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Garden Update

I haven’t posted in awhile and thought I’d share a garden update. It has been a challenging year with many of my seeds not wanting to grow very well. I had trouble with green onion seeds from two different companies that did not sprout. Then my tomato seedlings did not want to grow much after about an inch or two of development.
Zucchini 2021

But I am having success with my zucchini plants. See photo above of the big one which I have already harvested several zucchinis from already. There is another little one on the upper right which is hidden somewhat. I planted this one later so to stagger my crop. I love zucchini and what to be able to have an on-going crop so I planted one early and another seed was started recently.

Next I want to share an interesting development that happened in a old wheelbarrow that I keep for composting in the garden. I just throw all sorts of composting material like coffee grounds, egg shells, veggie trimmings, and whatever else I might have to toss. Well about a month ago I threw in some cantaloupe rinds and seed pulp into this wheelbarrow. Guess what, I have several wild cantaloupes growing now. I cleaned up the area around the plants and have been watering them faithfully. Check out the photo below.

Cantaloupe growing from seed pulp

I have never grown cantaloupe and not sure if it’s very conducive to growing in our climate but I’m giving it a go. I can’t wait to see how this experiment turns out.

Here are a few more photos of my tomato plants. The one tomato plant in the distance was started from some later seeds so it is smaller. I hope it will have enough time to development. But the big one closest to the camera already has many green tomatoes on it. Continue Reading →

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Spring Garden Prepping

Spring is nearly here and time to start planning for this season’s garden. Last year I started seedlings indoors and had lots of extra time for spring garden prepping due to the pandemic shutdown. I was off work and had more time to get my seedlings started and work on my garden area.
Garden Seeds

Last year my husband built cedar raised bed boxes for our garden and fenced a large garden area to keep out critters. We live in the woods and have to fence out deer, moose, elk and other critters that would love to eat my garden for their meal.

So this year, I have the garden area already fenced and the garden boxes in place. I just need to do some clean-up, fertilizing and tilling to get things ready for planting. But I also need to get some seedlings started in-doors.

If you are on a budget like I am, you will probably want to check out your local dollar store for garden items that you can pick up cheap. I scored some veggie and flower seeds that were priced 4 for a dollar. I also got some nice white garden stakes that I can write on to mark my plants. Additionally I was able to get some flexible tie wiring that is very handy for tomato plants, beans and other veggies to keep them off the ground and tidy. They also have garden gloves, planter pots, potting soil, and other gardening supplies which are all priced at just a dollar. You can’t beat those prices.
Garden Supplies

I used some dollar store tomato, lettuce and other vegetables seeds last year and they produced nicely. So if you have a chance, check out your dollar store to score some extra seeds and supplies as it is always wise to have extra items that you obtained at great prices on-hand. These items sell out fast so don’t wait too long.

Anyway hope everyone is thinking about gardening and growing some of your own food this year. As they keep saying, these are uncertain times and we need to be certain we have food growing in our yards that we can eat and supplement what we can or cannot buy at grocery stores.

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Homemade Tomato Sauce

I had a huge garden of tomato plants this last year. So I ended up with lots of tomatoes and wanted to make my own homemade tomato sauce with this abundance of tomatoes.

Tomatoes in Pot for Tomato Sauce

I first cut up the tomatoes and placed them in a large pot for cooking. I generally followed a vintage tomato sauce recipe where I cut up the tomatoes and let them stand a few minutes in a colander to drain off some of the excess juice. I added a bit of dehydrated green peppers and onions (one tablespoon each), and a sprinkle of cayenne powder for a bit of zing to my pot.

Tomato Sauce Start with Spices

Next, bring to boil and cook for about an hour on low. Remember to stir occasionally until you have a nice pulp. I then used my food mill to make a smooth tomato puree.

Tomatoes in Food Mill

I ended up with this lovely pot of tomato puree ready for the next step. Continue Reading →

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Indoor Basil Grown in a Pot

Just wanted to give an update on my basil grown indoors in a pot. Here is the last photo I took.

Basil Grown Indoors

I posted last month about my homegrown basil and how I had dried the spice for later use. It has been so nice to have homegrown basil that I can use fresh all year-around. There is nothing like fresh basil spice when you are making spaghetti, lasagna or pizza sauce. You just can’t beat the flavor and taste of fresh basil in these recipes.

Anyway I just wanted to post an update and share my basil plant that continues to grow in a pot in my kitchen window. Just remember to put your basil pot in a sunny, warm spot Continue Reading →

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Homegrown Basil

I started several Basil seeds this Spring inside in some peat pods. I had about 6 plant starts and put them into a large planter pot after the plants were a few inches tall. I then left the planter pot outside in the daytime and brought it in at night until the weather was warmer.

Basil Drying

I have been harvesting off the plants all Summer and Fall. I either just pick fresh leaves off the plants for spaghetti and lasagna sauce or dry them as shown above. I air dry the basil leaves for several days to completely dry them out. You can also place the drying leaves on a pan inside your oven with the light on to help accelerate the drying process.

Here is a photo of the leaves dried from the pan above. The dried leaves do shrink down considerably once they are all dried out.
Dried Basil
I store my dried basil leaves inside a sealed jar until the next time I need them for a recipe. I gently crush the leaves which releases a pleasant fragrance and flavor into my favorite Italian recipes.

I have brought my planter pot indoors now and will be able to continue to grown new Basil leaves hopefully all winter long. So whether you use your homegrown Basil fresh in your cooking or dry it for further use, it makes for a wonderful additional to any dish that calls for Basil spice.

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Moose Family Photo

Who needs a game camera when you can look out your window and see this?

Moose Family Photo

Check out this moose family out for a morning walk right through our yard. I have been seeing this mama moose and her baby but was very surprised when I looked out and saw a bull moose out with them. So cool to see beautiful wildlife like this so close.

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