Tag Archives: Potatoes

Snapping turtle

Every year our pond becomes invaded by snapping turtles that eat the fish and frogs from the ponds. A few weeks ago we found where some varmint had found several turtle egg nests on the farm on the side of a mountain spring that runs through the farm to Sinking Creek.

Dirt bank along side the branch where the turtles had climbed, dug perfect holes, laid their golf-ball-sized eggs and covered them to hatch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We think this was probably done by a coon, skunk or even a raven or two.  Every nest, and we counted at least six had been raided and what eggs were left will not hatch. 

You can see the shells along the side of the hole and below it.

But with that being said we don’t like having them in our pond so we set “trot lines”  (heavy nylon thread with a huge hook on the end ) to catch the beast that eat our frogs and fish.  We caught one night before last and our dinner that night was chicken fried turtle. fried potatoes, cantaloupe and asparagus.  So good!!!

Fried turtle is so good!!

Fried potatoes and onions on the left and fried turtle on the right.

Gardening while I wait

While I wait for the freshly swept, mopped and waxed floor in the living room to dry I’ll take time to write about our 2016 garden.  We thought we were very late getting it started but in fact this is the second year in a row that spring has come early to our farm and this neck of the woods.  We had three, maybe four, heavy frosts/freezes in May but did get the old and new garden spot plowed, worked and tilled (three or four times).

New garden plot plowed last fall.

New garden plot plowed in March.

Second plowing and tilling.

Second plowing and tilling.

We started planting the last week of May and it’s all worked out really well.  We’ve had lots of rain but with a couple of days of dry weather and the wind we could get in to till and pull weeds.

Last year hubby said we would cut back and only plant about half of what we normally plant and I smiled!! 😉  He says this every year!!  Not only do we have most of the old garden plot full, we also have the new plot which is attached to the old full.  I’m going to be very busy come the middle of July!!

In the first row of the old garden plot we have summer and winter squash. I've already seen two summer squash about two inches long. In the second and third rows and half of the fourth we have onions.

In the first row of the old garden plot we have summer and winter squash. I’ve already seen two summer squash about two inches long. In the second and third rows and half of the fourth we have onions.

In the third and fourth rows we have onion and cucumbers. In the fifth row we planted broccoli and green peppers. Last year I had beautiful peppers but they're not looking so good this year but we'll keep working on them.

In the third and fourth rows we have onion and cucumbers. In the fifth row we planted broccoli and green peppers. Last year I had beautiful peppers but they’re not looking so good this year but we’ll keep working on them.

The sixth row is cabbage and 7th is brussel sprouts and at the end of that row are a few watermelons.

The sixth row is cabbage and 7th is brussel sprouts and at the end of that row are a few watermelons.

The eighth row is sunflowers (for my chickens) and sometime this week I'll plant Blue Lake green beans between each one so they can run up the sunflower stalks.  I also need to hill them like we do potatoes to keep plenty of dirt around the stalk as they grow.  They tend to lean somewhat and with beans growing on them they'll need all the support they can get.  I may even stake them as time goes on.  I planted a whole row of indian corn beside them that was saved from a few years ago but none of it came up and that's why there is a wide space between the sunflowers and the next row.

The eighth row is sunflowers (for my chickens) and sometime this week I’ll plant Blue Lake green beans between each one so they can run up the sunflower stalks. I also need to hill them like we do potatoes to keep plenty of dirt around the stalk as they grow. They tend to lean somewhat and with beans growing on them they’ll need all the support they can get. I may even stake them as time goes on. I planted a whole row of indian corn beside them that was saved from a few years ago but none of it came up and that’s why there is a wide space between the sunflowers and the next row.

The tenth row is a very crowded row of tenderette green beans.  They are stringless, early and great canning beans when picked young.  I love green beans!!!

The tenth row is a very crowded row of tenderette green beans. They are stringless, early and great canning beans when picked young. I love green beans!!!

This space is empty for the moment but I will probably plant a couple more rows of corn and summer squash about mid-July.

