Independence Days Update: Running Behind

Sharon July 27th, 2009

Ok, I truly love doing radio interviews for _A Nation of Farmers_.  Now both _Depletion and Abundance_ begin with an extensive discussion of all the bad stuff facing us.  But somehow in _A Nation of Farmers_, instead of arguing about whether we’re doomed or not, everyone on every radio show mostly just wants to talk about chickens, gardens and how good tomatoes taste!  I was on NPR in LA today, and we had a whole slew of callers, all talking about their gardens, their fruit trees and how to get started - and boy do I love that!  It is just so exciting to hear caller after caller taking as a given that we have to get involved in our food, and sharing their stories.  It gives me hope.

Other than a bunch of radio interviews, I admit, I haven’t been really booming on the ID challenge - a lot of stuff got fixed around our house this week, due to kind guests, a lot of stuff got done, but I feel like I’m still running massively behind, and of course, when I look at my pile of work, well, I am ;-).  The fact that I’m insanely behind, though, is not preventing me from sneaking off to play with the baby goat or for my deciding I’m much too sleepy to do the dishes.

The heat’s also making me tired - we’re having our first stretch of really warm weather this year, and even though our “heat wave” is really just normal temps for late July - the first one’s we’ve had, I lack my normal July adaptation to summer weather.  I keep thinking longingly of a nap ;-). 

The goats are settling in, although the senior doe, Mina is a real brat ;-) - we can’t get her on the stanchion without actually carrying her there - otherwise, she makes us chase her.  So far we’ve been resisting using our working dog to move her, for fear of trauma, but as she’s started to seem less nervous and more “nyah, nyah,” we’re starting to consider it  more seriously ;-).  We’ve also got coccidosis in the baby and the first freshener, Jessie, which is a little stressful - it is mild and we’re treating it, but this is the first time we’ve ever had any illness in our goats. 

Beyond that, we’re racing about to harvest flowering herbs - everything is bursting into flower at once, and that’s when the feverfew, the chamomile, the meadowsweet, peppermint, etc… are all at the best.  It is tincture city here. 

The tomatoes are still coming on slowly, but we’ve had no blight, which is great.  The jungle of containers has just exploded - I’ve got to spread them out further or they will eat my walkway.  We’re harvesting berries of all kinds, and having a boom of broccoli and young cabbage - yum! 

Having guests all week, we cooked up a storm - it was really, really good.  Among the biggest hits were the middle eastern feast, and the meals that were essentially “tomatoes and corn with something else grilled” - it is really hard to beat that.

Otherwise, I’m just behind on a whole host of things.  But things should settle down soon - we’ve got a week and a half of quiet boefre we go to Boston, and I’m hoping to get life under control.

Planted something: arugula, valerian, turnips, daikon

Harvested something: currants, peaches, raspberries, blueberries, sumac, lettuce, mizuna, orach, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, beets, carrots, basil, various other herbs (did I mention I was sleepy ;-)), eggs.

Preserved something: Blueberry pie filling, various tinctures, yogurt, yogurt cheese, dried calendula, dried chamomile, made peach raspberry jam, dried peaches.

Waste Not: Made Peach skin vinegar - not bad; have been better about making sure every scrap gets to the chickens before it gets moldy.

Want Not/Prep: Picked up bulk ordered inferios (these are the generic cheerios that my children are addicted to), and kind people made my house work better - thank you Susie, David and Jeff!

Build Community Food Systems: Many radio interviews and started pushing my children’s garden project.

Eat the food: Peaches in every conceivable form - peach pancakes, peach cobbler, peach pie - my fave was peach-raspberry cobbler with almond streusel.  Tried a new pita bread recipe - it still doesn’t puff up properly, like every other one I’ve tried.  Beginning to suspect it might be me ;-).

How about you?


38 Responses to “Independence Days Update: Running Behind”

  1. Claireon 27 Jul 2023 at 5:29 pm

    The first rain-free week in July so far, but still below average temps, which for St. Louis in July is what we want. We could end up having the coolest July on record.

    Plant: not this week, but at least a decent amount of the seeds planted the week before for fall crops have sprouted. I’ve been keeping them moist.

    Harvest: cabbage, turnips and turnip greens, yellow cherry tomatoes, the first ripe sweet and hot peppers, day-neutral strawberries, cutting celery, parsley, sage, oregano, dill seed, and nasturtium and calendula flowers.

    Preserve: calendula flowers, sage, oregano, and hot peppers, by drying. Finished filtering the chaste berry tincture; couldn’t squeeze most of the tincture out of the moist mass of ground chaste berries. Talked to DH about this. He thinks a French press coffee maker might do the job. We ordered one from our food co-op. Hope it works.

    Waste not: cut down and composted the wild lettuce along the driveway … it had gotten 8 feet tall.

    Want not/prep: checking stocks of stored dry goods, will be ordering more of what is needed this week. DH is working more on the solar-powered food dehydrator. Maybe it will be done in time to dry some of the tomato crop.

