All posts by Black Gold Rooster

(Sad) Garden Update

We had almost 12 inches of rain last night in a 7-hour span and it was a mess. We lost a lot of crops.

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The worst damage was to the corn stalks. At this point in the summer our corn was at best 3/4 of the way ready, most were only half-grown. We had to pick what had fallen because the raccoon’s would have definitely stopped by to eat.

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We also had some broken cucumber vines and squash. There has been a lot of veggie eating in the past week.


Garden Update

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Picking some ripe beans

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Lots of green tomatoes…

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Lots and lots of beets. BEFORE you go any further, put on kitchen gloves or you will have brightly dyed, red hands.

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We saved the leaves that were in good shape and sautéed them with a tiny bit of coconut oil, garlic, salt and pepper. They cook just like spinach and will shrink down significantly. A little tart but so good.

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I scrubbed the uncooked beets with a veggie brush to remove the remaining dirt and then dropped them in a pot of boiling water. Cook until tender or until a fork goes into them easily. Once they cool, simply rub the outsides and the skins will fall right off.

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Garden Update

Things are moving right along in the garden.

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The bean vines are starting to grow along the bamboo tee-pees Greg installed. Kale and lettuce are constant at this point and are providing a daily supply. In the bottom right corner of the photo above you can see the remnants of the broccoli plants. All of our broccoli was ready during a two week span and we ate it all. Here it is being cooked below.

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The lilies all popped at the same time and they are beautiful!

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There are ladybugs everywhere! We introduced about 1,000 to the garden last year and they definitely decided to stay around.

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Garden Update

It’s been almost 1 full month since everything was transplanted outside and we are finally getting some consistent sun. Everything that is growing is mostly green. Green veggies (kale, lettuce and spinach) are full enough to eat daily, the broccoli is almost ready, and everything else is just green leaves/branches with no veggies growing yet.

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Delicious Kale

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It seems like the corn grows a few inches everyday.

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Scrub-A-Dub Dub

If you know me, you know I am frugal. Some may say cheap but I just hate wasting money. I’d been wanting to make this detergent for a long time. A few friends of mine have used this recipe for a while now and swear by it. I had a few days off this past October where I was stuck in the house, so it was the perfect time to mix up a batch.
Laundry Detergent
Ingredients: You should be able to find all of these items at your grocery store
  • (1) 4 lb 12 oz box Borax found in the detergent aisle
  • (1) 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda found in the cooking aisle
  • (1)  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz found in the detergent aisle
  • 3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent aisle (I used Zote bars instead and used 2 bars. I found my Zote at Kmart)
  • 2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total, found in the detergent aisle. This is optional but I added it into mine because I have a pretty messy, farmer husband)

Start out by grating your Fels-Naptha/Zote soap just like cheese. You can use a food processor or a hand-held grater, whatever you have. For those of you with a HE washer, you may want to run the mix through the grater again to get an even finer mix. I cut the bar of soap with a knife into slivers the short way and then used the food processor. I don’t know if this is necessarily better than a hand grater, as I didn’t have one to try out. Once the soap is grated, toss all the ingredients in a 5-gallon bucket lined with a garbage bag and mix them together with a paint-stick-stirrer thing (free anywhere that sells paint).

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This recipe makes about 2 gallons of laundry detergent and is fairly mild smelling; it is not over powering. I added some lavender essential oils to this batch but it wasn’t very strong. I am going to try lemon essential oils for the next batch.  Once everything is mixed, store the soap however you like. I left the bulk in the 5-gallon bucket and stored it under my sink. I bought a smaller glass jar with a lid (from Home Goods for around $8) for daily use and a cheap plastic tablespoon from the dollar store. **I use 1 Tablespoon per load. I know that does not seem like enough but this recipe does not have fillers like the store-bought detergent so you only need 1-2 Tablespoons.**
  • This detergent is safe for HE washers. Just make sure to great your bar soap very fine.
  • The detergent should be added to the barrel instead of the dispenser.