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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas dear Gardening Friends!

May you have a wonderful Christmas... where ever you are!!!

We're just back from spending Christmas Eve with my folks who live just on the other side of town... well... more like down the street!

Tomorrow... PRESENTS!

And lunch with my mother-in-law!

A day with family!

Enjoy dear gardening friends! I've sooooo enjoyed reading your blogs!

Oh oh... I got my Territorial Seed catalog today!!!! Yipee!!!! Let the seed "drooling," I mean... lists begin! : )

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baby it's cold outside....

Yesterday I walked outside to get the truck started and commented to my son... it's not that cold out today... kind of warm.

When we got into the truck I happened to notice that the temperature readout said 0! Yes ZERO!

Now... that's pretty bad when ZERO feels balmy!

We're just coming out of a cold weather streak of below zero temperatures... going to be in the 40's the next couple days... shoot... we'll be out in sweatshirts!

Hope that you're keeping warm!!!! Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Giving Jelly as Christmas Gifts

I've started giving away Jelly as Christmas Gifts. Homemade Jelly makes such a great gift... and everyone loves it!!!!

That's why I make bunches and bunches of it every year!

I still have a big box of apples in cold storage. They'll keep for a while, so... unless I run out of Jelly to share... I'll wait to process them into apple jelly & apple sauce until January.

Over on Dan's Urban Garden Veggie Blog, he posted some yummy apple cider/apple jelly recipes... Go check them out if you have apples still left to process.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah dear Gardening Friends!

On a sentimenal note...
I want to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your gardening blogs... learning from your experiences... sharing the joys... and sometimes frustration of gardening! Thank you for the time that you put into your blog and... for stopping by my blog too!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

24 degrees below zero...

We have a dusting of snow on the ground that will probably stay with us throughout the winter months... or it might just blow away...

I'm reporting to you from the frigid weather of northern Wyoming where it was -24 this morning and now... mid-morning... has warmed up to a balmy -10 degrees... yes... farenheit!

Very very cold! Ususally we have this weather for about 2 weeks mid-January.

If I were blessed to have a greenhouse... it would most definitely need to be heated!!!

Well, Christmas carrols are playing on the radio... the geothermal heating system is wonderfully sucking warmth from the ground (6-7 feet down!)... and the house is cozy while I tape wallbaord seams... and mud screw holes!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, gardening friends!

Have a wonderful... yummy... Thanksgiving... surrounded by good friends & family!!

I'll be putting the turkey on to cook this evening using my Annie's slow baked turkey recipe.

Got the pumpkin pies all baked... now onto deviled eggs & fresh veggie tray!

I'm even going to turn on some Christmas music!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

To all my dear gardening friends,

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!
I hope that some of your garden goodies find their way to your Thanksgiving table!

Sadly... only beets will make it for us...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The last of my yummy garden carrots...

The photos above are 2009 garden memories...

We just enjoyed the last of my garden carrots!!! I made a beef roast tonight... those carrots were so sweet and delicious!

Need way more next year!!!

This year I grew them in a 4x4 bed... Next year will plant a 4x8 bed!!!! I LOVE CARROTS! Hmm... maybe I should do 2 4x8 beds.... thinking... thinking.. ya... maybe...

My little Canon PowerShot S400 arrived back today. A big THANK YOU to Canon for fixing it for me! The screen stopped showing a picture. When I called they said that it was a "known" problem. They fixed 6 year old beloved camera for FREE! Extreme Awesomeness!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My electric roaster & canning... a cool thing...

I was just over to Thomas' blog, A Growing Tradition where he was talking about canning. Thomas is new to canning and was asking for advice...

Which made me think about this COOL thing that I did this year!!!!

First... let me say this...
I am without a stove... living in the basement of my new house house while we finish it up... but... don't feel bad for me!!! I'll have a fantastic kitchen for next canning season...

Until then... I make "do" (we can do anything... temporarily... right?) with:
-my outside grill
-my 2 burner outside Camp Chef cooker
(my outside "kitchen" is great... a bit difficult to use in the dark... and cold weather though!)
-2 individual electric burners
-1 electric roaster
-and my cherished Vita-Mix 5000

Electric Roaster for Canning?
I found that my electric roaster was a fantastic help for canning this year!

