Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Monday, June 15, 2009

Storms over the Weekend

Wow, what a weekend! We weren't supposed to get any rain which I was dreading. The rain barrels were empty and I was going to have to start watering with county water. I don't know about your gardens but mine just don't like county water as much as they do rain water. However, the Lord saw my needs and provided rain, and then some more rain. Both days of rain were a blessing, the garden is well watered and the rain barrels are full again. Our weekend started Friday night with the strangest thing though, a wind storm. Wind storms are not something we normally get here unless accompanied by thunderstorms. This was no thunderstorm, just a straight line wind going full blast. It was kinda like being in a wind tunnel with the huge fan at one end. The only problem with this wind storm is that is flattened much of my corn. My patch of ensilage corn is completely laid down along with 2 rows of my pencil cob corn. Uggghhhh! I am hoping that I can save some of the corn. I am attempting to stand the corn back up and hope that it will stay that way. I have tons of garden chores today as the chickens got into the garden yesterday again and made a mess of all the mulch. The potatoes are ready to be mulched again also. I have turnips ready to harvest and dehydrate, and seeds from the radishes that are ready to harvest. Tomatoes are coming along well and I even have some tomatoes growing. I am harvesting cucumbers pretty regularly now and will be putting up pickles and pickle relish this week. I have plenty of canning and processing to do this week. I will also be using some of last fall's pecans that are still in the freezer to make pecan butter. Over the summer I like to start clearing the freezer because we refill with fresh in the fall. This ensures a good rotation and nothing gets yucky and old. Whatever, I can't salvage of the corn I will turn into winter silage for the livestock. I am also drying things for winter feed for the bunnies. Here in the deep south my car and a few screens work well for drying and keeping bugs off my food. Some people use their roof tops for sun drying, but with the amount of bugs we have here I wouldn't do it. The car works great and requires nothing more than rolled up windows and a sunny day, which we get lots of during the summer. The only drawback is when I need to go somewhere, then I have to do something with all my screens. I discovered this weekend a patch of eastern black nightshade growing in the big pasture so I have plans to pull it up. It isn't too big of a patch and I don't want it growing. I am sure that there is more somewhere out there and will try to get around this week to checking for it. I have been pulling tons of pokeweed this summer from around the farm. Two plants I cannot stand to see are nightshade and pokeweed. Both are very poisonous and I am just terrified that I will miss a pokeweed and my toddler will decide to try and sample the berries. We are still battling the oleanders also that the previous owner planted. Those are the toughest plants! We have cut down, dug up (or thought we did) and everything else we could think of over the years, but they still keep coming back. I don't know why anyone would plant such a toxic plant on a farm. I am still working on the billy goat shelter in the new pasture, so that we can seperate our boys and girls. Well, daylight is here and it is a busy busy day today. I must get outside and get done before the searing summer heat gets intolerable. Have a blessed day.


Anonymous said...

Ive never heard of drying food in your car. Can you tell me more about it?

Kat said...

Well, it is really easy. Your car in the summer heat gets to be ideal dehydrating temperatures. So I made some screens (just window screen from the hardware store) stapled to a bamboo frame. Each frame sits on top of the other one. I have a station wagon so I can stack about 7 or 8 screens and each will sit about 2 inches above the one below it. This allows air to flow between the screens. It works the same way that a solar food dehydrator works. We have serious bugs here so by using the car with the windows up I can keep out the bugs. I call it the poor man's food dehydrator. After all homesteading is all about using what you have.When you put your food to be dehydrated on the screens just spread a thin layer. It depends on the food as to how long it takes to. I have had stuff dry in 2 days and some stuff has taken longer. Rarely has anything taken more than 4 days. And yes, I have been known to run errands with food dehydrating in the back of the car! I hope I explained it well enough. Right now I have been dehydrating corn and sunflowers thinnings which will be the hay fed to the rabbits this winter, or at least part of it. God bless and good luck!