Sunday, June 12, 2016

Growing Potatoes In A Bag....One Week Later

#amatterofprep

Well, my last post was about my choice to try to grow potatoes in a bag.  Last week, I had rolled the bag so that it was only 1/3 of it's normal height.

Within a few days, I had to unroll the bag and add more soil as the plants were growing by leaps and bounds!

#amatterofprep

As of yesterday, I had to unroll the entire bag to add more soil. As I stated before, these plants are growing very quickly!

#amatterofprep

Although it isn't lovely (the bag I mean), but I have loved how simple this process is.  I look forward to harvesting them at the right time.  I am curious about just how many potatoes we will have!

I'll keep you posted.....


Sunday, June 5, 2016

It's A Matter of Growing Potatoes In A Bag...


So far, my gardening season is going pretty well. I have a tomato that will be ready before July 4th!  Please know that this will be the first time that has ever happened.  

I have watched the trend of growing foods in bags.  I also saw that some folks grow in reused bags.  I decided to try the latter.


Well, we no longer have a dog.  It's a long story, but let's just say the dog and I are both happier. Rooster Senior probably wouldn't agree.  

Anyway, I put a request out on a social media site that my neighborhood has.  I got a few funny comments, but several people who were happy to share with me.  Here is the bag I was given.


The purpose of growing potatoes in a bag is to grow vertically.  I rolled the edges to the inside until only about 1/3 of the bag was height was visible.


I had some potting soil that was not used in my original planting this year.  I put it into the bottom of the bag.  I did not cut holes to allow water to flow out.  As the Potatoes grow, I may do that in the future.


I took my seed potatoes (that I had cut a couple of days before) and placed them into the soil


I put another layer of soil to cover the potatoes.  Then, I watered them.  It has been rather rainy since I planted these, so I placed the bag just under the roof line to give them moisture.  Rooster Senior kept pulling the bag out of the rain....trying to be helpful.  I put it back hoping that we could still have a crop.  


As you can see, I had nothing to worry about.  Since I took this photo, several plants have emerged and I am adding a layer of mulch or soil on top to encourage the vertical growth. As the soil mixture gets higher and higher, I will be unrolling the bag to allow for the growth.  I can't wait to harvest these beautiful Red Potatoes!

Summary:

  • This method does not have a large footprint.
  • The Dog Food bag has a strong Plastic mesh interior bag.  It seems to be working very well and was free!
  • Growing Potatoes is a great return on investment if you are going to grow them.  I plan to keep a few potatoes back to plant next season.
  • If you have never tasted potatoes from your garden, consider yourself to be very unfortunate.
If this goes well, I may try this again next year....



Sunday, May 15, 2016

It's a Matter of Food Safety/Food Recalls And The Need to Grow Your Own...


Hi everyone!  Yes, we are in the throws of gardening season and so far everything seems to be doing well in my garden.

The other day, I got a message on my phone from Costco followed up with the following letter:


Yes, that's right.  We actually had some of these products in our Freezer.



CRF Frozen Foods LLC recalled specific frozen vegetables due to a concern with possible Listeria moncytogenes exposure in individually quick frozen (IQF) organic peas and IQF organic white sweet corn.  Well that was such welcome news as you might expect.


I was less than happy to learn that I had some of the recalled food in my Freezer.




"This expanded recall of frozen vegetables includes all of the frozen organic and traditional fruit and vegetable products manufactured or processed in CRF Frozen Foods' Pasco facility since May 1, 2014. All affected products have the best by dates or sell by dates between April 26, 2016 and April 26, 2018. These include approximately 358 consumer products sold under 42 separate brands, the details of which are listed below. Products include organic and non-organic broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, corn, edamame, green beans, Italian beans, kale, leeks, lima beans, onions, peas, pepper strips, potatoes, potato medley, root medley, spinach, sweet potatoes, various vegetable medleys, blends, and stir fry packages, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, peaches, raspberries, and strawberries."
We were the lucky winners again!




We quickly disposed of our tainted vegetables.  But, here was the chilling fact, we already had some of them for dinner over a few meals. So far, everyone is fine....but the thought of what could be is a bit chilling for me. It was a good reminder that I need to flash freeze my own vegetables from my Garden.


So, as I planted extra beans yesterday, I plan to be more responsible for the foods that I do have in my home.  Yes, this was a problem at the manufacturing site, but I still am ultimately the one who is responsible for what my family eats. 

The other thing that was a bit concerning to me is that Costco remembered what I purchased.  While I am thankful to have been notified, I am not so sure I like the fact that they could not only send a letter to me, but call me as well.  

I hope this was as much of a wake up call for you as it was for me!  Check your freezer and see if you happen to have any of the recalled fruits or vegetables.  It is worth the time to look and protect those you love.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Born in the Storm.....A follow up from the Flooding in South Carolina




I took this picture in the Columbia South Carolina area last fall.  Believe it or not, it is 10 days after the flood waters were attempting to recede.  This is a river....with water covering the tree trunks.  I hope that gives you a sense of the how much water this area had to deal with in a very short period of time. 

I have written about the efforts in the Lower South Beltline area by the amazing volunteers previously.  Please see this post  for more of my first-hand account when my husband and I went to join in the efforts to help those who were impacted by this natural disaster.

I continue to watch the volunteer effort through social media and am amazed at the goodness and Christ-like service from the many volunteers who continue to serve the impacted residents of this area.

The following Video was produced by Les Carroll describing some of the efforts of the many volunteers shortly after the Flooding occurred.  It is well done and worth your time to view it.

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."  Matthew 25: 40


The good folks of the South continue to set the bar....



Sunday, April 10, 2016

Its a Matter of Spring Cleaning: Patio Furniture Pads


I truly hope that Spring has FINALLY arrived!  We saw inklings of Spring trying to come through this past week.  I decided to invite the family over for the 1st Cookout of the Season.

I pulled out all our furniture including the Pads for the seats and swing.  All I can say was "yuck".  The pads had been put away without really looking at the dust, dirt, and yes I will say it.....little "bird droppings' on them.  It was time to clean them up.

How to clean your Patio Seat Pads:


As I inspected the pads, I saw all of the above mentioned nastiness, but as you can see from the above photo, there was also spotting from the rain.  



Have you ever taken a look inside the crease between the top and bottom portions?  It's is not a lovely site!  In the past, I would have attempted to scrub these using a brush and bucket.  I decided to try a new approach this time.


Yes, I really did put them inside of my HE Washing machine.  They actually fit! I learned to turn the patterned side to the outside versus the inside as each pad washed.  I only put in one chair/seat pad in the washer at a time to ensure that I did not over stuff my machine.

After washing, sometimes a corner of the pad could have become 'bunched'.  I snapped the pads hard in the same manner that you would snap a sheet or towel. Sometimes I had to help the work the pad to the corner by taking the corner with my fingers, push it up into the 'bunch' and find the corner. Then pull it out so that the pad and the fabric fit as they did before the washing.  


Look how well the pad looks after a trip in the Washing Machine!  No more nastiness!


As soon as the Wash Cycle was over, I placed the cushions on the chairs to dry.  

Now please know that I found I had to use Lime-a-way to clean the hand rests and also a bucket of soapy water and cloth to clean the top of the table.  


Needless to say, the Cushions smelled clean and fresh. Too often, these cushions smell musty and dusty.  (My table and the armrests looked clean and new).

We grilled burgers and made new memories.  I am looking forward to more opportunities to use our outdoor kitchen and dining room!

Welcome Spring!


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