Sunday, July 6, 2014

Harvesting "Fingerling" Potatoes!!

  Well, I've started harvesting potatoes here in West Virginia! This is a new type for me, we planted "fingerlings" alone with the old standby Yukons. While the Yukons are not ready yet, the fingerlings are ready to dig. What are these potatoes that I speak of? Fingerling potatoes, so named because they resemble fingers. These small, waxy, narrow, elongated potatoes typically range from 2 to 4 inches in length. Fingerling potatoes come in a variety of colors, from pale yellow to red to purple. Fingerlings have mild to nutty flavors. Some varieties of fingerlings are hundreds of years old. These potatoes cook more quickly than larger types, maintain their shape well when cooked, and generally create an aesthetically pleasing plating.
   Don't ask what type! I'm really not sure, LOL! When it was planting time, back in March, my wife handed me about 16 of these little babies that had started to sprout and said, "Lets try these too". So I did. These small potatoes produce more potatoes per seed than the normal counterparts and the growing process of these usually takes longer than the normal ones. The storage of fingerlings is done very similar to the regular potatoes which require a dark and cool storage area.

   I planted mine in two half whiskey barrels. In my opinion, these little guys would grow best in 5 gallon buckets of dirt. Why? trust me at harvest time you will thank me! It would have been nice to have just dumped the bucket out to get these little gems. It was kind of like finding a needle in the carpet, lol! But it was well worth it. I will continue to grow them for years to come! So next season when you want to try something deliciously different, try one of the many varieties of fingerling potatoes. I know you will like them as much as my families has!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 2014 Harvest

Well, its been a busy month tending to the garden and everything else but in the end its worth it all! I've been
harvesting radishes, spinach, green onions, beets and lettuce. But yesterday I started picking green beans, carrots, a new radish, and cucumbers. I also notices some of my cherry tomatoes starting to blush, so it won't be long there either. Everything else seems to be doing well, just hard to sit and wait, lol!

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore. Psalm 121:7-8 NKJV

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Growing the Perfect Onion!

   Onion sets you plant in early spring will put on a lot of green top growth before they make bulbs. You may ask, "Why don't the bulbs start forming right away?" The answer is that before the plants can make bulbs, they first have to store energy in the top green leaves. Then they must wait for nature's signal to put this energy into bulb making. The plants usually get the message when the day length and the temperature are right. The onions don't care how old they are or when they were put in the ground; when conditions are right, they simply stop making new leaves and start using the energy they've stored to make bulbs. The size of the onion bulb is determined by how much energy there is in the top green leaves before the light conditions signal to start diverting energy to the bulbs. The more green growth before this time, the more energy there is and the bigger the bulb will be.
   Early planting is important because it gives your onions plenty of time to grow tops and to store a lot of energy for the bulbs. If you put your sets in late, they won't have the time for a lot of top growth. As a result, there won't be much energy available when nature whispers to the onion plant, "Make a bulb."
  A soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5 is considered ideal for onions and there's no need to make trenches or special holes for the sets. Just grasp them at the top (the pointed end) with the root end down and push them into well-prepared soil the full depth of the bulb, about 2".  If you have some tiny sets, plant them at least an inch in the ground, so they get good contact with the soil. The sets will get a better start. After you've got your sets in the ground, firm the soil around them with a hoe.Remember, if a set is planted too shallowly, it takes a long time to get started. It's important to push the bulb all the way into the soil. It gets the onion off to a good start for producing a lot of top growth. If the onion sets are a little too deep, it won't hurt. Later, when the bulbs are expanding, pull some of the dirt away from the sides to give the bulbs room to expand.
  You may not want to plant all your sets at once. Try keeping back a few handfuls in the refrigerator. When you start harvesting some small onions to eat raw or use in salads and other dishes, replace them with sets from the refrigerator. Just remember that onion sets planted later in the spring won't develop into large onions.
Here is a great easy article from WVU on Growing Onions

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Controlling Your Cholesterol Levels Naturally, I Did!