    Community food systems: wrote the Aug-Sept veggie planting column for our Zen Center’s newsletter.

    Eat the food: we tried the first batch of sauerkraut that the DH started a month ago. It was pretty good, not strong-smelling but had a pleasant odor and taste (a little too salty perhaps), and it was crisp. We are pleased with it. We’re keeping it refrigerated rather than canning it. Might try keeping the next batch on the basement floor while we are eating it; seems to be cool enough there to keep it good.

  2. risa bon 27 Jul 2023 at 5:33 pm

    Report here.

    We’ve got your heat this year; it’s supposed to go over 100F for the next three days.

    The peas have already noticed (as in shriveled up and expired with a faint moan), and I’m now collecting them to dry instead of eat fresh.

    Planted our earliest fall garden ever yesterday!

  3. nikaon 27 Jul 2023 at 5:44 pm

    We have 7 milking LaMancha does (they are big and have minds of their own) and the best way to get these girls on the stanchion is to not feed them grain late in the day. All we have to do is open the gate and one flies through, runs like a fool, jumps up onto the stanchion and starts munching away.

    If someone forgets and feeds them late, oy vey, the girls have to be dragged (there is no carrying these girls, they are big).

    Here is a shot of them to show you how big they are (hope the scale is obvious)


    I wish you would share shots of your girls, words are not enough for me! I am just a visual person I guess.

  4. Christinaon 27 Jul 2023 at 6:10 pm

    Regarding community food systems: I bought a case of each of your books (at a nice discount from the publisher, even though I was private - thank you New Society!) to distribute around, as a community service type thing. Nation of Farmers I’m going to give most to my CSA farmer and let him decide how he wants to use them (put them out for sale, make them a random drawing type thing, whatever - I might suggest he sell them at the farmers’ market because the CSA folks might be “the choir” IYKWIM). But I can’t figure out how to spread Depletion around. I have this weird feeling about proselytizing (as a religious non-believer)… Anyway, I don’t really know how to go about it and would love some suggestions from the readership!!

  5. Gabrielleon 27 Jul 2023 at 6:21 pm

    Plant something-I haven’t planted anything in the ground this week, but I did root some basil.

    Harvest something-hot peppers, zucchini, green beans, tomatoes, peaches, red okra, green onions, yellow onions, bell peppers, various herbs, and flowers for arrangements. I was disappointed that the figs haven’t ripened yet-maybe next week.

    Preserve something-I did two batches of peach jam and 8 quarts of canned peaches. The hubby and I made 3 batches of dehydrator peaches, or as we like to call them peach candy. Delicious! I dried some dill and put some parsley in the freezer. Hubby put some basil in the freezer and made some more refrigerator pickles.

    Waste Not-We continue to compost, recycle, and use our rain barrels. I’ve been mostly in charge of food preparation for the family while my grandmother is in the hospital. I’ve made an effort to “use what we have” before making any purchases. We’ve been carpooling to and from the hospital whenever possible.

    Want Not/Preparation-My sister and I swapped some clothes to reduce the need to purchase new. I brought some of the freebies from the stockpile for family members and to help with meal preparation. Hubby continues to work on preparing the space for the play area. Cleaned out downstairs freezer to make way for the corn we hope to put up this week or next.

    Build Community Food Systems-Prepared some boxes of food at our church’s food pantry. Organized incoming items and made purchases for the pantry. Passed coupons on to a church member who will be buying supplies for the Wesley House in Knoxville. Taught my cousin and father how to make mozzarella. Visited a farmers market while traveling in an effort to support local farmers and producers. I was tickled to find hoop cheese for purchase and brought some to my dad to enjoy. When I was a child and lived in a small town, the local store carried the best hoop cheese. Having the cheese this week brought back some good memories.

    Eat the food-The best have been the loads and loads of peaches and blueberries we’ve been able to eat and share with friends and family. There is nothing better than a fully ripened, freshly picked peach. We picked up some fresh purple hull peas from the farmers market, and my sister made up 3 pounds of them for the family and freezer. No new recipes of note this week, just fresh and simple food.

  6. Lynneon 27 Jul 2023 at 6:57 pm

    The best part of the last couple weeks was visiting our grain CSA and an organic dairy this past weekend. It was wonderful. We live in the mountains and having an agricultural valley not too far away (with grain, fruit and dairy) is a real joy.

    Weather is great here, heat plus showers. We’ve been able to seriously cut back on our irrigation - we have mostly very efficient drip irrigation but I still feel guilty about the water use. Even more motivation to eat every tiny bit that we grow….

