Independence Days Update, a Day Late and a Dianthus Short

Sharon May 31st, 2008

Ok, today is the LAST DAY of writing the book.  Did you hear me (of course, I’m naturall such a quiet soul, so I doubt you can hear me ;-P)?  THE VERY LAST DAY OF SPENDING ALL MY TIME IN FRONT OF THE CURSED-TO-HELL COMPUTER.

Tomorrow, as Aaron put it, “Beer for Breakfast!” – but it is going to be a long, long, long day – it is 6:19 and I’ve been at the computer for close to two hours already.  Don’t even ask when I went to bed.  And don’t think I haven’t considered whether beer for breakfast might not make this day go faster. 

And yes, I kinda forgot about Independence Days yesterday – actually, I think I mostly forgot it was Friday ;-) .  So please, post your updates. 

I will be posting my update on Monday, after exploring just how caught up I can get in a day.  My first big management project will be the removal of 14 sheep and 1 donkey from  my front yard. Note, the kids would prefer they stay, despite the decimation of my strawberry harvest. Today while I am turning pasty and typing incoherently, the boys will be celebrating Xote’s (our donkey) birthday.  Did you know it was our donkey’s birthday?  Me neither.  But Isaiah says it is, and wants to make him a cake out of rolled oats, mushy apples and some other stuff. 

I think the first category I will get something into is “management” since the removal of sheepies and their guard will enable me to then remove the approximately 400,000 individual bits of sheep and donkey manure presently adorning my lawn, garden and porch into the garden.  Think of it as a treasure hunt.  But it sounds delightful compared to writing any more books, ever.

So you’ve all got to be way, way ahead of me!

 Sharon

35 Responses to “Independence Days Update, a Day Late and a Dianthus Short”

  1. Kim says:

    1. Planted:arugula, artichokes, 6 raspberries, pineapple mint, rosemary, lavender, more holes filled in

    2. Harvested: arugula (1 pound), mint (2 pounds), tastes of lettuce, chamomile (8 oz)

    3. Preserved: dried chamomile, dried mint, yogurt bites, 100 pounds of strawberries (jam, canned puree, dehydrated bits, strawberry leather)

    4. Stored: flour, sugar, parakeet food

    5. Prepped: lamp oil, candles, added shade tents to our camping supplies, restocked first aid kit.

    6. Managed: Chicken coop cleaned out. Bunny barn nearly done. Hay from barn to compost heap is proceeding very slowly. All gardens and orchards weeded and tended. Created new (non-computer based) storage checklist and spreadsheet.

    7. Local: gave a homestead tour and explained choices we are making with our animals and garden.

  2. Susan says:

    1. Planted: Herbs — basil, oregano, sage, marjoram, parsley
    2. Harvested: Nothing, though the lettuce is harvestable. Nothing else is.
    3. Preserved: started a sourdough starter, made a big pot of chicken stock
    4. Stored: Nothing to speak of, this week
    5. Prepped: Purchased a freezer! Really needed one so I could store summer & fall harvest. I don’t want to dry or can *everything*. Located a free chicken coop! Got rid of a couple of excess pieces of furnishings — to people who really needed them too. Double yay!
    6: Managed: Weeded.
    7: Local: made it to my farmer’s market, managed my own little plot
    8: Cooked: made three batches of baked beans before I finally seemed to get it right. Now know one thing I can do with pinto beans that I will eat, but then, only if I have a long steady heat source.

  3. Verde says:

    My updates are always so full of commentary (or something) that I’ll maybe just once again say it’s on my blog: http://www.justicedesserts.blogspot.org

    Maybe what I need to work on is suscinct posting.

  4. [...] can find Sharon’s update here with other updates in the comment [...]

  5. Karin says:

    Well, I went to fill up my gas tank on my little Subaru legacy. 43.00! Yup. Our household has officially entered the squeezed department. Oy! I am so grateful for this challenge because I feel like I am really making progress and that I am providing some security for my family next winter. It is building good habits.

    Planted: more potatoes, basil, pole beans, heirloom dent corn for us and our chickens,more onions,more carrots, more soybeans,eggplant, habanero peppers.

    harvested: lettuce, spinach thinnings, chives, rhubarb, dandelions, raspberry leaves,eggs.

    Preserved: 6 pints of rhubarb chutney, dried raspberry leaves.

    Prepped: IGA was a big 10 for 10 sale so purchased some bottles of bleach, canned fruit. A woman from church gave me 3 boxes of quart jars. Put up 2 gallons of water with a few drops of bleach in old glass juice bottles. Purchased book, Dry It You’ll Like It.

