Prairie Views

~ Dreamy abstraction in Four Square House on the Pairie

Month: April 2015

Testing Rancho Gordo Beans

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This year I will be growing a few beans sent by Rancho Gordo for testing. I’m excited to be able to test  how these beans will  grow in this area.  Rancho Gordo sent an interesting assortment of Italian, Native American, French and Trinidad beans. The results will be available in the fall.

Slow and Steady Weekend

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It was one of those indoor weekends do to the doom and gloom weather. We needed the rain but I really wanted to get more planted.  I can only hope it will be dryer in a few days.

Do deal with the not so welcoming cool rainy weather we did get a few projects completed in the house. The kitchen walls have all been repainted an off white. Now the kitchen looks cleaner, brighter and more welcoming. I painted the board on top of the stove the same color but I am not totally happy with it. My mindis thinking and I have searched for ideas on the internet for ideas. The computer changed locations again. It is back into the family room.

One bedroom is now available again so it has been again changed back into a guest/sewing/crafts room. It will be nice again to have a sewing room that will have heating and cooling available. I will still need to do some touch up. My creative juices are starting to get geared up for the times when it is too hot or nasty outside. I hope it is also a nice  room for anyone visiting.

 

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It was a nice day to have soap since it was so cool. I had some beets in the fridge and a bit of cabbage. I added diced beets and some sliced cabbage to a quarts of homemade chicken soup. It made a delicious and very easy lunch. It you do not have any home canned soup a store purchased soup without noodles would work or chicken broth and 1/2 cup cubed chicken.

1 quart of ready to eat canned chicken soup

2 medium beets, cubed

1/4 cabbage, sliced thin

Add the beets and cabbage in the soup and cook until the beets a cooked. It took about 10 minutes time

 

Attack of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar

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While checking out my bee hives I noticed something strange on my Gala apple tree, It was the Eastern Tent caterpillar. What I noticed was large web with caterpillars that were black with a gold or white stripe down their back. After getting over the Heebie-Jeebies I had to figure out what to do. I have noticed web worms that you see in the fall but these are not the same.

Oh the choices one must choose. Of course, these were close to the new hives so any chemical warfare was out. It was too windy and drift would be a problems. Out with the hog herding plastic. So I pulled down the web with the pole while at the same time shaking the caterpillars loose. I could had stepped on them (ew) but I could not find them in the tall grass anyway. I am hoping a friendly robin or two will have a feast.

Not the smartest idea in my head lately but I took pictures next to the entrance of the hive without protection. They were not too happy but no stings. I am glad I got some nice bees. DSC_0058

After this, since I had the camera, I decided to take some pictures of the tulips and other flowers in the garden today.

Out like a lion and in like a lamb then back to a wild boar

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March had it ups and downs here at Cedar View.   After a death of a family member, a horrible lambing season,  our property having a near miss by an out of control grass fire, we were greeted with wonderful spring like weather. What a welcome relief after winter weather. Last week we are back to cooler windy conditions but it seems to have changed back to more like spring weather.  I am hoping it stay like that. We had a welcome relief of rain fall last night. We really need some rain to combat the dry conditions. Plant life is coming alive here with flowers galore from tulips to apple blossoms.

 

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In the garden my new plantings for the food forest look very promising. The nacking cherries, hazelnuts and raspberry bushes are all beginning the sprout.  I am still waiting for some more plants to arrive to add to the forest. The food forest is an exciting new project here at Cedar View.

 View my Food Forest Plans here.

 

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The garden has already began growing some of the planting I started last month. The rye grass is a couple of inches high and the some of the wheat is close behind. I see that some of the other wheat and oats are starting to sprout. The birds have seen to have found the oats and are starting to dig up the seeds so I hope they start growing very quickly. Sadly something has eaten a lot of my wheat that has just started growing. I suspect either birds or rabbits. I was really hoping to get some nice blue wheat stocks for weaving and Einkorn wheat for baking artistic bread . I hope they are able to grow back. I might have to put some netting on the livestock fence. Half of the potatoes have been planted. One 4′ x 30 food bed and two 4′ x 20′.  Most of the potatoes planted this year are the Yukon Gold with some Viking and Kennech. I began planting some carrots and lettuce. I will add more lettuce plantings weekly and plant more carrots in two weeks.

View the Main and South garden plans here and here.

 

 

Last week I made some dried celery with some of the extra celery I had.  The leaves I placed on one tray and I filled the other try with thinly sliced celery and finely ground to use for flavoring. After slicing, place in a dehydrator at 145 degrees for around 10 hour or until dry. I then finely ground the dried sliced celery for celery powder. It makes a great flavoring for many dishes.

 

Happy days to all until next time. I will very soon have pictures and information on my new bee project.

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