Search This Blog

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Fall Checklist

Trees watered/planted
         • water trees up to the time the ground freezes will prevent them from drying out in the winter. 
• trees and grass can be planted as long as the soil can be worked. Fall seed grass often catches best because it is already in the ground when the spring moisture is available. One caveat would be in light soils where the seed may blow away.

Grass cut short 
         • this can prevent mice from living in your lawn over the winter.
• another way to control mice is to put a two to three-foot gravel/stone bed around your house. Mice like to have cover when they travel so they will avoid open areas like stone mulched beds. This may also reduce the risk of the house catching fire if you are faced with grass fires.
• putting up bait stations or live traps on this border provides a second line of defense.

Water works
         • blow out all irrigation lines.
         • drain and put away hoses.
• make sure all pumps are drained so they will not be damaged by freezing water.        
• for gas pumps, run them dry or put fuel stabilizer in the gas tank.
         • check to make sure stock waters are powered up.
         • put a block under the end of downspouts so that the water/ice does not freeze and block the pipe.
• if you have a sump pump, is it discharging high enough above the ground to make sure the end drains and doesn’t freeze?

• check the amount of sludge build up in the tanks. If necessary, have it pumped. It is usually better to have the tank pumped in the spring, when the warmer weather allows the good bacteria to recover quicker. 
• if you are very careful to make sure nothing but the by-products of digestion go into the tank, chances are that you will never have to pump the tank. Over pumping does more harm than good. If you need to pump more often than once every three years, give us a call and we will help you find out what is going wrong.

Snow Control
• remember where that snow drift formed last year? Is it possible to put up a snow fence to stop the drift?
• maybe consider planting a few spruce trees to control snow drifting or moving a few trees that are in the wrong spot.

Monday, 5 November 2018

A Little Swiss Chard for Lunch

Well, folks, unfortunately it is November and the forecast is for colder weather so maybe it is time to shut down the green house. Now the greenhouse has no auxiliary heat so unless the daytime temperatures exceed the night time temps, things are going to turn out badly for the remaining produce.

Not that much left, some Swiss chard, a handful of small green peppers, some tomatoes pretending they are still growing and some parsley and of course some chives. A late planting of cilantro, arugula  and spinach might last a while longer.

Apart from the tomatoes, the other produces still looks great, so off to the kitchen it goes. But what to do with it?

Here's my recipe for lunch.

Couple strips of bacon.
Handful of chopped onions, stored a bunch from the garden a couple of weeks ago when I dug up the rest of the potatoes.
The chard. Mine was getting a little older so I cut out the spline.
A small green pepper.
A bit of chives.
A handful of parsley.

Now the bacon was in the freezer so I nuc'd it for two minutes. This thaws it and precook it a bit.
Cut the bacon into about 1" pieces and drop it in the cast frying pan that is well heated.
Add the chopped onions and sauté until the bacon is done to your taste.
Slice or tear up the chard into bite sized pieces, slice up the green pepper and lay it on top of the bacon and onions and with a lid on, steam for about 10 minutes or so. Until the chard is wilted.

Now sometime I get a little carried away but I like flavour, so I added one clementine orange, segmented, a large dash of lemon juice and a handful of chopped walnuts. Just before everything was done, I laid on four or  five pieces on cheddar and Swiss cheese, the small ones you get in a variety pack. The cheese and walnuts give the meal a touch of protein if you eat this as a whole meal deal. You can of course, use this as just a side dish and barbecue some chicken nuggets or a few pork chops.

Turn out super tasty, enough to make you hate the thought of waiting all those months before we have fresh produce again.

By the way, don't forget to water the trees before the ground freezes solid.