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My Weekend Project: Preparing For Next Year’s Garden

It’s never too early to start planning for next year’s garden, especially if you do not use conventional fertilizers.

We spent the weekend cleaning out the barn, and preparing a new garden spot for next year. 

We currently have our main garden at our other farm, about 5 miles done the road, so we wanted one here too. 

To do this we decided to “lay out” the garden spot by taking tall field grass that we bush hogged, and putting it in the shape we wanted the garden spot.

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This is a pic that was taken while we were still spreading it. This was a couple of weeks ago. We let it set on the area for weeks to kill off the grass underneath, while at the same time adding nutrients into our soil. 

After the couple of weeks we burnt the dead grass to clean up the area for plowing, as well as increase the nutrients in the soil further. (This was this weekend)

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Fluff up the dead grass to allow it to burn easier. 

Start the fire on each side, and watch it carefully to avoid it spreading.

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It is also important to stay with the fire a it burns to keep it under control. A pitchfork works well for this. 

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Once it has all burnt down it looks like this.

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Now it is ready to plow.

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After the garden bed is plowed, you can till the garden. 

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Once this is all finished, just sprinkle the tilled garden bed with high magnesium lime, and you re good to go.

We will work compost into it at some time before garden planting.

This is an easy way to get the garden area ready, and healthy for next spring.

Or fall garden is at the old farm, so we will be tending it…hopefully we will get some goodies 🙂 

 

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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in Garden, Natural Living

 

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Weekend Project: A Potting Bench From Pallets

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It was a busy weekend…seems like it always is. 

Not to mention busy all week long, but I am not complaining..there is something that can be said about being busy.

We did accomplish a few things. You know how it goes…you make a list that has about a million to-do items, and consider it an accomplishment to cross a few off the list.

One thing that we did get done is an item that has been on my “honey-do” list for quite a while. It took a little…persuading….ahem…but Chad (hubby) helped me get a potting bench put together from old pallets. 

It turned out pretty good..if I do say so myself. The kids helped me paint it, and it is now at home on my back deck.

As usual..we didn’t really draw any plans…I just looked at a few potting benches that you can buy, and we made it our own 🙂

I like it. It will come in handy around here. 

I also had a big job ahead of me this weekend in the kitchen.

Canning, freezing, and the like.

Yep..squirreling away the bounty…

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We had someone give us some cucumbers (a little far gone..but they were free, so I gladly took them). 

Anytime I get “overgrown” cucumbers I make relish with them.

The relish is good on meatloaf sandwiches, or whatever else floats your boat. 

Dilly Relish

  • a few overgrown cukes
  • 1/2-1 small onion, diced
  • white vinegar
  • canning salt
  • fresh dill
  • black peppercorns

To make the relish:

Dice the cukes up in small pieces. Add to a bowl.

Add the diced onion. 

Take canning jars and add the veggie mixture to the jars to fill.

Fill the jars 3/4 way full with the vinegar, add some fresh dill, 1 tsp. salt (for a qt.), and a few peppercorns.

Top off with water. You can refrigerate to use fresh, or hot bath them to preserve them.

I don’t have exact measurements. This is a made up recipe. I am a eye-baller. It’s just how I roll. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

In addition to the massive cucumbers, you can probably see that I got some peppers.

I pickled them. Alyssa (my 13 year old daughter) loves them pickled.

Our peaches, blueberries, and cherries came in as well.

I canned the peaches…

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The blueberries, and sour cherries I just froze so that went pretty quick. 

Like always I struggle to “be okay” with what we accomplished… I am the Queen of Unrealistic Expectations…just ask my hubby 😉

We did get some things accomplished though, and I am thankful for that. 

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in DIY, Preserving Foods

 

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My Weekend Project: An Herb Box From Untreated Pallets

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We had a weekend of canning, cleaning, and mucking pens.

Ye haw! I know, your jealous! (lol :-))

However, we did get an herb box slapped together from untreated pallets. (Treated pallets may last longer, but they also could leach nasties into your soil…and into your herbs)

This herb box is in no way a majorly constructed, life lasting herb box…but it will do the job…for free.

We would have needed about five million  wagon loads of dirt, so we decided to use a bit of German wisdom …blended with some hillbilly-redneck gumption to create a raised herb bed. We took the idea from German raised bed gardens (a.k.a. hugelkultur raised construction) and put brush at the bottom of the herb box.

Next we added some seasoned “patties” from the pasture. (old cow poo)

Next we put some dirt from the compost, some leftover un-fortified tobacco soil, and sprinkled it with high magnesium lime for good measure.

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My son, Cade (who is 4), thought it looked like a big cake. lol

I am soaking the herb seeds for 24 hours(because I am not really sure what the water retention will be like in the box..we tend to make up stuff as we go along…that’s just how we roll)

I will let you know how the planting goes…I am also making plant markers today with the kids help…should be…um…interesting.

 

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in DIY, Garden

 

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