Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Garden Brew: a spray to ward off deer and rabbits

I've never tasted a hosta leaf, but they seem to be quite a treat for the deer in our area.  These hostas pictured above were recently "mowed down" by the doe and her twin fawns.  Sigh.  I know they will return next year (the hostas and the deer), but for the remaining hostas and other plants that the deer and rabbits feast upon, it's time to spray.  We brew our own "deer scram" which is very fragrant and spicy.
Dried chilies from last year's garden join garlic for a not-so-tasty brew.

The recipe:

4 peeled garlic cloves
3 dried chilies wrapped in gauze and tied with string
1 cup milk
3 eggs, beaten

1.  In a saucepan, add 2 cups of water, the garlic and the chilies.  Bring to a boil and cook mixture for 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the mixture set for another 5 minutes.  
2.  In a half gallon glass canning jar (I use Ball), add the milk and garlic/chili mixture.  Add ice cubes to cool the mixture.
3.  Once the mixture has cooled, add your beaten eggs.  Fill the container with water (leaving 1 inch head space) and screw lid on slightly.  The mixture will expand, so you don't want to jar to explode.
4.  Place the mixture in full sun for at least a day.  Our garden brew is sitting in our mini greenhouse in full sun.
5.  Place the mixture in a spray bottle.  Depending on the consistency of your mixture, you may need to dilute.  Spray your plants monthly and after it rains.

I hope your garden is growing well!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

At the fair

The curious snout of our cousin's show pig.
A gorgeous calf.

My first photo entry.  That's my petite chicken whisperer in the center--thank you to the Barefoot Crofter for your encouragement.

I love how our time was spent this week and all that we were able to experience.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sea of Vines

This evening I walked through the east part of our vegetable garden and was amazed that I could barely see the earth due to the sea of vines created by both the melon and squash plants. 

This sea was punctuated by an occasional tomato or pepper plant.  I set up some tomato cages, pulled some weeds and marveled at the height of the corn in my 3 Sisters mounds. 

This corn was barely shin high just one week prior and now it towered over my head.  For the first year, our garden was the effort of all members.  The littlest gardener loves to weed and water, the older children helped with planting and mulching (and tickling!) and my husband (mainly) and I did the design and the heavy work.  Our Purple Jasper tomatoes are ripening and I was able to pick a few tonight, along with very large cucumbers that I swear were not in the garden yesterday!
One of my daughters used her butterfly net to gather the Mexican Sour Gherkins.  If you haven't tried these petite members of the cucumber family, you must--they are easy to grow and taste as if they were pickled on the vine.
I hope you're enjoying the harvest in your garden!