Here at Ask A Prepper, we like to focus on things like the lost ways and ancient knowledge. The forgotten skills that were the difference between life and death are dissolving in the storm of convenience. It’s pretty terrifying when you think about it.
We have all heard the argument about being thrust back 300 years and how hard it would be for the average person to survive for even a short period.
Within that ancient knowledge, there are also ancient staples that have lost their place in the hierarchy of needs. Amaranth is one such grain.
Amaranth lost its place to things like wheat and corn but this superfood was on the top of the heap for much longer than it has been buried by commercial agriculture.
At least as early as 4000 BC amaranth had been domesticated in Mesoamerica. The seeds were used for toasting and eating or milling into flour. However, amaranth had many uses from dyes to other ornamental purposes.
There are over 60 varieties of amaranth native to the Americas. As you know, it’s always good to do business with native plants.
Growing amaranth is a very interesting adventure because it’s a plant native to Southern US states and even further south. This means that amaranth is used to those hot summers. It is also a very drought tolerant plant.
Depending on the method you’d like to use, you might consider starting amaranth indoors. If you are planning on growing lots of food, well, you will not want to start that many plants inside. You can sow seeds directly but you need to wait till there is no chance of frost.
The frost will be a big problem.
Amaranth is not a wide bushy plant and that is great. Because of this, you can get away with tight plantings. Look for about 10”-18” of spacing between plants. That is a big benefit if you are tight on space.
This could be a better grain for you than, say, corn because of that space benefit.
Using Amaranth, the Super Food
Unlike some other grains, amaranth can be enjoyed as a whole grain, flour and even as a green.
While amaranth is known for its grain you can also eat the amaranth leaves.
They are leafy greens that are delicious and do not get overly bitter in the summer heat. Treat them the same way you would treat collard or kale.
They are great stewed up with garlic and potatoes. This is a decent meal that can be had right from the backyard. Add some chicken or eggs and you really have some nutrition.
The most common preparation of the amaranth grain is to prepare it like a porridge. This preparation is very simple and requires that you understand a pretty simple ratio of 1:3. Use 3 parts water to 1 parts amaranth.
In other words, 1 cup of grain to 3 cups of water.
Bring the water to a boil and add your amaranth. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes and you should be ready to dress the porridge up any way you like. Some people keep it simple with milk and brown sugar. You can also add things like freeze-dried fruits and honey for real flavor.
Related: How Long Can You Store Food In The Freezer? (Infographic)
If you have a grinder, then making flour from your grain will be very simple. Amaranth flour is exceptional because of its high protein content. Its amino acid profile also makes it a very nutritious grain and is a great source of dietary fiber.
Even if you don’t have the means to grind the grains, you can always use a couple of bricks to do the grinding. It will be crude, and you will not get as good a product, but it will grind them down, nonetheless.
You can treat amaranth flour as you would any other flour. Be sure you learn to catch your own yeast so that bread becomes something you grow rather than something you buy. That is a huge step towards self-reliance and independence.
If you really want to start your day off right, you can make some amaranth pancakes! In this situation, you are simply subbing out the flour in a pancake recipe for your new amaranth flour. These are powerful pancakes that add that protein and dietary fiber to a breakfast that is usually just made up of white flour.
As you can see, amaranth is a tremendous plant that can be used a number of different ways for a number of culinary applications.
Related: Turning Flour into Hardtack Biscuits With Over 100 Year Shelf Life
Storing Amaranth for Survival
Amaranth is a great survival grain. While corn is easily recognizable from a distance, to the unaware, amaranth looks more like some sort of ornamental. That means you can grow a field of this grain and have it look more like a part of the surrounding woods or a flower garden rather than a source of food.
Because this plant has many different uses it means you can store it in several ways.
Probably the best method for the stewed up greens, canning will give you access to those great greens for the long term.
You can also can dishes including the greens like stews.
Your flour mixes are also great things to can, as well.
Remember those delicious amaranth pancakes we talked about earlier? You should can all the dry ingredients for that recipe and just add some melted butter, milk and egg for breakfast in a flash.
5 Gallon buckets
Since part of amaranth is a grain, you might also look into bucketing up that food. It will take a lot of plants to bucket up amaranth but if you do you can store it for the long term. You will need the typical loadout of mylar bags, O2 absorbers and 5-gallon buckets.
I would recommend 1-gallon bags for storing. Treat the grain as you would any other long term stored grain.
All parts and derivations of amaranth can also be frozen. While this is not the most favorable means of storing food because freezers can go down with the grid, it can keep your amaranth around for later use.
When the grain thaws you can use it as though it were fresh, to grind or to simmer.
The time has come for us to start looking at nontraditional and ancient foods for sustenance. These foods don’t make it into supermarkets for a number of reasons, but they thrive in our backyards. The entire landscape of food sourcing and production is changing.
The breadbasket of the nation is underwater! We must be realistic about the state of growing lands in this nation, they are being destroyed, sold and void of any nutrition.
Future wars will be fought over water and food among other resources. I know it seems silly in this time of excess but, it will come to pass. Prepare now using ancient foods that grow in your backyard and long term food storage methods.
Amaranth is one example of one such ancient superfood that is coming back into full phase. Get on board!
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Ingenious Foods People Made During Famines
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How to Prevent Your Foods from Going Rancid
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How to Make a Trench Cake: WW1 Survival Food
Where can you buy seed for planting?
Three minutes search on Yahoo search, including the time to retype the addresses because I couldn’t and paste.
If you are going to be a preppier, you need to think on your feet. After the world ends nobody, absolutely nobody, is going to lead you by the hand.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds carries them. They also have buckwheat, sorghum, and several varieties of corn developed for short seasons and drought prone areas.
Call a farm & garden store, many carry bulk seeds. Baker Creek Farms in Mansfield, Mo carry heirloom seeds. But grow your own heirloom vegetables and learn how to raise them- it is easy to do. Also, learn your weeds Lamb’s Quarters are more nutritous than spinach and stinging nettles have the highest chlorrophyll (a blood cleanser) of any plant on earth. Purselane has the highest omega-3 oil of any plant on Earth. Many weeds and herbs are medicinal. Leave some root vegetables in the ground- parsnips.
Yes i always speak about this amazing weed i also dry and blend into to powder and use a medicine great for woman who are pregnant
Here are just a few places: edenbrothers.com amazon.com westcoastseeds.com rareseeds.com
groworganic.com fedcoseeds.com johnnyseeds.com
This was a simple search by just searching: “amaranth seeds for sale.” It wasn’t a long complicated url or some esoteric topic, just plain old seeds for sale.
As preppers, the only real advantage we have is the ability to think on our feet. After the end of the world, nobody, absolutely nobody, is going to take the time to teach you how to tie your shoelaces. While this website is devoted to sharing advice and knowledge, there just are some things one must do for oneself. We can all share different techniques such as how to obtain gas from an abandoned car because there are several valid methods and some of us have never utilized any methods. While I suggested punching the gas tank and some things to look out for, I have not had the experience of actually punching a gas tank. One other list follower suggested a superior method to punching as compared to my method. I am going to make up the tool he suggested and add it to my emergency tools kit.
I have never done a web search for punching a gas tank or for methods of extracting gas from an abandoned car. I have long considered how to extract gas from the underground tanks at filling stations and one list follower had an outstanding suggestion which is much easier than the dip method I envisioned using. I doubt there is a u-tube video on how to filch gas from gas station underground tanks, so this site is the only place for such information exchange.
As for where to buy something, jeez louize, if all else fails, try Amazon.
I bought mine at rareseeds.com (Baker Creek). Unfortunately I didn’t get any planted this season.
Debbie in MA
There’s still plenty of time. Grow it for the greens is nothing else. It tastes like spinach without the oxalates. nio
We are very fond of the greens both fresh steamed and dried and reconstituted with boiling water.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds carries them. They also have buckwheat, sorghum, and several varieties of corn developed for short seasons and drought prone areas.
Thank you again for a wonderful article; anything to keep us “prepared” for the long term
I keep a few bay leaves in the grain to deter miller moths. The major predator of seeds is ants, which love them. Birds are next. Native Americans still plant this in long rows under cover, then transplant. It transplants easily. Red merlot and Love Lies Bleeding are the two main ones both with red leaves that deter insects, and both are bred for heavy grain production. Both also look good as a background in the flower beds for a hidden garden. Merlot tends to blow over in high winds, the stems break off. From the andes, LLB is shorter with thicker stalks. It also tolerates more cold and light frosts. niio
J.W. Great article. Keeps us reminded of how individuals before us kept their families going and we should learn and practice too. That these forgotten foods were and still are super nutritious. As a suburbanite I have seen this plant in many backyards as an ornamental. Never realizing that it was actually edible,especially the greens! (double dip is always good)
Thanks and God Bless…
I’m told that this can be used/cooked as a rice substitute. Any experience with that?
