Homestead Happenings for the Week of August 7, 2016

Welcome to our new feature on the StoneHouse Homestead blog.  We will be posting a  weekly update of the “goings on” here and plans for the coming week.  Hopefully this will give you a better idea of what our daily life is like on our little homestead in suburbia.

The first part of the week started with digging the potatoes.  In previous years I had always purchased seed potatoes from the local Southern States Co-op.  Everything I had read about planting potatoes said to always use certified disease free seed potatoes.  The articles warned about the horrors of using potatoes left over from the previous year.  Those potatoes could harbor disease that had the potential of devastating the potato crop.  All the hard work of planting and caring for them would be for naught.  Well, I worked up the courage this year to try using left over from last year and you know what?  We had the best crop ever!  Both Red Pontiac and Kennebec varieties did beautifully with no signs of disease or insect damage!  So we got free potatoes this year!  Now, I can’t say that we will always have that kind of success, or never have issues with disease or insect damage, but I’m willing to take the chance and try it again next year.

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Some other things we accomplished:

  • Pulled up the first planting of green beans and hung them to dry for seeds
    bean bushes drying on the garden fence
    bean bushes drying on the garden fence

    dry bean pods ready for seed harvest. These will be planted next year.
    dry bean pods ready for seed harvest. These will be planted next year.
  • John prepared 4 beds and I planted a second crop of broccoli (the spring crop didn’t do so well) in one bed and black beans in the other 3 beds

    One of the beds of black beans starting to sprout!
    One of the beds of black beans starting to sprout!
  • I harvested some corn for dinner-it was delicious!  It’s a white variety called Cloud Nine.  I got the seed from Gurney’s
  • started some cucumbers in a brine for dill pickles.  These are different from the fermented cucumbers that I made (YouTube video coming soon!).  I thought they were great but John thought those still tasted too much like cucumbers and he is not a fan.  So I used the Ball Blue Book recipe for Brined Dills.  I have the 3 gallon crock full at the moment.  They should be ready to can in 2-3 weeks.

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    Cucumbers with garlic and pickling spices in the crock weighted down by a plate to keep them under the brine.

The second part of our week was consumed with Dutch’s surgery.  If you follow us on Facebook then you know he had surgery for a torn ligament on Wednesday.  It’s pretty complicated surgery with strict precautions for several weeks after so we were making some changes to get the house ready for him.  An area rug on our hard wood floors to make it easier for him to get up and down, more baby gates to keep him confined in a small space and re-arranging furniture to make for easier movement when he is allowed up just to name a few.   He came home on Thursday and for the next 2 weeks he is only allowed out for 5 minute bathroom breaks but no other activity.  It’s been a challenge keeping our 135lb, high energy boy quiet but thanks to the meds it’s not been too bad.

First day home from the hospital.
First day home from the hospital.

Here’s what we hope to accomplish this next week:

  • ferment the beets we grew this year
  • make laundry soap powder
  • harvest the last of the cucumbers and pull up the plants
  • harvest green beans
  • continue planting fall garden veggies-kale, spinach, lettuce and kidney beans
  • harvest the rest of the corn and pull up the plants
  • John is looking forward to trying out his new propane weed torch to take care of some of the more stubborn weeds he deals with this time of year
  • take Dutch to have his stitches out.  He also has a physical therapy consult as well

So there you have it.  What we’ve done and what we hope to do in the coming week.  What have you accomplished in the past week or hope to accomplish in the coming week?  Let us know!

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