Friday, August 18, 2017

Getting Off The Grid - Making Progress

August 18, 2017

When you have to go to work and you run the homestead alone things can become hard, more times than not, but after getting knocked down time and time again I am back up.

I finally bought the equipment I need to get things back under control, everything I owned quit. That is usually how things happen all at once, makes a woman want to give up that is for sure. But that is not me, I may get down about it for a day and then I get to thinking about how to resolve the problem. 

When I got a rider going and I got the main living area cleaned I then had time to tackle the five foot tall grass with the push mower. The lower section of the first field was where I began, I got a good 20 x 20 section  cleared on Thursday and I will work on this area till I get it cleared because this is where I will most likely plant the fall greens.

The Garden

Although I do not have many okra  plants I am getting several quarts a week now, this week I picked four quarts we ate two and I froze two for the Winter months.

The cucumbers are coming on pretty good I actually got enough in one week to home can a case of Dill pickles. I only have a small section of plants but I am happy with the amount they are providing.

For More click here : How to make dill pickles

My sweet bell peppers are not growing as fast as I would like and I am managing to get enough to keep me from buying so I guess that is a good thing.

Those sweet banana peppers and the jalapeno peppers are making a few but nothing to brag about.

The new tomato plants that were put in the ground a few weeks ago have baby tomatoes, the plants are so little.

The Herbs

Last week I picked more sage leaves and laid them on the drying rack I use, its actually a cookie cooling rack. 

The spearmint is about to bloom so I will be doing a massive picking the coming week and I think I will hang it to dry. 

Next week on the list as well is picking blackberry leaves, I use these to make tea or add it to green or black tea for a flavor.

The Basil is very slow growing and I plan to separate and pot up plants for the inside of the house so I will always have fresh when I want, I do love this herb so I use it more.

I am new at growing Ginger and the stalks are dying so I will have to do research on how to harvest the ginger. 

The Seeds

My first try at growing sunflowers for the seeds. For the most part I got two huge flowers that made seeds, the rest were smaller with few seeds. I waited till the first head and stem was turning yellow and I could see the seeds were plump and striped before I cut it. This is my first so I am hanging it to finish drying inside since we have a rainy year and I do not want it mold. The next one I will wait a little longer to cut. 

Wednesday on the way home I stopped by the co-op and bought a couple dollars worth of kale, collards and turnip green seeds. I usually like these in the ground in September.

Its a live and learn world I am in.

What are you harvesting at your home stead? 

By Andria Perry
Photos By Andria Perry


  1. I have very few plants...2 bell pepper, 3 tomato (which apparently are cherry tomatoes, and several strawberry plants.
    We've barely gotten a thing from any of them.
    Only 3 or 4 strawberries this year, only one bell pepper, and maybe 12 cherry tomatoes. I'm a sad gardener!

    We used to try to keep the seeds from the giant sunflowers, but then never did anything with them. Now they just drop to grow more each year. Sad, but true.

    I'm glad I'm not dependent on what I grow or we would be starving.

    1. LOL. Well you are trying and that counts. This wet year for me was not a good year either but I have managed a few cases of food to be stored for Winter. Maybe next year?

  2. Enjoyed hearing how other gardens are doing in this strange year of rain, rain, rain. We moved into town 3 years ago and this year I decided to plant my first garden in the back yard following, ideas from Square Bale Gardening. My grape sized 'super sweets" tomatoes are growing everywhere like weeds and we are having tons of them, along with some small pear shaped yellow ones. Our other great producer was the "sweet jalapeno" plant. It put out tons of peppers but not one was sweet - all very very hot!

    1. How did growing in the bales of hay do? Better or no?

  3. I love this post. I grew up with a biologist father who was always trying to find the best way to raise everything, and get out of grocery stores. Thanks for taking me back!

    1. you are welcome, that is what I want to do, its all trial and error.

  4. Looks like things are going well for you now! Your garden yield is amazing. I'll have to try your dill pickle recipe!

    1. Thank you, I hope its good to you since its the one that has been passed down for so many years.