Fyi this is -NOT- my picture... I'm have camera issues again... cattail-shoot-wild-foraged-foraging-bicycle-bikeWe went out this morning and gathered some cattail shoots to try. I have never eaten them before and neither has Silver. So we went over to the pond across the street, me wearing shorts. To gather some from our neighbor as the ones we have planted do not have enough of a hold in the pond to be worth harvesting from. I am glad it is a not cold morning as the water was definitely cold and let me say unless you have a dry spot, you will be in the water to try and get your shoots. They are almost at the stage of not being small enough to eat. Granted there are tons of “baby” cattails growing there, no bigger than wild onions. From the instructions I received on it the section I want is the white part closest to the “tuber” without cutting up the tuber. I harvested about 8 of them of different sizes. They have a pleasant aroma when they are cut semi-sweet. After cleaning off the outer section that was a little tough and washing them thoroughly we tried them raw. They taste very good raw, slightly sweet. I have discovered that lightly frying them in olive oil ruins their flavor. Silver's estimation of them they would be best serves sliced up on a salad raw or maybe in a stew. If anyone has an “cooking” recommendations for cattail shoots please pass them along. I love the flavor and want to find other uses for them. BE Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
Well I'm sitting here waiting for my chicken bones to de-pressure so I figured I'd write something today.  Not as much as yesterday mind you... btw in case you were wondering it came out to about 4 pages on my word prossesor when I converted it over.  Looks back a few words.  I love those spelling mistakes that the "suggestions" have no correction for even when you know you spelled it wrong; but cannot spell it right.

I have watered all of my plants that I put in yesterday and they do seem to be doing rather well except for 1 of the red cabbages.  That poor thing is drooping.  I think I know why too, it got only about 1/2 of the roots available when I had to cut them apart.  So it probably does not have enough roots to make it.

We discovered this morning that the 2 hoses we are using can reach everything but... The pecan tree and the current.  No biggie, we need at least one new hose as one of the 2 like I said has a leaky connector.

I have discovered this morning that we have 1 small frog living near our pond.  I hope there is more but 1 is a start.  My blue berry is looking very promising so far and I hope it produces well this year.  It has buds everywhere, it looks as healthy as the Elderberries do.

Once I get my soup going I get to go out and do some clearing near all of my plantings from yesterday.  Just to ensure no over crowding and plenty of sun for my new plants.  I did notice the Kale seems to have sprouted finally, just when I was ready to give up on them.  I also may have one carrot sprout, we'll see as it grows.

