Food Growing Mamas 2007 - Page 21 - Mothering Forums

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#601 of 624 Old 09-19-2007, 02:18 AM
 
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Don't stress about it. I'm sure whatever you pick out will be fine. That's wierd that you thought they tasted different. Where I grew up and we had them it was on the coast and cool.

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#602 of 624 Old 09-19-2007, 07:49 PM
 
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Do I count as a Food Growing Mama? Technically, I think I'm more of a Snack Growing Mama... let's just say our garden isn't huge.

It's the beginning of spring here in NZ, so my garden contains:

--Parsley, chives, marjoram and oregano in pots, left over from last year
--Sage in a hanging basket, which I've decided I don't like, so I'm letting it die but it won't
--Just-sprouting Roma tomatoes in buckets
--a lemon tree in a large pot, which has been growing three tiny lemons for the past six months
--snow peas, which I've had to replant twice because the chickens got into the garden (they haven't actually sprouted yet)
--dwarf peas, which are about two inches tall
--a few capsicums in pots which have *just* sprouted yesterday, much to my relief
--fancy lettuces in a strawberry pot, growing nicely
--rhubarb from last year, flourishing
--leeks and onions from last year. These are a puzzler. Last year I was very lazy and didn't thin them, so instead of growing or dying they just stayed put. This spring I noticed them and transplanted them around a larger area of garden, just to see what would happen--and a few of them are growing again! The trouble is, I've LONG since forgotten which are leeks and which are onions. I suspect they'll be extremely tough, maybe only suitable for flavouring stock; but that's entirely my fault so I can't complain!

I think that's all. I have some Brussels sprout seeds and corn seeds waiting to be planted, but I need more garden space first (gotta finally exhume some of those leeks/onions and deal with them!). I'm really not a gardener, but my father has exceptionally green thumbs so he gives me hints. I do have a compost... container... it's a large plastic storage container with a lid, probably meant to hold children's toys. I put all my food scraps in it and they smell revolting and attract many midges. I'm pretty sure something isn't right, but our landlord cuts the grass so we can't add grass clippings... and whether or not it works as compost, it's somewhere to put the food scraps so I've mostly just left it to its own devices. My mother has a worm farm and gave me an ice-cream containerfull of them recently, which was nice. Other than that I operate basically on benign neglect, only occasionally pulling the snails and slugs off my rhubarb to feed to the chickens.

I'd love to can but the thought terrifies me; plus with the amount my garden is likely to produce, I'd be lucky to get *one* jar of chutney! I may try freezing some homemade tomato sauce, though; we'll see how the Romas go.

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#603 of 624 Old 09-20-2007, 12:35 AM
 
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Being mamas we tend to neglect our gardens sometimes. Grow what you can. I had to finally give up on my basil I was growing. Now just focusing on a fall garden. That must be nice to just be getting into Spring there. I would love to visit NZ someday. Beautiful country.

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#604 of 624 Old 09-21-2007, 12:16 AM
 
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Apparently I was the only person in NZ last year whose basil didn't take over the garden! Very depressing to look down at your three tiny leaves while your friends are all exclaiming 'What do I DO with all this basil?' Better luck this year, I hope! I wanna make PESTO!

Yup, NZ is pretty beautiful. I recommend it for visiting, especially if you're a LOTR fan!

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#605 of 624 Old 09-25-2007, 11:15 PM
 
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It's been quiet here lately. I just got a rhubarb plant! Yippee! I'm so excited! It's in a hopefully big enough pot. Well, atleast for right now it is. Also my banana plant. Hopefully it stays alive. : Trying to get the wood from my raised bed from the farm. I couldn't fit it last time I was up there. Big pumpkins were in the way. I will need to plant my garlic and shallots soon. I did not realize Elephant Garlic was soooo big! It's huge! I'm excited! It will be fun to dig them up next year!

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#606 of 624 Old 09-25-2007, 11:36 PM
 
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I think I may have scared people off. I saw the word rhubarb and immediately thought 'hey, she's renting, wth?' Hopefully it'll stay in the pot for you and not try to grow out into the yard or something.

Are you talking about the elephant garlic cloves/bulbs being huge or the plant? Because if the plant's gonna be huge, I really should compensate for that when I plant soon.

I canned applesauce. And two double batches of vegetable stock. One double batch of chicken broth/stock. Giant batch of vegetable soup. And something else. More raspberry jam to follow. Along with the last of the green beans. And beef vegetable stew and split pea soup and lots more applesauce. I *really* like homemade applesauce.


