Tag Archives: dogs

Summer of bounty, The Great 2018 Vehicle Swap, and Gathering your harvest for canning and dehydration…get ready for our decade annual winter storms

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of blogging for over a month…Paula and I have been just buried with veggie production of squash, tomatoes (oh man the amount of tomatoes), and cucumbers.

Summer of bounty
Here’s some quick details for what we’re doing with our 2018 garden bounty:

  • We’ve dehydrated about 10 quart jars of tomatoes (Montesino F1 grape and Matt’s Wild cherry).
  • Paula also started dehydrating our squash; she’s spiraled and cubed to test which dehydrates better (I think she likes the spiralized since they really compress down nicely for storing with our vacuum food saver).
  • We’ve had so many of the Matt’s Wild cherry tomatoes we have been just grabbing them by the bunch, stripping them from the vines and tossing into the food dehydrator trays.
  • Paula has canned approximately 20 pint jars of tomato ketchup using our Crimson Sprinter, Moskvich, and Pink Boar tomatoes. I have to note that the Pink Boar has a rich smokey taste that is to die for! Wow…I cannot believe how good of ketchup this makes. Paula gets definite gold-star for her efforts here. 🙂
  • The eggplants are the only disappointment for 2018; with the rabbit eating 4 of them off at the base before I was able to trap it and relocate to a nearby park. We really had lack luster performance. I think next year I’ll put these in a garden box with only our low growing plants like cabbage and broccoli. Having them mixed with our squash and sunflowers meant they had to fight for every scrap of sunshine, which meant all their efforts were spent trying to grow instead of setting fruit. Live and learn, next year we know to isolate them.

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Garden hits its stride and harvesting the bounty!

Hey Everyone, we’ve been busy here on the urban homestead with planting our succession plants like cabbage and kale getting ready for that next phase in the gardens…fall. It’s hard to think about that right now with the temperatures in the mid-90s, but without the planning now we’d run low on fresh greens outdoors…before we transition back to having 100% of the greens grown on the urban homestead from the indoor grow tents.

Most of the efforts lately have been focused on the Youtube videos and getting those post-processed (meaning I’m fumbling my way through editing with kdenlive and audacity both free software on Ubuntu Linux). It’s fun to learn these new things about normalizing and equalization of the audio tracks, but time consuming. I’m not complaining though…if we want more viewers on our channel we need to put in the effort to make the best videos possible. 🙂

Here’s a link to the Youtube channel (or you could just click the link from the main menu at the top of the page: PnB Homesteading Youtube Channel

Weekly weekend harvest of our homestead bounty
Quick update, are these 2 pictures of our garden harvest for the weekend. We haven’t included pickin any of the cucumbers since Paula will be canning a bunch of those this week and doing the harvest too early will allow them to get “rubbery” if you know what I mean. It’s best to have them fresh as possible so we get that freshest crunch once they’re canned. Anyway, I’m rambling again…here’s the picture:  Continue reading

Saying goodbye to a long-time member of the homestead family

Hi Everyone, this is one of the hardest blog posts I’ve had to write. This week on Friday, April 6th 2018 we had to take our Labrador Retriever “PJ” to the veterinarians office to have him put down. I want to make sure I communicate this isn’t a sad post, but one of expressing the joy our family has had with our beloved friend over the past 15 and a half years we shared together.

Over the last year-and-a-half PJ has been enduring ever increasing difficulties. From urinary incontinence (which he’s worn a belly band diaper) all the way up to the current situation today where he’s become increasingly unstable walking (not able to get up without assistance). Lately he’s been falling down in the house and defecating where he cannot get up (and ends up covered in feces). This was of little consequence (or bother) to Paula and I as this is part of what a responsible pet owner takes on when they welcome an animal into their home. What finally brought us to the current reality that’s it’s time to put Pj down is that he’s been expressing ever increasing (in the last month) levels/symptoms of pain with whines and yelps when walking, sitting, or even just laying in his bed.

So, after some long-night discussions Paula and I decided that it would be unfair to drug Pj (on ever increasingly higher doses of pain medication) just to spare ourselves the emotional burden of dealing with his eventual demise. We’ve always treated our pets as family members and this is the best way we know how to show him the respect he all deserves for all his years of uncompromising loyalty to our family and allow him to die with dignity.

Now that PJ has passed there is a overwhelming feeling of calm within Paula and I knowing as our last act of kindness our best friend is no longer suffering through any pain just to please us (as we all know Labrador retrievers will do for their owners). But now it’s time to share with all of you the joy we had for 15 and a half years with PJ. Below is a link to the remembrance video I’ve put together, don’t worry this isn’t a sad tribute, but one with appropriate music expressing the fun loving dog we’ve had the pleasure of sharing our family with.

We know that wherever your indelible spirit resides Pj you’re chasing squirrels and having the best walks, so until we meet again mom and I just wanted to say “we love you”.

Cover crops and hog fuel, 2018 garden seedlings progress, backyard panorama

Hi Everyone, it’s been a busy few weeks since my last blog post, so lets get to it and talk about what we’ve been working on…

This weekend I spread 8 yards of hogfuel mulch around our urban homestead. Paula was working on our Easter dinner plans, so I was told to vacate the house. When I get told by Mrs Mann to “go outside” I take full advantage of my dirt-time. 🙂
We use hodfuel as mulch on our backyard trails for the dogs and people to walk on. The advantage of this “hard wood” mulch is that it takes years to breakdown; the last time we mulched was 4 years ago when we really started converting our backyard into an urban homestead food production system. You’ll see what this mulch looks like in the photos at the end of this blog post.

Pj guarding the cover crops in our garden boxes

Pj guarding the cover crops in our garden boxes

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