    This is for the past two weeks:

    Plant something: kale, also transplanted out the fall cabbages and broccoli

    Harvest: raspberries, strawberries, snow, snap and shelling peas, raddichio, cilantro, potatoes, peppers, beans, zucchini, onion, oregano, cucumber, basil, dill

    -cherries: frozen, canned, dried
    -strawberries: frozen
    -raspberries: frozen, jam (yellow and red)
    -zucchini: dried
    -peaches: dried, peach-brandy syrup, chutney, added to rumtop
    -oregano: dry
    -basil: pesto (to freeze - must learn how to can this)
    -beans: frozen and pickles

    Reduce waste: made some substitutions in baking to use up what we had; took advantage of the hospital’s new initiative to reduce waste and picked up some incredibly handy cloth-paper type stuff - at the very least I have blue wrapping paper until I die; still at 100% human powered commuting to work - have increased human powered commuting for errands

    Prep and Store: Bought 2 more shares in the grain CSA; picked up organic cherry “seconds” in bulk and preserved them; also preserved large amounts of blueberries and peaches

    Community food systems: as mentioned above, visited the CSA, purchased excellent cheese at local organic dairy, fruit purchased came from fruit stands

    Eat: where to begin? Everything that was harvested and preserved plus lots else. Had to finally face fact that I’ve gained weight and bought new pants at thrift store today :) geez, no one told me about this independence days side effect!

  7. David Kingon 27 Jul 2023 at 7:07 pm

    Heard you on KPCC - my local NPR station - this AM and called five or six different folks to hear you. I didn’t try to call in - too busy!

    Plant something - summer (heat resistant) lettuce, set our more peppers,

    Harvest something - we can just see the breaking wave of the tomato harvest coming along, we’ve had a lot of the smaller tomatoes, now come the big ‘uns. We’re hauling in lots of peppers and more cukes than I can figure out what to do with! Summer and winter squashes are finishing up. Grapes on the vine slowwwwly turning ripe.

    Preserve something - on Wednesday I’m hosting a pickle fest - we’re going to attack the mountains of cukes and peppers. Going to take some time on Tuesday to choose my recipes! Also tried to make some cheese with some extra milk which was a disaster because I didn’t watch the heat carefully enough. Will try again - as long as I have cucumbers and tomatoes, I have to have good feta!!

    Waste not - I am proudly showing off my worm bin which I keep in addition to several compost piles. Doing worms had me on tenterhooks for some reason, but it’s really NO BIGGIE. Who’d athunk it?

    Want Not - started to order a few things in bulk - treading lightly as a family of one (and a rather smallish dog) I don’t want to overdo it…

    Community Food Systems - I help donate something like 120 pounds of fresh veggies and herbs to the local food bank every other week.

    Eat the food - Ate half a honey dew melon for breakfast and also have made several Greek salads over the past few days.

    Don’t expect Americans to look disaster right in the eye. We would rather do this food thing because ‘its fun’ ‘it tastes good’ ‘we remember Grandma doing it’ or any one of a million other reasons. We, as whole, have an inability to look impending disaster straight in the eye and say, ‘gosh, what can I do.’ We have to wait until the dam has burst, the drought has laid waste or there was a leak at the nuclear plant. THEN we are galvanized. Usually, however, only then. In Los Angeles, we are stressed about the ongoing drought. But we still have golf courses as green as a teenager after a binge party.

    A sustainable future is not in our vocabulary let alone being discussed.


  8. Shambaon 27 Jul 2023 at 7:55 pm

    I only have one thing to report:

    After 11-12 week my fractured right arm is all healed the dr said last week, and some exercises have helped it along over the weeks to strengthen. So, I can handle my solar oven again easily-it needs both arms really-and I’m cooking in it again. Hooray!

    cheers, to all,

  9. Marieon 27 Jul 2023 at 8:19 pm

    As for this week’s IDC challenge:
    Plant Something:
    Planted some raspberry and borage transplants

    Harvest Something:
    Picked the last of the peas and started prepping the bed for cabbage and mezuna, picked raspberries, and lots of beans. Harvested the last of the garlic.

    Preserve Something:
    Froze raspberries and green beans. Bottled another batch of raspberry cordial. Braided the first half the garlic crop for storage. Hung the second half the crop for storage.

    Waste Not:
    Michael brought another bag of clothes for donation. Whipped up a peach/blueberry cobbler with some peaches that had started going over to the dark side.

    Want Not:
    Picked up three chickens from the local farm (meat CSA) for our freezer. Had one today. Delish!

    Build Community Food Systems:
    Bought eggs, greens and chickens from the local farm. Talked with a friend about “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”.

    Eat the Food:
    Cobblers, salads, chocolate chip zucchini bread, turnip green fritatta, garlic green beans

  10. mnfnon 27 Jul 2023 at 8:56 pm

    It is now light in the mornings when I get up (might have something to do with oversleeping the alarm clock) and just light in the evenings when I go home. Planning for the backyard terracing is starting to become take shape: drawing up scale plans and start to look for quotes for earthmoving. But really, this week has been pathetic and we’re already planning extra work for next week.

    Plant: nope
    Harvest: nope
    Preserve: nope
    Waste not: an awful lot of wine bottles (local) in the recycling
    Prep/Want not: cleared out jungle around the quince tree and began remedial pruning. This should make codling moth control easier, which then means more useable fruit next season.
    Community Food Systems: nope
    Eat the Food: A lot of mushrooms, local scallops, homemade potato and herb ravioli - mostly cooked by visitors or BB.

