Monday, April 2, 2012

More Garden Art Bottle Bugs

I worked on some more bottle bugs this weekend. I think these were a little easier to work on. This first one is a pop bottle. I love the hardware I found for his eyes, wish I had more. I'm selling these for $15.00 ea.

And this next one is a solar bug jar. The pics aren't the best because I wanted to get him all lit up but you get the idea. I could see a group of these hanging from a tree. I'm also charging $15.00 for these.

Here he is all lit up

I've got more that need a few more elements to them that I'll get posted soon.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Garden Art Bottle Bugs

I had some fun making a bunch of bottle bugs this weekend. I still have a bunch of these little brown bottles so I'll be making more. I did have a couple clear bottles that I did too but need to get a pic of those yet.

Here's the brown bug.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Some pics from around the yard this year. Here's my bike, love, love my bike. I think this is my fave thing in my yard.
My little bistro set in the front landscape with a teapot & some tea cup planters. We still need to add some new bark this year if we ever get some time from the rentals.
A little bench amongst some of our shrubs, barberry I think they are, with some gerber daisies (one of my faves) planted in a big tea cup pot
Some pink geraniums on the little fence table my dad made awhile back.
I got a shot of this little fella, he's living in that birdhouse.
I still need to tidy up around the shed, the birdhouse wasn't going to be there but since the birds have claimed it I guess it's staying, I didn't want the chair there either but they seem to like to perch on there.
These are just a few, I'll share more later like my square foot garden table top beds my hubby made for me this year.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gardening Expenses

Miller's on Two Mile Ave.
1-johnny jump up 1.00
2-wood violets 2.00 ea.
1-seedum 2.00 ea.
2-hostas 2.00 ea.

Shade Perennial on Eastwood Dr
2-ferns 3.00 ea.
1-tall boy hosta 5.00
1-forsythia 7.00
1-maidenhair fern 4.00

Mayflower Greenhouse Green Bay
4-geraniums 3.50 ea

Canterbury Farms Green Bay
3-trailing coleus 3.39 ea
1-wire vine 3.39 ea
2-bacopa 3.39 ea

4-giant purple surfinas 3.79 ea
1-trailing purple verbena 3.79
1-white nierembergia 3.79
3-butterfly impatients 3.79 ea
1-snow princess 3.79
1-millet grass 3.79
1-purple & white fortunia 3.79

6-strawberry 6 pks 5.25 ea
1-6 pk early girl tomato
1-6pk salsa pepper
1-better boy tomato
1-banana pepper
1-wis. 55 tomato

Wolosek Landscaping
1 1/4 yards potting soil 24.40

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Some Boring Stuff

I've been crazy busy figuring out my gardens, starting some new veggie beds and digging out my garden junk err art lol and shopping for all the fun garden stuff. I don't have any pics right now to share but I hope to get some taken soon. My perennials got hit with snow then hard frost over Mother's Day Weekend. The damage wasn't too bad but a couple inches of snow in May is not funny.

After my veggie containers last year I decided that I really enjoyed the harvest and wanted to really expand. With working full time and doing some part time teaching scrapping classes I really needed something low maintenance so my hubby built me 3 table top beds that I will be square foot gardening in. I'm pretty excited about getting stuff planted to watch grow. We got the dirt last weekend put in so they are ready to go. The one 4x4 bed is just for strawberries and I got that one all planted this last weekend too and I can not wait to go out there to pick some fresh strawberries.

I was thinking about cutting back on the flowers this year, I think I say that every year, but after hitting the greenhouses and going through old pictures I'm sure there will be no cut backs lol. I was a little disappointed when I went back to look at last years pictures to find I didn't really take any especially after things filled in so that is a goal of mine this year to get better pictures to reference.

That's all I have for now. I need to get my costs documented and maybe I'll get some pictures taken the next few days too. I also want to do a breakdown cost for the square foot garden beds for future reference.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Salsa and a Recipe

The past month I've been in Salsa mode. I've never canned salsa before so I really wasn't sure where to start. I didn't have many tomatoes that I grew to use so I had to pick up tomatoes from the farmers market. I ended up with 1/2 a bushel for I think it was $9.00. Then I also picked up green peppers, jalepeno peppers and onions. I do hope to plant enough to not have to go to the farmers market next year.

For my first batch of salsa I just cut up some tomatoes (after blanching them) and did a boiled water bath canning method with a packet of Ball salsa that I picked up at the store. This was just ok. After sitting for awhile it might be better but I definately didn't love it.