I sterilized my jars in it...

AND... Used it as a water bath canner for my half pint & pint jars!

Wow... could I load it up with jars!!!!!

QUESTION?? Got an unusual but helpful canning tip to share?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's snowing....


Clouds laden with the white stuff cover the horizon.

Little flakes are escaping... now...

It's cold, windy... and dampness chills the bones....

No sunshine for me today. So glad that I got out yesterday in the warmth & sunshine to do some garden cleanup!

Let Go!!

Oh my gosh... it is so difficult to pull out the stalk of what's left of my giant sunflowers!!!

Wow... and when I did get the stalk and roots up.... up came 3/4 of my 1'x1' soil block in my SFG! I don't think that I'll plant sunflowers in my SFG next year... well... we'll see...

Daphne mentioned that she lost a lot of her precious soil when she pulled up her carrots.

You know... when I did traditional row gardening... I really didn't pay attention to how much soil came up with the roots during garden clean up. But... with my SFG, I've invested heavily in creating a beautiful rich soil!

So... if you drive by my garden and see me shaking and shaking huge root balls... and yelling... LET GO... You'll know why! ; )

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Garden clean up... continues on a beautiful Wyoming afternoon...


A big welcome to SP8 of the blog Veggie Might! Thanks for following my blog!

It was a beautiful afternoon and I had a few hours before supper... so with the awesome advice on preserving the soil in my SFG boxes that I received from my dear gardening friends (see comments in my previous post)... off I went to the garden!

I'm happy to report that 4 of my 20 boxes have been put to bed for the winter!

First I added some manure then mulched... then I covered the boxes with cardboard. To keep the cardboard in place (we get some strong gusty winds here in Wyoming), I placed pallets on top. Man, some of those pallets are heavy!!!

Now, I'm all out of pallets, but I'm sure that I can find some more.

So, 16 more boxes to clear out! I'll "git er" done... bit by bit in between being a mud artiste...

Hey EG, I hope that you're feeling way better today! I may have to send you some of my Shaklee DR stuff!

Well, it's time for supper so I'll sign off for now!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Garden clean up...

I'm so missing my garden!!!! The weather has been so nice for the past few weeks. But prior to that we had some really cold winter weather! It's a beautiful autumn day here in Wyoming. The mountains are so pretty all capped in white!!!

I started garden clean up a bit yesterday. Will do clean up a little bit each day.

The darn cats have been doing their do-do in my boxes!!!! Any suggestions for that are welcome...

For those of you, my dear gardening friends... who have SFGs. What will you do with your boxes during the winter months? I'll have to dig out Mel's book to see what he says about the winter months.

We have gusty winds here sometimes... and my soil literally blows away. Well... I'm thinking on what to do with my precious boxes....

I'm also thinking about stocking up on Vermiculite during these winter months so that I don't have to buy it in the spring all at once... at $25/bag... it gets pretty pricey!

My little Canon PowerShot S400 quit working right... it wouldn't focus anymore... So I sent it back to Canon to be fixed. Can't wait to get it back so that I can post more photos for you!

Well off I go... got to get some stuff done!

Monday, November 2, 2009

one little... two little... Jars of Salsa!

I made my very first batch of Annie's Salsa! And... it is family approved!! Well, hubby did think that it could be hotter.. It tastes really good!

Got 9 half pints for the pantry!!

Tomorrow, I'll make some more!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Canning tomato sauce

Today I finally got the extra sauce canned up from yesterday's Italian dinner of Manicotti & Meatballs!

So onto the shelf goes 3 more quarts and 2 half pints of Tomato Sauce!

We bought another one of those nice chrome metal shelf units from Costco to store all my canned goodies!

Now... on my list... deal with the rest of my tomatoes before they get all squishy... and get the boys bathroom mud work done!!! Sigh...

Tomatoes still left to process^
Tomato sauce & Jelly!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another batch of tomato sauce!