  11. sealanderon 27 Jul 2023 at 8:58 pm

    Planted: Started clearing out my bindweed infested front yard - this is going to be a long slow process since you have to try and find every single bit of the weed. Transplanted some of the more sun loving herbs out front, as they were too shaded round the back.
    Harvest: Eggs, mizuna, kale, parsley, leaving the root vegetables alone until I use up what is in the fridge. Picked chickweed for the chickens.
    Preserve: Nope, not this time of year.
    Waste not: Having a bit of a freezer clean out this week since we went over budget on the groceries stocking up on non-edible items. Used frozen raspberries in Impossible Pie - it’s a slow cooker recipe. Used up bruised bananas in banana bread.
    Prep and store: As it was the last day we had the loan of a car we stocked up on dried goods. Had my first class in Emegency Preparedness as a Civil Defence volunteer.
    Eat the food: Tried a new recipe for fish loaf - like meatloaf, only with tinned fish. Was a great success, and could potentially be made using all stored ingredients if necessary. Also adding Jerusalem artichokes to just about everything, and trying to ignore the resulting flatulence ;)

  12. KCon 27 Jul 2023 at 9:20 pm

    Planted: lots of fall stuff - lettuce, kale, collard, rutabaga, beets (are up), snow peas, chinese cabbage, mustard, daikon, parsley, broccoli raab and other asian greens - (some in ground and covered with a board till they sprout and some in flats.) also more buckwheat

    Harvest: kale, parsley, basil, yellow squash, zuchinni, Nardello peppers, purple pod beans (yumm), nasturtium, collards, dill, and a handful of cherry tomatoes (hooray!)

    Preserve: kombucha

    Waste not: brought some things to the spca thrift store. more composting of spent brewery grains (the worms love this!)

    Prep/Want not: prepared beds for fall planting. - I had made a few mini compost piles in the garden a few weeks ago (mature cover crops dug under with brewery grains on top, newspaper, hay, worms, and liquid gold) and they have come along nicely and are ready to plant. bought some hulled barley from local store (special order) - haven’t tried it yet.

    Community Food Systems: not really

    Eat the Food: green beans, squash, basil, cabbage, kale, fennel, parsley, cucumber, tomato, - all the good stuff

  13. stacyon 27 Jul 2023 at 10:41 pm

    It’s hard to stay with this challenge with getting ready for our move, but here goes:

    Planted something/Community food systems: Cucumbers at the work site

    Want not/Prep: We are eating from the freezer and our food storage to lessen what we need to move. Also picked up free grocery bag of asian pears, lemons and zucchini from a neighbor. Added 25 pounds cornmeal to preps (yes, I know I’m trying to pare it down, but it’s driving me crazy to see my food storage dwindling). The cornmeal has been vacuum sealed in jars and boxed to move. Practicing with solar oven.

  14. knutty knitteron 28 Jul 2023 at 6:00 am

    Too cold for most stuff here yet. Have some cabbages still under the veranda. Harvested some parsley.

    Does looking at the mess down the back path and thinking ‘that has to be done next week’ count? :) Will plant some berries along the fence where we took out the old hedge. Also want a few apples/plums etc for there now there is space.

    viv in nz

  15. TLEon 28 Jul 2023 at 6:14 am

    Plant something: made yogurt, planted ‘hessian sack’ potatoes, potted jerusalem artichoke, started principe borgese toms & pak choy in greenhouse, spread nastuciam, alyssum & sweetpea seed around in an experimental fashion.
    Harvest something: coriander, baby lettuce & turnip greens, garlic shoots.

    Preserve Something:lemon cordial, strawberry jam.

    Prep & Storage: finally lashed out on Ball preserving kit; also small butane stove, waterproof matches & gas canisters for short term blackout prep. Realised we can drain our hot water tank if town goes down. Built mini-greenhouse.

    Build Community Food Systems: attend 2 day intro to permaculture. Networked with locals interested in community gardening & food security - very exciting. Joined local barter group, and signed up for the bottling/preserving group.

    Reduce Waste: usual composting, plus the cordial is designed as substitute for the ‘premium’ brand we currently buy for $9 a bottle.

    Eat the Food: porridge with fruit compote,and hummus - both entirely from stored, gleaned & home-grown ingredients. Chickpea curry same except for store-bought onion & spinach. Pancakes from home-made vegan mix, with jam & soy yogurt.

  16. Sarahon 28 Jul 2023 at 6:18 am

    Preserve something: Made DELICIOUS pickles and have peaches soaking in vinegar for shrub.

    Harvest something: we’re getting lots of squash and cucumbers now. This week we’ll get a few green tomatoes and then that’ll be it — blight got them all :-( I’m debating whether to get any tomatoes if we see them at the farmer’s market…there’s something to be said for seeing what a crop failure feels like, and tomatoes aren’t essential. There are also unlikely to be all that many at the market because, blight. Almost got to “harvest” a rooster this coming weekend, but they’re too small, so that’s being put off for a month.

