Canning Pickled Beets - Storing Produce From The Garden

by Admin 14. September 2012 07:09
Beets from the garden, pickled and put away.By: Eliza Osborn

When the freezes of the last few nights were predicted, I (even though I was sick at the time), knew I’d better get the tomatoes that were left in the garden in to safety. While I was out there I realized I hadn’t gotten the last of the green beans and the basil. I found quite a few more grapes hiding under the vines and dying leaves as well. While picking the grapes, I saw the beets looking so beautiful, and even though they would have been fine left out in the cold, I decided to go ahead and bring them in. I had been feeling better and thought that the next day I would be up to doing something with all of this produce.

It was getting late as I worked, and then it began to rain, but I couldn’t quit because the freeze was imminent, and all would be lost. So I kept working till I had gathered every green tomato that was of any size at all, and picked all the beans and basil and beets.

Well, the cold and the rain was a double punch and I was down for the count. Here I was, with a kitchen full of produce, and I’m sick in bed. Yesterday I got the beans washed and snapped and the beets cooked but not canned. Oh my goodness they smell like dirt when they’re cooking. And today I was finally able to get them pickled and canned. Never done that before, so we’ll see how they turn out. We both love pickled beets, so I’m sure they’ll get eaten even if they’re less than perfect.

The tomatoes are still waiting. Maybe I’ll make the Green Tomato Raspberry Jam and Green Tomato Salsa tomorrow.

The end of the growing season is so sad…but it’s here, and it is a very long time till next May, when we can plant again here in zone 6.

Thanks and happy planting!

Gardening on a Shoestring

by Admin 22. May 2012 03:39

Echinacea grown from seedBy: Eliza Osborn

Gardening is a hobby that is time consuming and can get expensive. But it doesn’t have to cost a lot. There are many ways to have a beautiful garden without spending much money. Shoestring gardening can be done easily, following these simple tips and gardening how-to’s.

Most of my garden was created by shoestring gardening. I grew some perennials and biennials from seeds. All of our Purple Cone Flowers (Echinacea) were grown from one packet of seed, which took a little longer but I sure got a lot of plants for $1.89. The Foxglove (Digitalis) growing all through our garden came from one seed packet. Both of these plants reseed themselves, as do many other beautiful flowers.

Some of the other flowers I’ve grown from seeds are Delphiniums, Zinnias, Cosmos and Hollyhocks.

This is just one way to have plenty of flowers without spending a lot of money.

Growing fresh vegetables from seed is super easy and cheap, cheap, cheap. Check out more ways to garden on a shoestring and have a beautiful, productive garden.


Thank you and happy planting!

Growing Your Own Food Is Easy With a Vegetable Garden

by Admin 4. April 2012 09:59

Raised vegetable bed ready for plantingBy: Eliza Osborn

Vegetable gardens are popping up all over the place. Next summer, notice how many people are carving out a little portion of their yard to start a garden to grow some of their own food. I remember back in the 40′s and 50′s small kitchen gardens were the norm, along with a few fruit trees.

It really doesn’t take much space to grow a few vegetables, vegetables that tastes so much better than anything you can buy in the store. The good news is that it doesn’t take a lot of know how either. A little research on the things you want to grow, and you will be a gardener before you know it. If you happen to live where there really is no room for a garden, then grow some things in containers. The containers don’t have to be fancy, they just have to be big enough that the roots will have plenty of room and big enough that there is plenty of soil so that it doesn’t need watering every hour. Good drainage is a must. Boards nailed together to make grow boxes, or barrels cut in half and holes drilled in the bottom will work.

Growing your own vegetables can be a fun family project. Let the kids choose vegetables to plant and help them to learn how to take care of their own plants. I noticed that my children ate vegetables out of the garden so much better than ones from the freezer. I think it was because they had part in planting, weeding, watering and harvesting them.

Times are tough for a lot of families right  now and buying a few packets of seeds might be a really good investment. As the winter months drag on and we plan for the spring and summer, consider giving the vegetable garden a shot.

Raised beds in in front of grape vines on fence in August
Even though I’ve been gardening for so many years, it still amazes me that we can take a little seed, put it in the dirt, and it will make food for us. Isn’t that just amazing?

Thank you and happy planting!

Planting Time Is Finally Here

by Admin 22. March 2012 06:53

Vegetable seeds for this years gardenBy: Eliza Osborn

I finally made it to the garden center to select the seeds for our raised-bed vegetable garden. We have 3 beds that measure 16′x4′. One is located in the back yard by the peach trees, and two are in the side yard, on the other side of the driveway.

We usually grow the peas and lettuce in the side yard beds but this year I’m moving them to the raised bed in the back yard, mainly for convenience sake. It’s easier to dash out the back door and pick peas and lettuce, it’s much closer to my kitchen. The corn and tomatoes will go out in the beds in the side yard.

As you can see from the picture, I have quite a variety that I plan on growing this year. All have done well before, and I really look forward to having them much closer to the kitchen.

Almost all of the ones in the picture need to be planted soon and I’ll be trying to get them all planted today. We are in zone 6, so the time for planting early veggies in your zone may vary. Check the seed packet for that info.

The beans, squash and cucumber will go in later, when the soil warms up a little. I’m planting two kinds of peas, regular English peas and Sugar Snap Peas. Also, I’m planting 3 kinds of lettuce, for variety.

I did get a few packets of flower seeds, but I save so many seeds from my annuals each year that I don’t really need to buy many of those.

The timing is perfect for planting tomorrow because it’s suppose to rain over the weekend, which will water the seeds in really well and give them a good start. Also, I’ll be soaking the peas seeds overnight to give them a little head start.

If you want a really good selection of seeds, now’s the time to get to the garden center and make your selections.

Thank you and happy planting!

Starting a Vegetable Garden…It’s Easy

by Admin 7. March 2012 10:34

A very small vegetable gardenBy: Eliza Osborn

Many people, who have never gardened before, are considering growing their own food this year and backyard vegetable gardens are becoming quite popular. If you're reading this, then likely you are already a gardener, but if not, and you want to start a garden, don't be intimidated.

It's easy, if you follow these simple steps:

  1. Plan
  2. Prepare the Bed
  3. Layout the Plan and then Plant
  4. Water and Keep Moist Till Germination
  5. Watch Garden Grow

For information about each of these steps, check out this article: How To Start a Garden in 5 Easy Steps
Gardening should come with a warning, because it is very addicting.

Thank you and happy planting!