Author Topic: August 01, 2020  (Read 236 times)

Ravenwood1950

  • Moderator
  • Bugged Out
  • *****
  • Joined: May 2012
  • Location: Spalding County
  • Posts: 1630
  • Total likes: 406
    • http://www.arrl.org/ares
August 01, 2020
« on: August 01, 2020, 06:09:36 PM »
Hello Dear Members,
As we crawl towards autumn I hope that your gardens have been very productive and you are planning as large a fall garden as you can.
I am dividing my multiplying onions and replanting them; it is amazing how quickly just a handful of them turn into a bed full.
Garden clean up continues and I ripped out the early tomato plants today and disposed of them into the compost pile.
I have several perennials that I need to get in the ground before long so they can settle in for a long nap till spring; some hostas and Russian sage.
Many years ago I had a beautiful perennial bed with things flowering for many months but over the years and through neglect it must be redone.
Stock up as much as you can for we don't know what the next months will bring. Every time I go to the grocery there are several things I can't
purchase so if/when they show up again I definitely stock up on them. What is the world coming to when one can't find Little Debbie Raisin Cakes?
My new chicken residents are settling in well. I feel I didn't give enough in the barter trade but am ever so grateful to have them and know that next year
I will have a good supply of eggs again.
I might add a couple of more chickens but as I only have two nesting boxes and a small roosting area I can't expand much more.
Check in with us and let us know how you are doing.
Ravenwood

Abigayle

Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2020, 02:34:35 PM »
Rehomed my older hens, in seven minutes on Craigs list.  I charged for them and they were out of here in an hour.  They were still good layers, but I had to make room for the two groups of chicks, just a month a part, that I raised in the incubator.  They should be dandy, as they had good parents, here on the farm.  I bartered four of them, for some dang good pickles.  That leaves six of the two month olds and eleven of the one month olds.  They are going to be huge, so no hawk bait here.
I will pick grapes and make grape/elderberry juice this week, which will use up all my small mouth quart jars.  Friday night, I finished up cleaning up the kitchen, from the spaghetti that I canned.  I am not a night person, but tomato splatter is so unattractive first thing in the morning.
We are pulling up tomato plants and other stuff in the big gardens, and getting ready to plant the raised beds for fall.  I am burned out on gardening right now, so will just do enough to keep fresh food coming.  We will have to butcher ducks soon, not a task we are looking forward to doing, they are so friendly and cute.  The chickens are helping us out with an over-abundance of watermelon.  Has anyone successfully dehydrated it, and is it worth it???  Other than putting up sweet pepper, some stuffed, and a few eggplant casseroles, canning a few jalapeņos, stick me with a fork, I am done.  The job of cleanup will be done as we feel like it, when it isn't 90 in the shade.
Still staying in, did a drive through for a Saturday night date (my, how times have changed).  Fourteen dollars and forty-five cents for food that was not worth eating.  She even forgot the napkins!  I will not mention Arby's by name... We are working on the house and considering down sizing.  Hate to give up all this good stuff, but we are getting long in the tooth...At least the market is strong...

Starlady

  • Bugged Out
  • *****
  • Joined: Sep 2012
  • Location: NWGA
  • Posts: 4225
  • Total likes: 1158
  • Region 1 Leader
    • http://www.georgiacarry.org/
Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2020, 07:38:07 PM »
Rabbit!  Rabbit!

Abigayle, dried watermelon takes forEVAH!  And because it does, it ends up tasting old.  Save the rind for watermelon rind pickles, there's tons of recipes in old cookbooks, I LOVE them.  You can also make watermelon jelly/jam, but it's only good for about 6 months and then it tastes more like the lemon you put in it.   But delicious while the melon flavor lasts!

Thanks to RWS, I have 5 pints and a quart of blueberry jam pinging on the table as I write this and still a gallon of berries in the freezer for baked goods. I will think of you every cold morning this winter when I put it on my biscuits! You are so very generous, thank you again.

My 7 new chickens from spring are all laying and the eggs are getting a bit bigger - had dozens of fairy eggs for awhile there.  And 4 of my year olds have decided to be broody, so I've had to lock them out of the coop during the day - they need to get back to work!  Which is laying me some eggs!    Sold 3 extra ducks - of a color I didn't want to keep, but had to take a boy as part of the deal.  "Bono" is a beautifully large and solid black and white, giving me 3 black & white bloodlines.  One of them carries the chocolate gene, so I'll have 3 lines on the chocolate, too.  I'z so happy!  Sold a chocolate drake, my 1st real breeding success - he was a huge boy and I miss him already.  I'll have his parents try to make another and I still have 8 babies just 8 weeks old this week to decide on.    My rescue friend near Blue Ridge has some new Jumbo Pekins for me - a matched pair. I put her off for 2 weeks so I can combine it with a peach run.  (Even though I actually DID get some peaches this year- just not enough to put up.)  That'll give me 3 bloodlines of JPs to work with............and a boatload of pens to re-arrange, LOL.  Sigh,  just when I think I'm done with it!

