Saturday, May 19, 2018

Getting Off The Grid - Planting And Spring Canning

My Winter Tomatoes

Usually most farmers in my area, Central Alabama, plant on good Friday but this year that fell in March and way into April we had cold nights, some areas under a frost warnings. So, we are now planting in May just to be safe.

Seems everything has came alive and green, we even have full shade under the trees, green grass underfoot.

The Homestead :

The past few weeks have been full, discovering what the Spring has to offer. As some know, a few plants are around in spring and that is it so take advantage of what nature has to offer.

Chamomile  aka wild daisy

Wild mushrooms and greens that thrive and disappear with the heat, the spring flowers to make teas.

The Garden :

I did have plants sowed from seed in the winter ready to plant, Cabbage, tomatoes, sweet green bell pepper and egg plants. They went into the ground this week. 

Sown straight into the warm dirt were okra, cucumbers and squash seed. Living in the south they have plenty of time to grow and give a wonderful harvest.

In pots I have Marigolds but they are still to small to go into the garden.

I have basil and I am potting those into their forever pots so I can harvest anytime and bring them inside for the winter to continue to thrive.

I also have a second round of baby tomatoes on pots for the second round of tomatoes, yes I can do two crops per year.

The blackberries are plumping up and in the next couple of weeks I will be picking those. 

The stockpile :

This year is going to be a little different than the years before. I am planning to only home can jelly that is not available in the stores. So far I have Honeysuckle and Rose Petal, some I will attempt to sell at the farmers market.

I have also home canned my first wild mushrooms, after learning for a year or more what can and cannot be eaten, I felt confident to eat and home can these. Dryad`s saddle, there are no look a likes.

And good old poke salad, aka poke weed and poke berry. I have always ate this every spring since I can remember so this year I am taking a step up and I have home canned poke salad. 

All of the above do take a lot of time to clean and make but I think it is worth every second, its all free! No buying seed, no watering and no digging. 

For recipes and home canning click :

I made sure to get the last of the winter kale picked and home canned before the new garden was plowed, I hope to collect new greens soon.

I am also picking the wild daisies to dry, that are actually chamomile, for teas to treat medical problems.

The Learning :

I have to say that the month of May had been a very interesting and learning experience. 

I have went back to primitive picking and gathering in the wild. Taking what mother earth has ready to eat, each and every month of the year, hopefully.

I have been doing research online and I am making my own essential oils, I have my fingers crossed that the first try goes well. I will update the accomplishment or failure and what went right or wrong.

What is happening on your homestead? 

By Andria Perry
Photos By Andria Perry


  1. I love the honeysuckle jelly. I just had to try that one.

  2. There is something magical about home grown tomatoes!

    1. Yes, I know! they have this taste that says, home.

  3. Yes, another month almost gone Andria. You are very productive again and that is good. I can´t wait to be in my tropical garden again soon and dig my hands in the soil. Take care.

    1. Its about time for you to go home isn`t it?