Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Garden roundup for January

In January, our chickens gave us 60 eggs.  Well, they laid 67 eggs, but seven were damaged in some way so they didn’t make it to the house.

The only other gardening news I have for this month, is I found three onions that had sprouted.  So I put some potting soil in a pot and planted them.  This is something I’ve done a few times in the past, but I haven’t had too much luck with.  Last year, I was able to transplant a potted onion into the garden, but that was when the onion held on until late-March, or April before it started to grow.  I found another onion growing back in November, or December, which I planted, but I think it’s mostly dead now.  We’ll have to see if any of these make it to warm weather to be planted out.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Garden Roundup for 2023

I’ve been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks now, so I’m just forcing myself to finally finish this, so it’s probably a bit rough.

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I only started keeping track of how many eggs we got each day at the end of May.  But between then and December 31, our seven chickens gave us – assuming I didn’t miss some – a total of 598 eggs.  Which is almost 49 dozen.  We used some of them, but we also gave some out to family and neighbors.  I even sold a few dozen to co-workers. 

Besides keeping track for the whole year, I should also keep track of how much feed we buy for them.  Then I can figure out how a dozen of our eggs costs versus store bought ones.

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For the last several years, my mom has kept track of how much we freeze or can on a legal pad.  She’ll have green beans, and every quart we can she’ll add a tally mark.  She tries to keep up to date, but I think she misses some things, or double counts others.  And even though I help her most of the time, some things on her list I don’t remember canning.  So in 2024 I’ll try to do my own list.  But reading her list as best I can, this is what we froze in 2023: 25 bags of blueberries (1 bag makes 1 pie), 15 bags of sliced apples (1 bag makes 1 pie), 7 bags of grated zucchini (1 bag makes a couple loaves of zucchini bread), 2 bags of rhubarb (I think 1 bag makes 1 pie), 10 bags of parsnips (1 bag is probably worth 2 meals), 2 bags of broccoli, 4 bags of green peppers, and 9 bags of peas, although some of the peas were later canned with some other stuff.  And I think all the green peppers we used for spaghetti and pizza sauce we from 2022.

This is what we canned in 2023: 9 pints blueberry jelly, 5 pints grape jelly, 3 pints mixed berry jelly, 3 quarts and 8 pints of applesauce, 1 pint of pears, 6 pints of green beans, 2 pints of mixed vegetables, 1 quart and 15 pints of sweet corn, 9 pints of tomatoes, 15 quarts and 1 pint of spaghetti sauce, 1 pint and 9 half-pints of pizza sauce (1 half-pint is enough for one pizza), 18 quarts of grape juice, 5 pints of beets, and 19 quarts of potatoes. 

We also bought some items to can, such as 6 quarts of pears, 5 pints of peach jam, and 7 pints of strawberry jam.  We also froze two containers of sliced strawberries.

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2023 was a busy year, but we’ll have to see what we do in 2024.

Monday, January 1, 2024

First egg of the year!

 

Unfortunately, the second egg broke so this one was covered in yolk.  There’s one hen that gets picked on, and I don’t know if the other hens aren’t letting her eat the oyster shells or what, but it seems like every other day or so there will be a broken egg in a nest.  I don’t think any are eating the eggs, so I think it’s all just the shells being thin.

When I got this one, there was another hen on another nest, and when I went out later there were two unharmed eggs there.  So, “four” eggs from seven aging hens in the middle of winter, isn’t too bad.


Sunday, October 1, 2023

Garden Roundup for September 2023

During the month of September, our hens gave us 97 eggs.  From our garden we got 1 zucchini, 1 watermelon, 2 cabbages, the last of the corn, the last of the tomatoes, the last of the peppers, the last of the shell beans, as well as a couple buckets of potatoes.  We also picked a couple buckets of grapes, as well as a few black berries and red raspberries.  We also picked several buckets of apples.  Most are for pies, but one tree makes good applesauce. 