    Managed: Tidied up the basement and took stock of canning jar supply. Husband dug post holes for piggie yard.

    Reduced waste/ compost something: used compost from bin number one on future tomato patch, took a bag to thirft store, took a load of reycling to the recycling depot. We don’t have curbside recyling:(

    Local: got some sour milk from local farmer for piggie, went to farmers market picked up some tomato seedlings, chicken.

    Learned something new: Talked with my favorite farmer at the market about seed saving heirloom tomatoes. I pulled back the mulch on an area of sod that I had sheet mulched last year and was pleasntly surprised by loose soil underneath. No tilling really does work, go figure!

    My personal goal, Made something: I am knitting hanging hand towels for Sister-in-law’s bridal shower.

    Cooked something new: Rhubarb chutney.

  6. Jana says:

    Is there any trick to preserving mint leaves for tea? I know I should just google it!

    I planted 4 grape vines.

    Harvested spinach, strawberries and radishes.

    I weeded and weeded and weeded. Put down newspapers under mulch on garden paths. Assembled supplies for erecting a fence around garden

    Worked on using up what was in the freezer in anticipation of local side of grass fed beef later in June.

    Oh yeah–I weeded. We had bunch of rain and all the crabgrass in the garden is sprouting.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Apartment dweller here.

    1. Planted: patio tomatoes, basil, radishes, garlic chives

    4. Stored/prepped: bought org. bulk quinoa, rice, beans, couscous, nuts; this week will purchase bleach to store water in fridge

    5. Cooked: Deviled local farm eggs; local org. salad; org. blueberry flax pancakes w/ local maple syrup

    6. Managed: organized pantry; this week will plan meals to use up what needs it

    7. Local food systems: pick up first CSA box (veggie, fruit, eggs) this week; switched to local org. milk

    8. Conservation/eco-friendliness: hiked for free in nearby state park rather than taking off for the weekend; made monthly trip to recycling center

    This challenge is so motivating and grounding! Thank you all.

  8. Wrote and posted this on my site last night:

    Another week when it feels like I didn’t get much done, but once I look more carefully, there is progress…

    Planted: Peppermint (starts), echinacea (seeds), and… wait for it… potatoes! Finally! For seed potatoes, I used the last of our garden potatoes from last year, that had gone wrinkly and sprouty in the bucket. They were mostly russets with a few yukon golds. I experimented a bit, planting some “nodes” in addition to the seed potatoes, to see if the nodes sprout too.

    Harvested: Nothing this week.

    Preserved: Nothing this week. I still haven’t even retrieved the onions I put in the dehydrator lo these many weeks ago now. We’ve had an almost-unheard-of week and a half of daily rain, ending finally today, so I imagine the onions might have dried during the heat wave when I put them out, and then re-hydrated and maybe even molded during the humidity of the rainy days. I’ll check them tomorrow…

    Stored: Finally got buckets and gamma seal lids of the same size, and put one bag of basmati rice into a gamma sealed bucket. I’ve seen mouse droppings in the cupboard, so I need to better store several paper bags of stuff — flour, beans, etc. to keep them away from mice and other critters.

    Prepped: Made good progress on the garden bed digging and fence installation. Received the grain mill and solar oven pot from Lehman’s, but haven’t opened the box yet. Received my co-op order with some things I listed in this category last week — T-posts for the fence, wheat berries, baking soda, and four 5-gallon buckets. I forgot, when writing last week’s post, that I also ordered a sprouting screen. I’ve never sprouted before, figured it was time to learn. One thing I’m tempted to count as a “prep” is that I started a new job this week — it will be 16 hours a week and last probably 2 months, maybe 3. The hourly wage for this job is double what any of my other jobs pay (it’s a reading/writing assignment for the Forest Service, where I used to work, and they brought me back at the same fairly high pay rate I was at when I quit). While the specific project doesn’t really excite me, I decided to do it as a way to assess how I would feel about returning to work there (I left this particular office in 2003, and left the government entirely in 2004). They seem like they’d be interested in having me back, and while I do NOT want to go back in the same position I was in before, there are some other opportunities that do appeal to me. My primary dilemma would be that 1) I don’t want to give up the part-time jobs I currently have, even though they don’t pay well and don’t offer benefits, and 2) I don’t really want to return to full time work, especially as I’m trying to get more into gardening and other home projects. Anyway, so this project is kind of a “check it out” situation for me. The reason I consider it as a “prep” is this: I would really like to own my own home/property once again. Returning, even for a year or two (assuming the economy lasts that long) to a comfortable salary, while still living as minimally as I can, would allow me to save a significant amount each year which could go toward the purchase of land/home. I’m in a rental house now, for the first time in over ten years, and I DON’T LIKE IT! I want my own place, hopefully in time to do specific preps there like plant fruit trees and other perennials that need a few years to get established, to insulate, and put in a woodstove if it doesn’t have one, etc. Lots of things you can’t really do in advance, you have to be on the land to see what’s the right way to prepare. So my first goal in preparation (in addition to preparing by stocking up and by learning skills) is to move towards being able to buy a place again.

