goal

Here on our little hillside, in WV, we try to live a simple life. One where we can try to make the best decisions in regards to what we feed our family, and where we source our foods. We try to make green decision that are not only good for our family but for our community and planet as well. There is no place I would rather raise a family, than these WV hills! So I guess it is our responsibility to preserve them, and our heritage.

Friday, July 29, 2011

oh deer

Well it is official.  The deer have eaten almost all the leaves off of our green beans and cucumbers.  We planted 30 heads of cabbage this year for a good batch of sauerkraut, and the groundhogs have ate every head.  We have no other choice but to build a fence before next year.  Any suggestions on how to deter these animals from munching in my garden would be greatly appreciated.

As for this year, we will have to look locally for more of our food than planned.  In the next few weeks we should can some green beans, banana peppers, and pickles.  It will not be long, until the peaches are ripe too.  It turns out that the compost pile I started at the new house is not going to be big enough and I am going to have to create a larger one.  I have read a great book by Wendy Johnson called Gardening in the Dragons Gate (amazon search for book available on this page) with a great section on composting. We will see how that goes. The blackberries are ripe so that means it is time for cobbler.  The Elderberries will be ready soon, and since we did jelly last year we are hoping to make wine this year.  It will be our first attempt at Elderberry Wine.  We also got a black walnut tree with this new house of ours and it seems to have a great deal of nuts, so this will also be our first attempt at harvesting and preserving nuts, so any advice is welcome.  

This time of year comes about so quickly and it will be over and we will be in hunting season before we know it.  There is a flourish of things that need to be done. The fruits and vegetables start to ripen and they have to be preserved when they are ready.  It seems that we rush through late summer and early fall trying to get everything accomplished,  just to have the cold dark winter upon us and the year to be over so quickly.  We need to embrace this season and all the blessings it has to offer before the cold bitterness of winter does find us.  This is also a great time to take an inventory of all the things you need to stock up on before winter.  Time to fill those pantries and freezers with good whole local foods.    

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

decisions

I made a decision about a decade ago that I would always seek knowledge.  There are a few things in life that I am passionate about and I feel the need to constantly educate myself, to learn more, or to come to a deeper understanding.  I would like to share some thing and hopefully learn some thing along the way

I love science, especially physics!  I love my local waterways (not only for their beauty but for their fishing, swimming and boating opportunities).  I understand and have studies for years the effects of climate change and all the associated issues we are facing.  I believe we are causing these issues and try my best not to leave a footprint.

This is why I do what I do for my family and my earth.  I live a simple life where I try to provide for my family as best I can.  I try to grow as much of our food as possible so I know it is organic.  I try to buy what I can't grow locally.  I buy whole bulk food (beans, rices, pastas).  We volunteer.  We recycle everything,  I try to encourage my family to think about their impact.

I will leave it to Einstein to sum up how I feel...........
"All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree."
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. "
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. "
Albert Einstein  

applesauce

We gave most of the first harvest of cucumbers away, except for the bigger ones in which we made cucumber salad with our fresh garden onions


This recipe is super easy! 
First you need to get your apples


I had to fight the deer for mine.....
Then turn on some music, settle in and start on your sauce
you will need to peel, core and quarter your apples, soak in lemon water as you get them sliced
when done, add to slow cooker and add water till covered

add sugar to taste and cinnamon if desired. 
cook uncovered on low until sauce is thickened
When done, you can either can or freeze or simply have for dinner.

Don't forget to compost your peels and cores!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

go with the flow

After receiving a phone call from friends tonight.  We have had a change of plans.  We have agreed to trade.  They get cucumbers tonight and we get green beans later in the week.  The deer have been in our garden enjoying a feast on our beans.  Next year we are going to have to build a very tall fence to keep them out.  So this evening I am going to go pick some of the early transparent apples and make applesauce.  That is if the deer have left me any of those. 

My mammaw has given me the best recipe for apple sauce.  It is so easy and yummy.  The early transparents are good apples for sauce and juice.  I will show you how its done. 

In full swing

The Raspberries have already been picked.  The strawberries are done.  We did 8 pints of strawberry freezer jam. Now the garden is in full swing.  We just picked our first round of cucumbers and I will need to get them done tonight.  Our banana peppers are almost ready.   My step son did an extra patch at his grandparents and they are ready too.  So there will be tons of peppers in the near future.  (pickled banana peppers, BBQ peppers, and hot pepper mustard)  The early transparent apples are ready and I need to get them done soon too.  Not to ,mention the blackberries are starting to get ripe.  Such a busy time of year, but I absolutely love it.