of keeping an eye out for winter sprouters again so we have some early potatoes. I am also planning on watering more regularly next year and see if they get bigger due to it.

I also learned that a thick layer of straw will help your topsoil, as it is really making the ground under where my "pile" was a nice and pretty section of dirt. We are going to apply this knowledge to the rest of my current garden space and our future large garden space. The plan when the "cleared" area gets the downed trees cut up and the brush removed we will cover the future garden space with either straw or hay.

Then we will leave it until the following spring, and it should get nice and dark below the straw from the local earth "movers" working their way through it. Also the fungus's that grow beneath the top layer. It is an interesting process to watch, the straw frost drops any seed it had and then we get grass growing. A bit of water and mushrooms grow, bit more water and mold will start forming in mats.

Insects start moving in making little paths in the straw to let more air and water pass. Earthworms start chewing up the lower bits of the straw leaving behind casings. Eventually all this together will make it into compost. It's almost like making your own leaf mold to some extent. I can't wait till I check out what has happened to it by next spring!

That's it for now,

Be Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Volcanic Period?

Now I know I haven't posted in a bit here but I have been watching something through youtube that I would like to get people's attention about. I am going to put up a bunch of video's then I'm going to say something about this.

Now, I hope you have watched all these video's and saw that this youtube person is using all verifiable info on his reports. Now I watch this guy fairly regularly as he does severe weather reports and has a very good rate of being accurate.. about 99% of the time. He is using the same radar(s) as weather men and doing a better job with it.

Now I have and so does Silver a free program on our computers called earthquake 3D, it shows earthquakes as they happen and you can see them up to 7 days in a row. I don't know how many people can recall it, but when I was younger I remember when there would be a 6.anything it would be all over the news. How often do you hear about earthquakes now? Only when they cause major damage right? Well we seem to be having lots of earthquakes world wide lately and some reach up to a 6. Also a few youtubers have noted that the USGS data tends to CHANGE over the course of the day if you keep your eye on the info through out the day. Quakes are removed, they get downgraded.

Now put that with what is shown in those vids and tell me what you think? Do we have a geologically active period coming to us? I do wonder as I don't think I've ever seen or heard of the sheer amount of quakes occurring world wide that even I see on the earthquake 3D program.

Oh, and a side comment about volcano's.... I personally think that "extinct" should -NEVER- be used when talking about a volcano. Want to know about extinct volcano's, talk to the dead people of Pompeii.... A volcano is never truly extinct, just dormant.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

HOT weather... is there a break?

I think it's a very good question to ask... will we have a break soon in all this "gawd awful" heat? We did get some rain yesterday, it rained about 20 minutes in a downpour and I don't think it did much. Aside from letting in a rather lovely wind with the wet. This morning while out watering my garden I heard thunder, maybe we will get more rain; I do hope so as we need it. However, Kansas needs it more than we do.

I picked a couple of days ago about 6 red noodle beans for us to eat, loved them. I did pick about the same on the Black Seeded, but as they were very "buggy" the chickens got them. I made a stir fry with the red noodle beans and 2 squashes we had left from our last grocery day. A little bit of onion, fresh basil, and some chicken thighs and we had a nice lunch.

I do finally have some tomatoes ripening:

As you can tell this is on our "boxed" tomatoes, this is the Italian variety:
A Grappoli D' Inverno

They haven't gotten as big as I would have hoped but I'm very happy to see some ripening going on. The paste tomatoes are right next to this one and it's covered with green paste tomatoes and I hope they will ripen soon. I might even let Silver eat one before I start freezing them. One more thing about this tomato plant that has ripening on it... it's the one that was half eaten by bugs. So it's amazing that there is ripening tomatoes on it.

Now for those of you who saw my other garden vid:

Yes, there isn't all that much to "see" on this side, but we are still experimenting with the varieties this year. Next year if we still use this plot I will be adding one or two more "beds". I do have some good space still available to dig, and I might start it this fall when we get some decent rains again so the ground will be softer.

Oh, I have a semi cute moment for you as well this is Houdini in the tree he sleeps in:

Isn't he adorable?

We did get some work done on the root cellar yesterday morning, and got 8 wheelbarrows full of dirt out and spread on our walk way. We are going to start piling clay again starting tomorrow. We haven't worked out there this morning with the threat of the rain; we did not want to risk getting the electric cords wet. Back to digging again tomorrow.

Well that's it for now.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Electric/oil Dependance

While yes we do use power/oil and there is not much we can due to stop using it for now. We can reduce our needs for it. We for one only fill up our gas tank once a month and if we get down to only enough gas to get us tot he gas station, well then we don't go anywhere till the month is over.

We are also not using heavy equipment to build here, the most power hungry item we use to "build" right now is our drill for the root cellar. It's slow work, but I feel good about it.

