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Make A Fermenting Jar and Fermented Carrots

Our first carrot harvest was approximately two pounds. Two pounds of home-grown organic carrots! I've been waiting what seems like forever for them so I could try fermenting them.

I've read a lot on fermenting vegetables and looked at several recipes.

Here is how I made mine:

I ran my jar through the dishwasher, then poured boiling water in the jar and let it overflow, let it sit for about 5 minutes, then dumped this water out.
I washed and sliced my carrots of course and placed them in my jars just to the shoulder of the jar.
I then added 1 tsp of dried dill, 4 garlic cloves (I didnt have any fresh garlic, so I used some hot pickled garlic I had on hand.) and 2 tsp of coarse sea salt. I then filled the jar up with distilled water. From everything I read, you cannot use tap water because the chlorine will kill the fermenting.

Boy wonder made the smaller jar and made his spicy adding a tsp of cayenne.

Then you put the lid on and sit them on the counter for 3-10 days.

After 24 hours, both jars were bubbling! I can't wait to taste them.


I had looked at fermenting crocks and the price was way out of my budget!

I then looked at fermenting jars. The price of them wasn't much better. So I got to looking at the pictures of these jars and decided to make my own. I only needed two things other than the jars, which I already had.

I ordered 3 Piece Plastic Airlock (Sold in sets of 3). Three of them for $5.56, not bad. These let out the gas without letting air in which is supposed to give a closed anaerobic ferment, which helps keep the growth of mold down.

Then I picked up a package of grommets for $2.99 from Westlake Hardware. My total cost was right at $9 and made 3 jars. I have since read that the metal lids probably won't last long, so when they need to be replaced I will use the plastic Ball lids.

I'm hoping to buy some organic green beans at one of the farmers markets and make some dilly beans. I've read that there are many health benefits from probiotic foods, so I'll be having some fun fermenting and adding different veggies to my family's diet.

Have any of you tried fermenting food?

This post is linked up to:

Laura Williams' Musings

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We have broccoli!

Tuesday there was no broccoli. Only huge leaves. Saturday this is what we had.

It is now bigger than my hand!

It amazes me the rate vegetables grow. One day nothing and it seems like overnight it has grown 10 times it's size.

It is very dry here. I spent Saturday weeding, which was easy but time consuming. Once I was done I finished mulching everything with straw. With the dry conditions around here, I applied the straw very thick to conserve moisture, and then deep watered everything, trying to save on the water bill as much as possible, BUT not loose all the money and hard work that has already went into the garden.

I really need to get more rain barrels set up. We are hopefully going to get more rain later this week.

Do you use rain barrels or just water from the hose not worrying about the cost of water?

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Coffee: Do You Like It Hot Or Cold?

A couple of weeks ago my husband won this....

The Keurig Elite Brewing System. It came with a variety box of K-cups to try. None of them were all that great for the price. Those little suckers are EX-PEN-SIVE! So I bought him the little cup adapter so he could buy bulk coffee beans and grind his own, which he says is better. I wouldn't know, I don't drink HOT coffee.

I like my coffee COLD and SWEET and CREAMY! This new system that takes up ALOT of room on my counter is supposed to brew hot chocolate, tea and ICED COFFEE. So when I went shopping I was going to pick up some cream and try to make my favorite...

Starbucks frappuccino mocha iced coffee!

But instead of cream I found this....

It is everything I love in an Iced Mocha Coffee. Cold-Sweet-Chocolaty-Creamy. And the price wasn't bad either. I figure I deserve a treat once in a while.

Move over Starbucks! There is a new Mocha in my fridge. If you like Starbucks' you have to try International Delight!


Organic Bug Spray

What's buggin you?

It's that time of year to be prepared to take on the pests that will want to invade your garden. Here is an organic, earth friendly spray to brew up yourself and have on hand.

Organic Bug Spray

1 unpeeled onion
1 unpeeled head of garlic
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
3 pints water

1. Chop onion and garlic and combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer 20 minutes.
2. Cool, add 1 tablespoon of dish soap and store in a jar in the refrigerator for 6 weeks.