We planted another later batch of cabbage and then we have this large space which is empty for the moment but I will probably plant a couple more rows of corn and summer squash about mid-July.

In the new plowed ground we started with three rows of potatoes.  We had a few spots where the potatoes did not come up and hubby filled those in yesterday.  They'll be later but he can't stand empty spaces between plants.

In the new plowed ground we started with three rows of potatoes. We had a few spots where the potatoes did not come up and hubby filled those in yesterday. They’ll be later but he can’t stand empty spaces between plants.

Next we have one row of green beans and two rows of Silver Queen corn.

Next we have one row of green beans and two rows of Silver Queen corn.

THEN, we have lots of tomatoes!   There are 32 Mr. Stripey tomatoes, 12 Roma's and 4 of a new yellow tomatoes we're trying.  My spaghetti sauce and barbecue sauce that I canned last year is such a hit that I'll be canning a lot more of it this year and lots of salsa and diced tomatoes.

THEN, we have lots of tomatoes! There are 32 Mr. Stripey tomatoes, 12 Roma’s and 4 of a new yellow tomatoes we’re trying. My spaghetti sauce and barbecue sauce that I canned last year is such a hit that I’ll be canning a lot more of it this year and lots of salsa and diced tomatoes.

The tomatoes are blooming and full of little green tomatoes.

The tomatoes are blooming and full of little green tomatoes.

Last but not least are the sweet potatoes.  We have a dozen plants and they're spreading out.

Last but not least are the sweet potatoes. We have a dozen plants and they’re spreading out.

The sweet potatoe sets were started in my kitchen window.  I placed a large sweet potato in a large bowl and kept it full of water.  It soon sprouted and now they're in the ground.

The sweet potato sets were started in my kitchen window. I placed a large sweet potato in a large bowl and kept it full of water. It soon sprouted and now they’re in the ground.

I"m just waiting on them to bloom and produce big sweet potatoes to can and to bake.

I”m just waiting on them to bloom and produce big sweet potatoes to can and to bake.

We’re currently bringing in black raspberries and freezing them.  Soon there will be transparent apples to make applesauce and apple butter with.

Don’t you just love growing your own food????

 

 

 

Country Girl Produce

This country girls is so busy it’s not funny and should explain why I haven’t posted this week.

We have about six bushel of potatoes left over in the cellar and  we want to sale five of them.

Potatoes perfect for peeling for fried potatoes, potatoe soup, mashed potatoes, potato salad, and perfect for canning.

Potatoes perfect for peeling for fried potatoes, potato soup, mashed potatoes, potato salad, and perfect for canning.

Baking potatoes as big as the palm of my hand and solid.

Baking potatoes as big as the palm of my hand and solid.

Potatoes for growing, canning, eating, we have it all.

Potatoes for growing, canning, eating, we have it all.

Our bin is still half full and they've kept so well.

Our bin is still half full and they’ve kept so well.

Kennebec potatoes  that will be sprouted before sold.

Kennebec potatoes that will be sprouted before sold.

We also have lots of fresh asparagus for sale.  I’ve washed it, kept it chilled and it’s gallon Ziploc bags with a pound in each bag.

Asparagus bundle by the pound for $2.50

Asparagus bundle by the pound for $2.50

The asparagus is so sweet this year.

The asparagus is so sweet this year.

Would anyone like to buy some fresh eggs for $2.00 per dozen?

Fresh free-range chicken eggs for $2.00 a dozen

Fresh free-range chicken eggs for $2.00 a dozen

You just can’t beat fresh produce straight from the store and I’m thinking about selling fresh loaves of bread too.

Not the best photo but a two pound loaf of homemade bread and made using our own honey.  It's divine!!

Not the best photo but a two-pound loaf of homemade bread and made using our own honey. It’s divine!!

Old taters in a jar

We have about two bushel of our 2014 potatoes left over and they’re so good!  BUT, the cellar is warming up a little bit and the potatoes are sprouting and the smaller ones are getting a little soft.  We don’t want to lose any of them so decided we would can them.