    Eat the Food: Pickles. Lots and lots of pickles. For it is very hot and pickles are tasty. And some delicious spaghetti with dried tomatoes from last year and kale and garlic.

  17. ctdaffodilon 28 Jul 2023 at 7:06 am

    another slacker week here - well on independence that is…I’m in tear the house apart declutter mode….

    plant - marigolds in between tomato plants…helps with bug control

    Harvest - GREEN BEANS! they are going crazy - harvesting everyday….can’t process fast enough.

    Preserve something - froze some greenbeans. stocked up at the Shop Right Can Can sale (canned beans)

    Waste Not - finally washed the kids winter coats and mittens - repaired 1 pair of snow pants seam split. Sorted through kids toys and have a big box for the church sale in October -dropped off at church already.

    Want Not/Prep- other than the CanCan sale - used coupons at BJs for papergoods restock. Found an organic bulk store that will sell me steel cut oats and ww flour bulk and cheaper than the grocery store.

    Community Food Systems - bought the worlds best cherry tomatos and zucchinis from Farmer’s Daughter’s parent’s farm. And some great Blueberry Rhubarb Jam from another orchard - Yummy!
    picked up some stuff at the CanCan sale for the town food bank. Gave greenbeans to neighbors and my parents.

    Eat the food - worked on serving leftovers from dinner for lunches. Made applesauce cake with some that was in the fridge for a little while - smelled fine but we needed dessert too.

  18. Lorrion 28 Jul 2023 at 7:56 am

    IDC update here. Also, planning to go to local orchard for blueberries and apples, and maybe peaches if they’re back in season. All my Yule gift requests are for dried food, so I’m buying local for them.

  19. anitaon 28 Jul 2023 at 8:29 am

    This week’s update is here—

    I forgot to mention it in my post, but we went by the used bookstore last week and I scored a copy of Deborah Madison’s new vegetarian cookbook for $15 (new price is $40), and since we had credits . . . FREE! All the recipes look good, too, even to John the carnivore. :)

  20. Gailon 28 Jul 2023 at 8:30 am

    Hello from Colorado

    Still mostly too cool and rainy here for much in the way of veggies. Harvested green beans off of little spindly plant. The raspberries have been great … a hand full or two every day. I let the turnips and kale go to seed and there are lots of babies in the planting bed. First ever potatoes look good. City cited me for sunflowers hanging over the sidewalk! so I made a couple of old ladies and me happy with giant bunches of them. Market sales of recycled textiles going very well. I am trading hotpads and aprons for grass fed beef this Saturday. The weather has been good for composting… the chickens helped me yesterday when I cleaned out the back bin. My best layer has fallen on hard times and so , at the end of the day, I get her out of the coop to hang out with me and get something to eat and drink. She likes me! We hang out. Boyfriend is VERY amused.

  21. Jimon 28 Jul 2023 at 8:44 am

    Sharon: pity you didn’t announce your LA visit; I caught only half the show. Or likely you did and I missed it. Did you appear in person or by phone?
    If I cut down a gone-to-seed lettuce top and lay its fluff down will it resprout? Then I compost the rest of the plant?

  22. heathenmomon 28 Jul 2023 at 9:01 am

    Plant: Turnips, nasturtiums, daisies, forget-me-nots, other asst. seeds. I don’t really expect any of these to come up, but my 4 y/o was desperate to plant something … so we did! :)

    Harvest: Coriander, basil, oregano, tarragon, mint, tomatoes, poblano peppers

    Preserve: Tomatoes (canned), basil (pesto), oregano (dried)

    Waste Not: Normal stuff – recycling, composting, critter feeding, line-drying clothes,

    Want Not/Prep:
    * Gathered more supplies to make a solar oven.
    * Resisted the urge to buy just one last box of disposable dipes for the 2 y/o (for nighttime), who is very nearly potty trained. I have MORE than enough cloth diapers to get us through this last phase. ;)

    Community Food System:
    * Canned tomatoes with my mom.
    * Told our day care provider about a gleaning field full of watermelons, and shared some of the ones we’d picked.

    Eat the Food:
    * Bread and muffins baked from storage items. * I made pesto for the first time, and now I’m totally addicted! Seriously, how did I manage to not eat this stuff for nearly 40 years?
    * We’ve never eaten poblanos before, and have a lone pepper plant LOADED with them. I made Chicken Poblano Chowder that was a big hit.
    * Cherry tomatoes; ours are yellow – the 2 y/o calls them grapes and eats them by the dozen.
    * Local figs bought from the farmers market; again, the 2 y/o devoured them.
    * Tried adding mint from the garden to our regular iced tea; I loved it, but nobody else did. :(
    * Added tarragon to pasta salad. Mmmm!

    Hey, Sharon … can you share how you go about canning watermelon puree? I have access to LOTS of watermelons but haven’t been able to find any instructions on canning it. I’d appreciate it!

  23. d.a.on 28 Jul 2023 at 9:47 am

    [too lazy to post referenced links in update, see my blog if interested :-)]

    Plant something: Nope. And didn’t get around to ordering seeds yet, either. Need to get my backside in gear.

