Saturday, August 13, 2011
When I left a few days ago I had bell peppers, cherry and Roma tomatoes, and egg plants growing. The sorano and pablano peppers were just about to produce, new cucumber and zucchini sprouts coming up. Unfortunately the six cantaloupes where torn to pieces by raccoons. This year I made a earthen dam around each plant in order to hold the water right where it was needed and let it soak down to the roots and watered each plant with watering can. This both fed the plants better and keep the garden from having many weeds.
Next spring I want to get even more planted and hopefully I can use my time in Vegas to plan for the 2012 planting. This has to be a big one since I have to prepare for December because according to the History Chanel the Mayans predicted the fall of civilization that day. Since the History Chanel is never wrong I better get prepared.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Some of the points are fairly easy to locate because the corner posts from the old fence are still standing in a couple places, but just getting back to those corners can take a whole bunch of hacking through brush with a machete. Even more to get a clear signal for the GPS devices that they use to mark these spots. Luckily the kind of survey we are have done does not require them cut a line of site from one corner to next. If that had to happen I would have to cut the lines myself due to certain budget restrictions.
Some of the markers are from when this property used to be part of one large piece owned by the Kirby lumber company. The survey crew says that a few of these concrete markers should have had some brass plates on them with field notes them from way back when, but the plates have come off. They don't need to find the plates if they locate the marker, but I am going to check around these areas with our old 1970's metal detector and see if I can dig any of these up. I figure that in ten years I will be able to do the survey with an app on my iphone. It might be sooner if they ever figure a way to get a better signal out here in the boondocks.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
This one is about forty minutes away and is probably the closest one left in the area. I would guess it had around a hundred and fifty seats and on our visit probably forty people were inside. Definintly an old school kinda place, one of the few places left where you can smoke while you do business inside. In nineteen sixty five this place was probably packed full a chain smoking, cowboy hat wearing, ranchers and farmers every Saturday. These types of places were the center of comerce for a rural areas, but even when this was built the small farmers and ranches were probably fading fast as businesses and really only surviving as hobbies.
We mostly came to see the goats and pigs. Both, sold for for twenty to thirty dollars each for young ones and the grown goats could go up to a hundred and fifty. The only grown pig for sale was a boar and since you can't eat it it only sold for thirty bucks even though it was a big fella. Most people were interested in buying feeder pigs. They will fatten it for five or six months and then butcher in the winter. We aren't quite ready for livestock yet, and when the girls realized we were serious about not buying anything today they were not interested in waiting through the cattle auction.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Living in the deep dark woods of south east Texas we are mere hatchet throw away from a big, plate of super fried chicken and biscuits at couple dozen so called restaurants, but for pizza our options are limited to something that comes from a hut. Since I haven't perfected a homemade crust we often consume a slice of the frozen pie. I do like to heat it up a bit first. The good folks at FRESCHETTA were nice enough to send me a sweet coupon for one of there pizza by the slice products.
FRESCHETTA® By the Slice
They got four fantastic flavors of single slice pizza options: BBQ chicken, vegetable medley, chicken-spinach-mushroom, and the SIX CHEESE MEDLEY!!!! Since I like my chicken deep fried, dipped in butter and my veggies come from the garden, I went for the SIX CHEESE MEDLEY. Cheese is what pizza is all about and this slice-a-pie was tasty. It's a darn good thing there was only one slice in there or this would have contributed to my overwhelming gluttony cause I could have eaten a whole big ol' pizza pie. It was tough to resist the temptation to use the second coupon they sent me so that I could get another slice of this tasty pizza, but that one I am giving away to someone who leaves a comment on this post saying they would like to try the new Freschetta By the Slice.
What you thought this was over, no chance man, because Freschetta also sent me this six piece LaCuisine locking round storage container set. No way! Yes way! With the gardens booming I know someone could use this to hold some of the their veggies.
FRESCHETTA® By the Slice
http://www.facebook.com/freschettapizza That link your gonna need cause when your finished with pizza your going to want to head over to Facebook and give it the thumbs up.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
No way I could snack on these things unless the options where pretty limited. I think I might rather end up like the cannibals in that book The Road than slurp down some of this.
I planted the zucini and the squash in little groups of four and when they had come up out of the ground I mounded dirt around each group as well as each tomato, and pepper plant. That way the water is only going right to where it is needed. The sunflowers, green beans and cucumbers had to be planted into a row, but for these I mounded the dirt around the entire section. When everything had come up I sprayed the whole garden and gave it good soak. This a bunch of remaining seeds from weeds germinate and after a week or so I started to see little green spots everywhere. After hacking up all the dirt outside the little wells, I resumed only watering the little rows and the places where I had made little wells.
The result is that the weed factor is almost gone. Everything died after I hacked it up and then withheld the water. The few things left where easy to pick from the base of the plants by hand. I thought the drought conditions that we are experiencing in Texas would be a problem, but this is the most productive garden I have had and I am using a fraction of the water I normally do. It is time consuming, but seems to be paying off in zucchini.
Monday, May 2, 2011
This is a compensated post written by me on behalf of Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.
