Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Japanese Plum Sauce and Plum Berry Jam

My Red Japanese Plum Tree is simply amazing. 

This year it has produced:
10 quarts of picked plums for us, friends, and family to eat 
(probably more considering all of the "drive by" picking we all do)
9 jars of Plum Berry Jam
42 jars of Plum Sauce/ Syrup

First of all, obviously, the plums are delicious. They are such a treat for the whole family! 
Second, jam. That is all. Yum.
Third, Plum Sauce/ Syrup. This stuff is delightful. The baby and I had it on our yogurt this morning. I also think it would be amazing on French Toast or Crepes. We also use it on toast as kind of a thinner jam. There really isn't a "bad" way to use Plum Sauce.

I also have a Golden Japanese Plum tree. I'm excited to see what it brings this year!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Tiny Tasty Dinosaurs

7 Heritage Chicks! They are so ridiculously cute! These guys are in a chicken tractor right now, but if I decide to be a chicken person, we'll build a coop and have a much bigger run for laying hens. 

Just to be clear: these little guys will be for eating. This is actually kind of a scary/ sad/ hard experiment for me. I feel very strongly about ethicaly raised meat, but like most people, I don't want to actually DO it. So this is me, trying to have integrity. These "trial birds" are rooster chicks, and they are for meat. In the meantime, they have a very nice, sweet little life hanging in the garden side of the yard. I move their tractor around, they get organic feed, fresh yummy water. We're only a week in, and I'm not gonna lie, it's already a little emotional for me. 

In these pictures they are a little wet, because they accidentally got spinkled. Poor boys were not happy! 

Monday, July 22, 2013


The garden is in full swing and we are geting to eat out of it every day!  

I got about 5 pounds of potatoes from my first barrel. They were fabulous and went into and amazing potato salad for my hubby. It was a far cry from 50 pounds, but I also didn't finish filling it with dirt, so who knows.

Chicken broth complete with medicinal herbs for my sick little boys. 

This is the best soup I've ever made, but let's be honest that isn't saying a lot. Then my hubby agreed, and I thought that was sweet, but he's eaten street food off a road stand in rural Africa from a guy who couldn't speak English, sooo.... yeah. But when my mom said it was the best soup she's ever had, I was pretty excited. Since I didn't use a recipie there's really no redoing it. My grandma taught me everything I know about chicken soup, so here's to you grandma! 

To end on a sweet note, Japanese Plums. We have more of these than we can eat, so I'm thinking jam! We already ate all of that yummy strawberry jam anyway. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's Getting Bigger!

My bun bun area... 
I really need a better place for the straw, but I haven't found it yet. :-/

My peas had to wrap around!

In the rows I have: cauliflower, salad, yellow squash, delicata squash, zucchini, broccoli, a few stalks of corn, 5 types of onions, technicolor cabbage, kale, cosmic (purple) carrots, rainbow carrots, parsnips, and cucumbers.

My purple and black pole beans (scarlet?) I didn't plant the flowers. They volunteered.

5 varieties of beans, 2 of beets, chard, and something that I can't recall but is clearly planted in a row, lol. 

My littlest helper!

3 varieties of sugar snap pea, 4 types of tomato, and garlic.

Purple, Red, Gold, and Russet potatoes!

About 2/3 of the garden area (missing herbs, raspberries, strawberries, and pumpkins)...
Don't mind the hoses. They go to the soaker system. I just haven't buried them yet. 

A table for snacking in the garden.

Some extra corn and the cucumbers (not in that order.)


Friday, June 28, 2013


The biggest reason why I wanted a garden was to feed our family less processed food and to know exactly where that food was coming from. So, with our first strawberry harvest, we made jam. Delicious strawberry jam with only 3 ingredients: organic berries from our front yard garden, organic lemons, and organic sugar. This yielded 3 jars of the best jam I've ever had. 

Now, while I want to learn to can, I'm not set up for that just yet, so I did refrigerator jam and froze/ gave away the excess. 

