Yum, yum sweet potatoes!

This was the first year that I grew sweet potatoes. I did lots of research and bought the plants from a local greenhouse. I planted them in early June with hopes that it would be enough time to harvest them before the fall frost!

About a month after planting
About a month after planting

They really didn’t grow fast at first. But, once the heat of the summer started, they took off!!

Growing and growing!
Growing and growing!

And, before I knew it, those sweet potato vines were everywhere! They escaped their raised be and took over parts of the yard!

Everywhere!!
Everywhere!!

Since summer has officially ended here and we were expected to get large amounts of rain, I decided it was time to pull up my little sweet potatoes. I was shocked to find this beast almost first!

3 and a half pound sweet potato!!
3 and a half pound sweet potato!!

So, I pulled up as many as I could the first night until I ran out of light!

1st night harvest!
1st night harvest!

The next day, I continued to pull up the rest (which is actually a lot of work due to those long vines!) And I was shocked to see how big some of the tubers had grown to become!! One was even over 4 pounds by itself!!!!!!

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Harvest day 2!

So the grand total of my first ever sweet potato harvest was…………. 80 pounds and 3 ounces!!!!!! Not too shabby for this new-er gardener!!! They have definitely earned a spot in the garden next year!!!!

Wednesday walk through the garden 10/7

It was a long day at work! Meetings, a new student, and papers that need checked. Lots of work! So, I couldn’t wait for my much-needed dirt therapy! (Aka gardening!)

I pulled up most of the remaining plants. That’s always kinda sad to me because it means winter is almost here, and I’m not a big fan of winter.

Almost cleaned out garden. :(
Almost cleaned out garden. 😦

Then, I decided to pull up the sweet potatoes that I threw in the ground last minute this summer. I need to write a whole other post about that!

More sweet taters!
More sweet taters!
The hens like the sweet potato vines!
The hens like the sweet potato vines!

I planted some lettuce about a week ago, and I’m finally seeing sprouts. I don’t think they have enough time to grow, but we will see!!

Baby lettuce!
Baby lettuce!

I’ve harvested over 10 pumpkins and I’m still surprised that more are giving their all to still grow!

Green pumpkin
Green pumpkin

Lucky for us, we are still harvesting veggies! There were over 1 and a half pounds of green beans and a couple ounces of tomatoes! Yum!!

Some of the harvest today.
Some of the harvest today.

Fall is so beautiful here in the Appalachian mountains! Slowly the leaves are turning colors and snow is to ght around the corner.

You can see fall!!
You can see fall!!

Applesauce canning!!!

Early Saturday morning I decided that I needed to get to work on canning those apples! I picked a ton of these beauties at my Granny’s!

These are delicious!
These are delicious!

I have already made crockpot applesauce, Apple butter and even apple pie bars!

To make some applesauce, start with nice clean apples! These were totally grown without any chemicals, so they don’t need scrubbed down like the market variety. Then, cut up into pieces. (I don’t peel mine because I have an attachment for my kitchen aid that removes the peels! Saves so much time! ) Add some water and let it all cook down until it’s smooshy.

Cut up into chunks!
Cut up into chunks!

I then put it all through the food mill and it comes out perfectly! You can add sugar and cinnamon to taste, but I just do that when I open them!

Applesauce!!!
Applesauce!!!

I process them for 20 minutes and they come out delicious!!

Canned and sealed!
Canned and sealed!

I also went ahead and made some apple pie filling! I made a little too much, so I used the rest to make some apple crisp! Yum again!!

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Apple pie filling! Yum!

And I also found time to crochet some ear warmers to hopefully sell at the next craft show! I’m starting to save up some funds for my Spring bees!

Crocheted ear warmers!
Crocheted ear warmers!

I hope that you had a productive weekend as well! And, hopefully you stated dry too!!

Birthday walk through the garden!

Yes, it’s true! It’s my birthday and I still feel blessed every year to be here! My husband knows that I have been saving up for some beekeeping supplies for next spring! He purchased some supplies for me to get me started! Yay!!! Such a lucky girl!!

My new bee keeping supplies!
My new bee keeping supplies!

I’m pretty happy that the strawberry plants are enjoying all of this rain and are looking very healthy! Yippee!

Strawberry plants looking nice!
Strawberry plants looking nice!

The boy was so happy to find all of these little worms all throughout the garden! He found some nice places for them to take up new residence!

