Thursday, April 12, 2012

Garden Time!

We have been so busy this spring, that I had almost given up on a garden.  Oh, the disappointment at the thought of not having yummy, organic tomato sandwiches made with my homemade bread this summer!  The thought of going another whole year avoiding recipes with bell peppers wasn't too appealing either.  I just hate going to the store and spending so much on one bell pepper that has been sprayed with who knows what!  Well, at the last minute, on a whim, my husband came home and planted a garden!!!  There was NO planning to it whatsover, so we don't know if anything will grow, or, if anything does grow, if it will survive the deer, wild hogs, rabbits, and any other wildlife out here!  I didn't even know he was planting it!  We also thought it might be too late.  Can you tell we don't have a clue about gardening, LOL!?  I've heard people say plant after the last frost in April (That's always sounded crazy to me.  How do you know it's going to be the last frost, lol? :)).  Well, with our crazy weather this year, we figured we were okay since the chances for frost seemed to be over.  The temperatures had been in the 80's to 90 .  But, would you believe it?  Many counties around us in Georgia had frost warnings last night?  I don't think we had frost here, or if we did, it was very light.  With all that being said, I guess the timing on the planting wasn't too bad.  We had also planned to put up a game fence to ward off all the critters before planting a garden, but I guess we will have to work on that as time and money allow!  He did plant my tomatoes and bell peppers close the house, not in the garden, using my organic potting mix and fertilizer, so I know I will have beautiful, yummy, healthy peppers and tomatoes!  Oh, just think if the garden does grow!  We will have our own pork, eggs, and vegetables!   Now, I want to rush out and buy some herbs to grow and meat chickens to raise and stock my freezer!  ( I actually spent a lot of time this evening reading about meat chickens!)  Hopefully, next year, our pasture will be ready for cows and goats!  I can't imagine having organic meat and vegetables all year!  I wonder if I can figure out how to get the milk to my table without making anyone sick and if I can figure out how to make butter with it?  Oh, the possibilities!  I get so excited just thinking about it!  I can get used to this kind of living!  I guess the years I spent as a Girl Scout "ruined" me! ;)

Today, Bill got to stay home.  He has been outside cutting grass all day.  We had some lawn mower troubles, so the grass had gotten taller than he likes.  Even with a bagger, the grass made a huge mess on the lawn and drive way.  My heart swelled with love and happiness as I watched my little boy helping his daddy tidy things up.

Jake loaded up the back of his Gator with grass scraps, and Bill
showed him where to dump it.

After working on the lawn, the two of them headed up to the garden to measure for a garden hose.  I had to run back outside with my camera!  Such sweet, precious, fleeting moments have to be captured!

While the "boys" were outside, I was inside cooking collards to go with the grilled BBQ leg quarters, yellow rice, and baked beans.  This is my daughter's favorite meal.  My husband makes the best BBQ chicken!  I can't tell you how to make it, because I'm clueless when it comes to grilling!  All I know is that he doesn't cook it right over the coals.  He uses indirect heat.  I can tell you how to make the collards!  I had them at our family Christmas dinner, and I thought people were going to make themselves sick from eating so many!  No one could believe I didn't use any fat in them; I never do!

To make the best collards we've ever eaten, I buy (hopefully, I will never have say buy again!) one large bunch of collards (I learned my lesson with the pre-cut, washed, and bagged collards.  Please don't go that route!).  I wash each leaf and remove the whole stem.  The stems are tough and make the collards bitter.  After the stems are removed, I cut the leaves into one-two inch pieces.  I place the collards into a large stock pot half full of warm water. The warm water helps wilt the leaves just enough so that all the collards fit into the pot.  Then I fill the pot with water until the water covers the collards or until the water reaches about one inch from the top of the pot.  The collards are placed on the stove and brought to a boil.  When the collards have reached a boil, I stir in one-two heaping tablespoons of Better Than Bullion Beef Paste (You can find it in the store right beside bullion cubes.  It has no msg and tastes so much better!).  I try to get away with one and a half due to sodium.  Then I lower the heat so that the collards are at a slow boil.  I usually let mine cook for about 4-5 hours.  Keep a watch on the water.  More can be added if needed.  All that is needed then is a good, homemade pepper sauce and cornbread!  Mmmm...mmm...mmm!

I found this quote on today on a free issue of their e-magazine.  It pretty much sums up my new lease on life.  I'm not there, but I am on my way! 

Simple does not mean easy because the “simple life” is

hard work. You have the “simple life” when the majority

of your time and energy is put towards the basic needs of

life, which are food, shelter, and clothing

Until next time, blessings!


  1. I love hearing about your life on the farm! I bet you have lots of yummy tomamtoes... be sure to can some!
    Now, save me a big bowl of collards & a hunk of cornbread... I can be there in 6 hours! Lol!!

  2. You bet, Blessed Mama! Come on! :) Thank you for sweet words!