In the city when I lived near Chicago I rarely used a car. If I had to go somewhere I used a bus, that is using less as they -will- be running no matter what (just the amount of runs will change). For areas where bus/train service is spotty the more riders the more "runs" they will have.

The most electric we use during the day is maybe 2 computers and our air goes -OFF- during the hottest part of the day. It only really helps us here during the night so it's a waste of power to use it during the day.

Personally I'd love to have our home set up like an Amish home, and we are planning to buy a hand water pump next spring. Once the full house is done, hell once my cob oven and outdoor stove is done; I'm -NOT- going to be using my electric range/oven. I know of one blogger that isn't using a fridge, but she is using a freezer.

I am hoping that down the line once our chickens start producing we can reduce our fridge use, the big thing we are storing in ours right now is eggs. I know for a fact that fresh eggs can sit out for a day or 2, and with how we eat eggs here they wouldn't last more than 2 days.

I'd like to issue a challenge to all my readers out there... A ONE FILLUP A MONTH challenge! Lets see if you can manage your life and world on one tank of gas a month. I am sure to those who have to drive to work can find other methods of getting to work if they looked. I have seen small towns with bus service, if you plan your day accordingly For those of you who do it post your results!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

131 Children Vaccinated At Gunpoint in Malawi

The Gates banner says “Human Rights! We come generously bearing good gifts of health and peace,”take the gifts or else…get shot?
131 Children Vaccinated At Gunpoint in Malawi

How long till school starts again?

WOW this has been a long summer to me, the kids seem to get bored very easy here. For them it's not been as interesting as living in the city was, I can understand that; but unlike them I can find things to do with my time.

Yesterday however I was LAZY... Granted I washed 3 loads of laundry, made breakfast, got the animals fed; and watered our container plants. The problem was, it was too BLOODY HOT! I just could not get the motivation to get up and do anything.

This morning so far I have fed the dogs, watered all the gardens and helped Silver finally put in our chicken nests. Right now I am waiting on water to cool off enough to wash some dishes so we can eat breakfast. Then we are taking baths, and after that I get to pull out the meat for tonight's dinner. Which will be chicken in some form or another.

Now what we did for our chicken nests is in 2 parts (no "filling as yet that will have to wait till the 1st). Part one is a platform that we nailed the 4 buckets to. The platform was made with 2 2X3's, and a piece of the white paneling. We nailed them onto it so they won't move. Now the second part has to do with the fact that we used 2 full sized 2X3's. So as we have more 2X3 that platform the second part is a new roost for the birds. This space covers the whole back half of our chicken coop, the next thing we need to do is make a door so I can start putting them inside at night. Maybe it will motivate them to lay, it can't hurt right?

Well for right now this is it for my post I need to go tend to those dishes.

School countdown less than a month

Be Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Late Morning start

Yep It was a late start for me today as I overslept and got up at about 8:30 right about when the garbage truck blew down our street. I know to some people that wouldn't be a late start, but for me it is. I am use to being up at or just before dawn, "puttering" around. I do have a nice alarm clock system which is Midnight our youngest dog yipping for his breakfast before the sun comes up. Not to mention one of our kittens Hodini jumping onto my chest kneading it and meowing in my face while purring. It makes for an interesting wake up.

I discovered the other day that I can take small videos with my camera and it even has a microphone on it, so here is part of our garden:

I wish I could have gotten the whole garden, but the video portion apparently uses a lot of battery life so any video I make will be short.

Well, because we got up late we did not get into the root cellar today, (with heat advisories we aren't taking chances) we should get into it tomorrow morning. The new drill bit is working great and it is cutting through the clay well.

Now I'd like to take a moment and comment on something in our new of late. The budget of the USA. The deadline for them to get it going is on the 2nd, and from what I have heard if they do not get it "figured out" by then, that the checks on the 3rd will not go out. Well, this affects us a great deal as I have said before we are living off of Silver's disability. He gets 2 checks one from the VA which shows up on the 1st (yeah!) and the federal one which comes on the 3rd. I hope the government can get it's act together so that we do not lose anything. We use that second check to make our land payment so I hope everything will go OK there. You should keep an eye on it though folks as you won't know who it might affect close to you until it happens.

I have almost gotten caught up on my laundry and our toilet room is almost empty of clothing! Yeah me! That laundry back up has been there since the end of winter, as we had only been going to the laundromat once a month due to costs. Which again I'd like to that Queen Sized Tink from The Last Half of Life ( and her family for letting us use their washer. It has been such a big help to us!