The only thing left to pick are some cabbages, maybe a zucchini, most of the potatoes, and some apples.  The earliest frost date for here is in the first week of October.  The forecast only shows it getting down into the 40’s for the next week or so, but most things are dying back and getting ready for winter.  Since not much will happen in the garden for the next few months, I think I’ll hold off on these monthly updates.  I’ll do a roundup for the year, and then start these up again next spring.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Garden Roundup for August 2023

I wanted to get this out either on the last day of August, or the first few days of September.  But one thing after another kept coming up, and I kept putting it aside.  There were a couple of things I wanted to talk about, but I’ll save them for another post.  This will just be a super quick rundown of what we harvested in August.

For starters, we got – if my count is correct – 68 eggs.  Stuff harvested from our garden included: lettuce, just about all of our onions, 14 zucchini, a few peas (most of the plants are dead but a few are still kicking), a couple dozen tomatoes, some broccoli, some green beans, some shell beans, a bucket or so of potatoes, some cucumbers, a couple heads of cabbage, a couple dozen ears of corn, all the beets, and some green peppers.  I’ve also picked a few red raspberries and blackberries.  I also cut off the one sunflower head.  The deer ate most of the ones I planted, and I only got one good sized head.  I leave them to dry, and then sometime in winter I’ll hang them out for the birds.  The last item to mention are the apples, a few yellow transparent and a couple buckets of MacIntosh. 

If I can get around to it, hopefully soon I’ll have a post on why I think it was a good year for onions and beets.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Garden Roundup for July 2023

This roundup is late, and will be brief, because I was sick for a good chunk of July.  A stomach bug tripped me, and then like four or five other things dogpiled on.  I’m fine, the only issues I have left are a cough, and I tire easily, but I don’t know if part of that is from the heat, or just that I haven’t done anything for three weeks. 

Anyway, in July we got about 87 eggs.  I say about, because for a week or so I didn’t collect the eggs and didn’t care to ask how many we got, so that’s a rough estimate. 

The first patch of lettuce started to go to seed, but the second patch is up and I’ve started picking from it.  Our peas produced pretty well this year, and while some of the plants are dying, others still have blossoms, so I don’t know how much longer we’ll get peas.  I’ve also picked some red raspberries, and some black raspberries. 

We got swamped in blueberries.  Even with pies, and putting them in cakes and cereal, and letting neighbors pick as many as they want, I think my mom said we have 25 quart bags in the freezer.  And one of my sisters has 17.  And there are still some blueberries left to pick. 

New things we’ve picked in July: blackberries, tomatoes, several nice heads of broccoli, and zucchini.  We got 19 zucchinis, most of which were smaller sized, but three we missed and will be ground up for zucchini bread. 

Also, I had put a couple of potatoes in containers, just to see how they did.  They were starting to die, so I pulled them and got some pretty nice potatoes. 

Friday, June 30, 2023

Garden Roundup for June 2023

I’m still trying to figure out what to do with this blog.  One thing I figured I could do would be monthly roundups of what our farm/garden has produced.

If my tracking is correct, in June our chickens gave us 132 eggs.  Which, is far more than we can use.  Most of them we give away to family or neighbors. 

In June, I’ve continued picking leaf lettuce.  It seems like every three or four days I pick enough for three or four sandwiches.  I don’t know how much longer this first patch will continue to produce, it’s starting to get a bit ragged, but a second patch is already growing.  During June I’ve started to pick red currants, red raspberries, wild strawberries, and peas.  And just today, I picked our first black raspberries and blueberries of the season.  I don’t know if our late frost messed up the currants, or if the birds don’t have anything else to eat, but I’ve pretty much picked them clean and only have maybe a cup.  Some years I have ten times that without seeming like I picked any.  They’ll likely just get mixed in with the red raspberries – which we might get more of, there’s a couple patches out in the farm I need to check on – and some black raspberries to make some jelly.  We don’t have that many strawberries, and I’m not sure what we’ll do with them.  The black raspberries and blueberries are loaded, so we should get a lot of them.  The peas have just started producing, so we’ll probably get a bunch of them over the next month or so.

Finally, we’ll probably a week or so away from our first zucchini.  And I also just noticed today our beans are starting to bloom.  So we’ll be picking green beans before the end of July.