Monday, July 15, 2013

First Watermelon

This weekend we found our first two watermelons on the vine.  They were both hiding under a few weeds we cleared out.  Both are around five inches in length, so we have a little while before harvest.  It felt amazing to find our first tasty little treats hiding.  Hopefully we will have a few more producing this week.  We finally got a couple of little rain showers so maybe that will help with growth.  We have rain all around us and the little melons would love another drink.

We have newspaper ready to place underneath them to soak up extra moisture and prevent rotting.  As of now, it does not look like we will have enough moisture to need them in the near future.  The tiny little showers are soaked up in the dry ground very fast and a little movement is all they need so far.  Every few days we will turn them a little to prevent on side from flattening. I like nicely rounded melons. How is your garden after the weekend?

Friday, July 12, 2013


Here are a few fireworks we set off for the fourth.  The little monster loved them.  We threw in a few sparklers at the end.  He had so much fun he talked his uncle into doing it again a few nights later.  This did not require much talking since my brother had already planned on the activity on a night he was off. 

My first time shooting fireworks.  The little guy loves the pictures so I have to share them. I need a little more practice, a few pieces of new equipment and more colorful fireworks.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dahlia - Garden Wonder

My first Dahlia, Garden Wonder, is finally blooming.  This is the bright red one the little monster picked out back in the spring.  Even with the lack of rain and temps souring to over 100 on most days, this little bloom looks amazing.  We also have three more set to bloom in the coming week.

The little one is amazed at the deep reds and the size of the blooms.  I will just let the pictures speak for the flower.  They are not the best at capturing the color since the sun has been relentless this week. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Canvas Art and Custom Wreath

It is almost time for fall so I am taking orders for custom tulle wreathes. Any colors, designs or themes.  We are making items for fall, a few for first birthdays, and few for a special little girls bedroom door.  Let me know if you would like one.  They range in price from $25.00 to $100.00 depending on size and items wanted for use.

We also have canvas art for sell on Etsy here.  If you do not like canvas then let me know and we will do a high quality print for you of the size you choose and a lot cheaper than the canvas.  The little monster hand picked each canvas print and will get all of the money to go towards his dino dig vacation next year! If you have any questions feel free to ask!

Serrano Pepper Recipes: Tamale/Taco Soup

Our peppers are growing non-stop!  They are almost ready for harvest and put into a nice fresh batch of dinner rolls with cheese.  We do a few different things with our peppers.  These are 3 to 4 times stronger than jalapenos.  We let a few peppers turn red before picking.  When they are ready we set them out to sun dry similar to sun dried tomatoes.  Once they are dry, I grab a chefs knife and start chopping.  This is a good way to test their dryness.  If they are not completely dry, then let them set a few more days.  Once they are dry you can chop them a little more for pepper flakes or crush them into a powder for chilli, tamale or taco soup, and to add a kick to BBQ meats.  My favorite is to add some in the water that  boil corn in.  Boil you water, add a little butter and your ground up peppers for a great side dish.

These peppers can be frozen or canned.  I use green peppers for both of these.  They will become the peppers I dice up for breads and add to peas for a little heat.  The juice from the canning jar can also be used to season other veggies.  My favorite by far is a bowl of tamale soup.  So here is the recipe in case you want to try it out. This makes a huge pot of soup.

4 tamales sliced to make a half in thick rounds with the meat still in the middle.
2 lbs of cooked beef or turkey meat
1 cup or 1 can of cream style corn
1 cup or 1 can of cooked black beans
1 cup or 1 can of cooked pinto beans
1/4 cup of floor for thickening the juice
1-2 cups of tomato sauce (if you really like tomatoes than use 2 cups)
2 cans of chicken broth
2 cans of beef broth
2 packages of taco seasoning
1-2 teaspoon f ground Serrano peppers
1/2 diced onion or add onion powder to taste
salt to taste
a dash or black pepper

Brown your meat while you get your broth boiling with the corn, beans and seasonings.  When the meat is brown add it to the boiling soup mix.  Cover and let simmer on low heat for one hour.  Stirring occasionally to make sure it does not burn on the bottom.  The last ten minutes is when you need to add the tamales other wise they will fall apart from over cooking.  Fill a bowl with a few fritos, add your soup and top off with a cheddar and jack mix of cheese.

If you just want a taco soup, then leave out the tamales.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mammoth Sunflower Planting

The little monster had a nice surprise for me yesterday.  I was ready to water our little garden right before dark and he made me close my eyes as soon as I came close.  Our first Mammoth Sunflower had opened it's bloom to show a bright yellow face. A few more are getting ready to do the same during this week.

We planted our seeds one inch deep once the night temps started to stay around 50. (winter sowed seeds did not grow as tall and are no where near producing a flower)  We spaced our seeds one foot apart.  They started to sprout within 3 days of the first planting and watering.  Once they grew a good six inches, we packed a little more soil and fertilizer around the base of the plants.  We did this again at two foot tall to help prevent to sturdy flowers from falling over.  They were also watered daily during times of no rain.

Our first bloomer is around six feet tall with a flower that is eight inches in diameter.  The yellow is very bright on the petals and even with the weight of the bloom the plant is not sagging or bending over at all.  These heavy feeders are doing great with a little bit of lime, magnesium, calcium and fish waste to make sure the soil keeps providing nutrients for the plants. We used this  mixture every third week since the soil was very rich to begin with.

First day open
 Third day open.

 Sunflowers after a few weeks of growing.