gardening

Annie M.

Oven roasted kohlrabi, fresh from the home farm

My favorite time of day to go check on my home farm is early in the morning. The kids are still sleeping, the birds are chirping cheerily, and the grass is wet with fresh dew. Everything seems so new, so clean. Peacefully, I walk through the rows of my home farm. I giggle as I glance at what we are growing.

I do not know how to cook half of it!

Thankfully there are plenty of recipe ideas at homefarming.com.  It is my go-to resource, since not once have I purchased or prepared fennel, kohlrabi, cabbage, or tomatillos.  Below, I will share how I prepared the kohlrabi – and I bet you will love it!

When I took Lizzie and David out to see the home farm progress, they measured the success and learned the names of all the plants.

I am slightly disappointed with the lack of progress some plants are making – namely my broccoli, cauliflower and cilantro.  The cilantro already went to seed and the broccoli and cauliflower are not blossoming at all.

Our carrots are still itty bitty! Look how cute this one is in Lizzie’s hand! According to Home Farming, the carrots will probably take another month or so to mature. I cannot wait!

We found a kohlrabi bulb that was fully matured and picked it! The leaves are very large, and we discard them into our compost bin. Lizzie was ecstatic with her job of carrying this odd vegetable back to the house.

Once inside, I read that oven roasting Kohlrabi with seasoning salt and parmesan cheese is a popular way to prepare it.

Small slices cook faster! And we have some hungry kids

Toss the slices in olive oil and seasoning salt! Others suggested salt, pepper, paprika and garlic. This brand of seasoning salt has those ingredients and a few others in it.

Bake for 10-15 minutes at 450 degrees.  Take it out, turn the slices, sprinkle the parmesan cheese and bake for another 5 minutes.

My kids ate them up! I was thrilled because kohlrabi is an excellent source of vitamin C, dietary fiber and potassium.

Now I am dying for my other veggies to grow! I cannot wait to pick fresh green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes!


Annie M.

In Plot Update and Deer Control

Here we are in the beginning of June and my in-ground home farm is starting to really blossom (finally!). Since we endured a late frost, we lost a few plants we started from seeds, like my cucumbers and pepper plants. But we just bought some pepper plants and planted more cucumber seeds and now we are back in business!

Annie_Post4_Pic1

We live in the woods in Kansas and our biggest pest is the deer. We have photos of trampled plants with deer hooves next to it and I really want to eat my food, not just feed those animals. I went on HomeFarming.com and read some really creative and helpful tips from the Home Farming community. Some people suggested spraying the plants, others suggested tying old CDs/DVDs shiny side-out and hanging them up around the farm. Another suggestion was to plant really hot pepper plants around the outside. I liked the motion sense sprinkler idea too! That site is so very helpful, the community really joins together to provide support and tips.

Josh installed an electric fence around the outside of our home farm. It was easiest for us to do it that way because we already had the supplies from when we owned goats. So far it is working well, but only time will tell!

Here are some photos of our little sprouts! I am really getting excited about the cucumbers, tomatoes and sweet corn. I can’t wait for those to bloom and grow. I’m researching and learning how to use kohlrabi, anise, fennel and beets. Those are a few plants I have never grown before, nor have I ever prepared.

Cool beans!

Cool beans!

Tomatillo with flower buds

Tomatillo with flower buds

Sweet corn stagger planted

Sweet corn stagger planted

I learned a whole lot about food since I started to grow my own. I learned that not picking the arugula when it was small and young means it now tastes burnt. I also learned that some plants (like cucumbers) are a lot more “wimpy” when it comes to cold temps. Triscuit’s creation of the HomeFarming site and community is a huge help for beginners like me. Being able to use those experienced farmers as resources is priceless!

Would you like to take a walk with me through my home farm? Here I am on an early Sunday morning!

I will be back in two weeks! Hopefully by then I can show off a few teeny tiny tomatoes or peppers! I hope your home farms are sprouting and growing too. What are you growing? Are they bigger or doing better than mine?


Annie M.