The garden needs soil, water and sun, but the sun can do as much damage skin as it brings life to my plants so I was pretty stoked when I got a sample of Walgreens Brand SPF 50 sunscreen lotion. Being kind of a pale guy I have to be careful not to fried when I am in the garden. Besides being pale I can be one sweaty dude especially in the nasty east Texas heat and humidity which can wash off sunscreen in a heart beat. With the lack of rain sunscreen has gotten more important and the Walgreens Brand SPF 50 sunscreen lotion fits the bill and has kept me from getting my usual beginning of the season back of the neck burn. I can even go without a hat because this stuff works great on the old chrome dome I've been sporting for some time now.
Besides being a good price, every time you purchase Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products it supports the Walgreens Way to Well Fund™ which helps bring wellness preventative services to local communities. Walgreens will contribute 3 million annually to the Walgreens Way to Well Fund which will help provide free preventive health tests and other health related services. These services will be important to help reduce health care cost by identifying the need for treatment early and improve the overall access to wellness testing and information.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Of course when we moved here everyone said don't worry about hurricanes they don't come this far inland. Uhhh, well, in the six years we have lived here two have come through. Probably, my fault bad weather seems to follow me around. In the six years the ran fall here has also significantly dropped off and the branch that runs behind the house has dried up every summer, which it never did in all the time my wife lived here as a kid. If there was some kind of societal collapse we would be in a better place than many to feed ourselves and survive, but one thing I learned living here is that people moved to the city to get work because having to kill, grow or gather everything to feed a family would be a huge pain in the ass. I would be a much slimmer fellow than I am now.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
The kids loved it and even came into the kitchen while I was putting up the left overs and ate every last bite. According to Underhill Farms Online Store they sell Venison roast for 14 bucks a pound so that was the best deal on a home cooked meal we have every had. I think it works out to be a dollar or two for the bullet and since I missed once I saved around ten bucks. I really couldn't tell much difference between the venison and beef and wouldn't have known if I hadn't cut it up myself. I never thought I would say this, but it is kinda satisfying to eat something you killed.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Sometime country life is all about a relaxing, but I have never been much on fishing. My wife's grandmothers place has a couple big ponds so we took the kids fishing this weekend. My dislike of fishing may be the result of my general failure to actually catch fish. I find it hard to be quiet and wait for a long a enough time to land a fishy, but not this weekend. This time I got one a nice fat, wide mouth bass. I think I had a little help. A power provided to me by the energy of the patch. I found this totally retro Woodville Bass Club patch in the house the other day. I think the members of this now presumably defunct club open the universe for just a moment and granted me this tasty little fellow.
Friday, February 18, 2011
This year I am going to spread out some and till up two more areas for growing. One will have tomatoes only and I haven't decided on the other one. Either green beans or squash I am not sure which yet. The tomatoes have to go somewhere else. Luci thinks they will get tomato blight if we plant them in the same area again. I figure around 120 square feet should be enough for the tomatoes. We will actually have less tomatoes, but I think we will get more out of them if they are spread out and easier to get to. Last year we couldn't barely get into the rows once the pants got big and it made picking them a huge hassle. The longer they stayed on the vine the more damage form bugs.
I need to get the tiller going and get everything tilled under a couple times before planting time come around. I had the chickens in the garden to tear everything up and add a little fertilizer before I moved them back to the yard, but I will probably buy a little bit of manure and maybe some compost to add to soil. I should plant a cover crop, but I never get around to it.
Monday, February 14, 2011
In order to determine which parcel is which you have to go over the field notes on the deeds which basically say start at one agreed upon point and then say turn south 97 degrees go 85 feet turn east 56 degrees go 79 feet etc, etc, etc, The only way to find the points is to take a metal detector and look for the scrap that is usually buried as a marker. According to the mapping guy rusty rifle barrels were once a popular marker that would be hammered into the ground by the surveying crew. Why survey crews had piles of rusty rifle barrels laying around I will never know.
Each chunk of land here is divided into files by the origanal surveys ours falls into the Robert Conn survey and you can dig through the file which is a collection of maps, photos, field notes, legal documents, etcs. One survey from the sixties clearly showed how the land was originally divided and made the problem clear. A piece of our land had not been properly accounted for, but not the piece they tried to add. The good news for us is that since they can't tax us twice on the same piece we get a break this year, but have to file to have the newly added section classified as agricultural timber land. What a pain in the @$$.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
The first day of the freezing weather a storm took out power lines all over the area and around twenty thousand people were out of power. It is actually pretty amazing that everyone had power restored by that night. We were in the last group to have the power restored because the line ends at our house. If the line goes through and affects more people then it will be fixed sooner. We realized we need to have a bigger stockpile of seasoned wood available just in case. It would be fairly easy for the roads to get messed up leave us stranded for a few days without power. When all you have is the fireplace for heat you quickly see why pioneer houses were so small.
With the weather turning for the better I know I have a lot to do in order to get ready for this years garden. Today I had to fix the chicken tractors because the poultry netting had degraded in the sunlight and the now the chickens could claw through it and climb out. I added a layer of metal chicken wire to each one and now they are safe to move around the yard again. This week the girls are out of school and I need to get some tilling done and start some peppers and tomatoes.