Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A new appreciation

I think my family has a new appreciation for home grown green beans. At least I hope they do. They helped me pick our three thirty(or so) foot rows, while fighting off the miserable, pesky mosquitoes. It doesn’t matter what time of day I pick, they’re there! Even in the heat of the day, the little evil insects are hiding down in the lush foliage just waiting to be stirred up!
But our whole family loves green beans, so we’ll continue to douse ourselves in repellent and pick away!
How else are we going to have our yummy canned beans this winter, or fresh frozen ones or those yummy dilly beans? Not to mention eating them fresh sauteed with fresh garlic, olive oil and salt. Yum!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Ahh, I love flowers! I would love to have more, but with our water situation (not an overabundant well) I chose to plant things I can eat, mostly. But I do manage to get a few flowers planted.
Of course, when you look at these pictures you may think otherwise;) But these photos have been taken over the course of spring and summer too.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

"As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth." Ps. 103:15


I love artichokes! Artichokes were a part of growing up in sunny California. Since I now live in zone 5, artichokes are not something you would normally see grown around here. But when I saw those cute, little spiky plants in Wal-Mart this spring, I couldn't resist getting a couple.

So into the greenhouse they went.

A few months later the first little vegies were ready to pick. Sure, they were small, more like micro-artichokes, but, hey, they're artichokes just the same!

I waited until I had a few to cook together and everyone in the family could have a taste. It was more like a snack or hors d' oeuvre, but still a taste of home. Yum!

I'm not sure how the plants will fair through the winter. But we'll try to pull them through somehow, maybe a straw bale house around them or maybe digging them up and bringing them inside. Whatever we can do so maybe next year we can have an even bigger crop!

Love my dehydrator!

I used to have an old round dehydrator with the trays that stack one on another. I used it for many years and was quite satisfied with it. Until it stopped working. Unfortunately when you do juicy types foods (fruit for instance), the liquids drain to the bottom where the motor/fan are located and eventually it stops working!

I researched different brands, styles, etc. and finally decided on the Excaliber Dehydrator and couldn't be happier! It dries things faster, the motor is not in an area to become wet and useless and there's so much room. Nine trays, one square foot each! You can dry a lot of food at one time!

I recently dried some bananas and kiwi. Next came some garden herbs. So much cheaper and healthier raising your own. Here's my yummy parsley in the process. First of course is picking and cleaning.

Then came the de-stemming and placing the parsley on the trays. It is a time consuming process, but I think it's worth it.

A full tray ready to go in the Excaliber! A whole square foot of parsley!

In they go!

And the finished produce... a gallon jar full of fresh, dried parsley.

Next.....the basil. Wish the blog page had a "scratch and sniff" feature for this one!

Then will come the sage, oregano.........