Helpful Home Farming Tools

Here it is, mid-May and my home farm is starting to sprout little baby plants! I do believe that in-ground home farming is the most difficult – but we also made it the most difficult by planting so much! Just check out the photo below, do you think we went a little overboard?

home-farm1

I totally suggest that people keep it simple. Plant a small, manageable home farm, especially if you are embarking on this adventure for the first time. HomeFarming.com has some really valuable resources – how to plan your plot and experts to answer questions.  My favorite feature of the Home Farming site is the social feature. I love chatting with other home farmers about our progress and frustrations. Plus, you can connect your Facebook account to this site so you can share your progress with your close circle that way!

home-farm2

Despite the late season frost my plants endured recently, they are growing! I am so excited and looking forward to harvesting a bountiful crop in late summer! We planted a very wide variety of things this year, but I think I am most looking forward to fresh salad! We have arugula, kale, lots of lettuces, cucumbers and tomatoes!

home-farm3

Last year we learned our lesson. We purchased some products this year that have really made life and home farming much easier. The first one is Weed Block. It is a black tarp that keeps random weed seeds from blowing and planting themselves near my seeds.  As you can see, our plants are growing through the holes we cut for them, it makes weeding so much easier!

The other product we adore right now is the leaker hose. I can just turn on the hose and let it spray a fine mist on my entire home farm, without me having to go down with a hose and do it myself.

home-farm4

A perfect plant for children and beginners is the radish.  It flowers so quickly that it gives you a quick return on your investment of hard work. The leaves bloom very full too. Our radish leaves last year were huge compared to our other plants. That being said, I don’t like to eat radishes one bit. I’ll be giving away quite a bit of radishes at church this year!

Here is another fun video! I take you through a walk in my home farm, let you see my buds up close and share my thoughts about the Deer situation.

FOLLOW THE #HOMEFARMINGDAY BLOGGER CHALLENGE

Follow 3 Kids and Us Raised Bed Farm updates and @3kidsandus on Twitter

Follow Mama Dweeb Plot Farm Updates and @mamadweeb on Twitter

Follow Culinary Concoctions by Peabody Container Garden updates and @bakerpeabody on Twitter


Katie Ketelsen

Introducing Triscuit’s Home Farming Blogger Challenge!

It’s the year to grow your own grub! And if you’ve never harvested your own vegetables, you’re in good company. We’ve recruited three bloggers for our Home Farming Triscuit Challenge to share with us their journey in gardening with vegetables for the first time.  Follow along here weekly to stay up-to-date on their gardening tricks and techniques or find advice on Better Homes and Gardens.

Meet Our Home Farming Bloggers

Catherine

Catherine Davis

Catherine Davis is a 28 year old work at home mother to three children living in the rural town of Chatham, IL – in the heart of farming country. Together, Jonathan (husband) and Catherine are raising their 9 year old son Mattison, 4 year old daughter Kaydence and 2 year old daughter Emmaleigh to enjoy small town living and experience home farming as a way to provide fresh vegetables for the family meals. Although Catherine grew up with parents that grew tomatoes every summer, she has little home farming experience herself. Catherine hopes to be able to provide fresh, organic vegetables that can be brought from the garden to the family dinner table.

As a social media mom, Catherine is the author of 3KidsandUs.com, a personal blog where she shares her love of parenting, home-style cooking and great product finds for families.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

peabody3

Peabody Rudd

Peabody Rudd has run the baking and pastry blog, Culinary Concoctions by Peabody since June 2005.

She is a former math and science teacher who now substitute teaches and runs her blog. For fun she plays ice hockey and is captain of her Men’s (yes, she plays with guys) league hockey team.

Peabody lives north of Seattle, WA in a two bedroom apartment with her lovable goofball cocker spaniel.

Peabody has a self proclaimed black thumb, even killing a cactus that someone once gave her. She has grown some herbs successfully before but is out to prove that you can have a usable garden in even the smallest of patios and spaces.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

AnnieShultz

Annie Shultz

Annie Shultz is a small town Kansas girl, living on 20 acres in the Kansas woods with her carpenter husband.  She graduated with a journalism degree and decided to stay home with her 3 young children – Lizzie (4 yrs), David (2 yrs) and Lucy (4 months).  She blogs from her small town home near Wamego, Kansas, about life with such young children so close in age.  Her passion has always been writing and connecting with others and she found the perfect marriage in her blog, Mama Dweeb.  Last year was her first year gardening and she learned quickly what pigs deer can be. This year her carpenter husband will be building a tall fence!


