Tag Archives: corn

Yippee it’s Burpee time!

Y’all know what time it is?  Yes, it’s still winter, but …… this is the time to start thinking about starting those seeds for planting this spring.  The hubs and I have started taking inventory of which seeds we need to replenish, making plans on what we are and aren’t going to grow this year, how and when we are going to plant, well, you know, all that good stuff.

This is what we bought last year.  We tried a few new items last year and quickly learned they do not do well in our soil.  So, we are marking off Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower and Broccoli.  We are also marking off Sweet Banana Peppers and replacing them with Pepperoncini and Jalapeno; they seem to sell better at the Farmers Market.

http://www.burpee.com

burpee

And here is a comprehensive, well maybe not comprehensive, but a list, of what we will be adding to our other list.  Notice some things have been marked out; that’s because we already have these seeds on hand so no need to buy more.

mylist

I would like to companion plant this year but the hubs thinks it’s too much trouble.  What do y’all think?  Should we?  If you think yes then please help me convince him by leaving a comment and I’ll make sure and read it to him!  Thanks Y’all.

Also, if you have any questions about seeds or gardening just ask.  We will be glad to answer your questions to the best of our knowledge.

Okay, now get out and get to planning and get ready for planting!

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God Bless,

Dana


Roots- A Brief History Lesson on Southern Cuisine

I’m kind of a nerd. I start thinking about things and wonder how they started, where they came from, who made it, why, why is it called what it is– and then I study. Not because I have a project due or a deadline, but because I’m a curious person that likes to learn.

A couple of years ago someone asked me what my favorite kind of food was. I jokingly responded, “The kind you eat.” The thing is, I’m not a picky eater by any stretch of the imagination. I’m very adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. After I giggled at my smart aleck remark, I answered seriously with, “home-style southern food”. If you put a five-star restaurant plate with something exotic and beautiful next to a plate with collard greens ‘n ham hocks, fried fat back, corn bread, and black-eyed peas, then told me to pick a plate–I’d go for the latter.

Sweet Tea- SouthernGalsCook.com

Click for recipe

I got to wondering about why Southern cooking is different from other places in the country and where our southern food traditions come from. So, being the nerd I am, I got to reading up on a little Southern Cuisine history.

As I figured, influences stemmed from the multicultural population, crops, livestock, wild game, and necessity. After all, necessity is the mother of invention. Is it not?

The influential multicultural groups included African, English, Scottish, Irish, and Native American, just to name a few.  Not only did their style of cooking form our roots of southern cuisine, but also the ingredients that they brought with them from their native homes largely affected the culinary style we know today. The BIGGEST influences of Southern food, in my opinion, were the Africans. I’ll get more into this in a minute.

Because the growing season weather is hot and humid, and because most of the dirt in the south is clay, some crops thrived in the south while others had to be imported from surrounding regions.

Southern Cornbread

Click for the recipe

Now, the part that I found to be the most interesting was the huge influences that the slaves had on the foods that I love so much. One of the things that I read told how the slave owners would give the slaves the parts of the butchered pigs that they found inedible, such as pig ears, pig’s feet, ham hocks, etc. The Africans would use those piggie parts to season their cooking. That is why, still to this day, we cook down a mess of greens with a pork product. They also breaded some vegetables and fish in cornmeal, such as squash, okra, and catfish, then deep-fried them in pork grease. {Yum!} They introduced okra, black-eyed peas, and many other things to the Southern table.

Roots- A Brief History Lesson on Southern Cuisine

Greens- A Southern Staple

Barbecue is a Southern tradition that can be traced to our Native American ancestors. Barbecue varies in every region and every region “has the best and only way to eat bbq!” HAHA! I’m not kidding! People get crazy competitive {and snobby!} with it! Everything from the wood used to smoke it, the sauce to baste it, the rub to massage it, and the way to cut it is up for debate! Don’t even get me started on the different sauces!

Our love of pies and cobblers go back to our European ancestors that showed us amazing things that can be done with flour, butter, sugar, eggs, fruit, and imported vanilla and cocoa.

