Last week I finished shucking my last half bushel of beans. These are some of the beans that were harvested from last years garden. Most will be sold but some will be reserved for next years planting.We are enjoying the canned vegetables and fruit that we put up last Summer. Next month I will be sowing cabbage, broccoli and pepper seeds. I start them in my kitchen under grow lights. By keeping them close by I can keep a watchful eye on them. Spring will be here before you know it but for now we sit by our wood cook stove well fed and warm.
It is now mid Summer and we have been eating out of our garden for quite some time now. The first crop of spinach was a great success and I was able to freeze some for Winter months. I planted a second crop of beets about a month ago and they are growing well. The first crop are ready to eat and can. My family loves pickled beets.Yesterday I dug 4 hills of new potatoes. I cooked some for dinner last night and they were beyond delicious!!
Every morning I check my garden. What am I looking for? Bugs!!This growing season has been especially wet so bugs are multiplying rapidly.Some are beneficial like the sweet little lady bug but most are in competition for my food. I hand pick what I can and use an organic insecticide spray where I can not hand remove.Recently I made my own natural insecticide recipe. I added a half cup cooking oil, 1 level tsp. of cayenne pepper, and the rest of a quart spray bottle with slightly warm water.This needs to be shaken well. I was amazed to see how well it worked.
Two weeks ago I planted started cabbage and broccoli plants in our garden. They are growing nicely. Today I will work the soil around them and add a little more fertilizer. I also sowed lettuce, spinach, dill, beets and potatoes. The lettuce, spinach and beets are coming up nicely. No sign of the potatoes yet. When they start to pop though the soil I will bring more soil around them. Eventually there will be a mound of soil around each potato plant. Still in my kitchen, under grow light,are our tender vegetables. I have 30 tomato plants and 23 pepper plants.These will be hardened off and then planted when all danger of frost has passed. We plan to can lots of tomato juice and whole tomatoes this year.
This week, the first week of March, I will be starting my pepper and cabbage plants. I have the seedling mix, pots, table and grow lights set up in a corner of the kitchen. All I need to do is sow my seeds and wait until the magic happens. Little seedlings popping up! Very exciting. At the end of this month I will sow my tomato seeds.
We had a fantastic harvest of Flint Indian Corn this year. The weather cooperated beautifully.In years past we placed our corn on racks outside to fully dry. Unfortunately many squirrels and chipmucks helped themselves to a good meal. Even my German Shepherd could not stop them. Now we set up racks in the garage which works well. All of our corn is now dry and ready to be sold.You talk about fresh seed. Well it does not get fresher than this!
The first canning of the season began yesterday when 14 pints of Bread & Butter pickles made it into mason jars. My family loves this recipe and I needed to replenish last years supply.You can find this recipe in one of my videos on Seed for Security site.
It is a wonderful time of the year. Every night I go to sleep hearing birds sing and I wake to the same sweet chorus. Also my garden is full of delicious vegetables. I am now harvesting lettuce, green beans, beets, beet greens,cabbage, broccoli,summer squash,and peppers. This years Beefsteak Tomatoes are sensational as is our Flint Indian Corn. We have 30 Beefsteak Tomato plants and they are huge! In mid May I planted 12 80 foot rows of Flint Indian Corn. It has grown taller than I am and has begun to tassel.Life is good!
A couple of weeks ago I set out my Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage plants. They are doing nicely. We are looking forward to some fine coleslaw. I also sowed spinach, lettuce, dill, and beets.The lettuce appeared in about 5 days with the spinach and beets popping up in about 10 days. The dill was a little slower to germinate. It is now after a couple of weeks growing well.Every day I go out to my garden to see the progress. It is so exciting! I do not think there is any place I would rather be than in my garden.
Last week I sowed cabbage,broccoli,pepper and parsley seeds.Two days ago the cabbage and broccoli seedlings were peeking through the soiless mix.Now they are about 1 " tall and are under grow lights. The peppers and parsley are much slower to germinate.I will watch closely and remove the plastic covering from them as soon as they germinate.The plastic keeps in moisture enabling the seeds to germinate.In a few days I will sow some my Beefsteak Tomato seeds.It is very exciting to watch new growth.Just think of the quantity of food one of these tiny seeds is capable of producing!
Today we had our first snow of the Winter.I have been sitting by my wood stove shelling beans.I fondly remember the times I had with my grandparents sitting on their front porch shucking beans.There was plenty of time for some good conversation. I learned a lot from them. It has been unusually mild here in Southern New England. In fact, I have been harvesting lettuce and spinach from my garden up until yesterday. What a delight to pick vegetables this time of the year.
All Summer long I have been busy putting up food. I have canned many quarts of vegetables, fruit, pickles and relishes. Some of which I have entered in County Fairs.That is a lot of fun!The last part of August I planted a second crop of lettuce and spinach. It has been very dry here so that needs to be watered twice a day.My dill and millet have been harvested when totally dry. I seperated the dill seed from the plant and stored it in a cool dry location.That is seed to sell. The millet will simply be given to my chickens to eat. You should hear them cackle when they get it.Yesterday I harvested my first bushel of Flint Indian Corn. Much more to come!!
The garden has been a challenge this year. First we had a long dry spell followed by many excessive rains. One of the downpours was like a cloud burst! This meant many of my small seeds,that had not yet sprouted, were washed away. So I replanted again and again. Finally all is well and the crops are growing nicely. Unfornately so are the weeds. I spend many hours a day in my garden. Sometimes losing track of time. I enjoy being out doors and love to hear the birds singing. I am presently harvesting broccoli,cabbage,lettuce,peas,dill,beets and spinach.
