How to Can Peaches

It is that time of the year… Peaches!! They are in full supply. I love peaches. They are so great to eat as is or you can can them for later. Like the dead of winter when you are wanting that zesty, sweet taste of summer. There are 2 ways to can, we’ll get to that.

I would like to start some of my own Peach trees, but until that happens, I know where there is a stand on the side of the road ready to sell! And that’s just where I went on Sunday. I also bought a watermelon and my mom a cantaloupe. I don’t like cantaloupe but she does.

A fun side note about the word syrup… Grandma had me reading in her Joy of Cooking Cookbook about freezing peaches. We were looking for sugar measurements. Anyway, they kept spelling syrup, sirup. That spelling was driving me nuts. I wish I was still in Grad School so that I had access to the Oxford English Dictionary to look up the spelling history.

Also, side note: if you are canning anything… canning lids and jars for that matter are difficult to find right now. Supposedly it isn’t a shortage, but more so everyone was home and raising a garden. All canning is happening RIGHT. NOW.

Peaches

Grandma told me that she read that 1 bushel of peaches should produce 15, 20, 30 jars of peaches. It’s so funny that 3 different things she read said 3 different things. Either way, we were well on our way to that. We had 3/4 of a bushel of peaches. We got 13-quart jars and 2 half-full gallon bags for freezing.

Not all the peaches were ready for canning, so grandma’s tip is to lay them out on plastic overnight. The next day most all of them were ready to go. (more…)

Sweet Corn vs Field Corn

Isn’t all corn the same? Well, no. Sweet corn is the type of corn that you grow in your personal garden or you buy at the store, Farmer’s Market, etc. Field Corn is what you’ll see in fields as you drive through Nebraska (or Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, etc). You’ll see the Farmer’s out in the field planting with a big planter and harvesting with a combine. The other big difference is when it is peak harvest time.

Similarities and Differences

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Planting Blackberry Bushes

This poor blackberry bush kind of became a laughing stock at my house. Why? Well… because, here we are in June and I bought it at the end of April. So what? Well… I just planted it yesterday.

I know, I know. It’s been living in the pot that I bought it in. That’s not a good thing really. The root system gets used to that size and then the plant could be stunted. But I wasn’t really sure where to plant it.

Jody came over yesterday and she and I went around planting stuff. We planted Marigolds in the garden as well as a couple of pumpkin plants. And… we planted the infamous Blackberry Bush. FINALLY. 

Some things to keep in mind when planting a Blackberry Bush: (more…)

Garden #2

Yes, you read that title correctly. I started my first garden in March. It sounded like a good thing… but garden number 2. Now I think I’ve seriously lost my mind. So here’s how we got to this point…

When I finally decided to start a garden, I had 2 places chosen. One was where the original garden went in and the second was this spot.

There were pros and cons to each spot that was chosen.

Original garden

  • Pros
    • Closer to the house
    • Closer to water
  • Cons
    • Less potential space
    • Trees in the yard to contend with

This garden area

  • Pros
    • Larger area
    • Very few items to compete with (i.e. trees)
    • Lots of sunlight
  • Cons
    • Harder to get water to 

Because of this… the other area was chosen. Then, I started to have “issues” getting my corn to grow (or so I thought at the time). So yesterday morning I decided I was going to start a garden in the second location

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Mother’s Day – Coronavirus Style

If there is one thing this Coronavirus season has brought… it has brought a lot of people staying in and staying away. But… it has brought a lot of people wanting to get out into the great outdoors. Us included. Even though I’ve spent a lot of time outside.

And for some reason, we thought it would be fun to take up hiking. Yup, you read that correctly. Why not? I have been working my butt off here lately outdoors (which when hubby isn’t working his real job, it’s made him work outside too, plus our little. She’s great). So we thought it would be fun to take a break. And you know, go hiking. Something we’ve never really done… but my little has been wanting to do things like that so now is the perfect time.

Happy Mother’s Day to me :). (more…)

Breaking a Calf to Lead

We’ve been having fun around these parts. When you can’t go anywhere or do anything, might as well make the most of it the best way you can. 

When I was younger, I wanted nothing more than to show at the fair. While I showed horses so I could compete that way, that’s not really the type of horse showing I wanted to do. Plus, it wasn’t the same as if I showed livestock. I had the privilege later in my FFA years to show sheep. And through friends, I learned how to show hogs, goats, and cattle.

