Posted on July 21, 2011 by therunninggarlic
We have finally decided on a name for our place that carries meaning for us from our past, present and future business ideals. Growing Phases Farm is our new name and although we haven’t started officially doing business the name is in place!
I have set up a Facebook page and another blog where I will be writing about happenings on the Farm and I am keeping my fingers crossed we can find a good internet connection here. We are pretty remote and most carriers don’t reach us.
We were busy the last few weeks harvesting all the garlic and now this task is finally complete. The 5 types of garlic grown this past season include Chrysalis Purple, Chesnok Red, Persian Star, Inchelium Red and Chet’s Italian. The garlic will cure for a month before it is up for sale and many of the cloves will be saved for our planting for 2012 which will take place in October. I also ordered 2 additional varieties – Music and Siberian, along with Lorz Italian and Broadleaf Czech to be started. Overall, the growth and harvest went well, although much more organic compost needs to be added to the hard clay soil for better results.
The cucumbers have been plentiful allowing us to can enough to keep us pickle happy until next season. I left the vines to grow a little longer since the chickens love cucumbers and will enjoy their refreshing taste on these hot, hot summer days!
I noticed more baby birds out and about and made sure to keep the feeders full for them. If you sit and watch you can see the difference between the babies and the adults – besides the physical appearance, they are slower to move and they tend to observe what is going on around them.
Top picture is a baby House Wren – the nest is built behind a piece of wood we placed up against sliding glass doors. The wood was picked up and placed there for no reason, but once the nest-building began – we didn’t dare move it. The lower picture is a baby American Goldfinch watching the world go by.
Filed under: Gardening, Garlic, Preserving, Small Business | Tagged: baby birds, canning pickles, Gardening, garlic harvest, new farm | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 3, 2011 by therunninggarlic
Some of the garlic I have from last season is starting to sprout and it makes sense since the garlic out in the ground is sprouting also. It must sense that it’s time to grow! At this point, the garlic is still very edible but it has lost its youthfulness and freshness. I decided to dry some up in the Excalibur dehydrator and save it this way. I will take it a step further and powder it for simple sprinkling into recipes.
This garlic press/slicer I found and purchased over the summer has been a true time saver! Previous to buying it, I would cut each individual clove into slices and it did take forever. Now I just pop the clove in the garlic slicer and presto …. nicely sliced garlic!
Patiently awaiting their time in the Excalibur
Here we have the garlic sprouting outside …
Planted in October to be harvested in July!
Make sure to add your recipe to Munchie Monday tomorrow. I will be adding Garlic Herb Croutons … easy, easy!
Filed under: Gardening, Garlic, Munchie Monday, Preserving | Tagged: Gardening, garlic, Recipes | 8 Comments »
Posted on January 22, 2011 by therunninggarlic
~ Now is the time to bring a little summer sunshine into your surroundings ~ and I will show you how!
With temperatures dipping well below zero and winds gusting outside with a high pitch screech and lasting echo, it’s hardly time to think hot summer days. Let’s … for a moment … forget the current outdoor conditions and relish in the past … the hot days spent lounging poolside, gathering flowers to adorn the table and taking a few sprigs here and there and “pressing them” to save for later. As we gaze into the fire as we sip our hot cocoa, we can envision the swaying sunflowers dancing in the breeze. Let’s talk flowers!
Using pressed flowers is not a new idea … earlier this year I created this post and it is an easy art to conquer. I think we simply overlook all the possibilities to save those moments of celebration. Saving our corsages, bouquets or even a bundle of flowers picked up from the market will extend the memory and bring joy long after the event has passed.
My stash of saved pressed foliage has a variety of flowers, ferns and even herbs that were picked and pressed in heavy phone books for several weeks to several months. I always thought the flower had to be small and flat to press successfully, but I have had great success with bigger and thicker flowers as well. The trick is using heavier weights and longer drying time.
Working out your design and what you intend to create using your pressed flowers should be fun and care taken to handle the flowers carefully since they are now rather fragile. Tweezers are ideal for handling and if petals or stems break off, you can glue right back into place. The recommended glue to use for placement and also sealing is a product called Mod Podge. It can be found at craft stores – most supermarkets also carry this product.
A favorite design I enjoy is using the flowers on cards for special occasions and special people. There are many ways to use your precious flowers and there is no limit on what your imagination can create.
As you browse through the gardening catalogs on these cold snowy days, envision the colorful, fragrant fields of flowers you can grow or better yet… Jump in the car and head to the store for a bundle of beauty! Enjoy them now and save some for later!
Filed under: Crafts, Dried flowers, Homemade Gifts, papercrafts, Post a Day 2011, Preserving | Tagged: cards, Crafts, Dried flowers, Homemade Gifts, how to, papercrafts, pressed flowers | 6 Comments »
Posted on November 17, 2010 by therunninggarlic
Most of us grow up and follow certain traditions or rituals together as a family. It may be the Christmas cookies we bake or the weekly visit to Grandma’s house – whatever it may be, it has deep meaning and purpose. Traditions are the cement that unifies a family and bonds the members together from generation to generation.
As technology expands and life becomes more computerized, we speed along with the daily trends and rush to keep up. A lot of tradition and family togetherness is becoming lost in the ever increasing wires that whirl throughout the airwaves. Older generations are jumping aboard and staying connected with the younger generations who are miles ahead in the electronic world of today.
