Friday, July 1, 2011

Tomatoes are just around the corner!

I have hated tomatoes for most of my life. It wasn't till about 4 or 5 years ago that I had my first fresh of the vine tomato and I was shocked at just how amazing it was. So, tomatoes have become one of the fruits that I look forward to popping up in my garden and eating fresh off the vine. This week has been a bit of a pre-tasting with a small number of tomatoes ripening in my various gardens. I have to saw if you are just starting out tomatoes are an essential to every garden. Whether flower or veggie you must have tomatoes. They can be used in a billion ways and there is nothing as tasty as a fresh of the vine tomato. Basil is a great companion plant and you are halfway to an amazing Italian meal!

I have been snacking on fresh peas for the past month but the sun has finally reached the point of frying them all along with a lot of my lettuces. however a few have survived and we are still enjoying fresh salad. We also just received a good batch of pickle cucumbers from the farm I work at so we will be making pickles real soon.

Basic Dill Pickles

8lbs. 3-4" pickling cukes
4 cp white vinegar
12 cp water
2/3 cp pickling salt
16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
8 sprigs fresh dill
8 heads fresh dill

Wash cucumbers, and place in a bowl of ice water. Soak for about 2 hours. Refresh ice as needed. Sterilize 8  1qt. canning jars.
In a large pot over med-high heat, combine vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring brine to boil.
Put 2 cloves of garlic , 1 head of dill, and enough cukes to fill in each jar. Add 2 more garlic halves and 1 dill sprig. Fill jars with hot brine. Clean jar rims and seal.
Process for 15min.
Store for at least 8 weeks before enjoying! Refrigerate after opening.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fall, then Spring, then Summer....

It's been way too long so here is a very quick update. I came out of hibernation around February and began volunteering at a local urban farm called Growing Awareness to learn as much as I could and to just be a a part of something cool. They put me in charge of their demo garden and I started planting in the fall. early spring tons of good things like peas, swish chard, leafy greens, and kale, yum! The backyard also started to get a little more order as I planted at home what I planted at GA.
Our Chickens have been laying beautiful eggs. One lays about 9 a week and another lays these huge jumbo eggs. She is also the loudest and I can't blame her I'd yell too.

The newbie urbanstead has a ton of fun things growing all over the yard:
salad mixes
tons of wildflowers
and I'm sure there is more I have forgotten.

I also started a job at a small farm, Red Tractor Farm, in order to learn more and make a little money to help out.

I have switched to a raw vegan diet which has messed with a lot of my homesteading recipes but has been great for always being in the garden and always having fresh food:).

And, I have started school again ( I wanna get some sort of agriculture degree at this point) which has been great but hard.

Anyway, that's the short bit. I will expound. I just wanted to catch everyone up.