Wednesday, June 20, 2012


  This time of year things get a little nuts for many of us who garden.  And this being the first year for us here, I'm going just a little nuts too.  I haven't had the time to stop and visit my friends on other blogs, much less sit down and "put pen to paper" here.  What with the feeding, weeding, picking, prepping, canning and drying I find myself plumb wore out come sunset!  Oh, toss the animals in the mix while you're at it!  LOL!
What a great life though!  The only clock I'm having to punch is natures own right now. What an awesome feeling.  Who would have thought that one year ago this didn't even seem possible.  

I experimented with a new recipe for making dill relish. I don't really use the stuff much but its great to have on hand for things like tuna, chicken or egg salad.  In the past I've always just bought a jar occasionally.  So I started searching recipes and 

found one I could try with all fresh ingredients grown right here.  I found one this past week and gave it a shot.  I'm not real pleased with the "look" of the final outcome but it is still pretty good.  Just not exactly what I was hoping to see.  It called for using cornstarch to thicken it up and I think that is where the weirdish color comes from.  

That being said, I put up 6 pints so I won't be needing any soon.  Next time around I'll try a different recipe.  Part of the fun of all this is being able to try new things.  Since I had the pot going I also put up a couple of pints of sweet banana pepper rings.  It looks and smells good but I'll know more after it sits a couple of weeks.  The reviews on the recipe were pretty great though.  Supposed to be like those pepper rings you get on a good sub sandwich.  `

I've been able to put up several quarts of purple hull peas, Cherokee Beans (yum!) two types of green beans, dragon beans and a couple of jars of of "magic beans" as well. Since it seems to take me forever to shell enough beans for a full run on the canner I've been trying something new to me.  I've been putting the beans (or peas or green beans) into the jars as I finish prepping them and then vacuum sealing them to keep them fresher until I get enough to can a whole batch.  So far it seems to be working well.  

 I'm already getting ready to save seed from the magic beans as they really weren't all that prolific. Next year I'll be sure to get them staked sooner. I'm pretty sure that's why I didn't get good yields from them. 

 Just a reminder if you are just starting out with a garden you really should consider making a garden journal.  I can't remember how many times in the past I've said "Oh, I'll remember this or that next year".  Trust me you won't remember! These carrots are a great reminder of that. 
 I know I planted them pretty early in the season but I don't exactly remember when.  Which makes for a hard time in knowing what time they should be ready. That being said.... they sure are tasty!

 Now for the confession..... I'm real behind in keeping up with my journal this year.  I sure do need to sit a spell with my notebook.  
 I've also been remiss in recording just what is producing and what isn't.  What bugs ate what, what we tried to kill them with, all that interesting stuff that folks always thing they will remember next time around.  

These days though if I'm sitting somewhere I've usually got a bucket of beans or peas or whatever beside me and a bowl in my lap.  I've had to lay down the knitting for now in deference to the snapping, peeling, shucking and other preparations to get ready to put food by.  

Why is it that in all the blogs I read ( when I get a chance) no one ever talks about the prep time involved?  It still amazes me that things like a  five gallon bucket of something like beans or peas only nets you about 4-5 quarts of goodness.  

                        ~~~  Hey... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~


  1. LOL, 'no one ever talks about the prep time...'
    Wellllll, my Dear- you should save the knitting for winter and work on food when the time is right. For all things there is a season- and summer ain't knittin' time.
    OK, anuff teasin'.
    You're having good luck with your garden, and I'm so happy you've got more to do than not. With all the rain we've had- 10 inches above average for the year so far- my garden (and septic) have been flooded out. However, I think I may have a good turnip patch this year: the seeds sprouted all over the yard... :-\
    And on the snapping and shucking... there was a reason farm families had lotsa kids... hey, I'm just sayin'! ;)

  2. Which reminds me- if ya want a wonderful recipe for Green Pepper Jelly, I've a great one. Every man in the family asks for this as a Christmas gift every year. GREAT stuff... :P mm, mouth waterin'.

  3. Funny you say that about the knitting... I've been thinking the same thing! Besides... who wants all that yarn sitting in your lap when its 90+ outside. (not to mention the two 5 gallon buckets of peas sitting there staring at you!) So sorry to hear abut your "wetness" Honestly the first thing I thought when I read about your septic was "OH CRAP!!" lol

    If you would be kind enough to share your Jelly recipe with me, I'd surely try it this year!