    Harvest something: Nada, just eggs.

    Preserve something: made first ever batch of kombucha. It was a vinegary, undrinkable mess. According to this article, one needs to taste test every few days. I let mine ferment for too long, thus the vinegar taste. Next batch on its way!

    Reduce waste: Spouse is experimenting with Gorilla Tape to patch cracks/tears in the kiddie pools we use for the geese. So far, the test patch has held for three days now. We go through about a half-dozen kiddie pools within the course of a year. We do plan to re-use unfixable pools for raised beds, but it would be nice not to have to constantly shell out for new ones. Purchased a used propane turkey fryer stand from Craigslist. This will allow me to can outdoors, keeping the house much cooler during the Summer.

    Preparation & Storage: bought extra canning jars, and a batch of beef bones for stock. Will experiment with roasting the bones on the grill when we smoke/barbecue outdoors next. The purchased propane fryer (see Reduce Waste) will allow me to can outdoors, as well as being used as a scalding station for newly butchered roosters (a quick dunk in hot water helps with feather removal).

    Build Community Food Systems: the girls are now laying enough (and in one place) that I can start selling eggs to the co-op once more. I could get more money selling to a group of bodybuilders in “the big town”, but am thinking that I’d rather keep the eggs locally accessible.

    Eat the Food: Didn’t eat much of the CSA produce this last week, which is a shame. Chickens and the compost pile, however, had a feast!

  24. Christinaon 28 Jul 2023 at 10:03 am

    @ #da

    I was reading Tightwad Gazette II and there was a tip in there about watertight repairs - aquarium sealant! so if the gorilla tape doesn’t work, maybe hit an aquarium store and see what options there might be… maybe in combination with a tape layer, the sealant will keep it watertight but the tape will reinforce.

  25. Mark Non 28 Jul 2023 at 10:09 am

    Phytophora got into my tomatoes. First time I’ve ever really seen this. Pulled all 75 plants out. Harvesting potatoes a little early now to prevent further infection.

    Harvest something: zucs, cucs, crooknecks, garlic, raspberries, blueberries, mulberries, plums, herbs, peppers, sweet corn, pole beans, cabbage.

    Dealing with heat: take daily siesta. Jump in deepest pool of local trout stream late afternoons.

    Eat the food: 3 bean salad, corn, cucumber salad, etc.

    Preserve: nothing. Relatives take care of any excess produce for us.

    Planted: more beets, carrots, kale, chard, lettuce.

  26. Susan in NJon 28 Jul 2023 at 10:10 am

    This was a very busy week, with both of us having major work deadlines, and then finally a weekend of no office work (for me). The weather cooperated rainwise so I got a lot done outside over the weekend although not as much as I rather optimistically planned, but the weather did not cooperate heatwise so my ambitious pie and bread baking plans have been deferred. The bad news is that my organic seller told us that because tomatoes were ripening slowly they might not have any surplus to sell for canning.

    Plant: Sweet potatoes, trellised and non-trellised.

    Harvest: Kirby cucumbers, a few chard leaves; red, green and oak leaf lettuce plus a few stray leaves from spicy mescalin mix plantings; chives, bunching onion greens, lemon thyme, thyme, sage (going like gangbusters), rosemary, “big-leaf” shiso (also growing like crazy), spicy bush basil, a few leaves of italian sweet basil, nasturium leaves and flowers. [Do I count the beautiful new head of oak leaf lettuce and the new and thriving red leaf that a squirrel ate and demolished (it seems) just to spite me?]

    Preserve: Froze blueberries; checked on status of first pineapple vinegar batch

    Waste Not: Made biscuits with whey; used old worn out soil from planting tubs to stabilize rainbarrel blocks; updated storage and garden logs. For my health – a weekend of good naps to recover from 12 days (and nights) straight of office work. Even though we were both working big-time, we didn’t eat out once or order chinese takeout or use a lot of convenience foods (just some canned soup for lunch at work). I’m pretty pleased about this, it seems indicative of home systems working well. The new dishwasher was installed, and it seems to hold more of the dishes we regularly use than the old – reducing water and energy use, I hope. And during the installation, some useful stuff that had “disappeared” turned up under the sink — like the window squeegee, another project for the list. Found in the vegie bed young plants from two more types of perrilla (shiso) that I didn’t think had flourished to seed last year.

    Prep: Got cement blocks for rain barrel installation; got one set of blocks leveled, down spout height adjusted, and one rain barrel installed and operational (with a lot of help from my partner), still need to install the daisy-chained second; finished clearing, restoring and enriching beds in half of the vegie patch and got another third cleared; got more soil/soil amendments for late season planting; got carrot and cucumber seeds, got some plant trays to go under the window boxes that I plan to bring inside this winter and use on the new pie racks. Did some reading about recognizing plant diseases by leaf characteristics and about fermentation preserving.

