Independence Days Update: If Summer Never Comes

Sharon July 13th, 2009

Ok, I have to admit, I’m really loving this weather. Now that the non-stop rain has stopped (it is now raining every third evening, which I can live with ;-) ), the fact that the summer is cool and breezy and pleasant is actually making me very happy. I am not a hot weather person.  I love this - days in the mid-70s, maybe hitting 80 once in a while, nights in the 50s (and sometimes high 40s).  The bad news is that the melons, the peppers, the okra all hate it.  The good news is that I’m still eating the last of my lettuce planting from the spring - first time that’s ever happened in July.

Earlier this week, Eric went up to water the sheep, and came down announcing that there was a newborn lamb on the pasture - which was something of a surprise to all of us, not least their owner.  The little guy, first sheep born on our farm, was from the bottom of the pecking order sheep, one that my friend didn’t think had bred.  He’s happy, bouncy, healthy little dude, and we’re delighted to have him - he brings the total to 15 woolies up on the pasture, plus the guard donkey.

We’re short on eggs, since two of my hens are setting - we want the replacements, so we’re sucking it up.  Meanwhile, the next batch of chicks - white rocks and cuckoo marans, arrived to replace our aging layer flock.  We’re expecting still another batch in early September, since we’re going to go back to selling eggs in the spring.

The fruit is exploding - we’ve harvested cherries, blueberries, raspberries and apricots this week, and the black and red currants are just about ready.  I’m going to make black currant wine, so I’m spending some of my free time reading wine recipes. 

We are rich with summer squash, and the cherry tomatoes are coming on slowly, slowly, mostly from lack of heat.  Our neighbors down in the valley have tomatoes in larger quantities, though, so we’ve been eating pesto, tomato and goat cheese sandwiches with wild abandon - the pesto and goat cheese are ours. 

Not much else to report here - I’m still revising the gardens, since two years in a row of unusually heavy rains (we’ve had almost 18 inches since May) have proven that my drainage is inadequate - I’m simply going to have to build up higher.  The boys are at camp this week, so Eric and I have three and half hours every morning to work uninterrupted - so expect not to hear from me in the mornings this week.

Plant something: Sea Holly, California Poppy, Marshmallow, valerian, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, beets, carrots, peas, arugula, turnips, tickseed, catnip, soapwort, nettles.  Also moved a hazelnut and some catmint that were getting shaded out in our gardens.

Harvest something: Milk, Eggs, Beets, Summer squash, green beans, kale, chard, collards, broccoli, burdock, daikon, chinese cabbage, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, apricots.

Preserve something: Cherry-Amaretto jam, strawberry rhubarb jam, blueberry jam, rhubarb sauce, dried blueberries, dried cherries, meadowsweet tincture, kim chi, pesto, red clover tincture, dried clover blossoms, made goat cheese and mixed it with some red currant jelly, which was astonishingly good.

Waste not: Made ice cream topping from mixed jam jar remnents (was really good, actually) , made sour milk biscuits, collected a trellis by the side of the road, made wheat gluten out of some old flour found in back of cupboard - was surprisingly successful.

 Prep/Want Not: Picked up more cat and dog food to add to storage, ordered bulk peaches from a farmer a bit south (peaches don’t do well here) for canning, ordered more dried cranberries, also finally cleaned out my closet, and discovered all sorts of useful things buried in there.

Build Community Food Systems: Signed up to work my synagogues local summer lunch program for kids, arranged to do a few more talks, the usual.

Eat the food - wheat gluten in stir fry, aforementioned goat cheese and jam mixture on bread (in large quantities - yum), blueberry ice cream, and pesto.

How about you? 


28 Responses to “Independence Days Update: If Summer Never Comes”

  1. Karinon 13 Jul 2023 at 9:15 am

    What planting Zone are you in? Fruit seems to be taking its time here. But it is nice to hang laundry again. The laundry pile got pretty big there for a while; just waiting for hanging weather.

    My update is at my blog.

  2. Annaon 13 Jul 2023 at 9:56 am

    We are awash in peaches and berries, atm, here in SW Virginia. Oh, bring on the cobblers!

  3. Robinon 13 Jul 2023 at 10:33 am

    Plant something: Parsnips, carrots, cilantro, beans, buckwheat.

