Monday, July 26, 2010

Sweet Banana Peppers!

Our first major harvest this years will be the peppers, with the beans coming in close behind.  I picked a peck of Sweet Banana Peppers this afternoon in the heat.  Needed to get them on the vine so to speak.

I decided to quick freeze this peak of peppers which is a simple process of washing, trimming the stems, and then packing into ziplock freezer bags and then off to the freezer with them.  Trish and I just bought a new freezer.  Just in time for harvest.

These peppers can be used fresh or cut up into salads or even better stews, soups and chilis later in the years as the snow falls and one yearns for spring.  At least one can have the taste of spring as the winter winds hawk by.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Skeeters - Last Update!

Well, here I am to the point where I have totally decided that this stuff works; Mosquito Barrier.  Last night I resprayed an area I had previously sprayed.  Why, well we had some pretty hard rain falls and its been a week since the last spray, that was not properly mixed.  As I was spraying, the skeeter were thick, but not like in the past.  This time, with a proper mixture, I noticed a strong order of garlic.  You might being saying Duh!  But, I am just trying to let you know there is a difference when properly mixed.  About an hour later, I walked back into the area behind the coop and no skitters.  Not even one! 

Today, I was mowing and trimming in the same area behind the coop and not a skitter was present.  However, I did notice a low level garlic smell...   Let me weigh this for ya... Skitters or a mid aroma of Garlic.... Hmmm!  I am going with the garlic aroma.  After all I like garlic on most everything.

This product has not or did not promise miracles from the uses of this garlic spray, but I am enjoying being outside right now in Minnesota.  Yes, even after dark!

See earlier post here!

See first post here!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Skeeter Barrier update!

This is day three to the testing of the Mosquito Barrier product I blogged about earlier.  I first need to mention that my mixture was wrong, I posted that I mixed one ounce per gallon, where it should have been three ounces per the instructions of the bottle.  So, my mixture was one third the strength it should have been.

Now, with that said!  All areas that were treated are still repelling the skeeters.  Its a pleasure to walk outside again and not feel like a pin cushion.  The areas not treated are terribly over run with those blood sucking creatures of the dark shady places.  I have to laugh.. the legend of hanging garlic at the door to warn off vampires is apparently true.

To see the initial post about the Mosquito Barrier product click here!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Skeeter barrier

First off, let me say that I am only reporting on this product.  After hours of research online and chatting with folks I found that there are many many different products on the market, with many different claims of effectiveness.  All promising the ability to rid your yard or property of skeeters.  Some are Eco-friendly and many are not.  Since we have chickens, geese, guineas, cats and a dog, I wanted something that wouldn't harm them or us!  I came across Mosquito Barrier a week ago and after reading its bio and comments, I decided to order a small quantity to try it out.  The quart is the smallest amount bottled for shipping that I found. 

I received the bottle yesterday via the friendly guys/gals in brown shorts.  Don't go there!  They have brown shirts too!  Reading the recommended amount for one gallon, I shook the bottle vigorously before pouring one (1) ounce into a gallon pump spray bottle.  Now, upon opening this bottle, a slight odor of garlic/onion smell, but it wasn't too bad.   I decided to spray just two small areas on our property for testing and leaving the rest alone. 

The first area was behind the chicken coop where the edge of forest hosted my hiding places for these blood sucking vermin.  I sprayed the liquid high and low, covering as much area as I could.   The second area to spray was near our fire pit, which we enjoy using, but since the skeeters decided to join us, we haven't used it much.  Please keep in mind, I am still working off of the initial mixture.  Again, spraying  high and low I covered the area.  Yes, there was a smell of garlic in the air as I was spraying, but again it wasn't too bad.  Matter of fact, after eating some garden onions just the other day, I thought that odor was stronger and Trish could back me on that one.  Oh, by the way I did the spraying on a clear dry day, around 5:30pm.

The test!  After a few hours I re-entered the areas I sprayed with the Mosquito Barrier.  The first area was, again, behind the chicken coop.  As I entered the area I noticed NO smell of garlic. So, as promised the odor does dissipate after about 20 minutes. Even better, I  noticed NO skitters.  OK, there was one or two, but not the hordes that were present a few hours earlier.  The skeeters are so bad here, that my arms will actually get covered like some old skeeter TV ads from old.  The second area was the fire pit part of the yard, which is right next to a wide open field that hasn't been cut, so there are plenty of wait places there.  Again, no garlic smell and no skeeters to speak of.   Yes, there was the one or two flying about, but no hordes.  I can put up with the one, two or three skeeters, but I can't handle the lofty feeling I get when I have no skeeter protection on at all.

This morning I again entered these area and found pretty much the same results;  just a few skeeters.  I entered others parts of the yard that hasn't been treated and the skeeters were plentiful.  Some actually seemed a bit angry at the lose of territory.  I will continue monitoring and reporting my finding over this next week or so.

Some details from the company;

Each quart covers 1.25 acres, which is usually enough for a couple applications on smaller residential properties.  This product is 99.3% pure garlic extract.

A mosquito's sense of smell is about 10,000 times better than yours and they are able to locate humans because they detect the carbon dioxide given off by us. Mosquito Barrier masks the carbon dioxide odor. If they can't find you, they can't bite you and they seek nourishment elsewhere. Another important fact to remember is that mosquitoes are also attracted to bright lights - as are a lot of other early evening or nighttime bugs. No matter what stands between them and the light - they don't care - they go right for the lights. It's always a good idea to turn down the lights in the evening to reduce your chances of being bitten by mosquitoes.

What I have into this test so far!

One quart of Mosquito Barrier @ $22.50
Shipping @ $7.50
One Spray bottle 1gal  @ $10.00 (bought locally)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Iron Range Trip - Chisholm Mn

My stay in Chisholm Minnesota was in all places, a place called Chisholm Inn.  A very comfortable stay indeed.  I would recommand staying at the Inn if in the Chisholm area.  It is just off  US Highway 2.  I would think a fall trip to the area would make for a very nice and relaxing road trip...Can you just image the falls colors!  Checkout some of things to do here...area attractions.

This image is just across the highway from the hotel.  Its an old pit mine that has or is filling with water.  Don't know if it is all rain or if a spring was hit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Iron Range

Not keeping with my blog theme, I post this about the trip I am currently on.  Wednesday last, I set forth to the east of Minnesota, where I stopped and turned around in Virginia.  Which is one of the many cities up here in the northeastern part of Minnesota called the Iron Range.  I am stopped in Chisholm, from here I branched out to two job sites, one in Buhl and the other Hibbing.  All are range towns.  Chisholm is home to the 85 foot tall Iron Man.   Talk about steampunky!  Yes, that comment was for you Trish!  Tomorrow, I head for Grand Rapids, to yet another job site.  Along the way, there are a number of stops I plan to make, so I can capture a few more image of this region.  Stay turned.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Got Goose!

One of the new geese (goslings) that have come to call Prairie Home, their home!  We now have six goslings, fifteen chickens and twenty Guinea fowl!  The gosling have attached themselves to me so much so, when walking across the yard I have this string of chicks following me.  Upon sitting on the ground, they are all around and will even nestle up to me and nap.  I guess I am their father goose they never had.... doing the duties of all dads; putting them to bed, feeding them, give the something to drink, changing the bedding and protect them from danger.
Looks like its naptime.  It wasn't long and a few had their eyes closed.