Pink Zinnia The Prudent Homemaker

The local weather forecast for this week is highs around 107º (42ºC) and lows around 81º (27ºC). Despite this, I have a lot of garden work that I need to get out and do, so I’ll be working on it in the late evenings ( when it is around 103º between and 8 and 9 p.m.) and possibly in the early mornings (when it is between 82º and 89º).



1. Pull weeds in one section of the backyard 

2. Pick the last of the figs

3. Cut the last of the grapes

4. Mix in manure in part of the garden

5. Transplant Swiss chard seedlings

6. Sow beet seeds in the garden

7. Plan fall garden for this section of the garden

8. Plant more red noodle bean seeds

9. Plant more Armenian cucumber seeds

10. Collect lettuce seeds from the last of the bolted lettuce in the front yard

11. Plant parsley seeds in a small section in the white garden

12. Plant more zinnia seeds where some were eaten in the backyard

13. Cut and dry thyme  and basil from the garden

14. Cut flowers for an arrangement in the library (I cut some new ones for the entry table already this morning)



1. Can rosemary fig jam

2. Can grape juice

3. Crumble dried herbs and put them in containers

4. Grate and dry carrots and put them into the containers



1. Finish baby gifts

2. Mend a pair of jeans


French Study:

1. Continue to read The Book of Mormon in French

2. Continue to study on Duolingo each day

3. Watch at least one short video on YouTube in French



1. Mail baby gifts

2. Trip to Target

3. Return library books

4. Make grocery shopping plans for August 


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  1. Looks like a very busy week!

    Can you plant Swiss chard now, or is it still too hot? We wanted to plant some, but I thought we had to wait until it starts to cool down sometime in September or October?

    Do you have problems with critters in your garden? We have a few ground squirrels in our fenced in yard who eat any and every thing we plant. The squirrels are also smart enough to avoid the live trap that we’ve set out.

  2. Look at my reward for staying up too late! Two posts in a day! Sometimes I feel like we are neighbors.

    I have to research my cucumbers, we have had tons of flowers but very few fruits. there are plenty of bees, so I don’t know what is going on. Maybe I should take off some of the flowers. Our tomatillos are abundant, but very slow to ripen, they also are producing like mad and I am wondering if I should cull them.

    I have to weed and water the garden. I have to put the house back together and do a lot of laundry. We spent days laying new floor. I have to figure out what to do with the potatoes I bought, my husband cooked the meat I was going to serve them with and now I don’t know what to do with them. No one wants soup and I am the only potato salad eater. I was planning on shepherd’s pie.

    I have to finish filling out paperwork, and pay bills. I need to mail a birthday gift. Mostly we need to eBay like mad and garage sale to make up some of the money we spent on flooring.

  3. You can plant it now. I let a bunch of seeds fall and mine self seeded somewhere around 50 plants all in one spot. It doesn’t like to be transplanted, so moving it is tricky, but I’ve done it successfully before it I do it late in the evening. It prefers it is you move it when it is cool.

    No squirrels here, but birds can be a problem.

  4. Celia,

    When it’s hot, vines tend to produce only male flowers and not female flowers. Female flowers have a little baby fruit behind the flower. Also, plants go through stages where they produce a ton of male flowers. Usually it’s lots of male flowers followed by female flowers. You don’t need to remove any flowers; the males ones won’t give you any fruit, but they will let the bees know to keep coming and where to come once the female flowers show up.

  5. Thanks! I am excited to say it rainied last night, so I don’t have to water my cucumber flowers. haha. I’m making banana coconut bread, I saved the cocnut from making coconut custard and am using it to bump up the fiber in my banana bread.

  6. If you are working on your French fluency, I have heard that there is a website where you can listen to the news in “slow French.”

  7. Pulled all the onions from the garden and will be freezing them this week. They are sweet onions that don’t keep well but freeze perfectly. Love the convenience of having them chopped and ready for cooking.