    Harvest something: Milk, eggs, summer squash, chard, strawberries, plums, apples, turnips, radishes, basil, tomatoes, potatoes, ground cherries, onions, garlic, coriander.

    Preserve something: Dried peaches, cherries and apricots from farmers market.

    Waste not: Fed whey and sour milk to chickens.

    Prep/Want Not: Bought several pounds of nuts on clearance, stocked up on white flour and coffee.

    Build Community Food Systems: trading produce at husband’s workplace, watering neighbors garden for her vacation.

    Eat the food - Summer squash every night!, basil and tomato salad, new potatoes, mozzarella and ricotta cheese, stuffed chard, onions, garlic.

  4. risa bon 13 Jul 2023 at 10:37 am

    1. Plant something - A few Egyptian onions

    2. Harvest something - potatoes, dandelions, elephant garlic, radishes, onions, yellow zucchini, turnips, turnip greens, favas, peas, chard, mustard, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, broad beans, basil, chives, rhubarb, stevia. Thrashed kale seeds.

    3. Preserve something - made pickled onions, bok choi stems, and peas in the pod, which turned out really well. Froze spinach, three containers. Dried mint.

    4. Reduce waste - bringing home bottles, boxes, used newspapers, bubble pack, and yogurt containers for assorted projects. As always, throwing whatever has bolted in the garden over the poultry fence, where it is greatly appreciated.

    5. Preparation and Storage - drying fava beans and kale pods for seed. Garlic, potatoes. Drying basil. Beloved bought quite a lot of blueberries from a nearby farmer and cooked some down which we will have with yogurts, and froze the rest. Update: we have eaten blueberries till they are coming out our ears!

    6. Build Community Food Systems - selling duck eggs; giving away Egyptian onion bulbils at work.

    7. Eat the Food - From frozen: pear sauce, chicken broth. From poultry: duck and chicken eggs. From storage: wheat, oats, rye, molasses, vinegar. From garden: bok choi, turnips, turnip greens, potatoes, zucchini, favas, elephant garlic, onions, kale, chard, dandelions, peas, lettuce, spinach, chard, strawberries, mint, basil, chives, stevia.

  5. Susan in NJon 13 Jul 2023 at 10:53 am

    Here we’re in the 80’s during the day and 60’s at night, not bad for July. We haven’t had to run the basement dehumidifier or the window AC, just the ceiling fan now and then. The trees at the west side of the house have grown up enough that they shade even the second floor on that side. Our garage gutters were installed this week, we’re still tweaking the rain barrels. But our dishwasher (our essential cheap labor to keep the household functioning) died . . . turns out it was 12 years old.

    Plant: nada

    Harvest: kirby cucumbers, oakleaf and green leaf lettuce, “big leaf” shiso

    Preserve: see waste not

    Waste not: Started a batch of pineapple vinegar using peel from an organic pineapple; made cheese from last week’s curdy yogurt – both of these firsts for me; cleaned out the fridge and composted an embarrassing amount of green stuff; continued to rotate freezer stuff - empty space seems to get immediately occupied; using old dishwasher as drying rack until the new one arrives – this is a great use.

    Prep: Ordered a new energy star dishwasher through a old style local appliance store and made a bargain with my partner that he would do dishes until it arrived (promised not to monitor water use in the interim); got an old used manual coffee grinder with great ergonomics and a big box (now I just need time to take it apart and clean it up); a couple gallons of vinegar; weeded (cut brush) at side and behind garage in preparation for gutter work and future raspberry beds

    Community: the usual garden talk and farmer’s market shopping; also generally in the vein of supporting a more local economy - patronized a local appliance store with a really good repair division and purchased some wooden cooking implements from the maker at a local craft fair

    Eat: Refrigerator cleanout stir fry; sandwiches with shiso; lots of fruit salad; blueberry pie with streusel top (the first blueberry pie I’ve ever made, a request from my partner); cold roast beets, zuchini and chicken with charmoule sauce

  6. Sarahon 13 Jul 2023 at 12:36 pm

    My main accomplishments for this week were picking two pints of early raspberries and discovering the existence of shrub! Shrub is a colonial-era soft drink, usually fruit-flavored, but we got the ginger kind on a trip to Salem this weekend. To make it, cover fruit in vinegar (preferably the apple cider kind), let sit in the fridge overnight (or longer, depending on the recipe), strain, add an equal amount of sugar and/or honey, boil for 10 minutes, let cool, bottle, keep in fridge. Then mix the syrup with water, selzer, or iced tea to drink. While it was typically nonalcoholic, rum or brandy was sometimes added. I assume it’s high-acid enough to water-bath can, and might even be shelf-stable with that much vinegar and sugar in it, but so long as we have a fridge, I’m keeping it there just in case.