I was asked recently “How has social media changed the way I communicate?” I have to say it has changed my communications drastically; in a good way, but also in a way that may leave future generations wondering about days long ago and only having the computer to flip on for answers. The diaries, recipe books and homespun crafts of yester year are disappearing as the new world of technology makes its mark. This realization hit home now that the 2 kids are off at college – I have considerably more time to reflect. What memories will they always hold dear to them? Will they carry on tradition to their children? In a 100 years will the future generations even know I existed? Sobering thoughts indeed, but will they?
As I was working on my latest creation, I decided each child will receive one of these Recipe books as a Christmas gift and I will send them recipes throughout the year.
I also plan to start one of my own. I can add cookies, cakes along with my healthy gardening dishes and this will serve as my link to my future family. They can experience life in the past through my writings and shared thoughts. Some time ago I wrote this Grow a Garden piece for my website and it reinforces the thoughts of leaving something for future generations. Now is the time to start (if we haven’t already), a time to create tradition and leave it for future generations so they can experience life as we lived it.
Create Tradition Today! Share yourself with the future.
Filed under: Baking, cooking, food, Gardening, Homemade Gifts, Preserving, Recipes | Tagged: Crafts, family, food, heirloom, preserving memories, recipe book, Recipes, tradition | 5 Comments »
Posted on August 25, 2010 by therunninggarlic
My precious Excalibur dehydrator has been working overtime these past few days and is doing a great job! The garlic is still drying at the present and I plan to vacuum seal into small packages for winter use since I still have plenty of fresh garlic right now.
The garlic and tomatoes did wonderful this year despite the extrememly hot weather and they are two of my favorite picks in the garden.
There are still quite a number of tomatoes still ripening up on the vine along with the bountiful harvest ready for salsa. I did dehydrate a considerable amount also and I refer to them as my sun-dried tomatoes (even though they weren’t actually dried in the sun). They are excellent in pasta recipes or even sprinkled in a salad!
The tomato that I dehydrated is the Principe Borghese which states it is good for sun drying. I found it quite small and full of seeds – the smaller romas which I also dehydrated were meatier and had very little seeds. Next year we stick with the romas for drying. Two other varieties that did well were -
Illini Star tomatoes
Cherokee Purple tomatoes
Before the kids left for college I was able to dry up a ton of apples for them to snack on – they really enjoy these … and so do I!
Here’s hoping they eat healthy!!!
Filed under: Dried fruit, Gardening, Garlic, Healthy Living, Homemade Gifts, Preserving | Tagged: cherokee purple tomato, dehydrator, dried apples, dried garlic, Excalibur dehydrator, Gardening, illini star tomato, Preserving, sundried tomatoes | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 18, 2010 by therunninggarlic
The garlic has been cured for a month now and I spent several days cleaning it so I do have some which I will be listing in my store next week for sale!
There are 4 different varieties but the quantity will be limited since I am working on planting more each year so I need to save some for that and I am rethinking which varieties I will grow. With the move down south in the future I have to consider the different climate elements…it appears the hardneck do much better than the softneck down south.
A while back I pickled up the garlic scapes and I really enjoy them so I decided to try canning up some actual garlic. I found this simple recipe in Ball Blue Book of preserving and decided on 3 different varieties to try… Chet’s Italian, Inchelium Red and Chrysalis Purple – 2 softs and a hardneck.
The first step in this process was peeling all the garlic (keeping each type separate from the other).
Then I blanched the garlic in boiling water for 1 minute & drained. The recipe yields 6 half pints using 6 cups of peeled cloves garlic, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon canning salt and 3 cups vinegar. Combine the sugar, salt and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pack the hot garlic in your canning jars and ladle the hot liquid over the garlic leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece canning lids and process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.
Someone suggested peeling some garlic and storing in a jar in the refrigerator for easy and quick access when cooking stating this would encourage more use of the garlic . I agree but not so sure how long the garlic will keep this way and stay fresh – thinking it would need to be used within a short timeframe. Any suggestions??
Garlic now listed for sale at my store
Filed under: food, Gardening, Garlic, Preserving, Recipes | Tagged: garlic, garlic gift, gourmet garlic for sale, homemade, how to, pickled garlic, Preserving | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 11, 2010 by therunninggarlic
The watermelon (Moon & Stars) are growing right along ….along with the gourds!!!
Watermelon in front – Gourds in back
I canned up cucumber for pickles (3 canning sessions) so I am set for pickles. Last year we used Burpee’s Pickler and I attempted to save the seed and plant this year, but they never sprouted so the cucumber we did use was called Muncher and it worked well. I actually let the cucumber sit in cold water (added a few ice cubes) before slicing up so they were nice and crisp.
The 3 types of basil were all doing very well – Mrs. Burns Lemon which I made cookies with ……. so good! Thai and Purple Ruffles which I set aside and have drying. I did use some of the Lemon basil to save in ice cubes – not sure how I will use them … maybe more cookies!
The tomatoes were ripening up and I was so happy to make my first batch of salsa – which does not last long in this house at all!
I did spot and remove this nasty tomato hornworm – one of the chickens had a tasty treat. I am very much on the lookout for these beasts … they can destroy a tomato plant really really fast.
The hot sun and sparse rain have taken its toil on the gardens this year and it continues ….. down south – up north we have had a TON of rain – sure wish I could reverse the weather for a few days here and there!
Filed under: Gardening, Gourds, Preserving | Tagged: freezing basil, Gardening, gourds, tomato hornworm, watermelon | 3 Comments »