Tuesday, July 4, 2006

A Walk in My Garden!

Life has been so busy! Between gardening, canning and classes, I can hardly catch my breath!

I have finished putting up pickles, strawberry jam and hot strawberry jam and the colorful jars are lining my pantry shelves. We picked the last of the onions and my Mom dehydrated them - along with a large quantity of squash and zuchinni. I also shredded squash and zuchinni and froze them, pre-measured, for zuchinni bread throughout the winter. In the midst of all of this I am still harvesting and drying many herbs both for cooking and for medicine. Comfrey, chamomile, chives, mullein flowers, st. john's wort flowers and leaves, lavender buds, tarragon, thyme, calendula, rosemary and the list goes on! It seems my kitchen counters are always cluttered with something in the process of preservation!

I thought I would share some pictures of the garden....here is our little potato patch. We planted about 50 lbs. of seed potatoes. Last year we did 75 lb.s and harvested over 400 lbs. of potatoes! We gave a lot of potatoes away and still had plenty through the winter. We lost quite a bit because the basement just wasn't quite cool enough. We will try keeping them in a frig this year and see if they last longer. Since this picture was taken, they have been weeded and hilled more than once! I am thankful for my boys and their strong backs and arms as they tackle this task!

This is our small corn patch. Our corn did not do well this year. That seems to be a problem here locally. A very wet and cool spring caused a lot of seed to rot in the ground. We will have some for fresh eating but nothing for freezing this year.

Here you are looking at beds of dried beans (several varieties), cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatillas, and okra. I was sure we would be harvesting watermelon for the 4th of July but we went out a week ago and all the vines were wilted.....a disease of some sort evidently. I don't know if we will get a single melon this year...we are VERY disappointed. So far the canteloupe bed is doing well - we are praying that it continues to do so. It is time to start taking the dried beans up and hanging them to finish drying. We will shell them one night around the table while we "tell tales" on each other....you know the "remember when Jeremy...."always followed by lots of laughter!
Here you are looking at beds of zuchinni, squash, dried beans (more varieties), pole beans (2 varieties) and on the other side of the pole bean bed is a bed of peas which is being turned under this week and will be planted into winter squash. I haven't grown winter squash before but am looking forward to it this year. Butternut is my favorite!

We will also be turning under our onion and carrot bed and planting it into pumpkins. We love the meat for pies and the nuts for snacks. Last year at our family harvest dinner, I hollowed out a pumpkin and filled it with a hearty beef stew made entirely from our own garden. The pumpkin made a beautiful centerpiece/bowl! It was a lot of fun :)

I have been busy teaching classes on using herbs as medicine. I have had a lot more men taking the class this year and a lot more people from out of state...it is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and have a lot of fun.......and I never have to leave my kitchen! This Saturday I will be teaching again (probably my last class for the summer!) and I have a few spaces open, so if you are in my area and want to learn more about using herbs as medicine then email me for more information!

I am looking forward to a long rainy day when I can catch up on reading all my favorite blogs and on my correspondence with dear friends (I am sorely behind...sorry Marlene and Christina!)
but the weather man keeps forcasting hot and dry.....

Next post I will share more pictures of the garden....but now I must be off - I need to be in my garden at 7:00 am to beat the heat and there is much to do inside each morning before I can get to the garden...I'll be enjoying a cup of my Sleep Easy tea in just a moment....Night all!


  1. I just happened on your blog. You are one busy woman and it makes me tired just reading all you do and looking at the photos! You do remind me of my mother and grandmother in my growing up years on the farm in Mississippi which is one reason I was determined that I was not going to marry a farmer! I do miss havng all those fresh vegatables at my back door in the summer and in the freezer in the winter, but i don't miss all the work it takes to get them there! I live in Bartlett, TN now and am married to a dentist. I was a stay at home mom (I've yet to figure out why they call us that when it seems I was constantly car pooling or driving on field trips or doing room mother stuff for my kids at school and therefore was never home) until my kids grew up and left them I got my masters in Counseling and now am a counselor for the Christian Counseling Center in Bartlett. I love what I am doing...In fact, I've loved my whole life pretty much. God has blessed me richly! Sounds like He has you, too!

  2. Oh, I hear your business and know my turn is coming. My garden has not started putting out its goods yet. Then I will be as busy as a one armed paper hanger. It is all worth it though, when we can go and get our fresh, healthy, home grown food out of our freezer, pantry, or wherever and make a meal for our family. Hang in there!!

  3. Mary Ellen SmithJuly 10, 2006 at 4:50 AM

    I found your blog. Yea! You are so inspiring. I am sad I just missed out on the last class. I will have to get in on the next go around for sure:)

  4. Tammie,
    It is a lot of work but it is very satisfying and helps us to obey God's commands to work "by the sweat of our brow" and to keep our hands busy :) I am VERY blessed!

    Farm Girl,
    You will be busy - I hope you have as many helping hands at home as I do :)

    Mary Ellen,
    Hi! I'd like to do a class for the ladies at church if you think there would be enough interest - so glad you found me :)


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