  4. Everything looks really great. Congratulations!

    1. Thanks LindaG! My butts dragging but its all working out. (kinda)

  5. Your garden looks fabulous!! I hope and pray I will be in your shoes this time next year :)

  6. I remember our first harvest of peas. I thought I planted "soooo" many, but didn't even get enough to put ANY away. Granted, we all love sweet peas, and DD and I would occasionally snack from the vines during the day, but it definitely was a gardening "wake up call". Need to plant WAYYYYYYY more peas!

    I'm glad your garden is doing well.

    1. Carolyn, our green peas didn't do a dang thing this year. I got enough from them for a stir-fry. First time trying to grow them here though. I'll chalk this year up to inexperience!
      (of course doing that more than once or twice makes the excuse less likely to be believed! hehehhee)

      Being from the south, it just wouldn't be right NOT to plant the purple-hulls or the black-eyed peas... "Just wouldn't be prudent"

  7. Sci,

    I so know what you mean about going nuts! It just seems as if you get one thing done and theres something else to do. I guess you could say, that's the best part about having your own place and garden. You don't have to answer to anyone :-) (Your on your own time line).
    Your garden and vegetables look amazing. It's a great idea to maintain a garden journal. This is something I need to do. Especially now, I'm getting older and can't remember crap, lol.... Note to self, creat journal...see!!!!! :-)
    Those are some amazing peppers. My pepper plants only produced 1 pepper and are looking terrible. My green chile plants are taking off and dominating the garden but not producing. I think I have seeds that crossed over with something else. Right now the best bet is to pull them out, and try again next year.
    It's nice to see you on the web. Give hubby a hug from another Okie friend and try not to work to hard girl.
    Your Friend, Sandy

    1. Sandy, You sure have it right. I'm feeling really blessed to be able to do all this but DANG it gets overwhelming at times. At least I'm not punching anyone's clock except the natural one.

      I still am so far behind on my garden journal its embarrassing. I find myself already far enough behind that I'm not remembering some basic stuff. Like which tomato was from what seed. NOT a good thing but hey... life goes on! I'm still a work in progress!
      Sucks about your peppers. I didn't have any luck at all with the seed I tried to start and so picked these up from local feed stores. So far they have been amazing. Serious pepper overload has been happening! ( I'm saving seed from these babies!!)

  8. Could you tell us the recipe for the sweet banana pepper rings? I have been looking for one.

    1. Becky, Can do! Just let me give it a couple of weeks to "do its thing" and make sure they are worth your time (in my opinion of course!)

    2. That should have read Let it "do its thing"

  9. Sci, what about dehydrating the beans since you don't have enough to can? You could use them in soups and stuff canned up when you have time for the canner!

    1. I've got some beans dried this year but to be honest, I don't really like them much when rehydrated. Even in soups n such... And you know I'm a huge fan of dried foods. Green beans are (so far) the least favorite of vegetables for me. But, in a pinch they are still quite handy!

  10. Totally agree on the garden journal. I know I read on the seed packet that a couple of my plants were supposed to be 'ready to harvest' in 60 days, but it definitely seems like it's been longer than 60 days since I planted them, and they are most certainly not ready.

  11. The closest I come to a journal is my calendar.I jot down when I planted, when it came up, what animals were bred when and births. The only problem is losing last year's calendar! I knew about when we bred our cow but I thought she had a couple of weeks to go. Surprise! We now have a new heifer! Luckily, we had been checking her several times a day and my husband actually saw her water break. I guess I need a specific place to put the old calendars! Your garden looks great! I'm blessed with 4 daughters to help with our processing. We're just now starting to harvest some. We'll have zucchini this week and our first peas. (And I've stole some potatoes a couple of times!)

  12. Those are some excellent looking carrots!!!

  13. Just a comment about you using cornstarch to can with....

    It does cause an off colour in canning projects.
    Most canning sites will tell you using cornstarch is a big NO-NO.
    It will if, left too long on the canning shelves separate and then will look rather unappetizing. (Been there, done that and got the tee shirt to prove it!)

    The new and improved way to can with a recipe using cornstarch is to replace it with clear gel. Which can be found online or, in Amish stores. Or, just use the Google search to find it.

    Here's an interesting article from the University of GA Cooperative Extension site;

    Wishing you continued success with your canning.