Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Garden Tme!

Well good morning to you!  It is officially Spring everywhere.  But here where we live, it has been Spring-like for weeks now.  I got off to a late start in getting my garden in, despite the gorgeous weather.  Sunday morning, Greg and I went to the garden center bright and early, and I got all I needed to get started.  When we got home, I lathered up in sun screen, and put my hat on, and got to work. I was working so hard, that I took very few photos though.  Didn't even get a before shot!  The first order of the day, was to get the fencing in place to protect my hard work from 15 dirt loving chickens!!  My fencing is a mixture of materials that we had on hand from previous uses.  The wrought iron is from when we bought this house 23 years ago, and we had fencing from the patio to keep our 4 year old son safe.  But in addition to that, I needed something taller and more dense to keep the chicks out.  I used the remaining  mesh pool fencing that we had around the pool when the grandkids were born.  The largest portion of the fencing is what we used for what is now our chicken run.  Yes, I have always had visions of a cute wooden fence with a antique looking gate, but this is so much more economical!  So I use what I have.
This is the back garden.  A couple of years ago, I took over another area, equal in size to this, just on the other side of the big gate.  I will plant that one this weekend.
This garden in back, contains all raised beds.  You would be amazed at what I all I can grow here!  In this tire, I have dill, sage, thyme, curly leaf parsley, and chives.
In this box, I have 4 different types of tomatoes, basil and cilantro.  Along the front and sides, I have planted beets.
I couldn't resist getting a couple small pots of basil and cilantro, just for immediate use.  But I also plant this from seed as well.  Usually I do a lot more tomatoes, but I am only doing these 4 plants, and one from seed.
In this box I have planted cucumbers, bush beans, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, and a few other things from seed.  Those trellises will assist the climbing vines.
The next box has patty pan squash, and lots and lots of lettuces.  Arugula, romaine, iceberg, mixed salad, spinach, to name a few.
There is one more box here in my back garden, but it still needs a bit more soil added to it. 
That old cast iron antique sink I have used to hold soil for planting.  But I am thinking about moving it and using it for something else.  The old claw foot tub was given to me by my friend and when it was unloaded it was set upside down.  I need at least 4 strong men to help me set it upright, and when I do, I have plans for that too.  I have an active compost bin, that provides rich soil for my garden all year.  Our old mailbox sitting atop the bin, holds garden tools, etc.  I have placed mulch down on the ground to keep the weeds at bay, and also to help with mud.  I have so far planted: dill, sage, parsley, chives, thyme, basil, cilantro, 4 types tomatoes, beets, green onions, white onions, arugula, several types lettuces, two types hot peppers, bell peppers, patty pan squash, Japanese eggplant, cucumbers, bush beans and probably a few I have forgotten.
In the front garden I will plant:  sweet corn, sweet peas, sugar snap peas,  cabbage, watermelons, cantaloupe, broccoli, swiss chard, pumpkins, and more.
Hopefully, I will once again have a very productive garden season!  I worked from sun up to sun down.  While I was doing this, Greg was working on the boat getting it ready to put it in the lake on April 02, for the summer season.  He worked equally as hard.  We were both pretty tuckered out.  We sat down in the swing by the coop, with a cold drink, and a bag of fritos, watching the chickens bring themselves back home to roost.
They wanted some fritos!!! 
These eggs are fantastic!  The hens are providing us with about 10 eggs a day. 
And speaking of eggs....our incubating experience is going along great!  I started with 12 eggs.  After one week, while candling them, two were clearly not fertile.  I removed them.  At week two, I  fumbled one of them, and it cracked.  I didn't know that you could tape them, and that they would still develop.  I removed the egg, thinking it would surely die.  The next evening, I was curious to see what the stage of development was, and I opened it.  It was fascinating!  I wish I had taken photos.  There was indeed, a teeny, tiny chicken in there.  I felt really bad that I didn't save it.  If only I had known.  At week 2 1/2, I removed two more eggs that were not developing.  So I have 8 that seem to be developing.  Although the darker shelled eggs, are so difficult to see inside when candling!  We are set for hatching TOMORROW!!!!
Three are spoken for.  I am so hoping they all hatch!!!
I will wrap it up today with a yummy dish for you to try!  I saw this recipe on my friend Teresa's blog.  Her daughter in law made this yummy dish for them, and it got two thumbs up.  She provides the link to the recipe on her blog post, so you can go to her site, and find it.  The web site also provides a printable format for the recipe. 
It is cooked in a cast iron pan.  You caramelize onions, then lay thinly sliced potatoes all over the onions.  Bake in oven for 20 minutes.  Remove and place chicken breasts, or tenders over potatoes.  There is a sauce made from Dijon mustard and lemon juice, and honey that goes over top of chicken.  Sprigs of rosemary add a delicious layer of flavor, as well as aroma!  It is baked again for another 20 minutes, then foil removed and placed under heat coil to brown for another 15 or so.  My family loved it too.  I made it with a salad of romaine and spinach, fresh strawberries, fresh pear, and I toasted and candied some pecans.
I threw some bell peppers, and avocado and parmesan cheese in there too.  Tossed it in a pear gorgonzola dressing.  To candy the pecans, I simply melted a bit of butter, whisked in some brown sugar, and then cooked for a couple minutes on stove top.  Then poured onto foil lined baking sheet, and put in oven for about 8 minutes.  Cool a bit, and then drop into salad.  DELISH!!
I hope you go over to Teresa's blog and say hi, and try this recipe!  It was a winner, winner, chicken dinner!!
I will be back soon with a thrifting post. 
Happy Spring everyone!
XO  Kris