Some of the wormies that the boy found!
Some of the wormies that the boy found!

We had a sweet potato sprout on the counter so I just shoved it into the garden this summer. I’m pretty excited to see that there are actually a few sweet potatoes that grew! I will be digging them up next month!

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And speaking of potatoes, I had a few regular potatoes that sprouted so I put them in the second bin of our compost bin late in the summer. And guess what I found today? Over 2 pounds of potatoes that most people would’ve thrown away!!

Yay! Free potatoes!
Yay! Free potatoes!

And lastly, I harvested yet another pumpkin! I’m pretty excited to put these up until the later fall for our hens! Pumpkins are a nice treat for hens when everything green is gone!

And that makes 11 pumpkins!
And that makes 11 pumpkins!

Today was a great day! I’m beyond blessed! 🙂

Homestead kinda weekend

My weekend kinda started off rough with a pretty bad case of poison ivy rash.  But, after getting some meds and rest, I’m feeling a lot better!

I was able to get a lot accomplished this weekend. I’ve been working on cleaning out the garden and working on apples. I made some yummy crockpot apple butter. I found an easy recipe here: http://savingdollarsandsense.com/crock-pot-apple-butter/

Apple butter!
Apple butter!

The recipe used 3 lbs of apples after cut up and yielded 1quart and a smaller container of Apple butter. I don’t eat the stuff, but the mister loves it and said it tastes good! I’ll take his word on this!

I was really excited to actually get another zucchini! By now we usually have lost all of our plants to bugs!

A September zucchini!
A September zucchini!

I was given some bee boxes, but since I don’t know too much about them, I’m not going to risk using them. I had the mister upcycle one into a rolling box. I’m going to take a few to a craft show in a few weeks. I’m hoping to make a few bucks to go towards beekeeping supplies!

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Homemade gift!!
Homemade gift!!

I also made a towel for one of the boy’s scout friends. I love making homemade gifts! I feel like it’s one less chuck of plastic being bought! (And I love crafting!!)

Well, here’s to a great week! So busy and yet I’m ready to tackle it! 🙂

Walk through Wednesday 9/23

Wow! My garden is looking pretty empty at this point! The tomatoes are finishing up, as well as the cucumbers, squash and the beans!

Howver, we are lucky that the girls are still laying lots of eggs! You can definitely tell that I have many breeds of chickens!

Look at that pretty blue one!
Look at that pretty blue one!

Like I said before, the garden is slowly fizzling out! But, I was able to harvest all of this yumminess plus a handful of green beans!

Not much to harvest!
Not much to harvest!

The zucchini here is doing some strange growing! I’m not sure if it’s because of the changes in temperatures or what, but they are very skinny! Very strange!

Skinny squash!
Skinny squash!

We have already collected around 10 pumpkins, but there are some little tiny ones still growing on the vines. I should probably pinch them off because they won’t have enough time to grow, but I’m going to let them go and see what happens!

Baby pumpkin!
Baby pumpkin!

I am assuming that most people are wondering what in the world I’m going to do with so many pumpkins. Well, the hens love them! Here is what is left of one that I gave them!

What's left!
What’s left!

Every week I wonder if it will be the last walk through the garden Wednesday! So, I guess we will see!

Another busy weekend

We had yet another busy weekend. Other than cleaning the house and getting caught up on laundry, I also volunteered to sell mulligans for a golf tournament. It was a pretty good time and it was for a good cause. 🙂

Saturday I was able to get the house decorated for Fall! I used all of the corn stalks that I grew and the rest of the pumpkins from the main garden. We have a groundhog that wanted to make a meal of them! So, all of these decorations cost us nothing but hard work!

Decorated for Fall!
Decorated for Fall!

I, well mostly the mister, put the bee frame together for my class tomorrow! I had it pieced together, and he went ahead and nailed and glued it. He’s so good to me!

Made my bee frame
Made my bee frame

The boy and I spent a while on Saturday night watching the chickens and of course taking some pictures! They just wanted to hunt for bugs!

Chicken selfie!
Chicken selfie!

All day yesterday we could smell the deliciousness of apples and cinnamon cooking in the crockpot. We have pretty much finished this off already! I have so much more applesauce to make.

Crock pot applesauce
Crock pot applesauce

We are also working on cleaning up a messy part of the landscaping and turning it into a pollinator garden with lots of butterfly and bee fun!