Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fall Garden Peas

Here are the peas planted a couple of weeks ago, surrounded by some of the pine needles I raked up out of the yard to use as mulch. The second row of peas did not germinate for some reason, so I planted more a week later. The smaller plants to the left are the newer peas. Beyond those are the squash plants. I also have two kinds of corn coming up, although about half of the sweet corn has not germinated. They're the open pollinated seeds that I ordered on-line. I'll have to check their website to see what their guarantee is. I'll be very disappointed if the seeds are duds.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Living Room

Here are some pics of the living room. We tore out the ceiling. I don't know why I don't have a before picture of it, but it had the old popcorn texture, dark styrofoam exposed beams, and was uneven. Now it is smooth, even and clean.

There were three square entryways into the room, one on either side of the fireplace and one between the dining room and living room. We've added arches. And we taken the dark wood paneling down and wooden casing off the windows and encased them in bullnose corner bead and smooth texture.
Seems my camera lens needs to be cleaned.

Friday, August 22, 2008


So, Buffy, when are you gonna have that baby...or are you just waiting until you pop?

Go pound sand, Hilde.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008


Guess what arrived via FedEx today?

A whole bunch of paint stirrers! At first I was baffled. Why did I get paint stirrers in the mail? Did I order paint stirrers? Do I have a lot of paint to stir?

Then it dawned on me. I expressed a wish in my blog for paint stirrers to use as garden markers (my little popsicle sticks do look so pitiful out there poked in the dirt). So I looked at the invoice to see who sent them and saw that the genie who granted my wish was a dear sweet lady whom I've known for many years and whom I consider to be family. Carline, you must be reading my blog, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart. What a lovely surprise.

And the arrival of the garden markers has reminded me that I need to make out a calender of when to plant and harvest each veggie.

Oh, and the peas that I planted on Monday had already sprouted as of Thursday! Wow, God's creation is efficient. The seeds were given to me by a farmer friend at church, so I'm not sure what kind they are.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Lamentations and Preservations

Ack. I think I broke my little toe this past Monday. I've been hobbling around all week not getting nearly as much done as I'd like to.

Tom has been chipping and shredding all of the wood we've gathered the past few months. We're going to use it as mulch since Garrett's book says that native hardwood and cedar make the very best mulch. We have quite a large pile. We also have loads of pine needles (also high on the mulch rating) that I want to rake up and use. That's something I haven't been able to do, but I've still got time before I'll need it in my fall garden. On Thursday, I mowed for the first time in weeks. Since it has been so hot and dry, the grass is just not growing. Tom did get the sprinkler system all fixed and in working order, though, so we have been able to water the lawn a bit; not enough, though because most of it is still brown and dead.

Tom is finishing up the garden prep today. We're doubling the size of our previous garden. Tom has scraped away the grass and tilled in the compost, cornmeal, organic fertilizer, and molassas. I plan to start planting on Monday.

In the meantime, I blended up and froze most of the watermelon, and stewed and froze more tomatoes. I also decided to dig up and onion to see if it was ready to be harvested and do I feel dumb or what? All of this time, I thought the onions were the bulb kind, but it turns out they were green onions with no bulb and I could have been using them all this time. So I dug them all up and put them in the fridge. That's what happens when you use inferior labels that fade out after one day in the sun. I'm going to try permanent marker on popsicle sticks when I plant the fall garden. What I really wish I had is a bunch of paint stirrers to use as markers, but I'm going to have to make do.

I've decided to keep a journal of sorts with all kinds of tips on gardening and preserving foods. I can't remember all the things I've been reading and I need a quick reference guide. So each time I read something that I think will be helpful in this endeavor, I'm adding it to my TIPS list.

We've got our house listed with Coldwell Banker. The realtor was supposed to put a sign in the yard yesterday, but it didn't happen. I don't know why. Anyway, I'm home for a couple of days to get the house spruced up. Had the windows washed today and a water damage spot repaired in the ceiling. Paden mowed the yard while I started going through his room to help get him packed for his move into an apartment next weekend.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Mother Earth

Some friends of ours bought us a subscription to a wonderful magazine called Mother Earth News (I think that's the name of it). Each month has articles pertinent to exactly what I'm trying to figure out at the moment.

This month was what to do about the extra tomatoes. Actually, it would have been helpful to receive this month's edition a little early because I had quite a lot of food that went to waste because I didn't know how to preserve it - mostly corn. Anyway, there was an article about preserving tomatoes. It said if there isn't enough time to do anything else, they can be frozen whole. There was also a recipe for stewed tomatoes that could be frozen. I did both this week. So I have several frozen whole tomatoes, which was a snap to do, of course. And I made up a batch of stewed tomatoes, poured them in zip lock bags, labeled them and froze them. To freeze them whole, all you do is wash them, pop them in the freezer separately (to keep them from sticking together) until they are frozen, then put them in a zip lock bag. This week, I'll do more of the same because the tomatoes are still going strong.

I'm definitely going to have to get a big food dehydrator because one article told me that I can dry just about any fruit or veggie. The benefit of drying is that the dried food takes up less space and most of it doesn't need to be stored in the freezer or refrigerator. The food can be rehydrated when it's time to eat it, or it can be eaten dried like a raisin. Supposedly, the rehydrated dried food retains it's fresh flavor.

Howard Garrett's book was wrong about when to harvest a watermelon. His book says to wait until the vine is brown and dry, which is what I was waiting for as my watermelons got bigger and bigger. Then I discovered that one of the biggest ones had burst open. It didn't look like it was done by an animal and none of it was eaten. It looked like it just had burst open from over-ripening. So I picked one of the other biggest ones and cut it open. It was so ripe that the center of it had turned mushy. I scraped out the mushy part and threw it away, but the rest of it was delicious, so I cut it up and put it in the frig. I picked two more and brought them home. I intend to cut them open and if they are still good, I'll blend up the meat into juice and freeze it.

P.S. I'm rereading my blog (and, boy, in hindsight, do I sound ignorant).  Just wanted to say, those whole frozen tomatoes are still in my freezer.