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  • striker55

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    Katy
    I've gone from watching the grass grow to watching dust bunnies in the house, because of the heat!
     

    2ManyGuns

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    Damn, it was hotter than Hades out there today. Planted some beets, the seed potatoes that I ordered earlier in May, which were in stock are no longer available. I am pissed, ordered more than a month ago, and still, nothing has arrived except one DOA plant. I have ordered other seeds, and I have put some of the potatoes I harvested earlier aside to sprout and plant for fall.
     

    2ManyGuns

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    Today I picked enough okra to pickle 3 quarts. In the water bath now at 11:30 am.

    Yesterday 6/25/22

    Growing corn in raised beds is different than growing in the ground, corn needs some type of support. The simplest way I have found is to build a "brace" on each short end of the bed and then run tomato trellis string from end to end between the "rows". This is about 27 inches in height and will help to keep the corn from being damaged by high winds. Built the braces on 2 raised beds.
     

    2ManyGuns

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    Braces for the corn:

    Dent Corn 1.jpg


    The above photo is the last bed of corn, as you can see it is still too short to reach the support "mesh". Braces are constructed from some scrap material I had left from other projects. Dent corn can grow as much as 10-12 feet in height!!!

    Corn 2.jpg


    In the above photo you can see how the corn will grow between the "mesh".

    Corn 2 and Cowpeas.jpg


    In an earlier post, I mentioned planting more purple hull peas for the "fall" garden since these are heat tolerant they are faring well!


    Okra 1.jpg


    In the above photo, you can see how densely I planted okra this year and the result. In the lower portion of the photo is a volunteer purple hull pea intertwined with sweet potato and some of the heat-resistant kale, which is still producing a reasonable amount of green edibles, there is more of the same to the left (not visible), and elsewhere in the garden.
     

    2ManyGuns

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    Today has been another busy day. 7 pints and 2 quarts of pickled okra and 15 pints of purple hull peas. Yesterday was spent working cutting down an oak killed by the last major freeze, this is a complicated cutting due to multiple forks and those leaning towards various structures. Up to this point I have been able to wedge (notch) and direct the fall without ropes. I had to purchase a come-a-long to remove the remaining branches. I am looking forward to finishing, at least getting everything on the ground tomorrow, then I will cut it into usable pieces.
     

    2ManyGuns

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    I am feeling lazy this weekend. I finished dressing and turning in mushroom compost in the last four raised beds to get ready for Fall planting. I also picked some more okra. Tonight I will make fried okra.

    Simple "Batter" Fried Okra
    1lb Okra
    1 cup buttermilk you can use whole or low fat milk, I prefer buttermilk
    1 egg
    1 to 1-1/2 cup(s) corn meal
    Salt
    Pepper if desired

    Take the okra, wash well, cut stem ends off of okra, cut the okra into 3/4 to 1 inch pieces, if you prefer smaller pieces make them a 1/2 inch, be sure to NOT waste the tips, these fry up as well. Place the cut okra into a colander and rinse again, let them drain for a while, place on paper towel and pat dry.


    Place buttermilk and egg into a wide, somewhat shallow bowl and beat together
    Place cornmeal into another bowl, I mix salt and pepper into this cornmeal
    You can salt and pepper after frying if desired

    While you are getting the okra soaked in milk and coated have some cooking oil heating in a skillet, about 1 inch in depth is enough, if you want to deep fry that works also, I don't heat to a specific temperature, when a few drops of water, dropped into the oil sizzles, it is hot enough.

    Place a handful of okra into the milk and egg mixture, let soak, stir them and cover with milk
    Place a few at a time into the cornmeal and coat them well, drop carefully into the hot oil, when golden brown flip the okra, fry until the coating is golden brown and remove, Drain on plate covered with several layers of paper towels.

    Serve!
     

    2ManyGuns

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    This is how your okra should look. Do not fry until your okra get black, if you do they are over cooked, they should still be green.

    Fried Okra.jpg



    Now some of you will think I'm weird for this next one. I have been, for the most part a "waste not, want not" kind of mentality for most of my life, this comes from growing up without a lot of free cash.

    After you finish coating your okra you may still have milk mixture and cornmeal coating left, do not throw away!! Pour your milk into the coating mixture, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of sugar and more cornmeal as needed. This mixture should be thick and moist, but not runny. Drop into your hot oil with a tablespoon, slightly flatten. Fry until it begins to float, carefully flip over and fry another minute or so. The sweet, salty, buttermilk taste is very nice. This makes what I call a flat corn cake. It goes well with a pork roast, fried or roasted chicken. It has a texture somewhat like a hushpuppy, but flat, sweet and salty.


    Cornbread Fritter.jpg
     

    2ManyGuns

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    Today's project, a trellis for my butternut squash. I intend to make another for my cucumbers. I had planted both veggies in my main garden area, but both succumbed to heat and the squash to borers. So I am trying containers and an area with less intense sunlight. As per usual, the trellis is made from recycled lumber, a 2 x 4 ripped down to 5/8 inches screwed together with some 1 1/4" prime guard screws.


    Trellis.jpg
     

    2ManyGuns

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    While I was assembling the first trellis (prototype) I built a simple jig to speed up assembly time. Time to assemble the second trellis was around 10 minutes. I have been toying with the idea of a side hustle, making garden/yard items. I can acquire a large amount of material free to upcycle, keeping my cost mainly to time, screws, glue, paint and some minor consumables such as saw blades. I already have the tools, so why not take a hobby and make some money.

    An unfinished raw pine trellis, could easily sell for $20, with less than $3 in materials, finished, stained with urethane $35+, red wood/cedar $75+ each. Redwood would cost in materials about $135 to build 4, so I would need to sell each for about $75.00, on Etsy, these are going for as much as $125! Those builders use only 3 horizontal pieces where I use 4 to strengthen the trellis and mine would be 80 inches in height vs. 72". The trick is get things ready to go and acquire enough raw material. Oh yeah, the big one I need is more time!!!!!
     
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