Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

Remembering those who served our country and protected our freedom.

Happy Memorial Day
source credit-NBC4 Photojournalist Steve Wainfor

Friday, May 27, 2016

Canbassador Program

Quick question for y'all...

Has any other food bloggers been contacted by to participate in the "Canbassador Program"?

Here is an excerpt of the email I received:

"What is the Canbassador program? It’s easy. We’ll send you a box of the season’s most delectable stone fruit from Washington state and encourage you to preserve with it, post about your experience and use as a resource for canning and preserves recipes, downloadable jar labels, preservation party ideas and much more.

With Washington stone fruits at the peak of season, we hope you will help promote the canning revival! As part of the team, we ask you to help us grow the program and spread the word about “putting up” the season’s freshest, juiciest fruit while exploring your craft and passion for preservation.

We encourage you to check out the website resources and test the recipes; or if you’d like to come up with your own, we would be glad to include it in our recipe content. Please let us know if you’d like to participate and we’ll coordinate with you to send the box of fruit your way. We look forward to appointing you as an official Canbassador."

I am intrigued. Has anyone else participated in this program?

Friday, May 20, 2016

My sunshine day

I took a vacation day on Wednesday because I was in dire need of a "me" day. And it so happened the sun was shining with temperatures in the 60's. In other words--perfect to work on the raised garden beds. My camera batteries were charging, so I don't have any before pictures. But trust me they would have been horrible. Everything was a hot mess.

Here is my after. You can see the rhubarb (far left) is out of control, which is indicative of the entire garden prior to clean up. Each one of those piles of debris were from the beds. All 6 were overrun with weeds. And creep crawly spiders (shudders). I did my spider freak out dance a few times. ugh

The good news is I initially thought there was only 1 strawberry plant that survived the marauding deer last year. As I dug through all the weeds, I actually had 11! Some are rather puny and spindly but hopefully they will bulk up. I have 12 new strawberry plants and 10 bare roots plants. I am going to need a bigger strawberry bed! 

All 3 blackberry bushes survived. I have 2 Apache thornless blackberries on either side of a Navaho thornless blackberry.  The Navaho is far more vigorous in its growth than the Apache's. I need a better (stronger) trellis.  On the to do list!

My bamboo teepee trellis can no longer weather the elements. So it will be disassembled and added to the burn pile. See where it is currently placed?  That was a raised bed but the wood frame fell apart. We scavenged the pieces which were usable, to repair some of the remaining beds and the soil was redistributed as well. This weekend we are purchasing some composite material or composite kits, soil mix and materials for the deer fencing.. 

I had an unwelcome overnight visitor. Or group of visitors.  #@$% rabbits have already made the strawberries their buffet! GAH!!!

So I rigged up a barrier for now. It isn't very attractive but hopefully it does the job intended.

I scored some pretty good deals at Tractor Supply on Wednesday. Bare root roses, normally $6.99 for $0.99 (more about these later), a 10 pack of bare root strawberries for $1.79 and bareroot thornless boysenberries for $2.29 each. WOOT!

Anyone else find some good deals? Or are dealing with keeping wildlife out of your gardens?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dreary Weekend and a Garden Update

It is ANOTHER dreary weekend. I can't believe it is so cold and rainy.  I am so worried about my seedlings.

The big garden has been rototilled 3x now. The problem is, it has been much too cold and rainy to plant. We typically put the garden in by Mother's day.  I am waiting-not very patiently, mind you--for Mother Nature to make up her mind.

As a result of the weather, I have the Three Stooges of Seedlings.

Now at 34 days since the seeds were sown. Not ONE single pepper seed has germinated, despite my heating pad/ hot water bottle as a seed mat to warm the soil, and steaming up the portable cold frame tricks. I thought I saw some teensy green shoots, but it was only the pearlite that had discolored.

44 days-With all the cool weather we are having, I thought it would be the optimum growing conditions for my lettuce, spinach and green onions.

Grow Crazy
34 days-My cucurbits are growing -well- crazy! I have already transplanted the winter squash once. With our weather being so weird I may need to transplant again. 

The raised beds are a mess. The rhubarb needs cut down and everything else needs weeded. or blown up with dynamite.  I have new strawberries to plant since the deer decimated mine last year. Only 1 plant came back this year. How sad.  I also have 4 new blueberry plants. One of these days, I will be successful with blueberries.

We still need to pull the 2 dead peach trees. And replace them...again. I would like to plant some apple trees...again. I thought about espalier fruit trees on the side of my garage, but that requires relocating the perennial bed and about 7 yrs to train the fruit trees to form. Ain't nobody got time for that!

It looks like 1 of the blackberries survived the marauding deer. The other 2 are in bad shape. Hopefully after the hard pruning they will recover for next year.

Last night and expected tonight the temps are in the mid 30's. Today's high was 46° but with the wind it feels like high 30's...bbbrrrr.

So I used the crappy weather to my advantage. I removed the baseboard from the dining room (to prepare for new flooring), painted the walls and plastered the cracked walls in the stairwell.

Oh well, I will keep chipping away at my to do list and hope for improved weather.  What weekend projects are you working on?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Oh so shiny

Y'all know I am obsessed with kitchen stuff.

Well my overpriced cookware  (Zwilling J.A. Henkels) bit the dust. All that money and only a 2 year warranty. BAH!!  Never again will I spend so much money on cookware. So I decided to go with stainless steel. No teflon, no ceramic coating, just going back to basic (not including my cast iron) cookware. 


Shiny new cookware....aaahhhh, it makes me so happy!

Not only is it shiny, I scored a FANTABULOUS deal!  (Much MUCH cheaper than my other set)

Oh yeah, look at the retail price, now

If I were paying retail it would be $208.13, holy sticker shock!  I saved 75% (including tax).  I bought my new cookware at Macy's (hello magic plastic, haha). Sale + a 25% off coupon.  Woot!

What good deals have you scored recently?