Peach Cobbler- SouthernGalsCook.com

Click for the recipe

I enjoy knowing my Southern heritage. I like knowing why we do the things we do. I love being Southern. I’ve enjoyed sharing with you. And, as the southern comedienne, Minnie Pearl, would say “I’m just so proud to be here”.

Garden Planning 101

Proverbs 31:16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. Garden Planning 101- SouthernGalsCook.com

This weekend, South Central Kentucky was beautiful! With the threat of a late frost behind us {hopefully}, we took advantage of the 75 degree weather and planted our garden.

I LOVE to garden and am always eager to teach others what I have learned in my short time as a gardener.

Over the last few years I have made it a goal to learn and apply something new each season. This garden season, I wanted to learn as much as I could about companion planting. I want my family’s food to be chemical free so I want to do everything I can to prevent pests and diseases as naturally as possible. With the knowledge that I acquired over the winter, I set about planning out my garden.

Here are a few tips!

1- Decide what you would like to grow. After reviewing last year’s gardening notes, my husband and I decided that we definitely wanted to grow more this year. Not only did we want to grow more corn than last year, but we also wanted to grow other veggies that we didn’t before. I also knew that I wanted to companion plant by incorporating pest-deterring flowers, as well as careful plant placement. If you are new to gardening, start by choosing a few things that you and your family like to eat and go from there.

2- Consider your garden space. Once you know what you want to grow and how much space you have to work with, you can start to put a plan together. Remember that plants have different real estate needs. Some plants need to be trellised while some don’t. Squash plants need about a 2-3 ft circumference, while a bush bean plant may only need a foot of space to thrive. You can find out that information on the back of a seed packet. But y’all, even if you have 50 acres, if this is your first garden, start small. Take time and learn as you go. Gardens are hard work. If you invest too much time and money into something you don’t know a lot about, you could easily become discouraged and give up. Even a small garden can produce a lot of food!

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My Family’s Garden Spot

3- Educate yourself on what plants work well together. I scoured the internet  for hours learning as much as I could about what garden plants are beneficial to each other. I found many companion planting graphs and charts on Pinterest, but some of them were missing things I wanted to grow, like okra and radishes. So I ended up doing a search online that looked like this– “okra+companion+planting”. I used the information that I got to map out my garden.

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I’m kind of a geek and loved making this map.

Some of you that are more experienced, may see some ways that I could have done this better, and if you do please let me know! I am a sponge when it comes to learning about this stuff. I did take a lot of time carefully deciding the best way to utilize the space and grouping “companions” together. Bonus: I’ve always heard that to detract rabbits, you needed something shiny and moving in the garden. Some people string up pie tins around the perimeter of their garden. I decided to make row markers with wooden stakes and shiny duct tape. I’ll let you know if it works. We have A LOT of rabbits.

GardenPlanning7SGC 4- Get to work! A dear, sweet friend {cough cough Dana’s hubby cough cough} broke up our garden for us with his big tractor. Since we didn’t plant for a couple of weeks, we had to go back over it with our new-to-us tiller. My little lady was sick with strep throat and had to stay in the air conditioning while my husband, son, and I got to work.  Bo, our Bagel {beagle-basset mix}, supervised close by. Since my hubby is recovering from a medical ordeal that I don’t care to get into, he only did what his energy would allow. My son is eight– need I say more? Otherwise, this would have been a major family involved effort. I pray that as the weeks pass by, everyone will be recovered and can help with the upkeep, harvest, and preservation of the garden.

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Hoeing crooked-but-mostly-straightish rows

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My two favorite guys planting corn.

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PJ carefully placing corn seeds a hand-width apart.

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Bo is making sure I stay on task and that the rabbits stay away.

I know this was brief, but it really isn’t that complicated. It just takes some homework and planning. We welcome any questions you all may have about gardening. We don’t know everything, but together we know a lot! HAHA! Happy Planting!

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Feed Them For Life: Life Lessons From the Garden

Psalm 34:10-12 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing. Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?