    I will be making a big batch of raspberry shrub…since its base is a syrup, you can make it thick and sweet, but it’s really the perfect sort of thing to just add a dash to in your water bottle to make the water more interesting on a hot day.

    We also “harvested” one absolutely enormous and delicious rose hip growing on a bush outside the Salem maritime center’s orientation building. The flowers were pretty and had a nice faint scent, but weren’t very showy, so I assume this is one of the rose breeds that’s bred more for the hips than the flowers. The rosehips themselves could be considered ornamental — they were a beautiful golden orangy-pink color.

  7. Liseon 13 Jul 2023 at 12:44 pm

    I’m with you on the wonderful summer weather! Perfect for me.

    My update, though, is not so perfect; pretty lame this week. Here it is, anyway:

    :-) Lise

  8. Heather Gon 13 Jul 2023 at 12:45 pm

    Plant something: Soldier beans. Hope to plant more parsnip and carrot now that I’ve re-discovered their whereabouts through all the weeds.

    Harvest something: Beet greens, and one pea pod (to test readiness to pick — another day or two I think, but yum!).

    Preserve something: Nada

    Waste not: Fed strawberries to friends — perfect for eating, not as optimal for canning because of the rain. They liked them :)

    Prep/Want Not: Boxed/bagged some more stuff for giveaway. Took SIL’s boxes and bags of books down to the transfer point (dump/recycling/book exchange). Got a couple of small cabinets from there free — they’re bathroom-type ones, with mirrors built into the doors, perfect for putting a candle or lantern in front of at night!

    Build Community Food/Local Systems: Worked at farmers market. Got free Llama wool from fellow farmers who’d had their guard llama sheared. Some of it’s actually pretty decent even though he isn’t pampered and coated.

    Eat the Food: garlic scapes with beet greens are wonderful! Even my husband liked them :D Also enjoyed borscht made by a friend from her CSA goodies. And tried out a blueberry smoothie from one of the other vendors at the market (their own yogurt plus another farmer’s blueberries). They bring up their electric/solar work vehicle and use it to power the blender. Grass fed steak from another farmer plus veggies cooked with it. Free range chicken (new local farm product that’s even butchered locally!), with our scapes and another farm’s carrots — I even liked the white meat on this bird — commercial white meat isn’t worth the time of day, aside from CAFO concerns. Coleslaw made by the same friend who made the borscht, also great (carrots, cabbage, and something like turnip with a Japanese (?) name).

  9. Eleanoron 13 Jul 2023 at 1:01 pm

    Hi! Finally getting to use some of the skills you taught me in your last food storage class :)

    Plant Something: native yellow cone flowers, rose bushes; purchased seeds for fall planting (kale, chard, broccoli, pansies, carrots); tied up watermelons on trellis, got gourds off the ground (using 8-foot folding ladder as trellis)

    Harvest Something: nothing this week

    Preserve Something: First try at saurkraut! Tee-hee! I am so please with myself. I can’t believe how much water comes out of that cabbage, and how little it makes by the time you are done! Investegated our glass-ceramic range with convection oven- turns out you can use a flat-bottom water bath. Also, the oven can be used as a dehydrator and to proof bread. Purchased canning rack to turn favorite stock pot into a BWB canner, and got other canning equipment (jars, funnel, jar-lifter, magnetic wand), began investigating recipes. Signed up for hands-on jam & helly class at Whole Foods.

    Waste Not: discussed recycling with DH and decided to set up to do it ourselves, since we have to pay for it and DSIL doesn’t want to pay for it.

    Prep/want not: purchased rice and chicken broth for food storage. Discussed price of bulk rice in super-pails over individual packages w/DH - decided to start purchasing that way. Discussed purchasing water storage containers.

    Build Community: none

    Eat: not too good this past week since we all got the stomach flu.