    Need to clean a few spots in the carpet where something was spilled so might as well clean all the carpets while I’m at it. They will dry fast with the breezy weather we’ve been having. While moving furniture around I will be scouring the house for unneeded items in the quest for complete decluttering. I’m sure there are a few things laying around that can go.

  8. I’m looking forward to your grocery post and hoping that you’ll have time to write up the post on stocking the pantry. Last month I bought a 50 pound bag of oats and 10 pounds of split peas. How do you suggest storing the oats? (I don’t have enough large containers to put it all in. 50 pounds is a lot!)

  9. When I read your question about how to store the oats, I remembered Brandy had written on that topic, so I went to find it on this site (good practice for me to find it and might save Brandy a minute of replying)…Look under Cook….then the heading Learn….then Bulk foods and grains. Towards the bottom, I saw the her write-up about buckets and lids. Hope this helps.

  10. Oh my. I didn’t know chard didn’t like to be transplanted! Maybe that’s why the six plants I just moved thinking I would give them more room aren’t doing so well ): And of course I did it in the hottest weather we’ve had this year! Ugh! Live and learn…

  11. Wow! I wish I had the energy you seem to have! Our weather has been making me feel extra lethargic to boot. I don’t do well in the heat. I can live vicariously through you though, and I do get inspired to accomplish more than I normally would if left to my own devices!~TJ

  12. I love reading your goals – it definitely keeps me motivated.

    This week I need to make a batch of knish with mashed potatoes I brought home from a catered lunch at work that were leftover. Schedule bills online for payday. Check the grocery ads for sales (probably will not buy anything) and the advance ads for Walgreens and CVS that start Sunday. Get out in the yard and pull weeds and clean up – we had record rainfall for the last 3 weeks and everything is a mess. I totally lost all my chard just when it was getting big and beautiful. Reschedule an October dentist appointment. Try and get more auctions started on ebay.

  13. Hi Brandy – I see on your most recent post you are going to cut and dry carrots. Could you please tell me how you do that and what you use the carrots in once they are dried? Thanks Lisa.

  14. I so do not understand how you are able to get so much out of your garden with the heat you have in Las Vegas. We went there once in June. We were so sorry we did. We thought it June it would not be too hot. Boy were we wrong. That last day, we had a rental car to drive around and look at the sights. It was 118 in the day time. The air conditioner in the car could not keep the car cool. When we turned the car in to fly home that night at 10:30 it was still 108.

    My garden is just fried here right now. We have watered, used our rain barrels etc. I guess we just do not give the right amount of shade etc. to the plants to protect them. I have a few pots (large barrel type) pots with some tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash growing on our covered patio. They are struggling. My two lime trees are doing okay. I water them everyday. It was 104 here today but the humidity is killer. Makes you feel like you got a warm wet blanket thrown on you when you go out the door. Taking the trash out and hanging laundry really makes me feel bad for a while after I come in. I just do not care for the heat.

  15. I’ve made soup and then put it the freezer in ziplock bags. It’s an easy winter dinner and I LOVE potato soup!

  16. I grated them and then dried them in my dehydrator. I can use them like that in soups or carrot cake. Last time I blended the dried grated carrots into a fine powder. Then they take up less space, and can be used to thicken soups and stews, or also for a carrot soup. I also have sliced dried carrots in my storage. Right now I’m working on adding more dried vegetables to my storage for long-term use.

  17. My goals for this month mostly have to do with getting organized. I have been doing great at stocking up on pantry items while still coming in under our food budget but now the cupboards are bursting. My husband’s going to freak if one more thing falls out of a cupboard when he’s looking for something. So I need to pick a space besides the kitchen and make a little pantry for myself.
    I also want to freeze and dry lots of herbs and I think I need to do some de-cluttering as well.

  18. I love reading your lists….I wish I could get that much done in a week.

    I am a list girl myself, it helps keep me on track. I keep a running list going all week and love when I cross something off…:)
    I also keep a list at work on my calendar of bills that need to get paid and upcoming occasions so nothing gets forgotten!

