Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Community Garden Update - July 2019


It has been HOT!

The temps have just been creeping upwards ever since we got our delivery of dirt.

Initially, I tried to get out to the garden for a couple hours everyday to move that dirt. Then the temps rose a bit more and I'd head to the community garden early in the morning. But more often then not, by 10am it was HOT! The last half of the month, I only got down there about every other day.

I had a helper early on to move dirt, a neighbor volunteer. The Boy also came out to help me move dirt one day. But I've still got a menacing pile, though it is much, much smaller than it was 4 weeks ago.


The problem isn't really moving it.  If all I had to do was fill the beds with perfect planting soil, it would be so much easier. The problem is mixing the sandy loam in with the clay soil that is already in the garden beds. I am also adding in manure and peat moss.


Mixing all of this together by hand is taking SO LONG. And the heat doesn't help. I find I am much more productive when the skies are overcast and there is a nice breeze.

I will be SO happy when this dirt is all moved from the parking lot and I can start to clean up the mess in the garden and build stuff with the donated lumber.

We still don't have the water situation worked out yet so I am still having to bring in water for the irises. They're not really growing tall, but I do hope they are building strong, deep roots.

Mr L.H. helped me again on Free Mulch Day. We managed to get 2 loads. We dumped the excess in a pile on some cardboard off to the side.


I'll go through it quickly enough. There is only one more Free Mulch Day this year so I hope I can manage to get all I need to cover areas and prevent weed growth until next spring.

One day at the garden I saw a delivery truck across the street dropping off some new appliances. The driver was happy to hand me the huge cardboard boxes.


They'll work well underneath some new planting beds or under the mulch.

ICK ALERT!!!

Speaking of mulch, one of the planting beds had been the storage spot for mulch since April. Of course, I had to empty it out so I could fill it in with dirt. Well, I found loads (and loads and loads) of big, fat grubs buried all in the mulch.


It was insane how many there were! I'd move aside some mulch and there would be half a dozen in a small 7x7" space!

(shivers)

I must have pulled hundreds out of that mulch pile!

(shivers again)


I couldn't find anything about whether they (or their future evolved selves) were beneficial or not so I erred on the side of caution. I left them out for the birds to eat.


So, progress is still being made, though much more slowly than I had hoped this month. Everything is pretty much on hold until all the dirt is moved from the parking lot into the garden area.



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Friday, July 26, 2019

Vintage Recipe: Oatmeal Drop Cookies

I'm digging into old recipe boxes and rediscovering the family favorites hidden inside! You'll find carefully handwritten recipe cards, newspapers and magazines clippings and even some hastily scrawled directions on scraps of paper, all from years (and years) ago! They're all getting scanned and transcribed so you can enjoy them in your own home kitchen. 

This recipe for Oatmeal Drop Cookies was handwritten in beautiful blue script on both sides of an index card. The recipe card is dated 8/8/41.





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Friday, July 19, 2019

Vintage Recipe: Chicken Chow Mein

I'm digging into old recipe boxes and rediscovering the family favorites hidden inside! You'll find carefully handwritten recipe cards, newspapers and magazines clippings and even some hastily scrawled directions on scraps of paper, all from years (and years) ago! They're all getting scanned and transcribed so you can enjoy them in your own home kitchen. 


This recipe for Chicken Chow Mein was handwritten on both sides of an index card. It was found in an old large recipe file box. The age of the recipe card is unknown.



DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

DIY Cucumber Trellis from PVC Pipe


My poor garden. It's been a bit neglected since I've been spending so much time working at the community garden.

One day I looked and my cucumber plants had grown about 2 feet! And I still didn't have anything for them to climb! It was time to remedy that.

A neighbor moved recently and was giving things away out of their garage. I picked up a bunch of lumber for the community garden, but also snagged lots of 1/2" PVC pipes. They were about to be put to good use.


My cucumber plants are all in planters at the base of my deck. I knew I couldn't sink the pipes into the planter dirt because it was too shallow and wouldn't be able to support the weight of the plants. I opted to make a "tent" of sorts with a rectangular base for stability and the trellis posts coming up from that.

I had plenty of 1/2" PVC...much more than I needed. I chose 3 long pieces and cut them to the same length. Then I chose 2 more pieces for the upright supports and made sure they were cut to the same length (I used a hacksaw to make the cuts...it was quick and easy).

My upright pieces were about 4 feet long.
My three cross pieces were about 5 feet long.
I also cut 4 shorter lengths to 11". These would form the short sides of the rectangular base (2 on each side).

Of course, if you decide to make this, your dimensions will probably be different depending on the space you're making it for.


I picked up connector pieces and poly string at the hardware store. The 90° elbow connectors were only about 39 cents each. The Tee connectors were $1.50 each. For both of these, be sure to get the kind that is NOT threaded. And the poly string (twisted mason line #36) was just of $5. I probably used about half of this 230 ft roll. You can, of course, opt for a natural fiber twine. This was not an ideal choice for my climate.