Time to go work on the soup,

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Yes today was my planting day.  It opened with showers that we just barely south of us, and a little cool.  So I started off with getting the laundry out, which kept me busy till about 10 am.  Which is when I figured it would be best to get started as I did not want to work the soil before it warmed some.  Yesterday when we picked up another straw bale for the chickens I "mucked out" the coop to use in the soil mixing I was going to do today. soil mix So This is the "mix" I used for my plantings today.  What it contains is: Peat Moss chicken manure (straw included) wood ash homemade charcoal oyster shell leftover compost from last year local "soil" which is mostly clay The manure and the soil needed some breaking up to be usable and mixed in.  The manure still had some straw that wasn't composted as yet.  The layer closest to the top was this way. pecan in package This is my new Pecan seedling, it's a Stuart Pecan.  From what I have looked up it says that it is a Moderate producer.  Which isn't all that bad for me.  I like Pecans, but I think one tree will suffice for us.  They also  seem to grow to 100ft tall if they do well. I planted this one in the end of one of the trenches we dug for the apple trees that aren't coming.  We had to back fill a little bit just so that it would be at ground level.  This little "guy" was a surprise when we went to the farm store the other day.   I had not seen them selling Pecan trees before so when I saw it and noticed the price I felt it was worth the cost to get it. When we planted this I put some of the nearby branches and brier into the hole before we back filled.  I know that they will eventually decompose down adding more nutrients to the soil there so it'll help.  When I finally got him out of his wrapper I noticed quite happily that this little one was not root bound at all.  It also told me just how young this seedling is too. We wound up putting 2 gallons of water around it.  The peat moss really soaked it up.  I also added some of the fresh straw to the ground at ground level around it.  Just to help protect it.  We had to berm up some of the straight soil next to it as we didn't want the soil or water washing away. Here it is fully into the ground: pecan in ground Isn't it cute?  I know it's tiny, but my thought on that is; it'll grow up with our home.  It came with a tiny bamboo stake to tie it too until it gets stronger.  Probably a good idea around here as I have seen trees here that are growing tilted or sideways.  I image it's due to the wind we get here. Also this was the first thing I planted, I figured due to the size best get it in the ground first so that it'll have the most time to acclimate before night.  That tie on it?  It came with the plant.  I also discovered that there was a second one inside the "bedding" it had. Funny story about the ties these kinds of plants have on them.  Like most this had one of those pieces of metal tieing it shut.  On time many years ago I cut it off... instead of untwisting it.  I learned my lesson there... The next plant we put into the ground was a Red Current: red current in package We did get this one from the same store as the Pecan.  Now I am a little concerned that this one won't due much as last time I bought a "boxed" plant it didn't do hardly anything.  Those were the grapes I bought from SAMs club before moving here that we planted when we moved here.  Thing is they never grew, and from what a local grape grower told me.  The ones SAMs sold didn't do anything for her either.  This woman grows them for sale to the public so she knows how to treat grapes.  ... but those ones didn't grow either.  That tells me a great deal. This lovely little lady has been planted near my up and coming berry patch near my pond.  Actually if you were looking right at the pond from the driveway it would be on the back side of it.  Partially obstructed by a tree stump that we left to use for growing things over. I am growing my berries near the pond as the blackberries along the road were the biggest near the stream running across our road.  So my thought is why not try to duplicate this by growing the berries near the pond?  Worst thing that happens is that the plants don't grow huge berries.  Ok, technically the -worst- would be that they don't grow, so far my blue berry does though.  So that gives me hope that the other berries will too.  I know the wild black berries do. This one and all the other "non-garden" plantings are getting stakes around them to prevent kids and people from crushing them... red current in ground Seeing as how most of the plantings I have done that I recall where the plants are... no one else can.  Even when they have helped me plant them.  See the little leaves?  I also noticed when I unwrapped her that there are some "sucker" plants starting.  If it becomes a massive bush I have no issues.  I want to have as many plants as I can as fruits I can dry or can.  Canning as jams and just syruped fruit. Before anyone asked, no I have not had currents as of yet.  However I have not tried a berry that I didn't like as of yet.  Besides if they are dried and mixed with other fruits, I doubt that if I don't like them that I would notice the flavor much.  Especially if I mix them with strawberries. Speaking of which, they are doing very well I  am hoping to take a few pics for my next posting. Now here is something interesting to note.. while the Pecan is on one side of where the house will be and the current is by the pond, the next plant is going near the pecan.  However I planted it 3rd.  The reason is, we needed to gather a bit more compost so as we had to go close to where the current was going to be planted we just did it while there. The next plant?  Why that's my White Niagara Grape: white Niagara grape in package I had to take a picture of this one on the table as  with all that growth I didn't dare put it in the wheel barrow to do so.  