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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Story and the garden

All of my life I've lived in upstate N.Y. till I met my fiance and moved to S.D.  Talk about a change!  I went from hills with trees to flat ground with corn and soy as far as the eye can see.  Did I mention there's not many jobs out here?  OK I should rephrase theres not many jobs for someone with my skills.  I grew up and worked on the same farm for the past 27 years.  I do have 2 college degrees an associates in liberal arts, and a BS in English.  The primary jobs I've seen in the paper here are concrete worker and nurse.  Now if it was a cow nurse I'd be all set unfortunately it's not.  So I have a lot of time on my hands while looking for a job!

Most days involve cooking and cleaning.  I like the first hate the second but seriously who likes cleaning?  My fiance who lived here when I met him has 2 jobs.  No, he doesn't have any college degrees.  He just seems to be good at whatever he does.  Yes, I do wish I had the skills he does but I don't so here I am looking for a job on the computer and it seems my only option is Subway.  Has anyone ever worked there? 

My fiance pays most of the bills but I have student loans I need to pay back so I'm sure your wondering what I'm doing for income right now.  Basically I've been doing as many surveys as I can.  What a living at home with surveys is it possible?  Well so far I haven't made myself a millionaire. 

The trick is to be as thrifty as I can and try to help cut the fiances bills too.  So he doesn't decide I'm dead weight and kick me to the curb.  I have put a huge garden in to help with the cost of food.  Since I came late in the year a lot of the plants I've always started in the house would not have made it to harvest had I tried my regular methods.  So I bought a bunch at the local nursery.  It was rather nice to put peppers, tomato's, and squash in the garden with buds already on them.  I figure if I'm going to go through the effort of a garden I'm going to have a big one!  I want to be able to can up a lot of food for this winter.  It will cut the cost of veggies and hey I actually know where these came from.  The seeds I planted in the garden (ones with a shorter time to harvest) were my valentines day present from my fiance.  I figured for 50 dollars I could either have pretty flowers for a week or a winters worth of food.  Yes ladies, I like flowers too but I like  food way more! 

So my garden doesn't have anything fancy.  I have several rows of beans and peas.  Why so many?  Mostly because it's something easy to can or freeze plus we both like them.  I wont can the peas they'd just be mush.  So the plan is to freeze them and can the beans!  I planted several short rows of corn and am hoping for good pollination with it.  Whenever you plant corn go for short rows from what I've heard its the best way to get your corn pollinated.  Without pollination no corn.  Yes, readers I will let you know if my garden was a flop or not!  I also have a lot of onions planted.  Why?  Onions will last a long time if properly stored and they are awesome in cooking.  Plus a bag of 100 starter onions you can usually get for less then 2 bucks!  Plant them shallowly for bigger onions as I understand it they will grow bigger because they dont have to fight the dirt to expand.  Not sure if its the real reason but I seem to have better luck planting them shallow. 

I planted a ton of winter squash, no it's not my favorite or his either but it stores well and I'm sure with all the online sources I can find at least a couple recipes I like.  I also have about 3 hills of zucchini and yellow squash.  Again, I know some of you are asking why?  Well because of all the good things you can make with squash.  I know most of you are just thinking bread?  I have a great  recipe for brownies with zucchini and found one for cheese fried zucchini I plan on trying.  If you want the recipe comment I will gladly email them to you. 

We also have a bunch of potato's planted out there.  No I didn't buy the seed potato's they sell in the store.  You can if you want but i figure if i just cut the potato's that have started to sprout and save them in a baggy in the fridge I can plant them in the garden.  I have several hills of potato's and am thinking I will plant some more in barrels.  Why barrels well because I hate digging potato's and I'm thinking if I find a dark barrel I can just flip the thing over dump it on the lawn and no digging or stabbing any of the potato's!  Why a dark barrel?  If light gets to your potato's it causes the skin to turn green and are not great for eating.  Why because a reaction with the sun causes the production of toxin which can make you ill.  I found this post if your interested in it.  http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=5658.  Below you will see a picture of the potato tops I've saved for my barrel project.

I also have broccoli and cauliflower this is my first year attempting it.  I know I have to tie the leaves shut to keep the head white any pointers on cauliflower would be awesome! 

We have tons of okra and carrots planted,  Why Okra?  I planted several rows because my fiance likes it pickled and the pickled stuff at the store is spendy.  So I'm hoping to save him money and make him happy all in one!  We shall see I may regret it when I have an epic failure with my pickling this fall!

Well now that I've wrote a short novel I'm actually going to work on some surveys and I will let you know if I make any money today! Thanks for reading please comment!

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