Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What you plant and why it matters...

So this year I broke down and bought a bag of pea seeds.
I normally just plant what we saved from last year.
This year the packaging seduced me.
The Heritage Seeds Co.
Brown paper bag shouting
I couldn't help myself.

I note that normally I don't care what kind of stuff I plant.
But thanks to my new job growing organic vegetables at The Kitchen Garden...
I know it matters what you grow.

I'll show you the proof.
Above you'll see the pea on the left...is one grown from seed we saved.
The one on right is the Lincoln Homesteader.
I will forever use capitals and call them by their right name...
they are an amazing specimen of shelling pea.

The one on the left (ours) produced poorly and with only about 3-4 peas per pod.
The one on the right (Righteous Lincoln Homesteader) kept pumping out the peas for 5 weeks and produced a whopping 12-14 peas per pod!!!
NOTE:  They then produced a very healthy second blush of perfectly sweet peas in the middle of AUGUST!?!!

That means...
We have 2 large freezer bags stuffed full of peas for the winter.
That's the most peas we've ever been able to store!!!
Thank you Heritage Seed Co.
Thank you Lincoln Homesteader.

PS.  We planted another beds of peas two weeks ago...I'll give you 3 guesses what kind...

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Hot Weather and Chicken Keeping

Like most places recently, we experienced a heat wave.
When you have livestock...of any size...you need to be aware.
It's no joke.
A girl I know lost her tom turkey to heat stress.
Even if you provide enough shade...it's not enough.
This past week was 29 degrees C...in the shade.

I saw this post on Pinterest...about putting stuff in ice cubes for your hens.
It cools them off.
It's a boredom buster.
It has healthy treats inside.

What's not to love?

They were definitely curious.

They loved it!

PS.  We left peas out on the counter.
They dried up a bit overnight...not the most desirable for eating.
So I threw them in an ice cube tray along with some old frozen corn from last year.
Why not?

How do you beat the heat with your livestock?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Strawberries...quickest season ever...

Well that was fast!

hot dry May + hot wet June = Crappy Strawberry season 2015

We are fortunate that my husband gets the first two weeks of July off.
If we didn't have that opportunity...we wouldn't have gotten any strawberries this year.

Husband and son went to Fruition Berry Farm on hwy 15, north of Kingston.

They came home with a bunch of baskets.
(They even came home with new baskets!
Our old plastic white ones have lasted almost 10 years!)

They even came home with 5 pints of pre-picked raspberries.

The same equation up above applies to raspberries with one exception.

hot dry May + hot wet June = no picking after noon in July

The boys just missed it.

Thank goodness for pre-picked berries!!!
(and the staff that go in the hot field to pick them!)

We froze 4 large freezer bags of whole, cleaned strawberries
and one large freezer bag of whole, cleaned raspberries.
Perfect for smoothies!

We also jarred 8 jars of strawberry jam,
4 jars of raspberry jam and
1 jar of rasp-strawberry jam!
Perfect for the classic...PB & J.
Which is one of Owen's favorite breakfasts...
Since he can't eat them at school.

I heard mixed reviews about picking from other folks at other patches in our area.
Some had it good....others, not so much.

Did you get to go berry picking?
Where and how was it?