Archive for the ‘Fresh Produce’ Category

tea-towelA new tea towel for Spoonflower’s contest Home is where the heart is. I couldn’t resist this contest as I love designing tea towels.  Voting starts October 13, 2016. There should be lots of wonderful designs to see and vote on.

I have the image set on it’s side because that will be the way it shows up in the contest. We lay them out that way as it fits on the linen-cotton fabric and if you want to order one you can order just a fat quarter of fabric.




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My family with the exception of our son loves Lima beans. Even our grandson loves them! They are great for you so I am happy that they do love them. I have to confess I am still trying to compete with my mother-in-law. She raised a garden in Tennessee. When they moved to Arizona she took a ton of canned goods from her garden with them. They lived on that until my father-in-law got work. They had four small children at the time and my father-in-law was sick with asthma. So all the canned goods were a blessing.
I had a good crop of Lima beans this year not the best, just pretty good. We planted later then usualDSC03738.JPGDSC03745.JPG so I was surprised we got as many beans as we did. This is the second picking and not too bad. Sometimes the weather just not want to cooperate with the planting schedule! I like to blanch the beans then freeze them so we can have them all year long. I am still terrified to use a pressure cooker for canning.

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Cut & Sew Shopping Bag

Cut & Sew Shopping Bag

Spoonflower.com is having a contest for Cut & Sew Shopping Bags. I got excited about this contest so I thought I would have ago at it. At first I worked on a floral design and yes I do love floral designs! My first thought had been a shopping bag for shopping at the mall. Then I thought this should be more about shopping for groceries. So I dusted off a collection I had started a while back titled Mrs. Brown’s.
I thought this would be perfect for a grocery shopping bag. I worked on adding to the collection, that was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed it.

The collection was named after my daughter Sara Brown, she is a wonderfully dedicated wife and mother. Always concerned about good nutrition for her family and on the lookout for new recipes to try.

The Spoonflower contest starts April 17, 2014. I would certainly appreciate your vote.

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Well the weather is heating up . I think summer has really arrived now. We had a really wet spring and some cold snaps. So getting our garden in has been a haphazard affair. We were never able to get everything planted that we usually do. We did plant lots of potatoes, lima and pinto beans. Our usual tomatoes and green peppers.

We are trying Big Bertha green peppers this time. Our neighbor planted some last year and had huge green peppers. We did get our eggplants in but, only planted 6 plants this year. Last year we planted 12 and we got 350 eggplants. I know because I counted them every time we picked them and marked them down. No I didn’t have anything better to do! I cooked and froze countless eggplant parmesan meals. I put as many as I could in our freezer, then started giving them to our daughters family and our neighbor. We gave eggplants away and made some new friends from it.

My husband Gene has become quite the gardener, he started the tomatoes and green peppers from seed. I am so happy he enjoys gardening. He is awful proud of the potatoes too. We have been working up the soil in our raised beds. When we dug up the potatoes we realized the soil in that bed still needs a lot of work. We like to add grass clippings or hay to the soil and let it compost. Our soil was so bad in the first place we have added sand and of course cow manure. We have some raised beds and regular garden space. We have managed to get some of the soil worked up so good, I think of it as black gold. It is such a pleasure to work with.

wheelbarrow of potatoes

wheelbarrow of potatoes

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We have picked a ton of Strawberries and about 6 quarts of blueberries we have about 8 blueberry bushes but the oldest two are only about 3 years old. The blue berry bushes are not as pretty as they usually are so I am not sure what is going on with them. If we get all 8 bushes looking good and producing I will have to come up with some good recipes. I dried some of them I thought I would give them a try this winter in pancakes or snacks. I think I over dried some of them , I don’t think they should really be crispy, oh well.

Our blackberries should start being ready in about 3 weeks.

We have been getting our hay put up for the cows this winter so far we have baled about 700 square bales. Still another field to bale. Then we can sit pretty until fall and hopefully get another cutting that we can sell.Tractor repairs, fuel, fertilizer, string and seed can get expensive after awhile. We are not going to get rich raising cows. However we do have a good life and it is wonderful to get to see our grandson growing up enjoying having room to grow. Yesterday we were out in the field picking up bales of hay. Our son-in-law Justin and our son Charlie were helping. We look up and see our daughter Sara walking through the field and beside her is our grandson driving his battery operated truck out to the field. I tell you it was priceless to see him drive around the bales of hay like it was an obstacle course. When he would get stuck on a berm he would get out and muscle his truck around until he could drive again. He is 5 ½ years old and I could just visualize the teen years to come.

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potato plants 2

potato plants 2

Potato plants 1

Potato plants 1

Gardening in the wet Spring

We should have all our garden in by now. Unfortunately we have had spells of it being too cold and too wet. It is still too wet so hopefully this weekend it is dried out enough to finish planting.

Everything is late this year. Last year our blueberries were all ripe by the end of May. This year it is June the 6th and they still aren’t ripe. We have been getting some strawberries not as many as we would like. Next year should there should be a lot more as we have doubled the size of the strawberry bed. Our blackberries are blooming. The pear and peach trees are loaded. This year we have apples coming on our apple trees, yeah. There are signs that we might get some elderberries and currents. The cherry bush our daughter Sara got us has cherries on it, I can’t wait to taste them.

We have had luck with our potatoes but they are later this year too. We had planted extra this year to send some home with family that came all the way from Arizona to visit. Last year we sent some home with them and they were a big hit. Nothing quite as good as home grown fresh produce. Unfortunately they weren’t ripe so we will ship them some. My sister-in-laws Pauline and Donnia are so much fun to have visit us, I just wish they stayed longer.

Our cabbage is coming along, we planted just a few plants. We are trying cone cabbage this year. I don’t believe I have seen them before. I will let you know how they taste. Oh by the way that is clover growing with the cabbage. I thought I would leave it grow with the cabbage as it is keeping the other weeds down. We plant clover with our hay to add nitrogen naturally to the soil so I thought I would see how it does with the cabbage.

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