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Friday, November 2, 2007

Goodnight Garden

Wow! It's been awhile! Between a trip to the Twin Cities to visit friends (and to reaffirm that I am not a city girl, although I like to hang out with city friends) and everyone in our family having colds, I haven't gotten around to posting much. Sorry.

I have had a hard time getting our house back into a routine since I was struck with poison ivy and blood poisoning. The poison ivy actually threw me off the worst though since I only had one hand to work with. We also have another fiasco that we are dealing with that I might post about later. So yesterday was the first day I have made bread in over a month. It was strange to have store bought bread again - which I noticed really doesn't have much substance to it, and it was nice to finally have home made again - although I wouldn't mind a lesson from an expert on it.

Just as my bread making had gone by the wayside, so has my garden. I have managed to pick beans for our suppers, but that is about it. We have had frost now, so the tomatoes are done. I was sad to see that I missed a lot of red ones, but I was able to preserve a lot still. The bean leaves also took a hit from the frost, but the beans that are on them are still good. I think I can pull enough off for one more supper. We have some fall lettuce going strong yet too which I can add in to our menu. The only other plants, besides flowers, that looked like they still had some life left in them were my carrots and my fall planting of peas. The peas are beautiful and have blossoms on them, but they probably won't hang on long enough to give me any peas. I'm not disappointed though. As I mentioned in an earlier post,Fall Plantings, these fall peas were mainly an experiment, and I wasn't banking on getting anything from them.

I could have let my carrots go a bit longer I think, but the kids and I needed some fresh air, and it was a beautiful day for digging carrots. We went out this afternoon before supper and worked together on the project - most of the time at least. The kids came back and forth between their outdoor toys. I would dig and pull up the carrots and then toss them over the fence. Caleb and Hannah would then gather them up and put them in the box. After they were all dug, we snapped off the stems, threw the greens in the garden, and put the carrots back in the box. It was fun seeing how much Caleb and Hannah enjoyed the whole process. They felt pretty important as they helped - just click on the picture and look at their faces. :) The carrot that Caleb is holding isn't really that good of an example of our carrots, but it was about all that was left at the time. I ended up with a nice box of carrots considering our garden gets a lot of shade and is hindered by "toxins" that our walnut tree roots give off.

Also, tonight I dug up my yams. I wasn't really expecting to get anything from them - another experiment. I started yam vines off of a store bought yam this spring and transplanted them/it to the garden. I should have started my shoots earlier than I did, however I was excited to find enough yams tonight to give everyone a scoop at a meal. I think next year I will be able to get a good crop of them.

So now my garden looks quite bare. There are my peas that I will just keep watching, some lettuce to make salads with, and my frost bit beans that still hold enough beans for one more meal. Besides those and the flowers, I have pulled everything else up. I have also given Ethan the go-ahead to move the chickens through. Hopefully they will find some yummy pests to eat up in between the scattered remains of our vegetables and do some fertilizing while they are at it.


~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...

We are all sick with colds right now too. I'm praying we'll be better in time for Activity Day Friday. Ü

Glad to hear your P.I. is going away. Phew!!

CUTE kids!!

HEY --I'm going to try a squash and yam soup this month. I"ll let you know how it turns out. LOL

Blair Family. said...


Okay, I'd love to try to grow yams, of course I looked in the store last year and found nothing. Tell me how you did your starter and what you would do different. Also, regarding the post about Caleb's pumpkin, did you just save the seeds and dry them? I'd like to try that next year too but have no clue how to.

Hope you're doing well!

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Yams are so fun! I wish I would have known about them before. Here's what to do:

1)Place a store bought yam half way in water. You can suspend it in a jar by poking toothpicks around the yam.

2)Place the yam in a sunny window and keep an eye on the water level. It will grow roots in the water and sprouts above the water.

3)Let the sprouts grow into vines - about 4-5 inches long.

4)Snap the vines off and push one end into a potting mix. Keep them well watered. The vine will root and continue to grow.

5)When it is established, move them to the garden.

Last spring I started them a bit late and didn't get them into the garden soon enough. This year I might start them in February, unless I hear better advice from someone! I hope to make a post around then showing the process by photos, and also how to make homemade planting pots.

For the pumpkin seeds, I just wash them off (probably don't have to) and dry them. Make sure you dry them well and keep them in a paper, not plastic, bag or envelope so they don't mold. You can do this with many kinds of seeds, but they might not turn out like the original unless you are saving them from an heirloom variety.

Hope that helps.

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