Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pixie Crunch at Gurney's- A family favorite!

Pixie Crunch Apple Tree
Sweeter than 'Honeycrisp'

Gurney's Choice U.S. Patent No. 13871. A cut above the rest for fresh-from-the-tree flavor. Pixie Crunch Apple Tree has breaking crispness which "explodes" in your mouth, like Honeycrisp, only sweeter! Children prefer it over any other apple. Bears reliable crops beginning in its third season and continues each year, even in years with late frosts. Matures late August.

Zones: 5-8.

Buying Options Pixie Crunch Apple Tree - Standard 2-4 Feet
Price: 1 - $26.95
2 or more - $25.50

Pixie Crunch Apple Tree - Standard Deluxe
Price: 1 - $33.95
2 or more - $32.50

Pixie Crunch - Li’l-BIG 2-3 ft
Price: 1 - $44.95
2 or more - $43.50

Pixie Crunch Apple Tree - Lil' BIG Deluxe
Price: 1 - $51.95
2 or more - $50.50

Product Details
Zones: 5 - 8 (-10° F.)
Height: 22 - 25'
Spacing: 20' all directions
Depth: Graft or bud union should be just above the soil line. Look for plant depth indicator.
Sun/Shade: Sun
Pollinator: Liberty, Indian Summer, Snowdrift, Pristine
Yield: 10+ bushels
Color: Medium Red
Blooms: Early to Mid season
Fruit: Is medium red, medium size (with proper thinning) elongated round in shape. Flavor is super sweet, incredibly crisp and very juicy.
Comments: U.S. Patent No. 13871 A newly named Exclusive from Purdue. It was introduced in 2001. The tree is a small sized version of Rome Beauty and easily managed. Quick to bear, annually productive like Goldrush. The texture is similar to Honeycrisp but this one is much sweeter.
Pixie Crunch Apple Tree Ships In The Spring

If you are interested in the Pixie Crunch Apple Tree or any other gardening needs, Please see the sidebar to be taken to the Gurney’s Website.
Thank you for your support!

September 2008 Independence Summary

September 2008 Independence Summary

Planting, Harvesting & Preserving
Harvesting Carrots, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Peppers, Pole Beans from the Garden

Strawberry Jam - 7 Jelly Jars
Grape Jelly - 7 Jelly Jars
Orange Juice Jelly - 7 Jelly Jars
Banana Jam - 7 Jelly Jars
Dill Pickles- 8 Quarts
Sauerkraut- 10 Quarts
Steak Sauce- 3 pints
Tomatoes- 5 Quarts Tomato Sauce
4 Quarts Spiced Tomato Sauce

Strawberries- 6 Quarts
Blueberries- 2 Pints
Green Beans- 3 pints
Carrots- 7 pints

Dried Veggie Seasoning- 1 pint
Beef Jerky- 1 pint
Tomatoes- 5 Jelly Jars
Candy- Loupe - (Dried Candied Cantaloupe)
Green Peppers

Preparedness & Planning
*Level Billing for Energy Bills
*Matt made Fishing Kits, Snare Kits and Fire Starting Kits for Survival Packs
*Survival Skills Test when Hurricane Ike came to town and left us without power for 27 Hours.
*Replenishing supplies used during Hurricane Ike.

Managing household & reserves
*Roating Stockpiled Foods- Eating the replenishing.
*Got more shelving for storage in the basement.
*Organized food supply on new shelving

Keeping it Local
*Eating food from our Garden
*Buying from Local Farmers and Farmers Markets

Learned New Skill or Tried Something New
*First Worm Compost Harvest
*Made Candy- Loupe - (Dried Candied Cantaloupe)
*Canning Class- Apples
*Canned Tomatoes

Misc. & Handcrafting -
*Researching and reading articles and books on survival, homesteading and back to basic skills.
*Incorporating new skills, practices and methods into day to day life.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Garden at 122 Days

Would you believe that I forgot my Camera?!?!?!

