Independence Days Update – The Marathon

Sharon August 31st, 2009

Eric and the boys went away last Wednesday for five days of visiting Grandma in New York City, leaving me and the goats to tend the farm.  He also left me with four bushels of tomatoes, 1 of cucumbers, 1 bushel of peaches, 9 quarts of raspberries and assorted miscellaneous stuff.  So you can guess what I did on my summer vacation.

I actually don’t like it when Eric and the boys go away – I would think I would – I get peace and quiet, extended periods of silence, and to make my own schedule, at least around the milking and the other chores.  But there’s definitely a “quiet, too quiet” feel to it – I think it may be a form of Stockholm Syndrome – I have gotten to the point where I prefer my life noisy, filthy and chaotic. 

Because we are a one car family, when Eric and the boys go away, my world shortens to the distance I am willing to walk or bike.  I did walk to the library one day (3 1/2 miles each way), but mostly I stayed home, worked, walked in the woods and farmed.  It was peaceful.

And it was productive – I haven’t quite filled every Mason jar in the house, but I’ve gotten to the point of digging in the attic around for boxes I haven’t needed in past years. I don’t really know how many jars I have – above 500 I suspect, all collected at yard sales and junk shops, usually for a dollar or two a box.  My favorites are the very old ones – the zinc lids that can only be used for storing grains and beans, or the old blue ones with the jar rubbers, or the ones that say only “Atlas Strong Shouldered Mason.”  I find myself enjoying looking at them as I fill them.

Selene could kid any time after next week, and we have no idea when Maia will kid (she was in with a buck for 2 months, and she’s smaller than Selene and not yet bagged up, so we’re guess later), so we’re focused on goat babies right now, and getting everything ready.  We’re also planning our breeding schedule for next year – it is odd to think that by spring, we’ll have to sell goats.

It was a quiet, peaceful time last week, and is back to the normal chaos now – more, since Eric’s semester begins today, the kids’ homeschool begins today, Eli is still on vacation until next week, and much is new.  The temperatures fell down to the forties, and there’s a real touch of autumn in the air, so it is a good time to think ahead to winter.

I’ve still got more to go on the marathon – I want to put up much more salsa, ketchup and tomato sauce for winter, a few more pickles, and I haven’t had room in the freezer (the chickens are going to their winter homes on Friday) to make pesto or freeze extra eggs or greens.  I’ve been dehydrating some greens, though, and have enough dried tomatoes to fill six jars – they are a popular snack here.

Oh, and then there’s the corn – every year, I put up 200 ears of sweet corn, and that’s a job I loathe – by the end there’s corn everywhere and it is a royal pain, but it is worth it to eat sweet corn chowder all winter long and have dried sweet corn on chili and succotash.  That will be the weekend’s project.

Finally, it is time to cycle the clothes around, and dig out some nice new things for the kids to wear in the Jewish new year – it is traditional to begin the year with new clothes.  I usually buy them new kippot (yarmulkes) since by the end of the year, the old ones may have disappeared, or at least are usually showing wear. 

Plant something: Three ginko trees into my ginko nursery, spinach, arugula.

Harvest something: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beets, carrots, feverfew, peppermint, lemon balm, lettuce, arugula, pea shoots, green beans, turnips, zucchini, summer squash, pears, kale, chard, catnip, motherwort, yarrow, nettle seeds.

Preserve something; Roasted tomato puree, ketchup, barbecue sauce, salsa, pickled hot peppers, peach-amaretto jam, dried peaches, dried tomatoes, raspberry jam, lemon pickles, spicy pickles, regular dill pickles, pickled carrots, dried green beans, pickled green beans, dried chard, dried peppermint, catnip, yarrow, nettle seeds, feverfew, anise-hyssop.

Waste Not: Fed every scrap to something, or made something out of it ;-) .  Didn’t make much waste by myself.  Started a scrap quilt to be finished, oh, probably 2018, knowing me.  Sorted out 4 bags of clothes and shoes for Goodwill.  Cut up old clothes for said quilt.

Want Not: Filled up on baking soda, pickling salt and defined acidity vinegar.  Made note to pick up more regular mouth canning lids, but did nothing about it. 

Eat the Food -  I don’t really cook for myself, so unless you could 700 variations of “Salad” “Baked sweet potatoes” and “Spread goat cheese on toast and covered with sliced tomatoes” nothing.  But we’ll be getting more adventurous as it cools off.

Build community food systems – Heck, I didn’t even see any people for five days – unless it involved communing with the goats, sheep or poultry it didn’t happen ;-).

 How about you?


30 Responses to “Independence Days Update – The Marathon”

  1. AnneT says:

    Sunny (though cooler) weather forecast for all this week, so I’ll be drying as much as I can. My tomatoes are limited this year by the weather and leaf black spot, so I did order in a bushel of Romas for Thursday delivery. We’re going to Vermont on Saturday for the week, so I’ll have a busy Thursday/Friday!

    The detailed report for the past week is here:

    I sampled the cucumber slices I lacto-fermented the beginning of August while consolidating the jars — yummy! And so easy! I’ll be doing a lot more pickling that way in the future. I ordered “Wild Fermentation” from Amazon for delivery to the place where we’re staying (US-Canadian price deferentials between and are about 3 times the current exchange rate), along with a comprehensive book on food drying (getting to be my other favorite way to do food preservation.)

  2. Robin says:

    Plant something: cabbage, cauliflower, buckwheat, black-eyed peas

    Harvest something: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, carrots, green beans, summer squash, chard, potatoes, basil, parsley, corn, okra, onions, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew melon, plums, peaches, figs, pears, oat hay (for goats), eggs, milk, chicken

    Preserve something: frozen tomatoes, ketchup, dried mushrooms, blueberry jam

    Waste Not: Gleaned figs from an abandoned fig tree.