Yes! It has flavor, not bland as rice is. Soak it overnight and cook the next day. If you get an open pollinated variety for farmers, it can all be harvested at once, without a lot of seeds lost. It’s gluten free, and high fiber. niio
Thanks. Good to know.
I haven’t used a commercial strain of amaranth. We eat the leaves and the seeds are used as grain from a local fairly productive type that self sews all over here. This year I’m thinking I’ll save some seed from the best seed heads and plant it in a patch so it looks pretty wild but will be easier to harvest. When it has the developing seed heads it’s rather attractive and could easily be in the flower beds as well.
I have lambsquarter that grow beautifully here as well. I save seeds to eat as winter sprouts in salads and sometime throw a hand full of seed into pancakes. Flavor is subtle. In areas that get some water the lambsquartes plans get as tall as I am. One plant produced 1 1/4. Cups of seed. We love the greens but amaranth and lambsquarter sprouts are good in winter along with other sprouted seeds. I like a mixture of lambsquartes, amaranth, alfalfa, and radish. We eat the mix as salads, on sandwiches, st. The radish give it a bit of a bite. Wild mustard seeds when sprouted are good as are any related brasica seeds. Anything related to mustard or cabbage. We have several wildflowers in the are in that family.
I use a site wildflowersofnewmexico.com for I’d purposes. Most states now have long lists with flower pictures available. Sometimes I look up Texas or Arizona plants as well because our plants share a large habitat area.
Our local amaranth is called prickly for the thorns. I had to use gloves to get any seeds from it. One good thing about too many ants, they’ll clean up every seed they find. Last year, there were dozens growing in the rocks. This year, a few came up near the fence. Pigweeds and black mustard (aka mustard greens, but the seeds are good as sprouts) are better eating. Yellow mustard doesn’t survive long enough to bloom, nor pigweed. I grew up on lambsquarters. Cattle would mow down the pigweed but pretty much let the LQ alone. Too much nitrogen for them, but cooked it was all right. What I like about commercial amaranth, it’s bred for leaves and grain, and for forage, so there’s little or no toxins buildup. Traditional commercial varieties like love-lies-bleeding are almost as good. The problem is smaller seeds and continuous bloom till frost kills the plant.
Turnips, kohlrabi, and black Schifferstadt radishes all gave plenty of seeds this summer. Turnip and radish seed pods when small are tasty. the collards gave up and are sulking till it rains 🙂 but the kohlrabi are still trying to bloom. the stalks are good right in the garden.
Have to get the indian rice grass seed ordered, and the flax! Been kind of out of it lately. The doctor moved pre-op up a month because of that. And, need to order more safflower seed. It went in two late and some died in the heat, the rest are all spines on the seed heads. I sent some to a sister and her granddaughter called them baby porcupine plants 🙂 niio
Hope the Dr does you right. Sorry you’re having a rough time.
I grew up on a lot of lambsquartes. Still like it really well. I used to have a lot of rice grass here. Now just a couple of thick clumps are all I see. I’m watering it when I soak the trees.
Tomatoes are setting and looking beautiful. Cucumbers started to run but stopped with hotter weather. It sprinkled a bit yesterday so maybe growth will take another spurt. There have been heavy rains all around but it’s not done much right here.
I picked up 6 , 330 gallon containers for garden water. Next big project will be gutters to fill them with rain water. Those containers are usually priced beyond anything I can consider. These were $75 each and the guy delivered them and set them where I wanted them. I don’t have a spare on the truck so I was not wanting to haul them out here. Glad for the help too.
The lemon balm I started from seed is doing great. It tends to be invasive so I plan on planting that and a new mint start in storage bins half hurried in the yard.
Were still watering the new fruit trees every 2nd or 3rd day. Seeing new green on the 2 peaches, 2 pears, 2 of the 3 new cherry, and lots of new leaves on the mulberry. Still seeing green in the young trees but watching for leaves on 1 more cherry, 2 plums, 3 apples, and 1 more elderberry. I see a few little sprouts on some of the raspberry. I’m hoping we start getting more than a few sprinkles. That should make a lot of difference.
No rain so still no purslane. Mallows are blooming and seem to grow with or without rains. I hope to get a bucket of lemon grass transplanted into the new raised bed I’ve been working on.
Rain makes the desert bloom. That or watering the whole place. I’d rather get some good soaking rains.
The wild flax does well even without rain. It almost through blooming and setting seed now. I haven’t tried growing safflower. Lol, baby porcupine plant is a good description from what I’ve seen of it.
I planted red and yellow watermelons. All the plants look ok but not vinging much. Strange growing season.
Pretty much everything is growing well, but nothing fruiting as it’s too hot for it. “You’ll get no tomatoes when Bossy dries up!” Ain’t that the truth. Too hot for her to make milk, and too hot for the pollen.
These are 3.50 for a pack; there’s no postage on rare seeds’ orders.
Yeah, no purslane here, either, or other things. the Chimoyo start to bloom at 4 inches tall, but no peppers till fall. the one that survived outside by the house has dozens of blooms and buds, but no fruit.
Still no leaves on the peach or pear. The bark looks healthy, no wrinkles, so they’re maybe all right. No leaves on the two new grape vines, either, but the Concord didn’t leaf out till the rains started.
I scared a quail off the flats today. She was helping herself to seeds and seedlings. Now, the screens are back in place and she’s out of luck. While they’re sacred in a lot of cultures (sacrificed as the shedding of innocent blood in a lot of Native America) they’re still pests in some ways. With no rain, they’re running out of seeds. I’ll have to save melon seeds for them. they keeps them out of the garden and no eating the mesquite.
No lemon grass. the quail got it. the kumquat grows nicer every day, but the sun and wind eat up the blooms. Not that I’m against that right now. This is it’s first year and it needs to set roots in, not grow fruit. But, no rain, no figs yet. Canary date seedlings keep pushing up, most of the around the Meyers lemon. they get pulled. There are dozens more to choose a few from. While they grow a lot slower than regular dates, they also are wider and cut more wind. West side of the house, but those roses are there, too. East side, maybe. North side? I want more mesquite there. It’s hard to get enough mesquite! 🙂
A red ant nailed me tonight. From now on, Bubba eats in the kitchen with the servants (me 🙂 and no more dragging watermelon and so on in the bedroom. Lord, but is it late. Be blessed with extra rain! niio
Google “Pickle Barrels”. There are several places that sell them used, about $49 apiece.
Too high altitude here for mesquite. Have an open area on a row along a soaker hose. No point in wasting it. Going to try some Cherokee Wax beans there. They are a childhood favorite. I have several Cherokee heirloom tomatoes planted. They are pretty plants but not yet blooming.
Still awaiting summer rains. 🙂
Temps here in the 90s. Some tomatoes and peppers are setting. If we get much hotter they will stop for a while.
I have sweet small peppers I started from seed. They are just starting to bloom. The mixture of hot peppers are blooming but only two kinds are setting. The rest just drop the blooms.
My yellow crookneck squash are starting to bloom. The zuchinni are struggling to survive.
I have the soaker hose on the narrower raised bed today. Soaking it well then tomorrow I can start planting. I’ve worked in enough plant material and rabbit droppings to lighten the clay but it still sticks to metal tools. This bed will all be quicker plantings. Leafy greens, beets, turnips, radishes, et. Then one end will be leaf lettuce and arugala in a mixed bed area.
Thanks for the long to the mornings. Ill check on that this evening.
Avery 100 here each day, but the chilis keep trying. Sweet potatoes and the melons like the weather, but again, no fruit. The pumpkins look OK, but one big the dust. I figure it’s squash borers that somehow made it past the lizard patrol, and cut the vines off close to the base.
