This week has been filled with a swirl of activity. In the spring I try to clean out and consolidate the freezers. With the new variety of foods my husband can have, what we used this year has changed drastically. This coupled with overstocking on beans, grains and flours because they had become hard to get during those first months of the pandemic has left me with the dilemma of how much do I really need to plant this year and how much should I share with others that we are not using. I went through the root cellar and decided to can some more soup beans to empty a freezer along with making some soups that I can open for those busy summer days of working outside and not having time to cook. These can goods are also wonderful to give a friend who is sick or had an interruption in their life that makes healthy meals a difficult thing at the time.

I tried modifying a tamale recipe to make them low fat vegan and though they turned out good I still want to try a couple things before sharing that recipe. I want to use some of my surplus peppers to make these and freeze them for easy meals too.

My big trek to E&S in Shipshewana, IN was not so expensive as I still have plenty of beans, grains, flours and spices. I will not be canning and freezing as much this year because of how well my garden did last year so those supplies were not needed either. I only got some oat flour and a couple other little things.

They did not have hardly any canning jars and absolutely no lids. I am glad I learned a couple tricks from canning sights and listened to my husband. I figured out I can reuse my lids if I am careful how I take them off. I used a church key opener instead of a regular can opener. I also figured out that I can reuse my mom’s Smucker peanut butter jars and lids. They are glass and the rubber seal in them will reseal just fine. I ordered some reusable canning lids that are a white plastic type material with red rubber rings. I have been using these through out the winter to can soups and beans and they have sealed and stayed sealed just fine. This sure has saved me money. I hope that lids will be available soon. I am not sure about using the lids more than a couple times as the coating on the metal doesn’t seem to last more than a couple times canning.

I stopped by the feed mill on the way home looking for sunflower and sorghum seed for our food plots on the conservation ground. They did not have what I needed, however like in the past they sent me down a couple dirt roads to a little possibly Amish seed store next to a little farm. Inside the metal building was all kinds of seed that you normally would have to buy in a 50 lb. bag broke down into bins. I was able to purchase 10 lbs. of sorghum and 10 pounds of black oil sunflower seed to mix with the corn seed we already have for the food plots in the conservation ground.

On the way home I stopped at the hardware store. I wanted to get purple paint to deter trespassers and get some pretty sunflower seeds to border where I put in my pumpkin patch and plant sorghum and sunflowers to attract the pheasant’s to the yard.

I have been working on trying to figure out the best way to terrace and put paths between my asparagus. The goal it to have pavers or cement blocks between the rows so I can use my dragon torch to burn off the dead foliage and weeds after the tops die off. The garden is on a hill and one part of the asparagus rows has a pretty steep incline. I am using paver thick cement block on one side and a regular cement block on the other. So far this is working well to do a step down terrace from one row to the next. The rest of the rows are gradually sloped and should be fine with pavers and or bricks to make the paths needed. It seems the weeds always take over in the asparagus patch when the rest of the garden comes on. It is hard to keep up with the weeds and not as important as harvesting other parts of the garden. One set of hands can only do so much and I am learning to rest and take care of myself better. This should help.

I have been watching the online garage sales and grabbing any free or inexpensive bricks, pavers or cement blocks I can get. Eventually I would like to start using bricks and blocks to put raised beds through out the garden. The goal is to be able to garden into my golden years and as long as I possibly can. Raised beds would require less stooping and would also make it easier to come up with a system to have hoop houses covered with screen or fabric to keep the insects and critters out of my food. I am learning to allow things to happen in God’s time so will just keep working on this project as time and my body allows..

I also have been doing some research on how to cultivate morel mushrooms and have finally found 3 to start the process. I ordered spores online too. Between the two methods I am hoping to find mushrooms closer to the house and spend my time in the woods enjoying the beauty more. Stay tuned next year. If my experiment works I will fill you in on what I did.

In the middle of preparing a place for these to grow my husband interrupted me to let me know the 3 year search for a grain drill had ended. He just bought a grain planter for $500. It was just in time too. We have about 3 acres of filter strip that needs replanted in grasses. I will be headed back up to that little grain seed dealer to get a special mix of grasses to plant next week. He is pretty proud of it and hopefully I will have pictures of it in use next week. This planter gives us more options on what we can plant in the food plots and hopefully we will be able to grow more grains for the dear as well as the birds.

I believe it was Wednesday I finally started planting seeds to start plants for the garden. I will attempt to share that process with you here. Pro Mix Bx Mycorrhizae is the soil I prefer. Be sure to scroll up to read the complete instructions on the pictures. Happy Gardening to everyone trying this. I am always amazed at how one little seed can become all the food it produces.

Low Fat, Whole Grain,

Vegan Pizza Crust

Desolve in 1 cup warm water

1 tablespoon of dry yeast

and 1 teaspoon coconut sugar You can substitute any sugar for this.

Then mix in 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup oat flour.

Mix thoroughly and let rise for 1 hour. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread your dough out to fill the cookie sheet. Bake in a 400 degree over for 12 to 15 minutes. Then put your favorite pizza sauce and toppings on it. I bake this for an additional 15 minutes then put the vegan cheese on. For my husband I put just a couple tablespoons of vegan cheese on his half and for me without the diet restrictions I put a bit more. I then sprinkle it generously with nutritional yeast for a more cheesy flavor and sprinkle a little Italian seasoning on top. I turn off the oven and put the pizza back in just long enough to melt the cheese. I had tried other all wheat flour recipes and my husband experienced a sugar spike after using them. By using the combination of oat and wheat flour his levels stayed good.

I have not gotten out as much this week to hunt for mushrooms, however enjoyed the time I did get to spend in the woods. This time of the year it is so beautiful. Soon our woods will look like a scene from Snow white, when the white trillium all bursts into bloom. I have a tiny shade garden up by the house and the white trillium is blooming and the red looks like it could be any day.

I got a message that broke my heart on Friday this week. A very beautiful friend of mine passed away. It seems fitting that when I went to take a walk after that news that the bleeding hearts were blooming in my little shade garden. Julia Meyers you will be greatly missed. Who is going to call me their farmer girl now. I am happy for you to be with Jesus but Oh how I will miss your smile.

I got an awesome lesson from my Savior today. When at church this morning a little girl came running to me with open arms, grabbed me around the neck and held on for dear life, all smiles and kisses. Made my day.

This afternoon as my husband and I walked and found a couple mushrooms I was talking to my Father God thanking him for the blessing. During this time of feeling humbled and so very blessed I felt like he said to me that when I put aside my agenda and look for his that he feels like I did when that precious little girl came running to me with excitement, arms open with that big hug. I want to do more of this with my Father in heaven. Even without mushrooms His blessings are great. God is good and we are blessed here on the Wade Homestead