Now we have been suffering from the "unseen" insect of the Ozarks. CHIGGERS.... I hate chiggers... they leave these red bite marks that look like a rash all over you and they itch. They itch a lot! The worst part I go out in the sun right now with all this heat and as soon as I start sweating something in the fabric mixes with the sweat and it irritates the itchy bites. Making them itch MORE! So of late any time I go outside and come back in I've had to change shirts to prevent the itchiness.

I am hoping some of the tomatoes start ripening so we can try out all these varieties! The ones in my box seem to have stopped rotting on the vine so we will see how they are. Also on those tomatoes, one plant is almost at the top of our 4ft cow panel already! I am giving my main garden a every other day watering now and seeing if they like it better, if there is no change by tomorrow in how the plants look I will go back to once a day watering. Again my grape plants are dieing without any real amount of growth on them. They haven't even made it to the first part of my trellis for them. I am seriously considering buying all new ones next year.

Well that's it for now.

Be Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...

Monday, July 18, 2011

GM Grass.. now we are getting ridiculous...

Sorry folks but this will be a multi post across the board as this is important.

The Health Ranger over at is calling for a boycott of Scotts lawn products due to their soon to be newest product. What could this product be? GM grass seed... yes, -GRASS SEED- if it was not bad enough to have GMO's that were food stuffs people are going to be pushed to buy a GM grass seed that is “roundup ready”.

Yippie... so now everyone who wants the “perfect lawn” will be pouring gallons of roundup on their lawns. What will eventually happen to the water tables in these areas? Poison is still poison no matter how you “bottle” it. It will still affect the rest of the environment that you put it in.

How are you going to feel when the lawns at schools are sown with this seed and they start pouring roundup all over the grass that -YOUR- child will be walking/running/playing over?

What happens when it cross pollinates with natural grasses? We'll have GM grass everywhere eventually. Also remember what I said about corn? Corn is a “grass”, it is a distant cousin to what is on the lawns in the cities. However, anyone who is trying to strengthen a “old” variety of corn with crossing it with the wild ancestor. What will happen to that ancestor plant?

With the idea of this going to happen what I see will be happening is that we will have a “new” urban desert a green one. It will be grass and nothing else, of course you could plant the GM trees so that maybe you'll have a tree in your yard too. Trees are hurt by round up just as any other plant is.

Home vegetable gardeners and “urban” homesteaders will have major issues when their neighbors grow this grass, due to the spraying of the chemicals on the GM grass. As the spray -WILL- carry over to your yard.

So protect yourself now.. protest THIS ONE if nothing else in the GM area. Check out the Health Ranger's post on to see how you can voice your opinion on this subject!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

To Clarify...

Just in case I hear it here about my last post...

seems everyone who reads this thinks I am complaining about hybrids. I was trying to make a statment about the idea of making a "seedless" anything... which to me.. seems very silly... and even though hybrids occur in nature a "seedless" one wouldn't truly last in nature so it seems a bit like what the Big M is doing...

everyone however is just seeing me say ... "hybrid BAD"....which I'm not... I was talking about 1 type. I did not think I was bashing hybrids, but it seems for at least 3 other places I have posted that post on seeds that people think I am bashing hybrids.

I do think hybrids are a good idea, however when you come across something like the seedless watermelon, which I have heard many people complain about it not "tasting like a watermelon". what is the real point behind it? To me it just seems like it was made just so that seeds had to be re bought every year thereby making the seed company lots of money.

This morning I cut up a yellow fleshed watermelon that I bought locally. It had that "watermelon" flavor that I remember when I was a young child. It tasted nothing like the typical "Seedless" watermelon you find in stores now. I have saved the seeds from it, and my kids were surprised by how large the seeds were. I have to say they looked big to me as well.

If you go back and look at GMO history though you will see something. The tomato, there was a GM tomato once; but the people complained that ti had no flavor compared to other store bought ones. So why is it when you have these "seedless" watermelons that to me have no flavor, people don't complain? People don't know the difference... they really don't, I mean how long has the seedless watermelon been out there? At least 20 years if my memory is right. So after 20 years that is the flavor that people are use to and now want.

So please... just because I have an issue with 1 hybrid... and compared it to a GM product... which to me has some similar things to some GM products. Does not mean I don't like hybrids, some of the tomato hybrids are wonderful. I would love to grow that all pink one that I read about how the person who "discovered it" wound up growing it. That one was used as a way to explain hybridization to people who know nothing about it.

Now here is the nice thing about a -BLOG- it's mostly a personal opinion on what the person writes. I do try to have accurate info included in what I write and sometimes my opinions shine through more. Such is the case with yesterday's post.

I would like to thank the person who responded yesterday to the seed post.. and I hope you can now see what I was trying to say.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Word On Seeds....

