Modern Farm Life

Living yesterdays traditions in today's world

2016 Garden

Garden 2016

Oh, does it feel good to be posting these pictures, albeit late ūüôā

Up here, gardens go in around the end of May, and sometimes that is even a little early. ¬†I think I may have gotten mine in a week later, but with everything going on around here, I honestly don’t remember!

Now, these pictures were taken about a week and a half ago, and since then, everything has just exploded, especially the zucchini!  I am just praying the squash bugs, and squash vine borer are finally gone.

I actually have some more seeds I want to get in the ground… beets, radishes, and cucumbers. ¬†I still have time, but its getting close.

So, on this side of the garden, I’ve got two rows of potatoes, and three rows of bush beans.

And, you can see the two rows of zucchini, although they are much bigger, now.

Next to that I have four rows of tomatoes, and in between the tomato plants I have basil planted. ¬†Then this side of the same rows of tomatoes, I have two rows of okra, and two rows of sweet potatoes. ¬†I also had a full row of cabbage next to the tomatoes that the ducks and chickens took care of. ¬†Next to that, on the chicken wire, I have a part row of lettuce, then the rest of the way is snap peas. ¬†The big posts are for the pole beans, next to that are sunflowers, and finally, there are some pumpkins and squash…

And, finally, each corner, I used wood pallets for markers, and had the idea to also plant cucumber bushes. ¬†But, those aren’t growing the greatest as I had hoped – I don’t think they are getting the sun they need. ¬†The black plastic is to keep the ducks, chickens, and dogs at bay.

Here’s to a wildly successfully and blessed garden season! ¬†Can’t wait!

Canning Tomatoes

Note:  This was originally posted in 2012 Рjust want to bring it up.

This year we planted a total of 50 some odd plants of three varieties of tomatoes. ¬†No, we are not crazy. ¬†Last year we didn’t have a garden to speak of because the girls and I were gone. ¬†The year before that we had I think about 24 plants, but we didn’t get the canning yield we wanted. ¬†I have had tomatoes in the freezer since September waiting for me to do something with and I finally got around to it! ¬†I hadn’t realized how much freezer space was being taken up. ¬†There were about 20 gallon size bags!

Now when canning, I don’t go fussy, I go practical. ¬†My thought is that it gives you more flexibility when it comes time to eating. ¬†With the tomatoes we put them all in the turkey fryer outside to boil down. ¬†I made sure to boil it down longer this time so we would get a thicker consistency. ¬†After this, we had to divide it up into three pots because my stick blender was too short to get down in the turkey fryer. ¬†Once the jars were prepared, I added a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice to each jar and one teaspoon of salt. ¬†Fill and process for 45 minutes in a water bath canner.

We ended up with exactly 17 quarts! ¬†The flavor is amazing and something you will never be able to buy in a store. ¬†It is very eye-opening to realize how much taste you DON’T have in the store-bought produce! ¬†I encourage everyone to try to grow their own and if possible, learn to preserve it.

Baked Parmesan Chicken Paprikas

This is a super simple recipe that you can use really any cut of chicken that you want and it will turn out delicious.  If you wanted, you could even marinate a whole chicken in the buttermilk brine and bake her up this way and get a few days meal out of it!  Either way, its delicious and incredibly economical.  Enjoy!

Baked Parmesan Chicken Paprikas


  • 2 Split Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Cups Buttermilk or Sour Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Melted Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Paprika
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan


Rinse chicken.  In a one gallon ziplock bag, pour your buttermilk and salt, then seal your chicken.  Swoosh it around a little, then put on your counter.  In about a half hour, flip the bag over.  After another half hour go ahead and preheat your over to 350.

Get a small baking dish – I used a 9×9. ¬†Rinse your chicken off, then discard the buttermilk. ¬†Place chicken in dish, brush with melted butter, then pour remaining butter in pan. ¬†Sprinkle chicken with the paprika, then top with the shredded parmesan.

Bake for one hour, check that your temperature is 165 degrees.  Let chicken sit for a few minutes, then serve!


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