dalthauser: (Dorie Roo)

Tomorrow is the last day of May; it seemed to just fly by.  This month we had loads of rain.  This was good for us, but our neighbors in San Marcos and Wimberly good clobbered.  Houston and Dallas has had it's share of the wetness as well.  They say, as of today, it has rained enough to put the entire state under 8 inches of water.  I hope everyone's water table is where it should be for this year as a result.



Aug. 9th, 2008 10:01 pm
dalthauser: (Default)
*  I got my estimate for Home Improvements today.  It wasn't pretty.  Siding (Vinyl - basic nothing fancy) whole house except back porch - $13,937 (this includes everything like window wraps and carport ceiling).   Replacing all my windows with the siding job $5,585 (but doing just the 6 I need most would be about $3,000).  This is a Home Depot installation.  He estimated payment of $106 for I think 88 months.... at 13.9% interest.  Not - I could put it on my credit card for 10% - but I'd get a home improvement or equity loan.  One thing I do have is excellent credit. :-)  Needless to say, back to the drawing board.  There's no way I can commit to that amount.  I'm going to get two more estimates - then rethink my plan.  I'll probably get some emergency siding put on the bad side of the house - then make a plan to save for the next year to pay for half of this in cash (or less if I can get a better quote)  I gotta say - while it was as bad as I expected, it was good therapy to do it.  I didn't turn into a stone and crumble into a million pieces when I saw the $$ amount afterall :-)

* The Main Mama Hen layed a torpedo yesterday.  Almost 3 ounces.  Here is a picture comparing it to what her competition is laying.  Today I got 8 eggs - all with good shells, so the embryo eggs hopefully are a thing of the past. I did pick up layer mash and oyster shell grit today though.

* Did anybody catch todays episode of God's Warriors on CNN?  They did the Jewish, segment, and it was enlightening (no pun intended). I'm glad to see this type of coverage. I was just glad to see someone put it out there - the fact that the settlements are basically illegal, that our government is sending billions of dollars to the settlements even when we officially condemn them, that all our congressmen and senators are afraid to speak out about what is right there out in the open for fear of being labeled anti-semite. 

* I found more cantaloupes hiding in the tomato vines.  When I try to grow melons I'm a complete failure.  I guess the trick is throwing out old moldy melon pulp and waiting for the bionic melon vines the following year.  I also harvested August tomatoes.  August tomatoes are better than no tomatoes at all.  See the dime in comparison with the cherry tomatoes - they don't get much smaller than that - and they are very sweet.

* Today the temperature was101F, so I got minimal stuff done outside.  I'm going to try and go to sleep now and get up super early so I can do some garden work.  Fall is coming!!!! - I have to get the garden ready for planting, and I want to finally level and laydown weed barrier around the perimeter of the garden (doubtful I'll complete that tomorrow with all the other things I have to do - but I can at least try).  I was wanting to see Dark Knight at IMAX tomorrow evening, but I don't know..... maybe I won't - such a long drive just for a movie.


Jul. 26th, 2008 11:29 pm
dalthauser: (Default)
* The WW Gnocchi was no good - starchy mess.  I toasted some homemade bread and had my veggies w/parmesan & pesto on top.  It was good.

* Finished harvesting the last of my onions.  Boo hoo. 

* I fried up the veggie chips, and they were excellent.  Reminded me of the shrimp chips we used to buy when I was a kid in Hawaii.  First pic is a before and after comparison.  The before is a hard chip - like a poker chip.

* This is a little canteloupe who snuck in and staked a claim in my tomato patch.  I didn't expect fruit - and I certainly didn't expect to get an edible melon out of the deal.  I ate half and the chickens got half.

dalthauser: (Default)
My dearest fig tree - the first thing I ever planted on my property - blessed me with with an actual crop this year.  The first year I owned it I almost killed it.  It died to the ground, and I almost dug it up and gave it a decent burial.  I procrastinated though - and the next spring it began to grow again.  I vowed to treat it right from then on.  This year it really took off growing.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I bury random dead animals I come across underneath it (so far two squirrels, a raccoon, and a few birds).

Fig tree started as a little 2 ft high baby tree in a gallon bucket.  Now it's well over 8 feet.

Fig tree is big enough now that I have to use a ladder to get to the top.

Fig tree is producing enough this year for the birds AND me.
dalthauser: (Default)
I probably won't be posting Monday - so here's my weekend wrap up early.

