Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Storing Cream Peas

The cream peas I planted several weeks ago have produced well. I am happy with my first attempt at growing peas and will definitely plant more next year. I won't bother with a trellis next time because this variety doesn't really climb. An unexpected bonus is that the peas will just keep producing new sprouts until the first frost.

After consulting my cousin, I decided I'd try drying the peas for storage. This has turned out to be the absolute easiest way to store them.


I picked the pea pods, a few each day as they were ready, and shelled them. I put the fresh peas in a small dish open to the air. I left them there for a week or so until the peas were small and hard.


Then I put them in a jar and labeled it. I did add an oxygen absorber in the jar.








Thursday, August 25, 2016

Our Blackberries

Our blackberries were big and juicy, but we didn't get as many as I'd hoped. They were bigger than the wild blackberries I had picked earlier.

I tried to pick them each day as I saw the ripe ones. After rinsing them quickly, I put them in a tub in the freezer.






Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Slug

I didn't know Texas had slugs, but I guess I was wrong. I saw this the other day out on the carport.





Monday, August 22, 2016

Hogs

I finally saw hogs the other day! Not that seeing live hogs on your property is a good thing. But after hearing so much about them since we've lived here, I wanted to see them for myself.

I was out walking to feed the goats, dogs, and cat the other morning. (Our Mule had broken down yet again, but more about that later.) As I walk to feed the cat, who lives out in the workshop, I pass by one of our tanks (ponds). When I was returning, I heard water splashing in the pond. I saw them briefly, hardly enough time to process what I was seeing, before they dashed off in the opposite direction. I was thankful they had been scared of me, because in reality I was the one scared of them. It looked like a mama with about five or six babies.


I wasn't quick enough with my camera to get a good photo of them, but did manage to get a few poor ones. Sorry. I've tried to zoom in but that makes the photo blurry. I don't think I'm ever going to get an up close photo of a hog.










Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dusty Print

I was getting in our Mule the other day (on a rare occasion when it was running) and saw a paw or hand print on the seat. I was a little scared when I saw it, trying to work out what it might be. I think I've decided it is a raccoon print. I am hoping the print came from when the Mule was at the repair shop and not while it was parked in our carport.





Monday, August 15, 2016

Purple Hull Peas

I love peas Black-eyed peas. But when I can't get them, Purple Hull peas are a close second.

I bought some at the Farmer's Market I visited in Ennis. A few weeks later, friends gave me some from their garden. As they said, "maybe it will be enough for a mess." In Texas, a mess means enough for one meal. What a treat! It was best gift ever. 

I enjoyed shelling the peas, but they do stain your fingers a little. Well worth it though.

After shelling, I blanched some and put them in the freezer for another day. The other half, I cooked up with a little bacon, bacon fat, and salt for a few hours.












Friday, August 12, 2016

Farmer's Market

I was reading an interesting article recently about Farmer's Markets. Most people like to think their local farmer's market is a true market where they can buy things produced by local farmers. But in fact, most markets are "resale" markets. You can read it here.

Last year I visited a smaller local farmer's market when I bought tomatoes to can and dehydrate. It was clearly a real farmer's market - only a few vendors, all selling mostly all the same in-season vegetables for mostly the same prices.

So in an effort to find another local farmer's market, I went along to one in Ennis, about an hour away from us.

After reading the above article, I went being very skeptical, asking lots of questions of the vendors. I came away feeling like about half were truly local (within 25 miles), and the other half were farther away (within 200 miles). But I didn't see any "resale" type stalls. So it gets the thumbs up from me.

It got extra points because my daughter, Ceramics Teacher, had a stall selling her new line of ceramic mugs. Click here: EvaCeramics













Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Dog Holes

Our dogs that protect the goats have been digging big holes lately. I think it is caused by boredom, but I think they like to sit in them since it's been so hot. It makes a mess around the goat pen. And I have to be careful not to trip in one.