Monday, December 10, 2007

Posted by Picasa
This week I harvested the last of the watermelons and cantaloupes. Nice wheelbarrow full, there are still a few left in the field but these will keep me busy eating for a while. Couldn't put any more in the wheel barrow without them rolling out. The cooler weather has set in so the green tomatoes are next. We had snow on our mountains surrounding the valley this weekend and there are more storms predicted. We got another nice rain.
This week I spent time in the kitchen making pots of soup, I love sipping hot soup on a cold day. I just took some tired looking carrots and celery from the frig before storing my fresh food and started them in a large wok with a little olive oil, adding onion and then water and vegitable boulion. There was also a bit of cabbage and about 1/3 cup of pearl barley. After that simmered for awhile I added a can of tomatoes, the remainder of the black beans I cooked last week and the remainders of of the brown rice. I added for seasoning, black pepper, celery seed, parsley and two dried red peppers. Turned out wonderful for sipping on cold days and so thrifty and simple.
My grand daughter and I went to the ark, a thriftstore that puts all the overflow items in the yard and sells it for about $3.00 a grocery cart. I love that yard and so does she. We always leave with lots of childrens clothes and kitchen items. Those carts can include furniture and appliances. I think it is a great way to recycle. I take my stuff in there too. I also took some magazines in to waiting rooms to leave for people to glance through after sorting through my pile of magazines and tearing out the few pictures of things I wanted to keep. That was a fun job to do in front of the fire with a hot cup of soup. I really enjoy the seasons. My seed catalogs are starting to drift in and I'm making plans for next years garden. I get out an haul some manure and straw to the new garden area whenever it's a bit warm.
I had my truck serviced this week after I had a flat tire. I got a new tire and oil change the same day so I'm good to travel for awhile. I'm looking forward to my trip to California in early January for my grandsons wedding.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


My daughter and I have been talking about how nice woodstoves are in the wintertime. I have a fireplace but up until now it's just been a showpiece. I was afraid to light a fire in it. Yesterday I hired a chimney sweep and now. I'm cozy in my livingroom in front of the fire. Right now I'm using scrap wood from the scrap wood pile but when it warms up I will go out to the wash and trim some of the acacia's (cat's claw) It's like mesquite and makes a good fire. The shots below show my nice comfy chair I sit in and a shot of the mantle above the fireplace. I live in a mobile home and the living room is narrow but plenty big enough for me, it's just hard to get a picture of the whole fireplace.
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 30, 2007

Fast Foods

When you're cooking from scratch you don't think so much of Fast foods but there are many basics that can create your own version of fast food.
About once a week I cook a crock pot full of black beans. These are my favorites others may choose another basic bean. I cook a big pot of boiled potatoes and about 2 cups of brown rice. With these in the frig some very good meals are quick to fix. One boiled potato goes in the micro wave while you take a scoup or two of black beans and place them in a pot. Add half a can of Hatch chopped tomatoes with green chili's and heat. When the potato is hot quarter it and pour the beans over the potato, add a little grated cheese and green onion and whalla there is a great meal. I love black bean burritoes with shredded green cabbage, onion and grated cheese. I also make a mushroom gravy with green sauce that I put over my brown rice. Very fast if it's all in the frig. Take a scoup of cooked brown rice in a bowl, add gravy and into the micro wave. Yum. Fried rice, potato fritata, potato soup, egg drop soup, egg foo yung all can be made very quickly with your basices. I also steam slices of sweet potato and find that when I need a snack I just slide the skin off of a cold cooked slice I have a very healthy quick snack.
Another quick food is take a package of ramon noodles and put in a fry pan with cover with water. Add a 1# package of frozen mixed vegitables. and cook together. Filling and good for you.
Home made bisquits are so quick and easy to do. I make whole wheat bisquits in the toaster oven and love to dunk them in coffee or cocoa or even hot milk.
These are some of the fast foods I keep on hand and meals are easily put together with little mess.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Watermelons are in the gourd family and for some reason this watermelon plant grew melons in gourd shapes. I haven't opened any of these yet to see what the meat is like but I may save the seeds .