Hubby brought them up to the front porch yesterday afternoon and I started peeling them.  I’ll sit on the front porch and do just about anything in the summer time. It’s just so peaceful!

This batch was a milk crate full.

Sprouting potatoes

Sprouting potatoes

The chickens won't eat potato peelings but sometimes the cows will.

The chickens won’t eat potato peelings but sometimes the cows will.

They're not real soft yet and peeled real quick.  I got enough for two canners.

They’re not real soft yet and peeled real quick. I got enough for two canners.

After peeling all of them and scrubbing them, I diced them into about 1 inch chunks and packed them in quart jars.

I smell potato soup this winter!

I smell potato soup this winter!

This is the first canner full and they came off the stove at 10:30 and I went to bed along with Eddie and Sassy! :)

This is the first canner full and they came off the stove at 10:30 and I went to bed along with Eddie and Sassy!  🙂

This morning we took them out of the canner before I left for work and Eddie was going to put the second canner on to process after I left.  We got 14 quarts out of a 1/2 bushel milk crate.  The coming winter will be bountiful with potato soup, shepherd’s pie, fried potatoes, buttered potatoes, and much more.  There’s not much that goes to waste on our farm.  If we can’t give it away, we can or freeze it while we wait for the next garden to come in!!

14 quarts all sealed and ready for the cellar

14 quarts all sealed and ready for the cellar

Aren't they beautiful??

Aren’t they beautiful??

Spring planting

Seed Potatoes

Seed Potatoes

Potatoes cut and ready to plant

Potatoes cut and ready to plant

 

We got all the seed and garden had been plowed and ready to work down.  Now the weather channels are calling for a hard frost tomorrow night and chilly temps tonight.  I brought in all of the flowers and herbs I potted last weekend and pulled what I could under the covered front porch.  I went to my little green house this evening and put up heat lamps and on the way back to the house was admiring all of the tiny little fruit on all of the apple and plum trees.  The peach and pear trees are also full and the aspargus was all pulled to keep it from freezing.   I am so ready for warm weather!!

New Recipes On Cooking Page

Recipe box and cookinI've added more recipeg up a storm!

Recipe box and cooking up a storm!

I’ve added a couple more recipes to my cooking page.  Hope you try them and enjoy them as much as we do!

What a garden shouldn’t look like

I love to work in the garden early in the morning or late in the evening after the sun has gone behind the mountain.  Hubby does most of the gardening in the last three years and I’ve help do the harvesting and putting away for winter stores.  This year doesn’t seem to be much of a gardening year.  I noted in an earlier post that we had gotten unusual amounts of rain for our area and cooler temps and that we hadn’t been able to get our hay harvest complete.  Well, we haven’t had much luck gardening either.  This is what a garden is NOT supposed to look like.

Anybody see any beans in this mess?

Anybody see any beans in this mess?  Weeds will grow with plenty of rain and no sunshine!

Corn that should be four or five feet tall is bearly a foot tall.

Corn that should be four or five feet tall is barely  a foot tall.

Eggplant is beautiful but the weeds are starting to choke them out.

Eggplant is beautiful but the weeds are starting to choke them out.

Easy to find the mole beans!

Easy to find the mole beans!

Hubby decided it will be best to salvage the onions and potatoes.  We started pulling onions because some are rotting in the ground.  He pulled one row and I laid them out to dry and we’ll pray they dry good and keep over the winter.

This is the best onion crop we've had in a long time.

This is the best onion crop we’ve had in a long time.

These all came from one row in the garden and most of them are white onions.

These all came from one row in the garden and most of them are white onions.

Most of them are nice 3-4 inch heads.

Most of them are nice 3-4 inch heads.

The end of the row had a few red onions.  The other row we haven't pulled is yellow and red onions.

The end of the row had a few red onions. The other row we haven’t pulled is yellow and red onions.

Hubby dug a two hills of potatoes to check on their growth and to make sure they weren’t rotting too.  They’re  much nicer than last years crop and they’re Yukon Gold potatoes.