Yes, another "boxed" plant.  My thoughts however in this case is that with that much growth (including the starts of 3 bunches) It may do very well. This one is being planted right next to where my outdoor kitchen is going, it is going to be trained up the side with a goat panel.  We still need to get said goat panel.  This way we'll have a nice green screen on one wall of the outdoor kitchen.  It'll also benefit the grape as that spot gets a great deal of sun. Tomorrow I need to go back and do some trimming around it, as I didn't have time to as yet.  I'm sure the bramble won't choke it just yet.  It has a "hook" on the stem that we pointed so that it is growing in the right direction from the start. Lets just hope if it grows well in the next month I won't have to do much prying to get it where I want it.  As from what I hear it's not easy getting a wayward grape to go in the right direction if it gets too big.  These first three plants were all bought at the same store, the grape is what decided me to get any plants.  As I could not pass up how healthy this one was. So we had the hole for this one dug well before planting as Silver dug it while I was prepping for the current. whit niagara grape in ground The funny thing is the rest of my plantings were harder in some ways than planting these three plants.  We moved on to the garden next. What we did first however was to make a barrow full of the soil mix and dumped it on the spot that I had planted the Rhubarb that hasn't shown signs of life.  We planted some horseradish in this. After which we both figured out we might want to get the hose out and set it up to use.  AS it would be a big pain to water in the garden with jugs and buckets. We have 2 good hoses and 2 bad ones, or more like 2 "useable" ones and 2 bad ones.  I say "useable" as one of them leaks like a sieve at the connection point.  Other than that it may last the year. We moved onto my "middle" bed in the garden, and while Silver wrestled with the hoses I loosened the top soil.  I had to use my pickax for it. cabbage plants The track hoe tore up half the soil in the bed so I had to loosen it all up and respread it.  I also added a little bit of the soil mix to help add more to the soil.  These are my 12 cabbages.  They are on the outside of the bed. I am planning on putting 2 squash plants in the center when they can be planted.  My thoughts are that the cabbages will help keep the soil cool if we have another bad heat year.  The squash will also help the cabbages in the same manner. What I did with the plantings is I went one green one red all around the edge of the planting bed.  I then planted onions between each one, and a line of "spring onions  inside the bed from the cabbages. These were plants that were grown locally by a nearby nursery, the only thing I didn't like was that they were grown in a carton that all the roots grow together.  So I had to cut the plants out. cabbages in ground This is what the bed looked like when I finished with it.  I took the picture when I was watering the bed.  I also watered the potatoes when I was out there as they looked a little dry. When I was setting up the bed I had to remove a bunch of clover, which my ladies were very happy.  I'd say about 3 pounds of clover to them to inhale.  Which is what they did. I know my soil is getting very good now as when I had to dig it up some I found tons of worms in it.  SO I must be doing something right. After finishing all of this I went up front and after making lunch I cleared another of the tires and planted my garlic in it.  We have yet to grow it, so I am hoping it does well. We moved onto the sprouts and broccoli next. broccli I reused the buckets from last year's tomatoes with the sprouts and the broccoli as well as the remainder of the ONION and the rosemary.  I capitalized the onions as again I bought way to many so I have onions growing every where right now. I have 5 of these "supplement" buckets, these are buckets where the farm stores sell a feed supplement to farmers.  They sometimes bring them back to the farm stores and then they in turn resell them for people to use to plant in. I have noticed if you need to cut up your plants it's best to let them get a little dry first as I don't recommend cutting them when they are wet.  It's like cutting paper when they are a little dry. Our Rosemary is 2 pots of three plants in each pot so we are hoping they grow big, and together. I had one more thing to plant. tulips Tulips! I like Tulips, I have as yet to plant some before now.  These I bought "spent" for $1 at Walmart before they would be tossed out.  The cashier was happy to see someone buy them.  As you can just plant them in your yard after they stop blooming. Each pot had 6-8 bulbs in them, also a few of them had baby bulbs growing.  I had 5 pots worth of them.  I planted 2 pots up by our house sign, 2 pots by my rose, and one pot buy the pond. So I finished at about 2:30pm so I spent hours planting.  My feet hurt as does my back.. but it's a HAPPY hurt.  I accomplished something today, getting my plants in.  Silver also set out the boards we bought yesterday to plan out our bigger well house and where the floor of the outdoor kitchen will be.  We had to buy pressure treated as they were cheaper than landscape timbers. Yesterday if you didn't figure it out Silver got out Wheel barrow fixed.  We had to buy an inner tube that was bigger than the one that was on it.  However it worked and now we have a wheel barrow again. That's my fun and busy day, I have to post my pics on pintrest then I will be making dinner! Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
Well it's a lovely cold morning, so nice to have to light a fire on the first day of spring... yeah ...  Anyway. not much going on with the weather not co-operating.  WE have a winter storm warning which starts  I did manage to get something done yesterday, besides laundry.

