Monday, March 27, 2023

T Stands for Garden Stuff

 Hi Everyone!

Today is Bleubeard and Elizabeth's T-Party.
Be sure to stop by to see what everyone is doing. 
For me, the garden. We had 2, no snow, days and I took advantage of it. I put all of my plants outside to get them hardened. A job because I have to bring them all back in. It's still at or below freezing at night. On one of the days, I opened up the big garden. 

 From this 

 To this in just 30 minutes of taking it apart.

YAY! I was so happy to pull off the tarp and plywood to find the richest, worm filled soil. I had cardboard over the dirt as well and the worm castings were amazing. I won't have to put any extra in at all. 



 But then, I saw 5 or 6 citronella ants. NOT good. They were on top of the soil so I am hoping this is a good sign. I did write to the OSU the garden extension to see what they have to say about it. These ants are orange and 1/4" long and they tend to root aphids and mealy bugs so they can feed on the excretion. The fact that there have been no plants in the big garden for 7 months, and it has been blow freezing I just don't know why there would be root aphids in my soil. If any of you gardeners know about this please email me.
 I worked on the soil a bit and then got the poly hung because the next 2 weeks is rain, wind, hail and more snow. boo hoo hoo.

The other day I made a sugar free (made with splenda) white cake for a strawberry/banana treat for Mr. M. I will say the cake sucks. It's just me, I hate the taste of splenda. However, Mr. M. likes it so go for it dude. LOL
Most of you know I shop early in the AM and so the other morning I stopped in at Safeway/Albertsons. OMG they had meat on sale! I couldn't pass up on several items but mostly the London Broil. It was dirt cheap. This is the meat I can. So I bought 7 packages for under $38.00 Now I don't know what you pay for beef but for here, that is a great price. I know this photo only shows 6 packages, I have one piece on the slab already. LOL

I do trim as much fat off as I can

 This is a huge bowl and meat was toppling over.

 I got 14 pints of beef and 4 pints of chicken breast.

 The beef has seasoning and onions and is so tender out of the jar.

 For my drink I'm having an afternoon hot cup of coffee with cream. It is so cold today I thought that would warm me up.

See ya at the party



Tom said... the moment I'm lookin out the window as 5 dear are in my garden and snow is falling.

kathyinozarks said...

Nice you can play with gardening-I will be starting some seeds in the bottles this week-we are finally out of the low teens at night this week. I don't know much about those bugs-hopefully you will be able to find out more.
Sounds like a great price for your beef and it will make more meals being canned too.
I went back to splenda instead of using white keto sweeteners recently-I don't taste anything at all with the splenda, but the keto ones always have an off taste even after baking.
Happy T

Mae Travels said...

Good of you to make cakes that your husband can enjoy, even if you have different taste. I am not familiar with splenda, I just eat sugar (too much).

best… mae at

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Very nice garden space there.
The soil looks fantastic. Good job!

Don't recall if I've tried Splenda. Guessing no because artificial sweetners upset my digestive system. I figure, limited sugar use, stevia and honey are okay.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

That soil looks very rich, but I have never heard of a citronella ant. I hope you found them all and that if there are more,t hey freeze in the cold weather you will be habving this week.

Your strawberries and bananas look delicious. I think they look like something I would love for dessert. Sorry, Nicole. As a rule, I don't eat meat, but that sounds like a very good price.

Your coffee is what you need on a cold day. Warms your hands, heart, and tummy!!! Thanks for sharing your gardening chores (and they were CHORES), your dessert, your meat, and your coffee with us for T this week, dear Nicole. See you on Thursday night, dear.

My name is Erika. said...

The fact that you can even bring your plants outside and have no snow is exciting. I have never heard of citronella ants. I wonder if they are even here in the northeast. And nice find at the grocery store. I hope you have a great T day Nicole. hgs-Erika

Sharon Madson said...

Yes, great price for beef. We haven't had London Broil in forever. I remember when we bought liver for 33 cents a pound. OK, it was a few year ago! Like 40! I also haven't gardened for about that long! Happy T Day.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You hit the meat jackpot!

peppylady (Dora) said...

We haven't even start to think about gardening yet, here in North Idaho.
Coffee is on and stay safe.

Christine said...

Great you are starting your gardening prep. Glad you got a good price on the meat. Coffee looks warming.

Rita said...