    Looking forward to this coming week! :)

  10. ceridwenon 13 Jul 2023 at 1:53 pm

    Well…I’m taking note of the general idea on this - so, in the last week, I’ve foraged some more food items (and discovering this is certainly a way to vary my diet)/I’m getting pretty well into my “reversed” way of thinking on “whats for dinner tonight then?” and changing that from “what recipe am I going to do?” to “what have I got in and what can I best do with it?”. Here - in Britain - we are getting a lot of Government directives about not wasting food/using up leftovers at present - and I think I’m being pretty good at that now…I feel distinctly “guilty” about throwing out even a mouthful of food these days.

    Its certainly an exercise in creativity - not something I’ve ever thought of as my strong point….but turns out I’m not bad at it….heh!

  11. Lisa H.on 13 Jul 2023 at 2:05 pm

    We are doing a great job of steadily decluttering things we don’t need and re-organizing what we have to work better for us. Next on the agenda: more decluttering and organizing of stuff and preserving summer produce. And while younger dd is at camp, her room is fair game, heehee…

    7/13/09: Planted: nope

    Harvested: weekly organic veggie box and flowers: carrots, cucumbers, new potatoes, head garlic, yellow onions, apricots, green beans, summer squash, parsley, eggplant, plums , peaches

    Preserved: nope

    Reduced Waste: community composting/recycling; saved glass jars and plastics for reuse; donated old phonograph records, corks, pill bottles, bottle caps and other plastic bits to Depot for Creative Reuse; fixed record player; handed down shopping bag full of clothes and received a bag full of clothes;

    Preparation and Storage: 4 gallon equivalent dry milk, 35 lb dry dog food; flannel sheet to cut up for tissues and TP; 3 large glass jars for food storage, manual pasta maker from parents; 30 sets of knitting needles size 1 thru 11; saved tissue box to store reused ziplock bags; 6 custard cups

    Build Community Food Systems: traded HM spiced preserved lemons and fresh plums for record player repair; swapped a gently used backpack, sheets, embroidery floss with yard sale buddy for some local arugula and cilantro seeds

    Eat the Food: roasted local chicken w/ CSA carrots, potatoes and onions; local eggs, deviled; salad w/ CSA cabbage, carrots, onions, oil and vinegar dressing; HM pizza w/ HM frozen pesto, tapenade, local cheese


  12. mnfnon 13 Jul 2023 at 6:13 pm

    I managed to perfectly time coming down with a nasty cold: started feeling sick on Friday, languishing like a Victorian invalid Saturday, able to be upright Sunday, back at work Monday. Not fair. Cold weather continues here in the south, with a mixture of clear days/frosty morning and warmer nights/bucketing showers.

    Plant: nope

    Harvest: nope

    Preserve: finished freezing off chicken stock into icecubes.

    Waste Not:nothing extra

    Prep and Storage: did get down to the local tip slavage shop and picked up a ladder, window to make a mini greenhouse, and some old (1950s I’d guess) knitting patterns.

    Community Food Systems: Found (by accident) the market on the other side of the river. Only one vege stall, but undercover - useful when dashing around between showers. Not food, but still community - sorted through saved flower seeds loaned by a friend - took out what we wanted to return the remainder tonight.

    Eat the food: Inauthentic japanese stir-fry from pantry, fridge and farmers market ingredients; pumpkin soup with gifted pumpkin and leftover home-made stock; BB made pizza; home-made ravioli defrosted but we need to rethink our freezing technique as they ripped open when being unrolled from baking paper; BB tried new pumpkin gnocchi recipe.

  13. TLEon 13 Jul 2023 at 10:22 pm

    I’m on the second week of a vacation, but I’m looking forward to getting back to the garden.

  14. Lynneon 14 Jul 2023 at 12:32 am

    We’ve been having pretty great weather here: heat/rain/heat/rain. The most rain since I’ve lived here (4th summer).