Smokering - Canning really isn't as terrifying as it may seem. The first few times you can anything you may be nervous and it'll take five times as long as it's supposed to, but IMO it's got a learning curve. Before no time you'll be as insane as me and some other gals on here. And my garden's been a little sad in some regards this year, so I go corner people at the farmer's market and see if I can get some deals. I got 40 pounds of Gala apple seconds (i.e. some were small, a handful had a bug that burrowed, a few had a little brown splotch or were shaped funny - but in way better condition than anything from the grocery store) last Saturday for $20. Kept me busy yesterday/this morning.

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#607 of 624 Old 09-26-2007, 09:27 PM
 
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I finally used some of my leeks! I made a cream of spinach soup and added them in lieu of onion. To my surprise they weren't hideously tough! If I use up the rest of one row soon I'll have room to plant some basil; hope it decides to grow this year.

The rest of my garden is kinda stagnating. My capsicums and tomato plants have reluctantly sprouted, but aren't doing much in the way of getting bigger; likewise my peas and snow peas seem to have plateaued at a few inches high. It's vexing. On the other hand, my parsley's flourishing like you wouldn't believe and my baby fancy lettuces are sproinging up nicely.

lmonter: What equipment do you use for canning? Do you have a canning bath, etc? I'd be more keen to try if I knew I wouldn't have to buy loads of expensive equipment; which, given the projected yield of my garden, isn't likely to be worth it in the short-term at least.

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#608 of 624 Old 09-27-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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Hey i just found this thread! Yeah- I knew there had to be growers on this site

I am a city girl married to a "diggin in the dirt" kinda guy (we have an organic farm) I am really trying hard to learn all this stuff I just don't have a natural green thumb. I do the selling and so far just the picking. I am not keen on weeding though I know I will have to help with that next year. My kids are little so that was my excuse right now
anyway I just wanted to connect with other farmer/gardner mamas! Hello!
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#609 of 624 Old 09-28-2007, 02:48 AM
 
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I do the selling and so far just the picking. I am not keen on weeding though I know I will have to help with that next year. My kids are little so that was my excuse right now
I detest weeding with a passion. This year I discovered mulch. Mulch is your friend. Especially if it biodegrades/disintegrates over the winter.
Enjoy your little excuses - it won't work for long. This year dh told me if I wanted that big of a garden, it was all on me to weed. Next year is the last year I'm going to allow him to rototill anywhere I plan to plant though - I'm sick of him stirring up more weed seeds for me.

This coming year I'm debating trying to find a giant black tarp or five to put over the garden area when it's sunny but too cold/early to plant so the weeds don't come up before I can plant. Still thinking about it though.

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#610 of 624 Old 09-28-2007, 02:57 AM
 
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lmonter: What equipment do you use for canning? Do you have a canning bath, etc? I'd be more keen to try if I knew I wouldn't have to buy loads of expensive equipment; which, given the projected yield of my garden, isn't likely to be worth it in the short-term at least.
I have a water bath canner which I got from a local farm supply store for $43 - it came with the smaller Ball Blue Book, the rack, plastic bubble thing, jar lifter, magnetic lid thingie and the pour thingie (like a giant funnel, I can't remember the name of it right now). Then you just need jars and lids and whatever you're canning. Not too bad, especially if you're addicted to, say, homemade applesauce or a family secret recipe relish or *real* green beans like me.

We also have a pressure canner - it's a big one so I can either do 7 quarts or 2 layers of pints - up to 18 pints per load depending on what size jar I'm using at the time. Dh also got me an outdoor propane-fired camp stove so we can have that going on outside and away from the kiddos. It's now my hobby, so it's not going to even out cost-wise for at least another year or two. Especially when you add in that I convinced him that we need to plant two apple trees this year (hopefully he'll dig holes for me tomorrow).

One thing I have discovered is that I will not do used jars ever again. Unless I know the people they're coming from and have the time to inspect every single one. I bought and was given some jars via craigslist and freecycle. I've had some jars explode on me, which I don't appreciate. And I have no recourse since I didn't buy/get them from the store. : So now I buy from the store and leave the questionable ones (that have weird little scratches, cracks that look like they may worsen in the pressure canner, etc.) for shelf storage of things like my cinnamon sticks, split peas, ClearJel, salt, pasta, you name it.

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#611 of 624 Old 09-28-2007, 09:59 AM
 
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I have a water bath canner which I got from a local farm supply store for $43 - it came with the smaller Ball Blue Book, the rack, plastic bubble thing, jar lifter, magnetic lid thingie and the pour thingie (like a giant funnel, I can't remember the name of it right now). Then you just need jars and lids and whatever you're canning. Not too bad, especially if you're addicted to, say, homemade applesauce or a family secret recipe relish or *real* green beans like me.