    Managed: I didn’t rescue the dying carrots yet. Maybe planting the potatoes before they moldered counts? Began sprouting process with decade-plus old red beans. I’ll taste the sprouts if they sprout, but I’d also like to see if sprouted beans will grow if planted!

    Cooked Something New: Not this week.

    Worked on Local Food Systems: When my friend the herbalist offered me MORE catnip (she said it’s one of her primary weeds in her garden), I told her that anytime I that will be sitting at the farmer’s market with things to sell, I’ll be happy to sell catnip starts for her as well. So she will pot up a bunch of tiny ones, and I’ll offer them! Farmer’s market starts June 14th.

    Reduced Waste: Well, my cat litterbox experiment seems to be working (see below), and it will (but hasn’t yet) reduce my use of commercially-produced kitty litter. I also gave my cat a raw egg to see how he would like it. I’m pondering giving him “real” food — chicken, egg, etc — instead of prepared cat food. He’s finally gaining some weight back after being painfully skinny, but he’s becoming picky about which cat food he likes — this brand this week, something else next week. This is producing a lot of waste, both uneaten food as well as lots of cans. If I can make him real food, that would be a win-win! He eventually ate the egg, but it took a few days. Next I think I’ll try hard-boiling it to see if he likes that better. The main obstacle to me giving him regular meat, either raw or cooked, is that I don’t have a freezer. I’d have to buy just a few days’ worth at a time and keep it in the fridge. Or, I might actually consider getting a small freezer, since it would be really handy as a food preservation option anyway (at least as long as there’s available electricity).

    Learned a New Skill: Started a jar of sprouts using my new sprout screen. I also set up a second kitty litter box which contained thinly cut strips of shiny paper (ie junk catalogs). I didn’t think Bear (the cat) would use it, since he also had the regular litter box right next to it, but today I noticed that he has peed in the new box! This week I might try swapping places so that the paper strips box is in the usual litterbox place and the commercial litter is nearby. If this works then I can stop buying cat litter and use junk mail instead!

  9. Kim says:

    My update is at my blog. I don’t feel like typing it all out again. LOL

    http://mrshoppes.livejournal.com/101578.html

  10. michelle says:

    1. Planted: acorn squash and mint
    2. Harvested: a tiny bit of basil for dinner
    3. Preserved: nothing but bought more lids and bought 3 doz jars for $9 at a yard sale~woot!
    4. Stored: 25lbs of sugar
    5. Prepped: made a list of things to do this next week while the dh is home
    6: Managed: to keep my house somewhat clean after a super huge party
    7: Local: found a source for raw milk and eggs…bought some
    8: Cooked: made a ton of chicken fajitas and korma for this weekends meals.

  11. Congrats on being on the final day! What an accomplishment. I think that you are probably going to feel more independence at the end of today than you’ll feel all year!

  12. Kim says:

    Jana,

    I put our mint leaves in the dehydrator on a very low setting (95 degrees). It doesn’t take long and they come out with beautiful color. If it wasn’t so humid here I would just hang them upside down in the shade. But nothing dehydrates in 80% humidity!

    You can also make mint jelly. I’m going to be working on that next week. I’ll let you know how that goes.

    Kim

  13. Rosa says:

    I’m going to start with something kind of dorky that I did yesterday: walked home from work. Due to a number of bad choices (accepting a car ride in the am, dropping change on candy in the afternoon, not checking to see if I had my bus pass…) I found myself leaving work with no bus card or fare money. The walk was nice, but I am SLOW – I was just barely in time to pick up my son from daycare.

    Anyway:
    Planted: flowers, put the leeks outdoors.
    Prepped: homemade “taco seasoning” “enchilada sauce” and “spaghetti sauce” mixes – I don’t think it actually saves money but it reduces plastic waste by quite a bit.
    Managed: hid all the more-full containers of things we have multiple containers of, to thwart my boyfriend’s magic talent for always eating from the most full one.
    Local: asparagus from the farmer’s market!
    Cooked: homemade pizza, scratch pancakes (don’t laugh)

    ps. Susan, do you like refried beans? I have a decent refritos recipe for pinto beans, if you want it. Since we got the pressure cooker, I make it a lot – we eat it as a side dish or in quesadillas or as chip dip.

