A Weird Chicken Thing...

Ok, I haven't blogged about this before, because, well, I didn't have any evidence. I have always found broken eggs in the chicken coop (never in the nesting box, but around the perch, on top of the boxes, dripping down the coop door...) and have assumed the chickens were breaking the eggs and eating the shells. But tonight, I have PROOF! However, I was wrong. They aren't eating them... I have a chicken that is laying eggs without shells. Not just weird/fragile/thin/transparent/etc shells, but NO shells. They all get the same feed, freedom, and cottage cheese treats for extra calcium... What the heck?!?! Now, the following image could be considered an improvement since it is actually inside the nesting box rather than, well, everywhere else...
Said Evidence, Exhibit E

Just Sick of It!

Everyone out there HAS to have something in their lives that they have no control over, and they are SICK OF IT! Well, here is mine... I HATE my job. Ok, let me specify. I hate my schedule, I hate the minions in scheduling, and I hate the hours they make me work. In case, you don't know, I am a flight attendant. They airline owns me. I am their bitch. Correction, I am scheduling's bitch. Oh, and I lied in my interview. I really don't like people, and I really don't like to travel! (I know what you are thinking... Uh, you need a new job... Trust me, I am working on it) Let me preface this next paragraph by telling you that when I go to work, I am gone typically for 4 days at a time - not home at the end of the day like most normal people...

But here is what I am sick of. I am sick of missing birthdays, holidays, weekend get togethers, spontaneous dinners with friends, and I miss sleeping in my own damn bed. For instance, my birthday was last week (yay me!) and so now, everyone is trying to figure out a day to get together to celebrate. Everyone has asked, when are you off? I say, mondays and wednesdays, but Labor day monday doesnt count because, uh, that's a holiday, and guess what, I will be working. For some reason, people feel obligated to include me in making plans. Which, normally, I would feel honored, but in most cases in my life, please just plan it, and if I am there, great. If not, too friggin bad. Now, half of Hubby's family is having a get together on Friday to celebrate the August and Sept bithdays (start of the weekend, so guess what? I am working) and the other half (he is a child of divorce like me) is trying to plan around my schedule, only they all have regular jobs, so count me out on the weekend and holiday bbq thing...

Must I go on??? I am just friggin sick of it! I am SICK OF IT!!!! Now, I know this all will end, because come May I am quitting come hell or high water. I already am at the end my frayed rope, but must hang on to try and make some money before I quit to finish school (in an intense and rapid way.) So what are you sick of??? (and please don't say listening to me complain about my job) Thanks for listening!!!!


Harvest Monday

The harvest have been all about the tomatoes. Our big boys are starting to come in FINALLY and we may actually get to have some on burgers! This week we got our first green zebras, ananas, and brandywine. The golden sunrays are really starting to come in also. We have gotten about 6 in the last week. (Yeah, not a ton, but uh, the chickens like them... A LOT.)

And basil. I am estimating that the leaves weighed in at around 4 pounds. I only weighed about half and then I lost track. Made a ton of pesto, and now I am so sick of it, I don't even want to look at it, let alone eat it.

I have a ton of eggplant right now. I have no idea what to do with it. I put it in pasta, put it in stirfry, and other than using it as a filler in lasagna, I really have no idea what to do with it. Any suggestions???
Variety of cherry types

Green Zebra!

Gorgeous Heirlooms

The biggest mater harvest of my life

Basil... I am sick of it...
This week:
20 lb 12 oz san marzano maters
5 lb 4 oz various heirloom maters
1 lb 8 oz cherry type maters
2 lb 7 oz eggplants
4 lb basil

Total this year: 98 lb 10 oz

On a side note... Wish me Luck! Today is my first day of classes for this semester... Goodbye Freedom!


Garden at the End of August

Summer is coming to a close, and so is the summer portion of the garden... The tomatoes are starting to die off, just as they are coming into their prime. Today we got a boat load of tomatoes (I will post all the numbers tomorrow during Harvest Monday) and I FINALLY was able to can some maters! I got 7 quarts of whole tomatoes, 4 pints of diced tomatoes, and 1 pint and 1/2 pint of juice. YAY! And of course, Oliver was such a good helper today...

I had too many tomatoes that weren't totally ripe (since my san marzano plants keep dropping fruit, I try to pick them when they are still slightly green,) and not enough riper ones to can, so I made dinner and it was AWESOME. Our favorite dinner now is homemade pasta with a simple tomato/onion/garlic/and sometimes italian sausage sauce. Delish!

