Tag Archives: chores

Harvest Monday

June 16, 2014


I went to pick some more peas this week…to find that they had stopped flowering and there were only a few which had not plumped up. I guess it was time to rip them out! I love getting fresh peas but they are one of the harder crops to harvest and shelling them is rough on one’s fingers so I was not too upset that the spring pea season was over!Nieto Family - June 08 14 - 0588(That bowl wasn’t quite big enough…had to get another one)Nieto Family - June 08 14 - 0900We got a good crop this year (thank you Kitty for keeping the bunnies away!). The second planting produced long pods and fat peas.Nieto Family - June 07 14 - 0007(my husband’s hand 😉 )

The chickens LOVE the pea shells and we put a tunnel over the area so some chickens could eat the rest of the aphids before we planted something else…Nieto Family - June 13 14 - 0096

We are lightly steaming this batch of peas each night. The kids decided they like them better this way (rather than raw).


My daughter wanted to pull her carrots. The tops looked so wonderful, she felt sure they were ready 😉 We allowed her to pull one but she pulled and pulled and NOTHING. I pulled and pulled and still, it would not budge! I got a trowel out to help and I finally got most of the carrot up, but not before the top ripped off and the bottom broke off as well. We tried pulling another one and the same thing happened. I find it very interesting that the carrots look so good (very straight and very long) and yet, they were impossible to pull…interesting. We convinced her to leave the rest of her carrots in the ground. They definitely need more time to plump up.

Nieto Family - June 08 14 - 0860

Spinach and Lettuce

I harvested the last of the bolting spinach this week and ripped up the plants. Even though we love spinach and will miss our spinach salads, we are getting a TON of lettuce.Nieto Family - June 14 14 - 0001


Even with the biweekly plantings, we still do not have enough kale! You heard me correctly…we would eat sauteed kale or kale salads every day if it were up to us. One day I’ll get the hang of all that needs to be planted…one day…

And last but Certainly not least…


Earlier this week, I was able to pick enough for everyone to have one. Later in the week, we got a handful (literally) of blueberries.DSC_4503 This week is going to be insanely busy — I think it will work out really well because I think this is the last week of easy-going gardening. Starting next week and not ending until the end of July, harvests will pick up, blueberries being one of them.

Too bad the kids want to start schooling again next week (we took a break after the baby was born). And, no, they cannot help me harvest the blueberries. The 1yo has been banned from the blueberry patch because he keeps picking unripe berries. He follows his older siblings around so if they help, he’ll want to help. ‘Good thing’ the baby has been feeding around 4 or 5am so I’ll be able to get in some harvesting before it gets too hot and before the kids wake up.


  • Picking squash and potato bugs every day
  • Pruning tomato plants about once a week
  • Planting carrots, lettuce, kale, cucumbers, zucchini
  • Starting the Fall Garden by planting celery and cabbage
  • Ripped up the spinach, broccoli and cabbage (the worms got to them and they were pretty much destroyed — the chickens LOVED the worms!…I WILL cover the plants this fall!)

Fall Garden

As you may or may not know, I do not have a seed starting area in my house. Our house is in the woods so growing things in a window is impossible. I refuse to spend money on lights, etc…not to mention there is no room for any of that stuff.

Each year, I just do my best direct seeding…many times nothing comes up (too hot when they need to be started) but sometimes I get a few crops. This year, I am playing with some ideas. This week I implemented one of them: starting seeds in the sunflower boxes. This way, they still get sun but also get some shade throughout the day.

When the seedlings are big enough, I will transplant them into the overflow garden where I plan on covering them for the winter with the chicken tractor-turned hoophouse. This week, I planted celery and cabbage in the sunflower box. I had no luck with celery this spring but thought I would try again in the Fall Garden. I really hope I can figure out how to grow celery one day (soon) because we eat (and juice) a TON of it!


Hopefully, next week I’ll be telling you about new chicks (they are due this Friday)! I hope all of these aren’t duds as well.

We’re still getting about 14-16 eggs/day 🙂 We are trying to find new ways to eat them. We are steaming them, eating a lot more omelets, and just recently we made egg salad for the first time ever. It was a HIT!

I am playing around with freezing eggs for the winter as well. I froze some in ice cube trays. They are nearly impossible to pop out :\ I think I am just going to freeze them in little zip baggies and nestle those in a freezer bag. We eat at least 8 at a time anyway (if I’m cooking for all the children). It’s really not worth it to freeze them individually.