Got 24 white acorn , 1 green acorn, a real jarrahdale and something still developing that looks like no other squash I'm familiar with from my 10 plants.  And suddenly, it hit me.  I may NOT have mislabelled those squash seeds - upacreek and I both bought squash during an apple run last fall and saved seeds.  They must have gotten cross-pollinated on the farm we bought them from because SHE got some really weird stuff from her acorn seeds!  The squash I have is getting canned tomorrow, I have absolutely ZERO freezer space left.  And I can't decide if I should be worried about it or not.  I can either try to get another freezer or can up some stuff in there to make room for the Jumbo Pekin boys I still need to harvest.  I think I'll look for a small chest freezer and just put all the poultry in there.  I'd like get more beef, pork and bacon before fall.  I'm down to 1/2 case of pint & a half jars on the bacon I canned a couple of years ago.

While I'm getting a few tomatoes, I planted the beefsteaks too close together and they aren't producing as well as I'd hoped.  Time to refresh the tomato sauce pantry, so I'll have to pick up some in Ellijay in a few weeks.  And do some judicious pruning of those plants.

We had 60-70% chance of rain THREE darned days this week, mostly with full cloud cover and got neither.  Without cloud cover, I'm only good for about 2 hrs in the am - part of which includes the poultry pools & feed buckets.  And then maybe an hour in evening, so not much is getting done outside again, no grass cutting, no poultry harvesting.  Especially since I'm trying to clear 2 areas for new pens.

Stopped at Home Depot yesterday to pick up some new inside pots for the new aloe and was heartbroken to discover that they had TRASHED all their leftover spring seed just 4 days before.   Not even offered at sale price, just trashed.  Baker Creek is almost back to normal, but they are still out of stock on the most popular varieties of certain tomatoes, watermelon & peppers.

Prepper groups on FB are becoming more and more concerned over things going bad this fall, either before the election to mess it up or right after it - because half the country is going to be angry.  I know I'm worried.

Stay safe & cool,  y'all.  Have a great week!
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein

Abigayle

Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2020, 10:19:51 PM »
Thanks Star Lady, no dehydrated watermelon coming my way.  The chickens are happy to help out with it.  I have heard how good watermelon rind is pickled.  If I recover from canning trauma syndrome, I may give it a try.  I have never been brave enough to reuse my lids, but times, they are a changing... Since it works for you and Mrs. R.W., I may give it a try.
The idea of using one freezer for birds or meat is a good one.  I have had to move my huge chickens around in my freezer all year.  Now that we have two chests and two fridge freezers, I am going to keep all my birds and venison , along with store bought meat, in one.  This way, I can get at all the frozen fruits and veggies.  I now have more blueberries in my freezer thanks to Mr. and Mrs. R.W.S., as well.  I see lots of blueberry walnut muffins in our future.  Our ducks born this spring appear to be getting a little "frisky" in the pools,  I feel for you with all the work on the numbers you have, as our ten our keeping us busy! I join you and Ravenwood in the "In by noon" club, to darn hot!