  19. Goals for this week at our house include
    1) Making jam with my oldest granddaughter, from the blackberries I froze, the red currant juice & white currant juice from last year in the freezer, & fresh rhubarb. She is good at making jam now, & has learned how to use the currant juice to replace the pectin in the recipes. The only thing we have to purchase (or pull from my pantry) is the sugar & the canning lid inserts.
    2) Taking a trip to the new Payson Temple with my granddaughter.
    3) Continuing to clear the fence line & getting the final bid for installing the back fence. The heat & humidity are the enemies for this one.
    4) Picking & freezing the elderberries as they ripen.
    5) Bottling the Red Haven peaches that have not been eaten yet as fresh peaches.
    6) Mowing the lawn.
    7) Dehydrating some of the excess rhubarb.

  20. 1. Finish the “scare chicken” for the 4-H fair booth – I made a little tuxedo coat with tails and a shirt from items I bought at Salvation Army and altered to fit. I also made a bow tie from a bandanna i had in my stash. Our booth theme is a carnival (fair theme is “Poultry in Motion”) and the scare crow is part of the booth competition.
    2. Make up the baby towels and bibs to send to my cousin.
    3. Get a plan in place to transport our son to his job and to college. He had a seizure last Friday night (first one – NEVER had one before) and now cannot drive until he is 6 months seizure free.
    4. Check the cancellation policy on the state park. Due to our sons transportation needs, we probably will not be able to go camping with the rest of my family as planned.
    5. Plant all the fall crops IF it doesn’t rain as forcasted this weekend – if it does, then it won’t happen until next week.
    6. Pull all the onions before the rain hits and put them up on screens to harden/dry.
    7. Relist items I currently have for sale and list and take photos of items for sale in my Etsy shop.

  21. I have been adding dried food to my pantry also. I was gifted a ton of squash. I now have 3 gallon jars of dried squash slices. Do u have any good recipes to use these? I also have dehydrated tomatoes in hopes of using for pizza sauce this winter. Any recipes for that?

  22. If you make a vegetable soup on the stove or in the crockpot, throw a handful of the dried zucchini in during the last 5-10 minutes. They plump up enough to not be soggy, and are a nice addition.

    You can use dried tomatoes in all the recipes that say “sun-dried tomatoes, no oil.” Also, the last time I had some, I added a handful to the crock pot of spaghetti sauce to thicken up the whole, canned tomatoes I put in.

  23. I’m not sure of your living arrangements, but I store a lot of items in the garage, basement, pantry closet next to the kitchen, etc. I have a bin in the garage for all the little bags of gluten-free flour/mixes/etc. I have some old cigarette shelves that were being discarded from a grocery store where I keep my stockpile of grocery items out in the garage. It was free. I keep very little food in the kitchen itself–mostly spices, tea, things like that. It is a bit of a pain to run out of the room when I bake, but it helps unclutter the main kitchen. I just bring in the items needed, bake, and take them back.

    You could also get a shallow bin and store things under the bed that you don’t need soon, such as pasta or cans of soup or veggies. The trick is to rotate often so the oldest gets used up and nothing rots.

  24. Sorry to go off topic but I am having no luck finding the answer to a question I have online so I thought I’d try here:

    I’ve been given a large amount of some type of bean from a lady’s garden. She did not speak English and my husband thought she called them “Chinese beans” but they are not Chinese long beans. They look like very long green beans but very bumpy like the beans inside have gotten too big and the beans are white and purple. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me what they are and if I should be cooking them whole or just the beans?

    Thanks so much for any ideas!

