Ward House

Garden update

I keep hoping that there will be enough time to download pictures from the camera and then use these in my post – I like colorful posts. That appears to not be happening and then days go by without a word from me. . . cause I’m waiting on pictures! Well, no more; just going to write and apply pictures when possible.

Yesterday evening, arrived home from work, kissed the chill’ins and headed out to the garden to do some weeding, planning, and checking. Several questions arose, and I am hoping that you can help even without pictures! Muhaha. Yes, I am that confident in your abilities.

  • The lettuce has bolted and is beginning to flower – at what point do I collect the seeds? Is there an ‘easy’ way?
  • How do I know when the black beans are ready to pick and shell. Should these beans be black in the pod? The pod is green and the one I picked last night just had a hint of black on the bean.
  • We had potato bugs this year and now that these potatoes are all harvested, what can I plant in its place? I realize that the parent potato bugs will winter over in this spot and we will not plant potatoes here next year.

The past 4 summers we have had a drought and then this year the water table is practically ‘back to normal’ (is there such a thing? Define ‘normal’). Fruit is getting ready to rot on the vines from all the moisture. The next few days are supposed to be sunshine with a chance of rain. I’m hoping the chance waits a few more days.

We ended up buying beans from someone this year, so there would be something canned for the winter. Our blue lakes are coming in sporadically, a mess for dinner and that is about it. $35 for a bushel and I even had to look up how to spell bushel! Now that is sad. After the wedding, etc. I was able to pressure can 8 quarts and will do more tonite – it is hard to can after spending the evening weeding and such. The hard part of this for me is the pressure canner. It only does 8 and 15 lbs of pressure; beans require 11 0r so the directions say. That brings me to another question – I canned these beans at 8 lbs for 30 minutes while the directions called for 11 lbs for 25 minutes. How does one alter this type of directions and get it right? Any ideas?

I heard on NPR this morning how Appalachian Power was approved for an 8% billing increase due to the increased fuel costs to generate said electricity. There are three more requests pending before the SCC. *shakes head* Are you ready for this?


August 4, 2009 - Posted by | economy, family, Gardening, self sufficiency


  1. I know that to adapt pressure canning for higher altitudes, you increase pressure psi instead of time. I'd advise using the 15# setting for the 25 minutes processing time, and later boiling opened beans 15-20 minutes before tasting.After the colorful part of the lettuce flowering, they'll look dried up as the seeds form. When you can pull the dried-up petals out of the bud, the seed will be on the bottom (kinda like a bachelors button). I just cut or pull the plants and stuff them upside-down into a bucket or paper bag to completely dry. Then crush/crumble (thresh) the flowers to get the seeds to fall to the bottom, winnow if desired.

    Comment by Sadge | August 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. Perfect! Thank you so much. =)

    Comment by Annette | August 6, 2009 | Reply

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