Last week I also cut my basil bumper crop because the wind was so bad that it was just all over the place. We got 6 ice cube trays of pesto, plus 2 cups for Momma Gardener to take home (which she forgot and is stinking up my fridge.)

The fall crops have mostly popped up, and maybe I will get my first spinach. Spinach and I have a love/hate relationship. I love trying to grow it, and it hates me and refuses to do so. I hope it goes better this season.
End of August aerial.
First batch of canned maters!
Oh dinner, I love you

Oliver... Such a good sleeper... I mean helper!


Hurricane Irene

Just wanted to put a short note out there saying I have all you bloggers on the east coast in my thoughts! I hope everyone has battened down the hatches, and gotten their getaway boats ready. Good luck, and I hope the gardens aren't too terribly mangled.

I am sure next week will bring some angry passengers and hectic traveling my way... Good luck to everyone!


And The Winner IS>>>>>

Carolyn Renee at Krazo Acres!

Carolyn Renee, please send me an email at mytinygarden@gmail.com with your address. I am unsure of their mailing schedule, so let me know when you get your first issue! Thanks Everyone for entering!

If your birthday is today, like mine, Happy Birthday!!!!


I Heart Birthdays

I go some early Birthday presents! Not to brag, but they are pretty darn awesome. Momma Gardener got me (and hubby) a new grill! This is my/our birthday/anniversary present. SO amazing because our grills (yeah both of em) kicked the bucket. One wouldn't heat up, and the other went so crazy it would burn your face off. It is beautiful!

Hubby got me *Drum Roll Please* pasta rollers! They came in the mail, and we promptly went into pasta making mode. With our own eggs! After much making and tasting, we decided we like the finer ground semolina, thickness #5, fettucine the best. I am pretty excited to make some butternut squash raviolis come fall! 

Speaking of Birthdays, dont forget to enter my Birthday Giveaway! The Drawing will be August 24th, so don't be slackin! That's tomorrow!

Speaking of giveaways, go ahead and enter MamaTea's Purty 'N' Prepared giveaway. She has made a beautiful scarf and head warmer for us purty farmish girls to wear! She's got some rules, so make sure you read carefully!


Harvest Monday

Yesterday I hosted My SIL's baby shower! It was great, and the got a whole heap of good loot for the baby. I made the cake, and it was AWESOME. and HUGE! All of my projects that I needed to do before school starts are completed, and now all I have to do is nag Hubby to complete his.

Harvest has been awesome, though I wish we were getting more tomatoes. After You see these pictures, you may wonder, WTF? I have a bunch of them, but not enough roma style to can. I did dry some cherry types last week, and was amazed (as usual) about how much they shrink down. So here go the pics.

My cake mess...
We had to take out a shelf to put the thing together

I think it weighed about 25 or 30 pounds... At least

And the week wouldn't be complete with out a Punkin Picture
And here it is in numbers:
11 lb 3 oz San Marzano Tomatoes
1 lb 9 oz Golden Sunrays
10 oz Ananas Tomato
9 lb 3 oz Cherry type tomatoes
12 oz various peppers
3 lb 15 oz various eggplants

Total for the Year: 64 lb 11 oz

Thanks to Daphne for hosting Harvest Monday!

And if you haven't entered my Birthday Giveaway, make sure you do so soon! My birthday is in 2 days, and that is when I will be pulling a name out of a hat!


Birthday and a Giveaway!

I am posting my first giveaway in celebration of my birthday! My birthday isn't until the 24th, so that is when the drawing will be. The lucky winner will receive a one year subscription to Hobby Farm Magazine! This is one of my favorite magazines, and I would love to share it with someone! The rules: 1- You must be a follower. (I love new ones too!) 2- Leave me a comment telling me you want to be in the drawing and let me know what you favorite post is, or what you would like to see more of. 3- Tell a friend! Or post it on your blog.

I will do the "pull a name from a hat" on the morning of August 24th, so be sure to enter by then!


A Weeks Worth of Catching Up

Wowza, have I been a lazy blogger. Honestly, I have had so much to do, I really haven't had time. Last week, I was gone for 4 days, and got home Saturday afternoon. Since then, I have scraped, sanded, and painted our porch, stairs, and porch columns. I ripped out all of the pumpkins (sigh) and the 2 corn stalks we had (and the one ear each one had which will be eaten later) and turned over the dirt and planted my fall greens - 2 rows of kale, 4 rows of pac choi (2 varieties), 4 rows of spinach (2 varieties), and 3 rows of radishes (2 varieties).