I went out and first I fluffed up the potato patch and then I planted my seed potatoes (we didn't manage to get the sun chokes again).  The one red potato I planted last fall is starting to  grow as well.  I did have a surprise when I got out the seed potatoes, they had all sprouted and had roots on them already.  So on the few I had to cut down to be smaller I cut them so that they would all have some actual roots on them.

Had some good news from the weather people the other day, due to all the precipitation we have gotten ourselves out of the "severe drought", and are now just listed as "dry"; I am hoping pretty soon we'll be past that too.

A friend of our's Mark Cheneil writer of the "Missouri Journal"  over on is in the hospital, we all wish him good health; and to get well.

That's it for now...

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

I WANT Spring so badly as I'm so sick of MUD.  Tons of MUD.  I HATE MUD... I REALLY HATE MUD.  Know why?  It is because the MUD we have is clay, it's THICK and HEAVY and if it gets on your foot wear it feels like you dded another 50lbs to your feet.  So I am tired of MUD. Sad thing is in Spring we normally get tons of rain so that means... you guessed it more MUD.

I also think the idea of daylight savings time is so outdated that it really should not exist.  Now when I went to school we were taught that it was started so that farmers would have more daylight hours to work their farms.  Well, now-a-days it's kinda un-nessicary for the need to have the farmers working in daylight as tractors,combines, etc all have headlights that could bring in a 747. Also I know that Amish farmers generally don't use the concept of daylight savings time, so who really benefits from it?

Kids that's who.  Now think on this... Kids that have to walk any distance to either get to school or their bus stop during the early morning will have more light during fall back than if the time was at normal.  Ok, well I can see a point there... BUT... again I must comment on modern society here.  There are tons of flashlights out there on the market that people can use to see with at early morning hours, so the kids can still be safe.

How many people wind up late for work right after "time change" and use it as an excuse?  Doesn't seem that it is nessicary at all does it? I certainly don't see a point to it.  As it is there are places in the US that do not even use it anyway.  Some are farming communities, strange huh?

Well, I'll get off my soap box now... and talk about here.

Well, aside from my 3 sweet peppers all my tray starts have died.  I have replanted the tomatoes and egg plants, but I'm worried I may have to buy some plants this year.  If so there is a small local nursery here that a nice farmer owns, his plants are always good.  I bought flowers from him the first year here.

Now that the snow is melted and the days are warm enough to dry the mud some, the pond has lost some water.  No worries though as it is still over 1/2 full.  Tuesday I am going out to gather cat tail roots for it, I am also planning on planting the taters then.  My flowers are all coming up and I think I may have a couple more day lilies this year than last year.  I still have to come up with some amendments for the apple trees that are coming sometime this month they are suppose to be shipped Monday.  So we'll see.

That's it for now.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Well it's coming to that time of year my friends, and I am hoping to have my taters in the ground by week's end.  Also I just found out that the Elderberry trees have baby leaves on them.  As the snow is melting in the lovely temps of the last few days our pond shrank a little, which I expected; I hope the rest of the water stays.  My day lilies are coming up as well, so I defiantly think that the warm weather is on it's way.  I set my plant starts outside they have to come inside tonight, but they should be able to get some time outside tomorrow too.  My good tomatoes are not doing as well with the weaker light we have this year.  While the eggplants love it.   Go figure.

Hope it's warm by you!

Be Well, BE Safe, and Blessed Be...