I picked a fresh watermelon this morning and am eating some with my breakfast. I'm thinking as it gets colder maybe I should pick them and store them in the garage before the frost ruins them. The vines have died back. I still have eggplants, green tomatoes, swiss chard, green beans and small cantaloupes in the garden. My brocolli and cabbage are just starting out and there are a few late sunflowers just starting to bloom. I've been getting a few figs and the trees are all doing well. Now, I'm starting to prepare the soil for next years garden and hope to have a much bigger garden. I want to plant more sunflowers and millet for the chickens. Any patches of bermuda grass that are coming up I'm going to nurture for pasture grazing for the chickens.

There was an old wisdom that if you had some land and planted nut trees you could pay property taxes with the cash crop. I can remember when I was younger I knew several people who had either fruit or nut trees and I was envious when they got their crops. I plant my trees with hope that they will provide well for me. I would like to get more pomegranates planted as currently they are selling for around $2.00 a piece in the markets. There is a home in Kingman that has maybe 100 pomegranate trees surrounding their property. I'm guessing that on a good year they get about 100 fruits from each mature tree @ $1.00 a fruit that's $10,000. That is pretty good tax money and pomegranates are not fragile like some fruits. They are good keepers.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 23, 2007

Leah, my grand daughter and her three with grandma Heidi, Kevin in the background. Too many shadows. The children had the small pumpkins they picked in their baskets which they carried around all day. Their mom said they were still carrying the pumpkins around when they got home.
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa
Yesterday we had a family day and gave thanks. It was pretty casual , we ate outdoors as the day was warm and welcoming. Heidi brought a turkey and I made mashed potato's and gravy plus an apple salad and cauliflower salad ( two different salads ) pickles and olives and celery sticks and steamed vegies.

Here is Neo, in the forfront, Amy and Dethin. Dethin, gave us a surprise when he practiced what he learned at school, calling 911. We were out feeding the horse when the sheriff drove in to our surprise. The sheriff had to search my house and get id because he was afraid we were hiding someone calling for help. Funny. He saw a lot of dirty dishes. The children really loved running here and there all over the property and through the house. Love having children in grandma's house, on grandma's little farm. We gathered eggs, picked watermelons and after dinner was over we made them a little worm farm to take home in a small ice chest. They picked the pumpkins they planted earlier this year and carried them around in baskets all day, full of imagination and fun.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 19, 2007

This is my brocolli in an old refrigerator growing with protection. I'm hoping to get another old refrigerator on Thursday. I harvested my baby worms this past week and they were about 1" long. They are now in with the adult worms and the vermi compost is planted with cabbage. Those plants will be transplanted when they are big enough and I will plant the vermi compost again.

We are still having very nice weather here. This week I took my great grand children and grand daughter to a wild life preserve that I had read about in the newspaper. I will say it was such a treat as they had moved from a scuzzy desert area and were now in this beautiful mountain area. Lots of room for the animals and it's clean and well planned. What an asset it is. I'm addicted. I could easily go there weekly to see the animals and the mountain area. It is 32 miles from Kingman in a little area called Valentine. There are many cats but there is one special tiger there that is like this beautiful huge kitty cat. It rolls over like it wants to have it's tummy rubbed. Monkey's, cats, (all kinds) wolves, ostriches, emus, deer, tortoises, llama's, coti mundi's , racoon's, and more all in this most beautiful setting where you can walk or take a safari tour through. With the tour adults are $21 and children are $16. Walking it is $15 for adults and $10 for children. Well worth it.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 5, 2007

Full view of the porch swing I purchased. I'm going to clean it up and paint it. I don't know where I'll hang it yet but come this Spring I hope to have it up.
Posted by Picasa
An old freezer that I'm using to grow lettuces. You can see the seedlings just coming up. I put rock rubble at the bottom, then straw and then dirt. I will be taking more pictures as they grow. Hope to have some nice salad greens.
Posted by Picasa
Saturday I went off to yard sales to pick up some more ice chests for my earthworms. People love to talk about raising earthworms. I got some good tips and so yesterday I harvested my red worms. I sorted out all the adult worms from the verma compost and left the eggs and babies in the verma compost. The adults went into new bedding of shredded paper and peatmoss. The babies were fed cornmeal and ground up chicken scratch. Then I planted in the verma compost. When the plants are ready for transplanting I think the babies will be ready to harvest and start in new bedding. I decided this is a good way to start my plants. This morning I put my euro worms in new bedding and a larger ice chest. They were packed in and most of the bedding was already digested. I will harvest the verma compost and eggs sometime after the 15th of the month. The verma compost that I harvested awhile back with all the eggs has quit a few babies in it. I put it in a larger bin too and then I planted in it as well. I really enjoy working with earthworms. I can hardly wait till I have lots of good soil to plant in.
I also picked up a great porch swing and a complete electric fence with charger at the yard sales. Lots of fun, meeting my neighbors and finding treasures.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Small Harvest

