Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 In Review

It is time again to reflect on last year and get ready for the year ahead.

I thought it would be fun to look back on all that has happened both on Sustainable Blessings and in our yard this past year.

Here is a listing of the most popular posts in 2014:

What We Grew In 2014:

We continued to weighing the harvests from our garden and yard this year. Last was the first year I weighed any harvests and we came in at 433 pounds 3.5 ounces!

Asparagus: 10.5 ounces, our first harvest after planting them 3 years ago!
Beans - Green: 1 pound 5.7 ounces
Corn - Sweet: Raccoons ate it all!
Cucumber: 39 pounds 14.3 ounces
Cucumber - Pickles: 3 pounds 6.7 ounces 
Garlic: 0.7 ounces 
Garlic Mustard: 0.1 ounce
Kale: 4.5 ounces
Lettuce: 2 pounds 6 ounces
Mulberry: 9.11 ounces
Nasturtium: 0.2 ounces
Onion - White: 8.1 ounces
Pear: 8.6 ounces
Pea - Sugar Snap: 6.1 ounces
Pepper - Green: 5.5 ounces
Pepper - JalapeƱo: 5 pounds 14.4 ounces
Raspberry: 3 pounds 2.8 ounces
Rhubarb: 3 pounds 1 ounce
Strawberry: 2.7 ounces
Tomato: 200 pounds 4.4 ounces
Tomato - Cherry: 3 pounds 15.7 ounces
Violets: 0.1 ounce
Watermelon: 36 pounds 6.7 ounce

Total Weight Harvested in 2014... 309 pounds 5.91 ounces!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

White Chicken Chili

Warm up this season with a new twist on chili. This recipe is a white chili, meaning no tomatoes. Crazy, I know! And it also substitutes ground beef for chicken but the result is a hearty delicious chili perfect for a snowy day.

White Chicken Chili
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, undrained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
15 ounce can great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
15 ounce can light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup (4 ounces) Pepper Jack Cheese coarsely grated and divided
1 cup (4 ounces) Colby, coarsely grated and divided

Cook onion in hot oil in pan over medium-high heat, stirring until tender.
Add green chiles, garlic and cumin; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add beans and chicken broth, stirring well. Bring to boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Add chicken, 1/2 cup Pepper Jack and 1/2 cup Colby Cheese; simmer over low heat 10 minutes more.

Ladle chili into bowls. Top each serving with remaining cheeses and desired toppings

Additional topping suggestions:
crushed corn chips
crushed saltine crackers
oyster crackers
sour cream
shredded cheese
chopped green onions
chopped tomatoes

Recipe adapted from: Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How To Split Hostas

Did you know that there's a wealth of free plants right outside your own door? Many established plants can be divided and relocated to new locations within the yard; all at no cost or time spent driving to the garden center. And who wouldn't love that?

Dividing hostas is a great introduction to splitting plants for a variety of landscape designs. Spread your plants around to meet your needs, share a portion of the plant with a friend, or if you get several plants in your next purchased pot, you can divide the plants with this simple tutorial.

You can divide your hostas in either spring and fall. I personally like to do this task in the fall. Then the plant does not have a cut in half appearance for the next growth season as it might in the spring.

Here is how to split or divide hostas:

Dig up the plant you are planting to divide.
Shake any excess dirt from the roots.

Place the hosta on a firm surface or lay the plant down on the ground.
Using a straight spaded shovel, make your cut straight down the roots.

Now you are ready to plant your newly divided hostas. Make sure you place the plant at the same depth that they were prior to dividing. If you would like to add any compost to the soil, this is the time to do so. After you have planted your hosta, don't forget to water the new plant well. Watering also helps to remove air pockets and provides a much needed drink for your new plant.

Be aware that if you divide your hostas way back, you can set back the growth rate by a few years as you are disrupting the root system. So dividing should only be done every few years to keep your hostas healthy.

Happy Planting!