As in yesterday the kids had a snow day.  We had a reasonable amount of snow finally for this winter, and due to the rain that fell before the snow... full pond As you can now see the pond is now full!  YEAH!  Now if it just stays full we'll be doing very well.  The fun part we had yesterday was that the top was all slush. so just to see we were tossing snow balls onto the top of the pond and it would hit the slush leaving a dent in the slush which under it would fill with liquid water. Do you see all that wonderful snow??    It was a fun storm that is for sure as it had started us off with rain Monday afternoon.  Then in the evening, and I was watching it happen.  We got large fluffy snow flakes that as I watched were "sticking" to the ground. ...and as for my comment about watching it.  I was standing at the door making sure the dogs didn't run off while they went out to go do their business; which took less than five minutes.  So I saw the snow starting to fall and "stick" in that time frame. At 4 am yesterday morning we got the message that the kids would be off of school for the day.  Which after I opened the door yesterday morning I understood why buses here wouldn't be able to pick up the kids.  As I know the buses here do not use chains they would not have done the dirt roads here yesterday. So this morning looking at all the school closings lists the kids were semi disappointed that they were going to school today.  I guess the school determined that the roads were used enough so their would be grooves in the snow on the dirt roads.  I am not sure how much the school bus the kids are on traverse the dirt roads around here. This morning the weather person told us due to what the storm is doing we may have snow for the next few days, on and off.  Well I know this will help our "rainfall totals" so that's good.  Though we may wind up with a bit of flooding when it all melts.  Good thing we live on a hill. We lost our internet for a portion of yesterday as after the snow storm the dish was coated with snow.  So Silver had to go out and clean it off carefully, and that did it.  Though  for some reason at some point last night it went out again.  Maybe one of these days I'll get to pintrist and put in all the pics I have to put in there.   Well I have to run the kids around to get them moving a bit more this morning.  Have a great day.   Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
Well this morning on my way to feed the chickens I got myself a nice surprise(yes I know "got is baaaad grammar but in this case it suits my needs). pond half full 2 As you can see we seem to have a tad bit more water in our pond.  As yesterday when we went out to work it was about 1/8 of the way full seeing it at about 1/2 was a big surprise.  A good surprise  but still a surprise. Yesterday the pond was not was smooth as it is now in this picture, and as you can see it is only half the pond.  That... unfortunately is due tot he fact that after I fed the chickens I ran back into the house for the camera and got a beautiful picture of the full pond.  Then I slid on the ice and it fell into the water. I fished it back out, but as I don'rt know if I'll get the image off of the camera I went and got our old smart phone and used it's camera as I know it has a nice camera on it.  I guess if this keeps up I need to get use to using the phone camera, we should know in a few hours to a couple days if the camera survives the trip into the pond. As for the pond itself we are suppose to get more rain today then it changes to snow tonight for the next to days.  So it is very possible we will have a full pond by week's end.  Now we just have to hope it stays full.  If it doesn't we will try Silver's method of "sealing" the pond bottom with clay cat litter.  He says if you get straight clay cat litter and make a slurry of it and coat the bottom of the pond it will seal the "leaks" in it.  Hey, if it works that's good. Here is the other picture of the pond. pond half full 1The only spot it hasn't done much yet is on the shallow end, which is where my cat tails are going to be growing when the pond is full and it gets warmer.  Though I imagine the blackberry canes that grow on that side of the pond will now wind up HUGE with all the extra water they will have there. Pity Paris died over the summer she'd have a blast this summer with a pond in our yard, the two pups do not even seem interested in investigating the pond as it is now.  Neither does Midnight their daddy.  Can't wait to see the cats when it's full of water and try to walk across that log over the middle. As for the rest of the water that is in our yard... All of our trenches have water in them, also the new septic for the house has a layer of water in it as well.  Funny thing is as I was leaving to feed the chickens and was walking next to the electric trench and noticed the water I thought to myself.  I'd live to see that much water in the pond.  Guess that falls under the "ask and ye shall receive" heading huh? We still need to get the piles of mud down a bit, which I am figuring they will work good to "deter" some of the plant growth I don't want in some areas.  We also have to restore the trench that went from the section of woods that line the road to our pond as it was the natural draining area.  I'm going to have to hand dig it.  At least it will ensure steady influx of fresh water though. I also did notice that when I watched the water in the pond yesterday that it was still bubbling from the ground up, so it's possible it may stay liquid at the deepest parts in the winter which would be great for raising fish. Well that's it before breakfast, which is going to be beef hash (leftover from last night's roast) with eggs on top and maybe some of my fresh sourdough.  While my oven is on the fritz I can only make my "no knead" sourdough bread as it cooks at 500 degrees. ..and don't forget today's moral... don't stand on ice above a pond to take pictures with your camera!   Have a good day all! Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
Yes, I have some minor news for all who are keeping up with what is going on here.  Yesterday evening me and Silver went out to peek at the pond and discovered that it is about an 1/8 of the way full.  So we seem, so far to have a good possibility of having a full pond.  I am certainly hoping it'll be full enough by the time the local farm store has their fish ordering days.  As they will send for catfish, I do not know if they do tilipia or not though.