Did you see the weather report of the southwest? This month, little rainfall, next month better, but September and October are supposed to be wet, at least for us 🙂
If the frost holds off, we’ll have plenty of melons, pumpkins, and squash, sweet potatoes and peanuts and so on. Only one eggplant is is bloom, yet, and they like the heat. The crabapple looks not too good, but it still alive. It’ll be better next year, after it gets its roots in deeper. this year, it’s still young, was planted last spring. Too much pinewood in the trenches, and that resists decay, but after a year, it’ll make a lot of humus and nitrogen. Wish I could have dropped in loads of palm wood, as well. They holds moisture till you can squeeze water out of it, and rots fast. niio
Well this evening it’s planting day again. I’ll work on the new bed for quick greens, radishes et. I’ll start with several short rows of some heirloom corn. Its ready to eat in 50-60 days. I want more seed and we may eat some also. I have a few heads of our wild wheat. I want to multiply it also. It comes up here in July after the rains start and is ripe by September just ahead of first frost. It is less than a foot tall but the seed heads are normal wheat size. It usually makes a tiny clump with several seed heads. I’ve been watching for it for the last two years when I started moving back. All I have found were 3 clumps. It seems to have been nearly made extinct during the depression. I’m wanting to grow it here and let it naturalized some unused areas. That and the more common wild rye. I have nearly an acre they can grow in. There is another grain I don’t know the name of. It’s 30 ” tall and has long heavy seed heads (5 inches long). The seeds are long and plump. It grows mostly along the water ditch so perhaps it needs more water. If you’re gathering cereal to cook or make flour the seed heads are big and impressive. There were just a dozen plants 2 years ago. There must be more than 100 now. This year I’ll harvest some as it ripens and leave some scattered along to reproduce. I want to try cooking some and see how it grinds for flour. I have over 400 feet along the side of the ditch where wild edibles could be filled in. I see quite a bit of wild salsify. I like the root diced up and cooked in a creamy chowder style soup. Have to get it before the seeds heads are finished maturing. Better before it blooms. I’ll add wild gathered seed and see if it can grow before birds and ants get it. I won’t actually cultivate the land just seed it as nature would. Wheat starting out would be the exception. I’ll start it by planting seeds shallow. Its too hard finding wild seed.
We drink a lot of a certain plant boiled for tea. Spanish call it cota but natives just call it Indian tea. I want seed to get it growing here. It grows in thick clumps along the roads. I’m not crazy about that unless it’s the almost unused dirt roads. But gathering seed doesn’t bother me. It just right to pick for tea but I’ll wait till more seed is ripe then harvest seed heads in a basket. Same with the desert mallow. It all blooms bright orange here. Leaves are edible but I make a wonderful hair rinse with it. It can be used fresh or dried. There is a lot on the shoulder of our country roads. I used to have some here that was plenty for what I wanted. Need to get it started again. I’d boil an 18″ stem in 4-6 quarts of water for 15 minutes then let it cool. A pint poured slowly over my hair makes it shinny and more manageable. I kept it in the refrigerator. Then I’d get a pint and set it out to warm to room temperature when I wanted to use it.
Wild Amaranth isn’t up yet this year. It usually sprouts when we get a good rain. The most we’ve had was about 20 minutes of rain three weeks ago Sunday. Lambsquarter is up and doing well if it can get some moisture. Dry areas are stunted and look bad but are still living. I’m hoping the short soaking will bring up the amaranth. I wouldn’t mind watering some of it if we stay so dry. Our wild amaranth still makes good seed heads with small dark seeds. I usually harvest heads as they are ready. I carry scissors and a basket when it’s that time of year. Earlier in the sumner I carry the basket to gather greens for cooking.
The alfalfa growing along the ditch is blooming. I’ll cut a few arms full as a treat for the critters and start watching to save seed. I love sprouts in the winter.
I want several areas of “wild” garden that won’t be so noticed. I will still eat from those things but native plants take little care and offer a lot. They aren’t just for future prepping.
Just got done for the evening in the garden. I caught the quail at it, again. He’s a big male bold enough, but the hen and chicks stayed out in the alley. I need to start putting watermelon rinds out for them. They like that.
No corn last year and the garden never felt right without it. This year, two packs of 6-shooter. It’s more for roasting, but sweet enough. Plenty of beans growing, but it’s too hot for most. A lot were directly seeded, but it looks like the birds got them. The adobe is soft enough now to not crust. All four black ant nests are down to a very few, most of them adults, not the smaller young ones. Very, very few flying ants. It might be a lack of rain, or they died from the borax. No borax on the red ants, as a test. They seem to be thriving, where the horned toads leave them alone.
Two neighbors called to ask if I wanted oleander trimmings. Yo! I put a few inches around a tatume squash and it’s growing fast. Those are along the fence because if allowed to grow into the garden can take over.
The wild grain, what do the leaves and seeds look like?
https://santafebotanicalgarden.org/july-2012/ Cota/greenthread tea.
We have caliche globemallow. It blooms best after the rains state, then through winter. Salsify comes up in late winter and blooms, then dies back in summer. The amaranth keeps trying to come up, right where it’s not wanted, and makes a good mulch. It’s too prickly to eat, but for the seeds. Purslane is coming on in one of the planters (big, concrete brick higher than my knees) and will be ready to pick soon. The red won’t come till the rains start. That, though, will spread a yard wide in the yard.
If you can, get seeds of wild relatives of garden plants. Cherry tomatoes and the grape tomatoes are great for a wild garden. Like salsify, they self-sow easily. Chiltepin, the same. The mesquite has handfuls of beans about ready to pick. Big first crop this year. A little sulfur and a lot of coffee grounds under the tree last winter help 🙂 niio
My uncle gathered seed for chilitepin and tiny wild tomatoes when hunting deer in south Texas desert. He grew them in the flower beds at home in Brownsville. Ants and birds wiped out the last of my seed nearly 20 years ago. My late husband used them both in his Hotter than Hell Salsa.
The amaranth here doesn’t have stickers on it. I use a lot of leaves from amaranth and lambsquartes in cooking. I also use seeds saved from both.
The unknown grain is about 30 inches tall with very little leaf and a heavy 4-5″ seed head that bends gently in the middle. Each seed in the head is about the size of a grain of wild rice and there is a long “hair” on the tip of each individual grain. It would be Attractive in a dried arrangement. Each seed head is 3/4 of an inch across. It is a loose seed head not hard like wheat.
Were eating some lambsquartes. Where they have come up around the yard they are twisted struggling plants but where they have come up in pots of tomatoes or flowers and get watered they are lush and beautiful. I’ve let them grow.
Cooler temps tomorrow 84f predicted and a chance of rain in late afternoon. That will be welcome. Evening news looks like a chance of monsoon rains for the next 10 days.
I tried to open the site to order dwarf moringa and promptly lost the info. Can you send it againg? I’d still like to check it out.
My first tomato is turning red. 🙂 Many years the only way to get ripe tomatoes is to have them in a greenhouse to start early and produce later. The heat has made for happier tomatoes. They are taking a lot of water but are starting to set quite a bit of fruit.
I picked up a weedeaterxtoday from Craigslist. Weeds are growing around the newer home since we had a bit of rain. It turns out the man there is licensed to handle chemicals to kill trees. I’m going to buy some to kill the one tree that is growing under the corner of my mobile home. I’ll pick it up next Sunday at his home. I’ll recut then drill the stump and put the poison in the drilled holes.
I need to get the string for the weed eater so I can clean up weeds around the yard. If we get the monsoons everything will be growing. That includes weeds.
A blessing on your head, as the rabbi said. The grain could be any old-timer. All grain used to have bristles on each grain to keep birds from eating it before animals could. Animals usually pass a lot of grain out, which gives the grain a chance to reproduce. Birds rarely do that. Kamut, rye, oats, barley all get 30 inches and taller if they get enough moisture. Some get 6’ when in bloom. I’d have to see a picture of the grain.
Possible showers today and tomorrow. I’m praying for it. Of course, the VA called and wants me down tomorrow, so if it rains here, I’ll likely miss it. 🙂
Too hot here for lambsquarters, but all amaranth grows well. Red Merlot too well, too tall for the winds.
Dwarf moringa, for the greens; Baker’s Rare Seeds rareseeds.com 3.50/10 seeds, free postage. A good catalog, if a little strange. They should bloom next year for you. The seed pods are to be eaten when small or they get stringy, fast. Not too much water, but they like the heat. They look like a legume, but aren’t. If I lived closer, I’d bring you one. Seeds cause the Toltec Two-Step! I have good string for a weed eater, and no weed eater. Here, it’s not needed. JL Hudson has an unknown variety, meaning it could be drumstick (grown for the seeds) or leaf greens. http://www.jlhudsonseeds.net/ https://sustainableseedco.com/ has no moringa, but has good seed.
No tomatoes! No plants! This is the first time that ever happened. Last year there were so many seedlings I was giving them away. Same with sweet potato slips. This year it was opposite. But, when is growing is doing well.
