Making a small batch of sauerkraut 

This head of store bought cabbage weighed 2 pounds and 11 ounces and filled a quart and pint sized jar once shredded.  We didn’t add any additional spices to this batch, just salt.  It will be placed in a dark pantry closet and checked weekly for 3-4 weeks until ready. 

Ideally the salt shouldn’t be coarse but we had this already and it didn’t have iodine in it.  In this picture below we added the salt and worked it into the shredded cabbage by hand. 
Shredded cabbage and salt
The shredded and salted cabbage is being added a little at a time to the quart jar and packed with the wooden packer.  If you look you can see the water that is being pulled out of the cabbage at the bottom of the jar.  The shredded cabbage needs to be fully submerged in the brine solution for the fermentation process to occur.  

Salted shredded cabbage being packed into mason jar
Here all of the shredded cabbage has been added to the jars and then covered with a cabbage leaf.  A glass weight will be added will push all the shredded cabbage under the brine solution.

Boot sole repair with the Sew Awl kit

My boots had the toe area of the sole coming off and in need of repair.  A Shoe Goo repair worked temporarily for a week or so.  I’ve finally broke out the Sew Awl kit and made a more permanent repair.  It doesn’t look like professional work, but my little home repair saved me a trip to the city and dropping them off and waiting a few days for them to get fixed.  We shall see how well, and how long, my repair holds up.   

Being able to repair our own items, such as this boot, is an example of skill set I think is worth having.  I’m far from skilled at it, but stuff like this set difficult to learn and is a terrific skill set to have.  
Sole repair needed on this boot

Harvesting Georgia Jet Sweet Potatoes from Grow Box

After receiving a good hard frost we decided to dig up our Georgia Jet sweet potatoes.  We are tickled with our harvest that ended up filling a wheel barrow.  Not sure what the total weight as we just didn’t weigh them.
  They were growing in a 4 foot wide and 15 foot long grow box that was filled with a mixture of sand and sawdust.   Digging them was very easy, we used only our hands to sweep the sand and sawdust out of the way to expose the sweet potatoes. 

You can see the outline of the growbox in the picture below.  As you can see, they grew like mad.  Next year I will prune the vines as they grow beyond the box.

This was the average size of what we harvested.  They grew easily in our sand and sawdust and weren’t mishappen.

This is the completed harvest here in the wheel barrow. Not a bad haul for a 4 x 15 foot growing area! 

Green beans are nearly ready

They’ve been growing like mad recently and I’m excited to get to enjoy some very soon.  They’re not quite ready but there are lots of them this size.  It won’t be long now!  We’ve got two 30 foot rows of them spaced 3 inches apart.  There should be lots to eat and plenty to pressure can for the pantry.

green beans in a Mittleider garden
green beans in a Mittleider garden

July 20th update – 
We’ve got green beans!  They’ll be picked today and canned tomorrow.  

Dealing with horn worms on the tomato plants

We weren’t in the garden for about 4 days and I missed the signs of horn worms until they had done some serious damage.  We went through our plants and plucked off any horn worm caterpillars we spotted.  They’re in a canned chicken can on top of a 2 gallon bucket in the picture below. 

horn worm caterpillars
horn worm caterpillars

After removing all of them we were able to see I mixed up a batch of BT and sprayed all the plants. The next day I went out and found ones that we had missed dead and hanging from plants. 

horn worm killed with BT
horn worm killed with BT