  14. Susan in NJ says:

    Here’s my update for week 5, a beautiful gardening week and a busy work
    week, all very productive but I still feel behind — my boss says that
    makes me a “real” gardener (or so says he says his wife says and she IS
    a real gardener in my book):

    (1) Planted: Planted seed: 7 blue poppy anemone (not edible, I think,
    and way late, but a freebie from my boss)
    Planted to permanent container or bed: 4 ichiban eggplant, 3 more
    early girl tomato, chives, 1 oregano, a rosemary “tree” (on sale for
    Memorial Day BBQ-ing), 5 pumpkin plants to the pumpkin patch
    Potted on: Brandywine tomato starts
    (2) Harvested: more lettuce, some thyme, tarragon and rosemary, some green onion clippings some compost
    (3) Preserved: froze 6 mangoes, sliced, and 5 1/2 quarts of broth
    (4) Stored: nothing this week
    (5) Prepped: cleared out 1/3 overgrown (2 years) garden area and dug
    two beds, which will be planted this weekend; my partner built a “window” box system (8 feet worth) for our deck — and I had a great
    epiphany for next year about a vertical garden on that side of the deck, which I ascribe in part to reading Food Not Lawns.
    (6) Managed: working on clearing freezer space by eating up “old” food, got the kitchen and household back on track after 10 days of
    inaction due to finger accident
    (7)Cooked something new: not really
    (8)Work on local food systems: shopped farmer’s market and did not go
    to a commercial grocery at all this week; got two cherry tomato starts from a friend of my partner; asked a neighbor who bags his lawn
    clippings if they were treated (yes, darn it), and sort of relevant walked 3 blocks to a local park to hear Dar Williams sing, including her plug for homesteading
    (9) Reduce waste: bad week for that — cleaned a bunch of really old noncompostable dairy out of the refrigerator (it’s amazing how badly
    two people can communicate about which food should be used first) and had to make two trips to the garden store because the loading guy put
    the wrong stuff in the back of the car (note to self: always get out and check),
    (10) Studied up on how to keep aphids off of eggplant

  15. Kate says:

    I caught the really bad flu that has been going around here, so I have been out of commission for the past 4 days, but here’s what I managed:
    Planted : 4 tomato plants I got from a friend. (Actually, he planted them while I was in bed. Thanks, Dana!)
    Harvested: 8 bunches peppermint, 2 bunches lemonbalm. And of course, eggs from my five lovely divas.
    Preserved: the above herbs by hanging them up to dry in the kitchen.
    Prepped: got started on the composting bins made from scrounged pallets and chicken wire. Got partway done, then I got sick. But I feel really excited. When they are done, the next step is the composting toilet!!
    I also did some research about which medicinal herbs I want to plant.
    Managed: weeded some and watered.
    Cooked: I am on a new gluten free diet, so lately I have been making my own corn tortillas. also, gluten free cornbread, pancakes and brownies.
    Local food: Shopped at the co-op, as usual. Talked with my friend about combining our food growing efforts next year, b/c I have better soil here, while he has a lovely greenhouse.
    Reduce waste: fixed a broken laundry drying rack I got from a friend a while ago, and have been using that to dry all my laundry. Getting up the courage to sell my dryer. Also, I brought home from work (I work at Safeway, oh, the irony) 4 gallon jugs for storing water and a huge car load of cardboard for sheetmulching that were going to be garbage.
    I love how when I list out all I’ve done this week, it seems like so much more than when it’s just in my head, even with being so sick. Hooray! I love this challenge.

  16. Nettle says:

    Planted: Fennel that I was trying to grow in a container went into the ground – it wasn’t happy in the container. Another bell pepper start, another eggplant start.
    Harvested: Nothing besides the usual herb sprigs for cooking and a few leaves of sorrel for salads.
    Preserved: Dried more mint and lemon balm.
    Prepped: built trellis work for the beans to climb, when they get big enough to climb. Started work on a shelf system to go along the top of the fence, to put some containers in that will catch some extra sun.
    Managed: the normal daily weeding and watering. I think I got my slug problem under control with some beer traps and copper wire. I still have the slug poison in reserve, but I will be very happy if I don’t have to use it. (Next week’s adventure: flea beetles on the eggplants!)
    Cooked: Found a great recipe for lentil baba ghanoush after I got an eggplant from the supermarket produce bargain bin. Liked it so much that I put in a second eggplant in the garden, in a space where a pepper failed to get started due to being slugged. Also made a delicious peanut beef stew, which is interesting only because it wasn’t until after I made it that I realized that every ingredient except the peanuts and the salt were local. It just worked out that way without me having to think about it, which seems like a good sign.
    Local food: nothing beyond the usual farmer’s market shopping.
    Reduce waste: some fabulous trash picking this week – I got a really solid butcher-block table, among other things. The usual composting and recycling.
    Learned: How to fight slugs without poisoning anything. How to use a jigsaw.