Hi Gardening friends!

Sorry that I haven't been around for a bit!

We moved into our new home, but didn't have a bathroom done yet... so I worked like crazy to get a bathroom done... then I had a severe allergy to something... probably stress related... and of course the medication has just about knocked me out!

I'm way way better now! Oh my gosh did I look like a monster for a while... one big hivey swollen monster!

Remember those buckets of tomatoes that I harvested before the last severe frost?

Well, they've been waiting patiently for me to process them!

So today, I'm making a big batch of sauce. It's simmering right now. I'll have to take it off the burner soon. Tomorrow I'm going to make manicotti and meatballs for dinner! I may even be inspired to make some homemade bread to go with it... well... we'll see!

The extra sauce will be canned tomorrow... it needs to simmer a bit longer... but it's getting late... and 5:50 am comes really fast!!!

Can you believe that I still have 2 buckets of ripe tomatoes left? Hoping to make those into salsa! Note to myself... PICK UP CILANTRO!

It snowed today... and it was freezing out there! We had a very short fall here and an early freeze... the beet farmers are having a terrible time with the cold weather...

So now... I'm dreaming of next year's garden... but... I still have to clear out my beds... sigh... it's been a busy.. .busy... busy couple weeks!

Hey, thanks for stopping by!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Last Garden tour for the 2009 growing season...

Welcome to Shaw Ann from Shawn Ann's Garden! Thanks for following my blog!

The 2009 gardening season is growing to a close... I have truly enjoyed my garden this year... my very first SFG!

I still have lots of tomatoes to process!
Pulled the last of my delicious carrots!

And the rest of my beets...
My fall peas are still producing. They taste so much better than my spring crop!
I also have a few cabbage heads to harvest...

Well, here's my last garden tour video for the 2009 growing season!

Monday, October 5, 2009



They said it was coming... I never believe it until I see it! Being in the Bighorn Basin, we miss a lot of weather. We're protected by the mountains all around us.

We've had snow in the mountains for a while now and now we have our first snow on the ground. Not a lot... just enough to let you know that winter's fast coming!

Hard to believe that just 2 weeks ago it was warm and toasty with temps in the low 80s!

It's so pretty to look outside! There's snow stuck in all the trees and a dusting on the ground enough to make it look magical out there.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Picked buckets of tomatoes yesterday

Cold has set in. It's a bright sunny, breezy day here with temps in the 40s.

In the Big Horn Basin of northern Wyoming, we are surrounded by snow capped mountain ranges all around. Beautiful...

But... now... I am at the end of my garden time...

All the tomatoes have been picked. I have buckets of them ready to process!

The peas are enjoying the cold, as well as the lettuce, cabbage, swiss chard... and the radishes seem OK. I have some carrots still in the bed... but that's it now!


I'm trying to decide if I want to clear out the tomato plants or leave them to help protect the soil from the winter winds...

On my wish list... a green house!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The big Cover UP!

A BIG Welcome to Sunny! Thanks for following my blog!!!
Thank you to GoGreen.VC for including my garden & house blogs in their link index!

It was pretty cold last night... in the 30s. So I have covered up my precious tomato plants!

It's so easy to do with my square foot garden! I had the hoops all in place from the spring... just had to dig out the plastic sheeting pieces.

Would love to plant some carrots... wonder if I could get them to germinate??? Still beautiful and warm during the day... in the 70s... and I could cover them... What do you think?

Will be making more tomato sauce today... and finishing the walls in the guest bathroom!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fried Rice with garden veggies

Fried Rice with Garden Veggies

I had some left over rice from the other night... so decided to make fried rice.
From the garden:
Tomatoes, chopped
Swiss Chard cut in little pieces
Carrot slivers
Yellow Banana Pepper, chopped
Onion, chopped

Not from the garden
Corn... sadly...

How to make it:
Heat up some oil.
Add onions & fresh garlic if you have some on hand
Add whatever garden veggies you want... or add left over veggies... or frozen veggies
Add leftover cooked meat
Cook until tender

Add your cooked rice... add salt, pepper... and some soy sauce to taste.

