Sunday, March 7, 2010

Planting the Garden

We had warm weather today, finally, and no cold wind.  We were actually outside this afternoon without a jacket!
Al got the area ready to plant the potato’s, and that was the plan for yesterday.  First he tilled the soil, which in my experience makes soil real nice but turns up all the weed seeds and they sprout tons of weeds.
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We planted Yukon Golds, and red potato’s.  They are easy to grow and store well, so we like to grow them.
That was all done yesterday and I realized very quickly how out of shape I am.  You’d think after the project laying the new flooring in the RV that I would have gotten used to bending and kneeling.
Today the weather was even nicer than yesterday and we spent most of the day outside.
We planted spinach, lettuce, kale (don’t know how that will do here), onions, Zinnas, wildflowers, a Mimosa tree and 3 small oaks.  Of course Al did most of the digging, but I did most of the planting.
Very hard work, but we felt like we accomplished something and it’s sure nice to have fresh vegetables right from your own garden.
Gardening is a new thing for us.  Coming from Tampa, we had a house on a small lot in a subdivision and never did any gardening.  We decided once we moved up here we would attempt to grow our own food.  We have had mixed results.  The weeds grow very well though!
We found out that it’s much easier to go to “Longs U-pick” and get most of our veggies! Long’s is a wonderful farm nearby that grows vegetables that you can go and pick yourself. You get a 5 gallon bucked for $7.  We go there when we want to get a lot at once, for canning or freezing.
Another new thing we started when we moved here, was canning.  Al helps and we kind of enjoy it.  We also freeze a lot of what we pick/grow. We just used up the last of our green peppers recently, but are still eating wonderful peaches and blueberries from last year.
Several years ago we bought a Food Vacuum Sealer and have found it to be a great way to preserve fresh food.
We go pick blueberries and peaches  in June, flash freeze them, put them in a vacuum bag and seal them up. Then we have wonderful fruit all year long.  We also use it for lima beans, green beans, tomato’s, jalapeno peppers, corn and squash.  Of course it is also great for seafood.  We recently got some shrimp and Mahi Mahi.  We brought it home, flash froze it, and zipped them up.  The fish is as good as fresh for a year or better.  Fresh fish has no fish smell, but once it’s frozen it gets that fishy smell.  If you take the air out of it to freeze it, you get no fishy smell.
Anyway, our planting is done for the day. 
Tomorrow we have to take the RV in to get our propane refilled.
We will probably spend the day outside again.  I want to plant some more zinna’s, and we need to do some normal clean up from the long winter.  With 11 acres, there is always something to do!

2 comments:

Connie,Barry said... [Reply to comment]

Do you like that brand of vacuum sealer? I've been looking and can't make up my mind. I've been using ziplock bags to freeze all the seabass and flounder we get in the summer and the venison products in the winter.

Connie

Karen and Al said... [Reply to comment]

Connie,

Yes I love my Food Saver. The one I have is not the one on the link. I think that is what the newer models look like. Mine is a small white rectangular style.

I also tried those ziplock bags they advertised last year that would be as good as vacuum bags. They were a lot quicker to use but after a few weeks, I had a lot of frost inside the bags and the food had that freezer taste. I was upset with myself for being too lazy to seal it properly. I ruined a lot of blueberries!

What I do is flash freeze the item on a platter. Once it's frozen (or mostly frozen) I put it in the vacuum bag, seal it up and it's perfect when you eat it. You have to flash freeze it first if the item is moist, otherwise you suck up all the moisture into the mechanism of the vacuum sealer.

It is one appliance that will go in the MH when we go fulltime.

It's also great for dry items that you may not use often, keeps them from getting buggy or attracting mice in the MH.

I have also used one for kayaking for things like first aid stuff that I don't want to get wet.

Karen