8greenbeans

Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2020, 09:15:22 AM »
Lots of cousin time for the air force grandbeans this past week (and this week). Got 3 more batches of cucumbers going for pickles. Picked up a dog house for the dog yard. Picked the first batch of apples from the Apple tree - probably only going to get two batches this year. But that's better than previous years due to the tree being shaded out by the abomination known as a Bradford pear. We expect the new growth put on this season will produce next season. Muscadine are not quite ready to pick yet. Gotta keep a close eye on them so we get them before the birds and deer. The garden is coming along finally. The first batch of cucumbers are just about done for but the unintended second batch is just now starting to flower. Green beans are still producing ... steadily just not in the amounts I would expect from 90 plants. The okra are really starting to produce and some of the slow, lagging plants are starting to pick up growth and flower. Have a few corn stalks with small ears ... never would have noticed if it hadn't been for the silks. Finally starting to get a few tomatoes growing off the over 30 plants - I've never had an issue getting tomatoes to grow and this year I can barely get them a foot tall or produce flowers - what gives? The yellow squash isn't doing well at all - got that black mold that kills them when they are barely 1-2 inches. The pumpkin and acorn squash are putting out beautifully. Watermelon are starting to flower. I have an odd squash/melon growing as a volunteer (Photo attached). The peanuts look gorgeous and are still flowering so I hope this means a load of peanuts coming my way. The banana is still putting on size and growth - I'm hoping next year I might get a banana off of it! The fig is really putting on size so when it's time for transplanting, I'm going to find it a permanent home. Oh I have a singular pepper... It's rather small and turning red but it's there. The herbs are doing ok - I'm so disappointed in the majority of them *sigh* but they are still alive so that's saying something at this point lol The sweet potato leaves are covering the raised bed they are in, so I'm hoping this means I'll have a crop.
We introduced this year's ducklings to the flock - it went very well with no issues. Discovered those juveniles are larger than the parents! We have one gray and white duck that has a singular black feather - he must have been the father of 3 of the ducklings for they are 90% black and 10% white! The other one is mostly white with a touch a gray. We separated some drakes from the bunch and put them in a separate pen to hopefully put in the freezer tomorrow. It's all weather dependent to be honest. This year's chicks got put in their own coop & run last week also. They took right to it. Usually they tend to bunch together and takes a bit of time for exploration - not these!
Had a "carport" delivered and set up to cover the boats and provide shelter for the butchering table. Speaking of butchering - we have a stand-up freezer that is our meat freezer, then a chest freezer that is a fish, milk, and fruit/veggie freezer. Then a freezer of a refrigerator used to store "fats" (oils, peanut butter, butter, etc). The outside refrigerator is used to store seeds, pelts, eggs/milk (temporarily), & drinks. It's definitely nice to be able to have all those.
I happen to like dehydrated watermelon. It didn't seem to take excessively long to dry out and it was so sweet!! It's one of my favorite dehydrated fruits. It's a ready made "leather" that doesn't require blending nor a solid sheet to make. I do, however, need to taste some pickled watermelon rind and some cowboy candy before I make them!
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 10:33:09 AM by 8greenbeans »

USMC Veteran, USAF Mama
Army National Guard MIL
Army Daughter, Navy Niece
8 Beans
5 GrandBeans + 2 due in July
3 Beans-in-law
1 MrBeans

Starlady

  • Bugged Out
  • *****
  • Joined: Sep 2012
  • Location: NWGA
  • Posts: 4225
  • Total likes: 1158
  • Region 1 Leader
    • http://www.georgiacarry.org/
Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2020, 12:02:07 PM »
Of course a lot of squashes looks similar but that looks like the Long Pie Pumpkin I grew a few years ago.

And don't count on the black feather boy being your Dad, blue (gray) is black dilute and 25% of any 2 blues will be black and white kids, even if neither parent shows black.  A blue drake and choc or black hen will produce 50% black.  Have fun with that!

Maybe I made my watermelon too thick?  I'll try again, I LOVE watermelon.
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein

Abigayle

Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2020, 04:01:23 PM »
8 Beans, good to know, regarding the watermelon (Star Lady, pay attention now, learn something new everyday:)). How thick do you cut it?  Is the shelf life the same as other dehydrated fruit?  To date, my favorite are the apple rings, made with Granny Smith, or Fugi.  We like the tart/sweet flavor, and add a little cinnamon for color and extra health benefit, but not too much.  Some batches go without.  We are eating some now, that I made two years ago and they are great.  I store them in a dark cupboard in half gallon canning jars, with two small oxytocin's-frees.
My flats have already shipped from Cook's in PA.  Thanks, Sir Lady!  I don't need them, but felt like in an emergency, my jars could be under-served.
Our ducks will be four months old the 27th. of this month (Pekins), is it time for some drakes to head for freezer camp?  Sooo hot to butcher right now..
No seltzer water in my order from Kroger this morning, and I allowed substitutions. Glad that I stored up.  They doubled my lime order for some crazy reason, and they don't even know me...

Starlady

  • Bugged Out
  • *****
  • Joined: Sep 2012
  • Location: NWGA
  • Posts: 4225
  • Total likes: 1158
  • Region 1 Leader
    • http://www.georgiacarry.org/
Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2020, 05:48:03 PM »
Yes on the drakes.  Middle of this month would be prime but I've pushed it another 4 weeks and still had great roast duck.   Be sure to soak for 2-3 days in salt water - it's made a huge difference for me.

I put in an order today for the max number of wide mouth flats myself.  I spent a couple hrs this aft doing an inventory on all my canning equipment - I actually should start getting more jars, but I'm waaay good on lids and rings.
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein

Abigayle

Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2020, 06:10:16 PM »
I do a lot of meals in quart jars, which is just right for the two of us, some good for three.  If I would remember to throw them in a kettle more often, I would be freeing up my jars faster.  Another thought....try everything you have made and make sure you like it.  If you have anything that looks pretty in a jar, but you never eat it, free up the jar.  I like trying new things....My Merlot pears from 2018, are going down the drain.  The pears were too hard to take on any good flavor.  I think we all have some jars that we would rather see something else on the inside. No, I do not put booze in everything....
My girls seem to be the flock leaders, if the quacks are a good indictor at short of four months.

