Time to get seed started.

God Bless America

God Bless America
If you don't think so, maybe you should leave

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wishing for a greenhouse

I have sure been wishing I had a greenhouse to start my baby plants. Can't see it happening anytime soon. I can grow them in the house with lights. Its a lot of trouble but it works.
I did that last year, guess I will do it again this year. I am only planing on about 100 plants, thats more than enough to keep me happy. I don't have a complete list yet. I need to get started on my raised beds. I sure want them this year. Soil and weed control is my goal. Bed size I am thinking is going to be 14' X 4' X 12" deep. Maybe have 6 total beds this year. Later y'all. Bill

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Been busy, but not growing anything

Cold weather has come, garden is gone. We have had some heavy frost and looks like more are coming. I haven't started my Chile seed yet, but do have my potting soil and lights all ready. I also have been praying over the seed catalogs. Just looking to see whats new, so far nothing special. I save most all my own seed for the Chiles. Most are not hybrid anyway.

 Been working on a new blog http://curingandsmoking.blogspot.com/ Being of age and growing up a country boy. I have always enjoyed good sausage, bacon and ham. When growing up we always cured our own pork. I still remember those days, and dang I sure miss them. So that is what I have been busy doing. Building a smokehouse, smoking ham, bacon ,making sausage and all sorts of good stuff. Gonna smoke us a turkey for thanksgiving. I have never smoked a turkey before but have smoked chickens.
 So if anyone is interested check it out. Leave comments, good or bad. I am willing to learn.
Happy Thanksgiving y'all, Bill

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Almost time to start.

Yes its almost time to start making new baby plant. I like to plant my seed in December. So by planting time I will have some strong plants. Our planting time is mid April. I have found that some Chile seed that I plant germinate very slow (not all) The Chile pequin is the slowest I have, it takes almost 6-8 weeks. I over winter a few plants in the house, just because.
 New Chile for the coming year is Pimiento de Padron. This is a Spanish frying Chile from Spain. I have never eaten them but have seen reports saying that they are very good.
pimientos de PadrĂ³n (Internet Photo not mine)

The recipes that I find are quite simple, Fry in olive oil until Chiles start to blister and have a slight char. remove and sprinkle with sea salt. Eat with a good bread. It is said that one in ten are hot.
 Sounds like my kind of food.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I am Thinking ?

I am thinking that I can feel just a little fall in the Air. Maybe not, might be because it is cooler and is raining. Man, what a blessing.
 Our Texas weather, at least East Texas has been kinda different. More than normal anyway. I saw yesterday a dogwood with blooms starting to open. remember this is fall not spring, and no I wasn't smoking anything funny. It just looks like to me the weather is really mixed up. So is the whole world. Want to be careful here, stay off my soap box.
  My garden is gone by the wayside. I promise this next year I will have some raised beds for my garden. I am to old and to fat to work plants on the ground. Besides it will give me more control over the soil, plants , harvest and weeds. I just think I can grow a better garden with raised beds. Now the okra I may plant on flat ground. you know it grows kinda tall anyway. Right now the okra plants are about 8' tall.
  Now that I have quit farming full time I am doing more cooking. I like making sausage and curing bacon. And do lots of Bar-B-Que. Built a couple new smokers not long ago. I may just have to start a new blog about my smoking projects. If I do a smoking blog I will post the web address here. Hope you will give it a look. Wishing all a great day.
PLEASE, Pray For AMERICA, its our only hope. later Bill

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Been harvesting some Chiles, tomatoes are done with, but Chiles and okra are still making fruit. I know a lot of y'all don't eat okra but when its fresh its pretty good food. I now have enough in the freezer to last until next year. Thought about drying some. My Grandmother used to dry okra, we also dried okra seed. When we ran out of coffee, okra seed roasted and ground would work just fine. By the way the tomatoes are all canned ready to be eaten.
 Chiles: I have canned some and dried some.Have made lots of what I call wonder dust, dried, ground Chile pequins. I keep it in a shaker bottle and on the table. I like it much better than hot sauce. The powder just adds heat and flavor, no vinegar taste.
This year I did something a little different. I smoked and dried some Chiles. We use lots of Chile flakes, so why not make your own. Besides that I built me a new smokehouse. Yep, I make my own bacon and sausage, really much better than store bought. And I know whats in it. For me now days that makes a lot of since to me.
Back to the Chile flakes: I think these are super good, I like the smoke flavor. I used hickory wood for smoke, just because I had some and I like the flavor it imparts on food. Here are some photos of the process I used with the Chiles. I hope to get about 4 more containers full of finished Chiles. I also use them in my sausage. Good stuff Maynard. Thanks for looking Bill

Chiles in the Smoker.
Smoked and dried.

Crushed Chile Flakes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

We got Rain !!

The weather man was right, 4.1/4". We needed every bit of it. I know some parts of the country are way wet. Hope y'all dry out soon. Didn't do my garden any good. because we got wind also. Layed down most of my chile plants. I didn't have them staked. My fault. Need to pick tomatoes,all this rain will bust them. But we have about all we need any way. I made tomato sauce this week. We try to can all we will need for the coming year. Later Bill
Canned tomatoes:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Heat Wave !!!