    Plant: lettuce, spinach

    Harvest: potatoes, peas (snap, snow, shelling), raspberries, mint, basil, lettuce, strawberries, cucumber, cherry tomatoes x2 :) ; carrot, white onion,

    Preserve: froze snow and shelling peas, froze strawberries, canned strawberry syrup,

    Waste not: We had a family dinner, my mom brought a ham from her place, we generally don’t eat meat at home but there was this big ham bone that she left for us….we froze it to make soup this winter; continuing my personal commuter challenge; neighbour now bringing over his kitchen scraps for the compost as well as his grass!! In exchange we give produce

    Prep and store: Not much beyond the preserve stuff

    Build community: Not sure if this counts, but I’m exchanging produce and canned goods for sewing lessons from my gifted sewing friend - I simply don’t seem to be able to learn on my own from a book

    Eat the food: Pesto, amazing pea mint salad, lettuce salads, potatoes, berries

  15. AnneTon 14 Jul 2023 at 5:56 am

    We had a couple of hot days last week — with accompanying humidity. Now we’re into a cooler, sunny spell. The black raspberries are going gang buster between my small new plot and the neighbor’s rampaging patch (its layerings over my fence started mine). I’ve got permission from the neighbors to pick their patch. So far with them: raspberry vinegar, raspberry liquor, contribution to rumtopf, mango-raspberry jam, contribution to a mango fruit cocktail (got a case of Mexican mangos on the weekend — not organic but one of the few fruits that don’t harbor pesticides). I may try the shrub recipe as well. I’m about midway through the raspberry harvest. And if they did what they did last year, I’ll have more in September!

    Detailed listing here:

  16. Lorrion 14 Jul 2023 at 8:59 am

    Update is here. I’m re-planning our canning - we’d can all our food, but we really don’t have a place to put it. So we’re working on it.

    I’m going to try to make shrub as well. Sounds wonderful, and I’ll never complain about eating more berries!

  17. Eleanoron 14 Jul 2023 at 9:20 am

    Hi Ceridwen,

    What’s that about the government telling people to use up their leftovers? Haven’t heard of that before (I’m in Kansas).


  18. Chileon 14 Jul 2023 at 9:45 am

    Plant something: I can’t keep up with what my husband’s doing in the garden. Probably something new was planted in his hydroponics zone.

    Harvest something: my CSA share

    Preserve something: cucumber kimchi, melon kimchi, froze green enchilada sauce (tomatillos, green chiles, avocado, onion & seasonings)

    Waste not: making melon kimchi (recipe on my blog) with melons that aren’t sweet and with the rind portion between sweet melon flesh and the skin. Made cucumber “granita” with pulverized flesh left over after blending peeled cucumber with water to make agua fresca (drink with lime juice and agave nectar). Salvaged zucchini that my malfunctioning refrigerator froze by using the seedy parts to make stock and grating the frozen parts for bread (and adding to other recipes).

    Prep/Want Not: cleaning out my email and finding useful tips and recipes I wanted. Switching dogs to a locally available, and slightly cheaper, quality dog food. Picked up small additional bag of dog food for Bug-out Bags now that we have a second (big) dog.

    Build Community Food Systems: sharing ideas to use produce “waste” at my CSA - candied citrus peel samples plus the melon kimchi recipe and samples. Talked to the owner of an Indian store yesterday about additional ways to re-use cardboard as layered sheet mulch. (”Formula” is on the Tucson Organic Gardeners website.)

    Eat the food - wheat gluten balls (from freezer) in bibim bap, melon kimchi with rice for breakfast, pumpkin butter thinned with maple syrup (made with sugar, water, & maple flavoring) for pancakes, cleaning out various jars in the fridge to make more space.

  19. Marieon 14 Jul 2023 at 9:51 am

    We finally have some sun! Which is making us New Englanders VERY happy! So, here’s our Independence Days Challenge update.

    Harvest Something:
    Raspberries, peas, lettuce and a few bush beans. Also our first two heads of garlic…we’ll leave the rest a little longer.

    Preserve Something:
    Froze raspberries made two batches of raspberry and one batch of cranberry cordial.

    Waste Not:
    Used yogurt and cheese whey for pancakes. Michael found an over-the-toilet cabinet on Freecycle and refurbished it for our upstairs bathroom, freeing up a small (trash-picked) cabinet in the upstairs hall for front porch storage, which moved the mission-style low bookcase (also trash-picked) to a place of honor in the living room.

    Want Not:
    Lots of lists

    Build Community Food Systems:
    Bought eggs, meat and greens from the local farm. Talked with a friend about seed-saving.