I will be once the pond is full enough and it's warm enough.  Be going across the street to get some cat tails and one bucket of pond water.   Why the pond water?  Well I have in one of my homesteading books that the best way to make sure you have the right microbial life in your home made pond is to go to a living one and get a bucketful of it's water and dump it into your own.  There by adding the "pond life" that is surviving in one pond to your own.  Also this way you know the microbial life is acclimatized to your area as well.

I already have permission from the people who own the property across the way to go over and gather some cat tails.  They had, had a hard time finding a place that sold them when they put them in, so they were very willing to let me go and get some once we had a pond set up.  Now that said I know of one nursery that has cat tails at it also Lowes has them in the middle of summer in their "water garden" area.  So I do have them available if necessary, but I'd prefer to get some that have grown "wild"

That's  it for now, have a good Saturday!

BE Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Well here we are the morning after the storm and I'm making brownies.  Sourdough brownies specifically, it takes about 25 minutes after the sponge sets most of the night to mix them.  However I am a tad worried that they might come out a bit burnt as my oven is now running a lot hotter than it was before.

As for the storm...?  Well we have ice, we have snow, and we have power.  That makes me happy, not long after my post yesterday our internet went out for the whole day, it was expected as we have satellite internet; breathe the wrong way and it goes out.  The kids again have no school so lets see... They had a total of 2 days of school this week, guess it's better then them not having any school at all.  Granted though some school are having a late start today it would be near impossible for them to walk to the bus stop safely.  Also as Silver mentioned yesterday due to the ice, we are not driving for the next couple of days.

We are planning on either tomorrow or Sunday to go out and set the rebar stakes into the ground, more likely on Sunday as we are going to be in the 50's then.  Maybe I'll cook something outside on our mini grill if it's going to be that nice out.  Though we had something interesting in the storm previous to yesterday's.  The old dishwasher that was left on our property before we got here that we are going to turn into a smoker was knocked onto it's side by wind.  Now it's sat on it's base for years and a couple of days ago it gets knocked over?  Defiantly a strong wind, or rather strong gusts.  The wind that day also picked up one of our 2 good outdoor chairs and dropped it in the pond breaking it.  So now we are down to one outdoor chair, we need a couple more; hopefully we can find some more cheaply as we still have building supplies to buy.

Speaking of which on next Friday we will have money again and after bills/animal  feed/gas are paid for and my DL is replaced we are going to go and buy soil for the apple trees then the next item on our building supply list.  Which may be either wire, pipe or fencing for the dome itself.  Depends on what we have left really.

Well have a nice day all, I have to go check my brownies as they are starting to smell very done way to soon.  Where did I put that aluminum foil again?

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...