Are You Serious?

That is… Are you serious about preserving rare and heirloom varieties of vegetables?

I am looking for two people who are SERIOUS about helping to keep an old open pollinated flint corn variety called Longfellow Flint alive.  This is corn grown for cornmeal.  It was historically grown in the New England states and I have not been able to find any seed this year besides what I had left over from last year.

I did a germination test and only had a 60% success rate. SO I packaged the remaining seed into 2 packets of 50 seeds each.  If there is someone out there who loves growing heritage varieties and preventing their extinction, then you’re the person I’m looking for.  If you live in the U.S. and are interested Contact me

I will select 2 names on Friday & send off the Longfellow Flint corn seed free of charge.

Thank you.

Heirloom Seeds & Pancakes from Scratch

I want to thank all the people who visited our blog and signed up for our seed giveaway.  There were enough seeds to send some to ALL those who entered the drawing!  YAY!  I love being able to pass on good heritage garden varieties to gardeners who will put them to good use.  If you signed up, be sure to check your email & I’ll be getting your seeds in the mail right away.

On to pancakes!  I use to make pancakes with those boxed mixes – just add water.  Well, a few years back I found a recipe that seemed simple enough.  I tweeked it a little to get the texture & loft we like in our flapjacks and we haven’t ever looked back!  They are yummy and filling and just the thing to warm up a coooold spring morning.   I thought I’d pass on the recipe & give you the chance to try homemade pancakes for yourself.

1 1/4 c. milk
3 T. butter
1 Large egg (or 3-2 bantam eggs)
1 1/2 c. flour
4 t. baking powder
1 1. salt
1 T. sugar
cooking oil
(fresh blueberries or chocolate chips are a yummy option)

 

Warm milk & butter over low heat just until butter melts, remove from heat.  Whisk dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Pour cooking oil onto griddle & begin preheating to 300-350 degrees.  Whisk egg(s) into milk mixture – temper egg if the milk is hotter than “pee warm”  Whisk liquid mixture into the dry ingredients.  Pour by 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle.  If adding chocolate chips or berries scatter over top surface of the pancake as soon as you pour batter on griddle. Flip pancakes when the rising bubbles burst & remain slightly open.  Serve hot with syrup and/or butter – or just eat plain from the griddle!

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Free Seeds – Extras from my 2011 & 2010 Baker Creek Order.

If you are serious about gardening, or serious about propagating heirloom & open pollinated vegetable varieties, or all three, then this post is for YOU.

Over the last few years I focused on purchasing open pollinated seed for our gardens, primarily ordering from Baker Creek in Missouri (with a few seeds from Seed Savers & Johnny’s & potatoes & onions from Fed Co.).  The seeds I am currently offering to give away are all from Baker Creek.  I’ve been very VERY pleased with their seeds & service & I do want to make sure that if you plan on buying other seeds you’ll seriously consider visiting their site at http://rareseeds.com

Each year I tend to order more seeds than I need & this year is no exception.  So I would like to pass on those seeds we can not use.  If you are interested in receiving free seed please send me your name and your top 3-4 preferences from the list below.  On Friday (3/25) we will have a random drawing and winners will be contacted via email, each winner will receive two different varieties of seed from the list below.

(*= Currently sold out at Baker Creek **= A Seed Savers Exchange seed variety)

Here’s the list of seed:

Striped Roman Tomato, 25 seeds: Originally packaged for 2010, 80% germination in our test 3/21/11.

Fox Cherry Tomato*, 35 seeds: Originally packaged for 2010, 100% germination in our test 3/21/11.

Snowberry Tomato*, 30 seeds:  Originally packaged for 2010, 85% germination in our test 3/21/11.

Sungold Select II*, 55 seeds:  Originally packaged for 2010, 65% germination in our test 3/21/11.

Black Cherry Tomato*, 30 seeds:  Originally packaged for 2010, 100% germination in our test 3/21/11.

Royal Golden Watermelon*, 10 seeds:  Originally packaged for 2010, 100% germination in our test 3/21/11.

True Gold Sweet Corn*, 30 seeds:  Originally packaged for 2010, 70% germination in our test 3/21/11.

May Queen Lettuce, full packet:  Originally packaged for 2010, No germination test.

Connecticut Field Pumpkin, 7 seeds:  New seed packed for 2011, no germination test.

Mama Leone Tomato, 15 seeds:  New seed packed for 2011, no germination test.

Sugar Baby Watermelon, 15 seeds:  New seed packed for 2011, no germination test.

Traveler Jalapeño**, 25 seeds:  New seed packed for 2011, no germination test. (SSE seed)

Red Romaine Lettuce, full packet:  New seed packed for 2011, no germination test.

