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N&C Midwest: December 2016

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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 12/19/2016, 9:44 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:I am interested, are you growing under lights year round?  Or just for starts?
Just starts.  If I were growing under grow lights during the winter, it would have to be something that never gets very big, say... more than about 12 inches high.  Spinach or lettuce might do okay in that setting.  But as soon as I thought about the electric bill to produce that much light, I decided not to pursue it.  Better to work with Mother Nature as much as possible.  For me, that means growing as much as possible during the growing season and preserving (canning, dehydrating, or freezing) as much of it as possible.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 12/19/2016, 10:34 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:''Twas a balmy 19 here today!  Nothing but catalogs, reading and periodic trips to the compost frozen pile....LOL!

Did use a couple last peppers in chili last night.  THinking I want a jalapeño for next year.  I really like them!  And maybe a dehydrator...thoughts?
I use my dehydrator a lot, and love it.  Dried veggies from the garden make excellent ingredients to add flavor, bulk, and nutrients to soups, stews, slow cooker meals, and casseroles, or even just to add more veggies to dry soup mixes.  Dried tomatoes are to die for - flavor so intense.  Dried peaches, strawberries, or apples from the farmer's market are wonderful in oatmeal with a little greek yogurt.

During the winter I buy lots of potatoes when they're always on sale during Thanksgiving week and Christmas season, and make several tubs of dried potatoes to use in all kinds of things.  That's also when I dry veggies I buy at the farmer's market that I don't grow myself, and make beef jerky - great to hand out during the holidays, my family loves it.  (They fight over it, actually.)

I've also made some dried backpacking foods to keep on hand for emergencies.  Next time there's a two-week power failure, or we have to evacuate the house to escape a flood or tornado, we'll be ready.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 12/20/2016, 4:09 pm

Beautiful icy apples, SR. I love the looks of icing over...just not the cold part. Mad
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 12/20/2016, 4:12 pm

@CitizenKate wrote: Next time there's a two-week power failure, or we have to evacuate the house to escape a flood or tornado, we'll be ready.

Shocked Crud. No more complaining for me about our 'short' little power outs.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/20/2016, 8:28 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Beautiful icy apples, SR.  I love the looks of icing over...just not the cold part. Mad
I know!  I was driving to to church and there is a boulevard with trees, I took my camera because the ice was so gorgeous!  I literally rolled my window down and snapped some of these pics from my car!  

Cold here, there too!
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 12/20/2016, 10:43 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@CitizenKate wrote: Next time there's a two-week power failure, or we have to evacuate the house to escape a flood or tornado, we'll be ready.

Shocked Crud. No more complaining for me about our 'short' little power outs.

Doesn't happen often, here. We had an ice storm in 2007 that knocked out power for quite a few people for 3-14+ days. In 2008, we had a F-4 tornado come through our town and was headed right for us. We have no basement or safe room, but luckily for us, it launched itself off the small bluff just west of us and took back to the air. (Others farther west were not so fortunate.) It was close enough that we could hear it pass by. If we had it all to do over again - we had adequate warning that it was headed our way (love Weather Underground and NOAA weather radio!) - we would have just grabbed our pets and some supplies and bugged outta here.

In a way, it's kind of liberating to have to learn to live without electricity for several days. Now we know we don't absolutely have to have it to be able to cook food or keep warm. Not a good way to live normally - it's more work, of course - but good to know you can do it if you have to.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/22/2016, 12:26 am

@CitizenKate wrote:
@CapeCoddess wrote:
@CitizenKate wrote: Next time there's a two-week power failure, or we have to evacuate the house to escape a flood or tornado, we'll be ready.

Shocked Crud. No more complaining for me about our 'short' little power outs.

Doesn't happen often, here.  We had an ice storm in 2007 that knocked out power for quite a few people for 3-14+ days.  In 2008, we had a F-4 tornado come through our town and was headed right for  us.  We have no basement or safe room, but luckily for us, it launched itself off the small bluff just west of us and took back to the air.  (Others farther west were not so fortunate.)  It was close enough that we could hear it pass by.  If we had it all to do over again - we had adequate warning that it was headed our way (love Weather Underground and NOAA weather radio!) - we would have just grabbed our pets and some supplies and bugged outta here.

