Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's Hopping Around Here?

This week I have been working hard in the garden.  

I've planted several winter transplants and prepped soil for several more beds.  The Hubby is working on making me a few compact conduit hoop houses for beds without cold frames, so I am hoping to extend my season in all of my garden beds.

I harvested heirloom golden concord grapes and made some into juice and tomorrow I plan to turn that into grape jelly.  I will post how I did it next week.  I will be using the Ball Blue Book recipe and instructions.

I also harvested and processed yet another tomato sauce batch.

I dehydrated more red sweet peppers and grated zucchini successfully.

I stocked up on several pounds of dried beans and put them in canning jars.

I had a mystery guest raid a few plants in the garden overnight, the tracks lead me to think it's a neighbor's loose dog.  He tore off a few tomatoes, crushed them and threw them around and tromped through the new transplant beds.  Luckily, I only lost a few seedlings this time.  I am going to have to remember to close our property gate at night.

I also spent a few hours at the school farm treating the organic crops with two different biological helpers Actinovate and Superzyme.  

The Actinovate is a good bacteria product that you can apply to the soil.  The bacteria will live in your soil and produce chemicals that inhibit fungi and stimulate plant growth.  

The Superzyme is a product made from two Trichoderma bacteria and good fungi that colonize your plant's root system (locking out bad things) and are pathogenic toward bad fungi.

The only thing we did this week for the conventional crops was to have the professor spray a foliar application of Imidacloprid (aka brand name: Bayer Advantage) to control sucking insects like white fly and aphid which are a huge problem here in Fall.  If you google the chemical you will find that it is actually a nicotinoid (it comes from the nicotiana (nicotine) plant).  It is a neurotoxin, and a non-selective insect killer (it's very toxic to honeybees) so it's not advisable to use in an area with blooming flowers because you will kill many beneficials.  The professor opted to use it now, the transplants are only a few weeks old, not blooming, not attractive to bees, so it should be safe for our field now.

Sorry my post is a bit late, but we drove up the coast to yet another fantastic family wedding yesterday.
Our family is FULL OF LOVE lately. hehe.

My favorite little cousin Raymond married the woman of his dreams in this quaint country church in the mountains and we could not be happier for him.  May they have many great years together.

To all my blog friends reading this post- may you have a blessed week and THANK YOU for reading.

This post has been linked up to two of my favorite BLOG HOPS- Deborah Jean's Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop,  Homestead Revival's Preparedness Challenge #27 & Homestead Barn Hop #29!

YOU can link up to those blogs below.

NEW READERS-  Please follow this link by clicking HERE to read more Preparedness Challenge blog posts at Homestead Revival.

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Homestead Revival's Homestead Barn Hop #29 LINK HERE!


  1. Wow, you have been busy, busy! The grapes look great, as do all your dried and canned foods. What a pretty setting for the wedding! :)

  2. I'll have to try the dried zucchini!

  3. Thanks for reading and commenting Candy. I have been like a kid at a playground this summer, learning all sorts of new to me things from my fellow homesteading bloggers. I'll be making my rounds and visiting your blog this afternoon, after I get a bit of studying in.

  4. Dr. Momi- The dried, grated zucchini worked great. The only thing I would do different, is that I would have placed more of it in each tray. It seemed pretty full when I began dehydrating, but in a short time, it looked empty. That jar contained two dehydrator loads. Have a great week.

  5. I liked this whole post - but thanks so much for mentioning you dried peppers. I never thought of that and I have some I would rather not pickle or can.

  6. Michaele,

    Thanks for the nice words. I was so excited when it worked out. I hope to see some of your awesome photography skills highlighting your pepper endeavor. BTW- the feather photographs are amazing!


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