My poor zucchini is wilting in the sun!
Once all the lengths of PVC are cut and the connectors purchased, it's just a matter of fitting everything together. I didn't glue them together because I wanted to be able to easily take it apart for storage. If you choose not to glue it, be sure you press the pieces together tightly to make sure they are securely attached. You don't want your trellis falling apart when you try to move it.


Adding the string:

I pulled out my stash of eye screws and cup hooks to try to determine the best way to add string to my trellis. I wound up using eye screws along both sides of the bottom support...10 on one side and 9 on the other, spaced evenly.


If you have trouble screwing the eye screws in, a handy tip is to use a screwdriver.


I also placed 2 cup hooks on either end of the top piece to secure my string. Thread the entire piece and tie it off before cutting it loose from the string roll. This way, you wind up with one long piece of string. I made sure to leave enough on the end to be able to tie it off on the two cup hooks.


And that's it! Now, I just needed to place around my cucumber planters.



I still have the shade cloth draped over everything to protect from the harsh sun and possible hail (It works well for smaller pea to dime sized hail but not anything larger).

Mr. LH wanted to grow corn this year so that's what we have on the deck in our Earthboxes.

Now my cucumbers can grow up the trellis instead of in tangled clumps near the ground. I may need to adjust the trellis if I find the weight of the plants requires more support but that would just require a few more connectors and a couple more pvc pipes to create another upright section in the middle.

I'm thinking I may need to make several similar contraptions to help cover & protect plants in the raised beds of the community garden...



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Friday, July 12, 2019

Vintage Recipe: Cherry Casserole Cake

I'm digging into old recipe boxes and rediscovering the family favorites hidden inside! You'll find carefully handwritten recipe cards, newspapers and magazines clippings and even some hastily scrawled directions on scraps of paper, all from years (and years) ago! They're all getting scanned and transcribed so you can enjoy them in your own home kitchen. 


This recipe for Cherry Casserole Cake has extra cherry goodness with cherry pie filling in the cake AND served on top! Try this recipe with other fruit pie fillings. It’d probably be tasty with any of them – peach, apple, blueberry…

Please note there is NO ADDED SUGAR in this recipe. There is only the sweetness that comes from the pie filling. Mr. LH didn't have a problem with this, especially with a scoop of ice cream on top. but I was hoping for more of a sweet taste, perhaps similar to a coffee cake.

The recipe was handwritten on both sides of a piece of 3x5″ scrap paper (sized perfectly to fit a small recipe box). It was found in an old large double sided recipe file box. The age of the recipe is unknown. See more recipes from this collection!


The original recipe has been scanned and is transcribed below. It can be printed for use in your own home kitchen. Enjoy!

Please Note: Every effort has been made to transcribe these old recipe cards completely and accurately. Many have faded, are stained, or simply do not include every step or tool used in the process. We have changed the wording in some places and added instruction in others to make the text a bit clearer. We do not test or verify all the information found on these old cards. If you choose use the information found here, please know that you do so at your own risk.

vintage recipe, cherry, cake, dessert
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Cherry Casserole Cake

prep time: 10 minscook time: 55 minstotal time: 65 mins

ingredients:


  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 Tbs. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Oil
  • 2 tsp. Almond Extract, split
  • 1 can Cherry Pie Filling

instructions:


  1. Stir dry ingredients together.
  2. Blend together eggs, milk, oil, and 1 tsp of the almond extract. Add all at once to dry ingredients stirring only until moistened.
  3. Spread 1 cup of the pie filling over the bottom of a greased 2 quart Casserole Dish.
  4. Pour all of the batter over the pie filling.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 45 to 55 minutes or until done.
  6. Cool 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.
  7. Combine remaining cherry pie filling with remaining 1 tsp. almond extract. Heat in a saucepan and serve over the cake.
Created using The Recipes Generator




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Monday, July 8, 2019

Community Garden - We Have Dirt!


It seems like it took FOR-E-VER but we finally have dirt at the community garden!

It's actually a sandy loam/compost mix that can be mixed with the existing clay soil and amended with other things.


I brought my wheelbarrow to deal with the pile but since I was having to shovel the dirt from the wheelbarrow and into planting beds, the wheelbarrow turned out to be really inefficient. I could go a lot faster with my new yard cart and three 5-gallon buckets. I could fill the buckets at the pile, roll to the planting bed and empty the buckets.


It is a massive pile and I did manage to get some help for this part of the project. Still...it's going to take a while...



DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.


Friday, July 5, 2019

Vintage Recipe: Boston Baked Beans

I'm digging into old recipe boxes and rediscovering the family favorites hidden inside! You'll find carefully handwritten recipe cards, newspapers and magazines clippings and even some hastily scrawled directions on scraps of paper, all from years (and years) ago! They're all getting scanned and transcribed so you can enjoy them in your own home kitchen. 


This recipe for Boston Baked Beans uses a crock pot for all the cooking. Plan ahead because you will need to soak the beans all night and cook them all day.



DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.