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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Garden Fencing

Things have been quite different around the farm with Ethan's torn achilles tendon.  I have pictures of my August garden, I just haven't had a chance to put my post together.  In an attempt to keep my blog going, I have a post from a guest blogger - our 8 year old son, Caleb.  Enjoy. :)

On August 22nd we had a work day to put fence around the garden to keep the animals out. It was at my house. We had family and friends come to help.

I helped dig holes and put posts in the ground. I watched and learned that the more square it is the better it looks. We used steel and wood posts, and we put the small wood posts 30'' in the ground and the big wood posts 36''. 

I had fun helping on Work Day.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Potatoes and Sweet Corn - Ethan's Favorites!

Ethan's a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and corn is also one of the few veggies he will eat.  So this week's harvest is for him!
The kids and I finished bringing in the last of the potatoes.  My potato plants got skeletonized this year from potato beetles so I was happy with what I got.  Next year I am hoping my secret garden weapon (guinea foul that I hatched out) will help take care of garden pests.

I also started to bring in the first of the sweet corn. We have had a historical drought this year, so many of my corn plants didn't put on ears or if they did, they didn't pollinate.  Again, I am happy with what I have gotten so far due to the year.
 The first, and probably biggest, picking of corn.

 Not a ton, but it ended up being more than I expected in the roaster.

I like to pack my food to freeze into sandwich baggies which I put put into gallon freezer zip locks.  It allows me to freeze smaller portions for recipe flexibility and less waste.  Sandwich baggies are also cheaper to toss than quart zip locks.  When I empty a gallon zip lock, I will rinse it out (although it is usually clean), and store it for the next harvest - just changing the year on the bag.

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Tools of My Trade
For awhile I would use a knife to cut the kernels off of sweet corn. I wasn't ever happy with how my corn would turn out though. I either spent too much time trying to cut the kernels off just right or I would end up cutting too deep or not deep enough, making my corn too dry or wasting corn. I rarely buy things from home sales companies, but I decided to try the kernel cutter from pampered chef after hearing the great reviews my friend gave of it. They, of all people, know their sweet corn as they have a very successful sweet corn business and freeze a lot of corn themselves. This purchase kitchen tool was definitely worth the price and worth giving up some kitchen drawer space! After all of the work of planting, caring for, and trying to preserve sweet corn, it is nice to save a bit of time in the preparing process and end up with perfectly cut corn. You can find this cutter through your local pampered chef consultant or from the link below.

When cutting my corn, I have also substantially reduced my mess by placing a cutting board on the bottom of my roaster and cutting my corn inside my roaster. It keeps the splatters off of the table, corn from spilling out of my pan, and cuts down on the times I have to empty containers. A cookie sheet, pan, or any large, sterile tub will do, but since I have a roaster handy, I take full advantage of it. Although a roaster might be hard to find at a garage sale or from an individual no longer needing one, you might be able to snatch one at an estate auction. I placed a 22 qt roaster (vs the 18 quart) on my Christmas list. I use it for multiple projects, and not just ones where I need to heat with it. I can't remember how I functioned with out it! Below is the link to the roaster I own, and I am very happy with it..

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