Well I was talking to Silver and the kids about watermelons, and an interesting question came up. How do you get seeds for “seedless” watermelons? Now I know that those white “seeds” are seeds, but anyone who has grown watermelons and has seen the seeds you plant for them. Know they are not those little white “seeds”. So if the watermelons don't produce a standard seed, how DO you get the seed?

That brought on another question, as my reply to Silver asking about seeds for seedless watermelon was. “The same way you get seeds for a GMO that has the terminator gene in it.” Which as anyone knows, isn't an answer.

So, how do they get the seed stock for the terminator plants? I imagine you can make a new batch every year, but here is another few questions. What happens if they make a mistake? Where would they get the original seed to genetically modify? I imagine that eventually if they have their way with it that, there would be no seed without some “markers” from the GM corn. Look at Mexico for example, where they did not allow GM corn to go into their country as seed corn. Now though, due to the fact that they did allow “food stuffs” to come in with GM corn. So what did the “poor” farmers there do? They take some of any of the corn they eat and save it to grow. Now they are finding in different places around Mexico that some of the GM corn “genes” are mutating their corn plants. Sometimes so that the plant is producing multiple ears per leaf. Now on any standard corn plants they only have one per leaf. The officials are telling the people to NOT EAT OR SAVE THE SEEDS. They even want the farmers to destroy them. What does that tell you about the GM genes?

What happens when the terminator gene crosses over there? Mexico has many varieties of corn that are only seen there. They plant their corn near the “wild” types that corn came from way back when. So the wild corn is a grass, so if that “gene” jumps to the “wild” type would it then cross over to standard grass?

So, back tot he original question that led to this, seedless watermelon seeds. Well we have been told that the seedless types are a hybrid, now my mother says seedless ones have no flavor. She is right the seedless ones to me seem to not have the “flavor” I associate with WATERMELON, so is that a good side affect of the hybrid? Also why would you hybridize a plant to not produce a viable seed? What is the point of that?

One could almost question, are seedless watermelons a GMO in disguise? It would make more sense than “forcing” nature to do something unnatural. Producing something without any seed is not that far from producing one with a sterile seed. The big difference here is corn the “vegetable” part is the seed. Whereas the watermelon it has nothing to do with the seed. So we go back to where the “greed” of the BIG M and the idea of their terminator gene come into play. If the farmer that is buying watermelon seeds from you cannot use the seeds from the watermelon he grows because there are none then he has to keep buying from the seed company. Which is what happens with the terminator gene that is out there. Makes good money sense doesn't it? To the seed company any way....

Makes you think doesn't it?

Just some randomness

I hope everyone remembers this guy, Mr. Thanksgiving our tom turkey (mental note get a new picture). Well this morning when me and Silver went to look at the garden, which we are giving a one day dry out after the rain we got. Well anywho, we heard this awful sound... it sounded like someone had choked one of the turkeys. then it struck us... Thanksgiving WAS TRYING TO CROW LIKE A ROOSTER!

I have at least one turkey that thinks its a chicken it seems, it was very funny to hear especially since we know that one of the couple of roosters we seem to have has learned to crow. I guess Thanksgiving is trying to copy him. Also Thanksgiving is like twice the size of Christmas now, I do wonder how big he will get to be.

Now I am at this moment baking some bread, yeah it's a tad late in the day for us. However, we have a VERY good reason for it. I found another no-knead bread recipe for my sourdough. It's a white bread recipe, that you make a "batter" in the long rise time; it seems more like a sponge though.

The book is called:

"Adventures in sourdough Cooking & Baking"

By: Charles D Wilford
Copyright 1971 and 1977
ISBN# 0-912936-00-2

The First part of the recipe Page 31:

Primary Batter "B"

1C sourdough starter
1 & 1/2 C white flour
1 C warm water

1 & 1/2 C Primary Batter "B" for baking
1 C batter to return to your starter
2 & 1/2 C total

1. Assemble all ingredients and utensils
2. Remove your sourdough starter from the refrigerator and stir well. Take out one cup and place it in a warm bowl of 2 qt capacity or larger. Return remaining starter to refrigerator. The large size bowl is necessary to prevent spillage as the batter will expand greatly during it's proofing period. The final quantity will be around 2 & 1/2 or 4 cups total.
3. Add the warm water and stir until well mixed. Slowly add the white flour stirring continually to blend the flour in well. Stir 4 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and lump free, or use an egg beater or electric mixer. (yes it says a MIXER!)
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free area for proofing. (now I use a plate that fits over my bowl and it works fine)
5. The proofing period is 8 to 12 hours depending on how active your starter is when taken from the refrigerator. Your batter is ready when it is foamy and full of large bubbles. It can be used at any time after this point up to 4 hours. If your batter has many tiny bubbles in it, it has already reached the proper state. If no or few bubbles are present during the 8 to 12 hours after proofing your starter is not acting properly and you should determine the reason for this before continuing with the recipe.
6. During the proofing period there is a chance that crust will form at the top of your batter. If this happens just stir it back down into the batter. The same is true of any liquid which might form on top.
7. At the end of the proofing period stir the batter thoroughly. Take out one cup and put back into your starter container. Stir your starter thoroughly and return it to your refrigerator.

