The Life of a Pepper Farmer

I thought I would share my first experience with growing peppers here in Wisconsin. I remember gardening when I was growing up. My parents had a garden every year, and we kids would help. Now, though, both red and yellow peppers have gotten so expensive in the stores!

Last April I found a great local nursery called Stuarts in Oshkosh. Towards the end of the month, they had their red pepper seedlings in stock. The people there were really helpful, and we bought 4 red pepper plants and some fertilized soil. We wanted to use buckets, so we wouldn’t have to dig up the lawn.

With some thoughts and recommendations from Stuarts, we went to Lowe’s and got 4 big buckets. We drilled holes in the bottom, partly filled them with Styrofoam peanuts (for drainage), and added dirt. What with moving here last year, we had plenty of the peanuts! Next, we put one seedlings in each bucket.

I was out there watering faithfully, starting in the Spring, and moving into the summer. Not much happened. But then, very slowly, they started to grow. One was pretty slow, and we weren’t sure how it would work out. It was fun seeing Mother Nature do her work, and sure enough, the slow one did catch up, as you’ll see in the pictures.

Here are 3 collage’s showing the whole adventure, from the beginning until harvest. If you click on each image you can see how much they grew along the way. We ended up having 12 red peppers, with each plant growing three full-size peppers. It was a lot of fun, and I’m planning on doing it each year. Enjoy!

peppers,garden,landscaping

peppers,garden,landscaping

peppers,garden,landscaping

Hope you enjoyed seeing them. They are delicious and a bit sweeter then the ones you get at the store!

Giving Thanks~Thanksgiving Coloring Page~Holidays

Can’t believe that November has rolled in already. All the holidays are coming up but for the two of us it’s more about the time together. We are thankful everyday and not just the one time of year. We have a lot to be thankful this year. We are so glad that we will be able to move next Spring and also thankful for the vacation we were able to take this year. We are at the stage where we are starting to pack things and also get rid of things that we haven’t used in a long time. We are so looking forward to this!

Below is a ship that I thought would be great for kids to color.
thanksgiving ship,coloring

I made it as a PDF file and if you print it in black and white then you can color in the rest. The link is below.
E__Christmas pics_j-thanksgivingship

One thing that we love about the holidays is the food. We tend to like to get Prime Rib for Thanksgiving. Since we don’t have it often it feels like a real treat. Here is a example of one.
prime rib,holiday,thanksgiving dinner

I love this picture of a old-fashioned Thanksgiving in days of old.
thanksgiving,family,holiday

Lastly I wish all my followers and friends a Wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy the day and don’t eat too much 🙂
happy thanksgiving,autumn leaves

March Madness and in the Kitchen Pressure is Building

signal flags,spelling,nautical We are barely into March but orders are on the slow side. We tend to pick up in April as the wedding season nears and people order banners for their wedding. One thing that we have found lately is that getting some things that we need for the business is getting challenging. We use Steam-A-Seam on some of our flags. It washes well and lasts for a long time. The company that use to make the paper for them has closed so they are looking for a new supplier. It’s the trickle down effect. Also we use split rings in our vertical banners as seen in this picture We use 16mm rings and those are also getting harder to find. They are trying to carry more of the smaller rings. When we find them we stock up!

signal flag,banner,vertical, nautical,home decor

signal flags,spelling,nautical

IL seems to be coming slowly into Spring this year. We are getting some 40 degree days and so some of the snow is starting to melt. The big thing this month is lots of telephone calls from politicians asking us to vote for them on the 18th of this month in the primary. They promise the world but not holding my breath.

signal flags,spelling,nauticalOur main project lately is going through our tackle boxes and looking at updating with new fishing gear. We need to get some fishing line and we are looking at some lures for the coming season. Normally weather permitting we go out in April sometime and through October. I find it so relaxing and really miss it when Winter is here. In this section in the future will post pics of some of our catches.  Here is one we are looking at from Power Team Lures- Swinging Hammer

signal flags,spelling,nautical,kitchen

In the Kitchen this month I wanted to highlight a new way of cooking for us. Neither one of us have had a lot of experience with Pressure Cooking before this. We experimented with a old pressure cooker and found some of the food to be delicious and extra moist. The other benefit is that it takes a 1/4 of the time to cook. As a example if you have a meat that would normally take an hour it can be done in 15 minutes. One thing you want to make sure of is that you get a Pressure Cooker and not a Pressure Canner. They are really different. We bought a Fagor Rapid Express- 8 qt as shown in the picture below.

fagor, pressure cooker,cooking

It gets really high reviews with good reason. We really love it. Here is a link to Bed, Bath and Beyond where we got ours. We used the 20% coupon we got in the mail for extra savings.

Miss Vickie has a recipe site for Pressure Cookers- http://missvickie.com/

Lastly the Fagor site has this recipe that we have tried and so delicious- Baby Back Ribs

Since we don’t like hot or spicy back ribs, This recipe makes its own sweet and sour sauce. On the page, it says “Beef” spareribs. In the cookbook it refers to “Lean spareribs.”. Since I’ve never heard of sweet and sour Beef ribs we automatically used pork. Recipe Link

That’s all for this month and visit us at IB Designs, USA