I really wanted to show cattle, but it wasn’t in the cards for my family and me while I was growing up. No big deal. And maybe the little won’t want to show cattle. But right now she’s a PeeWee… So we have our bottle calf and we’re going to try and show in the PeeWee show at the fair.

Part of what is required for that is breaking this stubborn calf to lead on a halter and rope. I put stubborn up against stubborn. We’ll see who wins. Wish us luck!! Oh, and hope that we don’t break any toes in the process!

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Homeschooling 101: Planting Seeds… Coronavirus Day 38

Once upon a time, we were in a science class in grade school. We planted beans and corn from seed and watch the germination process. Jump forward 20+ some odd years (I don’t know how many) and I decided to do that with the little. It was a time of the Coronavirus Pandemic when schools were closed for the rest of the year and we had to homeschool. And when I say homeschool, our school district wasn’t prepared for that. Eventually, they sent out daily work, that wouldn’t harm the kiddos grade, but would help it should they do it. But after we did that work, we did our own education as well. This time… science.

Since this spring we got into gardening, why not do the germinating thing, right? I had seeds waiting to be planted in the ground. Mainly corn and green beans as I attempted to start other plants in the greenhouse.

Corn prefers to be started directly in the ground. Beans on the other hand don’t mind being started indoors, but in my luck, they still do better directly in the ground. (more…)

My New Greenhouse… Coronavirus Day 36

Some days I have great ideas… and other days I have ideas that make you scratch your head wondering where on earth I came up with this. Today’s project might be one of those… WHAT?!?! moments. So between the gardening and landscaping this year… I’ve really gotten into plants. I bought a lot of the flowers that I’ve used for landscaping, but the vegetables for the garden are a different story. I really wanted to grow my own plants. After garden planting #1 went awry, I decided to try the little miniature greenhouses. You know the little starter kits you buy at Home Depot (<– I used that one… not an affiliate link, just a link to what I used) or Lowes and I even found them at Dollar General.

Those starter kits are addicting. So I accidentally took over my kitchen table. Whoops. That was when I went on the hunt to see how much it would cost to make a greenhouse. There are kits you can buy but this was a DIY Greenhouse that we decided upon. This round anyway :).

My New Greenhouse

First things first… you need to decide how big it is going to be. Where you are going to put it. And buy the materials. Since I already had the trailer on from taking scrap to the scrapyard, it was the perfect time to get the materials. We decided on a 12×16. So here’s the material list: (more…)

Starting Vegetables from Seed… Coronavirus Day 35

I got a little excited back at the end of March trying to get plants in the ground. In case you wondered… none of them germinated. None of them came up. I decided to give up… although Grandma told me to give it just a little more time. But I don’t have high hopes. So I decided to go the route of starting them indoors and then transplanting them. What do I have to lose at this point? I still have time to try this method and if it doesn’t work, try planting directly in the garden again. I guess that’s one good thing about starting early.

I still haven’t given up hope on finding potato starts, but I’m not finding them either. Fingers crossed I find some… but…

Back to the day at hand…

Starting Vegetables from Seed.

  • You’ll need a good potting mix. Typically I try to use from our soil pile, but I actually bought seed starting potting mix. 
  • Seed trays that include an outer tray, inner tray, and the clear plastic dome.
  • Seeds (of course)
  • Water.
  • Optional: Seedling markers.
  • Optional: Seed Dibber or pencil. Helps measure how deep to plant the seeds.

First things first, you’ll want to put the soil into the individual trays. (more…)

I made Homemade Pretzels… Coronavirus Day 18

I really think I should start calling it social distancing or homebound or something other than coronavirus. Ugh!

Earlier this year I went on the Keto Diet. Right now, I say screw that. We’re really supposed to stay home and out of stores, etc. So buying all the extra, special items to make Keto meals seems silly, plus I just want a little comfort. I love to bake and cook. And truthfully, while I tend to be a homebody, I’m sick of this staying home. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Frozen 2. Not as many as Frozen (the original), but pretty darn close. Although I have to say I think I like the original Frozen better. My little thinks that they are going to do a Frozen 3. I’m not sure. It’ll sure be interesting, that’s for sure.

Anyway, I think I totally digressed. That’s where my brain is these days. Half the time I really have to think about what day it is. The little’s dance classes have moved to online. Last week, we missed 2 of the 3. I just plum forgot. So my goal for this week is to make all 3. I made yesterday’s and today’s, so that’s 2 of 3. Now just 1 more to go. I’ll let you know how I do. It’s the little things in life. (more…)