   I went from taking Statins a drug that helps control your levels of triglycerides and cholesterol (a poison to your body) to using vitamins and natural things to control my levels. But Why? Because the side effects of statins are horrible, accentually they are deadly! I personally was having lots of side effects. Mine side effects were hurting joints and muscle, to the point I could hardly get out of my chair and when I did it felt like I was carrying a 300lb man on my shoulders. I was having trouble with my mind, hard to remember things and focus on things. My body just didn't feel right! Think about what  statins are supposed to do, remove fats and cholesterol from your body, WELL, that’s what your brain is made of so first of all you're destroying your brain! So that should be enough for you to try to find an alternate way to lower your lowering LDL cholesterol levels and your cholesterol levels. But the main thing to know about stain drugs is that they are POISON for your body! Look I tried to use them for a well. 
The most common statin side effects include: Headache, Difficulty sleeping, Flushing of the skin, Muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness (myalgia) Drowsiness, Dizziness, Nausea and/or vomiting, Abdominal cramping and/or pain, Bloating and/or gas, Diarrhea, Constipation, Rash. Statins also carry warnings that memory loss, mental confusion, high blood sugar, and type 2 diabetes are possible side effects. It's important to remember that statins may also interact with other medications you take. So do you really want to chance destroying your body!
   Enough about Statins what about how I switched but first what were my beginning numbers?
   My Triglycerides numbers were in the 900 range, my bad cholesterol was so high they could not calculate it and my good cholesterol number was 17! I had molasses for blood, lol!

  All my levels now are good. My Doctor said when I went for a checkup yesterday “I was skeptical about you being able to control your levels without using Statins and using vitamins and natural supplements” but she said, “keep it up because its working and to help you with your cost I’m gonna give you a prescription of Niacin 1000mgs”, she went on to say “you are starting to make me a believer of using the natural stuff”!   So how have I lowered my levels to acceptable levels?
Here is my regimen: and remember I'm not a Dr. but I have stayed at a lot of Holiday Inn Express’, lol!
  • Niacin: (flushing) 2000 mg’s daily, (1000 over the counter in the morning and 1000 Dr. prescribed at night). My Pharmacists and Dr. says that the non-flushing does not work, so don't waste your money.    
  • Red Yeast Rice: 1200 mg’s in the morning                                                                                     
  • Omega 3,6,9: 2 g’s you can’t take or eat too much Omega’s and the most crucial is the Omega 3’s. My Pharmacists says to look for a higher percentage of Omega 3’s on your fish oils rather than a high parentage of fish oils.                                                                                                                        
  • CoQ10: 100 mg’s daily                                                                                                                  
  • D3: 2000 IU or higher daily                                                                                                         
  • L-Arininie: 1000 mg’s daily                                                                                             
  • Magnesium: 250 mg’s                                                                                                                   
  •  Diatomaceous Earth   (food grade) 1 tablespoon daily                                                              
  •  Lecithin: Non-GMO 1200 mg’s
   Now, not all vitamins are created equally so do your home work. Tested and Pharmaceutical grades are the best! I use SwansonVitamins, via mail order.

   Know I have also cut out all white starchy foods like potatoes, pasta, breads, ect. Also I mostly drink water; I cut out pop and other sugary drinks. That helps as well. Well that’s how I did it and you can to if you really try. I do hope it helps because stains are very very bad and poison for your body. Just do some research on the side effects of them. But please talk to your doctor first. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Teach Your Children at Home!

“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:13

   Let me exhort you, as much as lies in you, to give your children sound instruction in the great doctrines of the gospel of Christ. I believe that what Irving once said is a great truth. He said, “In these modern times you boast and glory, and you think yourselves to be in a high and noble condition, because you have your Sabbath-schools and British-schools, and all kinds of schools for teaching youth. I tell you,” he said, “that philanthropic and great as these are, they are the ensigns of your disgrace; they show that your land is not a land where parents teach children at home. They show you there is a want of parental instruction; and though they be blessed things, these Sabbath-schools, they are indications of something wrong, for if we all taught our children there would be no need of strangers to say to our children ‘Know the Lord.’” I trust you will never give up that excellent puritanical habit of catechising your children at home. Any father or mother who entirely gives up a child to the teaching of another has made a mistake. There is no teacher who wishes to absolve a parent from what he ought to do himself. He is an assistant, but he was never intended to be a substitute. Teach your children; bring out your old catechisms again, for they are, after all, blessed means of instruction, and the next generation shall outstrip those that have gone before it; for the reason why many of you are weak in the faith is this, you did not receive instruction in your youth in the great things of the gospel of Christ. If you had, you would have been so grounded, and settled, and firm in the faith, that nothing could by any means have moved you.