A small harvest for dinner from the garden. Some green beans planted way last Spring are just now starting to produce and eggplant. The tomatoes are putting on lots of tomatoes now and slowly ripening. I have a second crop of watermelons and a new crop of many cantaloupes. There's swiss chard under crates that is leafing out nicely after the chickens ate them to the ground. I'm off to yard sales and the swap meet to see if I can find some more ice chests for raising earthworms.
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 2, 2007

Purchased plants

Here are the plants I purchased at 50% off in Hendersen, Nevada. They look like a little tropical oasis and the chickens and peacocks love them. Nice tall palms.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Temple Bar

My grand daughter and I took a day trip yesterday to Hendersen, Nevada. We took a side trip to Temple Bar on the way, a 60 mile side trip but it was worth it. This is Lake Mead and we ate breakfast looking out on the water. It was a beautiful day. From my place to Las Vegas it is 89 miles. This is really not such a distance to have city shopping. I buy my moisturizing cream from Trader Joes. I know some people have issues with Trader Joes but this moisturizing cream is reasonably priced and made from many natural herbs. It seems to be the only thing that helps my skin on my feet when it starts to crack with the weather changes. I bought a years supply plus some eco friendly laundry soap and some shampoo and olive oil. We had lunch before leaving Hendersen in a huge mall at a Chevies. I had the most wonderful enchiladas I've ever eaten. They were artichoke and mushroom enchiladas with creamy green sauce. I hope I can make them something like that because they are wonderful. Walmart in Henderson had all their plants 50% off so needless to say I bought some trees. A Meyer lemon and meditarianian orange, two for $20 nice trees. I also got two large palms for $9 each. Love those trees.
We also visited the little town of Chloride with all it's old mining rustic charm. All in all we had a very nice day trip and she got a break from the great grands. They were all happy when we returned with a few treats.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ben and Sara, my grandson and his fiance, my soon to be grand daughter -in-law, hamming it up in my living room. We had a great visit and she's a wonderful down to earth girl. That's a bag of Dorritos in the chair beside them. We played cards on the back porch and had some great buffets in Laughlin, they scouted around the country and went bowling. Wedding is planned for January.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 26, 2007

This is the first harvest of the verma compost. It's been just about a month of the worms working on the shredded junk mail, garbage and peat moss that has produced this beautiful black stuff. It is full of eggs so I am letting it sit for another month before I harvest again. I'll start new beds for the baby worms and then use the compost in plantings. If all these eggs hatch I should soon have many, many worms working for me. These were the euro worms . I still have a bin of the red worms to harvest. I will be looking for more old ice chests for homes as these are insulated and work well. In the egg bed I have added ground up chicken scratch and cornmeal to feed the babies . This is quit a large ice chest full of the harvested verma compost. Great project for good soil.
Posted by Picasa
These little guys are the ones who make the wonderful verma compost.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Worm Guy

I got my earthworms today and found this video about worm farming.

Friday, August 31, 2007

This is Purslane, a weed. I knew it was an edible weed and the bathtub behind where I usually grow my salad greens is full of it. I have been feeding it to the chickens. Yesterday on one of my groups someone posted an article from Men's health magazine called 10 foods you're probably not eating but should. One of the foods was Purslane, this weed. The article said, " Purslane has the highest amount of Omega - 3 fats of any edible plant. It also has 10 - 20 times more melatonin an anti- oxidant that inhibits cancer growth. " The lights went on, I realized I couldn't grow salad greens in the heat but here nature was providing me with the perfect salad right in the hottest months. My chickens are probably laying low cholesterol eggs because I have been adding this to their diet.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wagon load of watermelons. I had a hard time picking up the big guy. Now I have to figure out how I'm going to fit it into the frig. I've decided to keep this one to save the seeds for next year. It must be 30 or more pounds. I also found a split one that the chickens got. The smaller ones I'm going to share with the neighbors as I have all ready saved seed from this variety. It seems like watermelon, squash and any of the guord family like pumpkins, cantaloupes do well here. My swiss chard has done fairly well and okra does good. I didn't plant enough tomatoes so that will be a much bigger project next year as they appear to do well but the few chickens I have loose are helping themselves faster than I can pick. While doing some chores in the garden I got to thinking I might just sow some broccoli seeds in among the watermelon plants and see if the shading from the plants will help the broccoli grow.
It's starting to look like Luchia's eggs are not fertile as they should have hatched. I looked back over the blog and it was July 29th when the 4th egg was laid. She began setting 2 days later. Gestation time is 23 days. Sigh. Poor Luchia, she's been so faithful for no reward. Perhaps the boys are too young or just respect their mother too much to engage in fertilzing eggs. I guess if I want to be a producer of peacocks I'm going to have to bring in new blood.
It's 8:30 in the morning and I came in my head wet with sweat after working a couple hours weeding and in general little farm chores. It's been a long hot summer.
Nice page for a desert garden.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dervaes videos

