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~

Friday, September 4, 2015

Operation "Garden" ~ Flower Seeds ~ Salsa Chicken

Last week, I told the kids it was "Operation Extreme Clean" and to not expect anything but cleaning the house.  This weekend?

"Operation Garden" if the weather cooperates.

I have officially started the gutting of the garden. The girls won't like me, but it needs to be worked on.  The barns may be next, so it's time to pull it all out.
It was very humid, and when I took my camera lens off yesterday, it immediately fogged up.  I have only gotten two hours out there, and much to do.  I only got 1/4 of the distance down the carrot row, beet row and green bean row.  I found many beets yet, and even carrots.  The carrots are no bigger than three inches in length (most are 2 inches or less), so I'm pulling them all out.  It will feed us a few meals, but won't be enough to freeze this year.  Some of the tops will go to Milo, our pet rabbit.

This is what all of the vegetable gardens look like.  Full of grass, thistle and various weeds.  Today the grass pulled easily, so I could find the dead plants to pull (or other surprises).  I am going to need to move my pea fence too, so that will determine where I plant my garlic next.  I can't move it to the south, because my asparagus is there.  I may move it completely to the new plot we are going to put in. 

 Lots and lots of weeds in those gardens.  Rain was due at 11am, so I stopped, but at noon, rain never arrived.  I should have worked another hour or two.

After I came in and showered off the yuck, I started to feel better, but this morning I feel worse.  Even though it rained again, I am opting to stay away from the garden.  If there is one thing I learned this year, it's patience.

This is a big pile of zinnia seeds. I've managed to save these year after year.  In between cleaning, I have managed to cut more peppermint and spearmint to dry too.

Next "new" recipe to try? 

Salsa Chicken.  I had a few jars of Fiesta Salsa from two years ago that needed to be used up.   Once again, I need to work better at reducing how much I bake (I forget I am cooking for 4 now).

The recipe  for the chicken dish is basically boneless organic chicken tossed in my homemade taco mix, then placed in a baking dish with some salsa on the bottom, and then topped with salsa.  I added some shredded mild cheddar cheese (honestly this could be left out of the recipe) at the end.   I made organic brown rice and corn for a side, so we could simply mix the salsa extras into it.  I won't need to write this recipe down, as it's pretty easy to remember as a back up.

The problem with saving all the good recipes I try, is space.  I am now loading them to my computer, but still want a printed back-up, so I'll be doing that too.  I may upgrade my wooden recipe box to a larger one too.  Not sure just yet.


Kim said...

I am glad you are getting some from your gardens. With your allergies, have you ever thought of working with more intensive garden plots instead of the old time gardens that require so much weeding and tilling? I have about a 1/3 the space as you and on a good weather year I grow and can upwards of 1000 quarts of food. My dad always gardens as you do and he is amazed at my lack of space and the high yield we get. Its just a thought.

Mama Pea said...

Cleaning up my garden which is pretty much under control looms ahead as a large task so I can't imagine how daunting getting yours cleaned up must seem! Through no fault of your own though so don't even go there. Hear me, missy?! :o]

I know there's no way you can "lay low" because of everything that has to be done (both inside and out) each and every day on a homestead, but you have to take care of yourself, too. (Yeah, I know. So much easier said than done.) Hope you and the family have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Kim, we have four raised beds, but they are not doing well. We may try adding a few more.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

LOL! Mama Pea, I have already found something in my kitchen to clean. Our one college daughter gets to come home today. I'm sure we'll have some good food over the weekend. No camping though - too crowded on holidays.

Sam I Am...... said...

The chicken looks delicious and good luck trying to stop cooking for many. I live alone and I still can't stop cooking too much but I don't waste it I just cook about once a week and eat it all week long! I don't get tired of it if it's something I like.
Maybe next year you could mulch inbetween the rows. I used to lay newspaper and cover it with straw or grass since I had a bagger back then on my mower. Try to enjoy your weekend.

HeatherD76 said...

My garden looks just like yours. Makes me not want to do anything out there. My Jade bush beans decided to flower again, so I picked about 5 gallons today and pulled the plants as I went. We will have more than enough green beans canned for the year.

Liz said...

Sadly my garden was a weed bed too! I probably have some carrots buried some where in mine. The make a chicken dish similar to that, looks good!

RB said...

Sorry you're still not feeling well. Has anyone else in the family had this?
We had over 100 students and faculty sent home from two schools in one school district with the norovirus last week. Everyone showed up Wednesday, then everyone started getting sick as the day went on, with some having to be hospitalized. The next two days, over a thousand stayed home because parents refused to send their kids until they were sure the school and the buses had all been sanitized.
Why not save all your recipes on a Flash Drive as well as your computer. That will save both computer and paper space, and can be used as a backup to reload to the computer should the computer go south. They come up to 32M now. I do that with my family pictures.
Sending prayers you're feeling better real soon.
God bless.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

RB, just one other kiddo got sick, but is better now. I know my problem, is forcing myself to rest, ha ha! Good idea for the recipes.