  17. Deb G says:

    Sunday: Hmm…think it was last Sunday that I got the last of the tomatoes in the ground. Tried a new bread recipe from a book I checked out from the library. Liked it so much that I bought the book. I traded books that are no longer useful to get a discount. I’m working very hard on prioritizing what items are needed and what is just taking up space (prep something?).
    Monday: Made home made dog food for the dogs. They loved it! Pulled down out of a comforter that I was given that had a big tear. I’m going to be making a puffy quilt with it.
    Tuesday: Planted lemon cucumbers. My favorite kind :)
    Wednesday: My lazy day….
    Thursday: Read about making compost tea with comfrey.
    Friday: Finished another pair of socks.
    Saturday: Bought cauliflower, broccoli and strawberries (first of the season!) at the farmer’s market. Picked up some cucumber starts and some basil.

    I think that’s most of what I’ve done this week. I’ve been making lists of things that I want to accomplish and trying to check one or two off each day. I’m finding it much more manageable.

  18. Shira says:

    Wow, everybody sounds so busy and productive! I love reading the reports; they are so inspiring.

    Helped sweetie put in a new water heater, so that’s my new skill: how to install a direct vent water heater. It was a nutroll getting the water heater in around the existing pipes. The direct vent water heater doesn’t have a motor to pump the exhaust from the gas flame out of the basement (works like a chimney), so it doesn’t plug in and it isn’t dependent on electronic ignition. The bad news is that it has a pilot light, so isn’t as energy efficient.

    Went to a big box store to get longer hoses for the new water heater and there was an odd disconnect. It seemed like the stocks of really useful items were pretty low, with bare spots on the shelves, but there plenty of shiny new grills and outdoor furniture.

    Dried enough medicinal oregano to fill a quart jar, packed tight. It’s great with peppermint and horehound for colds. Harvested the oat patch for green oat pods to dry for “oats in the milk stage” tea. The oat patch is a 4 by 8 foot raised bed that I am rotating to tomatoes. It was the most basic of operations: I cut off the tops of the oats with my office scissors and stripped them off by hand. The little patch yielded a good three gallons of oat pods.

    Planted a flat of squashes and cucumbers and transplanted some more herbs into my spiffy new herb bed.

  19. Heather Gray says:

    Details of the past week at my LJ:
    http://helwen.livejournal.com

    Short plus stuff not listed yet: finished planting trees, oats are coming up, as are some potatoes and peas. Watered and mulched everything. Ordered some maize seeds.

    First week at the farmers market went well, picked up a new lemon thyme and a new rosemary to plant. Met people, chatted about stuff (community-building!). Bought food from local baker and cook (yum!) — the bakery has some of their grains grown for them locally and the cook used wild nettles in the veggie buns and soup.

    Checked out and weeded surviving herbs in the garden. Planted sunflower seeds.

    I’m in CA right now, at least until Tuesday (graduation of niece, haven’t seen family in years, and now my mom’s in the hospital again, so we’ll be visiting her there). Been at least 10 years since I was last here, I think… maybe more.

    Rain barrels are working nicely.

  20. 1. Planted: Beets, spinach, walla walla sweet onions, green onions
    2. Harvested: Kale, broccoli leaves, red onion (overwintered from last year)
    3. Preserved: Nothing yet
    4. Stored: Nothing, but I did sell a shitload of stuff on Craigslist this week
    5. Prepped: Added amendments to garden bed for planting
    6: Managed: Weeded, weeded and weeded some more. Trimmed back the rosemary bush from hell.
    7: Local: Purchased locally made pasta, meat and sausage at the farmers market – not too much produce is available yet that I don’t already have
    8: Cooked: Every single meal except last night (it was the first time we went out since before the Buy Nothing Challenge)

  21. Gail says:

    Planted: pole beans, pulled up a lilac from the foundation and potted it for permaculture hedge up front

    Harvest:lettuce, spinach, turnip greens, chard, parsley from the parsley forest, sage, chives

    Preserved: nothing yet

    Stored: moved 25# of split peas to long term storage

    Prepped: I am not sure if this counts or not.. but broke up with high-dollar boyfriend, hopefully to make room for someone closer to my own values. And it was all stylish and sane and sad and liberating all at the same time.
    Also, started asking myself the question, “Can I do this without electricity?” whatever I am doing. Brush your teeth? yes. Reading? Sit in the sun. Drink coffee? It’s carbon neutral to sit in the dark. I could read all the international papers I do online if I went to the library. Lights went out at gym and yoga was still possible . Inspired by storm caused outages a few miles away and Kunstler’s novel.
    Considering removing the garbage disposal so kitchen sink will drain without electricity.