We also have a pressure canner - it's a big one so I can either do 7 quarts or 2 layers of pints - up to 18 pints per load depending on what size jar I'm using at the time. Dh also got me an outdoor propane-fired camp stove so we can have that going on outside and away from the kiddos. It's now my hobby, so it's not going to even out cost-wise for at least another year or two. Especially when you add in that I convinced him that we need to plant two apple trees this year (hopefully he'll dig holes for me tomorrow).

One thing I have discovered is that I will not do used jars ever again. Unless I know the people they're coming from and have the time to inspect every single one. I bought and was given some jars via craigslist and freecycle. I've had some jars explode on me, which I don't appreciate. And I have no recourse since I didn't buy/get them from the store. : So now I buy from the store and leave the questionable ones (that have weird little scratches, cracks that look like they may worsen in the pressure canner, etc.) for shelf storage of things like my cinnamon sticks, split peas, ClearJel, salt, pasta, you name it.
Wow, L! I just spent a chunk of time reading your blog. I have to say you are one impressive person and gardner. You have two tiny little kids, plus you preserved all that food-- grew all that food. With two tiny kids. : And you make diapers as well? So again, wow. Very inspiring.

I have book marked your blog. I love how real you are, how honest, how determined. So many people yak about how they couldn't possibly do this or that etc-- but there you are, getting your hands dirty, doin' the math, with no whine factor. (And we all whine sometimes, so if I come across a whine in your blog, I'll be happy. lol!) You are one worker bee. And your dh, too. I can only imagine the satisfaction you both must have when you peek in the pantry, or admire your stash of wood, ready to go. And your little guys look very, very happy.

Go, you.
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#612 of 624 Old 09-28-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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I detest weeding with a passion. This year I discovered mulch. Mulch is your friend. Especially if it biodegrades/disintegrates over the winter.
Enjoy your little excuses - it won't work for long. This year dh told me if I wanted that big of a garden, it was all on me to weed. Next year is the last year I'm going to allow him to rototill anywhere I plan to plant though - I'm sick of him stirring up more weed seeds for me.

This coming year I'm debating trying to find a giant black tarp or five to put over the garden area when it's sunny but too cold/early to plant so the weeds don't come up before I can plant. Still thinking about it though.
we did some mulching -plan to do more next year
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#613 of 624 Old 09-28-2007, 03:10 PM
 
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Wow, L! I just spent a chunk of time reading your blog. I have to say you are one impressive person and gardner. You have two tiny little kids, plus you preserved all that food-- grew all that food. With two tiny kids. : And you make diapers as well? So again, wow. Very inspiring.

I have book marked your blog. I love how real you are, how honest, how determined. So many people yak about how they couldn't possibly do this or that etc-- but there you are, getting your hands dirty, doin' the math, with no whine factor. (And we all whine sometimes, so if I come across a whine in your blog, I'll be happy. lol!) You are one worker bee. And your dh, too. I can only imagine the satisfaction you both must have when you peek in the pantry, or admire your stash of wood, ready to go. And your little guys look very, very happy.

Go, you.
Aww, thank you.

Oh, don't worry, I have my no-good horrible days, too. It's just right now I'm focused on canning all the produce and veggies in my kitchen.
I do not make diapers though - last time I touched a sewing machine was in 8th grade for a hideous teal sweatshirt. I do now have one in cloth - my older one finally potty-learned himself back in August. And the kiddos... I tend to get more done while the little one's napping - the 4yo's gotten good at entertaining himself wherever we are. So he'll be across the yard messing around with dh's spare PVC pipe making a "railroad track" while I'm picking beans.

We're just *really* determined to do the food thing. Dh and I are both incredibly stubborn (which leads to conflicts here and there ) and decided that being somewhat self-sufficient is a very cool thing. Plus then I can do organic so the kids can eat just about anything straight from the garden.

What's kinda funny to me is that there's another MDC mama on xanga (her hubby has a public blog) who's got the whole homesteading thing going to a much greater degree than we do - so I ask her random questions and such because she knows more than I do. They have chickens and ducks and a cow (I think they just sold their goats) and a garden that's probably bigger than our house lot.

Off to blanch my tomatoes for salsa... *sigh* I will be done. At some point.

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#614 of 624 Old 09-28-2007, 06:42 PM
 
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I think I may have scared people off. I saw the word rhubarb and immediately thought ' hey, she's renting, wth?' Hopefully it'll stay in the pot for you and not try to grow out into the yard or something.

Are you talking about the elephant garlic cloves/bulbs being huge or the plant? Because if the plant's gonna be huge, I really should compensate for that when I plant soon.
Yeah, I've been wanting rhubarb for a very long time and thought maybe I could do it in a pot. It's a pretty big pot and then I have a couple half wine barrels I can re-pot it in next year when it starts coming up again.

Yeah, the cloves are huge! It's crazy. I've never planted them before so I don't know how big the plant will be, but the bulb is going to be really big.