    Community: Food shopped only at the farmer’s market; lots of garden talk across fences and (!) with my partner; got some cucumbers from my assistant (but didn’t get to taste them since my partner ate them for lunch).

    Eat: Blueberry buckwheat pancakes with blueberry maple syrup; blackberries over biscuits; pasta (several partial packages mixed) with pesto (from freezer); more roast summer vegetables, cold and hot – eggplant roasted in its skin results in almost custard like pulp; the best-ever grilled whole chicken (farmer’s market) with garden herbs (my neighbor almost fell off his ladder watching us bring it in); cucumber and tomato salad; rice with herbed chicken juices (really yummy, I ate this rather gluttonously) . Tried a new type of tomato for us, Ceylon, we both decided we like it better than cherry tomatoes.

  27. Del Paso Redon 28 Jul 2023 at 11:55 am

    Another suggestion for managing stubborn goats is to try clicker training. Clicker trainging works great with goats, horses, dogs and even chickens- if only it worked so well with training husbands!

  28. Lisa H.on 28 Jul 2023 at 1:03 pm

    7/27/09: The biggest news here is that I FINALLY cut up the flannel sheets for cloth TP and have been using it (#1 only)! I need to calculate how much TP/$ I am saving since it seems like my usage is around 10/day. My dds, 12 and 17, are grossed out (heehee) and dh says fine as long as it’s only for #1. I’m going to work on the dds for the cloth TP, and replacing pantyliners with cloth ones as well as using a diva cup.

    Planted: no

    Harvested: weekly organic veggie box and flowers

    Preserved: froze chicken bones for soup

    Reduced Waste: Started using cloth TP for #1, cut up from a flannel sheet; cut the flannel sheet’s large hem for make-up remover pads; community composting/recycling; saved glass jars and plastics for reuse; donated plastics, clothes, books and house wares to local library, Salvation Army, Depot for Creative Reuse

    Preparation and Storage: finally cut up flannel sheet for cloth TP; from parents: fleece vests for bug-out bags, twin and full down comforters, laundry basket, vacuum-seal storage bags, alpaca blanket; large metal tin to store bulk purchased rice; 3 crochet hooks

    Build Community Food Systems: does swapping my candied citrus peel recipe for a ginger cookie recipe made with candied citrus peel with my sister-in-law count? I had gifted her some HM candied orange peel…

    Eat the Food: CSA veggie soup from freezer; local peaches, plums, melon, tomatoes w/HM pesto, summer squash, green beans w/HM pesto; trail mix from pantry: nuts, dried fruit and chocolate chips; local/organic eggs, chicken, bread

  29. AnneTon 28 Jul 2023 at 3:08 pm

    Plant: rutabagas, parsnip, cilantro, coloured carrots, albino beets and black radish from seed; transplanted amaranth plants and yellow strawberry plants from the greenhouse to the garden.

    Harvest: black raspberries, red raspberries, lettuce, snow peas, green onions, peppercress, garlic chives, calendula flowers, rhubarb, bee balm flowers.

    Preserve: dried calendula and bee balm flowers and garlic chives. Canned rhubarb ade and bumbleberry spread. Froze blueberries.

    Waste not: used rhubarb pulp from making the rhubarb ade with black raspberries and strawberries to make the bumbleberry spread. Composting weeds from gravel driveway and paths. Got a few blouses from the local YWCA consignment store.

    Want not: bought four pounds of blueberries for the freezer. Stocked up on whole wheat pasta that was on special. Learned how to make dairy-free cheese (I have a casein intolerance) — tastier, cheaper than store bought and no sodium caseinate in it! Still making my own kefir with goat’s milk. Found a large heavy plastic jar from local recycling which is ideal for pasta storage.

    Eat the food: rhubarb, black raspberries, strawberries and blueberries in a bumbleberry crisp — just fantastic! Wonderful stir-fries with snow peas, regular peas, and kale from the garden (did throw in some red pepper as well). Did a “shipwreck” sauce from odds and ends of sauces and salsas from the fridge for a savory pulled pork in the slow cooker. Made our own buns for it from the no-knead dough made with local flour. That dough also made a great panzarotti sort of thing stuffed with the pulled pork.

    Days are really humid now — we get rain in the afternoon and at night. The temps are also in the 80’s, so lots of lush growth (including weeds — crab grass had a field day in my drive way!). Still haven’t turned on the upstairs air conditioning — but just running a fan beside my desk lowers the humidity from above 70% to below 60% — makes it tolerable.

  30. NMon 28 Jul 2023 at 3:46 pm

    Plant something: No. Got some weeding done, tied up the sprawling tomatoes and dug up a small bed to plant root crops in — rather late; I’m running behind, as usual.
    Harvest something: strawberries, blueberries, local eggs, csa vegetables, farmer’s market fruits, etc.
    Preserve something: apricot jam, cherry almond jam; pickled carrots; froze raspberries and blueberries; dried lemon balm.
    Waste not — used roasted apricot kernels to make almond extract.
    Prep — no.
    Community Food systems; Slow Food herb walk and potluck.
    Eat the food; coleslaw with cucumbers, dried cherries, pickled lemon and strawberry vinaigrette; pizza with various csa vegetables and home canned tomato sauce; panzanella with CSA cucumbers; granola with home-dried fruit; fruit salads; defrosted and enjoyed a peach cobbler I froze last Sept.
    Mostly we’re just trying to survive (and help the pets and plants survive) a heat wave we’re having. 102 yesterday; supposed to reach 106 today and tomorrow, with very little overnight cooling. Gack. Somebody remind me why people thought another ice age would be a bad thing.

