2012 Garden Report 2

Someone once said that when the leaves of the pecan trees are the size of a squirrel’s ear, it’s time to plant the garden.

I think it’s time!

FINALLY!

Sorry, didn’t mean to yell. I’m just excited to get outside and do something instead of dreaming of doing something.

Every year I have the same problem while tying up my tomato plants to posts….broken branches and fallen unripened tomatoes. This year instead of tying my tomato plants to posts I am creating string tomato cages.

Here’s a picture of them now, before the tomato plants.

Kinda reminds me of the Jacob’s Ladder we used to make with string and our fingers.

I also usually have a problem with the tomato plants growing taller than my posts. This year I will snip off the tops to stop that from happening. I am thinking it will be better for the plants and hopefully increase the tomato harvest.

Anyone else snip off the tops of their tomatoes?

And last year I tried something new that I meant to tell you about.

As you know I have not been able to grow melons because critters come along and take a bite causing the whole melon to spoil.

Last year I raised them up off the ground by using cinderblocks, cedar posts, 4×4’s and chicken wire(just stuff available here on the farm). See below….

It worked really well for tricking the critters. They could smell the melons but could not find them. YAY!

So I have the tomato string cages and melon beds ready this year. And they completely take up one garden spot.

The way that little garden is placed I had to pay attention to the layout to make sure everything gets adequate sun. That’s why the tomato plants are kind of staggered instead of one behind the other. Then along the sides will be pepper plants with the short vining plants in the center, so not to shade the plants in the back of the garden.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will work well.

I had previously planted two blueberry plants here on the farm. One of them did not make it through the winter and I thought that I had lost them both but I left its dead looking leafless stems alone just to see if I were wrong. And I was. Yesterday I noticed that it had leaves budding. Another YAY!

And I have no idea what this is. Looks like a squash, cucumber or melon sprout to me.

I did not plant it. No doubt a critter dropped a seed of something he stole from my garden last year. There were 4’oclocks there last year. I am hoping they will come back. But until then I’ll let this grow just to see what it turns out to be.

That’s it for this week.

How is your garden growing?

Happy Monday!

TFP 🙂

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Saucy Sunday – Blueberry Muffins

Do you like blueberries?

Or blueberry muffins?

My family and I love blueberry muffins, which explains why I planted blueberry bushes last spring.

I normally buy the boxed blueberry muffin mix, the one with the crumble tops. But I figured if those were delicious, homemade would be even better. This began a search for a blueberry muffin recipe.

I made this recipe that I’m about to share with you. They are delicious, but they need a couple of things that I’ll explain later.

First, you need to gather the ingredients and turn the oven on to 400 degrees to preheat.

3 cups self-rising flour

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries.

In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar. In another, large, bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil and eggs. Stir in dry ingrediets just until moistened.

STOP HERE!

When I mixed in the dry ingredients the batter was more of a dough and less of a batter. Very thick. So I added water. I didn’t measure it. I suggest you start with one half cup water and add in one fourth cup water until you get the desired batter consistency.

Fold in blueberries. NOTE: If using frozen blueberries, DO NOT THAW before adding to the batter.

This recipe makes three dozen muffins, so get out ALL your muffin (cupcake) pans.

You can grease the pans or use paper cupcake cups (as I do).

Fill each cup two-thirds full and bake at 400 degrees for 14-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Let the muffins sit five minutes before removing from pans.

Now, for the things these blueberry muffins need, in my opinion.

The first thing my son asked was, “Where’s the crumbly top?” That’s his favorite part.

I didn’t have a recipe for a crumbly top, so if any of you have a recipe for the crumbly top for muffins, my son would be grateful.

Second, the batter needs a blueberry flavoring added. Do they make blueberry flavoring? If so, where would I find it?

So if you like blueberry muffins, try this recipe.

And if you have any tips or tricks to add to make them more delicious please add them in the comments for all to see.

Almost Ready

Here’s a few more things I’ve been up to lately.

Mowing.

aprlmwng

Yes, it’s that time of year. And with all this rain, it’s a weekly thing. But later in the summer, when we are begging for rain it will be brown and dry. That’s the way it is here on the farm. We live in an area that doesn’t get much rain, unless it’s a big storm. We just watch the rain clouds go by. They get close, but go around us for some reason.

I lost all my strawberry plants last year to the drought. So I’m starting a new patch in a different area. Here is the freshly plowed patch. Soon to have plants.

wtng4strwbrys

It’s just a small patch for now. I can add more later if they do well here.

And look! My first blueberry bloom.

frstblubrybloom

I probably won’t get many blueberries to speak of this year. Maybe I’ll have atleast one to taste. Believe it or not, I’ve never tasted a fresh blueberry. I can’t wait. I hope they thrive here on the farm. If so, I’ll definitely plant more. We love blueberry muffins. And I’ll bet they’ll taste better with blueberries fresh from the bush.

And while I was out wandering around with my camera, I came across this…..

hdngcat

Check out the blue eyes trying to hide from me.

hdngcat2

And there he goes. The critters around here are camera shy.

rngcat

Most of you know I’ve been trying to get my garden plowed. This year I am breaking ground in a new area.

grdnnwting

This ground has never been plowed or planted. Or if it has, it has been a very long time. I had to wait for the rain to stop, then let some of the water dry up. But not too much. This ground here is called blackjack. Part red clay. When it’s dry, it very hard to till. The idea is to break up the ground while it’s still wet, then let it dry and till it again. But I figured since this hasn’t been cultivated before, it should have plenty of rich top soil.

And just look at that rich dark soil. Not red clay, like I’m used to seeing here in the south.

plwdgrdn

 I will wait for it to dry up some more then add composted manure, cause you know we have plenty of that out in the pasture, and retill it. Then start planting.

I already have tomato and pepper plants ready to plant. And I have seeds for the rest. If this garden does well, I may try planting some corn. I haven’t had much luck with corn here, the japanese beetles eat the silks and ruin the corn before it’s ready to harvest.

And then I leave you with a view from my back door.

bkyrd

It’s unusual that horses can’t be seen at any time from this view.

I’ll try to catch them out there and show you what I usually see when I walk out the back door.

So, now you know what I’ve been up to. With plenty more to do, cause my garden is almost ready for planting.

What have you been up to?

Hug a friend and tell them how you feel about them today.

It may be just what they need!