Tag Archive | garlic

Changes to the garden and tire beds

Hubby has been working on fences again in the last week and he tore out the east end fence around our garden because it was about to fall down.

tractor tires used for garlic, strawberries and rhubarb

tractor tires used for garlic, strawberries and rhubarb

fencing between yard and garden

fencing between yard and garden

He decided that the fence didn’t keep out the deer so he would not replace it.  We have now moved the large tire planters to the south garden fence and will plant fruit trees along the yard where the fence used to be.  We currently have three pear trees along this line, two grape vines and a blue plum.  On the North end of the garden we’ve planted three peach trees and cut down an old plum tree that died.  I want to put in two more peach trees on that North end, two more plum trees out the fence line and plant two or three cherry trees in the yard close to the pond.  All of the apple trees that used to be there except one have died and been taken out.  These trees we replace will all be of the semi-dwarf size except maybe the cherry because of the space and closeness to the garden.  We don’t want the shade from the trees to shade the garden from the morning sun.  Hopefully hubby and I will be around when they start bearing fruit.

The apple tree rootstock we planted last year have all survived the winter, rabbits and deer and it’s now time to graft them.  We think moving our hound dogs to the apple orchard have saved our new trees from the ravages of the wildlife.  We just hope the wildlife doesn’t realize the dogs can’t reach them as long as they are chained.

Space between yard and garden cleared of  fencing

Space between yard and garden cleared of fencing

Freshly plowed garden lot

Freshly plowed garden lot

Tire planters moved to new area

Tire planters moved to new area

Strawberries starting to green up.

Strawberries starting to green up.

Garlic coming up.  Love that stuff!!

Garlic coming up. Love that stuff!!

Rhubarb coming in but frost burnt the leaves badly.  I'll clip the leaves and start fresh after this weeks frost pass.

Rhubarb coming in but frost burnt the leaves badly. I’ll clip the leaves and start fresh after this weeks frost pass.

Quince tree in south west corner of garden.

Quince tree in south west corner of garden.

Pear trees sprouting.

Pear trees sprouting.

 

We try very hard to replace our fruit trees as the old one’s die which hasn’t been done for many years.  We want the future family members to have plenty of these crops on hand for their use well after we are gone!  If we don’t take care of the future generations, who will??

Garlic harvest

I harvested the first batch of garlic yesterday and have it stored in a cool dark spot to dry.  I have enough little garlic cloves to get started all over again.  Here’s the proof in the picking:

 

Fresh picked garlic

Fresh picked garlic

Trimmed garlic ready to dry.

Trimmed garlic ready to dry.

Garlic buds to refill the tire planter.

Garlic buds to refill the tire planter.

Drying out in the woodhouse where it's dark and cool.

Drying out in the woodhouse where it’s dark and cool.

The yard and what’s growing

Look closely under the guarding gnome!!

Look closely under the guarding gnome!!

 

He's so cute!  He's guarding us and meets everyone at the front gate.  I hope he stays all summer.

He’s so cute! He’s guarding us and meets everyone at the front gate. I hope he stays all summer.

 

Here’s what’s blooming in the yard this week:

Hostas

Hostas

Peppermint rose

Peppermint rose

More hostas-the hummingbirds love these.

More hostas-the hummingbirds love these.

Bell flowers

Bell flowers

Lilies

Lilies

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Castor bean

Castor bean

hyacinth bean-getting a late start.

hyacinth bean-getting a late start.

The potted group-can't remember the name of the blooming flowers but they are so pretty.  I think it's like a miniature begonia or  double impatien.

The potted group-can’t remember the name of the blooming flowers but they are so pretty. I think it’s like a miniature begonia or double impatien.

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I can never remember the name of these but its a perennial and the leaves are like lambs ear or dusty miller but it's not either of those.

I can never remember the name of these but its a perennial and the leaves are like lambs ear or dusty miller but it’s not either of those.

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I took the herbs out of the clay pots that were hanging on the coal house because they just didn’t look healthy.  This year I tried putting them in larger pots but that didn’t help so I moved them in the yard in front of the corner flower bed.  We’ll see how they do!  There’s parsley, lemon balm, lime basil, cilantro, orange mint, peppermint, purple sage, lemon thyme, oregano, and cinnamon basil.  The oregano and lemon thyme look the worst but I’m hoping with a little loving care they’ll come back.

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I also harvested one batch of garlic and getting ready to start a new batch but have to kill the wire grass that the birds have so kindly planted in all my flower beds.  The garlic looks really good and now it’s drying before I store it.

Fresh garlic

Fresh garlic

Garlic pulled and ready to dry!

Garlic pulled and ready to dry!

What to do with all those tomatoes

Plum tomatoes

We seem to have an abundance of plum tomatoes this year and I’m trying to find new canning/freezing recipes for them.  On Friday I picked about 20# of the little critters and cleaned them up.

I pulled out an old recipe I had used when the kids were little and made 10 pints of spaghetti sauce.  The recipe ingredients were tomatoes (of course) which had been cooked and run through a sieve.  When I cooked them I didn’t use any extra water because I wanted the tomato juice and pulp only.  To the pulp I added sugar, salt, oregano, basil, garlic, onions, green peppers, and red wine vinegar.  I can’t tell you the exact amounts because I played with the ingredients until hubby liked the taste and consistency.  I started with 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup salt, oregano, and basil (remember this is 20 pounds of tomatoes).

Cooking it down!

I used four medium onions, four green peppers, four cloves of garlic (minced) and 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar.  This smelled heavenly while cooking down but the taste was a little sour and bland so I added more of the first four ingredients until we thought it was perfect.  I cooked it down some more until it was pourable but a thicker consistency than tomato juice.  I poured it in the jars, put the lids on to seal and processed them in my pressure canner for twenty minutes.  They’re beautiful, don’t you think!!

Spaghetti sauce

10 pints of beautiful spaghetti sauce

Next batch will be canned as barbecue sauce.

My herb garden

Back in the spring I was browsing around on Pinterest, which I love.  (http://pinterest.com/)  Pinterest is an online pin board where you can organize and share things you love.  I digress, sorry!!

 

On Pinterest I found this neat way to grow herbs on a wall.  I have a wonderful friend that has a woodworking shop and he made me some pot holders.  I ordered the herb seeds that I use and love.  I cleaned up the insides of 12 clay pots and filled them with dirt and planted my seeds.  When they started sprouting I hung them on the coal house on the farm and now I have little seedlings growing quickly on  a wall and the chickens can’t get to them. (Chickens love to dig up flower and vegetable gardens.)  Here’s the beginnings and I’ll post again before and when they’re harvested.  The pots have marjoram, lime basil, sage, garlic chives, lemon basil, oregano, sweet basil, Italian basil, stevia, parsley, cilantro and catnip for the kitties.