I'm in AZ until Sunday. I'll be back on-line on Monday.

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#615 of 624 Old 09-28-2007, 06:52 PM
 
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I think elephant garlic only has like up to 8 (maybe 12) cloves in a head. A bit bigger than my fist unless you fertilize it or something freaky's going on. Not too bad, but definitely bigger than regular garlic.

In totally random news, I need to go have a business-proposition talk with my Tomato Lady about something next year. While I was in the shower today, I had the thought of maybe selling my fabulous relish and salsa via her farmer's market stand in exchange for her keeping some of the profit. She sells jams (for $4/half pint) and people snap those up like the world's ending. And nobody else at the market has anything like my relish or salsa, just raw ingredients. So... if I can grow a ton of stuff in our yard next year, I could potentially make a killing if I can sell lots of canned goodies.

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#616 of 624 Old 09-30-2007, 03:41 AM
 
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*dances* Okay, I just had to share my joy... DH and I have been picking leeks, and made a cream of spinach soup and vichyssoise using our own homegrown leeks this week. It's immensely satisfying, eating your own food... and I figure I've saved money already, even though we haven't used that many leeks. Considering how cheap the seeds were, and the fact that if I bought organic it'd be much more expensive, whereas these are organic 'for free'--I'm happy!

I was feeling a bit disillusioned about gardening for a while there, as many of my plants seem to have stalemated and will neither grow nor die. At least this is encouraging me that food growing is worthwhile!

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#617 of 624 Old 10-03-2007, 12:31 AM
 
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So, you know how excited I was about next year's garden? And how I was going to kick a$$ with it and can my little heart out? Looks like it just ain't gonna happen.

I guess if I get garlic in the ground and the baby apple trees planted in the next two weeks that'll be a darn good start. *sigh*

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#618 of 624 Old 10-03-2007, 01:02 AM
 
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So, you know how excited I was about next year's garden? And how I was going to kick a$$ with it and can my little heart out? Looks like it just ain't gonna happen.

I guess if I get garlic in the ground and the baby apple trees planted in the next two weeks that'll be a darn good start. *sigh*
See you make all these big plans.

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#619 of 624 Old 10-03-2007, 01:10 AM
 
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See you make all these big plans.

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#620 of 624 Old 10-05-2007, 12:17 AM
 
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This maybe a silly question, but has anyone been successful starting carrot seeds and then transplanting them in your garden? I just haven't gotten the wood to make my raised garden bed yet. I will get it tom. and then I need to fill it with dirt. This is going to be a process starting with nothing. Does anyone have any extra dirt they want to get rid of in the Sacramento CA area? : I have some limited compost to add to it, but that's it. Sigh.... It makes me want to thinking about it. I just want to garden.

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#621 of 624 Old 10-05-2007, 12:34 AM
 
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Call around to contractors or cruise new home developments. They have to excavate, right? Only trick is to find stuff that's been screened of boulders or giant potato-sized rocks. Or if nothing else, Fred Meyer has all their compost and potting soil and such on clearance right now to make more room for the Christmas stuff.

Or you could just fly up here and take care of my garden for me.

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#622 of 624 Old 10-05-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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Or you could just fly up here and take care of my garden for me.
Sounds good to me.

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#623 of 624 Old 02-26-2008, 11:45 AM
 
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hello I am new to the forum, actually any forums. For the past 2 years I worked as a HUmane Officer( exciting Job) but I recently decided to stay at home with my 4 kids again due to my job was taking ALL of my time away from them. It is important for me to raise my kids around gardening and small farming, i think they need this today since many kids are not exposed and it our jobs to preserve this for the next generation. plus groceries are just way too expensive anymore. ANywhooo. I just started my peppers and tomatoes seeds indoors, and I was hoping to get some insight to when to get the carrots, beets, raddishes and parsnips started? I know some people sow directly into garden but I wanted to transplant while small. I heard I can actually plant them mid april here in Indiana? that they like the cooler spring temps.. any thought?

I also am going to try the vine peaches this year. Im not going into it expecting peaches but they say they taste like mangos? We will see.

Ive read what everyone is planting I have also started Poblano peppers, I didnt see them on anyones list. I started early and they are doing great! I know they have a longer grow season so if I plan it right it should work.

We also raise our own chickens for eggs and meat, this year im going to tackle turkeys as well. We have geese guineas and ducks too but I just can seem to eat them..

thanks
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#624 of 624 Old 02-26-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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:

We (or rather Farmer Cathy) started a new thread for this year http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=824688 (in case I messed that up it is Food Growing Mamas 2008). hop over!
Either a local Master Gardener Type website or your agriculture extension will have planting times if you google 'em.
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