Saturday I went to a chicken show.  It was hot - temperature hot.  I saw a few people I knew, and it was interesting seeing all the bantams (mini chickens).  I'd never be into showing chickens, but it's entertaining to attend.

Here's an update on the Shade Garden.  I never could get the Astilbe to grow, but the mondo grass is hanging in there and the Hostas and Caladiums are holding their own.  I need to put something in the center now - it looks too plain.  I might do a bird feeder or bird bath.

I harvested Shallots, onions, garlic, and chard. 

I made whole wheat sourdough biscuits (like I really need those calories!) :-)

and I started thinking about fixing the toilet.  I got it halfway taken apart - and then PFFFFFT!  I went and watched an episode of The Tudors on surfthechannel.com instead.

dalthauser: (Default)

* Peppers are starting to produce.  Here is a picture of a Bell I harvested yesterday.  It weighed 12 ounces.  How it looks in my hand is how I picked it off the plant.  I don't wait for Bells to turn red because it usually gets sunburned before that could happen.

* The cucumbers are climbing pretty good by now.  They aren't doing as well as I hoped, but I'm going to wait and see.  This is a new Japanese variety - so it might be partly due to that.  Might go back to the old variety next year.

* Tomatoes are producing like crazy.  I'm harvesting about a quart of cherry tomatoes a day.  I have 444's as well but they aren't nearly as prolific. I'm letting them grow wild this year with no staking (even though I put in stakes in the beginning) and no pruning.  This coming Wednesday I'll be making fresh salsa since all the ingredients are harvestable (onions, tomatoes, chilis).

* Last years cucumbers volunteered to grow in my tomato patch.  Not sure how the seeds found there way there since the cucumbers grew a whole patch over last year.  I'm going to leave them alone even though I have others growing elsewhere.  Never turn down a plant trying to make you food I say.

* Now that the blackberries are done producing - time to prune back the canes so the new canes will receive all the water and nutrition for next years crop.  This truly is hazardous duty - even with gloves.

* I have two volunteer blackberries that rooted themselves.  This makes me smile.  I am going to transplant them to buckets and maybe find them a home.   Otherwise the mower will get them.

* Some people throw their change on the kitchen table when they come in the door.......

dalthauser: (Default)

Now it's looking more like a beet.  Either way - the roots appear to be edible - so I'm eating them! :-)

dalthauser: (carrot)
This is the solo Kohlrabi.  I planted the seeds and I forgot I'd done so - I pulled most of them thinking they were weeds and planted Romaine over them - this one survived and grew into a shape of a heart!  

I thought about selling it on ebay..... but I ate it instead (tasted like broccoli stems) :-)

dalthauser: (carrot)
New experiment.  I'm dehydrating my garden.  

Mostly the greens (collards, spinach, etc.) that I can't consume and have already frozen a good supply.   It's pretty simpe, and they shrink down to almost nothing - kind of creepy.  I'm storing them in the glass bottles/jars I can't bear to throw out.

I'm going to play with it and see how I can use it.  My first idea is using it in my smoothies in the summer when greens don't grow in the garden.  I can save some money because I spend about $25 a month on smoothie greens during the summer months.  They can also go into fortifying soups/stews.  Maybe included in dips (which I never make....so that's not a very good idea I guess). 

Anyway - I'll keep my journal posted on my progress :-)

dalthauser: (Default)

I'm thinning out the carrots so the rest can grow bigger.

Aren't these adorable?  

I chopped them up really good

and tossed them into a mixed greens salad (making it even more mixed....)

Go Greens!!

On a Slightly Negative Note.......

dalthauser: (Default)
This is one of the manybenefits of having a garden.  
Fresh Organic Edamame lightly boiled with salt and eaten straight out of the shell.  
The only thing missing is a Kirin Beer!  
I get to enjoy snacking on my edamame about 12 times (I made 12 containers of edamame in shell - the rest of the soybeans I grew I shelled and froze). 

Next year I will remember a few things I learned this year:

* Grow more! - 3/4 of a row is not enought
* Planting the organic dried soybeans from the HFS works just as well as from specialty seed places.  I planted both this year and they both turned out great.
* Blanch the soybeans before shelling - much much easier!!
* Did I mention growing MORE next year?? :-)
dalthauser: (Default)

I actually did this over the weekend.  Harvested all the garlic and dealt with it.  Pickled some, froze some, and gave some away.


dalthauser: (Default)

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