White Bread recipe on page 86

No-knead Sourdough Bread (white)

1 & 1/2 C Primary Batter "b"
1/2 C warm milk (I let it get to room temp)
1 &1/2 t salt
2 T sugar
2 T cooking oil or melted Shortening (I use butter)
1 egg
2 & 1/2 C flour

Yield: 1 loaf

1. Prepare the Primary Batter "B" following the directions in Chapter 4. Be sure that you return one cup of batter to your sourdough starter container before adding any other ingredients.
2. Assemble all ingredients and utensils. Let all ingredients come to room temperature.
3. In a warm 4qt bowl (I use my 8 qt pots) mix the milk, salt, sugar and cooking oil together.
4. Beat the egg well and (then) mix it thoroughly into the mixture in step 3
5. Add the 1 & 1/2 cups of Primary Batter "B" and mix well again.
6. Add 2 & 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time; and beat vigorously until all the flour is blended in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
7. Cover the bowl and set in a warm 85 degree place for about 2 hours for proofing. When dough has doubled in bulk stir it down thoroughly. (now I find this one "odd" no "punching" down)
8. Pour into a well greased loaf pan and spread it out evenly. Pat the top smooth with floured hands (btw.. I have not done this in the 2 times I have tired this)
9. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm 85 degree place until it reaches about 1 inch from the top of the pan. About 1 hour and 45 minutes.
10. bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. When bread starts to shrink away from the sides of the pan it is done.
11. When done, remove bread from the oven and brush the top with melted butter. Place on a wire rack to cool immediately.

Now this produces a beautiful loaf of bread, so good that when we made it the first time we ate the whole loaf as soon as it was cool. Well... ok... not quite all the way cooled. It is very good and I suggest trying it out. My family loved it, I am sure yours will too.

Be Well, Be safe and Blessed be

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cob stove and oven

Now first I'd like to mention I have found a site that lets me do a free web page through google (yeah) here is the link to what I set up yesterday check it out:

I do not plan to stop posting here any more than I stopped when I got the wordpress blog. Eventually I am hoping to buy the real address and have it a separate entity, but for now this is our web page.

I also want to make a wave to Phelan and her current post as a MUST READ!!!!!!

Please go check it out and see what she has seen.

Now to the "real post"

I'm sure a few of you may remember this cook stove we made last year. Well we are going to re-build it and surround it in cob. We did learn a few things about our construction of this one.

#1 when using cinder blocks, you need to make sure you DON'T need to move them after they get hot and then rained on. Cinder blocks break after repeated heatings and rains.

#2 when filling them with gravel let them "settle" so you don't have to go back and refill them after they have been heated or you get #1

#3 if you get breaks/cracks wasps WILL build nest(s) inside your cinder blocks and it will cause a problem if you need to take it apart for any reason.

So with that knowledge we are re-building it, and going to be putting in a cob-ish oven next to it. It will have elements of both cob ovens and rocket stoves, and we will be using a barrel for the "cooking" chamber. We are going to one similar to this one:

It's a cool design and I like how wide the cooking area is with the barrel. Thanksgiving is getting so big (the Tom turkey btw) that our not standard size oven prob won't fit him when it's time to cook him.

So here is what we have done so far:

This is if you can't tell the pile of clay from our ongoing root cellar dig. This is going to be the base for both the wood stove and the oven. We are hoping to have a space between the two for us to store wood in. Which my son's new daily chore till school starts is to chop up the cut wood into pieces small enough to use in a rocket stove... maybe it will put some muscle on his scrawny frame.

Anywho... the "front" half of the clay pile was hoed flat and then smoothed with both the hoe and a mini garden rake. Silver took at least 20 minutes making sure it was as smooth as he could get it. Course... that did not last long after the cats came out (hahahahahaha), we'll have to clean up a bit in a few days once everything here dries out from the rains we just got.

This is of course is the next step, Silver put out the metal squares from the old stove, to which we did have a good sized wasp nest inside of. Thankfully no one got stung.

Silver set them both out as you can see, played around with which direction to put them in. Then made it level... perfectly level. What can I say he's a perfectionist. He checked the "level" across in this spot then on an angle in each corner then across the other side.

Oh, this level? It's a 6ft level that we bought at Harbor Freight Tools for $14 before we left New York state. I do have to say I like their stores! I will also say that I personally think that every homesteader whether you are "urban" or not should have a 6ft level. It is very useful when working on a big project. Course you should have a few different sized levels... but that's going off on a bit of a tangent.