After doing lots of looking online I found a recipe that has gotten lots of feedback so I wanted to give it a try. I found the recipe at garden web, it's Annie's Salsa.

Here's the recipe with my own notes in parenthesis

Annie's Salsa
8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
2-1/2 cups onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups green pepper, chopped
3 - 5 jalapenos, chopped - 3-5 jalapenos equates to roughly 1/4 cup, so total peppers cannot exceed 1-3/4 cups. (I used 4 jalepenos)
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons pepper
1/8 cup canning salt (I used what I had on hand, sea salt)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (I didn't add this, they say you can add it fresh when you open a jar which I tried once and did not like it)
1/3 cup sugar (I think next time around I will decrease this, I didn't really like the sweet taste)
1 cup vinegar - Pressure canning is no longer recommended, which specified 1/3 cup vinegar. Must include full 1 cup of vinegar for BWB processing. However, may substitute bottled lemon or lime juice in any proportions according to taste (for example, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup lime juice). Can use any flavor vinegar (white, cider, etc.) as long as acidity is at least 5%. (I used 1/2 cup vinegar & 1/2 cup lemon juice)
2 cups (16 oz.) tomato sauce (I just used a can which I think was 14 or 15 oz)
2 cups (16 oz.)tomato paste (I only added 8 oz because I didn't want it too thick)

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Pour into hot pint jars, seal and process in a hot water canning bath for 15 minutes. Makes about 6 pints. >Cannot BWB quarts. If doing half-pints or smaller, process for the pint time of 15 minutes.

I ended up making 3 batches of this and it's mmmm good! My second batch scortched a little but I canned it anyway and marked the jars in case it tastes bad, all that work I really couldn't toss it out. I just won't use it for gifts :)

I only made two batches with the 1/2 bushel of tomatoes and I had lots of tomatoes left, probably could've made another batch but I didn't have enough of the other ingredients so I just blanched the rest of the tomatoes and put them in quart freezer bags to use in recipes this winter. Oh and after draining all the tomatoes as I made the salsa I ended up with 2 quarts of tomatoe juice too that I canned! I just cooked the juice for a bit in hopes to thicken it, put it in the jars added about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and put them in BWB.

Harvest & Canning

I've been busy busy with some canning and freezing. It's just me and my hubby but I enjoy canning and it'll be such a treat opening a fresh jar of salsa or jam in the middle of winter.

I made up about 4 batches of salsa so far and have been debating on making up some more, it's a lot of work but it's so good and with Christmas gifts I'm afraid we'll run out even before 2010. We'll see though I have a ton of apples to take care of right now.

Just this last weekend I picked up 3 pie pumpkins and I had what I thought was 2 other pumpkins the weekend before. I found out those 2 are ambercup squash, well I'm going to treat them as pumpkins and see how that works :) I spent all afternoon yesterday pureeing the 3 pumpkins and one of the squash. This was super easy to do and for $4.00 I got a ton of pureed pumpkin to use. I think I ended up with 18 1/2 cups total! I think I could supply my whole family with pumpkin for our famous choc. chip pumpkin muffins.

I am horrible at printing off recipes that I have found online so maybe I'll just note a couple recipes on my blog so I know where I can find them come next year :)

First the instructions for pureeing the pumpkins (I should've taken pics but I followed the same instructions over at Pioneer Woman)

First I snapped the stem off then cut the pumpkin in half. This was not an easy task and I was sure I was going to be heading to the ER with a my finger cut off or something. I ended up using my Ulu knife that we got in AK and it worked much better. Next scrape out the seeds, no need to get real picky with all the string stuff.

Heat oven to 350, place the pumpkins on a baking sheet (I put mine in cut side up) and bake for about 45 mins. or until tender when poked with a fork.

Let the pumpkins cool a bit and scrape the peeling off, cut into chunks and throw into the food processor and puree. Water might need to be added if they're too dry.

After pureeing I used my Pampered Chef measuring cup (the one that works awesome for p.b.) and measured out 1 cup at a time then put it into quart size freezer bags, squeezed the air out and stacked them into freezer.

All of this really took me longer than I thought, I'd say about 4 hrs. But I really think I'll be happy I've got all that pumpkin ready to use. I was anxious to see how good this pumpkin would be so I made up a batch of my choc chip pumpkin muffins right away. I thought they turned out pretty good, they seemed to be a bit sweeter so I think I could cut the sugar down on my recipe a bit next time.

Maybe if I remember I'll snap a pic of all the pumpkin stacked up in the freezer to share.