    Eat the Food:
    raspberry-rhubarb cobbler, rasp-blueberry cobbler and blueberry crisp. so good! Fresh salads. Sourdough pancakes (made with whey from cheese and yogurt making) Home-made yogurt with fresh berries and a drizzle of local honey. Local grass-fed steaks on the grill served over a bed of wilted home-grown greens. Mizuna, garlic and cheese fritatta.

    Hope your summer is filled with lightening bugs, light and laughter!

  20. d.a.on 14 Jul 2023 at 12:23 pm

    Plant something: Sorta… purchased 20 cubic yards of soil for raised beds and orchard tree installation. Gotta have decent soil in order to plant, eh? Coming up: ordering seeds for the Fall/Winter planting.

    Harvest something: We finally get to start eating our hen eggs again. The de-worming process completed a few weeks ago, and all the chemicals should have run their course. Now to go and find the eggs… the girls are hiding them again. Free-ranging chickens, such fun!

    Preserve something: Again, sorta… ordered a 30-quart pressure canner. Once it comes in, my first project will be to cook and can chicken broth. Then perhaps some home-made sauerkraut.

    Reduce waste: Continuing to set aside cardboard, paper, glass & plastic for recycling. Saving glass juice containers and lids to use for upcoming kombucha brewing project. Will be using damaged kiddie pools (geese and dogs are hard on them) for additional raised vegetable beds - cut holes in bottom for drainage and use for lettuces.

    Preparation & Storage: Am making room in a closet for additional storage shelves. Buying soy milk by the case now. Also purchased a trailer for the car, so we have more room for animals & household goods if we have to leave the property due to encroaching wildfires or other such emergencies. Recently used the trailer to haul eight bales of bedding hay for the animals.

    Build Community Food Systems: As soon as I can get the girls all to start laying in the coop again, will sell eggs once more to the local co-op. Am awaiting news from the local CSA with regards to their plans for a Fall/Winter farm-goods subscription.

    Eat the Food: Eating our own eggs and the CSA produce.

  21. anitaon 14 Jul 2023 at 12:58 pm

    We’re having rain again—2 inches last week—so weeding is, once again, paramount. Chickens are happy, though! My update for the past two weeks (apparently I was doing something essential last week, though I have no idea what) is here

  22. Claireon 14 Jul 2023 at 3:09 pm

    We had over 2 inches more of rain last week, but it was also warm enough to run the AC for three days … mostly to get the humidity out of the air and in deference to our guests, who included 1 year old twin girls. AC is back off now, hope to keep it off for the whole week and beyond.

    Plant something: not last week, but if the cool spell that is predicted materializes, I might be able to plant some fall crops this week. Instead, I weeded the patches that most needed it and mowed the lawn, for the first time in over 2 weeks.

    Harvest something: collards, kale, cabbage, onion topsets, purslane, lambsquarters, calendula and nasturtium blossoms, basil, bronze fennel, shiitake mushrooms. My DH went on a mushroom foray at a local conservation area and found chanterelles, an edible mushroom.

    Preserve something: calendula blossoms, by drying.

    Reduce waste: the usual efforts. So many weeds ought to make some great compost! Plus made muffins in the sun oven.

    Prep/storage: noticed the chocolate chip supply is running low, so ordered a 25 lb bag of organic Fair Trade dark chocolate chips from our food co-op. Also ordered a 5 lb box of organic raisins. These plus sunflower seeds (already on hand) make a great trail mix, high energy and shelf stable, good for emergencies.

    Build community food systems: well, we’re helping to keep our food co-op in business by ordering so much food … in case you’re curious, the 25 lb bag of chocolate chips will cost us almost $200. But it’s worth it ;) And we might be able to sell some of the chips to some of the other members, thereby decreasing the up-front cost.

    Eat the food: My DH included the purslane and lambsquarters in a stir-fry along with some of the garden greens, then added miso for flavoring. But the slightly acidic quality of the purslane didn’t meld well with the flavor of the miso. I don’t recommend others try that (we need to share what doesn’t work as well as what does). His concoction including collards and fresh shiitake mushrooms, along with white beans (purchased) and some gelatinous stock from a previously-cooked ham, was much more successful, in fact, quite good. He made it as a stew. He (my DH is the household cook) also cooked the chanterelles and included them in our morning egg dish - the eggs are local, purchased from our food co-op. Delicious!