New potatoes from the garden.

New potatoes from the garden.

We’re not terribly concerned about our lack of a garden this year though we love to be fixing fresh vegies straight out of the garden but we have so much canned goods in the cellar from last year that is still so good.    We definitely won’t go hungry this winter.

Potatoes

Well, it truly is the end of summer!  How do I know?  Hubby dug the potatoes this morning.  All we have left are a few tomatoes still ripening and one pepper plant hanging on.  Our potato crop wasn’t near as productive as last years 14 bushel as we only got about 7-8 bushel this year.  It should still be plenty to get through the winter and we have 24 quarts that we canned from last years crop (hate to see anything go to waste).  Sassy helped as usual but she was also trying to catch the little rodents that have been eating the tomatoes and beans and had started on the potatoes.  She is some kind of dog!!  Hubby dug the potatoes alone while was cooking down tomatoes and preparing to can some barbecue sauce which I’ll post later.  For now here’s a few picks of the morning work.

Digging potatoes September 15 2012

Plow used to dig the potatoes

Eddie plowing potatoes, Sassy plowing for varmints

7-8 bushel 09/15/2012

Potatoes are out of the ground before the rain moves in!

They’re safely tucked away in the cellar to provide us some nourishing food for the winter!  The cellar shelves are full and one of the freezers is full.  Now we wait for deer season and fill up the other freezer.  We are so blessed!

Busy weekend!

I don’t waste any time on my weekends off and this past weekend was no exception. The garden is very bountiful and I snapped a five gallon bucket and half of another on Saturday afternoon. We canned 21 quarts of beans from that batch, froze 13 packs of yellow squash and froze six packs of shredded zucchini. I made a loaf of zucchini bread on Saturday and hubby loves it. We’ve only got about two slices left so I’ll make some more this week. I’ll probably bake 6 – 8 more loaves and put them in the freezer for the winter.

Zucchini and zucchini bread fresh from the oven

Fresh vegies ready to store

We froze five packs of freezer slaw last night and we’re going to open a pack on Saturday and see how it is. If we like it we’re going to make more. The head of cabbage he got out of the garden yesterday weighed 15 lbs and 2 ozs.

He dug a few potatoes last Thursday and they’re really nice and he pulled the onions to dry. We had such beauties this year but the rains we’ve been getting are causing them to rot which is why we’ve pulled them so early. We probably were able to salvage about a bushel.

Onions drying for winter storage

Hubby is picking more beans this morning and we’ll snap them this evening after supper while sitting on the front porch listening to the quiet and watching for the wildlife.

Green beans from the garden

Can’t stand waste

Last summer wasn’t the greatest year for our garden.  It was wet and cold for so long and getting the planting done took a lot of patience waiting for the ground to dry enough to plant anything.  We’re going through pretty much the same scenario this spring.  Even though it was a tough spring for the garden we had three nice rows of potatoes and we were able to store about eight bushel in the cellar and they’ve kept really well.  We ate a lot of them and shared a lot with family and friends.  As of today we still have about four bushel left in storage and with the warm weather coming in early they’re starting to sprout.  We go through this every year but usually just a bushel left in storage and we use some of them for seed.  This year is a little different.  We haven’t planted yet due to the rain and the garden is too wet to do much in the way of planting.  This afternoon hubby brought a five gallon bucket to the front porch and we sat together peeling and dicing.  They’re beautiful and we’ve just took one canner off the stove and have seven more quarts on the table ready to go in the pressure canner.  They’ll be wonderful in a pinch (when I forget to thaw anything for supper or we’re out all day on the farm) and we ‘ll have fourteen quarts from that five gallon bucket.  They’ll be wonderful baked with some butter and oregano sprinkle on top, made into a big pot of potato cream soup, heated in butter and covered with cheese (cheese last thing to go on because hubby hates cheese) or fried with onions and served with cornbread and pinto beans.  We will eat good in the coming winter!!