I mowed (weed whacked) the yard, and subsequently, my patience got the best of me (surprise surprise!) and I went at the neighbors yard. I just couldn't take it anymore! That grass was 2 1/2 feet tall! NO JOKE!!! It took me about an hour to do just their small side yard along their driveway and garage (the part I have to look at) and you better believe I left all that grass in their driveway. Even though I could really use it to mulch my fall greens bed, I just can't deny myself the pleasure of leaving their mess all over their driveway. I am such a bad neighbor... Hubby convinced me that going over to their front door and raising Cain wouldn't be the best idea, and that he would talk to their property manager. I am so sick of living with people who do not take care of their yards. The people behind us (the new ones moved in) don't take care of their yard and these losers without jobs and 2 dogs that they NEVER walk live on the other side. I don't know what they do all day locked up in their house (with sheets and blankets in the windows - SO classy) but they sure aint takin care of their yard. I am convinced they are drug dealers.

What else... I built my compost screen (super easy) and cleaned up the yard and driveway. I am trying to get everything in tip top shape because this weekend, this Tiny Gardener is hosting a baby shower! My SIL is having a little boy in October, and I am so excited. I love having a party! Momma gardener is coming in town to be my Kitchen Bitch and Dishwasher, and I have to get everything else done. I still have to sand and paint 3 bedroom doors, and get the entire house cleaned. Dear God, please help me! I will be one tired lady! Still have to go to the big box store and get potting soil. I need to plant my rosemary which has been in its tiny nursery container since May. I am shocked it hasn't died yet... 

Last weeks harvest (I know, I know... I missed Harvest Monday) was pretty good. We got several pounds more of eggplants, and a whole load of cherry and plum tomatoes. No big boys yet, but they are working on it. I will have to roast and dry these maters in the oven. There are too many for us to eat right now, but not enough to can. Drying them in the oven is SO easy... just slice em in half, pop em in the oven at 200 and let em go for about 8 hours and store in the freezer. Some salt and dried oregano is heavenly on them. They are great for homemade pizza and winter salads. Yum!

I PROMISE I will take some pictures of my work around the homestead and post them later. The battery for the camera is charging as I speak! Er type...


Harvest Monday and Tomato Envy

It is that time of year when I am envious of everyone else and their tomatoes. We still have not had even close to a full pound of tomatoes yet, and again this year, they just seem to be taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get ripe.

Last week wasn't too eventful due to the damn chickens eating and pecking at nearly all of my peppers. Yes, even the hot peppers. They are quarantined to the small section of the backyard with the carrots and the butternut squash. Speaking of squash, I pulled out all of my Provencal pumpkins. We would have had a lot of pumpkins, but in my novice experience, I did not realize how crazy big they would get and spread out, and that is just not worth losing the space to me. I would rather put in my fall greens and get a harvest we will actually use. I can get a nice pumpkin at the farmers market to make my puree for the winter. So what did we get?? Well, we got a handful of black cherry tomatoes, a couple of thai pink egg tomatoes, and some eggplant (which were not weighed and given away to Hubby's dad and his wifey) and a MASSIVE zucchini that was found hiding amongst the pumpkin vines.

3 lb, 9 oz

Totals for the year: 37 lb 7 oz

Thanks Daphne for hosting Harvest Monday!


My Weekend Project

I have been looking for over a year for a bench for our back entryway. Last fall, I built a shelf with coat hooks. This year, I built a bench! I found an old bed frame (full size and PERFECT) with the headboard, foot board, side rails, and slats. I only paid TEN DOLLARS!!! Now, If I were in the market for an actual full size bed, this would have been even better. But I made it into an upholstered bench! I put it together, sanded, and painted it. I re-purposed the fabric that used to be on our headboard, the boards that came with the bed, and some leftover 2x4's from the chicken coop. I only had to buy foam for the seat cushion. A grand total of $35 was spent on a project that would have cost over 200 in the big fancy stores :)


Harvest Monday

I thought I had been taking pictures of everything, but I was SO wrong... Its just numbers this Harvest Monday. Thanks Daphne for hosting Harvest Monday!

Before you look at my numbers, I have a question... I am ordering garlic today, and I have no idea how much to get. I have several numbers as to about how many bulbs I will get with various amounts of bulbs in my order... How much do I need for my family of 2? How many do you plant every year to have enough for storage AND next years planting? I really have no idea how many bulbs I go through in a year (which would probably be a good place to start....)

This week:
1 measly ounce of barely edible tomato (It's August for pete's sake! Can I get a tomato???)
2 lb 7 oz eggplants
1 lb 2 oz hung hot peppers
11 oz cubanelle peppers
2 lb 15 oz zucchinis
1 lb 13 oz Basil

Total for the year: 32 lb 1 oz