I'm posting a number of videos that I find inspiring and helpful in pursuing the simple life and becoming self - sufficient. The following series is of the Dervaes family in Pasadina, California. On their city lot of 1/5th acre they are doing a lot to be self-sufficient or not to burden the earth with their existence. They are creating a life that is close to the earth right in the middle of the city. They have a wonderful web page called PathtoFreedom at

They call it a journey, starting with little things they accomplish until it has become something quit significant in accomplishment. I love this series of tapes and hope you do to. They are in the following blogs.

Healthy Living - Episode 1 / Part 1

Healthy Living - Episode 1 / Part 2

Healthy Living - Episode 2 / Part 2

Healthy Living - Episode 2 / Part 3

If you go to the Pathtofreedom web page and look in the photo gallery you can see how the garden progressed. Yearly photo's. Wonderful photos.

Monday, August 27, 2007

This site has a lot about projects that are sustainable and making methane gas. I enjoyed looking through it.

Biodigestor Construccion, Methane Biogas Digester (Part 1)

Here are two video's part 1 and part 2 that show how to make a simple biodigestor for methane gas. It is low tech and inexpensive although labor intensive. It can provide cooking fuel if you have manure from animals. English version can be had by going to website on the beginning of the video.

Biodigestor Construccion, Methane Biogas Digester (Part 2)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This is a huge watermelon. I still haven't picked it because I think I'm going to have to put it on ice and have a party. I'm feeling like they way everything looks it's got to be picked.
I sold at the Farmers Market today for the first time in my life. Here they have what they call a bumper crop booth, so besides the regulars who try to grow something to sell on a weekly basis they have a booth where locals can bring in their bumper crops and sell ocassionally.
I took in some watermelons and they sold quickly. I then had money to buy some other locally grown produce like yard long beans, english cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, chilies and grape tomatoes. It was fun talking to all of the other gardeners and I learned what to grow if I'm thinking about selling in the future. I'm so excited, my first Farmers Market.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Permaculture Farm Finca Luna Bocas del Toro Panama

Here is a video that has the life of a young couple living in Panama doing the permaculture lifestyle. It's a little long but it seems to me they have a beautiful life.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

This is the garden as it is this week. The tire's are new plantings and further back I have a row o f zuccini coming up. The zuccini all ready planted and producing is slowing down so I'm starting to clean some of them out and I'm replacing those plantings with nitrogen fixing plants like beans and clover. I've got some bermuda grass growing at the edge and I cut it and feed the green grass to the chickens and the mustang and burro. I'm also cleaning out the corn and giving it to the animals as fodder. I gave my grandson a watermelon when he came over to help me work on the goathead weeds this morning. I picked my second watermelon yesterday and it's now cold in the frig. That makes 3 I've picked. Got many more getting ripe. I'm saving seed from some of the best ones.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Luchia, on her nest in the squash plant. If she has chicks in the eggs the hatching should be soon.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I just picked my first watermelon. Here is 3/4 of it. Shared the other 1/4 th with a friend. It was good, sweet and juicy. I have 20 more at least out in the garden and more coming on. They are about $5.00 + at the store. I did a little research to find out how to tell if they are ripe. People say thump them but my daughter picked one a week or so ago after thumping it and it wasn't ripe. What I read on the internet was if the skin turns dull, the little curly things by the stem turn brown and the skin resists your thumbnail pressure, these are all signs of them ripening. Also if they turn yellow where they sit on the ground. This one split open so I knew it was ready. Got right on it. From now on I'll have to keep a close eye on them.
Posted by Picasa