Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Let the War Begin . . .

There is a war that I am in support of - It is the war against bugs that come with the intent of destroying my garden. This morning, one of my children called me over to look at the zucchini leaves and this is what saw: 
These are swarming groups of squash beetles - all sizes of them - they must have just hatched a new round of them. So, I ran and grabbed a few spray bottle that had blue Dawn dish soap in them. Then we did this:
After spraying and drowning many of the bugs, the war seemed to be over for the moment . . . until the next funky bug shows up, barging into my garden space.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Go Green!

Well, the picture above is my version of "Go Green!" It is the start of what will hopefully be lots of produce from the garden - cukes, bell peppers, zucchini and jalapenos are in the picture. I'll try to get a pic of when we "Go Red!"
         Here is another green plant growing in our garden - mint. These were sprigs that the kids brought home from Grandma's house a little while ago. They are doing good - some in a sink and others in a bathtub (in the garden).
Here is one last for the night since I am tired and need to get some sleep. This is a pic of a few of my children standing by one of the giant sunflowers we planted in the garden.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

R is for . . . Rabbit!

Ahhhh, yet another thing to enter the ranch . . . a Production White meat rabbit. On and  off over the years I have thought about raising rabbits for meat. In recent months, I have met a few folks that actually raise them and all of them say that it is a profitable adventure. Well, it just happened to work out that one of our hay customers (Loretta Merritt in Tahlequah, OK - thanks Loretta!!) raises these great meat rabbits. So, we worked a little deal out and now we have the doe pictured below and a buck named K-bar (pictures of him to come).

         When Loretta was here the other day, she brought us a gift of 3 fryer rabbits all dressed out and ready for cooking. A few of the girls hopped on it (no pun intended!!) and made some green sauce rabbit enchiladas. Everyone who ate them said they were delicious. There was enough meat to fill enough trays to feed about 25 people and, there was even meat left over!
        Obviously, I will keep you updated on how we do at raising these rabbits. Our doe was bred on the June 6th so she will be due in a month from that date. Loretta said she would come back and show us the only way to process the fryers - according to her, her way is the only way to do it. I believe that, especially since she says she can do one rabbit in a minute flat!! This I have got to see!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

G is for . . . Garlic

     Well, 7 months have passed since we first put the garlic bulbs in the ground. Some of the leaves have been turning brown and some of the plants have even started to bolt (produce a flower head). I decided to pull a few out to see what they looked like. They seemed to look good. After coming and researching a little bit, I decided to go get a few more of the garlic plants and try my hand at braiding them. 
     There is some debate among garlic growers as to whether or not to wash the bulbs off or not before the curing process. I decided to leave the dirt on them and did my best at a not-so-good-braid. Now that braid is hanging . . . in the house!
      In the picture below, you can see that the garlic braid is hanging right above the kitchen table and counter area.
Here is a closer pic of the hanging braid:


Here are a few pics of when I was trying to figure out how to do a braid:

MORE Garden Updates

It is so fun to have a garden! Here are some updated pictures from my morning stroll around the place. This first picture is one of the best sites to me, as I am a green salsa eater - tomatillos. These are a relation to tomatoes but are a little different. The green fruit grows inside a papery husk. This is the key ingredient for Salsa Verde! mmmm!! 
A green bell pepper in this picture:

Chili peppers - I'll have to try my hand at making chili powder!

Suriyah, my daughter, has been keeping a close eye on the cucumbers and, there are little ones growing!! Woohoo!! See the start of a little cuke in the picture below?
Recently, my nephew was able to get a whole bunch of 5 gallon buckets. And, he says he can get me an endless supply. So, what does a gardener do with a bunch of 5 gallon buckets? Expand the container garden. We will see how the tomato plants in the buckets produce compared to the one in the ground and the other ones in the freezers.