Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Random Gardening Tidbits, and Rain Barrels

The weather went from a chilly morning to 60°F by dinner time yesterday.  The days are slowly starting to heat up nicely.  

After early morning barn chores, I also did a quick check on any new asparagus. I then started my day with breakfast on the porch - egg/cheese/canadian bacon sandwich and coffee. 

The roses got some banana peels buried next to them for fertilizing, and some old coffee poured around them.  

My sage is starting to look green again.  I'll put stock piling this herb for winter.  We are pretty low on it.  I need to build myself another herb rack before the barn is demolished too (I make them out of barn siding).  I better put that on my "to-do" list before I forget.

Yesterday, it was back to outdoor work.   I got my shell peas planted.  I'm super excited to see how they do.  I told Hubby we're going to need more ground tilled up this year.  He sighed.  He knows I'll be the one weeding and harvesting it, so all he has to do is till and help plant it.  He'll get over it.

Anyway, I measured my shell pea fence - 20 1/2 feet.  I planted on both sides, so we hope to have a good harvest.

I managed to set up two of our four rain barrels.  If Hubby agrees, later this year, I'd like to add one more rain barrel.  We used them all summer last year, and I would like one next to one of the barns, closer to an area we plant tomatoes and/or fruit.  These barrels have really helped us conserve the use of our well water.

I'm trying to get back on my busy routine, but yesterday I almost forgot to bottle feed.  Yikes!  Between laundry, animals, dogs, garden planting/weeding, making an after school snack (warm steel cut oats with fruit and nuts), changing clothes, I got discombobulated once again.  I think I need to get up earlier.

I spent a few minutes on the porch updating my garden journals.  One is actually graph paper, so I can draw out the garden and mark where we planted what (and how much).  Typically, I have great intentions to keep this going all planting season, but I tend to forget about it by bed time.  

Tonight we are having meatballs with home canned mustard sauce, mashed potatoes with garlic and fresh chives, and home grown asparagus.  That is, if I don't keel over before then. 

Note:  Pepper Mustard Sauce Recipe
I have a lot to get done today.

Oh, and yesterday, my goat-keeper daughter gave me the green light on using an abundance of goat's milk.

Those are the empty jars soaking in the sink.  Cheese making has begun in our house this Spring.  First up, is a batch of homemade ricotta.  I'm thinking stuffed shells and/or crock pot macaroni and cheese.  I just hope I remember to rinse it today and drain it.


Susan said...

I love your rain barrel! I have one and am going to add another this year. It is such a big help with the garden. Have you ever set up a barrel of manure tea? I am thinking about that, too, as I sure have a lot of manure. I am interested in your mustard sauce - it sounds delicious! Sounds like you have a lot of balls in the air!!

Kristina said...

Susan, I have three of that style, and one of a different style. I've never tried the manure tea. The mustard sauce should be on my blog. I'll try to see and link it for your. It's great for dipping, meatballs, chicken, and other treats. You can make it with mild peppers or hot banana peppers. I make it hot. It's great on rice too, or other grain. I should try it on millet, now that you mention it.

Debby Flowers said...

Yeah for homemade cheese! I haven't made any yet as we are just milking in the morning and the kids get the rest, but soon ... No asparagus either at our place yet but it shouldn't be too long now. Spring is GRAND!

Kristina said...

Debby, it's amazing how different the cheese tastes homemade (vs. buying it). The asparagus too.

RB said...

That is a gorgeous tulip picture.

Kristina, does your sage winter over (cause if it winters over up there in Ohio, it should surely be able to do that here in southern NC? How do you plant it? I have no luck at all planting sage in NC in pots. Maybe if I stuck the seeds in the ground, it would do better for me.

Growing up, we had a terrible well, so we often had old metal 55-gallon drums beneath the downspouts. I remember having to wash our hair in it. It'd be cold as snot, but we'd put buckets on the picnic table, one for wetting/washing and one for rinsing, and I remember our hair coming out so shiny.

I also remember a time or two taking showers under those downspouts in hard rains when there was no lightning. We'd put on our bathing suits, take a bar of soap out with us, soap up out stinky places and rinse well. Worked great, but again, it was always cold cold water, even in summer. Still, better than nothing.

God bless.


Kristina said...

RB, I plant mine directly in the ground. So far, it has come back every year since planting. My girls washed their hair in rain water (fresh) one year, when the power went out, ha ha!