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Raised in a Barn…

Day-to-Day Life of a Country Mama

Month

July 2017

Pickled Beets 

Yesterday, I finished up processing a milk crate of beets our neighbor gave us. I decided to pickle this round. 

I followed the Ball recipe except I didn’t have cinnamon sticks so I guessed at adding ground. It probably will make the seasoning a little uneven, but I think it’ll work okay. I also didn’t add the allspice as it called for. I did what my mama and grandma always did and added a few cloves to the top of each jar before processing. 

I gave a small bag of beets from the crate away and it still yeilded over 15 pints. I had a small mess after the 15 pints that I am going to purée and experiment with. There are a lot of good beet recipe ideas out there!

Now, I need to go tackle cleaning the kitchen and washing dishes while the laundry washes. Lots of fun, but at least I wiped up the worst of the beet juice yesterday. 

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Coriander 

I finally got my cilantro plant in and harvested for coriander seed. It’s my first year doing this. I was surprised because I really thought there was a separate plant that was coriander. I like being wrong on this since it means I can grown one plant for two purposes. 

It was a little tedious harvesting all the seeds. It didn’t help that I had to pick up about a quarter of them twice. I did most of my harvesting on the kitchen table. I had finished and had them in a bowl on the table. Savannah was supposed to be napping. I stepped away and came back to find her at the table. She was proudly proclaiming “rocks!” And spreading them around the table. Needless to say, they won’t be left on the table again. 

Even with just the little I grew, I got five or a little more ounces of seeds. Now, I just have to learn how to render it usuable. 

Potatoes

Well, one of my potato barrels had vines die back. I was so excited to dump it over and look for the potatoes to come rolling out. I looked and looked and only came up with eight. 

Looking back over information, my concerns from earlier this year that I wasn’t layering things correctly was right. It looks like I covered too much of the plants at once. Next time (if I understand right), I should let it grow to 12 inches height. Then pack 6 inches of straw around the plants and allow it to grow again and repeat. 

Another lesson learned on gardening. I’ll try again next spring. At least, a few potatoes came from it this time!

Worms to Beetles 

Well, the good news is that I haven’t seen worms on my tomato plants for a little while. The bad news is that some kind of large beetle is now eating on my tomatoes. Not the plant, but the fruit itself.  

I don’t know what they are.They  seemed to show up as soon as the worms gave up. I’m killing them by hand when I can until I can find something that helps. I’m going to try spraying the plants with peppermint essential oil I think. I believe most beetles don’t like it. We are still getting some pretty tomatoes though!

Realization 

I just realized something as I drained the water from washing Travis’s work shirts by hand. His work shirts are dark gray or black. For as long as I have washed them, their rinse water has been a little dark because of them seeping color. Until now. 

A little while back, I started experimenting with Castile soap. I am now using it to wash clothes. Since I’ve been using it, I haven’t noticed this with Travis’s shirts. Maybe it will keep our colors from fading like all the fancy detergents claim they do. 

Simple Excitement

I’m beginning to think that I get a little too easily excited and happy. But that is exactly what I am today. It’s not just that the girls are playing happily together in the floor as I work; though that certainly always adds to it. 

Two things add to it today. First, I’m making progress in both my essential oil products and the garden. I love hearing from people the oils have helped. One of my workstations is downstairs across the room from our winter rations area. As I am working, I enjoy glancing over to see more natural and home canned items taking over the shelves. 

Another thing I am so excited about is that a Hobby Lobby is coming to town. I know it’s probably silly, but I’ve been beside myself ever since it was rumored. Now, it’s a month out and I’m already working on a list of things to check out when they open.

I better control my excitement for now though and get some work done. 

Tired of Guilt Trips

I caught up on my newspaper reading last night. I gave myself the night to think on it and decided I would still post the rant. 

Who all is tired of the left/liberal/socialist guilt trips? Go ahead, raise your hand. I read another in the paper last night. I just glanced over it, felt my blood pressure start to rise, and moved on. Apparently, the federal government may cut heating cost assistance. Now we get to hear all of the crying about the 80-year olds that will go to bed cold. Why is it that liberals always pull out the saddest examples to plead their cases? To play on our emotions and guilt us into submission. 

I would be considered cold and uncaring for my stance against the liberal/socialist idea that the government needs to hold the purse and decide who gets money. It’s not that I don’t want our elderly helped; what I want is people to take personal responsibility to make sure the local elderly have what they need. Don’t expect the government to take care of them and others. 

Charity begins at home. Keep charity local first. It cuts out paying the bureaucrats and helps ensure the funds go to those who really need them. If you’re concerned about the heating cost for elderly in your area, get out and ask them if they need help. Or check for locally based assistance funds. Our electric company even has a program in place. Charity is one more area that we do not need the federal government meddling in. 

No Time

I’m sorry my posts have been sparse recently. My docket has been overflowing of late. That is compounded by a teething baby who refuses to easily go to sleep when I need her to. 

I have been trying to play catch up the last two days. I’m reworking the corn plot and hoping to have our late planting in soon. I may not have time to wait for a favorable moon; I need to check the almanac. I am also trying to curb the weeds that overtook while I’ve been busy. 

This morning, I’m trying to catch up on processing produce. I seem to have a little of everything to get either canned or frozen before it gets questionable. I also have a requested cake, chocolate zucchini, to bake for services tomorrow. 

Hopefully by the time the girls nap, I’ll be done in the kitchen and can move back to the garden. After that, I will probably spend the rest of the afternoon working on my new Facebook page and cleaning house. Not enough hours in the day! 

Canning Green Beans

I’ve broken my pressure canner out for the first time this season. I have several days’ pickings of green beans snapped snd ready to go. I’m going to can them quick while the morning is still relatively cool. I still have a lot to do today. Our tomatoes and corn need tending. Before long, we will be picking the last of the corn and replanting. Hopefully, I’ll get to try canning corn this year. 

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