If you want, add fried egg... I do this in the same pan. I just make a place in the center of the pan and fry up the egg then mix it in.


I sure do love having my garden out front! Makes it so handy for grabbing this and that to add to dinner!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tomato Sauce is simmering...

I'm making tomato sauce today!

Wish that I had 2 big stock pots.... really should pick up a second one!

Got 1 big stock pot and a soup pot going on my 2 burner camp chef cooker simmering tomato sauce!

Yeah.... more tomato sauce for the pantry... well... still have to can it.... later... maybe... today...

Some of my tomato plants did get frost the other night.

NOTE TO MYSELF>>> Be ready by the beginning of September to cover tomato plants!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The big harvest...

I don't know how much this bucket weighs... but it's heavy! I'm going to have lots and lots of tomato sauce to can!!! Yeah!!!Harvested all my peppers!
Harvested my ONE cucumber... DARN... well, at least we got ONE!
I've so enjoyed our sunflowers! This is my last big one.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Warning... warning... frost imminent

Tomorrow night's going to be a cold one... today the weather changed. We went from August in September to.. well... burr...

Time to frost proof my precious tomatoes!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Carrots for dinner

Carrots for dinner! I put a beef roast in the crock pot for dinner... along with my garden carrots and some potatoes... and garden onions. It was sooo sooo good!But... I'm kind of sad... because my carrots are almost gone. I planted a 4x4 bed full... next year, I'll need at least 1 4x8 bed filled with these yummy carrots! Can you tell that I love carrots?

Oh... I want to try those juicing carrots next year too! I saw some in the territorial seed catalog... sorry, can't remember the name. Will have to look it up.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tiger Lilies planted!

I got the Tiger Lilies all planted! Hope that they bloom next summer!

Tiger Lilies... from my kind neighbor...

My neighbor just thinned out his Tiger Lilies... and would I like some??? And take as many as I'd like!

Well, heck... YES!!!!

Whooohooo!!!! Ok... where to put them... where to put them... Am I ready for landscaping here at our new house???

Yes! I will find a place!!! I LOVE Tiger Lillies!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bucket of tomatoes!

Just picked about 3/4 full of a 5 gallon bucket full of tomatoes! Will be putting on another sauce just as soon as I get back from running an errand in town.

We've had beautiful weather lately, 85 degrees today... I think that August has finally caught up... only it's September!

Tonight for supper... spaghetti, homemade sauce... maybe a bit of salad fixings from the garden too... we'll see!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Plum Jelly!

I made 2 batches of Plum Jelly this morning. Got 14 more pretty jars for the pantry!

Do I dare put on another tomato sauce today... or... do I finish laying the tile in the guest bathroom of the new house??? Hmmm... such choices!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Babies... grow fast!

I've got another pot of sauce simmering... the house smells so good!!!

There are a few babies growing in the garden... not pictured are tasty peas, and flowering beans.

Here's a little cantaloupe! Grow baby... grow fast!

All the vining plants really didn't grow.. they just sat there... looking puny... while my husband was patiently waiting for cucumbers to appear... WAIT... there's one NOW... GROW FAST BABY!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tomatoes... tomatoes... tomatoes...

I picked a box of tomatoes yesterday! Wow!!! I've got some work ahead of me... wonderful canning work!!! Get ready pantry shelves!!

Garden Overview photo. It's been a while since I've taken one of these...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Collecting seeds... enjoying the harvest!

I made tomato sauce yesterday. Got 8 pints canned... one is in the fridge. Will be making pizza with it this week. Oh my gosh... it smelled so good as it was cooking up.

Today, I'll be picking more tomatoes. I bought some of Mrs. Wages Ketchup mix based on Granny's recommendation... so I may try some of that next.

My parents have 2 Plum Trees... they are sooo good! I've been making Plum Jelly. Yesterday I steamed juiced a fresh batch... so will be making MORE Plum Jelly!