Needless to say, my boys are in love. No requests for store bought jam here!

Monday, June 3, 2013

My 1st Harvest!!!

I harvested THREE sugar snap peas this morning! I ate them before I thought to take a picture, so I have no proof. This is my first ever garden harvest though and it was delicious! Hopefully there will be more to come!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Watching My Garden Grow!

Our weather has been unseasonably warm, and I couldn't be happier. Neither could my garden. 
All 960 sq ft of it! 

Speaking of my garden, there have been a few changes as we gear towards summer! 

1) I decided to go for a soaker hose system, to cut down the water bill a bit. I haven't buried it yet, because I want to wait until I'm sure it's working/placed where I want it first. 

2) That handy hubby of mine built me a new double Cedar compost bin! Actually, we built it together. As a date. Cause that's how we have fun around here! 

3) I'm also trying out a rather makeshift hoop house. The hubby wants me to do a greenhouse, but I'm still on the fence about it. We'll see how many of my plants survive (and flourish!) before we get that serious! Either way, I'm hoping this will help out my tomatoes this year. 

This is just for cute. I caught somebody in the strawberries!

So, I'm not a huge fan of Rosemary, but it does have it's place. However, so it didn't take over my herb garden, I decided to container it (that's a word, right??)

HERBS! Yummy!

About half of my garden in the evening glow. This just makes me happy.

Inside the hoop house. Yes, I splurged on the orange tomato cages. I know, I know.

I'm hoping my snap peas (3 varieties) will get enough sun behind the hoop house!!


This bed has snow peas, green beans, red beans, black beans, golden beans, chard, yellow beets, and bull's blood beets in it. And garlic, obviously.

I'm still playing with the soakers in the rows. Advice? I am just not happy here. There is actually a fifth row on the other side of the planters too.


Oh, and this cutie was the real inspiration behind a new compost system. My old system (was hideous) and Mr. Fatty Pants (aka Jack) kept sneaking into it. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Faux Berries

Maybe you've seen this idea floating around the interwebs. The story goes something like this: 

- you paint some rocks like strawberries
- put them in your strawberry beds
- birds try (and fail) to eat them
- then when your strawberries DO pop, up the birds won't touch them!

Well, my friend Shelby is giving it a go this year! Hopefully she'll tell us how it turns out, so we we can make an informed decision next spring. Here are her lovely "strawberries"!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Million Little Things

I didn't have very much to do in the garden this week, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a super busy week! We are always doing things. If it's not sunny out (it wasn't) then I try to get inside chores caught up. On this week's agenda was lots of cleaning, baking, sewing, building, and painting. 

We had one sunny afternoon, so my little guy and I decided to paint some rocks for garden markers. I had been gathering them on my runs all week!

I also baked a couple of loaves of bread for the week and made some scratch/no MSG/no preservatives/all natural sausage biscuits to freeze for mornings when we all oversleep and a fresh breakfast isn't an option.

My lovely friend showed me how to do elastic (I have no idea why I was so scared of it!) and let me borrow her pattern so I could sew up some new diapers for my growing babe. I had scraps of organic hemp, organic cotton flannel, organic cotton fleece, and I bought a few fun prints and terry on sale for my new stash. 

We also started on our new woodshed since we are out of wood for the year. Luckily it's a warm spring and I don't think we will need anymore. My daddy came over to help out. I love that my hubby gets along with my family (and I with his!)

And just for fun, I chopped off all of my hair! I've never had my hair this short before, but I am loving it!

And that brings me back around! What do you do when there's nothing to do [in the garden]? 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mulch Much?

I know I said earlier, that my new grass was a fail, but I am thrilled that I was just impaitent!!! LOOK! New Grass!!!!! 

I also got some straw for the garden for mulch. Now, I know that there can be problems with straw: sprouting and slugs to name two. Gross. BUT, it will also seriously cut my water bill down and compost back in over the winter when I turn it in. It's natural and, maybe even more importantly, super duper cheap.