We’ve all heard the old adage, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”

This summer, that thought occurred to me as I worked in the garden with my children. We learned the true value of a good sweat.

I was able to remind them of the burden that was given to Adam after he had eaten of the forbidden fruit, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Genesis 3:19″.

They had to learn to recognize the enemies of our food supply as well as our natural allies. We discussed God’s timing. Not only were my children picking squash, tomatoes, corn, and beans; they we were harvesting something greater than bodily nourishment. They We were harvesting knowledge.

The Wheetshire Garden

The Wheetshire Garden

Through the rows of peaches ‘n cream corn and above the okra shrubs, little voices merrily exclaimed, “Momma! I see a squash bug! I better squish it before it kills this plant”

“Momma! Look how big my pumpkins are getting! All that rain really helped.”

“I found a few lady bugs and put them in the tomato plants.”

That’s music to this momma’s ears.  I find myself smiling at this moment.

photo 3This post was meant to be about the importance of teaching our children gardening and self-sufficiency skills.  I had plans to use words like “GMOs”, “carcinogens”, and “Monsanto”.photo 1

I was going to toss philosophy around suggesting that we are God’s design and that everything we need to survive, He created in those first 6 days of creation.  All truths, however, the only things that I can think about are the carnal and spiritual lessons that God has shown me through this passion of mine. After all, isn’t the beginning of knowledge the fear of the Lord?

God’s timing? Do our provisions not come from He that feeds the sparrows and clothes the lilies, therefore we have no need to worry? Should we not trust in the Lord and lean not unto our own understanding? As the song says, “All I have needed thy hand hath provided…”

Teach a man to fish? Didn’t Jesus feed the multitude with just a few? My son leads our dinner prayer and ends it with “By HIS hands, we are fed…”

Recognize our enemies? Yes, there are those that try to decimate all that is good and they attack from all sides. They attempt to leach out our strengths and keep us from growing and bearing fruit. They try to take away our hope and block The Light.

Our allies? They are our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus; our church families. They help us to attack and snuff out the Enemy. They combine their Lights from within to chase away the looming Darkness that shadows us while we are weak. We are strengthened and are able to take in nourishment to grow and mature.

I like this quote from George Bernard Shaw:

            The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for Him there.

Should we learn and teach our children how to garden? I think so. But it’s imperative to teach them to love and respect the One who created everything that grows in it, whether you garden or not.

~Tangi Wheet

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Can You Put a Price On Knowning Where Your Food Comes From? Is Gardening Worth It?

Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Posted by Dana

As gardening season comes to a close I am reminded of all the harvest I have canned for feeding my family though the winter months.

I have canned green beans, squash, kraut, tomatoes and pickles.  I have in my freezer many, many bags of corn and cabbage.

Is it worth it all the hard work and labor that is put into knowing where my food comes from?  My answer, a resounding ABSOLUTELY!

And I am not the only one that feel this way.  A very dear friend of mine, Mrs. Tangi Wheet, feels the same way.  As a matter of fact, she is the inspiration for this post.

Tangi

She writes …..

Is gardening worth it? Can you put a price on knowing where your food comes from?

Well, for kicks and giggles, let’s do a little math.   I will not count labor, because I don’t know how long I have spent out there, but I enjoy it so much, that “labor” is way too severe of a word.

Actually, for me it would be therapy, so that’s MORE savings, right? What is therapy running?  $100 an hour?

Anyway– We put in $42.36 into our garden.  That includes seeds, tomato plants, jute string, and weed barrier.

To date, we have picked close to 300 lbs of organic produce from it.   Just this morning I have picked 32.8 lbs of organic tomatoes that would have cost us about $60 at market or grocery store.

Is gardening worth it?   At the Wheetshire, without a doubt!

Here are a few pics of her beautiful garden and her bountiful harvest.

Tangi garden

Tangi basket

Tangi veggies

Tangi is a beautiful, talented, Christian woman (whom also happens to have a green thumb) and I am proud to call her my Sister-in-Christ!

Hopefully, I will be able to share more of her talent in the very near future.

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