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Garden Update 10/30 ~ Moving a Garden Shed & Confession Time

Welll…here’s my confession. Garden = abandoned. I have NOT even cleaned it for winter yet. Oppps!!! I keep thinking I’ll get out there and do it, and then I don’t. It’s a mess, and I’ll even show you! The good news is, I did get another surprise garden haul yesterday: Broccoli, kale, a radish {I didn’t even realize I planted!}

There’s the surprise garden haul! I’m pretty sure I could continue harvesting kale for a long time. The broccoli, though, is about done. It’s been really cold here the last couple of weeks – down into the 20s at night. And even cold hardy broccoli can’t survive those temps forever.

And here are some of my dead tomato plants. Before we went to Colorado it was predicted that we’d get pretty cold weather. So I actually went out to the garden the night we left and picked a whole bunch of green tomatoes. My Great-Aunt tells me that it’s possible to wrap them in newspaper or arrange them in a single row and they will redden over the winter. I am trying that {but admittedly, my tomatoes are still all thrown in the box I put them in when I picked them. Some have gone bad and I’ve thrown them out, but others are turning red. I’m using them for a salad tonight so we’ll see how they taste. I figure they can’t be any worse than store-bought tomatoes.}

And here’s the money shot. My garden as it looks right now. 🙂 I have got to clean that sucker up. It’s over-run with weeds. The tomato stakes need to come out. I’d like to till it up and add some manure to get it ready for spring. Hope that happens this coming up weekend.

Moving a Garden Shed

But the really exciting news about my garden is my new to me garden shed! If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you may recall that we moved a barn to our property several years ago. We’re just about ready to move our home remodeling business offices into the barn, which is very, very exciting news. But this past weekend, my hubs also moved a little shed out to my garden.

His parents own a lot about 3 miles from our property that had this shed on it. After paying a professional moving company to move our huge barn several years ago, my husband has been itching to try it out on his own…so he and his dad spent last Saturday jacking up this shed, loading it onto a huge trailer, and driving it out to our property.

The scariest part was watching them drive it down the curb to get it on the street. I thought for a minute that I might ought to move my van out of the way so it wouldn’t topple over on top of me…but they made it!

I drove in front of my husband with my hazards on and my mother and father in law drove behind him with their flashers on. It was only about 3 miles out to our barn, but it was slow going. I love this picture of the shed in my side mirror – “ARGH!!! Something’s following me!” 🙂

That’s what the rig looked like going down the road. It was pretty funny!! LOL!

And I love this picture of the big barn and the little shed. Can you believe that the red barn looked much worse than the shed when it was moved? I can’t believe the transformation that red barn has undergone.

And now, the shed is sitting out by my garden and my hubs says I have work to do. Huh?? I didn’t sign up for another project. Hmmm.

Garden Update 10/2 ~ Saving Beans for Seeds

It’s official. I let the weeds get my garden. I dug up all of potatoes and I’m still picking a few tomatoes, kale, broccoli, and peppers, but the nights are getting cooler and my garden doesn’t like it that much. None of my fall plants have done much and honestly, I’m done gardening. I don’t have the time right now.

This is my garden haul from last week. My pepper plants look cold – they won’t be around much longer – and the tomatoes are slowing down too. The kale looks great, though, and so does my broccoli. I’ve got a few fall peas coming – we’ll see if they become anything.

One thing I am trying for the first time this year, is saving a few seeds. Beans seem to be a good seed to start with, so here’s what I’ve done to save bean seeds for next year!

This is what’s left of my bean plants. They look pretty bad, so this may not be the best experiment. They were hit really hard by Japanese beetles. Anyhow, the first step is to check out your biggest and most healthy looking plants – if there are any beans that have dried on the plants, pick them!

If the beans are squishy or not quite dry, leave them. You really want to get the driest beans so that your seeds don’t mold and ruin the batch. You can see a slightly green bean in my bowl – I threw that one out. Shouldn’t have picked it in the first place.

Then, shell the beans and spread them out on a pan to dry. I’m not really sure how long to let them dry. I’ll probably just put them in my cellar and leave them there for a few weeks. Then, I’ll bad them up and save them for next year! I’m curious how it works!

Have you saved your own seeds before? How did it work for you?

Linking up: Tuesday Garden Party;

 

 

Quick & Easy Way to Freeze Corn

Keep the mess and heat out of your kitchen with this quick and easy way to freeze corn!

Keep the mess outside with this quick and easy way to freeze fresh corn

I love freshly frozen corn for use in taco soup, vegetable soups, and other recipes as well. We (me, hubby, father-in-law, kiddos) froze 50 quarts of corn a while back in fewer than 3 1/2 hours! Total cost – $1.25 and time! Three and a half hours of time was the biggest cost, but that’s all the time it took to shuck it, clean it, boil it, cut it off the cobs, bag it, and store it! I was shocked we got it done so quickly, especially since it’s usually all day affair featuring me and other female relatives. Turns out men are very hard workers and pretty industrious! Here’s how we did it!

How to Freeze Corn

shuck and clean corn

We’ve been pretty lucky the last couple of years to have awesome neighbors who grow the corn for us. We just have to show up and pick it out of the field near our little homestead. We brought the corn home in our tractor and then involved the whole family in shucking and cleaning in the shade of the garage. While the water came to a boil in the outdoor cooker, everyone was busy in the garage.

boiling the corn in a turkey burner outside is an easy way to freeze corn

The real secret to keeping the mess out of your kitchen is to clean and cook the corn outdoors in an outdoor cooker. Seriously, if you freeze a lot of corn, invest in an outdoor cooker! For real! Boiling the corn outdoors keeps my kitchen so much cooler and cleaner, plus the pot is so big I can cook so much more corn at once. I love using the outdoor cooker for freezing corn. Boil for 4-5 minutes (after you’ve shucked and cleaned it).

cool the corn in an ice water bath

Cool in a big, clean tub until you can handle it. It’s helpful to use ice to cool the corn more quickly.

take the corn indoors to cut it off the cob

Take it inside to cut off the cobs. I’ve used a Pampered Chef Corn Slicer in the past and also a knife to cut the corn off the cobs. Cutting the corn off the cobs is the worst part I’m excited to try out the Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper next time I freeze corn. Have you tried any special corn cutters?

bag cut corn, clean, label, and put in freezer

Bag it up, clean off the bags, label them and freeze! I use quart bags because I have a large family. But you can use whatever size baggies you’d like.

Quick & Easy Way to Freeze Corn

Quick & Easy Way to Freeze Corn

Keep the mess outside with this quick and easy way to freeze corn

Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes

Ingredients

  • Tons of fresh corn

Instructions

  1. Bring water to boil in the largest pot you have.
  2. Shuck, clean, and cut off any bad spots.
  3. Once the water is boiling hard, add corn and let the water return to a boil. Once the water is boiling again, boil the corn for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Cool the corn in a large pot using cold water and ice until the corn is cool enough to handle.
  5. Cut the corn off the cobs and bag the corn. Flatten the bags, clean, and label then.
  6. Freeze!

Total cost for 50 quarts of corn: $1.25 for the freezer bags because I scored a super sweet deal. 30 minutes to pick. 3 1/2 hours to process. 15 minutes to tidy my kitchen. Those numbers make me happy. And my father-in-law’s sweet corn isn’t even ready yet. If we can keep the raccoons out, we may have more. 🙂

Do you freeze corn? Have you ever used an outdoor cooker? This is our go-to method for freezing corn.