    Managed: not really, but discussed sewer pipe problem with backyard neighbor who had his whole backyard dug up for months. Bad news… I am now the end of the line. Hmm.

    Cook something new: Hopi Indian corn polenta wonderful. and lavendar.

    Work on local food system: Bought elk! at the market.

    Reduce waste: Metal dishpan is wonderful, water goes out to garden. Houseguests are willing to wash dishes too, seeing I am not just reaching for dishwasher. I also take teeshirt and undies into shower with me and wash them (without electricity)

    Learned a skill: Want to learn how to process feverfew.

  22. Chile says:

    Harvested: nothing’s ready but squash, peas, tomatoes, watermelon, basil are blooming.

    Preserved: started ginger schnapps (steeps a month). Made pumpkin butter with drained pumpkin puree (reduces cooking time) & froze it. Made pumpkin leather in dehydrator. With windfall of English cucumbers (see blog post): made 4 pints of refrigerator pickles, 6 half-pints of cucumber-ginger conserve, & 8 pints of achar (South Asian pickles).

    Cooked new: all of the preservation recipes were new to me. Also made new fresh cucumber recipes (two salads & coconut curried cucumber).

    Prepped: completed inventory of emergency food supplies.

    Local food: shared 2/3 of a bushel of cucumbers with 7 people and let them know about community food bank programs.

  23. Cynthia says:

    Planted scented geraniums,
    Harvested first cukes and beans!
    Dried and froze some herbs.
    Made cherry pies with neighbors’ cherries,and teaching a young lady to bake bread.
    Added more worms to compost bin.
    Did my shopping by bicycle today! It was really fun! While garagesaling I met a Mom who was interested in canning produce but did not grow her own, so I reminded her about the local produce stand and farmers market.
    Also met with City Parks and Rec. to get the Community Garden going again…
    Thinking possibly about the Womens and Childrens shelter too…

  24. Chile says:

    Oops. I shouldn’t have counted my jars of conserve before I was all done. For some reason, I do not have 6 jars of conserve. Instead, I have 2 1/2 jars of caramelized crunchy cucumbers. I’m not even sure I’ll be able to chip the stuff out of the jars. :(

  25. Hummingbird says:

    planted: melons, cucumbers, replanted okra

    harvested: lettuce, strawberries

    stored: split and stacked more firewood

    recycled: salvaged pallets for stacking wood

    planned: next chicken yard

    Actually my hardworking partner did most of the work on all this, but I am helping and learning.

  26. Gina says:

    It’s been a week already. I really do believe that theory that time is speeding up…

    Here is another meager list:

    Planted: More tomatoes (Roma, Green Zebra, and Black Krim) & peppers (Tabasco, Jalapeno, California Wonder, and Cayenne), West India gherkin cucumbers, Butternut squash, sweet & Indian corn.

    Harvested: More eggs; mint;radish, beet and turnip seedlings, lamb’s quarter & field mustard (I also forgot last week to mention the wild field garlic I found in the nick of time before it disappeared for the year), black swamp soil, raspberry leaves

    Preserved: Dried the raspberry leaves

    Stored: I didn’t store anything this week, but I did bring a shelf from the old house to the new property that will house stuff in the basement pantry. Oh, I guess I did pick up a couple of bottles of Witch Hazel on clearance from the drug store.

    Prepped: Found four dozen canning jars at local thrift ($14/all), bought canning lids. Mentioned the shelf above. Will be picking up five dairy goats this afternoon\ which meant we had to create area for them. Still in the process. Made a list of “wants” (and was surprised how small it is, although it doesn’t include miracle wants like solar panels or books).

    Managed: Used yard sale money to buy fencing and material for new goat area. I also found a firesafe on clearance at TSC and bought it to store “important” documents like birth cert., ss cards, marriage cert., etc. I also picked up a couple of peg board shelves in order to do some organizing in the barn (yard sale find $1/three). Reread dairy goat books. Worked on inventory list of useful (medicinal/edible) plants on property (found a plum tree!!!)

    Cooked Something New: I barely cooked at all this week (we had folks over on holiday and I have been using extra burgers and such to cook with-nothing particularly new).

