This is our annual list of vegetable seeds for Bramblestone Farm, and updating the list has again made me anxious for spring. As always, I dream of a perfect garden – no weeds, abundant yields, no pests, and perfect produce – well it’s good to dream.
Many of the vegetable seeds on the list are left-over from previous years because seeds stay viable for several years (if carefully stored), and saving seeds from year to year cuts seed costs dramatically. If you scroll to the bottom of the list, you’ll see that our seed will cost under $40.00, even though we [...]
Continue reading Vegetable Seeds for the 2013 Garden
I know it’s typical to grill vegetables in the summer, but sometimes it’s just easier to roast them and these are good with just about any summer dinner. This is simple, it only takes 20 minutes, and you don’t have to worry about the grill.
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
2 different colored bell peppers (such as red and yellow)
1 fennel bulb
1 red onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
8 sprigs thyme
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Trim the ends of the zucchini & yellow squash and cut them into 3/4″ slices, core the peppers and cut into 1 1/2″ strips, trim off the fennel stalks and cut the bulbs (through [...]
Continue reading Roasted Summer Vegetables
This is our 2012 list of vegetable seeds for Bramblestone Farm. Every year I make up this list, and every year it makes me anxious for spring. Last year was the first year that the garden area was fenced (deer didn’t eat everything), that we had a light stand for starting transplants indoors, and that we used soil blocks for transplants; and it made a big difference in the amount and quality of produce – big improvement!
Many of the vegetables on the list are left-over from previous years (most seeds remain viable for several years), and saving these seeds from year to year cuts down [...]
Continue reading Vegetable Seeds for the 2012 Garden
It’s the time of year when there are usually excess vegetables in the garden that need to be taken in before frost destroys them. Many of these vegetables can successfully be stored for months if the right storage conditions are provided. Even without a garden, buying quantities of these vegetables while they’re fresh and “in season” and storing them for later winter use can make sense. Both of these approaches provide fresh vegetables more economically than buying from the supermarket in the winter when it’s most expensive. In addition, vegetables picked and stored at their peak maturity usually have better [...]
Continue reading Long Term (Winter) Vegetable Storage
Tinker Bell Eating Pea Vines
Each time I work in the garden and consider bringing back some garden trimmings for the goats and chickens; I have to stop and look through my reference books – to determine whether that particular plant is safe for them to eat. So, I decided to make a list of garden plants that are safe for goats or chickens, and that they’ll benefit from eating. That way, I can just refer back to this list, rather than dragging out a bunch of books.
This is what I know about today that they can eat (chickens may [...]
Continue reading Garden Greens for Goats & Chickens
I’ve been working for awhile trying to get a website up for the farm, and it’s finally complete enough to at least say that it’s out there (I thought it would be finished over winter – hah!). It’s at www.bramblestonefarm.com; and it’s meant to be a website for the farm rather than a blog like Better Hens and Gardens. Someday, I hope to advertise that we have goats, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, honey, and who knows what else for sale; but today it’s just eggs.
The plan is to consolidate some of the blog posts from this site there [...]
Continue reading New Farm Website!
This is the 2011 list of vegetables for the garden. Every year I make up this list, and every year it makes me anxious for spring. This year I’m trying more greens and baby vegies (see last year’s varieties), because we do like to eat those a lot. We’re giving up on watermelon and corn for now because there are local specialty growers that do a good job, and they take so much room.
I’m trying a few F1 hybrids next to older heirloom varieties to see how they compare; for example, Fortex (F1) pole beans next to Blue Lake (heirloom) pole beans, [...]
Continue reading Vegetable Seeds for the 2011 Garden
Now that the chickens and goats are here, we have one of the main ingredients for growing great produce. Composted animal bedding makes an incredible difference in garden productivity, especially since I prefer to fertilize naturally rather than chemically. I learned about natural vegetable production early – it was the way my grandfather, who’d grown up farming, raised vegetables to feed us.
Annually, grandpa grew a bountiful garden that provided the families produce all year long. He started by adding composted horse manure from the neighbor’s stable to the same sunny patch of land each year. Then he’d plant his favorite [...]
Continue reading Garden Gold
I think this was the predecessor to catsup, and it’s much better. Catsup seems kind of bland to me – but boy do I like this stuff. We first tried it on hamburgers (and it completely ruined any chance catsup had of getting on my hamburger again). If using fresh tomatoes, make sure they’re big, bold, high flavor tomatoes – don’t bother with insipid hybrids. It’s good on pork, beef, grilled onions, roasted vegetables, and I’m wondering about a cracker with goat cheese. Anyway, I found it at “The Splendid Table” ” blog (see Favorite Links) under Sweet and Piquant Tomato Jam. I also [...]
Continue reading Tomato Jam
When I think about “real” food, I mean food that doesn’t contain artificial ingredients, hasn’t been fed antibiotics or growth hormones, wasn’t genetically modified, isn’t covered with pesticides, and most importantly, tastes great. It can be hard to find “real” food today, and the pesticides used on much of the produce in grocery stores contribute to the problem.
There is a growing consensus that small doses of pesticides can adversely affect human health, and eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables will expose a person to about 15 pesticides per day, on average. But we can lower our pesticide exposure [...]
Continue reading Produce & Pesticides
Once I’ve gotten my garden seeds each winter (see Vegetable Seeds for the 2010 Garden), I can’t wait to get my planting schedule on paper. Until I’ve got a schedule, I worry about missing some critical date. It’s ridiculous to worry about it now, since I’m in Ohio, but I do … until I’ve got my schedule.
This schedule is great for making sure I’ve got all the seed starting supplies on time, and helping me plan which parts of the garden need to be ready. Also, once you’ve done a plan like this, you can tweak it from year-to-year, particularly if you’re using [...]
Continue reading Making a Seed Starting & Planting Schedule
This is my yearly list of vegetable seeds for planting, and almost all of them are tasty heirlooms. Just reading the descriptions makes my mouth water. At the bottom of the list, I totaled my cost to buy vegetable seed this year ($20.75), the cost if I didn’t save seeds ($73.50), and the cost of hybrid varieties ($122.70).
You can see from the hybrid vs. heirloom difference ($122.70 – $73.50 = $49.20) that hybrids are more expensive (I used typical hybrid prices from a large seed supplier who’s located in Pennsylvania and starts with a B). I wanted to check my claim [...]
Continue reading Vegetable Seeds for the 2010 Garden