Thursday, July 11, 2013

Canning Beans

So my daughter told me instead of posting on Face book or my web site that I need to keep my blog going and just point my facebook & website here. I believe it will cut down on my time spent at the computer.

Of course I really don't have a recipe. Maybe that is why my daughter is gently guiding me to do this. So we have it in writing. Most of what I post is from memory of my Mother and Grandmother & Mother-in law has taught me through the years.

First I wash the beans in the sink, then carry them out to the front porch.
Then you break the beans, this is one of the best parts, because you get to visit with folks and sometimes they join in. Make sure you allow at least an hour or two for this.
I have a basket or bowl what ever is handy at the time, that the beans are in on my left. A towel on my lap to throw the castaways in and a bowl to my right to break the beans in. You can do it however you like.

 After the beans are all broke, I wash them again. and pack them in Hot Quart Jars.
You can use smaller Jars if you wish.
 Add a teaspoon of Salt for Quart Jars, adjust for smaller jars.
 Then Pour Hot boiling water over the beans up to the shoulder of the Jar.
 Then you want to make sure all the air bubble are out, by running a butter knife down along all 4 sides of the jar. If you need to add more water and repeat.
 Make sure you lids are bowling in hot water.
 wipe the rim of your jar, to make sure there are no pieces of salt or beans on it and it is clear to put the lid on.

 I have to use tongs to get the lid and band out of the hot water and put on the Jar.

Follow directions with your pressure cooker to know where to fill water to. Bring the Pressure Cooker up to 10 lbs of pressure, then set the timer for 25 min. you may need to stay there to keep track of the pressure and adjust the temperature  so it stays at 10 lbs for the 25 min

My cooker will do 7 jars at a time. So now to do this a few more times for our winters supply. Have fun and enjoy!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Don't you just love Mushrooms?

Mushroom Omelet, Mushroom Quesadilla, Mushroom Gravy, Sautéed mushrooms in spaghetti sauce, Stuffed Mushrooms, Mushrooms on Pizza. I could go on and on.
We grew mushrooms years ago and they were so easy to grow. This year we are starting mushrooms on the Farm.

Shiitake Mushrooms to be exact.

Some people liken them to Lobster or Steak. When we get the large ones off the logs about 7 inches in diameter, I like to soak them in a little Salt water and then sauté' them, and just eat them like you would a steak with a salad and baked potato. They also have medicinal qualities check out

First we make sure we have healthy Oak logs, this one happens to be a scrub oak. We really don't want a tree bigger then 5-9 inches in diameter, this makes it easier to handle. Oak trees seem to last longer meaning they should produce for 5 or more years.
Once the tree is cut down, we cut it up into about 4 foot lenghs. Also making it easier to handle.

We put the log on Gary's homemade table, or you can put them across saw horse's. 
We drill holes in a diamond shape pattern, then you start inserting the plugs with spawn on them into the holes.
Once you insert the plug you will need to use a mallet to pound it down into the log.
You then put a thin layer of wax over the plug so the spawn will start to eat on the log to produce mushrooms. 
We try to do this in the late winter or early spring so when they are outside they get a lot of rain water to keep them wet.

Just in case you want to know where we get our mushroom spawn check out They have other mushroom spawn also, check them out.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Planting by the Moon

Have you ever heard what the old-timers say about planting by the moon?

Some friends were visiting the other day and of course we were talking about the farm.
They asked us, “Why did we have beautiful plants last year and not much fruit?”
Gary asked them if they plant by the moon? The look on their faces showed they did not understand what he was talking about.

Gary said, "You plant the above ground fruiting plants by the light of the moon. The below ground plants by the dark of the moon."

That means the plants you want to bare a lot of fruit like Tomatoes, Peppers, Egg plant, etc. that you would plant before a full moon. The plants you want to have a lot of bush to feed the below ground fruit like Potatoes, turnips, carrots, beets etc. you plant after a full moon.  Not to be confusing, but things like Spinach, Kale, Collards, Cilantro, Lettuce,  bushy greens you want to plant after a full moon because you also want them to be all plant.

Some people don’t believe this theory of planting.  But, Gary's Mom & the old farmers have used this method for generations and has proved to be a successful way of planting their crops.  Last year we tested “Planting by the moon” and it worked great for our farm.  We had more fruit and vegetables above ground and below ground than we have ever had.

Gary made another comment that I thought was really good. "If the moon is powerful enough to move the ocean, why don't people think that it has anything to do with the garden."

For us not just ordering seed, deciding where we will rotate the plants to this year, we also get the calendar out to see when the full moon is, and schedule our planting around the moon.