In Penna, a WWII bro of Dad’s had a problem with a tree in his neighbor’s yard (this family are weird, and think pedophilia is normal). He had a few of them arrested for stealing, housebreaking and so on. The family got spiteful and planted a silver maple along their side of the terrace wall by his garden. Maples are bad for robbing plants and killing them that way. Dad told him to ask me about it. I told the man be careful and cut a hole in the bark. Drill a hole (I think it was ½ inch) in the tree as deep into the heart of you can. Pack it with saltpeter. Glue the bark back in place. He told the family he asked God to curse them for their evil. The tree was fine till it started to leaf out in spring and was dead by fall. More, when the roots rotted, all those under the stone terrace collapsed and the wall did, as well. The family had to pay to get the wall rebuilt, did it with old railroad ties, and wound up in court, then had to do it right. BTW, it’s called sympathetic magic, adding a little toxin to the curse 🙂
Weeds are plants that need a use. Mulch is always helpful! Weeds get roots deeper than garden plants, and recover plenty of lost fertilizer. Then it all goes in the garden. The caliche globemallow is still in bloom, though no rain on it. The acacia is, as well, but needs to go. I don’t care for the seeds, which have to be roasted to kill the toxins. And, I have to stop dithering and get cardboard up around the peach, lemon, apple, and pear trees to hold off the wind. niio
Lol interesting story. 🙂
We both have Dr appointments tomorrow in Albuquerque. Over 1 hour drive each way. I need to pick up a filter and some hydrolic fluid for the tractor.
The neighbor looked up tires for the truck. I’ll probably order online tires from Wal-Mart. Have to see which Wal-Mart can mount them for me and arrange to pick up there.
I need to find the spool of “string” for the weed eater. Then I can cut the weeds from around my home.
It’s clouding up and we see lots of lightening in the west. My trees need watering but I don’t want to be out there pulling hoses in the lightning. I can just begin to smell moisture. Phone says 50% chance of rain. I hope its right. Keeps reminding me I need to price gutters and start working toward that. “I HEAR RAIN”!
I pray your VA trip goes well.
I’ll have to look at that sight with the morninga.
This morning I picked cottonwood leaves and packed then in a pint jar with coconut oil. Spring buds are more powerful but I’ve about finished up last years oil that I made. The leaves will still have the same properties, just not as strong. Its related to willow and has the same pain relieving properties. You can make it with inner bark dried and powdered in oil. It won’t be ready for two or three weeks.
Raining in waves but lots!!! of lightening and enough thunder to have the dog staying close.
Have a flash flood warning on the phone. My property slopes away from the mountain above us so not too worried but the Arroyos could be bad. Either way I head home in a while will be across Arryos. I need to pick up Hubs perscription. And get back before dark if possible
It RAINED! I was praying for a cloud burst and we got one, lighting show and all. I went to pick up some more mulch and was to go to another place, when it poured down! Ya-hoo! The garden looks great. Give us more, Lord! I get tired of hearing how bad it is in the East when we need it. Yes, too much of a good thing but no one my brothers know in Ohio bother to plant a cover crop so their fields were all clay mud. Any winter wheat drowned because the drain pipes clogged. What do they expect, when they used to get 200 bushels of shell corn/acre when it was virgin soil, and now are happy to get 120 Genetic Monstrosity Organism corn? If Brown in S. Dakota can go from less than that to records for the state on 16” a year, why can’t Ohio, which used to have record crops, before FDR introed Hitler’s magic elixir of chemicals?
I’ve been getting flashflood warnings on the phone about Navajo county. Hope all went well today. The little I have in rain gutters need cleaning. Will get them tomorrow. It’s mostly pine needles from the ponderosas. More mulch. Wow, everything looks good, today.
This is weird, but true. And, they have movies of the ‘fishing cows of Texas’. I know a cow or deer will take a mouse if she can, but that’s usually after calving. https://onpasture.com/2019/07/22/steers-that-eat-rabbits/
Am praying for your trip to the loonie left in the nutty north doctors 🙂 Got a follow-up vaccine at the VA. I used two small bottle of oxygen down and back, and ran out before I got to Oracle, 10 miles from the house. It wore me out.
Neighbor drove us to the appointments. We got the filter for the tractor and a 5 gallon bucket of hydrolic fluid. Found some things we wanted for home, then Dr.
Hubs blood work was great. He goes back in 6 months. Mine was ok but I go back in 3 months. It felt like a long day. New Maverick gas stations in town have gas about $.30 a gallon cheaper than any other stations. We topped off the gas, got 3 big cold drinks and headed home. Sure glad the neighbor drove. I fell asleep coming home.
Running out of oxygen isn’t good. Glad you made it ok.
We had rain yesterday. Must have been 2″ right here in a few hours. The ground isn’t muddy anymore. It really soaked in. The garden and pots look good. Overnight after a life giving rain makes a noticeable difference.
I do wish we already had the gutters and rain barrels. I have 55 gallon plastic drums and 6 330 gallon totes in metal cages. I just need to get the gutters…
The rain moved in with a full blown light show and enough thunder to sound like an explosive battle. We had gone to get hubs prescription and some groceries and a bag of ice. When we got home the dog had disappeared. I called and whistled for her several time into the night. Finally around 3 AM she came running to the front door, then made a muddy beeline to our bed. She was soaked and very muddy. She soaked the bed. I just dried her off with the sheet and threw it in the washing machine. It looked like I could have planted a garden in the middle of that mess.
Today just before dark I noticed the solar power was off. I reset it but the lightening monitor was shinning bright blue. That must have tripped the system. Weather forecast shows daily rain possible. Boy I wish I had gutters. We need to be harvesting that water.
I’ve been looking trying to identify the grain growing along the community irrigation ditch. The pictures look most like silky or Canadian wild rye. A few of the seed heads are nearly 8″ long. Beautiful plump seeds.
Power is off again. Guess I get to call the installer. I’m not going out to restart it all again at midnight.
A blessing on the neighbor for being a good Samaritan.
I know the problem with rain gutters. The house needs more, and barrels, as well. Right now mosquitoes are having a field day with all the rain and the open tubs. We need a lot more to make up for the dry summer. It’ll happen, they say, but in August and September. Hopefully, by them the body will be in good shape and the new guttering put in place. I like to use rain water rather than from the tap.
I still need to put in the compost pit for the gray water. Better it soaks that than the garden. The soil has too much calcium in it now, and acid in the compost will neutralize it, and make it liquid compost. But, no energy.
Yeah, the dog found a ground squirrel burrow near a garden bed and dug down a foot or more. Plenty of gravel and grin on the bedding. Got to shake it good before washing. But, poor dog, the buttow was abandoned 🙂
The oxygen people were to take the mobile (the small bottles) but instead he left two large ones and took the empty small ones. He changed the filter in the oxygen machine, as well which was getting black. Now, no problems going to the VA this week.
I found another nest of red and black ants, a foot from one garden bed. They need to be dosed before I lose sweet potatoes and peanuts to them. Now we know why the burrow was empty 🙂
No, I’m no electrician, but need to study solar arrays. It would be cool to at least put in a solar hot water heater, just running it into the hot water tank. We don’t use a great deal of hot water this time of year, our cold is usually close to hot.
Can you post the pictures of the grain and plants? It would be cool to see them. niio
I don’t know how to post a picture here.
We haven’t had running hot water in nearly two years. When we get the tractor repair done perhaps we can finish the trench for hooking up the 250 gal propane tank. Then we can have hot water at long last. Winter I heat three gallons of water on the rocket stove. Summer I fill milk jugs and use at room temp or outside in the sun temp. Stand in the shower and use the water. It works but honestly I look forward to having running hot water. I’ve also thought about a 12v on demand water heater. That would be easy to do with one or two 100w or 150w pannels and a charge controller and battery for storage. They are made for RV use. That would be plenty for a shower or hand washing some dishes. Without going electric a collector on the roof feeding hot water to the water heater of to a shower might be easier. One Indian mission church had a 55 gal drum of water fill controlled using a water float (like a toilet tank works) was the water flowing directly to showers. The first one or two showers were almost warm. The rest were cold. At my mission church I had men’s and women’s restrooms and 3 showers on each side. I used propane water heaters for the that and the camp kitchen. We made sure to have warm showers for all our campers in the summer time. Lol. So now I live without hot water. But we get by.
No red or red and black ants near the garden but three hills of tiny black ants. Two are in the edge of the garden. 🙁 I don’t like any ants in my garden. So far they aren’t damaging anything.
There is a red ant hill about 60 ft from the edge of the garden beds. I really got into with them bitting me everywhere a few weeks ago. MISERY!
It’s been warm and humid today. It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow. I can’t get used to the humidity. It’s normally so low we often drop below 10%. The clouds were building toward sunset. I could see a few distant scattered showers.
Most of the garden is really doing well. The rain makes such a difference.
Do take care as you rebuild your health and strength.
Niio. I know the humidity is bad. We don’t get don below 10% often, but we were at over 90% last night when it rained. I love the rain and bear with it. Here, it’s a blessing.