    Work on Local Food System: Bought extra tomato plants to fill in losses from local greenhouse. I also gave this man in my area a business idea and have been corresponding with him with advice. He found a local source for food grade barrels he was willing to share with me. I found a few more people that need one or two and emailed him back to find out if he would be interested in making a few dollars. He will charge $10 for straight barrel (he gets them for $5 and drives about 20 minutes) or for $30 he will prepare it with overflow valves, screening and a spigot. I think it’s a bargain if you do a quick search online. I gave him emails of people interested and told him I would spread the word around. I am buying five (two prepared/three back-ups). I love the one I have already. I also shared some extra plants with my co-worker who is putting in his very first veggie garden.

    Reduced Waste: I ‘ll mention the rain barrels again because they are used barrels from the food industry (used to hold vanilla extracts and such). Composted as usual.

    Learned a New Skill: I can’t think of anything at the moment…

    Also, a couple of questions: Chile, can you give us your pumpkin leather recipe/ I actually still have two rather large heirloom pumpkins from last Fall’s harvest and already have canned and froze pumpkin puree, butter and made muffins and bread until it was coming out of our ears. The leather sonds intriging. And,the second thing is actually just an opinion for Gail, I think it definitely counts despite any heartbreak involve. It is a long term decision that will prevent stress. hugs.

  27. Christina says:

    A short list this time. It’s HOT here – 26C/78F – this might not sound much to some of you, but in Scandinavia on June 1st its HOT! And our water pump broke so we have to haul water in buckets from the well. It’s perfectly doable, but a lot of work. Rinsed laundry ouside today and put rinse water on mulched potatoes. Sigh. I just want to sit in the shade with a cold drink and contemplate my garden.

    1. Planted: Pole beans, bush beans, pickling cucumbers, purple sage, rosemary and thyme. Have bought more currant bushes and two saskatoon berry bushes, but haven’t got around to planting them yet.

    2. Harvested: It’s growing poorly in the heat and drought. Harvested some salad greens, rhubarb and herbs. Soon the spinach will be ready.

    3. Preserved: nothing

    4. Stored: Nothing

    5. Prepped: Well, no…

    6: Managed: Weeded, prepared beds for planting. Dh trying to fix broken water pump (he’s good at fixing things .-)). Used gray water to water the garden.

    7: Local: Discussed mulching and potato growing with neighbour (does that count?)

    8: Cooked: Only the usual stuff. Too hot to cook much anyway.

    9. Waste: Composting as usual

    10. Learn a new skill: Learned how a water pump looks on the inside…

    Now I’m off to the lake with the kids and a bunch of freshly made cinnamon rolls, mmm :-) We will swim and cool off a bit!

  28. Danielle says:

    Plant:

    I transplanted about 300 tomato plants and around 150 pepper plants. For those who don’t know, we have a small CSA, which accounts for the crazy numbers. Though I admit to being nearly incapable of killing anything green. Deliberately anyway, though I sure did my best with these guys. We have a hodge-podge of plants in the market garden that only time will tell what they are. I tried to plant them based on similarity, so we may have some semblance of organization down there.

    Harvest:

    Harvested variety of lettuces, kale, chard, radishes, strawberries, green onions, snap peas, thyme, cilantro, sorrel, chives, milk and eggs.

    Preserve:

    Picked 6 quarts of strawberries and made jam out of 4 quarts to yield 16 half pints. Froze 2 quarts for use in smoothies and ice cream.

    Skimmed 9 quarts of cream! This will go towards making butter and ice cream. Yummmmmm!

    Store:

    Put up 3 bottles of “cheap ass” vodka, according to Jim, for use in making tinctures; 3 bottles lamp oil; matches; organic lemon juice; 50# hard red winter wheat berries; 25# arborio rice; 25# brown basmati rice; 50# organic sugar; vanilla; Em’s favorite graham sticks.

    Prep:

    Picked up 25 buckeye chicks to round out our breeding program. Purchased a book called Spinning in the Old Way, which talks about spinning obviously, but also about wool prep. Jim picked up 10 cattle panels.

    Manage:

    Weeded in the market garden, laid tarp to keep down weeds in the staging area, covered spinach with shade cloth, continued to slug-hunt, pulled out soaker hoses.

    Cook:

    I made ricotta cheese for the first time this week, and it was pretty tasty, though the curds were quite firm—almost mozzerella like. The first batch didn’t come out at all, but the piggies and the chickens didn’t mind one little bit; they thought it was just marvelous.

    We also made our first ice cream, and boy was it just amazing! We made vanilla for everyone to fix up the way they like. Jules and Em had chocolate syrup, Jim and I had sugared strawberry topping I quickly whipped up from our garden, Sam had both! Em kept saying, “It’s like heaven in cream form!”