Royal Purple Pod Bean (a variety of green bean) 20 seeds: New seed packed for 2011, no germination test.

Good Luck & Happy Growing!

(*= Currently sold out at Baker Creek **= A Seed Savers Exchange seed variety)

How Does You Garden Grow….

Seed orders are complete! I have ordered from two companies which specialize in organic and heirloom vegetable varieties.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds- www.rareseeds.com

Fedco Co-Op Garden Supplies- www.fedco.com

Both companies have a great following among folks interested in seed saving, heirloom vegetables, and NOT supporting companies like Monsanto which are establishing monopolies on seeds through gene patents. If you are planning to get elbow deep in developing your own sustainable garden plot these are a couple of great places to start!

This year’s garden will consist of a greater variety of vegetables than I’ve planted before.  I’m eager to try a few of the older varieties of corn, carrots and zucchini.  Last year we let some onion go to seed and saved it to start indoors.  We’ll see how well they do.

Next item on the list will be to gather a batch of eggs to incubate!

Mmmmm – Biscuits! Recipes You’ll Enjoy.

These days families are trying to stretch their food budget as far as they can and homemade biscuits are a wonderful way to make simple meals more filling.  Recently on the Country Life and Homesteading email list a member asked for a good homemade biscuit recipe because she wanted to get away from buying them premade.  Biscuits are so easy to make and so quick there is no reason to pay for the processed and frozen critters from the store.  Anyone can do it from scratch!

I have two biscuit recipes, one for a breakfast biscuit and the other for a cheesy, savory supper time biscuit.  I hope you enjoy them!

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Buttermilk Breakfast Biscuits

2 1/2 c. flour
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/3 c. butter, melted (I use unsalted)
1 c. buttermilk
1 – 1 1/2 T bacon drippings
additional melted butter to brush biscuit tops

Preheat oven to 450.  Grease cookie sheet with bacon drippings.  Sift
together dry ingredients.  Pour in butter & buttermilk, mix to form
sticky dough.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead briefly,
folding the dough onto itself.  Pat out to about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut
with a 3 inch floured cutter (I use a drinking glass).  Place on
cookie sheet, leaving space for the heat to circulate around each
biscuit.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Brush with butter during last minute of
baking. Makes 8 big biscuits.

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Cheesy Biscuits

2 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1/3 c. shortening
1/2 c. shredded Colby Jack cheese
1 c. milk

Preheat oven to 425.  Grease cookie sheet.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Cut in shortening until lumps are pea-sized and well distributed.  Stir in cheese then milk.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead briefly,
folding the dough onto itself.  Pat out to about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut
with a 3 inch floured cutter (I use a drinking glass).  Place on
cookie sheet, leaving space for the heat to circulate around each
biscuit.  Bake 13-15 minutes.

February Freebie & Rabbit Stew Recipe

As you know we raise goats and chickens, but in the past we also raised rabbits for meat.   At this time there seems to be a much greater interest in rabbits on rural and urban homesteads alike.  They are quiet, can be maintained in a smaller area than other livestock, and are easily processed at home.

Rabbit meat is fine grained and lean and can be ground, fried, sauteed, and baked.  Any recipe that calls for poultry is easily applied to rabbit, as are pork and many lean beef dishes.

So for this shortest month of the year I’m offering a little reward to my readers.  A free copy of the book:

Storey’s Guide to Raising Rabbits

by: Bob Bennett

This is a gently used copy which helped us greatly over the years of raising our own rabbits.    If you are considering getting into rabbits for meat or show this will be a welcome addition to your reference library.

To put your name in the hat just “contact us” with your email address and the name of the book.  On the first day of March I’ll randomly draw a name and contact you by email.  Don’t worry – Free shipping for the free book!

Good luck!

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My Rabbit Stew Recipe:

2 lbs chunked rabbit meat

3T flour

3T cooking oil or lard

1/2 medium white onion chopped

1t salt

1t pepper

1 clove garlic minced

1 1/2c water

4 carrots

4 celery stalks

5 medium white potatoes cubed

1 can diced tomatoes

water

1 can each: corn (drained) and green beans (drained)

salt/pepper

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Heat oil in bottom of large pot, meanwhile coat meat & onions with flour and measured salt & pepper.  Brown in hot oil.  Add garlic and water, stirring to scrape the browned flour and drippings from the bottom of the pot.  Stir frequently till boiling, reduce heat, simmer & stir till thickened.

Add potatoes, carrots, celery & canned tomatoes.  Pour in enough water to just cover vegetables.  Add salt and pepper to taste.   Simmer until carrots just begin to soften.  Add corn & green beans.  Simmer 20 minutes more.

Serve hot.  Great with fresh biscuits.