1 tablespoon borax, three tablespoons sugar. That will kill most of them. this is their season for the flying ants, and I dropped more on the black ant nest this morning. All of them get bad when the new queens are leaving. Next time, cornmeal. I dose a large red ant nest outside the fence today.
BTW, if the apples have heart rot, a scant teaspoon of borax in a gallon of water and sprinkle it around the dripline of the tree.
Hot water in a hose-shower, been there. 🙂
Lol. I have a box of borax with the name of every ant hill on it…I just bought sugar on sale. Perfect timing. I wanted some on hand for a mixed berry wine I’m planning to make very soon. Hubs like sugar on cereal now and then. I could nearly live without white sugar. I’ll gladly feed my share to the ants.
Setting the milk jugs of water out in the mid day sun makes a nice warm clean up time. Even just room temperature on the hot days is refreshing without being cold.
Its cooling nicely this evening. We’ve had spectacular lightening all around for hours but just a few scattered short showers. At dark it was beginning to look like a serious storm building. Still praying for a good rain. Otherwise tomorrow I’ll have to pull hoses and water the new trees.
I have the first two ripe tomatoes in the kitchen. I think it as going to be a BLT lunch tomorrow.
The kittens all just decided it was time to come in. They were climbing the screen door. That’s how they let me know they want in. News shows it’s flooding in Albuquerque. East side of town getting nearly 2″ of rain. Arroyos flooding. I think were starting to get some more rain. Small towns in Navajo country west of here were flooding earlier this afternoon.
Rain in the desert is life giving. It is refreshing for everyone. But it carries danger too.
There must be lightening close. It kicks my solar array off when lightening strikes close. I’m heading out to reset the controls and battery storage. Walk blessed.
Ha! Good one. I wish I could use borax in the garden, but it’s too toxic to plants. The nests have some resistance to it, but it’s most likely because new eggs are being hatched constantly. The ones dosed the other day show no sign of any ants. Still, got a box of cornmeal handy, just in case.
Sugar is OK in some cooking, but I like honey better. Roasted chilis are sweet enough for most other things. We put no sugar or molasses in baked beans, the peppers roasting make it sweet. I’m not wild about jelly or jam, but do like some sugar in peanut butter apple sauce for pancakes and pie filling. The stalks from the Apache sugar cane are good to chew on, too.
The sorghum that survived winter (Alleluia!) is now past my knees. Give us another hard thunderstorm, and in a month, it’ll be taller than I am. And, of course, there’s a wide spot around each plant. No corn, peanuts, beans, or weeds. Yeah, I forgot it’s allelopathic. The grain is good, though, larger than most sorghum. Need to get more in the garden ASAP but can’t just stick in seeds. The quail get too much. They got into a flat of yori cauhui cowpeas and broke some down. In two weeks, I’m in for the surgery, so it’s too late to worry over it. Just, the rest of the pants need to be in the garden in week or so, so they can be watered in. By then, the first crop of mesquite will be in the pantry. In a month, the next wave will be about ripe. By then, I should be able to pick plenty of ‘peas and collards. The scarlet runners have to go in then, to make a crop before things start to freeze. I want to get the Navajo variety because it’s more heat resistant.
Let it rain! Better late than never. We’re supposed to get a lot early next week. With all the adobe and carbon in the soil, the garden looks good. I picked up more sulfur and need to nail the front yard with it before it rains again before the purslane starts to grow. A little now, same thing in the fall, then in spring. Eventually the soil is deep enough plants root into it, not just on the surface, then the fertility rises. Walk in beauty.
Just light sprinkles last night. Need water on those new trees. Guess I’ll water toward evening as it cools.
I looked up bakers rareseeds.com. I’ll be ordering some things there. Mom used to order from a lot of different places.
Our wild amaranth and purslane are coming up since that big rain last week. I was out pulling tiny puncture weeds that are also coming up in the garden. The new planting of Cherokee wax beans are three inches tall. To actually harvest any I may have to pot them up. In September and set then in and out of the kitchen with the changes in weather.
We like the native red stemed amaranth seeds popped. I haven’t tried grinding them for flour. The leaves and seeds are good in soups or cook leaves like spinach. I eat a lot of lambsquartes leaves in season and micro greens in winter. I always save a pint or more of lambsquaerters seeds for winter. I also save alfalfa seeds for winter. I make a tea from the growing tips from spring to late summer. Its good mixed with lemon balm, mints, lemon grass, rose leaves and or raspberry leaves and roots. Its a neutral green that blends well with other mild flavors.
I was glad to see the amaranth and purslane finally starting to grow. They should already be mature enough to eat. Not this year… I’d been watching for purslane where I usually see it. Instead it’s coming up in the garden. 🙂
Sky is getting gray and clouds are beginning to grow together. Humidity is rising. Some thunderheads are shooting up tall. That’s promising for rain chances. Wind picking up too.
I order from a half-dozen sites. Some places have rare seeds I want, like Porter tomatoes, and 6-shooter corn. Baker’s has a wild catalog. Sustainable Seeds, no catalog, but good things, a pepper site that doesn’t take advantage of people. Hudson’s catalog looks like a plant list by agronomists, but again, a lot of things we can use for hidden gardens. I got the blue flax, at least. Got a pack of calèndula seeds, as well. It the winter is mild, it’ll come back from the roots and flower. The petals are so good, doctors used to beg housewives to raise it for them. Battle field surgeons, both Confederate and Union, could pack petals in even deep wounds and no sepsis in the wounds. Lavender tea to calm the patient, then milk of poppy, then do the surgery.
Puncture vine is a disaster anywhere. Good feed for sheep and goats when young, though. I cut it off below ground level and it rarely makes a comeback. Same with tumbleweed, which grows wild in the yards of empty houses but not in pastures. A lot of animals eat that, as well. Cathy Voss, she ranches down south of tucson, trained their cattle to eat weeds. Now, she said, hardly any show up and the cattle will nose them out when they’re moved to a new pasture. Silver leaf nightshade is more a problem. Birds like the berries and the seeds come up all over. It’ll grow right through the 3 months of dry weather in summer. Pretty plant, nice bloom, and thorns. The wide leaves make a good mulch, though 🙂
You better go harangue those sacred persons on the Hopi rez. Tell them, they’re not doing their job calling in the rain.
I want this hospital crap over and done with. I missed most of summer thanks to the problems. And, it’s past bedtime. When I got back this afternoon, I managed to put most all the stuff away but the coffee grounds. That can wait till morning. It’s being stockpiled, anyway, for the fall garden. I dropped in bed at 5, and didn’t wake up till 9:30 and missed the time in the garden. It’s still hot out, but quiet and peaceful, until the gang of feathered thugs show up, any way 🙂 niio
I bet you’re ready for the hospital stuff to be behind you. I knowing had more than enough the past two years. Keeping that in prayer.
Storms blew right past us most of the day. I finally watered trees and started the water in the soaker hose because things were starting to wilt waiting on rain. I guess that’s all it took. It rained, blew over, rained, blew over and rained hard again. Yard is so saturated the Adobe feels a bit soft walking on it.
I planted the last seedling tomato, the last bell pepper that is now blooming and setting fruit, and the last seedling flowers. I always plant flowers in the garden to draw bees and butterflies. Monday I aim to plant lettuce and transplant the lemon grass.
The watermelon, cucumber and cantaloupe plants are starting to run. The yellow squash are blooming and setting finally. The arrival of the rains sure makes a difference.
Today I heard the catholic school up the road is going to have to drill their well deeper. They ran dry. We’re half a mile downstream from them but my 2, 65 ft deep wells still have water. I just need a new pressure tank on the one we’re using right now.
I have two unhappy kittens in a medium size wire dog kennel. They go to their new home tomorrow. On the way home from church I’m supposed to pick up 3 ducklings, a treadle sewing machine, 3 dz strawberry plants, the custom mixed poison for the elm coming up under a corner of my mobile home, and more. Long busy day.
Walk in blessings.
You got that right! I moved back to get away from hospitals and doctors, but their hitlery health care caught up with me. The VA asked how long have I had the symptoms. I said for years. But this is the first place I lived where I could enjoy myself digging and gardening, hiking, and just walking. Geisinger and Haze. Gen both said I had a heart murmur, but nothing to worry about. Both are majors in the dem health care plan. This could have been taken care of long before it became a real problem. But, that’s Penna and liberals in general.
It rained there? Thank God. We have to wait till Tuesday, then 80% and showers every day after for at least a week. I got less than a third of the mesquite picked, but there’s a ton out back, as well. Tomorrow, though, I need to be down the neighbor’s. He’s giving me the dates off his tree. I asked if he wanted to get rid of the dead fronds, as well, and he smiled. He knows they make good mulch, and he doesn’t garden.
