Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Farming

How the Garden Grew

Rocky Top Garden

This was the site of my original 50 ft by 50 ft garden here on the farm. We named it Rocky Top because it is so full of rocks! The soil is great, but the rocks are a real pain. Just when I think I have picked up all the rocks, I find more. Over the past 3 years I have grown tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, potatoes, corn, herbs, cucumbers and even pumpkins.

Each January I begin planning the crops I want to grow. This year, I really out did myself! In addition to the crops listed above, I added butternut squash, honey nut squash, round zucchini, habanero peppers, jalapeño peppers, bell peppers, pop corn, Indian corn, watermelon, cantelope, and a wide variety of pumpkins. Because we purchased a large tiller for the tractor, I decided to just have Jamey till a larger garden closer to the house. I still kept my Rocky Top garden because you have to grow pop corn and Indian corn a good distance from sweet corn so it doesn’t cross pollinate. Jamey went right to work!

The New Garden

Jamey tilled the garden soil, but he tilled about 3x the size garden that I wanted. I had enough seed so I went for it, planting around 300×50’ in the new garden and 50×50’ in the old garden. It’s a lot to maintain- I could barely keeping up with it! So we’ve harvested 2 varieties of zucchini, green beans, potatoes, cucumbers, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, corn, winter squash, spaghetti squash and pumpkins. Next year I hope to keep it more realistic! I’ve already decided that many of those crops will NOT be on my list next year because they just didn’t do well. I enjoy gardening but this year was just too much!

What I learned…

If I have learned anything this year, its that time seems to make the bad memories fade away. When I am bored this winter, I will probably concoct a new garden plan and forget how hard it was to manage that big garden. Somebody please remind me!

Sanctuary Ridge Family Recipes

Smoked Meatloaf

Smoked Meatloaf

We Bought A Cow

Earlier this year we purchased a cow to have processed at a local butcher. This was our first time to do this and we really did not know what to expect. We can not possibly eat a whole cow in a year, so we split the cow with my parents. This was grass-fed beef. The quality of the meat is great- almost no fat! This does pose some challenges when preparing steak and other cuts of meat. Additional steps are required to tenderize the meat. A grain finished cow is definitely preferred. This allows the cow to put on a little fat which causes marbling in the meat, adding tenderness and flavor. Our favorite part of this cow so far is the ground beef, and we have a freezer full to utilize!

Of course I have been making spaghetti, tacos and hamburgers, but I have never really liked meatloaf so I have only made it a couple of times in my life. As I am trying to diversify the use of all this ground beef, I thought I would try creating a new meatloaf recipe that would include some of my favorite ingredients. The results were fantastic!

Homestyle Dinner

This homestyle dinner can be prepared ahead of time! Have this prepared to put on the smoker or grill for a flavorful Sunday dinner or enjoy it any time you want. Meatloaf sandwiches? Yes! The possibilities are endless with this smoky, veggie packed loaf of goodness!

Here is the link to The Bomb BBQ Sauce:

Smoked Meatloaf

Smoked Meatloaf infused with onions, peppers and glazed with The Bomb BBQ Sauce.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people


  • Smoker, Grill or Oven
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large Spoon x2
  • measuring cups and measuring spoons
  • Large Disposable Loaf Pans- I buy the 1/4 size at SAMS Club
  • Food Processor to mince the veggies
  • aluminum foil


  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, minced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, minced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, minced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 tsp salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke flavor Optional
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup The Bomb BBQ Sauce- set aside until final 10 minutes of smoking! Recipe link in main post


  • Preheat smoker, grill or oven to 300 degrees. If using a smoker or grill, add wood chips for more smoke! Do not use wood chips in the oven!
  • Combine all ingredients (EXCEPT BBQ Sauce) in a large mixing bowl until mixed really well. Place in a large loaf pan and shape the mixture to form a solid loaf. Cover with aluminum foil.
  • Place in a preheated smoker, grill or oven and cook at 300 degrees for 1 hour. Glaze the top with BBQ Sauce and cook uncovered for 10 more minutes. Check internal temperature for safety- 160 is the recommended minimum temperature!
  • Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve!
Keyword sanctuary ridge family recipes, Smoked Meatloaf

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