  31. madisonon 28 Jul 2023 at 4:03 pm

    It’s too blasted hot to do anything here. My airconditioning is on the fritz….I have to use it sporadically…. and will have to get it fixed. It’s 101 today in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Who knew it got this hot here? I thought it rained all the time. NOPE!

    I have however used my volcano stove to cook on nearly every night this week so that I don’t have to cook inside. I also made cherry cobbler out of the pie cherries scavenged from the tree next to the RV park office, lol. It was yummy! Yeah for wild food, such as it is. Other than that, I bought apples to dehydrate and make into rings, but I haven’t done it because of the heat. Might have to try frying them in my cast iron pan on the volcano stove in butter with powdered sugar for desert tonight instead.

  32. madisonon 28 Jul 2023 at 4:16 pm

    Oh, and I planted kale and spinach; my tomatoes are stressed by the heat. The grape vines seem to enjoy it, though. I am eating my garlic as garlic bread, and saving the best for replanting this fall.

    If/when we get approved for food stamps, I’m gonna try making refrigerator pickles. I should know any day now.

    I also am giving up on having more babies and giving away my baby clothes to a friend who is due in a few weeks. This does not make me happy.

    I’m ready to pack my car, throw my home into storage and leave for somewhere cooler indefinately…!

  33. NMon 28 Jul 2023 at 6:27 pm

    Oh, I’m sorry. You were deceived; western Oregon is not as wet as they claim. It rains in the Willamette Valley from about October to somewhere around May or the end of June.
    Then it does not rain. For about three months. We do usually get a wet week in September, just to keep us going, and last year we got a wet week in August, which was quite newsworthy (and wonderful.) Weeks This hot, however, are unusual. I’m ready to join you in a run for somewhere cooler.
    My condolences on the no more babies.

  34. Sarahon 28 Jul 2023 at 6:57 pm

    I’ll post my update on the shrub now, since I’ll be away next Monday:

    (Summary: yum! Peach-vanilla shrub is delicious! Look, a recipe!)

  35. Deb in ALon 28 Jul 2023 at 7:53 pm

    My first time to post on your blog, Sharon.
    Just wanted to ask about the peach skin vinegar - I’ve been wondering how to make vinegar. And, we’ll have the skins this weekend when Mom freezes peaches.

  36. Robj98168on 28 Jul 2023 at 8:59 pm

    1. Plant something: Experimenting with mints in a hanging (topsy turvey ) planter, transplanted some india mustard to the victory garden, planted a lavendar plant there, dug up two pumpkin plants and donated to the Bias to have some pumpkins growing by Halloween/day of the dead, Planted bok choy and corn salad seeds in victory garden, at home started some bok choy plants, some lettuce plants, planted sweet potato slips that I started on window sill(a little late I know but hey they wanted to be planted!)
    2. Harvest something: Plum tree is wild with plums, been picking two or three pounds every day. Arugula and mustard greens that where starting to bolt; Bought some pickling cucumbers a garden stand; borage leaves; lettuce; basil, tomatoes
    3. Harvest Something From the Victory Garden for the Food bank- Fennel, Swiss Chard, Lettuce, and plums from my tree
    4. Preserve something: Canned pickles; froze some basil cubes, made and froze some plum turnovers,
    5. Reduce Waste (recycle, reuse, reduce, repair or compost something): Made a birdhouse from license plates, turn and added chicken manure to compost bin, made some fresh bedding for worm bin
    6. Preparation and Storage: Stored the pickles in the pantry, still working on eating last years! Obtain some large terra-cotta planters from thrift store; Bought a fancy sprouter (found on sale at the Grainery- marked down because one tier had two minute cracks - doesn’t take away from performance)
    7. Build Community Food Systems: Took some plums to the food bank along with the Fennel, leaf lettuce and Swiss Chard grown in the Victory Garden; Did my watering day at the community gardens, Helping to plan a garden party at the community gardens
    8. Eat the Food/Cook or eat something new): Made a salad with the mustard greens, arugula, some lettuce, (new)Plum turnovers, Used basil in spaghetti sauce;

  37. Ginaon 28 Jul 2023 at 9:27 pm

    Thank you for the condolences on the chicken/dog situation. It was definitely a horrible experience…Now we are dealing with raccoons munching on the young turkeys. *Sigh*

    I finally have week 13 posted on the ‘blog!!

  38. d.a.on 28 Jul 2023 at 10:37 pm

    @Christine: Aquarium sealant! Brilliant! Will try it out.

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