In a way, it's kind of liberating to have to learn to live without electricity for several days.  Now we know we don't absolutely have to have it to be able to cook food or keep warm.  Not a good way to live normally - it's more work, of course - but good to know you can do it if you have to.
Interesting.  We lived out in the booneys in winter, 1996.  February to be exact.  I know this because I was home with my newborn baby boy!  Had a super cold snap and we lost power at our house.  Ice.  Trees and major damage.  Power grid down.

We heated with wood, so we were warm (that is WORK) and we could cook on the wood burner.  Candles for light or Coleman camp lights.  This way for 11 days with a brand new baby....wowza.  I was just so glad to be warm!  No real light after the sun went down....yeah, a bit but not reading light.  Kept the 1 1/2 year old entertained easily enough...not so sure you could do that today!


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 12/22/2016, 12:29 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : wrong year)
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 12/22/2016, 10:09 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Interesting.  We lived out in the booneys in winter, 1996.  February to be exact.  I know this because I was home with my newborn baby boy!  Had a super cold snap and we lost power at our house.  Ice.  Trees and major damage.  Power grid down.

We heated with wood, so we were warm (that is WORK) and we could cook on the wood burner.  Candles for light or Coleman camp lights.  This way for 11 days with a brand new baby....wowza.  I was just so glad to be warm!  No real light after the sun went down....yeah, a bit but not reading light.  Kept the 1 1/2 year old entertained easily enough...not so sure you could do that today!
Our next home will either have a wood-burning furnace or we will add one. Not an option in the house we're in now, but we couldn't help but notice how much better off our friends who had them were during the big ice storm. We'll also be scouting for good solar/wind energy potential. The LED lighting we have now can be powered with so little. And if all else fails, there's a good old gas generator! thinking
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/23/2016, 1:17 am

@CitizenKate wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Interesting.  We lived out in the booneys in winter, 1996.  February to be exact.  I know this because I was home with my newborn baby boy!  Had a super cold snap and we lost power at our house.  Ice.  Trees and major damage.  Power grid down.

We heated with wood, so we were warm (that is WORK) and we could cook on the wood burner.  Candles for light or Coleman camp lights.  This way for 11 days with a brand new baby....wowza.  I was just so glad to be warm!  No real light after the sun went down....yeah, a bit but not reading light.  Kept the 1 1/2 year old entertained easily enough...not so sure you could do that today!
Our next home will either have a wood-burning furnace or we will add one.  Not an option in the house we're in now, but we couldn't help but notice how much better off our friends who had them were during the big ice storm.  We'll also be scouting for good solar/wind energy potential.  The LED lighting we have now can be powered with so little.  And if all else fails, there's a good old gas generator! thinking
Yeah, my next first move is getting someone to look at the flue and chimney.  Then, after air conditioning is updated will look at a generator!  Gas.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Mellen on 12/23/2016, 8:29 pm

"Ground cherries:  Need to be in a container!  They were very low growing and bearing, hard to see them....very delicious."


Pardon my ignorance, but what are ground cherries.  I am picturing in my mind a Bing cherry on a vine spreading all over the place.   Razz  That can't be right.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 12/23/2016, 8:39 pm

@Mellen wrote:"Ground cherries:  Need to be in a container!  They were very low growing and bearing, hard to see them....very delicious."


Pardon my ignorance, but what are ground cherries.  I am picturing in my mind a Bing cherry on a vine spreading all over the place.   Razz  That can't be right.


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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Mellen on 12/23/2016, 9:01 pm

Thanks Mr. TD:  Obviously, I had no clue.  I might have to try those.   Very Happy
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 12/23/2016, 9:28 pm

Something that is similar to ground cherry and which grows with a paper shell around the fruit is Tomatillo. I grew these this year and they were prolific. I used them to make salsa.