    Add:

    CSA delivery to three local families. Natural foods co-op, volunteered for unloading and check in.

    Reduce:

    Used my chico bags again while shopping. I love having them right in my purse for those times I forget to grab my canvas market bags.

    Learn:

    Learning all about cheese making.

  29. Bess says:

    Planted: cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, butternut squash
    looked at some seeds.

    Continuing construction on the chicken coop. We’ll have the frame for the run pretty much done by the end of the day I hope.

  30. Kati says:

    Planted: (22 ft long rows) half row of lettuce seedlings, another half-row of lettuce seed, half row of swiss chard, half row of spinach, half-row of broccoli, row of carrots, row of beets, row of green beans, row of peas, 12 strawberry crowns, 1 8-ft row of swiss chard at MY house (the rest was at the in-law’s house last monday), 1 row (25 seeds long, 2 inches apart) Sunset Runner beans.

    Harvested: nothing

    Tended: 1 cucumber seedling transplanted into 12″ dia. pot. 1 Stupice tomato seedling into similarly sized pot. 2 other tomato seedlings still to be transplanted into large half-barrel pot, once I’ve got a way to insulate them against the cool nights. Transplanted 27 cucumber seedlings into larger containers. Will have cucumbers coming out the ears if they all produce anything. Will be over at the FIL’s weeding and tending some of the previously planted goodies, today.

    Preserved Something: Nope.

    Make Preps: bought a 12-pk case of qt-sized wide-mouthed mason jars in case all those cucumber plants produce. Also bought 4 boxes (12 each) lids, 2 of wide-mouth size, 2 regular size. The hubby also built me a 3×8 ft planter bed that we situated, dug out the gravel-filled dirt from underneath, and refilled with top-soil last night. As well as rototilling out 2 flower beds and filled one with the 12 strawberry crowns. The other may get flowers again, or veggies. Not sure yet. ALSO prepped 2 half-barrel planters for tomatos and zucchini, and 2 chicken-wire “bins” for potatoes yet to be planted.

    Cooked Something: Not from locally grown, but I DID make my own Creme Brulee yesterday from scratch!!! And beef-stuffed Sopaipillas for supper last night, and various meals through the rest of the past week.

    Managed Reserves: usual rotating of supplies as used.

    Worked On/Toward Local Food Systems: Nope.

    Composted Something/Reduced Waste: well, weeded a clothes-basket of tops out of my closet. I never wear them, so I might as well pass them on to somebody who can. Will take up to the transfer station tonight or tomorrow, and leave on the platform with the other reusable goods.

    Learn a New Skill: Nope.

    ****

    More details and lots of pics at my blog.

  31. Chile says:

    Gina, I used this recipe, except I substituted brown sugar for the honey. Draining the excess moisture from the pumpkin puree (homemade from a CSA organic pumpkin) reduced the drying time.

    Now, the problem is that I’m not quite sure what to do with it. It could be eaten as a snack, but it is quite … leathery. Any suggestions?

  32. bernie says:

    We mulched our garden with the twigs, trimmings and dead branches that we ran through the chipper/shredder.
    We got bok choy in our CSA box and cooked it for the first time. Also made bagels for the first time.
    We added 18 lbs. more of flour to the freezer and that should be it for the year.
    We are continuing to feed the composter, mow with the push mower and a nice rain the other night filled up our new rain barrel.

  33. Carla says:

    I posted a report on my blog on Friday for what was accomplished over the previous 10-12 days. Will do another entry for the weekend soon. I need to get into a pattern for these postings…(sigh)
    Carla in North Idaho

  34. tasterspoon says:

    I learned to sail this weekend. Then when California breaks off into the Pacific, at least I’ll be able to get around… ;o)

  35. risa b says:

    1. Planted: more peas, radishes, spinach, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, bok choi, summer squash, basil, thyme, runner beans (lots and lots of runner beans). Oh, and carrots.

    2. Harvested: radishes, chard, onions, chives, elephant garlic shoots, parsley, rosemary, marjoram, rhubarb, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, trout, compost fish (Northern Pikeminnow), eggs-as-usual.

    3. Preserved: rhubarb, trout, goose eggs (blown, frozen)

    4. Stored: rye flour, buckwheat flour

    5. Prepped: trout, make-ahead soup, fall garden bed. Rebuilt deer fence. Potted up lilac shoots to trade for quince shoots.

    6. Managed: reconnected the homemade solar hot water heater. Began using scythe for first time.

    7. Local: Seeds are from Territorial; they are local. http://www.territorialseed.com

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