Just get out and do it.

Welcome to my blog, Garden for Your Life! This site will be mostly about my garden, but you can build one just like it in your back yard too. It can be bigger or smaller, just get out and do it. You can do it for fun. Your can do it for your health. You can do it for fresh food in these troubled times. The point is to get out and do it for whatever reason that you need.

Over time I will cover topics like canning and preserving your harvest, soil and beds, bugs, what to plant and when, and much more.

I've been working on this garden on mine and improving on it for over five years now. I will continue doing that for many more. You can too, just get out and do it.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Got Bunnies!

Ive got rabbits now for meat.  Three Californian does and one buck plus two New Zealand does. 

First I had to build a hutch.  Here's the plan that I used, http://www.rabbitchow.com/NUTRITIONMANAGEMENT/ECMD2-0024687.aspx

Let the construction begin!

bottom frames made

All parts cut and lap joints made

back frame laid out ready to assemble

All together and ready for wire. One inch wire on bottoms

Half inch wire for front, sides, and backs.

All done and ready for rabbits!

2' by 4' for each rabbit.

Winter sides and backs added.

Need some rabbits now!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Out with the quail and in with Chickens!

Well I'm done with the Quail.  I've decided that the problem with them is food!  Chickens can free range eating bugs and veggies.  Quail don't, and in a grid down situation that's a problem.  So back to the chickens, with them in a large enclosure for them to live and save my yard for the dawgs.

What?  I'm being good!
 First they need a house!  I went with an A-frame house.  Its open at the bottom with slats for them to roost on. 

All together now!  Add some paint, doors, and a few holes up high for ventilation and its ready for chickens!

Here's Penny, one of my two Rock Barred's  

and here's Henny, or is it the other way around?  i'll have to ask my wife as she named them.

Here's the ladies in front of their home.

And here's the babies, 6 Buff Orpingtons.  They are about three months old here.  I'll be keeping two hens and the rest are dinner.  They are really cute and fast!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

easy emergency lamp


Lets make an emergency candle in case the lights go out for a bit.

You will need a Ball jar plus an extra used lid, short half pint.  a Coleman lamp wick, liquid paraffin or mineral oil, a 1/2 wood chisel, and a lamp cover. 

I'm using the ball short half pint jars.  As of yet Congress hasn't repealed the law of gravity.  If you get the regular half pint jars the oil will not be drawn up all the way to the top of the wick as the fuel is used up.  Your flame will get smaller until it goes out with about half the fuel left.  I bought everything but the fuel from Walmart.  Walmart doesn't have paraffin oil.  They have mineral oil which is really pure kerosene.  The paraffin oil produces very little, if any smoke, the mineral oil much more.  The glass covers are lamp shades for a ceiling fan and are used to defuse the light some and protect the flame from drafts and inadvertent touching.  WARNING all part may get hot, the lamp cover very hot!

First, cut the wick in half as there is enough for two lamps.  Then get out a 1/2 to 3/4 inch wood chisel.  You will need a small block of wood too.
Using the chisel knock a slit into the jar top to make a slit just big enough to pass the wick in.  Make it a little tight.  Too loose and the wick might fall in and oil will leak out if the jar is tipped.

Pass the wick in until only about 1/8 of an inch shows through, that's all the hard part!

Now fill your jar with oil, screw on the top, let it sit for a few minuets to let the oil rise up and light!

When you want to extinguish the flame use a top from an old jar to cover the flame. 

When it's cool place the second top lid over the lid with the wick cut into it and you seal the jar for further use!

A word on the Paraffin oil.  It's expensive when you can find it.  Lehman's and other stores like them have it.  I found mine from a catholic church store for several bucks less per gallon.  The large one even comes with a pump!  So shop around.  Yes, by the way, you can use citronella oil for those outside!

Cost:  Pack of four jars, 3.97 so a buck each.  wicks .97 cents, makes 2 so 50 cents each.  mineral oil 5.97 a quart.  Paraffin oil 7.50 a quart. and 17.50 a gallon. The lamp shade was 5.97.  Lowe's and Home Depot had some pretty ones if you want to spend the bucks.  So each one is about 3 bucks plus the lamp shade if you want one, and the burn time was about 10 hours.

Enjoy, Ken

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Harvesting time

Howdy all!

The harvesting and canning has begun and this week has been busy.  We've canned pickles, salsa, stewed tomato's, and frozen fresh picked blue berries and black berries. 

First up salsa.  Fresh made with Roma tomato's, green peppers and hot red peppers from the garden.  Add some onion, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper and there you go! 

Here it is cooking in the pot!

 And here is the finished product after Lori canned it, 10 pints total!  spicy and delish!

Next we picked a peck of pickles.  Ok, i'm not sure how much a peck is but it came to 8 quarts of whole dill pickles and 12 pints of sliced ones.

Here they are in the pickling brine.

and here's some of the finished product.

Lets do some stewed tomato's!  All except the onions are from my garden.  I used some of my Roma's as well as red and yellow pear tomato's.

In the pot simmering.

Cooling on the table, 12 quarts total.

They all look so good,

The Green peppers will be done next week.  In addition to what we have used we froze 10 quart bags of chopped green peppers.  4 gallon bags of blackberries from the pick your own farm as well as 2 gallons from my own bushes.  Today we hit the pick your own Blueberry farm.  We have picked 4 Gallon bags worth of blueberries for goop and jams or syrup. That was 12 pounds worth.  We will go get more in a couple of weeks as well as some peaches!



Blueberry goop

Ok, Its officially called a crisp.  Lori couldn't give me a name for it when she first made it for me, so we have called it goop ever since.  We also make it with all kinds of fruit, but we just finished picking 12 pounds of blueberries.  Lets get started then!

 First the recipe!

4 Cups of fruit!
1 cup of flour
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
Place the delicious fruit in the bottom of 8 x 8 baking pan.
Stir the dry ingredients to gather and mix well.  Add mayonnaise until the mixture resembles course crumbs.  Sprinkle over the fruit.
Bake for 40 minutes or until browned at 400 degrees.