Journey updates

Well, I think that was a bust. I have been feeding/discarding my sourdough since Monday and I honestly think I killed it last night. I fed it yesterday morning and it was proofing wonderfully. Came back to it last night and it had split and started to fold in on itself.

I did try to use a couple tablespoons of it last night with a new feeding but it doesn’t appear to have done anything this morning when I checked on it before going to work.

Sourdough may not be something that I will be able to master, which I guess is okay as I am the only one in my family that really likes it.

Maybe I’m just meant to stay with the very traditional methods of baking bread and pasta.

I will let you know if this last effort for sourdough works out

Ventures into Sourdough

Good afternoon from beautiful Southern Utah. It has been a rainy and cold couple of days here.

I am about to start on a new, and hopefully, enjoyable venture into sourdough. I have never done sourdough at all, other than buying it already made from the grocery store, which I’ve come to understand isn’t really sourdough at all.

I have done some extensive research and watched many youtube videos on how to go about this venture.

If anyone has any tips or tricks that you have learned or any experience you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment.

Let the journey begin!!

Egg production and Garden Update

So, as of the last time I posted, I had one wee little egg! Currently, I have two hens that are laying and I now have a full dozen beautiful eggs, blue and brown ones. The blue ones are from my little Easter Egger, Cleo (Cleopatra) and the brown ones are from my Australorp, Hawk Eye.

I am still waiting for my Mystique, Dot and Nikki to lay. I am curious as to what color their eggs are going to be. I do know that my Nikki, being a Lakenvelder, will lay white/off-white colored eggs but the other two I am not so sure about. I’m not even sure of their breeds to be able to look them up to see what color their eggs will be.

Oh well! Only time will tell on that!

Now, for the garden update. I have tomatoes! I’m not sure how big or red they will get, as of right now they are about the size of very small pebbles. I also have about a dozen cucamelon! These I am very excited about and hope they get big enough to be able to harvest them. I also have about 5 or so golden midget melon, one is fairly decent in size, about that of a baseball, and the rest are quite small. Again, I’m hoping they get big enough to make a decent harvest.

I have been able to make a small harvest, a couple times, of my radishes, although the Black Spanish Radish hasn’t rooted at all. I have also had a small harvest of my Royal Burgundy Bush Beans.

Yeah! Go Garden!

It’s a wee little egg!

My boyfriend and I went for a drive yesterday. We were gone all day and when we got home, I went out to lock up the coop and, just for the heck of it, checked to see if we happened to have any eggs yet. My chicken pullets are around 24 weeks, all but one anyway. Yay! We had one little light blue/green colored egg. Not sure which of my pullets have laid it. I’m thinking it was my little easter egger, as she is one of two that are doing the submissive squat that is an indicator they are ready to start laying.

We are also getting luffas, squash, radishes and a couple (hopefully) midget melon! I am hoping that there will be more than that before the first frost comes, which is predicted to be the middle of November. I’m hoping that my cucamelons will also produce something before the first frost.

We have a lot of tomato blossoms but so far no tomatoes. The beets have produced leaves but haven’t rooted yet. Cauliflower hasn’t done anything and the cucumbers grew to about 2 inches and stopped. My pumpkin has been producing a lot of male flowers but I have yet to see any female flowers, so I don’t think we will be getting any pumpkin this year either.

So, that is what we have going on so far! Happy growing and here’s to more wee little eggs!

Garden Galore?

Oh, Wow! It has been a while since I posted last. I thought I’d take a moment to give you a quick update on the garden progress.

We have fruit! If my count is correct, I have about 20 yellow squash that, hopefully, will be ready to harvest in the next month or so. There is also about 15 zucchini squash. I also have several blossoms on the different tomato plants that I have planted. I am really excited about the 100 sweet hybrid tomatoes that are blooming.

I am hoping the luffa produces, at least a couple of fruit. I would like to have the cucamelon produces something but I am afraid that it is too small for that. There is still about a month and a half before the predicted first frost of the season so there is still some hope.

What I am most excited about is the Golden Midget Melons that I have growing! They aren’t very big, biggest is about 1/4 inch, if that. There are two of them so far and I am so hoping that they will get big enough to harvest!

Yesterday I harvested a couple of small radishes! They weren’t very big but they had a delicious radish flavor! The Swiss Chard is also doing wonderfully well, if the bugs would leave them alone.

Now, if only the chickens would start laying, if would be in heaven. They are between 20-25 weeks so they should be laying soon.

Well, here’s to hoping the garden and chicken start producing before to long!

Something weird!

Have you ever tried freeze dried grapes? No? Me, either until this morning when they came out of the dryer. I had bought some grapes and blueberries to take up to my daughter’s house when we went up there to help with getting her chicken coop ready. Needless to say, I had some left over so my boyfriend decided he was going to to anther round of freeze drying.

He did a tray that was a mix of blueberries and grapes, two trays of strawberries (yum), and a partial tray of a pumpkin cake that was left (didn’t dry well). These all came out of the dryer this morning around 7 o’clock.

Let me tell you, fresh grapes are a wonderful snack and quite yummy. Freeze dried ones, not so much. They have this weird texture and they loose their grape taste. I don’t think they are something that is going to be a regular item that gets dried.

Oh well, worth a shot!

Freeze Dried Ice Cream and a Quick Garden Update

If any of you have been following my posts, you are aware of my recent purchase of a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer. I think, eventually, it will become aware of how valuable this is going to be, but right now I am still in the early stages of learning what this thing is capable of.

I am also still learning what can and can’t be freeze dried. I’m coming to understand that most things are going to be able to be processed in the freeze dryer. I am also coming to understand that there are some things, especially sugary things, that don’t do so very well.

That being said, ice cream is one of the few sugary items that freeze dries very well, particularly ice cream sandwiches. They are a combination of crunchy cookie on the outside and a semi-crunchy, styrafoam textured center, which melts when it is sucked on.

I guess it is something that you either like or you don’t. Doesn’t seem to be much of an in-between stage of these. I’m also coming to the realization that that is the case with most freeze dried items. I’m finding out that there is a lot of things that I really like, both fresh and freeze dried, that my boyfriend only likes fresh.

Now for a garden update!

I have 6 19ft long garden beds that my boyfriend was good enough to till in the backyard, which allows me to try many different fruits/vegetables that I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.

I have quite a few different seedlings that have sprouted. I have also bought a couple tomato plants and some herbs that I have planted.

According to the packaging of the seeds, and according to the first frost date of my area, everything but the crimson sweet watermelon should produce something.

There is only a couple of things that I am really hoping produces at least a couple fruit so that I can try them out to see if they are something that I would want to plant again. I guess we’ll see what the next couple of months brings.

Happy Gardening!

What an Adventure!

Well, a lot has happened since I last wrote. I was able to rehome the 3 roosters that I was unable to keep due to city ordinances. Luckily a lady contacted me about taking them to her farm just north of us, so they were all able to stay together.

I am also continuing to learn more about how and what can be freeze dried. Now let me tell you, this has been quite the learning experience! First thing I learned, chocolate does NOT freeze dry. It MELTS into a big sticky mess. Second, put strong flavored items on the TOP rung of the machine, not the bottom. Pickled flavored strawberries are not a good thing. Third, make sure the oil in the pump is clean. It will not form a good vacuum otherwise.

I think we have finally figured out, for the most part, how this confounded machine works and have had a couple successful freezes. SKITTLES are the BOMB!

So, Keep learning!