Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feels Like Fall

October 19, 2011

Well now that its getting to feel more like fall, I've done a little decorating around the house with some pine cones from last year, a few of my dried sunflowers from the summer, i even had time to be a lil crafty.  There are alot of cute little pumpkins floating around the Internet, all shapes and sizes made from all sorts of different fabrics.  I thought i would give it a try and make a few of my own.

This one is made with a piece of white burlap i had.  I decorated the top with a twig and some acorns, tiny pine cones and leaves. I think this one came out the cutest, this picture does not do it any justice.

The third one  is made from a piece of white cotton, with twine wrapped around the twig stem, as you can see in this cluster of the three.

These were so fun to make, anything goes....Don't you love that sorta craft.

This is a little vignette i put together on my patio table to give it a little fall feeling. I threw together some pine cones, dried sunflowers, potted herbs and a old tattered bird house.  The tall candle sits in a old sprocket i found in a load of horse manure that we got from a nearby stable. 

I thought it was a keeper, old, rustic and in the shape of a star.

Just a few things i put together, hope you enjoy.  I'm linking this post up to Heidi's Fall Harvest Blog Hop over at My Simple Country living.  She has just started this hop for sharing your fall recipes, decorations, or anything fall related.  Join me and hop over to see some fall harvest happenings.

                                                   Live Simple...............Sheryl

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


October 18, 2011

Last week we caught up on a few things that needed to be done.  Spending two weeks home out the month for hubby makes it challenging to get things done sometimes.  I think we did pretty good last week and got alot accomplished.
  Planting the pasture with winter grass was high on the priority list, and had to be done at the right time to be successful.  In the past we plowed then fertilized and planted, with only ten acres and few head of livestock we found we lost alot of grazing time using this method.  We looked into the No Till version of planting winter grass and decided to top seed our pasture last winter.  While the animals did have grass to continue grazing on while the winter grasses came up, the stand was not as lush as we would have liked it to be.  This year we are trying a different method of getting the seed down in the ground with a seed drill.  We found out our local USDA office rents out this implement by the acre. This method drills little holes in the soil, drops the seed and covers it back up, without the entire field being chopped up.  This saves precious topsoil from being washed away, and from loosing your stand of established grass, which takes about two years to get back each and every year you plow. 

We planted winter wheat, Elbon rye and oats for this years winter grass.  The seed cost us $150 and $50 to rent the seeder.  

To top off this project, that evening while sitting back on the porch envisioning a lush green pasture, It came a rain storm.  We got close to an inch of rain 4 hours after completing this planting.  So we are praying that our efforts were successful.  I will keep you posted.

Another project on the list was to put up my clothesline again.  These poles were pulled up a few years ago when they were sorta in the way and not being used often.  I read an article in our local electric co-op newspaper stating that by summer of 2012 we can expect an increase in our electric bill, so like everything else, we make adjustments to help us save money where we can. 
Here is a pic of my hubby being crucified, by all these projects he's trying to accomplish this week.

Thank you my sweetheart..........They are gonna look nice after i put a coat of paint on them.

After that rain the other day the soil was just right to dig up the sweet potatoes, next on the list of things to get done.  This was our first year growing some, and with the drought this year we didn't think they would make any. 

We were excited to get a few of these out the ground.

The chickens were right behind us while we were digging,  searching for some bugs to snack on.

His hands are still busy...........That evening he shelled the first picking of fall peas i picked earlier that day.  What a Man!!!!!!!!!!

I think we got alot accomplished this week and even made time for a fun day at a local event called "Old Farmers Day".  It's an annual two day event filled with demonstrations of old times on the local farms.  They had demonstrations of hog butchering, campfire cooking that cooked up some biscuits and gravy early that morning, sheep shearing, smokehouse meats being cooked,and lots of delicious foods to try. Demonstrations of horse and mule drawn plows and other implements were going on throughout the day.  On the last day the horse and mule pull contest took place.  Vendors with arts and crafts were there and lots of fun Cajun music to enjoy. 
It was a wonderful time and a beautiful day, it made me think about the hard times of our ancestors but still what a simple life they lived back thenIt also made me think about how some of us are incorporating some of those old task back into our lives today, like raising chickens and cows, making bread, even hanging our clothes out on the line .  We all do them for different reasons, some do it for healthier living, some for economical reasons, and some for the pure pleasure ..............of living a..... simple life.