It was mostly cloudy today, so this evening the cowpeas went out. If I get enough, 3 bean salad. 20 quarts might be enough for me 🙂
A couple of more tomatoes showed up in the flats. Looks like they were hiding till they were sure the quail was gone 🙂 Well, they can go in buckets and in the house in the fall. If they survive, hoo-rah. Then they can make cuttings for fast starts in the spring.
Since the rain, everything is blooming like crazy, but it’s too hot. I do need to get the bush beans started and when I get home, the runner beans and poles set. I hope I don’t miss that couple from Truth-Or who roast peppers. If I did, it means a run to hatch for 100# of roasted chilis. 5 hour trip, one way. But, Pablo, outside Hatch, does some of the best I ever.
Cats always look so natural behind bars.
Don’t have too much fun tomorrow. What kind of ducks? I’d like some Muscovy ducks, but AZ said I would need a permit to raise them.
Next month, the Tresca strawberry seeds need to be planted. Niio!
Ducks are Indian runner and mallard mix. Really cute. I’m guessing a drake and 2 hens. Almost 2 months old.
I picked up 3 doxen fresh dug strawberry plants on my way home. They’ve been growing at 6800 ft elevation so should be good here at 6250 ft. I liked how the guy counted. Probably closer to 20 each of the three varieties. $5 a doz. The couple in their 70s sell flower and house plants, strawberry plants and fruit trees. Beautiful place. He gave me 2 tiny aloe plants that need repotted and some TLC.
Also picked up a really nice rabbit cage. Nice big one. Free from Craigslist. Condition like new.
Tomorrow I need to find a spare tire for the truck then either Monday or Tuesday pick up a nice treadle sewing machine from a family that is moving, then some parts for the well. Have water but need to pull it and replace the flexible pipe in the well and some other small parts.
My friend was happy with the kittens. Cute, friendly but used to being outside a lot and just weaned and already hunting. She named the Long haired red tiger- Pumpkin and the red and white shorthanded tabby is Patches. Now to find more homes. 🙂
I dropped off the duckling and drove on to 0 for 10Wal-Mart to get ice and milk. Found a bunch of garden plants marked way down. I’ll plant them soon. Still have plenty of room for them. Mostly herbs…saw the first boxes of chili in the store. $18.70 for 10 lb boxes. I’m used to seeing much larger boxes or bags of fresh green NM chili. Yes Hatch is my favorite. lomg day and lots of miles. I’ve been up 19 hours, had church, lunch with 3 friends, and drove 263 miles. Heading to bed. 1 am. Much to do later today.
Several more days of rain. Tomatoes, green beans, and peppers are all setting. Most of the herbs are doing well. The Mellon vines are vining as are the cucumbers and the cucumbers are blooming. Yellow squash are setting so I’ll have a few to eat in a day or two.
I planted three artichokes last evening. It started raining as I finished up. They are looking really nice for a thistle plant. I laid out 25 ft hoses and multi couplers to connect the soaker hoses. Let them run on low for a few hours settling things in.
Tuesday we picked up several things in Albuquerque after getting a set of tires put on the truck. One of them was a good looking sewing machine in a cabinet. It wouldn’t move and the motor was throwing sparks. In 10 minutes fresh 3 n 1 oil had it purring. I adjusted the motor out a bit to get more tension on the belt. Today I spent another 5 minutes adjusting the needle placement so it wouldn’t break needles. $10, $3 oil and 15 minutes had it ready to give to my friends here. Her machine broke and is unrepairable. This is a good heavy machine from the 1960s. I haven’t done much with the machine I bought for myself. Its a 1910 singer treadle machine.
Today I was back in Albuquerque. Bought a nice antique folding table for my small eating area. He threw in his Dads small native drum a wooden salad set and his parents cookbooks. The we stopped at another sale. Bought a small refrigerator for $30, three beautiful 1890s books, and a set of 4 folding canvas chairs that fit in a bag as a set. Glad to get the little refrigerator. It will give us something we can use for a whole. I’m getting tired of the ice chest when we have milk or meat to keep. I’ll add the chairs to my camping gear.
I hope to get the treadle machine checked out this week. I’d like to sell most of my electric machines. I don’t need them if this nonelectric machine is good. We’re planning a sale in September at church. That or my neighbor and I will start sewing lessons again.
God bless, but I had hoped you’d write. You sound like you had some fun, even if you had to go to Albuquerque. I never cared much for the city, but the state is pretty enough and the people generally cool. Unless, of course, you’re trying to drive among them 🙂
I’m worn out. Walk close to a mile to collect ripe prickly pears and only got 4 gallons. There’s still tons, literally, in the brush. But, there’s 4 gallons of juice that needs to be filtered, as well. I simmer the ‘pears till tender, then chop them up in the food processor. The next day, they go in the colander which takes out seeds and thorns. Juice can go in the freezer till I have enough for a few batches of juice jugs in the canner. I’m still cussin’ myself for not getting back to the brush a lot earlier. Now I have to take a rake to get the mesquite beans. Cholla are done for the season. Wow, though, lots of jackrabbits are back there, now that the neighbor was threatened with fines for not keeping his hounds home (Arizona has a shoot-first law on dogs). Saw deer tracks (a buck), and javalina tracks, as well. Everything likes ‘pears. No, no little adventures with the pigs. Our gentle woodsland critters (as liberals call them) have a major issue: Does not play well with others. Picked a few aloes leaves. Those are good for all those thorn scratches 🙂 One great thing about javalinas is, bobcats tend to run from them.
Artichokes are supposed to be a natural in my area, but I never tried them. Had some canned, once, and never acquired a taste for them. The range folks don’t like them because they tend to go wild, like salsefy. No tomatoes, but seedlings keep coming up here and there, so there’s hope. No chilis, not even chiltepin. Too hot yet, but they’re growing fast. The peppermint needs one more good rain to take over the world.
The amaranth is growing fast, but too small to bloom, yet. The Andes variety (love-lies-bleeding) will take off when the nights get cold. Only yellow-flowered purslane so far. The red hasn’t started, but should soon. I like that better, though it attracts critters to the yard. As long as they leave me some, I’m cool. Just hope the ants didn’t harvest all the seeds, something they’ll do. Oddly, there aren’t as many ant nests in the brush this summer, but it was the drought that helped more queens survive. Same with grasshoppers and crickets. But, the dog has a new playmate in the yard, a brown tarantula. Hope he doesn’t eat this one. She’s keeping the cricket population down.
I would like to get an old treadle sewing machine, but probably would not use it. Wishful thinking, something from the past, when Mom got Nana’s treadle from her, years after she got it from her mother. One thing I plan to get is a wringer washer. I would a hand-operated one, but they want too much. The Amish make them for less.
Some good/bad news, the kid lost parole. He’s in for another 6 months. Bad because it would be good to have him here, good because jail is near as good as Army for him, and he’s one of these folks who you’d swear were made for the military. I told him, all I can do is pray God’s perfect will be done and I believe it has been 🙂 Niio!
I went back to Albuquerque again yesterday. Yup, not my favorite place and I hate the drive. Guy I’d bought a nice antique folding dining table from asked me to come back Sunday on my way home from church since I drive through Albuquerque anyway. He’s cleaning out his parents home and has things he wants to give to me. Anything I can’t use will go on the church sale tables in September. Same with the home where I bought the small refrigerator and 4 campchairs. He has things to give me as well. So I’ll drive the truck to church and probably fill it up after lunch with friends.
My husband loves the rawhide drum and padded stick. Beautifully hand made set. I’ll keep it out on a display shelf for him.
Amaranth here is just coming up, so the tallest ones are perhaps 3 inches tall. Lambsquarters range from tender young a foot tall to 4 foot tall and going to seed. We’ve been eating from them for a couple of months. Tunas in Albuquerque are 2-4 weeks from ripe. Out here it is usually October and the wild ones are tiny so it takes lots to make much juice. I try to get the big ones from Albuquerque yards where owners don’t want them. I hope to make several gallons of juice when they are ripe. We enjoy the juice, a gallon of wine, jelly and syrup for pancakes. I use metal tongs and burn off the stickers then steam them and squeeze the juice out of them in an old fashioned jelly bag.
Our purslane is the kind with a tiny yellow flower. Were getting lots of rain all around us but not much right here so I’m watering the garden and new trees. Still hoping to see green on more of those trees. The few wild plums that set this year were a nice treet yesterday. About the size of a large olive and bright red. They were tart sweet and really juicy. I gave my husband the most of what I found. He’d never had them before. I’ve eaten bucket fulls over the years and made lots of jam.