Valerie CottageMakingMommy said...

I just logged in and you were the first post. So good to see you gardening again. I'm still so appreciative of you teaching me how to make composting easy a few years ago.

The recipe looks delicious and excited about seeing your eggs hatch. I would do chickens at our farm but with all of our dogs I'm not sure they would survive and they bring those black snakes and I can't do snakes.

From the Kitchen said...

I sure would like to be your neighbor!! I'm always envious of your harvests.


Betsy said...

Wow! You are amazing Kris! That was definitely a productive day. Loved the picture of the chickens all coming to see you. :-) How fun it will be to see if the eggs hatch soon. I've been wanted to try that recipe of Teresa's too, but with just Dennis and I we can't eat that large a dish. I need to get a smaller skillet and cut the recipe in half. Your salad looks yummy too.

Teresa Kasner said...

Kris, I'm so happy to see you gardening again! You never did tell me why you didn't put one in last year. But you are such a garden girl! I can't wait to see your baby chicks hatch. Noah will be thrilled! I'm so happy to see that you tried that recipe.. I totally loved it too. Thanks for the shout out!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Mereknits said...

I saw that recipe on Posie gets cozy and Teresa's it looks delicious. I wonder if you can substitute agave for honey, no can do honey here at this house. Your garden looks fantastic Kris, I know you really missed gardening last year, so glad you are jumping back in.
Hugs to you and Happy Spring,

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, You are one busy lady; I'm sure you are ready to be in full spring mode. Here our weather is up and down-today was high 60's and tomorrow we get snow. That recipe sounds so good and I'm hungry! Will head over to your friends and say hello.
Hugs and have a great week.

Linda said...

Hi Kris....
Your garden will be fabulous...just like everything else you do!
I saw that recipe on line already! Have it bookmarked to try for sure!
Have a great Easter my dear....you hosting?
Good luck with the chicks!
Linda :o)

Gracie Saylor said...

Well here I am cheering on all your hard work, Kris! Your gardening always inspires me...and we keep trying to find plants that will grow for us....other than the weeds that always seem to thrive :) My son put in some more Primroses for me today. They really seem to like it here. After he planted them it rained [poured down in bucketfuls] and there was a long grumble of thunder. I did a science project in high school, documenting the stages of growth of a baby chick, and it was facinating. I hope your chicks all hatch and have happy lives. Spring is wonderful, isn't it :) xx

Kerri said...

Your garden always amazes me and makes me wish I had one too! When my son was about a year old, my Amish neighbor helped me plant a small vegetable garden. It was hard work to keep up...especially the weeding part. And, although in our current house I sure have the room for a garden....I just don't know if it is something I can maintain! Thankfully we have Amish stands on every corner in the spring and summer that I can visit and take advantage of. I can imagine that you are able to save so much money...like I've said before, I have to wait to buy avocados when they are on sale for a dollar a piece.
BTW, can you send some of your sunny weather my way....I have about had it with our dreary days! Thanks! :)

Debbie said...

I am always soo impressed with your gardening and your cooking! Honestly I wish I could whip up a desire to get into gardening too, but it just has never been me. I certainly like to EAT all the goodies though, lol. Nothing like home grown produce. The recipe sounds like a good one. Might give that a try. Our weather has just been gorgeous! Wish it would stay like this through the whole summer, lol. Like that's going to happen. Wishing you and your family a very happy and blessed Easter!