  25. we have elderberries here to can you tell me what you make of yours and when you can tell they are fully ripe to use the elec guy replacing a pole told me that was what they were as he popped them in his mouth.

    i have been so busy working at drying apples at this time just took out five pints of salsa the other day i canned seven qts bean soup all while filling twenty three trays with apple rings Brandy I was working at making the bean soup to use the bone and doing apples it was not till the next day when reloading my trays that i remembered i too had a ceiling fan got to love that fibromyalgia thought you would get a chuckle so now off again to reload those trays when i get thru these which will take a few days since i don’t do it on sunday it will be two and a half bushels i like to have five bushels put up so that only makes me almost half way done oh wooooooe is me tons of pain but i must push on even tho i hurt budget is what it is we still have what is needed on tree we think but is getting harder to pick as they are higher up but are better up there we donlt have a picker but we are amazed at this tree never ever has done good before it was to be a dwarf was it sure is not …we only get good harvest every other year these apples are not big and a fair amt of work but i felt impressed to start working on them a week ago and haven’t stopped…I get over six qt jars of dried apple rings from the two dehydrators every day then i vac seal them tho i really probably don’t need to. i prefer doing dried rings as they are so versatile we use them to make apple crisp and in granola as snacks and in oatmeal i still have plenty of apple butter so will just dry them it would take too much work to make applesauce with these sm ones too much cuting i do have a victoria strainer which really helps in applesauce but not with these and during the debates i crocheted on Christmas gifts then when those were done started knitting on others well off to do apples thanks and yes on with the ceiling fan too funny becky in centrsl iowa

  26. Kim for sure they weren’t long beans, but Sheila they may have been purple hull peas. I tried cooking half like green beans, blanching them and tossing them with a vinegar/mustard dressing but the pods were too tough. The other half I shelled and cooked like beans and served them with butter and parsley and they were very good. I guess I’ll never know but I’m glad I got to try something new!

  27. Dear Brandy~
    So here we are at the end of another blessed summer in NW Montana, and my thoughts turn to the long days of winter ahead. As my husband and I reflect on what “worked” in the garden and what didn’t, we also challenged each other to a new game of “what if…” What if our resources were limited next summer. What if we could only grow 5 vegetables in the garden, what would they be? It sparked off a lively discussion between the two of us. (After we each came up with our own “super veggie list”, we asked the kids which vegetable they would grow. The lists were, ummm, interesting.) So now I pose this question to your readers. If you could only grow 5 vegetables in your garden, what would they be? Sustainability is a big consideration, how much intervention a plant needed to bear fruit (IE: extra water, extra fertilizer, bug proofing…), what would give the most nutritional value, what would produce all summer long (green beans) vs a glut of fruit at summers end (cabbage), long term storage and ease of seed saving…. I’ve been tweaking my list for several days now and I’m still not sure I have the best 5 for our area and our family. The possibilities are endless. And it’s a good exercise in the “what if” scenario. What do you think your list of 5 veggies would be?

  28. I have 3 for certain ones. I chose these three because they are cut and come again vegetables–you can harvest them multiple times by cutting them back and they will grow back.

    Swiss Chard
    Green (aka Bunching) Onions
    Looseleaf Lettuce

    I have open-pollinated varieties and I collect seeds from them to plant again next year. I think that’s important, too. The chard and onions grow year-round for me here and the lettuce during the cooler part of the year (not now).

    I also think fruit is super important, and the fact that it can come back each year (without having to buy a new plant) is a huge deal.

  29. Rhonda I think that’s it! I googled dragon tongue beans to get a picture and that’s what they looked like. The beans out of them were great and I would eat them again but the pods were not very tender. The purple colour was amazing though. Thanks for all your help!

  30. Yup, me too. My list includes:
    – green beans: because of the amount of food they produce over the summer and the ease of seed saving
    – zucchini: for the same reasons as above
    – Swiss Chard is on my list too but the seed saving is more of a challenge being a biennial
    – cabbage for it’s ability to be stored all winter and because I have been able to grow cabbage (and potatoes) successfully in my garden every year since we moved here but seeds are as elusive as chard… maybe more so 🙁
    – and potatoes for all the reasons already mentioned!

    Of course the more I think about the list the more it changes. But this is my super list today….

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