Suggested Further Reading: Deuteronomy 6:4-720-25

For meditation: Faithful teaching from his mother and grandmother had prepared Timothy for his further education from the apostle Paul (Acts 16:1-3; 2 Timothy 1:5, 3:14-15).
Sermon no. 79,  11 May (1856) by C.H. Spurgeon 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

How To Store Seeds for years, survival and to save money?

   I was out in the garden bright and early this morning, planting more radishes, spinach and Blue Lake Bush beans. As I was planting, I was thinking of the show, “Revolution”, it’s a show about all power going out all over the world and different groups trying to maneuver to take control of the United States. Now hold on, I wasn't thinking about taking over the USA, I was thinking about how they planted their gardens to survive. How you could keep seeds ready at hand for years to come or even generations? I have written before about the different types of seeds, Heirlooms, Hybrids, GMO and how to collect them but I couldn't recall if I had written on How to Store seeds for years to come, for emergency gardening or just to keep those seeds where your plants did so well?
   Storing survival garden seeds... along with growing an emergency garden is very important for emergency preparedness or a food shortage crisis and also will save you lots of money in the long run! As the value of money decreases, the value of food and vegetable seeds will increase. Vegetable seeds are a major food-source, and should be considered one of the most valuable commodities of all for emergency and survival preparedness, as well!

   The conditions you will need for properly storing survival garden seeds are just the opposite of those required for good germination. Good germination occurs when water and oxygen are present at a favorable temperature. Best seed storage results are obtained when seeds are kept dry (below 8 percent moisture - 4 percent is optimal) and the temperature is kept low (40 degrees or below).

Friday, April 18, 2014

Another Great Wild Delicacy of the Mountains!

   I have written in the past about a wonderful wild leek that we pick wild and eat hear in West Virginia called Ramps.But there is another wonderful thing of the wild that we love to hunt and consume this time of the year as well. What are these delicious delicacies? These are a wild mushroom called "Molly Moochers" or Morel mushrooms. Actually they have a few names, Morchella, Merkel, Sponge Mushroom, Dry Land Fish, Pine Cone Mushrooms and Hickory Chicks!
 Morel mushrooms grow in many forests in West Virginia. Mushroom hunters find black morels under hickory and poplar trees, while yellow morels often grow under Eastern pines. Mushrooms thrive in damp locations or areas where a fire recently occurred. Commonly known as sponge mushrooms and molly moochers, true morel mushrooms have hollow stalks and caps with distinct ridges. Like all mushrooms, true morels are fungi. Their caps contain spores, and when the spores fall to the ground, they germinate and enable reproduction.
  Be careful though there are imposters and you don't want to eat them! Before consuming a mushroom, make sure it is not a false morel. False morel mushrooms are poisonous, and eating them may make you very sick or even kill you. Only true morels are edible.There are several recognizable differences. False morel mushrooms have brain-like lobes and chambered stalks, and they often grow under white pine trees.
   According to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources more than 1,700 species of mushrooms grow in fields and wooded areas of the state. Six varieties of morels have been documented growing in deciduous forests throughout the state during a brief period between mid-April and mid-May. If you are planning to hunt morels, do your homework or hunt with a knowledgeable person to avoid collecting the poisonous conifer false morel.
The season is really short:
  You need to get in the woods early and fast! Springtime mushroom hunting starts just after the cold winter has subsided and dying tree limbs lay scattered, with the delectable morel being found before other wild varieties come into season. Late April and May are the best months in West Virginia to find morels.
  So what types of area and soil do they like? I mentioned earlier a little of this but they really like dead and dying apple orchards and places where forest fire has burned trees support the heaviest concentrations of morels, especially if limestone is exposed above ground in these areas. They can be hidden in deep leaf litter of poplar, maples, ash, oak, pine, cottonwood and aspen trees and grow best under dead elm logs. Morels favor sandy soil with a bit of limestone. You will not find them in wet areas, although a rain can trigger fruiting.
  Well I hope you have a great time finding and trying a new type of mushroom. I know they are one of the spring time wonders that push people into the woods around these parts!
  I found a really good Beginners Guide Article on "Filed and Stream" that is a very helpful tool!
  "A Beginner's Guide to Hunting Morel Mushrooms".

Link Ups:
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