Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Quick Planting Tip

I was asked when the best time to plant certain things was. Here is the best rule of "green thumb"! 

  Plant potatoes, cold crops like broccoli, cabbage, ect, any root crop like beets, turnips ect, spinach on or after St. Patricks Day. You can remember that by the potato famine that happened in Ireland!

  Plant everything else on or after Mothers Day, at this point most areas have had their last frost. But this isn't an exact science as God always has the last say, but it tends to work for me here in west Virginia!

  These were passed down by Grammie and I'm sure there are other old wives tales on when to plant. Such as my Grammie always went by the farmers almanac and always had a great crop! So if you have any others that were passed onto you please share them!

“A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 8:5-8

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Been a LOOONG Time! And Bye to Grammie!

    It has been too long since I last posted an article! Really I only have the excuse of a really busy life. For starters we have had a big issue in our family that has taken much away from all our time but the Lord has seen fit to allow that issue to be resolved. My daughter loves volleyball, so we had a very busy school season this year, they finished third in the county tournament but beating the team who won the tourney in the regular season. That was just the start though, she decided she wanted to play travel ball, sounds fun right? Well, it is but practice and the traveling from WV to all over Ohio, every other weekend, know that was a little taxing! But she is gaining lots of experience! Then we have our son who lives out of state now!
    On top all that, church has keep us busy. Trying to make it through the worst winter i've seen in a long time. My work has been a 60 to 70 hour work week. Its just been crazy!
    So that an numerous has just keep me from my gardening and blogging duties, lol! I've said that I will post at least one article a month and try to do more? I have tossed around the idea of moving my blog to another place like Wordpress but I'm not sure? Help with this would be great.

    Finally, to those of you that have followed me for a while, you know it was my Grammie that gave me my passion for gardening and was the greatest teacher! Well on April 9, 2014 at the age 99, she went home to be with the Savior Jesus. Which marks the end of a great time of our family. She lived on her farm, by herself until roughly a year ago, she tended to everything that she possibly could. She would always ask me why I thought the Lord was leaving her here? I always said, "because we all need your prayer", lol! She was amazing, can you imagine all the changes she had seen in those 99 years, good and bad? Great woman, she will be missed but for those of us that are saved we will see her again soon!
   I leave you with a little Travel Prayer that Grammie always said to us when we left her house. It always brought joy to my heart to hear it.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Epsom Salts, "In The Garden?"

   Using Epsom salt in gardening is not a new concept, its something I would see my Grammy and Aunt Annice use often in there vegetable garden and flower garden and then soak their tired feet in a hot tube of water with it after a long day in the garden! Using Epsom Salts in the garden has been around for many generations. But does it really work? I know I personally have seen differences since recalling this trick they used, so lets look at why I may have seen a difference.
  Why put Epsom salts on plants? Is Epsom Salt Good for Plants? Yes, Epsom salt helps improve flower blooming and enhances a plant’s green color. It can even help plants grow bushier. Epsom salt is made up of "hydrated magnesium sulfate" (magnesium and sulfur), which is important to healthy plant growth.  Even if you don’t believe in its effectiveness, it never hurts to try it. Magnesium allows plants to better take in valuable nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus. It also helps in the creation of chlorophyll, which is vital for photosynthesis. In addition, magnesium greatly improves a plant’s ability to produce flowers and fruit. If the soil becomes depleted of magnesium, adding Epsom salt will help; and since it poses little danger of overuse like most commercial fertilizers, you can use it safely on nearly all your garden plants.
  How to Water Plants with Epsom Salts? It’s easy. Simply substitute it for regular watering either once or twice a month. Before applying Epsom salt, however, it’s a good idea to have your soil tested to determine whether it’s deficient of magnesium. You should also be aware that many plants, like beans and leafy vegetables, will happily grow and produce in soils with low levels of magnesium. Plants like rose, tomatoes and peppers, on the other hand, require lots of magnesium; and therefore, are more commonly watered with Epsom salt.
  When diluted with water, Epsom salt is easily taken up by plants, especially when applied as a foliage spray. Most plants can be misted with a solution of 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt per gallon of water once a month. For more frequent watering, every other week, cut this back to one tablespoon.
With roses, you can apply a foliage spray of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water for each foot of the shrub’s height. Apply in spring as leaves appear and then again after flowering.
  For tomatoes and peppers, apply 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt granules around each transplant or spray (1 tbsp. per gallon) during transplanting and again following the first bloom and fruit set. One great article I found was"Fertilize with Epsom Salts" By: Charlie Nardozzi, it's a very good introductory into this subject!
 Another benefit that I have found personally with using Epsom salt in the garden is as a "natural pesticide" for snails and slugs around my hosta's and other shade loves. I mean think about it, if you sprinkle salt on a slug what happens but if you just sprinkle Epsom salts around the base of the plants, it deters the slimy buggers!
  It has many other benefits but we are just sticking with the garden aspect of it, here is a quick video to help get all of this stuck in your mind! "Epsom Salts" with Dr. Bruce.
  I hope you have a successful go with Epsom Salts and hopefully I can remember some more of these old tricks that I saw used growing up!

Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go;even when he is old he will not depart from it."

Sunday, August 11, 2013

"The Story of Grace!"

    A Fathers Son was brutally murdered by one of the must vicious and sadistic persons in the world. (Here are 5 endings to the story, you pick)!

1) The Father goes and gets a gun and shots the murderer dead in the streets. (This is Revenge)

2) The Father helps the authorities track down, convict and sentence the murderer to death by electrocution. (This is Justice) 

3) The Father helps the authorities track down and convict but before the judge passes down the verdict, the Father asks the judge to lighten the sentence to life in prison, with no parole, so he does. (This is Mercy)

4)The Father helps the authorities track down the murderer but before the trial the Father asks to talk with the judge privately. The Father tells the judge he wants to forgive the murderer, and drop ALL charges on the murderer and let him walk free. The judge allows the murderer to walk free!   (This is Forgiveness)

5) The Father helps the authorities track down the murderer but before the trial the Father asks to talk with the judge privately. The Father tells the judge he wants to forgive the murderer, drop ALL charges on the murderer, adopt the murderer into His family, take care of the murderer and live in His custody the rest of the murders life.  The judge agrees!  (This is Grace)

Which would you do if you were in the Fathers shoes?

 If you are saved and reading this you were NO different from the vicious and sadistic murderer before God provided you with His grace through His Son Christ Jesus! 

"Nobody is born into this world a child of the family of God. We are born as children of wrath. The only way we enter into the family of God is by adoption, and that adoption occurs when we are united to God’s only begotten Son by faith. When by faith we are united with Christ, we are then adopted into that family of whom Christ is the firstborn."~R.C. Sproul

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I need Help On Blog Moving!!!

   I know I have been really busy this summer and I know very garden/parent understands. I have been tossing around the idea of moving my blog to another place to blog but I see that there are many option. So my question to you all is, what do you recommend? And How do I transfer all this stuff?

  Any info would be appreciated!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Examine It For Yourself!

  Well Said!

    I have been on vacation/Volleyball camp for my daughter for a week. Busy Busy Busy! I need to garden fast, lol!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Simple Canned Pickles, for Dummies!

Simple Canned Pickles for Dummies like me, lol!

  I canned pickles today! Two types, Dill and just pickles and onions, I also canned a couple jars of Jalapeno peppers! This is something I really enjoyed doing with my Grammie and Mom growing up. It was kinda like the icing on the cake for a gardener. See what you have grown being preserved. Its fun and its very easy, Its also a dieing art that needs to be taught to our children.

Here is the Basic Recipe, you can customize it to your tastes and likings:
The Redeemed Gardener
Grammies Basic Pickling Recipe
4 lbs any vegetables (harder ones work better)
2 3/4 C Vinegar
3 C Water
1/4 C Sea Salt or Canning Salt (make sure it's not iodized)
When everything is set up and prepared, mix your pickle juice ingredients - salt, vinegar, water - and heat them up in a pot on the stove. Stir until salt dissolves.

Spices commonly used in pickling spice :
Coriander, Fennel, Dill, Black pepper corns, Dried red peppers, Mustard Seed, any spice you want!

   Rather than using commercial pickling spice, play and blend the spices! Put a fair amount of the spices at the bottom of the jars, but save some to top them off.
   For sweet pickles, add sugar.  For smoky pickles, add black cardamom, chipotles, etc.  After you add the spice, pack the vegetables into the jars ( the tighter the better or as we say in West Virginia "the Fuller the Better").  Pour the hot pickle juice over the pickles, leaving 1/4-1/2"  head space at the top.  Use the corner of your clean towel to wipe off the band mouth of the jar before you put the lid or the band on, so that there is no solids blocking the seal.  Put the lid and the band on and tighten finger tight. Note: we always put the lids in boiling water right before we put them on for a few minutes (this kills bacteria and helps make the rubber softer for a better seal) .

Caution! Make sure to load the hot jars on the clean towel, and to use hot pickle juice, because the heat differential between jars, the juice and the counter can cause the jars to explode! Trust me I have had it happen and no matter how careful you are you will as well.
   Put the jars into a hot water bath.  Make sure there is at least 1" of water covering the lids, and bring to a boil.  Boil for 10-14 minutes (add 5 min for every 1000 feet above sea level you are). If boiled for less time, there is a greater risk that it won't seal or kill the bacteria, but your pickles will be crisper! Longer times will result in greater safety, but softer pickles.
   When done pull jars out of Hot water bath and set on towels to cool and seal. Listen for the pooping sound. Then do the push test on the lid to make sure they are sealed. It doesn't take long!

Have fun and make it a family project!