Sunday, May 3, 2015

What a Difference a Month Makes

The garden is growing fast now.  We're picking asparagus and rhubarb by the dishpansful.  Both are so delicious!  This past week I made rhubarb jam and rhubarb ginger jam.  Both are quite tasty, but I prefer the just plain rhubarb jam.  It tastes like rhubarb pie without the crust.  We've been eating fresh asparagus often, plus, I've been blanching it, bagging it, and putting it in the freezer for later.

Pony Express Farmers' Market opened on April 25, so we've been there a couple of Saturdays.  It's open every Saturday and Wednesday, 7a.m. - 1p.m.  It's located in the East Hills parking lot on the east side of the mall next to Woodbine Road in St. Joseph.  We don't have enough produce right now to go twice a week, so we just go on Saturdays at this point.  We've been selling our asparagus, rhubarb, farm fresh eggs, and homemade jams and jellies.  Other vendors are selling bedding plants, baked goods, brats, and a variety of crafts.  We got rained on most of the morning yesterday, but the temperature was not so cold, so we were pretty comfortable overall.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Birdhouse Gourds

I've been cleaning, sanding and painting birdhouse gourds so we can hang them in the trees.  The colors on these show up pretty true except for the top one.  It is red.  These are gourds we grew several years ago, so they are good and dry and easy to work with.
 Today we picked our first handful of asparagus.  That's pretty exciting as far as I'm concerned.  There are lots more spears beginning to push through the ground.  With a little warm weather, they'll be up in no time!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Plants and Seeds are Growing!

This morning we finished planting strawberry plants.  We put some in the ground a couple of days ago and finished today.  These plants will produce strawberries next year.  The berries we get this year will be from plants we planted a couple of years ago.  We try to plant a few new ones each year and till up the plants that are 3 - 4 years old.
These are rhubarb leaves.  We have 10 plants and their leaves appear to be bursting through the ground this spring.  We'll be looking forward to the stems getting large enough to harvest.  I'm hungry for rhubarb crisp already!
Some of our first-planted seeds are sprouting and coming through the ground.  This is the first planting of radishes.  The turnip row is showing up now too.

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Warm Day Today

The high temperature here today is 77 degrees.  We've been planting peas, beets, lettuce, spinach and more potatoes.  The dogs are "dog tired."  Luther is relaxing next to the raised bed where I planted the spinach.
Eko chose the shade on the patio within short distance of her water bowl.
They've both had a busy day hanging out with us while we tilled, planted and watered the garden.  Luther took off like a streak once, trying to chase down a turkey vulture which flew over and then landed in a tree to the south.  Hundreds of grackles are flying around again, so that offers lots of excitement and opportunities for chasing.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring Roller-coaster

The roller-coaster that is spring has begun.  We have a wide variety of weather and a wide variety of tasks to complete.  The work to clean up the trash trees and brush from our north tree line continues.  Note that Dylan is in winter gear as he works on this.
A day later the weather is sunny and warm and we're drinking iced tea and cutting seed potatoes on the deck.  What a beautiful day this was!  We also got 100 pounds of potatoes planted.
Then we got rain, which was wonderful; an inch and a half.  Besides potatoes, we also had some radish and turnip seeds in the ground, so they'll be ready to start growing.
Then, yesterday was the Spring Market in Oregon, MO.  This quilt that I made this winter sold along with infinity scarves and lots of crocheted items.  It was a good day for sales as well as an interesting time visiting with customers and other vendors.
The roller-coaster continues.  The weather is supposed to be warm the beginning of this week, so we're back to planting potatoes, seeds, trees, etc.  Spring affords no time for boredom!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring is Approaching

We have Common Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds pretending to be leaves on our trees.  The grass is starting to green, tulips and daffodils are sending leaf shoots through the ground, and the buds on the fruit trees are beginning to swell.  Today the temperature reached 85 degrees.  Tomorrow we'll be in the mid 50's for a high temp.

We worked outside most of the day today.  We cleaned up the asparagus bed.  We trimmed low-hanging tree limbs and cleaned up the mess.  We're still working on cleaning up the tree line north of our house.  Dylan has been cutting out the trash trees and brush.  We've been stacking and burning on the days the wind cooperates.  We've also been gathering up and hauling junk that has been left by other families over the years.  There is everything from machinery parts to rusted sheets of tin, to barbed wire and even discarded cans and bottles.  It's been quite a lengthy process, but we're gaining.  Our long-term goal is to be able to plant ground cover and flowers in part of the area and be able to actually mow between the trees rather than have it all grown up in weeds all summer.  We'll see.

I have continued with crocheting so I'll have items to sell at the winter market as well as the upcoming craft shows in the spring and fall.  Pictured below is a pieced baby quilt.  This was my first attempt at machine quilting.  I bought a "walking foot" for my sewing machine which I used to "stitch in the ditch" around the pieced squares.  This quilt sold last week at winter market.  The baby size quilt works well with the regular sewing machine quilting.  I'm not sure I'd have the courage to try a larger sized quilt.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

This is one of those recipes that is so easy.  According to my daughter, this may not qualify as "cooking" because it is too easy.  To accomplish this, you basically remove the skin from a turkey breast, add a bunch of seasoning and cook in a crock pot.  The turkey will be moist and delicious!

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

1 bone-in turkey breast (6 - 7 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon pepper

Remove skin from turkey breast.  Brush turkey with olive oil.  Combine the remaining ingredients; rub over turkey.  Transfer to a 6 - quart slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours or until tender.  Serve hot, or refrigerate and slice for sandwiches.