Ok, now a few more steps along as you can see. First Silver used 4 pieces of the broken flat cinders from the first stove and placed them in the corners of the squares to hold it in place. Then he added rocks then covered it in gravel from the driveway.

Then he asked the kids to put a rock (remember all those rocks we dug up?) along the front to make it look nicer and to help prevent the clay from washing out. Which he then went back over their work and filled in or found better fitting rocks.

After that he went and added a layer of gravel to the "base" surface. Now the plan once it all "settles" and dries out... to put concrete dust over all the gravel and rock and wet it down to harden. This will give a nice firm base for the oven and make the stove base solid and hopefully the front with be secure. We are also hoping for the added benefit due to the gravel for there to be "rivulets" for water flow to go out when it does rain. the plan is to make the stove and oven water proof.

The plan for the start of the oven is to possibly use earth bags if we can find enough of those heavy duty feed bags that people don't want. In the past we have reused our's as garbage bags, but after watching many youtube video's on cob ovens we noticed the person who has done the most. Uses in almost all of his, for the base; earth bags. From what we have seen, based on youtube videos (which as I don't have books on cob I have to us youtube) this particular one is a semi-expert as his job is building a myriad of things with cob.

So that is what we have done so far and the "plan" for our first step on the oven. Will update as we do.

Be Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Long awaited Update!

I do hope Blogger lets me put in pictures today I tried about 2 days ago and it wouldn't let me. WE had a lovely rain storm last night with lightning and thunder and .. dogs whining... We found out the why on that one this morning. Seems Paris had gotten herself wound up around one of the few roots that we can't get out, by them and so she was drenched. If it weren't for the fact it was a lightning storm I would have run out and unwound her so she could have gotten into her dog house. You know... it's weird seeing a cloundy rainy morning with a tiny bit of sun peeking through...

Oh well here we go with our update starting with your favorite and mine (I hope) Potatoes!

This is about 6 Cups of potatoes out of my own potato plot!We had dug up the half of the plot that had died back and this is what we got. Now remember that, the "front" half of my plot were sprouters and store bought seed potatoes. So they were of unknown variety.

But, as you can see it seems we had a good deal of the "yukon gold" type and a few russets. Now I did plant 2-3 fingerlings that had sprouted, and I did get some fingerlings out of this... but not where I had planted them. Also considering I had planted them just barely into the goat manure they potatoes did grow down into the dirt. Only barely growing in the straw, Silver says next year no burying them at all just lay them out with the straw over them and see.

Doesn't this look pretty? This is the dirt under all the straw, and it is pretty! So if you want to turn clay into good soil? Drop a (until it's "Aged down") 3ft layer of straw where you want your good soil and let it sit a year.. watering it at random.

The straw has started composting down, the lower half of it was black and changing. So it has been "turned" as I put it back in the space after my "treasure hunt". Once the rest of the plot is "dug out" (yeah late august treasure hunt!) I will add my "official" compost pile to it. I will "stir it" well then we will get a tarp and put it over it and let it sit till spring and if it's not ready then, I'll stir it again and recover it.

OK, unfortunalty (sp?) that is all my pictures for now but more updates...

I managed to pick some of the beans all but the long beans which have just started getting flowers. I really like the flavor of the rice beans as a green bean and am glad I planted more of them, and they have come up. Considering they are a "bush" bean I have planted many in a small space. I will get some pics of them when I get more next and hold them in my hand to show the small size. The Tiger's eye were a tad bit on the bitter side, but I was planning if they are good to have them as a dry bean; so I already know they are not that tasty as a green. I thought the one pole bean I got was ok, but after that rice been it was not as sweet tasting. So next time I might try the pole bean(s) first. Oh, while on the bean subject... anyone guess why my beans (not the longs or the rice ones...) are yellowing at the bottom? Phalen mentioned in her blog (correct me if I'm wrong) that her beans weren't making it in the heat.. so could that be it?

I still do not have any squashes growing other than male flowers. The bitter melon plant is still growing though a tad on the slow side to me, no flowers on it as yet and it is starting to put out the "tendrils" that like cucumbers have to hold on to things. I think even the bought pepper isn't going to make it this year, as it's pitiful... speaking of pitiful my grapes are dieing back again, I hope they come back again. My lemon cucumbers have TONS of flowers, I hope they produce soon, the late start ones in my front door pot it growing well they have secondary leaves now.
The replanted cukes have sprouted, those are "Dragon's egg" and (I hope I spell this right) "Humong giant". Now I have put like I did with the lemon cukes a tomato cage over the Dragon's egg ones thinking they might be small enough that it won't rip the plant while climbing. The giant is a Chinese variety and I think it is one of the ones you use in stir fries. We will try it raw like standard cukes and we'll know quickly I bet if it's a cooking one.