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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Mellen on 12/23/2016, 9:40 pm

Thanks for the tomatillo post.  The first time I saw one was in my CSA basket a few years ago.  I had no idea what it was....my daughter knew though.  I can't even remember what I did with them.  I do remember I liked them.  The CSA experience was when I knew I wanted to grow my own food.  One day I received a bunch of carrots.  WOW!  What a flavor.  I had forgotten what that was.  The first things I planted in my "salad box" this past Spring were carrots, lettuce, radishes, & onions.  The carrots were superb!  I need to add tomatillo's to my list of seeds to purchase.  (& ground cherries).

I think I'm going to run out of room.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/24/2016, 11:03 am

@Mellen wrote:"Ground cherries:  Need to be in a container!  They were very low growing and bearing, hard to see them....very delicious."


Pardon my ignorance, but what are ground cherries.  I am picturing in my mind a Bing cherry on a vine spreading all over the place.   Razz  That can't be right.
I grew them for the first time last season...they are wonderful!  But I will need them in a container.  They are just really hard to harvest efficiently in a ground box.  They are fruity tasting, mine tasted a bit like pineapple--delish!  I ate them out of hand, but they would make a great salsa, too.  I will never be without them!  CC was the one who got me interested, and sent me some seeds.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/24/2016, 12:23 pm

Container, huh? I wonder if my deck boxes would work... They're 6" deep and quite long....
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  sanderson on 12/25/2016, 2:59 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:...  We lived out in the booneys in winter, 1996.  February to be exact.  I know this because I was home with my newborn baby boy!  Had a super cold snap and we lost power at our house.  Ice.  Trees and major damage.  Power grid down.

We heated with wood, so we were warm (that is WORK) and we could cook on the wood burner.  Candles for light or Coleman camp lights.  This way for 11 days with a brand new baby....wowza.  I was just so glad to be warm!  No real light after the sun went down....yeah, a bit but not reading light.  Kept the 1 1/2 year old entertained easily enough...not so sure you could do that today!
To think our great grandmothers had to do without much in the way of convenience.  Can you imagine washing diapers indoors a tub when you are snow bound for weeks? And having a couple of toddlers or knee-highs. Shocked

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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/25/2016, 11:50 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Container, huh?  I wonder if my deck boxes would work...  They're 6" deep and quite long....
That would be perfect!  I love the taste.  I also think if they were up closer to the house I would harvest more often.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/26/2016, 5:46 pm

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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 12/26/2016, 7:06 pm

Huh? thinking
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/27/2016, 8:36 pm

@CitizenKate wrote:
Huh?  thinking
My picture didn't post, try again!  

The study  

And I received Jungs today!
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 12/27/2016, 9:05 pm

Ohhhhh, YEAH! I guess this means my Jung catalog will arrive soon. bounce
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/27/2016, 10:23 pm

cheers Yep!  Looks good, too!  bounce
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  countrynaturals on 12/27/2016, 11:25 pm

I got Territorial Seed Co. catalog today. It's a big, thick thing. Don't know how they found me. I got all excited and started by looking for some mini-zinnia seeds. FIVE BUCKS PLUS SHIPPING FOR 20 ZINNIA SEEDS? Are they nutz? affraid
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 12/28/2016, 4:05 pm

So I've been browsing through all the seed catalogs that have arrived in the mail, looking for a new heirloom tomato to try out next spring...  I'm dropping the Burpee Supersauce hybrid tomatoes next season... got some pretty nice and big tomatoes from them, but the yield doesn't justify the price of the seeds.  I would like to find another good heirloom all-purpose tomato (good in sandwiches and salads, and also good for canning), and the Rutgers has caught my eye.

Have any of you tried that one?  I've been doing a little online research on it, but curious to know what experiences any of you in the midwest might have had with it.  I did try a couple I got from Burpee a few years ago in my containers, and they didn't do well there.  The few tomatoes I got from them were delicious, but the yield was very low.  But now I have SFG, and they might be happier growing there.

I also noticed there seems to be a determinate version of the Rutgers.  That might be a better one to try in a container.  (Assuming that's not a typo.)
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