Country Traditions

June 18, 2012

Harvesting Onions

Filed under: farming — Tags: — dmacc502 @ 7:20 am

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via Food Gardening Guide :: National Gardening Association.

When to Harvest

You can always tell when onions have stopped growing. The leaves will lose their color, weaken at the top of the bulb and flop over. Each year a few new gardeners watch the leaves die and wonder, “What’s wrong?” There’s nothing wrong; it’s Nature’s plan. The leaves’ job is done – they’ve put the last of their energy into the bulbs.

Let most of your onion tops fall over by themselves – maybe 80% or 90% of them – then bend over the rest of the tops. Once they’re down, leave the bulbs in the ground for another 10 days to two weeks to mature fully. It’s not good to leave the onions in the ground for longer than two weeks after the tops die because they become open to organisms that can cause rot in storage, or they might even start growing again.

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May 21, 2012

Use a Root Cellar to Store Your Root Vegetables

Filed under: building, farming — Tags: — dmacc502 @ 10:32 am

 

Use a Root Cellar to Store Your Root Vegetables.

via Use a Root Cellar to Store Your Root Vegetables.

via Use a Root Cellar to Store Your Root Vegetables.

February 27, 2012

Firewood Buying and Storing Tips | ThriftyFun

Filed under: family, farming, trees — Tags: — dmacc502 @ 4:54 am

Firewood Buying and Storing Tips | ThriftyFun

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via Firewood Buying and Storing Tips | ThriftyFun.

It’s always best to shop for firewood before you need it. Sometimes you can find great deals in the spring and summer, before people are thinking about cool weather and warming their home. Good places to find postings of wood for sale are: Your local newspaper’s classified ads. Grocery store, church or post office bulletin boards. Signs posted around the neighborhood.

 

November 10, 2011

Keep Saw from Sticking in Sappy Wood | ThriftyFun

Filed under: farming, trees — dmacc502 @ 4:38 am

A little kerosene and used crankcase oil dripped onto its blade will keep a saw from sticking and binding as you cut hedges and other sappy wood.

Source: Grandpa

By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO

via Keep Saw from Sticking in Sappy Wood | ThriftyFun.

February 6, 2011

Gardens: Old wives’ tales | Life and style | The Guardian

Filed under: composting, family, farming, gardening, wisdom — Tags: — dmacc502 @ 11:26 am

 

 

Crocks in pots improve drainage

The theory Water drains more quickly through coarse materials, so�a layer of gravel�or pot fragments in the bottom of containers lets excess water drain freely.

The evidence Research by soil scientists shows that water doesn’t flow freely from fine-textured materials into coarser ones. Water moves into coarser materials, such as gravel or crocks, only once the soil above is saturated, so a sudden change from a fine to a coarse texture causes water to collect in the�soil above, rather than drain away. This can be bad news for roots. Pot feet help to improve drainage and prevent waterlogging, especially in containers sitting on a�hard, flat surface.

The verdict False: a drainage layer in�the bottom of pots reduces the volume of soil available to plant roots. Don’t add gravel or crocks, but ensure pots�have drainage holes.

Watering in the middle of the day scorches leaves

The theory Water droplets act as�mini magnifying glasses, which�focus the sun’s rays and scorch leaves.

The evidence For the first time last�year, researchers investigated the effect of water droplets and sunlight on leaves. Scientists in Budapest studied various types of�leaves and found no evidence of sunburn caused by water and light. Watering in the middle of the day should, however, be avoided, because it’s wasteful. More water will evaporate compared with the amount lost when watering at a�cooler time of day. And not only that: watering in the heat of the day also raises humidity levels around plants, creating conditions loved by�fungal diseases such as�powdery�mildew and�grey�mould.

The verdict False:�watering in�bright�sunlight does not cause sunburn, but it�does waste water�and can create�problems with�fungal diseases.

Urine speeds up composting

The theory Human and animal urine is�a source of nitrogen, which�speeds up decomposition by�boosting the activity of composting organisms.

via Gardens: Old wives’ tales | Life and style | The Guardian.

January 19, 2011

Black Pudding From Scratch (English) Recipe

Filed under: animals, farming, recipes — Tags: , , , , — dmacc502 @ 12:24 pm
Braised Pork Rillons, Black Pudding - Auction ...

Image by avlxyz via Flickr

� 1�1/4 �qt Fresh pig’s blood �

� 8�7/8 �oz Bread cut into cubes �

� 1�1/4 �qt Skim milk

� 1 �lb Cooked barley �

� 1 �lb Fresh beef suet

� 8 �oz Fine oatmeal �

� 1 �ts Salt �

� 2 �ts Ground black pepper

� 2 �ts Dried and crumbled mint �

Instructions

� 1. Put the bread cubes to soak in the milk in a warm oven. Do not heat the milk beyond blood temperature! Have the blood ready in a large bowl, and pour the warm milk and bread into it. Stir in the cooked barley. Grate the beef suet into the mixture and stir it up with the oatmeal. Season with the salt, pepper and mint.

� 2. Have ready 2 or three large roasting pans. Divide the mixture between them – they should not be more than 3/4 full. Bake in a moderate oven — 350 F – for about an hour or until the pudding is well cooked through. This makes a beautifully light pudding which will keep well in a cold larder.

� 3. Cut into squared and fry till heated through and the outside is crisp, in bacon fat or butter. Delicious for breakfast, or for supper with fried apples and mashed potato.

via Black Pudding From Scratch (English) Recipe.