Now I have a tomato issue... my tomato plants are covered in tomatoes, all different kinds/shapes. Now the problem is the tomatoes in my box have been covered in bugs, hornworms and aphids... not to mention stink bugs. One of the plants in the box has gotten half eaten. Now aside from being boxed and having "made soil" which is just peat and the local topsoil and a tad bit of ash. The only difference is that when we got a packet of free fertilizer in the mail I thought what the heck and put it on the boxed tomatoes. Could that be causing the bug attractant? Also we have a "new" problem in my box.. I have had to pull and toss about 10 green young tomatoes as they were rotting from the bottom up on the plant...????? what causes that?

I have does some new plantings one as a trial and a few to see if I can get something out of them before it's too cold. I planted some Amaranth, they have sprouted and once they start getting a bit bigger we will try the "greens" (red plants "greens " hahahahahaha), and see if they will produce seed heads if started in the beginning of July. We had gotten some free carrot seeds when we were buying at Baker Creek short variety and I planted them and they have started sprouting. I got some edible Chrysanthymums (sp?) and some Nastrums that I thought were pretty (all varieties are edible right?) the chrys's are sprouting as are the nastrums.

We have just gotten a replacement drill bit for the root cellar so once the rain stops and our... "pond" dries up it's back to digging. On a side note we have come up with a wonderful solution to all the clay we are digging up. We are going to build a cob-ish oven, and rebuild our "stove" for outdoor cooking that we had last year as well. Right now we have been "tearing" through youtube looking up rocket stove and cob oven vids to see the best way to combine the 2, to make a suitable oven. My biggest issue with cob ovens is it seems you NEED to build a cover for them... I think if it's an outdoor oven it should be weather proof so Silver is working that out.

Well that is all for now.

Be Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...

Friday, July 8, 2011

More Heritage Days pictures

Yes I know I promise these pics days ago, but life has been busy; so here we go.

This lady was spinning in the down stairs below the seed museum. The kids were amazed by it, I do have to say it is the first time I have seen a spinning wheel that looked like that. The lady told the girls about how people back in pioneer days only would have 1-2 outfits at any given time. Now, mind you I had been telling them this and it took a demonstrator to get them to see it was true. From what I saw any yarn they spin here is up for sale, and it is oh so very soft.

Here is one of my pictures of their "seed museum". Now I did see some seeds in there, old packets. Most of it was these, books and catalogs.
Which I think is really cool, I love seeing these old books and having an idea as to what was going on in the time periods that the books and catalogs came from.

Now this display my son loved, it is also in the seed museum. I am guessing that all these arrow heads were found as they worked on their land. I think they have displayed them well. Also, aside from a quick walk through the entire time we were up in the museum my son was just standing in front of this case staring. ...he was almost drooling. You know I'd love to be able to take Silver's son to see this, he might like it; maybe some day we will get the chance too.

I'm not sure if I showed this before, but I love this. Silver thinks it is a seed catalog. I think it was one of the old "store books" where people would look through and find things they needed and the shop keeper would order it. If we didn't have my mom and the kids with us when we went I probably would have sat there a bit turning pages. IT was not under glass! Maybe I will get a chance some other time.
My mother really enjoyed the trip to Baker Creek, I think more than she would have going to the Ingalls house. I hope she wants to go again next time she comes out as she didn't see all of the village. I am thinking when the kids get back to school we will check out the rest. Or, we might all just pile into the car and go on the next heritage day. Which is very possible as I'd love to get more herbs from Juli. that should be on the 7th of August.

Now I am going to post my update of our "projects" tomorrow, I hope... Until then I found this following "tale" on facebook and wanted to share it. Feel free to pass it around as the person who posted it said to.

Posted to Facebook via Wayne Weiseman:

God said: “Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.”

St. Francis: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers “weeds” and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

God: Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

St. Francis: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

God: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

St. Francis: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it—sometimes twice a week.

God: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

St. Francis: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

St. Francis: No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

God: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

St. Francis: Yes, Sir.

God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

St. Francis: You aren’t going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

God: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of life.

St. Francis: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

God: No! What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

St. Francis: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

God: And where do they get this mulch?

St. Francis: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

God: Enough! I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

St. Catherine: Dumb and Dumber, Lord. It’s a story about….

God: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis

Be Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Garden and Heritage Days

Yesterday morning I managed to get straw put out on my garden after the chicken coop got a good layer of straw. I'm going to be replanting a good portion of what did not sprout this week maybe even today.