Peabody Rudd

Peabody Joined the Home Farming Movement

Did you know that Home Farming Day is today, April 12th? Up until a couple weeks ago, neither did I. I was asked if I had any interest in growing my own home farm. At first I chuckled to myself. I have a black thumb. And if there were a color darker than black than that would be the color of my thumb. I have successfully killed every houseplant I have ever owned with the exception of bamboo that a student once gave me. And that lived because the students were in charge of it, not me. I have even killed a cactus. I over watered it and gave it mold, who knew? Apparently not me. I have contact dermatitis to dirt and of course there is the glaring obvious part…I live in an apartment that gets little sunlight. So at first I was like….umm?

But truthfully, I have always wanted a home farm so I wrote back (I picture me in baggy overalls and a big hat). I hit send waiting for a rejection the minute I pointed out that I lived in an apartment. To my surprise, Triscuit was more than happy that they I lived in an apartment. They want to show people that you can have a farm wherever you are…even in apartments. So I will be spending my summer doing my best to turn my black thumb into a green one and turning that blank patio into a flourishing patio home farm using containers. I’m calling it Pea’s Patch. Has a nice ring to it, eh?

I have grown some herbs in the past in containers with some success and some major failures and plan to have many an herb on that patio. I also want to grow lettuce (because I love me some salad…for real) kale (because I put it in my smoothies often) and peas (because well, that’s my name).  I’m pretty much up for trying to grow anything I think will actually grow given my conditions. Right now I am doing all that I can to research what grows best here in the Pacific Northwest. What grows best with limited sun light (I only get about 4-5 hours max…if it is sunny that day)? And to find the worlds’ longest gardening gloves so I can have as little dirt contact as possible. :)

As well as using the tools that are on the homefarming.com website. The website has a great tool that is helping me plan out my plot, as well as great videos that I have been watching. Because I really don’t know what I am doing….what else is new? :P Do you want join me on my little home farming adventure? I wish you would. I think it would be more than fun to see what we can grow, especially those of you who are space challenged like me. Container home farmers of the world unite? Or maybe you are lucky and already have a home farm?

You could join too, your expertise would be greatly appreciated on the Home Farming Community Boards I’m sure. If you do join not only will you have fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs but Triscuit is having a sweepstakes so that you will have the chance to win $1000 toward building the Ultimate Home Farm. Imagine the farm you could come up with if you had $1000 to put it together! Go here to sign up! -Peabody


Annie M.

Annie Joined the Home Farming Movement

Spring time! The new buds are forming on my redbud trees and the baby birds are chirping in nests outside my window.  I look outside and get excited about digging into the earth growing my very own organic produce. Today, April 12th, is Home Farming Day so it’s the perfect time to get started on this year’s home farm.

I am joining Triscuit and Better Homes & Gardens’ Home Farming Challenge with two other bloggers. Together, we will show you 3 different ways to make your home farm grow – in containers, on a raised bed, and me – in a ground plot.  I’ll be showing in video and photographs my joys and challenges of working the ground here in Kansas and in the end I’ll show you all the food I was able to harvest!

Growing your own food has so many benefits. It can save you money, provide hands on education for your children, give stress relief and provide a boost of self-confidence as you see at the end how much you were able to grow!

Living on 20 acres, you might think I am a regular farmer. But we live in the woods. Woods means lots of trees and roots and lots of shelter for the precious (hungry) deer. This has brought challenges and last year was a huge learning experience (read: disappointment). We discovered what grows easily (peppers) and what takes more care and protection from deer (tomatoes and watermelons).

Annie Mama

This year we are going to construct a strong fence to keep Bambi’s relatives out of our home farm and I invite you to join me on my journey to grow baskets of veggies. And I have great news for you! There is an awesome sweepstakes going on at HomeFarming.com where you will have the chance to win $1,000 for the ultimate home farm! This is going on from April 12th-25th, so hurry on over and enter. As you are entering that sweepstakes, I hope you will join me in planting your own home farm. So good for you and so much fun!

-Annie Mama Dweeb