Terri Matthews

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since Nov 21, 2010
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Eastern Kansas
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Recent posts by Terri Matthews

When I was growing up everybody used to prop up the loaded branches with 2x4's

My eating peach is from the rootstock of an ornamental peach that froze one winter. When I saw that the rootstock was growing I let it be to see what it would do and I am glad that I did! It turned out to be a clingstone peach that did not taste any better than a pretty good store-bought peach, and it was firm and a little crunchy while I prefer a soft peach. But it is rapidly becoming my favorite fruit tree.

See, I got a bumper crop 2 years ago and so I dried some. Drying it did not injure the peach flavor like some peaches do, instead it made it rather more intense. Those were some grand dried peaches! We did not get any peaches last year because of a late frost, but I have real hopes for this year!!!

Ela, some areas have trouble growing some vegetables. In my area you have to jump through hoops to raise blueberries or to raise lettuce that is not too bitter to eat, but, cabbages do great.
potatos are delicate so I start mine inside. And, green beans grow like bad weeds!

My advice to you would be to look at vegetable gardens in your area to see what is happy in your soil and your climate. And, your state extension service will give advice for free. They might or might not give free soil tests, but all of them will tell you how to amend your soil to fix any shortages that a soil test may show up.

Also do the maple trees shade your raised beds? In a very hot area a little shade during the heat of the day is not bad, but where the summers are shorter and cooler it will set back your plants
2 years ago
Has anybody tried heating a greenhouse with incandescent Christmas lights? This gent says it is possible if the weather is not too cold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWasTEXj-sE

Winter in Kansas is cold enough so that they would not help mid-winter, but I would not mind getting more cold relief in the Fall! I like to plant hardy greens and harvest them until it gets too cold inside.
3 years ago

Larry Shaules wrote:I have found that washing with Dawn dish soap and applying it on infected areas after using witch hazel to kill the infection is the easiest and most cost effective answer. I am very sensitive to poison oak and have even gotten it from the dust. I am now able to go prospecting for gold in California without fear. Oh happy days.
Hope this helps.


Soap washes the poison ivy off of your skin: water does not!
3 years ago
My allergist says that it is too dangerous to eat poison oak or poison ivy

I had shots to help me with my allergies and a couple of times I reacted to the shots but I just took benedryl and scratched for 2 days. The thing about eating poison ivy is that you can have an outbreak on your internal organs, and my allergist tells me that that would be dangerous.

I do not know anything about it of my own knowledge, and it is possible that we know more now than we did 10 years ago. For myself I think I would rather avoid the stuff and bath when I get in
3 years ago
I am having trouble with my ankles now, and I ended up buying a scooter chair at a yard sale to help me care for my place. It has worked out fairly well: it fits between my raised beds and it is really good for helping me pick up the sticks in the lawn that come down after every heavy rain. And, it works out fairly well for harvesting the blackberries in the back fence.

I want a little cart, but the needed hitch is not available, possibly due to COVID shutting down the factories.
3 years ago
Now that my grapes are older I am getting a little less black rot. And, yes, I ALSO keep my grape vines open to the wind and sun!

This year the black rot got about 10% of my grapes, but I can live with that. The squirrels were a worse problem: they got 2/3 of the grapes and I ended up talking the grapes a few days before they would have been at the peak of sweetness just to make sure that I got what I wanted.
3 years ago
I did/do most of the homesteading work in our 1 acre back yard. Since I am now 65 and handicapped I need a lot of help on any large project but this was not always so! I am only 5 ft 2 inches tall, but there are a lot of ways to make the physical work easier.

If you live in a house with a back yard, can you start right now or would that hurt your property value? Different areas expect different things of property owners, and since you want to sell the house you will want to keep the property value up.

At any rate, I think an excellent place to start would be to grow a variety of salad greens. I plant a bed of them and my salads tend to be half bought lettuce and the other half will be rainbow swiss chard, bok choi, spinach, etc from my raised bed.

ALso children adore cherry tomatos! They love to pick them and eat them right off the plant.

In my area of late frosts my fruit trees do not always bear, but when they do bear they are great. This year I am pretty sure I got 60 pounds of fruit from the 2 dwarf trees that did bear. The apples did not bear because we got a frost just as the apples bloomed.

This summer my husband helped me build 2 more raised beds. I have a  bed of onions that winter over and can give me onions all year round. I will now include, I hope, a bed of potatos that will winter over but I am not sure I will succeed with this: This will be my third year growing potatos and there is a great deal that I have not yet learned.
3 years ago
If I had enough grain products then we could manage for a long time.

I do not have enough land to raise grain and I do not even try. However rice with soy and garden vegetables make a good stir fry, vegetable soup with bread can make a dinner, an easy over egg with a piece of toast makes a fine breakfast, and I have fruit and this year I will likely raise  beans, etc.

I cannot feed the neighbors and I do not intend to try.
3 years ago
I ALWAYS wanted to farm!

My husband is a city boy and wanted to STAY a city boy, and so he got a job in a SMALL city as that way we could live on a small parcel of land and commute. We bought a house on an acre of land that was close enough to his city job and then later we bought 5 acres outside of town.

Because he DID get a job in a small city, my husband simply followed a highway from his job to outside of town to what he thought was a reasonable commute, and that was where we bought the house on an acre of land.

Every morning he followed that highway to work, and I also took the highway to the job I got in a hospital.

So, you want to farm. Fine. That means that you will want to sell what you grow. Or, you can do child care and farm in your free time: child care providers can bring in a decent wage and then you can work your land in the evenings or on weekends. Because you have school debts you might still need your income for a while

So, if you want to sell what you grow you might get a job in a store for the practice in selling, or you can raise plants in your back yard and sell at a farmer's market on Saturdays, or whatever. At any rate it is almost spring: you might raise a fine garden in your yard for experience.

A farm is a business but a homestead is not. I am not certain: are you wanting to farm or to homestead?
3 years ago
I give my laying hens as many feed pellets as they want, and they do not get fat. However my hens are starting to molt, and that means that their egg production is not very good. The 2 big things that stop my hens from laying are days that are too short and them having their yearly molt

Lack of protein will also  cause chickens to lay poorly. Grain tends to run about 11% protein and chickens need to have a diet that is about 18% protein.  The feed that I am able to buy is only 16% protein and so I give my hens treats of high protein foods. It may be that your hens were getting enough insects in the summer to give them enough protein but now it is getting close to the Fall and they might be getting fewer insects

4 years ago