Something was after my new young ducklings last night. Made a big racket but nothing insight by the time I got to the front door. I had two smaller metal dog crates sitting on top of the 3 ft x 5 ft metal dog crate cage the ducklings are in. One smaller crate is out in the middle of the yard. I need to do some tracking and see what it was. We’re close on the foothills of a larger mountain so we can see bob cats, mountain lions, bears, coyote, neighbors dogs, ring tailed cats ( relatives of raccoons), and there are wolves within 100 miles that could roam this way hunting. I doubt its cat with the cage thrown out in the yard. Have to see if I can find good tracks. It sure made a clatter and my little dog went crazy but wouldn’t go out when I opened the door. She barred my way so I figured she knew best and I just used the bright spotlight to look around and I stayed in.
An old wringer washing machine would be an interesting find. I had one years ago but it disappeared during the years I was away. When I don’t have power (most of the last year) I just use a new toilet plunger in a set up of three 5 gallon buckets. Soap, rinse, rinse, and somethings a final rinse with a bit of vinegar in the water. A hand cranked wringer might be interesting. I was thinking an old exercise bike in the yard might power a foot like the sucker rod of a windmill. Set in a large washtub it could do the scrubbing work. It might even power a wringer set up. Wringing the laundry is hard for me as the bones are not strong yet in my right arm since surgery. It’s mending but still painful where the bones were cut to repair it.
Last week I bought a special sealing, threaded lid set up for a plastic 5 gal bucket. I’m figuring to store dry mixes in it. I have a snap ring closing 55 gal plastic drum but it’s too deep and too big for my use right now.
I have a lot of painting stuff (rollers and brushes et.) to get packaway in the storage shed. Then I can arrange my office/sewing area and make room for a couch and arranging our main living area. This injured knee since December really messed up getting moved in and things arranged. Its not well but is better so I think I can start moving and carrying out some things. I have one dresser left to paint. The home painting is done until I make small shelves in the kitchen and bathroom. Those I’ll paint as I assemble them and it will be done. 🙂 the lower kitchen cabinets don’t have shelves so for now I’m using wire shelves. It’s down to smaller jobs that can be done one area at a time as I can get materials and work slowly.
For now I’m going tracking to see if I can identify last nights intruder.
Wow, and I thought having to go to tucson a few times a month was bad. Every week? You must have a mountain of coffee grounds from Starbucks. I have yet to see anything that beats adobe like that does. With fall coming in a few more months, I’m stocking up. A few inches keep the frost damage at a minimum till hard freezes and snow take out the summer stuff. Then the radishes and cabbages will take over. It keeps the ground warm by absorbing heat and feeds, as well.
You have a dance drum? I almost had one, but turned it down. It was two feet across and made for dancing with. It would have stayed on the wall, not gone to pow wows. Now, of course, at my age (17 and holding for the last 4+ decades 🙂 it would be hung on the wall as a piece of honor.
Had a bummer today. I’ve been overdoing picking, and processing, and wound up sleeping all day, off and on. It’s Sunday, so I would have rested, anyway, but I hate doing that. The mind refuses to accept what’s happening in the body, and the body demands more exercise and can’t have it. And now still have 3 gallons of juice to can, but couldn’t get to the store to pick up OJ to acidify the juice. It can wait. A little fermenting might happen, but that’s not a problem.
We pick, then simmer, then run through the food processor. That gets drained into a bucket for 24 hours. Pickers either float to the top or stay on the bottom. What remains goes in the lower parts of the garden for quail and such to enjoy. Next Saturday, the big ones should be ripe, and javelina and deer can eat the small ones. Funny that the javalinas aren’t knocking down the cholla for the fruit, but it’s not ripe enough, yet, I guess. Be welcome to them. Too many pickers on cholla even to take the buds in the spring. Tomorrow, I hope, I can walk down with the rake to get a few buckets of mesquite.
The Santa Rosa is bearing up. Now that the turnips are done, it has a lot more moisture. Turnips will root down 6 feet if they can, and with adobe soil, they get plenty of moisture for a crop. Some grasshopper problems, but the tarantula and lizards are taking care of that. Next year! Man, I love plums. It would be great to have a European plum, as well, those are sweet. Santa Rosa is Japanese-Native plum cross and can take the heat. Are yours plains plums? I had those when in Ohio. Folks called them Chickasaw plums. The blooms were purple, I think. They great wild all over where herbicides didn’t nail them.
Saw a lot of them around one garden bed. If they’re laying eggs there, the bed can stay as is for now. And, there must be a dozen horned toads out back in the year. I found a new black ant nest, this one with a 3 inch opening, and dosed it. Next time, it gets cornmeal. The horned toads are fun to watch, but there’s plenty of ants down in the brush, too. The dachshund hasn’t tried to eat a ‘toad this year, so might be (in my dreams, maybe 🙂 he learned his lesson.
Ducks? Get the sweet cherries out and I’ll find the family recipe for Bavarian Duck. 🙂 We raised Muscovies, and Dad let them roost at night. They’re the only breed of domesticated duck that does roost. Calls will, and woods ducks, but Muskies are farm birds.
I was always warned to not mess wit a ringtail, that they can spray like a skunk. Do not know and do not plan to find out! Skunks will take a duckling, too. It sounds like you had a bobcat. Do not mess with them! One can take down a deer, let along a human, and they will attack people. I would say, get those ducklings inside, nights, or it’ll be back till it can figure out how to have a duck dinner.
Yeah, I saw washers run on bike power. Small loads, but they ran good. We used to see old hand-wringer washers at farm sales decades ago. Antiques dealers bought them cheap (no one wanted one) and sold them dear in the cities. A lot of Hasidim Jews are like the Amish, and do not want too much electric in the apartment. If the windmill is strong enough, that can be used, as well. I can never remember her name, but a ranch wife who used to write for Riodoso News, said a neighbor lost power for weeks after a range fire, and she set a tub under an old windmill. No idea how, but I did find this about WWII online. https://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/build-cheap-washing-machine-zmaz76zhar It was something like 60 miles to the closest laundromat, and 24 hours on a ranch is never enough time to get all the work in needed each day.
For the bike: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/energy/Bicycle%20Washing%20Machine%20wo%20spin.pdf
Countryside small stock journal does pieces on how-to homesteading on and off-grid.
When I had to wash everything by hand, the wet clothes went in a basket and I walked on them. That took out more water faster than wringing by hand. I tried the bathtub, but the basket did a lot better.
Korean accupressure, massage behind the knee for knee problems. It loosens tendons that get rock hard because of the pain, and helps blood flow in and out, taking away excess calcium. Git crackin’ on the trackin’. We’ll have roast critter for dinner 🙂 Niio!
Wild plum here blooms white. Fruit skin is red but the flesh is a deep golden yellow. Wonderful sweet tart juicy fruits. About the size of large olives. Will grow and bear with 0 care or watering even in drought.
The drum is small compared to dance drums. Its 6 inches tall and 8 inches across. It sounds good but will go on a shelf. It is hollowed cottonwood and rawhide.
I Don’t do Starbucks. None where I live so it is either MacDs or from home. I do like coffee but don’t drink a lot during the summer.
17 and holding… Hmmm. Lol I’ve had 56 anniversaries of my 15th birthday. I told my kids I’m 15 forever.
When my last two kids were young they played with a lot of horned toads. I haven’t seen a single one since I came back. Same with tarantulas. They boys played with them. A tarantula wasp flew past me yesterday. The tarantulas seal the hugh wasps with their eggs and the newly hatched tarantulas live on the wasps. The wasps try to best the tarantulas and use them to feed their young. That’s gruesome.
For the most part other than apples and a few wild plums there were no tree fruits here this year. The very late freezes got them all. The thompson seedless grapes I planted more than 30 years ago, started from a cutting, are set full of dozens of large bunches of grapes.
The ducks are soooo cute. I love their baby sounds. The very large dog crate is pretty heavy metal. Hope it’s enough. No space inside for them until we get the new home built for them and the chickens.
My Dad was stationed on Guam then Enowetok in the Pacific during WWII. He built a windmill washing machine. Wish I had a picture of it. He cut hair and did laundry to earn money toward Mom’s train ticket from Florida to Seattle to get married when ever he was discharged from the Navy. He earned enough for the train ticket, 2 rings, and rent and food till he found a job. It worked. They were married in Seattle and I was born 1 year and 12 days later.
I may try a basket for the wet things. Wringing by hand is almost impossible right now. The old machine I was using has quit and stands half full of water.