December 9, 2010

How to make fragrant, delicious Christmas gifts – Telegraph

Filed under: decorating, farming, gardening, herbs — Tags: — dmacc502 @ 6:44 pm

Colourful potpourri - How to make fragrant, delicious Christmas gifts

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Colourful potpourri is sure to delight any friend over Christmas Photo: TONY BUCKINGHAM

As the pantechnicons start to gather in the drive, ready to transport our worldly goods from Suffolk to Whitstable, thoughts of additional ballast in the form of received Christmas presents suggest that my wish list should be composed of edible offerings.

 

Presents from the garden are always welcome. From harvest time onwards, we gardeners are rarely seen without gifts of jars of chutney, bags of apples, bottles of home-brewed plonk or surplus veg.

During the season, beekeeping friends travel with a jar or two of honey and I always sally forth smugly with a box of eggs. With a little thought and flair with packaging, your presents will always be appreciated.

via How to make fragrant, delicious Christmas gifts – Telegraph.

November 16, 2010

How to make soap | Life and style | guardian.co.uk

Filed under: decorating, farming, recipes, soap making, Vinegar, wisdom — Tags: — dmacc502 @ 8:19 am
Handmade soaps sold at Hyères, France

Image via Wikipedia

“Never put vinegar in your eyes and remember, the quickest way to kill someone is through the optic nerve straight to the brain,” Sharon Homans warns.

Whoa. I’m glad I’ve come on a soap-making course: I’ve always been interested in the idea of making soap, but nervous about handling the ingredients. But the dangers posed by household vinegar hadn’t even crossed my mind (soapmakers keep a bottle of vinegar handy to neutralise alkaline burns from the lye).

Some of my 25 fellow students have travelled to London from far-flung parts of the UK. The man on the door tells me people have flown in from Japan and Brazil before. The course is led by Melinda Coss, who is something of a grande dame in the soap world. She advises numerous cosmetics companies, and products devised by her are sold in Harrods as well as in the high street chain Lush.

via How to make soap | Life and style | guardian.co.uk.

via How to make soap | Life and style | guardian.co.uk.

November 14, 2010

A Guide to Saving Seeds | Care2 Healthy & Green Living

Filed under: dehydrating, family, farming, gardening, herbs, weather, wisdom — Tags: , , , , — dmacc502 @ 7:19 am
Fennel seed

Image via Wikipedia

A Guide to Saving Seeds | Care2 Healthy & Green Living.

via A Guide to Saving Seeds | Care2 Healthy & Green Living.

How to Save Seeds

There are two main types of seed saving depending on the type of plant: wet processing and dry processing.

Wet Processing

Very simply, when the fruit of the plant is fully ripe, separate the seeds from the flesh of the fruit, wash them, and air-dry them on a non-stick surface. During washing, any seeds that float can be discarded as this is usually a sign of a non-viable seed. Some fruits and vegetables in this category are squash and melons.

Exceptions

Some seeds, like tomato seeds, actually have to be fermented to become viable. For tomatoes, mush up the fruit (with seeds) and add to a quart jar filled 2/3 with water. Let this sit for about a week (it will be fermenting during this time), then rinse, dry, and store the seeds in an air-tight, dry, and sterile-as-possible location, where the temperature will remain cool.

Dry Processing

You might have read in the Bible about threshing and winnowing. Well, when it comes to saving seed, those skills are just as valuable today as they were back then. Threshing is separating a seed from its coating, usually by beating it or whipping the dry plant on the ground. Winnowing is separating the seeds from the chaff, traditionally by enlisting the help of the wind. For some plants, this can all be achieved by hand, as with beans. With beans, simply crack open the dry pod and remove the seeds. Other dry-processed plants include broccoli, cabbage, carrots, most herbs, flowers, and grains. Storage is the same as for wet-processed seeds.

Other Plant Varieties

Of course, some plants are propagated by means other than seed planting. For instance, potatoes can be stored through the winter, then each eye can be cut out and planted. Most fruit trees are propagated through cuttings. The methods listed above are general principles of seed saving. There are excellent books and online resources which will provide further information about specific plants.

Related:
4 Reasons to Grow Heirloom Plants
10 Tips for Harvesting Your Kitchen Garden
Grow Your Own Food!

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/a-guide-to-saving-seeds.html#ixzz15G6D6Spl

 

November 9, 2010

Composting 101 | Real Simple

Filed under: composting, family, farming, gardening, rain water, weather — Tags: , , , , , , — dmacc502 @ 7:03 pm
better compost

Image by normanack via Flickr

Composting 101 | Real Simple.

via Composting 101 | Real Simple.

It’s not just for people in the sticks anymore: Composting is great for all gardeners because it improves soil, which in turn prevents plant diseases. And it can even reduce harmful greenhouse gases. “Organics that break down in a landfill produce methane gas, which is about 120 times more harmful than carbon dioxide,” says Cary Oshins, assistant director for programs at the United States Composting Council, in Ronkonkoma, New York. So why not help the planet and your yard by piling it on?

How to Get Started

Choose a container that’s made of wood (or some other sturdy material) and no smaller than three by three feet. Place it in your yard in a shady spot with good drainage. Start adding waste in a ratio of three “browns” to one “green.” Browns are carbon-rich materials and include wood chips, straw, branches, and leaves. Greens provide nitrogen and include grass clippings and kitchen scraps, like eggshells and carrot tops. When you’re adding new material, Oshins suggests, dig a hole in the pile and stir the new stuff in so it gets coated with the old mixture.

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