To use: Strain soulution and place in a spray bottle to mist plants.

Use after solution cools, throw out any solution left after 6 weeks and make a new batch.

Red pepper spray is a good general insect spray and is effective against caterpillars.

Linked up at:
Frugally Sustainable

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Ingenious Idea for Detering Deer From Your Garden

I've never had to contend with deer in my gardens. I feel so lucky because I read the struggles and frustration from people who put so many hours of hard work into their gardens only to be destroyed by deer.

Of all the tips over the years I think this one is the best! I would like my readers to let me know if they try this and how well they think it worked for them. I think it's pretty ingenious myself, but with no deer I can't try it.

Let me know if you try it!

Linked up to:

Homestead Revival Barn Hop


Weekly Garden Update

Things are growing nicely in our garden. I spent all day Sunday planting more tomatoes, onions, and pepper plants.

We know have 24 tomato plants planted, 8 to go. Twenty are in the garden and the other 4 are in pots on our deck. Some of them have already put on tomatoes! That doesn't include the 3 volunteers that have sprung up in the "kitchen" garden.

The potatoe boxes need more compost, they grow so fast and are now blooming! We've already added two more wood layers to the boxes.

Some of my carrots were showing their tops and needed dirt hilled up on them. When I was weeding the bunching onions I seen a potatoe laying right on top of the soil from my volunteer potatoe plant. I covered him up, but it was nice to know it was putting on potatoes as well.

The grape vines are growing steadily.

I did a lot of weeding also, and there is still more to do, but I am ahead of them in the garden anyway. We won't talk about the weeds in the front flower beds along the sidewalk coming into my front door. I have to get it weeded. It needs remulched so bad to cut down on the weeds. It's been about 4 years since I added any. Hopefully I will be able to get a truck load of mulch this week or coming weekend.

I'm really sore from the planting & weeding marathon this weekend. Just when you start to get used to it, gardening season is over!

Did any of you plant any more this weekend?

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Bringin Home the Bacon!

I found bacon on sale 2 for $3. I consider $1.50 rock bottom price on bacon. The very same bacon was on sale at Price Chopper last week for $3.99 for one package. THAT was sale price! I refuse to pay $4 for a pound of bacon.

I picked up two packages and cut both packages in half. Then I bagged it up, 4 half slices in each bag, and threw them in my freezer. We do not like processed bacon bits. Ewwwwww!

I now can pull a package out to season green beans, baked beans, navy beans, dips, salads, and more. I don't have the luxury of running down the block to the local grocery when I cook. I have to keep a well stocked pantry and freezer, so I try to pick things up when I see them on such a great sale even if I won't be using it for a meal that week.

The two pounds gave me a dozen packages which will last several months and makes it really cheap.

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Garden update

All the rain we received in the last week has really helped my garden!

I've never grown broccoli or cauliflower before. They seem to be doing well, no little balls yet though.

My yukon gold potatoes are growing like weeds. I hope they are making lots and lots of potatoes! It's hard for me to wait because I can't see them growing all covered in dirt!

My tomatoes definietly got a head start this year. I normally don't plant them until Mother's day weekend.

Carrots are growing so well this year. It's the first year I will actually get some. I'm hoping they are not woody or bitter tasting.

It was time to add the second layer onto my potato boxes. These potatoes are Red Pontiacs that require hilling as they grow. I'm excited to see the results from these boxes! We've been using FREE reclaimed lumber (FREE does not suck! ;D ) and the FREE compost when it's time to add more soil. It takes LOTS of soil/compost when hilling them in these boxes. I think our boxes are bigger than other's who use this method.

I need to try to get some more compost, I've made a huge dent in the pile that was delivered last year. Gardening is so much more than just sticking seeds/plants in the ground!
Be sure to visit everyone on the Garden Tuesday Party and The Ole Saturday Homesteading Trading Post Ed. No. 21
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