We’ve been having nice heavy rains, then hot weather. Just what the garden loves. Luckily for me, who doesn’t love hot weather, it cools off nicely at night. Whew! The Bristol black raspberries I planted last year and the year before kind of grew last year; enough to give me a handful of berries. But this spring, they’ve taken off. I pruned them, mostly to rid them of half-dead canes, then I’ve mulched them heavily with rotted oat hay left over from the goat pen. They eat the round bales that we shove up against the stock panels, but there’s always the weathered outside shell of the bales that they leave. And does it make great mulch. Sure, some oats spring up out of it, but they are easily pulled. Just look at my black raspberries! They’re shooting up and the older canes are loaded with flowers. Eat your heart out Will. I get to eat ALL the berries!
Because the weather’s been so great, not only has the garden been growing but also the weeds. So the last few days, I’ve been down there a lot, hoeing and hand weeding between the plants. So far I’ve done the potatoes, which have started blooming, the wide bed of onions, the new 100 foot row of asparagus, two 30 foot rows of carrots, the 25 new Latham red raspberries and the cabbage. After I did the tomato staking/caging, I threaded my soaker hoses in close to the plants, then, after making sure they were working well, I threw a good layer of oat hay mulch around each one. They love it!
This year, because of the drastic increases in all things, I feel like I’m on a mission with the garden! Mom, too, is uneasy with the economy. She keeps asking me if I’ve planted plenty of squash, rutabagas, and whether I have dry beans enough in the pantry. Oh, yes I do! And I also just planted six more double rows of beans, just for safety’s sake. We like to eat around here….and eat well!
My questions involves canning milk. In the newest issue you tell about how to can. BUT how long of a shelf life canned and can it be kept on a pantry shelf or refrige it? I was talking to the Amish couple that I buy my raw milk from and they said I should seperate the cream from the milk otherwise it might funny ( cream and the milk would seperate in the jars and possible for the cream to curl). What would you recommend?
Home canned milk is stored in your pantry; once it’s canned, it will keep good for years. Yes, it will help the appearance of home canned milk to separate it first. Home canned milk isn’t like fresh milk or milk from the fridge, but it IS good, especially for cooking and making ice cream, etc. Sometimes it gets to the point that any good milk is better than powdered milk. Of course, I always have a good supply of powdered milk on hand, too, but I only use that for baking….we can’t stand the taste. — Jackie
Are you a bee keeper and do you have many hives? Are you also familiar with Mason Bees? We have Mason Bees to polinate our fruit trees and garden. We are so grateful for all your wealth of knowledge and sharing it with us readers of Backwoods Home Magazine.
I used to be a bee keeper and really loved working with them. Bees are very interesting and fun to hang out with. Yes, I’m familiar with Mason bees. They do a good job of pollinating, but I really like having the honey! Our current pollinators include bumblebees, butterflies, hummingbird moths and other native insects. I’d like to have bees again, but Will is VERY allergic to bee stings, so much so that he has to carry injection pens in his pocket. I’m not sure if we’ll do bees again at some point in the future or not yet. — Jackie
I live in South Mississippi and would like to plant some wheat. I have planted wheat for the wildlife before, but never for human consumption. What type of wheat and when would I need to plant it to have a decent crop in South Mississippi.
I’d check with your County Extension office, usually located in the courthouse for precise information. Unfortunately, I have never lived even close to your climate, so don’t really have the information you need. But if you’ve raised wheat for wildlife before, you sure have the basics down. Go for it! — Jackie
What would cause corn to tassel at 1-3 feet tall? We live in the northern part of middle Tennessee. This question is for my neighbor.
Corn usually tassels prematurely because of stress. This often includes lack of water and/or infertile soil. If your neighbor makes sure that the growing corn receives at least 1″ of water (measure it in a glass set near a plant during watering) a week or more in hot, dry spells and adds plenty of rotted manure to her corn patch, I think her corn will be huge next year! Also be sure she is planting a standard sized sweet corn. Old timey corns such as Golden Bantam are often very short to start with. Add some stress, and BANG; short corn. — Jackie