Homemade Jelly makes an awesome gift... so... I love to have LOTS on hand!
My Hollyhock are just about done producing flowers at our little rental house. So, I've been collecting seed so that I can plant them up our new house.

Pictured on the far right is a collection of "Wyoming Wild Sunflower" seeds. I don't know the official name for these petite cluster-like sunflowers but they sure are pretty! They grow near watering ditches and along the side of the rode. They are so pretty!!!

Hmmm.... where to plant them????
Here are 2 heads from my giant sunflowers. We love eating David's Sunflower seeds... so I thought that I'd try harvesting my own sunflower seeds.
I've got lots more tomatoes to pick. Mostly I have Roma tomatoes, but I did purchase a few indeterminate plants from our local Master Gardeners sale this spring. I have so enjoyed to wonderful sweet taste of the Rutgers. This one pictured is a Opalka... strange looking thing, isn't it? This is the first ripe one... I have no idea how it will taste.
Well, I am so pleased to finally have enough ripe tomatoes to make a sauce... that... is what I wanted most from my garden! I make pizza almost once a week and love using my own tomato sauce!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Preserving the Harvest... PLUM JELLY & TOMATO SAUCE!

Spending some time preserving the harvest today!
Then I've got to move onto finishing laying tile in the guest bathroom of the new house!

My 11 year old just walked outside and made a comment about how good my tomato sauce smells! Whoohoo!

Plum Jelly
From the Plums that my mother brought over the other day, I had about 15 cups of plum juice! Then she brought over some more today and so far I have 8 more cups!

I have a steam juicer that is absolutely wonderful!!! My friend Ana taught me how to make jelly using a steam juicer... it's so easy to prepare juice this way!

I have made quite a few little jars of Plum Jelly so far! And will have double that with this batch of juice!

I think that I need to find my dehydrator for her next batch! Wouldn't that be yummy? Dried Plums!!!

Tomato Sauce
My family gathered about a 5 gallon bucket full of roma tomatoes the other day. So I washed them up using my favorite all-purpose, clean everything, organic cleaner , got out my Vita Mix and whizzed up the tomatoes.

I LOVE my Vita Mix for making tomato sauce! All I have to do is wash up the tomatoes and take off the top hats! Then I plop them into the Vita Mix container (skins, seeds and all!), tamper them down as they turn into a wonderful tomatoey juice!

Now, I'm sitting outside on this beautiful day with my tomato sauce simmering away on one burner and my steam juicer steaming wonderful Plum juice on the other burner of my Camp Chef cooker.

My camera is in the truck with my husband... I'll post a picture of my set up when he gets back.

I'm so excited to be at the point of processing tomatoes into sauce for canning!!! YEAH!!!!!

Hope that you're having a great Labor Day... and enjoying a family BBQ! We'll be doing steaks on the grill today!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Preparing Broccoli for freezing

Well, I just cut some beautiful side shoots of Broccoli. I decided to preserve it by freezing.

But, I had never done it before... so I googled... and found this awesome reference: Preparing Vegetables for Freezing.

I will also put this link in my reference section on the right side bar.

Got a bucket of tomatoes to process still!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Oh my gosh tomatoes!

Oh my goodness... just picked bunches and bunches of tomatoes!

Let the processing begin!

I have to say that I'm disappointed with the size of my Roma tomatoes... they're tiny!

Next year, I want to grow indeterminate paste tomatoes.

Do you have a favorite indeterminate paste tomato... or a suggestion for me?

My parents gave me a bunch of plums. Guess that I'll steam juice them tonight! Love plum jelly!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's all about ripening tomatoes... and fall crops blooming!

I'll be cooking up tomato sauce before long! Most of my plum tomatoes are ripening up! What do you suppose causes tomatoes to ripen? Is it warm days and cool nights? This photo below is a little sun washed... but it's still fun to see all those ripening beauties!

Lots of ripening tomatoes in this bed!
My Fall Crop peas are blooming!
My Fall Crop bush beans are growing nicely, I'll have to get this bed ready for impending frost...
Sorry not to be on top of my blog posting... we're working hard on the new house... so much to do to get finished up! More details here if you're interested.