Friday, December 31, 2010


Living in the country with lots of extra space means that the girls could have a garden this year. Unfortunately it was a rather unsuccessful garden ... Rob learned that no-till does not work for gardens ... just for the record, I did not want the no-till garden, but I didn't have a rototiller (or likely the ability to use one) to change his plan. No-till especially doesn't work when you're trying to establish a new garden where the soil has not yet been properly fertilized and had compost added for years on end.

Ok, it's Rob hijacking the blog here for a slight clarification. Let the reader know that my beautiful and lovely wife does have at least one short coming (oh, make that two: just look at who she married). From the get-go, she doomed my ingenuity, and therefore fails (that is a present tense verb with a historic as well as a perpetual future nuance! [oh, and if it was her writing, it would be nuance!!!!!! :) ] ) to take into her scientific account other factors which could tarnish our green thumb. The fact that some things grew well in some parts of the garden and not others cannot be attributed to no-till. Nor the fact that somethings never came up, since they were seeds from when we were still on the farm (HELLO! That would be 6 years ago....... seeds from last year are not recommended, let alone 6 years). An obvious factor she fails to concede to is that anything planted in the vicinity of the tree was ipso facto doomed for two reasons: trees hog water, and pine needles leave the soil too acidic. The fact the our dog pulled out bean and corn plants cannot, of course, be attributed to the method of planting. In another post you can read of the abundance of Zucchini which came from our garden, which were, you guessed it, NO-TILL planted! She also failed to mention the success of weed control with my clever design. But if one leaves that part of gardening solely to the hubby, one would not be conscious of this conquest, would she? (I guess that makes three short comings). That's my rant. I have vented. Hopefully my argumentation makes sense to someone with normal logic :) Over and out. rv

Ah man ... do we have to air these issues online. Let me review here again. While SOME of those seeds were old ones ... and hence I told the girls to go ahead and plant them because otherwise they would be thrown out anyways ... we did indeed purchase NEW seeds and those NEW seeds did not come up, but it was OLD zucchini and pumpkin seeds that did. Let me also point out that the zucchini and pumpkin seeds did not produce well considering how many seeds were planted and how many plants actually came up ... but you only need a couple plants with these fruits to have an over abundant produce. Let me also point out that some item planted in the garden were not seeds but transplanted tomatoes and peppers, which did not do well at all. And when it comes to the beans ... yes indeed that annoying dog did destroy a good amount of the ones that did come up ... that would mean of the 8 plants that actually grew after planting 30+ seeds, the dog destroyed 5 (oh and just to clarify here, those bean seeds were new seeds ... as were the corn seeds, that also did not come up the greatest, altho better then the beans) . As for weed control ... the weeds were not completely controlled, just limited somewhat. If they did grow they weren't so obvious because there was dead grass everywhere anyways ... and the ones that did come up I left to him since it's rather difficult to pull weeds out of grass roots and so I wanted him to see that really, all in all, a rototilled garden would have been much more effective. As you can see ... we are not so much in agreement on this subject :) sv

So anyways, the girls planted a variety of seeds, but in the end each of them only had one of their items take off ... and take off they did, so even if the other items came up the zucchini and pumpkins would have killed them off. We had tons of zucchini and pumpkin and the kids did try to sell them, altho not with much luck. Rebecca is more shy and less energetic about talking to and meeting people, so she didn't put a huge effort into selling her pumpkins ... much to Marietta's disgust. And so we had lots of pumpkins to work with.

The first thing we did with the the pumpkins was carve some of them. While we do not partake in Halloween and the activities of Halloween but celebrate Reformation Day on October 31 we do like carving pumpkins and seeing them glow in the dark. If they were ready earlier we would gladly do it in the summer. Now, these were ready in September but because Rebecca wanted to try sell them we did not carve them earlier ... never mind that it was rather busy.

So we finally found time one day to carve pumpkins. Matthew got right in there and quite enjoyed himself.

While we like carved pumpkins the other reason pumpkins are liked in our house is for the roasted pumpkin seeds. We had a great variety of pumpkins this year as the seeds came out and seperated from the pulp very easily.

Helping Matthew and Rebecca carve their pumpkins

Marietta is our creative child (when she's in the mood) who loves to do something beyond the norm. So we went searching online and found a pattern she could use for carving her pumpkin. She wanted to do it all on her own, but did end up needing a bit of help from mom
First we "marked" the pattern on the pumpkin

Then she went ahead and started carving. She did most of it on her own, but did need some assistance here and there for some of the more difficult curves.

Her finished product:

All three pumpkins

While I don't like the pumpkin seeds Rob and the girls do, and they were quickly inhaled. We had many more pumpkins so I decided this year to attempt to make pumpkin puree for in the freezer since it is a good low-fructose fruit and seeing as our fruit and veggie intake is limited due to our fructose diet I figured it would be best to stock up and work out ways to put this in various foods. And stock up I did (I think it was over 30 containers with 2 cups puree in each, but I can't even remember ... I just remember having a hard time trying to find space in the freezer) ... next year I can just stick to doing 4 or 5 pumpkins ... and I won't start near the end of the day for it took much longer then I expected. Our freezer is overflowing with pumpkin puree and I'm slowing finding different ways to use it.

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