Abigayle

Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2020, 06:17:00 PM »
The New Food Dehydrator Cookbook by Kristen Barton says cut watermelon 1/2 in think, in strips like jersey.  Takes around 22 hours at 135.  Hope that is thin enough... so far, her book has been pretty accurate.  Love having hard copies of informational material, just in case.  Plus it is better than U-tube where anyone can do something once and become an expert.  At least, if someone writes a book and you know by paging through that it is pretty spot on, you have a fair chance of snagging some good information.  Put grapes off for tomorrow, too many irons in the fire today.

8greenbeans

Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2020, 09:51:25 PM »
Yes, between 1/4-1/2 inch thick is about right. I can't say about storage times because mine never makes long enough to test storage times hehehe

Good to know Star on the black & blue genetics! And on the possible pumpkin! Someone else said that also but had only seen them in a photo on a seed packet so wasn't sure.

Abigayle, you could still use those pears!! We put them in cobbler!! When MrBeans first made it I looked at it dubiously but wowzers it is good! Since you can add sugar to the pears or simply let the sweet breading do all the sweetening, they'll get sweeter, plus you are baking them, to which they get softer. Win win for the issues you outlined :D
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 10:15:50 PM by 8greenbeans »

USMC Veteran, USAF Mama
Army National Guard MIL
Army Daughter, Navy Niece
8 Beans
5 GrandBeans + 2 due in July
3 Beans-in-law
1 MrBeans

Gunner

Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2020, 02:22:53 AM »
Im sorry to say that our gardening efforts this year have been sub par.  We got the tomatoes to grow.  some salad greens and a few other odds and ends, but we did poorly on peppers, squash, zucchini and  a few other things.  Our yield was lower that we though that it would be.  This has been a rough year all around... Im hoping to make it to New Years and try and get a better run at 2021.
U.S. Army Signal Corps
U.S. Army Ordnance Corps
KK4KUB
Region 7, Georgia

Ravenwood1950

  • Moderator
  • Bugged Out
  • *****
  • Joined: May 2012
  • Location: Spalding County
  • Posts: 1630
  • Total likes: 406
    • http://www.arrl.org/ares
Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2020, 07:29:50 AM »
Hang in there Gunner, all gardeners have crop disappointment/failures. That is why it is so important to not wait till a disaster to learn to garden. I had a nice crop of cantaloupes but had not grown them in so long I wasn't sure when to pick them. I lost all but one. I am still on the fence about my two huge watermelons.
Soon we can plant fall/cool weather crops so you may have a bumper crop of collards and salad greens.
I do understand how poor yields can get you down.
Ravenwood

Abigayle

Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2020, 11:04:02 AM »
Gunnar, you might want to try some Jimmy Nardello next year.  The grow really well in North Ga (South of Atlanta). They are very prolific and if you keep them picked, they will keep going for you until it gets over, say, 93 or so.  You can even put a light cover to prevent that.  They are great on the grill (seeded), chopped up for the freezer, dehydrated and raw, if you like that.  They taste like a red bell, but are not as difficult to raise.  They are non-hybrid, so you can save seed from the amazing ones, for next year.  Everyone I know complained about their tomatoes this year.  The tomatoes were not the issue, but even well cared for plants had issues.  Last year was great.  We did get tons of tomatoes but we planted forty some plants.  I am pulling them up now (I should say "we", as Thor is in there also). Every year, you will have successes and failures.  I grew the best looking butter beans, started in the greenhouse.  I planted three long rows and took good care of them.  I didn't get squat.  The plants are beautiful and full.  They are over my head.  I got two cups of beans, left them on the kitchen counter (shelled) and the next day they were moldy looking.  This was very disappointing.  We even use an irrigation system, so no watered from above... We did finally let everything go, since I was putting up food all day long and only had a few hours in three gardens and two raised beds.  Since our soil was amended all winter, we were still harvesting plenty in the weeds.  Don't send the Better Homes and Gardens people around here any time soon!  Chin up, plant forward, you got this!

RWS

Re: August 01, 2020
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2020, 03:10:47 PM »
It's been hot in South Georgia.  I have tilled and planted onions and garlic.  I am trying to start cabbage and broccoli in a seed starter and they have come up fine.  I also planted a few Jimmy Naradillo pepper seed but they have shown no sign of life yet.  I need to read up on them to find out what temperature to germinate them.  It must be too hot.

Got my camper all torn apart looking for a water leak but it is so hot to work I have limited my hours to early morning and there are not very many of them.