So there won't be any pics for the Garden at 122 Days. But here is a pic of this week's harvest.
Hubs wants to make Salsa. I think I got enough to make a nice batch.

The Garden is slowing down. The Tomatoes and Peppers are still producing. One of the Pole Bean Beds has some blossoms and some fresh beans growing. On the other bean bed, I tore out all the old and dying plants. So out of the 9 Beds, 5 are still producing.

We are working on preparing the empty beds for fall. And making plans for next year's Garden.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

How to make Tomato Sauce

How to make Tomato Sauce
What you need:
Tomatoes, cored
Bottled Lemon Juice
Dried Herbs (Optional)

For thin sauce you will need an average of 35 pounds of tomatoes to produce 7 Quarts. For thick sauce you will need and average of 46 pounds of tomatoes to yield 7 Quarts. General guideline for estimating weight is 3 medium sized tomatoes equal 1 pound.

1. Prepare Canner, Jars and Lids

2. Wash and Sort Tomatoes. Remove any bruised or discolored product. Quarter 6 Tomatoes and place in large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to boil over medium high heat. Using a Potato Masher, crush tomatoes to release juices. While maintaining a boil and stirring to prevent burning, quarter additional tomatoes, adding them to the saucepan as you work. Make sure mixture continues to boil vigorously while you add, stir and crush the remaining tomatoes. When all the tomatoes have been added, boil, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.

3. Working in Batches, press the tomatoes through a fine sieve or food mill to remove skins and seeds. Discard skins and seeds. BEWARE: THIS IS THE MESSY PART!!

4. Returning mixture to saucepan and bring to boil over high heat stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium high and boil until volume is reduced by 1/3 for thin sauce and by half for a thicker sauce.

5. Before filling each jar add 2 tbsp of lemon juice and 1 tsp canning salt to each quart jar. (Note: measurement change if you use smaller or bigger jars).

6. If using, Add dried herbs. Start with 1/2 tsp per jar. You can adjust per your liking. I added dried onions, dried green peppers, crushed red pepper, basil and oregano.

7. Ladle hot sauce into prepared jars. REMEMBER: Hot Sauce, Hot Jars and Hot Lids! Fill Jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim and center lid on jar. Apply screw toplid.

8. Place Jars in Canner. Bring to boil and process 40 minutes for Quart Size Jars. (Times change with bigger or smaller jars.)

9. Remove Canner Lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

I made 5 Quart Jars of Plain Tomato Sauce and 4 Quarts of Spiced Tomato Sauce

Thursday, September 18, 2008

0 to 116

Day 1 to Day 116

A visitor to the Garden

A visitor in the Garden.
A woolly worm!!
Does any one know what he is telling us with his color?

Melons and Pumpkins at 116 Days

The melons and pumpkins are officially DONE!
I cleared out the pumpkin patch and worked up the dirt yesterday.

Pole Beans at 116 Days

The wind really cleaned out all the pole beans for us.
Maybe we will get one more round of beans because of it?!?!

Peppers at 116 Days

Tomatoes and Kale at 116 Days

Garden at 116 Days

The Garden at 116 Days.
It looks like it fared well through the wind storm.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This Week's Harvest

I left some carrots for Sara and Mom. The rest I brought home and froze them.
How to Freeze Carrots:
Place in food storage bag of choice
Put in Freezer
These Carrots yielded about 7 pints of carrots

How to Harvest Potaotes

Potatoes at 109 Days

How to Harvest Potatoes........

Insert Pitch Fork and dig up Potaotes!

Pole Beans at 109 Days

Pole Beans at 109 Days

Melon and Pumpkin Patch at 109 Days

Damn Beetles!
We have left the melons and pumpkins in the beds hoping that
if the beetles had something to snack on their they would leave everything else alone.
So far that has seemed to work.

How to Harvest Carrots

Peppers and Carrots at 109 Days

How to harvest Carrots.........

Grab the green tops and pull!

Carrot Harvest

Tomatoes and Kale at 109 Days



Garden at 109 Days

Garden at 109 Days

Saturday, September 6, 2008