Of course these are the squashes, the pumpkins in here (just past the bottom a bit) are now vining so much that putting the straw down now was a very good thing. Also this is only a 3rd of the plants in this bed past the top is melons and cukes, below the bottom is pumpkins and more squashes.

I am still only getting male flowers on my squashes, I hope they start getting female flowers soon, I want summer squash stir fry! I now have some Amaranth seeds and am considering planting a few here and there in this bed to see if they grow together. If I get some seed off them this year good, if not at least I will know a bit about how they grow before next year. Which is when I want to grow them as a crop standard.

I am wondering if I didn't get much in melons as it was too early when I planted them. I will be replanting melons and hoping they come up, I do have some; but sadly the only one I remember which type I planted did not come up. Those Tigger melons I want so badly to grow didn't

This of course is my bean bed for this year, we are thinking of doing peas in the fall here after the beans die off. The standard pole beans are growing more vigorously that the long beans on the back side. Also you don't see the "rice" beans to the left of the picture. I have my Tiger's Eye bush beans in the center between the two types of the pole beans. They have all grown so well so far and I have little beans growing on all but the long beans so far.

If someone knows why the lower leaves are turning yellow please let me know. I am hoping the straw will help these plants as well. I am going to replant some rice beans now that I know they are a bush type so I will get more than what is produced on 2 plants. It still amazes me that only 2 seeds out of 18 grew, again it might have not been hot enough for them. As it was a different type of bean than I am use too.

I am waiting on those long beans as when we did our squash stir fry last year our one neighbor gave us some of her long beans to try and we had them in it and WOW they were so good. So I do like long beans and I hope we like one or both of these types of them. I'd be willing to grow both of them if we like them as one is a green and one is a red one.

Half of my tomatoes are in the ground and half are in that box in front of my home. These ones interestingly enough has aside from a very small amount of aphids has no "bugs" at all. While the ones in the box have tons of aphids and I've been pulling lots of tomato worms.

My chickens are very happy about the "worms" though, (laughs) my son was worried that the big one we got yesterday would bite him. Also the one we got yesterday my son said that one of our turkey's got and inhaled it.

Sounds about right as I've noticed that turkeys are just eating machines, at least these 2 bronzes we have are. All the tomatoes all have little tomatoes on them, and again I might be wrong on again on the "types". As one plant the three largest tomatoes are starting to get color on the bottoms that are dark. Those might be the purple smudge as they get orange "shoulders".

As my mother had come out for a visit, and she was looking for something to do; and also that Baker Creek had a "Heritage Day" going on we went.

Here is the funny thing, as aside from a couple of seeds all my seeds have come from Baker Creek's store. Which is also the only building in there we have been in, until yesterday. This picture is where they do music and shows during their events.

They were doing a trivia contest, and dang it I missed the answer to the final question. "What plant is eggplant closest relative?" I did know it was a non-edible plant, I guessed Nightshade and got it wrong. So, because no one had guessed it he gave a hint so big I blurted out the answer. My daughter (I had thought she had heard me) tried next and said "pillow weed", which was wrong. The answer is, "cotton" . If she had guessed correctly we would have gone home with a basket of goodies worth $60, which from what I saw included seeds and a T-shirt.

It was the kids' first trip to Baker Creek as we generally go when they are in school so we don't have to keep saying "don't touch". Thankfully there was so much going on they we too busy looking around.

We did try out some Sumac tea at one of the booths and I can happily say that Sumac does not cause allergic reactions in us. YEAH! This means I can harvest our Red Sumac's and make tea or lemon aid. My mother even liked the tea and found it refreshing, so I imagine if I get some dehydrated this year she will want some sent her way.

We found a vendor of local goat's milk who also does cheese and ice cream, and I liked the cheese and ice cream. The kids liked the ice cream and tried the fudge she had as well. I think aside from my son my kids would like goat's milk. I'd still have to see if I'd like to drink it as last time I tried to was store bought and I could not get it past my nose. Silver says it should be very different tasting to me considering I did like the ice cream and cheese. We have to woman's card and will be contacting her about her milk products. Now this does not mean I's prefer goat's milk over cow's as I still want butter and I'm a heavy milk/cream drinker/user. So I want my Dexter cows still.

I'd like to say Hi to Juli from Wild Moon Cottage:
I saw her at her booth at Baker Creek and bought some herbs, which I have to say are -very- fresh! Nice to finally have met you in person Juli, I hope we get a chance to see you again!

I am going to continue my pics from Baker Creek tomorrow with the "seed museum", I am hoping to get a chance to head over there on the next heritage day and get more pics. My mom has MS so she couldn't manage the whole place in the heat, but she still liked it. She even liked the seed store even though she only does flowers at her house. She was happy to see they carry flower seeds and I put her down for one of the catalog's for next year.

BE Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...