Thursday, September 15, 2011

Finally Rain and it goes on and on ...

I have realized the weather in these parts is rather extreme.   The heat is unrelenting and the humidity makes you feel as if you have taken a shower as you become dripping wet from a casual walk down the drive.   Today is no different with extreme conditions, except we finally have a good rain - not just a sprinkle but steady heavy unstoppable moisture falling from the sky all day long. ..oh, and the wind here is downright scary!  But what is funny ... when you live by or on a lake you notice different aspects of nature.  We keep reassuring ourselves that all this rain will bring the water level up to where it should be ... right, now that makes all this rain good.
See all those raindrops
The peas we planted last week are getting a very good drink and some of them have sprouted.  I planted more radish and spinach just yesterday and also harvested some green beans, Cherokee trail of tears and THE birdseed!   
First pea sprouts after a week
My greatest garden achievement this week has been canning beets.   I love beets!  I think beets are one of those foods that you either love or hate since I am the only family member who enjoys them so much...everyone else hates them.   I was able to pickle and can up some and I know I will totally enjoy them this winter (all by myself!)
 Pickled Beets
3 quarts beets (about 24 small)
2 cups sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups vinegar
1 1 /2 cups water
Wash beets, drain.  Cook beets and peel.  Combine all ingredients except beets in a sauce pot.  Bring mixture to boil; reduce heat.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Remove cinnamon sticks.  Pack beets into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Ladle hot liquid over beets; remove air bubbles.  Process pints and quarts 30 minutes in a boiling water canner.
Recipe from Ball Blue Book of preserving

Another accomplishment this week was setting up another Facebook page, we have one for Growing Phases Farm, but this other one will help me track Giveaways.   I have decided to give some serious time to entering giveaways since my sister, the Queen of Winning Giveaways, has won some fantastic prizes like a CAR and a trip to Vegas...for real!   So I do believe time will be well spent entering ... she is proof positive.   The Facebook page is Gathering Place for Giveaways and I will post some good ones as I come across them.  The page is open to those who are hosting a Giveaway of their own and I am sure I will have one or two in the future also.   Join me there and spread the Luck!

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