I'm linking up to Homestead Revival Barn Hop

I'm also linking up to Farmgirl Friday at Dandelion House

Join me and hop on over  to meet some very inspiring people.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

peppers gone BAD!! and other fall veggies

October 4, 2011

Well, this is what my bell peppers look like, my crop this spring did the same thing, slowly taking over all of them.  So i tried planting again for a fall crop and they are doing the same thing.  I'm down to one left.
During the spring we had horrible heat and bugs, so we assumed that was the problem with our fall plantings, bur I'm not seeing the bugs, and my peppers are still looking horrible.  Being the google farmer that I am ...........i started  searching for the culprit, and narrowed it down to a few bacterial diseases that's probably in my soil.  Several of these diseases are carried by the seed into the transplant and then to the soil.  These diseases can be treated with a fungicide, which is great..........if you know which disease you have.  After reading the symptoms and looking at pictures, it could be any of three.  Cercospora Leaf Spot, Anthracnose or Bacteria Leaf Spot, all have similar symptoms of dark spots on the leaves and some yellowing and dropping of the leaves as well as spots on the fruit.  Cercospora Leaf Spot and Anthracnose are both fungal diseases and can be treated with Maneb.  Bacterial Leaf Spot in a bacterial disease which can be treated with Kocide 3000.  After a trip to the feed store I was able to find the Maneb product but not the Kocide.  So....................I'm gonna try to save this one bell pepper plant with Maneb, sprayed on its leaves and around the base of the plant.  The product can be sprayed as a preventive on cucumbers, tomatoes, and squash.  So the other plants i have growing near this bed got sprayed as well for preventive measures.  I think i will read up some more on treating my soil before planting again in spring. 

Here are more snap shots of the rest of the fall garden;

Zucchini and Swiss chard growing well thus far, they got a dose of the fungicide spray as well for preventive measures.

Swiss chard

I'm so proud of my Pak Choi it's growing so beautiful.  Can't wait to cook and taste this wonderful vegetable.

I've noticed spots on the leaves of the gourds we have planted also.

How about those cucumbers in October!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Never tried planting cucumbers for fall before, and they are doing just fine, if we can keep our first frost at bay.  So far we have had a few nights in the upper 40's, and that has happened this week.  The seeds germinated during warm weather and continued to grow and set flowers during warm to mild temperatures.  Guess i timed them just right.

Fall peas are almost ready to start picking.

Mustard greens, turnips, and kale were planted and are popping out the ground.

Gardening is a challenge as well as rewarding; always fighting insects, weather, disease and animals, but to find joy in the harvest, and bring it to the table in a healthy meal is the greatest pleasure.  It's so enjoyable for me, it's like therapy for my soul.  Hope you are enjoying the fall weather and successful in your fall plantings.

I'm linking to Homestead Revival for barn hop #30

                                                              Live simple...............Sheryl

Monday, October 3, 2011

cooking from the garden

October 4, 2011

I realized i haven't posted a recipe in a while......Mater of fact, I've been slacking in my intentions to post recipes regularly.  It seems as though i remember after the fact, like ............when i realize how good it turned out and family says, "you should put that on your blog" and i failed to document it with pictures.  I need to make a point to take the camera out more often when I'm cooking.  I'm also bad about not measuring out ingredients, i just pour and eye things.  Guess i need to make sure i take out measuring spoons and cups and a pen and paper also, to get my recipes more precise for you all.   I promise, i do cook all this stuff i grow...........I do love to cook and i have been around lots of women in my life like my grandmothers and mother who taught me the love of cooking, especially cooking from scratch.

I will share with you a spaghetti i cooked last week that really turned out good, using some fresh homegrown ingredients from the garden.  The only thing that was missing was not having our own home grown beef.  I had to use store bought, and I'm anxiously waiting for the day that my freezer will be full of our own grassfed beef. 

For this recipe i used tomatoes that i canned this summer, green onions and garlic that we grew, and oregano that i dried in my dehydrator.  I also made homemade bread crumbs from stale bread in the dehydrator.

1 1/2 - 2 lbs ground chuck beef
1 egg beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup green onions
2 tbsp milk
salt and pepper to taste

Mix above ingredients into ground beef and roll into meatballs.  Heat oil in pan.  Sprinkle flour over meatballs to coat lightly.  Brown in hot oil until browned and halfway cooked. remove from pan and set aside.

1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 lrg clove of garlic
1 jar/can lrg whole tomatoes
1 can lrg tomato sauce
1 sm can tomato paste
1-2 tbsp dried oregano
1-2 tbsp basil
1-2 tbsp parsley

Brown onion, pepper and garlic in oil until wilted (pan used to brown meatballs).
Add tomatoes and cook for 20 min.  Then add tomato sauce, paste, oregano, basil and parsley, let cook for 15-20 min.

 Add meatballs and continue to simmer for 45 min to 1 hour.  If sauce get too thick you might need to add a little water during cooking.

 I find the longer you let this simmer on low the better the flavors all come together.  Serve over spaghetti noodles.

Oooops!!!!!!!!  i didn't get a finished shot of this served up on the spaghetti.  See......I told you i was horrible at remembering to get that camera out.  I think it was because i tortured everyone for hours as this simmered on the stove, and they were starving to death and jumped right into it before i could serve it up all pretty and such.......YEA!!!!! that's it.......That's what happened... 

Bon Appetit.................                           Live simple.........Sheryl