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By August 2, 2012 Read More →

The Bock’s Urban Farm August Digest

 

WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE GARDENS

Re-starts of Autumn Vine Crops

Planting Sweet Potato Slips

Planting Corn, collards and winter squash

Starting seedlings in the greenhouse of:

Broccoli and onions

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WHAT WE ARE ADDING TO STORAGE

Canning Tomatoes, Pickles, peaches, pears

Drying Onions, Green Peppers and Green Beans

Freezing As Found on Sale:

Avocados, Raspberries

Also Adding From Back-to-School Sales:

Bleach, Hand Sanitizer, Facial Tissue, Office Supply

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The Kids have a term that reflects July’s projects this year, “Epic Fail”!   Sometimes, all the efforts and good intentions just don’t come together.  We still don’t have the roof on the greenhouse, because we are depending on help from others.  I mismanaged the fall vine (pumpkin, watermelon, squash) seedlings and they withered.

Dear Husband had to go back up to our mountain homes without me because our helpers were not able to, well, help, so I stayed behind to tend the animals and gardens.  This has, also, put me behind in the canning.

We were able to cull out the chickens before they started crowing.  Living in the urbans, you don’t want unwanted noise or attention and roosters are all about attention and noise.  Mr. Bock did a spectacular job of processing 4 rabbits and 9 chickens as I bravely tried to keep up by getting them canned and frozen.  A hard days work allows us many meals to come, ground meat, cut up chicken ready to fry in the oven, whole chickens to roast and some pieced chicken pressure cooked in jars for chicken salad and other quick dishes.  Plus dog food for the week from rabbit bones cooked down with rice and carrots.  The schnauzers knew it was coming and were very excited to have their share of the farm’s bounty.

We were happy to taste chicken with a flavor you can’t buy in stores.  Long drumsticks from chickens that flourished in strutting the outdoors, not bred to create breast meat.  We have memories from childhood of chicken just so moist and flavorful and we know how fortunate we are to have such food.  Never crowded, stressed and sick, not needing antibiotics.  Allowed to grow up without hurry so no need for hormones.  And given a painless, kind end by thankful owners who appreciate what their life meant to us because we lived close to them and cared for them every day.

Something that made all the difference is the outside kitchen we are creating.  In years gone past, some would have a summer kitchen.  It was meant to keep the heat out of the house and to catch the breeze as one went about doing various summer cooking chores, especially preserving food.

I have been babying the sweet potato in the kitchen window to harvest slips.  I add some water to a glass and set the potato in it and before you know it, there will be little green sprouts coming up from eyes on the potato.  Just take them off and let them root in water and plant them along with the original potato which will be full of it’s own roots.

 

This is raspberry season for people in the north.  Raspberries are my one weakness.  I did add a raspberry bush to the side garden and it seems healthy.  We will see what happens because they just don’t care for our semi-tropical Florida climate.  Bananas do like it and I have two trees that were planted in the spring that seem happy.  I also added three climbing kiwi plants.  They don’t look very well.  Not many plants appreciate the August temperatures in Florida!

Isis and the chicks have moved out to the hen house.  She still tries to mother them some but they don’t appreciate it unless she is scratching up some tender morsel.  The other day, I watched as one jumped on her back and playfully tugged at her head.  I remember those “empty nests days”.  We both seem to have gotten over it.  She has gone back to laying eggs again.  I write about it.

With the coming of September, our gardening and food production will go back into full swing.  I will be ready!

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THE REST OF THE COUNTRY IS PROBABLY PUTTING GARDEN BEDS INTO WINTER COLD WEATHER CROPS.  WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOUR GARDEN NOW?  SURE HOPE IT IS NOT “EPIC FAIL”!



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