  23. Robj98168on 14 Jul 2023 at 5:23 pm

    My update is here:
    My week has gone pretty smooth. I keep finding great things left out at tmom’s dumpster- I have to use a bit of caution- like “whould I really use/or do I really need that” all the time- right now there is a foot jucuzzi like the ones the Pedicure places use just sitting there. Killing me. Would make a great bathtub for the dog- then I think- No- why should he get a juccuzzi tub when I can’t have one? I don’t want to hear how I spoil that dog. Do no fancy foot bathtub for me:(

  24. Nicole in NJon 14 Jul 2023 at 5:24 pm

    Blueberries, blueberries, blueberries - one of those really nice things about New Jersey :)

    1. Plant something: nope

    2. Harvest something: thyme, oregano, green beans, chamomile, anise hyssop

    3. Preserve something: herbs and blueberries (in the freezer and in jam)

    4. Waste not: Still working my way through the last of last year’s frozen veggies & meat. Double checking my homeschooling books & supplies prior to an upcoming road trip which will include a visits to a few fabulous used book shops.

    5. Want not/Prep: Learning about herbal remedies and cheese making - planning on starting both next month.

    6. Build Community Food Systems: More garden chat with friends & neighbors, offered to be a canning resource for a friend of a friend.

    7. Eat the Food: If it’s coming out of the garden, it’s going in our bellies - green beans, herbs, garlic, lettuce, potatoes and blueberries (and even more blueberries)

  25. ceridwenon 15 Jul 2023 at 12:45 am


    The Government info we are getting pretty deluged with is British govt info - as I’m in Britain. There has been quite a lot of publicity in the media re wasted food - both by households and others.

    You might like to read the British website:

  26. Christinaon 15 Jul 2023 at 10:22 am

    That British effort is a kick - how subtle is some of that advertising? “Broccoli Lovers Hate Waste” - or potato lovers or egg lovers - and each “lover” looks a bit like the food they love! The typical American audience would never get something so subtle! Gonna peruse the substance of the site more - we usually have leftovers, but generally they’re consumed for lunch.

  27. SuperMomon 15 Jul 2023 at 12:27 pm

    I finally got around to posting my update… it’s for the past two weeks since I missed posting one last week. You can find it here:

  28. NMon 15 Jul 2023 at 5:22 pm

    I keep forgetting to add my list. I also keep forgetting what I’ve done.
    Plant: Have not gotten anything planted.
    Harvest: strawberries, raspberries (some from my own patch, yippee!), sour cherries, uh … eggs from local farmer. CSA baskets. Sweet cherries from the farmer’s market.
    Preserve: Have made tons of strawberry jam, some of which is actually strawberry syrup. Had some trouble with two batches coming out with a weird, unpleasant flavor; I think it was either the berry variety (from the same farm both times) or something weird they’d sprayed on the plants. Ick.
    Also: raspberry jam, strawberry raspberry red currant jam, tart cherry relish, dried tart cherries, dried apricots.
    Waste not: I just learned that you can bake the pits of stone fruits to deactivate the cyanide, and then harvest the richly-aromatic little bitter almonds inside for use. This is very exciting. I put some cherry pits in vodka to see if I can make my own almond extract, but probably should have smashed them first; it just smells like vodka. Maybe I should take them out and smash them? Saving up apricot and peach kernels, while deciding how to use them (besides just frequently opening the jar to breathe in that heavenly scent!)
    Composting kitchen scraps, as always.
    Prep/storage — just the above. Well, I have been contemplating sewing and knitting. Haven’t actually done any, but I have thought about it …
    Cleaned the fridge, after much too long. Frightening.
    Been experimenting with baking with coconut oil. Lovely fragrance, nice results.
    Community food systems: no. Does arguing with my csa farmer about a newspaper article count? (they were offended by it; I said they were attacking their allies).
    Eat the food: Delicious turnip and turnip greens soup from CSA basket. Potatoes stuffed with broccoli from the CSA basket and farmer’s market. Dried cherries in everything — scones, chocolate cookies — stir-fry with CSA vegetables (I just tried kohlrabi for the first time!), salad with CSA vegetables. Baked some ale bread — delicious.

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