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basil

The greenhouse has been getting a few upgrades. There are now three 100 gallon ponds. The aquaponics has been a great success for herbs, lettuces and other green veggies. I experimented with peppers but the peppers we grew in the ground far outproduced the aquaponic plants; easily 10 to 1. Yes, it is a lot easier to grow in the aquaponics system but the harder work has been well worth it.

Genovese Basil in the Aquaponics

We purchased a gallon of habaƱero peppers from Two Happy Children Farm. This was a variety we didn’t grow. Next season we will have these as well as Poblanos that we missed out on growing.

Two Happy Children Peppers

The peppers were turned into an amazingly hot but delicious Fire Sauce. I came up with a few inappropriate names for it but decided to keep it clean.

Round Rock Funny Farm Fire Sauce

Our quail have hatched. We have 12 baby Seven Bobwhite Quail running around the brooding box. They don’t seem to eat as much as baby chickens but they sure run a lot faster. Our plan is to breed them and keep 25-30 around to be used as food for the dog and kiddo. The eggs should be yummy combined with sushi too.

The first hatchlings

So tiny!

The pressure cooker is getting to see some serious use this year. This week, we’re canning 95 lbs of tomatoes. Our tomatoes didn’t fare too well this season, so these tomatoes were purchased from various farmers at the Round Rock Farmer’s Market. We bought 40 lbs from Johnson’s Backyard Garden, 25 lbs from Two Happy Children Farm and 30 lbs from Bush Farms.

The pressure cooker getting a workout.

Most of the tomatoes will be quartered and canned with a small amount of lemon juice and salt. A few of the San Marzanos will be pureed into a plain tomato sauce. The select few, combined with tomatoes from our gardens, will be made into more yummy Yard Salsa.

Part of the process.

I’ve given my hand at baking a few different breads that we enjoy. Today, Pita Bread were made. The recipe was found on the web and quite easy to make. It’s nice to see a yummy product that has 5 ingredients opposed to the 20 in store-bought Pitas.

Homemade Pita Breads

Outside, the gardens are still cranking. A new aquaponics bed was assembled in the greenhouse. This system is developing into a kit of sorts. In the future, a parts list and instructions will be posted. It can be made with parts from your local hardware store.

The basil sprouts have already started. We’re not too concerned with raising the fish for food, so only a few will live in the pond. To stock the pond, we caught a few bream and a catfish in the local creek.

The upcoming aquaponics kit.

Aquaponics Basil Sprouts

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The butternut squash vines are nearing 5ft already. Pumpkins have made a lot of flowers but aren’t showing signs of fruit yet. The beans are climbing the trellises and the peas will be right behind them.
Daily Farm Pic 09.01.09 am
Daily Farm Pic 09.01.09 pm
Pumpkin Flowers!

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Oh, the weather has been great this week! Plenty of clouds to keep the heat to a minimum and our highs are in the low 90s! All of our heat stricken plants have begun to perk up. Our fall garden is going to be awesome!
Daily Farm Pic 08.31.09
Butternut squash.
Bell Peppers are rockin’!
Honeydew Melon flowers.
Butternut squashes.

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The monster and I managed to do a lot of chores on the farm today. We added more to the new chicken pen. The poles are in concrete but with the windy storms around here, the roof will also need cable anchors to the fence. Plenty of other cleanup work was done as well as entertaining the chickens with hip-hop music.

The butternut squash are doing great with 3″ fruits already on the vines. We learned how to control the pollination so we can make sure to have pure seed for next season -squash are famous for cross-breeding.

Daily Farm Pic 08.30.09 am
Daily Farm Pic 08.30.09 pm

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Daily Farm Pic 08.20.09

The tomatoes are all starting to ripen. Now all we have to do is beat the birds to them in the mornings! We started to put mesh bags over the ripening ones to stop what we can. We’ll also be putting in some sort of scarecrow to see if that helps. Wish us luck.

Missed the morning picture šŸ˜¦
Our first Homestead tomato!