Its 20÷ miles to a decent laundry from here. It’s hot and there is more work than I’m able to do each day. I’d rather get the laundry done and hung it up to dry right here. Of course I’d rather use my nice large capacity washer that’s just sitting in the big shop building along with the matching stackable gas dryer. I can’t turn on the power again until the home is grounded. When it rains the metal skirting grounds and sparks. I don’t want to risk a fire. It was shooting 2 inch flames. The metal carried a tingle. I have the copper grounding rod and wire and clamp. Just need to get it done so we can use the power. Waiting on a friend who does electrical work. He gets to me slowly as he puts paying jobs ahead of me. We’ve been without power for the last year so it’s not a big deal. But I’m really wanting to get it turned back on. Sort of tired of it now. We had power for a couple of weeks and it was nice.
Husband helped me move a few things. He decided he worked all day. Lol. I guess he got tired watching me. I sorted all of one shed and most of a larger one. Figuring out what to sell in September and what to use now or later. There are tools set aside to move to work shop areas. Still about 1/3 Of the big shed to go through then start carrying boxes to the right sheds and work areas and set aside sales, Christmas, and donation items. NOT A FAVORITE JOB!
The guy I bought the antique folding table from asked me to go by on Sunday on my way home after church. He gave me a computer, 2 bicycles, and 8 boxes of stuff and 2 buck saws and an extra blade. There were kids VHS and a player for them. There is a nice stand mixer and a box of platters. I’ll keep some and sell some at the church sale in September. The computer, a buck saw and most of the movies went to my neighbors family. He’s really been a big help. Without much of an income it’s a struggle with so many. The kids need the computer for schoolwork. Glad they can use it. I have a laptop computer but without WiFi here I don’t really use it much. I guess I could take it to MacDonalds and use their free wifi sometimes. It’s just about 3 miles to the nearest one.
It was very humid today but no rain. Its supposed to rain tomorrow. The garden sure loves the rain. I’ll pick the first yellow squash this week. Other than purslane and Lambsquarters there isn’t much wild stuff here to harvest. I still don’t see any Mullen where it usually grows.
The transplanted strawberry plants are perking up. They are June barriers and they are done with fruit and were putting out runners. I’ll let the runners that are there go ahead and root and spread. They are looking beautiful. I’ll need to find a bale of hay to mulch them before it starts freezing.
Hope you find plenty of mesquite. It doesn’t grow here.
Walk in blessings.
Blessings! It rained hard yesterday, and now, if we get showers every day for a while, the chilis and celery (Chinese type) will sprout and thrive.
No, I’m not crazy about Starbucks, either, but they don’t care if you buy or not. The coffee grounds are free. 4% nitrogen and plenty of potassium. Most of their food is overpriced and loaded with gluten, so, no go. Used as a mulch in the fall, it keeps plants producing into frost season. Albuquerque has shops. It’s a lib town and they love Starbucks. I love what coffee grounds do for the adobe soil.
I’d like to get native plums, but it’s too warm here. Ditto sand cherries, which are native. Good tasting cherries that bloom for a month or more, so no worries if there’s a frosty night. They have them in the oak brush up in Oracle, but that’s 1,000 feet higher in elevation. I can raise capulin cherries, which do the same, but try to find a catalog that sells a named variety.
15 and holding? Yes! 🙂
Tarantula wasps and other wasps that go after spiders are all over, but the tarantula dug a hole about 6” deep. She’s welcome to all the crickets and grasshoppers she can nab.
I should be napping. Got another appointment, this un at 1845 tonight. Hope the traffic is light heading down.
Well, there was plenty of mesquite, but it got rained on. I put cardboard over the stumps of santa rita cactus to choke it out, and that means more fertility for the one mesquite in the yard that bears. The others are too young, and acacia keeps sprouting all over. The roots make more fertility and the tips light mulch. Plenty of the yellow-flowering purslane, and I use it every day, but the red is better for you. May it rain! niio
Another crazy day.
Spent most of four hours in Albuquerque, again. Spent $40 on a pickup load of new drawers, hinges, and about 100 drawer glides. Many of the drawers were still in the sealed boxes the shop had purchased them in. I’d planned on building drawers on sliders for a couple of cabinets. I’ll make shelves in some deep drawers and use them like mini bookcases in shallow spots. I can cut drawers down to fit. Saves a lot of work.
Then met someone to get free insulated food bags. Since I shop mostly on Sunday and drive 100 miles with my groceries the bags will be handy.
Then dropped by a home where I purchased a mini refrigerator recently. Picked up several nice free items.
Then by an old friends home to get a plastic barrel with a ringed lid for duck food and 2 small hard fiberboard barrels with removable wood lids for storing dry foods in my kitchen.
Then Tractor Supply for 100 lbs of scratch grain for the chickens.
Then a $25, 2’x4’x 5′ tall metal shelf unit for the hoped for wood working shop I’m assembling. We filled it with drawers and hardware when we got the truck unloaded.
Then lunch at an awesome food truck.
Then gas at a circle K store. Gas Price down to $2.13, nice drop…
Got the truck unloaded while it started sprinkling. Parked the truck in its usual spot and the rain poured, lots of thunder and lightening. Had to close all the open windows as the wind drove the rain through the Windows where we’d let the mobile home start cooling off.
I’ll be having fun with all those drawers. But no more going to Albuquerque this week. Too exhausting! Glad my neighbor drove us around. Heat and humidity are doing a number on me.
Amaranth shot up another 4″ overnight. Picked the first 2 yellow squash and 3 jalapenos yesterday. Looks like one more squash to add in the morning. Calabasitas for lunch tomorrow with squash, peppers, onions, and a bit of hamburger. May throw in some green leaves.
I had wondered if amaranth would be ready by the end of our growing season. Its growing so fast right now that I can see I’ll have no problems with it being ready.
Amaranth, 60 days for grain to start. All of mine is old-time and I’ll take the bucket around and tap the deed heads into it. ripe, it should come out easily. Now that the monsoons started, Merlot is coming up fast, as is prickly. Prickly is still in the good stage for greens. Been getting yellow purslane and now the red, which has much wider leaves, is coming up all over. Found some more tomato seedlings coming up in the flats, but tomorrow, 6 AM, VA and then they get to feed the kitty cat when it wanders into the OR (let’s hope not, anyway, the Benny Hill skit was based on socialized medicine 🙂
The amaranth planted out first is knee high. moringa is getting there. the tatume (calabacita) acts like its boss of the garden and the pumpkins know they are.
When I get healed: There are clumps of river cane in the wash, and I want them. It looks like bamboo, but blooms each year and are too flimsy for much but can be soaked and made into different things. Those cured on the stalk are light enough to drag a few dozen back at a time.
The last batch of ‘pears are juiced, canned, and the pulp was put in a bucket with water and a little yeast from the rice wine vinegar. that’s done, so it’s in a jug till i need more vinegar. I got 3 quarts, and wish I had done all of the leftovers like that.
Tonight, the fridge gets cleared out. Anything that can go in the freezer, will, and most of the stuff in the freezer will go to the big one.
Tsi Yu! You walk in beauty.
The amaranth here is a native plant. It has a lot of red in the stems and leaves. The leaves are tasty cooked. It makes a nice seed head but the south American ones are larger. I’ll start picking some this week. They are really shooting up now that the rains have come. I enjoy the purslane. Its good in a salad but I especially like it lightly steamed.
I bought annise today to make biscochitos. Have everything except lard. I will pick some up when I go to town tomorrow. My husband and the neighbor kids all love cookies.
And I’m a big kid 🙂 Got to dig out that gluten free oatmeal cookie recipe. It makes a great sweet oatmeal cake. One blob of cookie dough in a cast iron pan and back. The kids used to ask for it a lot. niio
Sounds good. We both love anything oatmeal….
Gluten free is something I haven’t really done much with. There is always someone around needing gluten free or or some other special kind of diet.
Amaranth sounds great! And worthy of being in your garden! But how does one harvest it?
I’ve just started to garden here in Lincoln Co. Nothing’s like Virginia’s sea level gardening but I got a few yellow squash and some wax beans. I hear good stuff about cherry tomatoes but I only planted Better Boy and got only half dozen that reddened. Lots of green ones on the plants, but will they ripen? I got a few okra on the two plants I have; enough to steam over some beans. My big bounty seems to be the Poblano peppers. I’ve picked dozens and there’s dozens more that must they;re big limes. But my big surprise was the peach trees I planted last fall. A dozen yellow peaches (so sweet) and 8 white freestones (almost as sweet). Can’t wait to try again next spring. Working on screening the gravel and breaking up the clay.
Even if your tomatoes don’t ripen, they can still be used cooked in salsas, chutneys, marmalades, pies, and as “fried green tomatoes”. Check around for recipes that sound good to you…the unripe fruit has a lemony taste. Not sure if cooking is required for safety; it might be just to make them taste better.
I really like fried green tomatoes. They are edible green and raw but tastier fried or prepared like tomatillos. Makes a great salsa with green chilis in it.