Check out what everyone else is harvesting and what they are doing with their harvests at Daphne’s Dandelions 🙂


Half-way Through January…Garden Chores

January 20, 2014

Halfway through January & still pluggin’ away at my January TO DO list!

We have moved up here in Eastern NC! We get about two whole days each week in which it is warm & dry enough to venture outdoors! Wooowhoo 😉 Some things I have been able to get done:

  • Pruned the rest of the blueberry bushes

January 17 14 - 0001(with no ‘before’ photo, it’s hard to see how much was pruned but it was a lot, believe me!)

January 17 14 - 0004(the brush pile with all of the blueberry prunings)

  • Pruned all of the fruit trees

January 17 14 - 0009(before) January 17 14 - 0017(after) Katys Blog(the blueberry bushes were a lot more obvious/pronounced but until we stake this tree up, I don’t want to prune anymore)

  • Ripped up two tarps & weed cloth (it was impossible to keep the bermuda grass out before having our BTE garden — still is pretty difficult) in some raised beds to make them BTE garden beds

January 17 14 - 0010(weighed down — windy day…i save these & put them around the edge of the garden to help keep the bermuda grass out)

  • Covered those beds with mulch (the plethora of worms found was encouraging!)
  • Katys Blog Katys Blog1Covered some more area with chicken manure (pics above)
  • Finished covering the sweet potato patch with chicken manure (didn’t have enough chicken manure the last time I emptied the table under the roosts)

January 17 14 - 0018(new manure at top)

The chickens are not quite pooping enough 😉 so if it ever warms up and my husband gets a day off from work, we’re going to head down to the horse barn so I can spread manure on the rest of the garden and around all of the trees.

As I mentioned earlier, I recently planted onion & celery seeds. As I get more milk jugs, I’ll continue to plant more cool crops this month — lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, etc. before moving on to warmer crops in February.

January 17 14 - 0005(celery) January 17 14 - 0006(onions)

I transplanted some kale from my neighbor’s garden into mine, since the chickens devoured mine, a while ago. I covered the kale because the temps were fluctuating so much. We have had so much rain and the cover was keeping the kale from being rained upon – they were starting to wilt so I made the decision this week to uncover the kale and the next day…our first snow! 🙂 Go figure. The kale is fine though. As soon as it warms up, I’m sure it will be growing like crazy.

January 17 14 - 0013 January 17 14 - 0012One last thing…the chickens! They are giving us about a dozen eggs a day now! I am so happy that the daylight hours are growing longer — for many reasons but all of these eggs are WONDERFUL! So I guess that’s our only harvest this week but I am very happy with that!

Are you harvesting anything in your garden in January? Check out who is over at Daphne’s Dandelions 🙂

Teaching Children Responsibility

March 26, 2013

As I am a bit overwhelmed with…everything…I am realizing the importance of giving my children more responsibility. It is great when you see a family in which the teenagers are cooking, cleaning, taking care of farm chores, etc. but that is not us…yet.

You may be in the same boat as I am: We are a family of littles. How do I get from here (me doing everything by myself) to there (having children who not only help, but are able to do household chores independently)?!

I know it is a process because I have been told this. I have been told you just have to start somewhere, that it will take longer at the beginning, and that you just have to be patient.

I mean, really, who wants to do that?! 😛 This is why each child has basically one chore – it is easier, and a lot less messy, if I just do everything myself.

Where are you on the spectrum? Control freak, like me, doing everything yourself and being run down by the whole process? Or are you one of those wonderful moms who allows the children to help and doesn’t mind the extra messes as long as they’re learning?

I am trying to let go and allow the children to help more. Admittedly, some days I just do it by myself and send them outside to play, if for no other reason than to have a quiet house. Some days, when I am feeling more adventurous, I’ll try to teach someone how to do a new skill.

I am teaching my 3yo how to sweep (as he is the messiest eater), but only on days when I have time to do it with him. I am teaching my 2yo how to dress himself, but only on days when I have time to do it with him. See a pattern here? I am not teaching my 5yo to do anything right now as patience tends to run low with her (we butt heads because we’re so much alike). I am teaching my 6yo to cook eggs. One day all of this will pay off…right? You all with older ones, PLEASE tell me it pays off one day!

March 20 2013 - 0022March 20 2013 - 0067March 20 2013 - 00755yo and me making the strawberry jam for the week.

I am already seeing the chore cards paying off, giving me more time in the mornings.

How do you get your kids more involved? What are your littles doing to help around the house (so I can gauge what can/should be able to be done at certain ages)?

oh my goodness! I forgot to link back to Simple Lives Thursday! Sorry ladies!