Hope all are dealing well with the heat. Heat not to bad here so far, high 90's. But the humidity is a killer, 46% right now. Weather man says rain coming over next several days. I really hope he is right. We do not need another summer like last year.
 Figs are ripening now, but the birds and animals are having a field day with them. Hope they will share with us. I want to make more fig preserves we have just about run out. Here is a good simple recipe I use. Thought you might like it to. later Bill

Old Fashioned Fig Preserve Recipe


4 Cups whole figs

2 Cups sugar

4 Lemon slices, seeds removed (1 slice per jar)

3/4 to 1 Cup water

1 pinch salt

Yield: About 4 pint jars

Rinse your figs in the sink really well and then drain. Remove the stems. Leave whole or cut in half–your choice.

In a large, heavy pot, add all the above ingredients. Cook on low for several hours, about three, stirring occasionally so mixture does not stick or burn. DO NOT LEAVE POT UNATTENDED because burning happens quickly.

Cook until very thick.

Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, using canning funnel and oven mitt so you do not burn your hand.

Make sure your lids and bands are boiling hot!

After filling jars, wipe the rims with clean cloth so lids will form tight seal. Using oven mitt and hot pad, put the hots lids on the hot jars and then tighten the bands.

Process in boiling “granny bath” for 10 minutes. (Or preserves may be stored in fridge for up to one month without the bath.)

And there you have the most beautiful, tasty fig preserves this side of the bayou!

If you would like to cook large amounts, just remember that you use half the amount of sugar to figs.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

We Can Take back America

Guy's its time to take back America !!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Planting Time

Well have been getting rain (wonderful) It looks as thought the drought in East Texas area is broken.
West Texas is still needing more rain. I am not sure about down south.
 I have all my baby plants planted, but with our mild winter the bugs are plentiful. Looks like it is going to be a battle, I am planing to win. (might not though)
 I really felt bad for North Texas with the storms they have had. I saw some photos on TV showing hail stones big as baseballs. Yeah, they were real. Can you imagine what that would do to crops. I have had crops hailed on in the past. (not as big as baseballs) but big enough to destroy the whole fields. When you start plants in January for spring planting its to late to start over. Seeded crops maybe.
 My special Chile plants do look good. They are the elusive Aleppo Chiles. I only managed to get a few seed from Syria. One can buy the ground Chiles from spice company's but they contain no seed. And you cannot buy seed. Why? I haven't a clue.
Hope you all have a great growing season. Bill

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Raining in our part of the world

Yep, finally received a good rain. Got 4" this last weed end. Our farm pond is almost full, it holds 14 acre feet of water. Course it dried up this last summer, so all the fish are gone. First time it has ever dried up in 30 years. I hope we never see another drought like this last summer.
 I have been out walking in the woods, just looking around. Some of the trees are budding out, but I am shocked at how many oaks have died.
 I have the garden area tilled, hope to plant a few things soon. Still might get a cold spell, so I am waiting until around April 15th to plant. My little Chile plants are almost ready for there new home. (in the garden). later Bill

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Is it Time yet?

Is it time yet, I am so looking forward to planting my garden. Got little Chile plants growing all over the house. Wife will be super pleased when they are all outside. (me to) I am still thinking we might get a cold spell. I do however have my ground all tilled and ready to plant. Having the soil checked, I think I may need some lime this year. Our soil is pretty acid, so need to keep a check on it.
 Most Chiles like a PH of about 6.5 well drained soil. I have neither, sure makes for interesting growing.
 I have been drying and grinding my harvest of Chiles. I like the powder for table use as well as for cooking. Fresh Chiles will freeze in vacuum bags pretty well. I use those in soups and stew type cooking.
 We also will plant plenty of tomatoes. I have one this year given to me by a friend. It comes from somewhere in South America. supposed to be from the first native tomato plant. They are very small, not much larger than a pea maybe 3/8"-1/2" dia. But the taste is like a tomato is supposed to taste. (really good) Happy growing Y'all Bill

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Is Spring close at hand?

Sure looking like spring around our house. We have had some small rains, love it. Trees and plants are wanting to bud out. I am thinking that it may be a little to early. I can tell a large amount of the oak trees are not gonna come back. The Texas drought has gone them in, limbs falling from there tops. I received a letter from the Texas dept. of water resources, suspending my water permit until further notice. The drought has been a bad one. It isn't hurting me too much, our lake we irrigate from is dry. Another sad thing we lost all of our fish. Thats 14 acre feet of water just dried up.
 I still have my potted Chiles in the house, although they are needing some sun. Artificial light works but not as good as the real thing.
I am starting some Chile seed, yeah a little late but better than never. Not growing to much this year. Do have a few new Chile variety's I am trying. Just because I like growing plants. I don't have my list at hand but will post it later. Matter of fact I don't have my list finished.

Really sorry about not posting very often. But when all I can do is complain about the weather, it gets kinda old. Heres hoping something new and exciting  will be coming our way.
Wishing you all a wonderful growing season. Let me know what your growing. Thanks Bill