Recently Seed for Security has become an LLC. This is just a change in the legal name of my business. There are no other changes in my day-to-day operations. I continue to grow, process and ship seeds and my son volunteers to serve as webmaster. Seed for Security, LLC will continue to offer free homesteading articles, photos, and videos as well as new products in the coming years just as we have been doing since 2007.
My first crops are planted! Usually I plan to get my peas, spinach,beets,lettuce,onions and dill planted by April 1st. This year the soil was too wet so I had to wait for a couple of weeks.There are still small piles of snow near our garden gate. We had a bitterly cold snowy Winter. Spring has never been more welcome! I also set out my cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts plants. They are doing well. Yesterday there were many showers around. The rain was just perfect for freshly set out plants.In a couple of weeks I will sow more beet,spinach,dill and lettuce seeds. This enables us to have tasty salads for quite some time.
The end of February I started my California Wonder Peppers, Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage, and Moss Curled Parsley.The seeds were sown in pots using a soilless germinating mix.They have come up nicely. I have 2 grow lights set to almost touch the tiny plants. Having the grow lights very close to the plants makes the plants have strong sturdy stems. Next week I will start my Beefsteak Tomato plants.This cycle of plant, grow, and harvest keeps us in a steady supply of the freshest seeds.
The month of February was incredibly cold and lots of snow too. Usually by now the Red Winged Blackbirds have returned from down South. Not this year. I told a friend of mine that if they come back now they will need boots and snow shovels! I can not wait to hear their song!
The temperature was 12 degrees this morning. Plenty cold! A good day to stay close by my stove while I work. Latter this afternoon I will roast a turkey in my kitchen wood stove. Life is good!
It is the middle of November and I have just harvested my turnips and beets. I scrubbed them with a brush using plenty of cool water.They are being stored in my refrigerator. I boil,roast or use my turnips in stews.The beets will be boiled or roasted. A sweet nutritious treat for Winter!
Finally all of our canning is done for the year. It was a great year for so many vegetables.Our jars are full!! We still have turnips, beets, spinach, lettuce and dill growing for a nice Fall crop.
I decided to enter our Beefsteak Tomatoes, California Wonder Peppers, Sugar Pie Pumpkins and Provider Green Beans in the Woodstock Fair. Woodstock CT is a town which borders on our town of Union.This Fair was founded in 1809 in Pomfret CT. It has 50 areas of fair grounds and welcomed 175,000 people this year. It is always held on Labor Day week-end. I was delighted to get three first prize ribbons and one second. My cousin, who also entered, won a first prize for her chestnuts and a second for tomatoes. Next year she plans to enter Black Walnuts. What Fun!!
Summer is such a busy time of the year. I began my canning this year with 25 pints of Bread & Butter Pickles. Two days ago 11 quarts of stewed tomatoes went into the jars. Many more tomatoes are slated to be canned. We like Tomato juice and Salsa as well as stewed tomatoes. They say that tomatoes are very healthy for you I know they taste delicious! Tomorrow I will be harvesting beets to make Pickled Beets. My grandma had a great pickled beet recipe and that is the one that I use. Her recipe is included in our article section of our site. I am also freezing green beans and peppers. Our Bouquet Dill seeds are dry so that is also part of my harvest.
Our garden has been producing food for quite some time now. We have been enjoying broccoli,cabbage,peppers,lettuce, spinach and beet greens. I froze 5 meals of broccoli so far. The corn and tomatoes are looking wonderful! I had to replant our cucumbers as cut worms cut many of my first plants off. I dug around the cucumbers and found the worms. They are no longer a problem!
Today, I will set out my Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage plants, they were started inside the end of February. Every day for about a week I have been hardening the plants by putting them outside during the day for increasing amounts of time. That way they will be acclimated to outside weather. Cabbage can take a light frost and here in New England nights can be a bit frosty this time of year. I will also plant lettuce, spinach, beets, dill and peas. These vegetables thrive on cool temperatures.
Today, I will be sowing my Beefsteak Tomato seeds.I start my tomato seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date. Several weeks ago I started Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage, California Wonder Peppers and Parsley seeds. Those plants are now ready to transplant into 3"X3" pots. Pepper and Parsley seeds take longer to germinate than tomatoes or cabbage.Tomatoes and peppers are very frost sensitive but cabbage and parsley can take a light frost. All of these factors must be keep in mind when starting seeds.
It has been a very busy Winter. Between packing and shipping orders I have shucked the last of Grandpa Neffs beans and am in the process of extracting the corn kernels from our Flint Corn. I have finished my germination tests for this season and am happy to say they far surpass government standards. Fresh seed is the key to the longest viability possible. Next month I will be starting pepper, cabbage, and eggplant under grow lights in my kitchen. About the third week of March I will start my Beefsteak Tomatoes. What a thrill seeing the little seedlings pop up.
I captured a video showing a flock of more than 30 Wild Turkeys feeding under my songbird feeder and in my front yard. To see click on the word video at the beginning of my other videos on my home page.
A new article tells how small things can be done now to make life much easier during any type of emergency. No need to spend a lot of money, just think through your needs in an emergency, and organize what you have and add a few more things to make you more comfortable when you must do without.
On Sept 26, 2013 Nan posted a new video to explain how to choose fully mature ears of our dry Flint Corn to harvest and explains the harvesting and drying process. Click your mouse on the word "Videos" in green ink on our homepage to see all our Utube videos.
On Sept. 13, 2013 Nan posted a new video on The Seed for Security Utube channel. The title is 'Seed Saving California Wonder Peppers'. How to save California Wonder Pepper seeds, make pickled peppers and freeze pepper slices.
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