Never heard of citronella ants and don't know a thing about them. Hope they won't be an issue.
I am not a splenda fan, either.
Your garden is really coming along and ready for spring like we all are--lol!

Valerie-Jael said...

Your beef was a super price, I've never seen it that cheap here. Well done on cooking and canning it, enjoy your meals! Glad you enjoyedx your coffee, hugs, Valerie

Gene Black said...

I think you got a great deal on the beef. I haven’t bought beef in awhile because even on sale it is too expensive.

nwilliams6 said...

Impressive gardening! Love your set up. Bad bugs - ick! Hope you find out they are no big deal and won't harm your plants.

Wonderful deal on the meat - lucky you. Hubby found a deal like that on chicken one day and picked up several packages - we were thrilled.

The coffee looks great as does your canning! Happy t-day and stay warm!!!! Hugz

Rostrose said...

Dear Nicole, I am glad that you have such a beautiful worm soil in your raised bed! Hopefully the ants don't mean anything negative. We also constantly have some pests here - ants, rose chafers, aphids, snails, etc. - and we try to get them under control. Sometimes it works better, sometimes worse.
I wish you a Happy T-Day!
All the best, a happy end of March and a good start into April!
Hugs, Traude 😘

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Do you happen to know whether the worms are native or imported?

Iris Flavia said...

Yikes, we had snow, too. And I traveled with my light jacket.
I´ve never canned meat! My Mum used to freeze it as it was, but reckon that´s not a good way...
Have a happy T-Day!

carol l mckenna said...

how wonderful is your garden prep ~ too cold here in MA yet ~

Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Carola Bartz said...

I have never heard of citronella ants, so I googled them. The pictures I saw look different from "your" ant, but it's said they're more of a nuisance. I wouldn't know. Apparently they are found all over the continental US. So I learned something new. I have been out in the garden on every sunny day we had, trying to get rid of the weeds which are abundant this year after our very wet winter. It is still raining and very cold at night, in some locations even freezing. At the end of March! I have never canned meat and wouldn't know how to do it. Happy T day, Nicole!

CJ Kennedy said...

Even though the snow is gone, still too chilly and the threat of frost for Himself to begin working out in the garden. The white cake looks good. I don't mind the taste of Splenda. Happy T Day

Rain said...

That's a great deal on the meat Sis! So glad you got it, and I love that you can meat too. Very frugal! Your garden looks fabulous so far!

craftytrog said...

Glad you could get out in the garden Nicole. Those ants sound mean, hope they don't do any damage.
Happy T-Day

jinxxxygirl said...

i buy a bunch when i hit the meat jack pot too ... but i don't can it i just freeze it! I don't know anything about the bugs either.. I hope you'll let us know what you find out.. Happy T day! hugs! deb said...

I'd not heard of London broil or those ants either. Learn something every day.

Divers and Sundry said...

We are past the date of last frost here, and my plants are already outside on the patio. You have a great system for protecting yours.

That meat was a real deal! I always freeze mine.

Happy belated T Tuesday

Lisca said...

Wonderful raised beds. And beautiful looking soil. I hope it is not contaminated.
That beef is amazing. I don't buy a lot of beef as it is expensive and there isn't a lot of choice (Here pèople eat mainly pork and chicken). Do you put the pieces raw in the jars? and then boil the jars? What do you make when you open a jar? Casserole?
Happy T-Day,

roentare said...

Shopping increases appetite for more food. I only push myself to freshfood section in the supermarket these days.

Jeanie said...

Sorry I can't help you with the aphid/ants. I hope it doesn't mean bad things for you. I do like beef but don't buy much of it -- that looks fabulous. You are SO productive!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Pleased you can at last get into your garden. Looks like hard work, hope it's not too big a job to get rid of those ants. I know I shouldn't have too much sugar but I do hate the taste of the alternatives, I try to do without in a lot of things I cook and have found adding cinnamon to some things is useful, it does of course change the texture sometimes! Bottling meat is an interesting thing to do, we don't eat beef but do eat a lot of fish and chicken, Coffee always works for me. A very belated Happy T Day from Paris, hugs, Chrisx

Lowcarb team member said...

A very good deal on the meat ...
Your coffee looks good.

All the best Jan

Amila said...

Good to see this gardening work. I like gardening. But, usually, it is on containers only. Love to see such soil preparation for new plants. The white cake looks delicious too.
Sorry for my late T-comment as I had an issue with blogger commenting.
Have a great day!