    Want Not: Stocked up on canning lids, tuna fish, canned clams, baking soda,

    Eat the Food – trying to eat up last year’s meat. Lotsa goat on the menu this month

    Build community food systems – Donated 76 more pounds of produce to the food bank

  3. risa b says:

    … planted the last winter bok choi, beets, spinach, kale, lettuce. Will start putting the poly on the polytunnel Any Day Now

    Harvested corn, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, apples, plums, blackberries, yellow zucchini, cabbage, green zucchini, turnips, turnip greens, beans, potatoes, strawberries, chicken eggs, duck eggs

    Dried tomatoes and made apple leathers. All this tomato drying has resulted in only a gallon of the finished product; it has an amazing taste, though. 7 quarts applesauce. Our jars we bought 30 years ago have most of them not been used in the last decade. Getting them out gives a feeling of deep satisfaction

    Rescued a queen mattress from being dumpstered. Firewooding has been interrupted by the painful discovery of a large nest of Bald-Faced Hornets. I’m writing this to distract myself while the various swellings go down!

    Selling chicken eggs again and giving away veggies and seed

    100 foot diet: from frozen: applesauce. From the land: corn, tomatoes, apples, plums, duck and chicken eggs, bok choi, potatoes, zucchini, leeks, blackberries, onions, green beans, strawberries, mint, basil, chives, onions, cucumbers, cabbage. Particularly enjoying roasted vegetables. 100 mile diet (i.e., homemade bread: wheat, oats, rye, spelt, sunflower seeds

  4. risa b says:

    >”Donated 76 more pounds of produce to the food bank”

    Yay Robin!!

  5. Julie says:

    I love sundried tomatoes. I will dry any tomato I can get my hands on this time of year. My own small plot often doesn’t provide sufficient quantities, so I scavenge friends an family gardens for any extras they may be willing to part with . My favourite way to use dried tomatoes is combining them with an equal amount of roasted garlic, add olive oil and a bit of salt, throw the whole works in the food processor and turn it into a lovely spread. I eat it on toast or just use it to spice up whatever needs a tomato boost. It keeps in the fridge for a long time.

  6. Mike says:

    Not to be a Lehman’s shill (especially as I learned about them from you, ahem), but they’ve got a great deal on regular mouth canning lids in the Catalog and online.

    OMG. Over 300 lids for under $50. I don’t can as much as you, but I’m eyeballing it and thinking about buying what would be (for me) a 5 year supply.

    If you don’t want them all, I’ll send you my address and money and you can send me the leftovers.

  7. Marilyn says:

    Hi Sharon!

    Planted: To wet to plant last week, but hopefully, we’ll get a few things in the ground this week.

    Harvested: Our season is winding down, but I did pick a few tomatoes, lots of sweet pepper, jalapenos, okra. I only got a few eggs this week. My DH said he was going to have the “chicken and dumplings” talk with the girls if they don’t start pulling their weight. ;-) We only have three hens in our chicken tractor. My nephew is raising chickens with his 4-H group so we plan to get a couple more from him next week.

    Preserved: Salsa & Fox Grape jelly. Should have enough for Christmas gifts now. Froze more peppers for stir-fry and okra. Froze three cups of leftover Fox grape juice to use later in a mixed jelly batch.

    Waste Not: Usual composting. Used water where okra was blanched to water the window boxes. Dropped off clothing at Goodwill.

    Want Not/Prep: Began creating a calendar of when to start seeds, prep land, plant and harvest. I’m using the spreadsheets from the last four years to compile the data. Hopefully, it will help to keep us on track. Began listing goals for the homestead and prioritizing. This is going to take more time than I had originally thought.

    Work on Community Food Systems: Talked to some family members about peak oil and prepping. They don’t believe peak oil is a problem. At least, they concede that economy is a problem and can see it might be beneficial to stock food. Checked out the new community garden in our town.

    Eat the Food: DH was out of town on a business trip last week so I didn’t do much cooking either. Did make a pot of vegetable soup and cornbread one evening. Finally ate the pitiful brussel sprouts and they tasted much better than they looked.

  8. Karin says:

    I am weeping over blighted tomatoes and I will have to find some to can. But I am working on one big patch of really big carrots that I notice mice had started chewing. Pickled carrots are on the list for tomorrow!

    My update is at my blog.

  9. sealander says:

    Planted: Alderman peas, Ureniku (purple) potatoesin a tyre stack. Transplanted a red currant bush and a raspberry.

    Harvested: Brocolli, kale, carrots, parsley. Lots of chickweed for the chooks. Eggs. I was getting 4 eggs a day out of 6 hens which is good for this early in spring. Started wondering out loud if I should take the surplus eggs to the office to sell. Production immediately dropped to 0-2 a day. ;)

    Preserved: Made icecream for the first time with surplus eggs – it appears you can make quite good icecream in the freezer, you don’t need an icecream maker. Wistfully reading everyone’s descriptions of mammoth canning efforts but it will be some months before it is preserving season yet here. Located and cleaned suitable jars ready to make some herb vinegar as Christmas presents, the tarragon is up and will soon be ready. Lemons are also cheap right now so I’m contemplating making some home made limoncello if I can find some cheap vodka.

    Waste Not/Prep: Got six months supply of chicken feed in before my supplier ran out. Cleaned out the cupboard full of food storage containers so you can now easily locate the appropriate lid and the whole collection doesn’t fall on your head every time the door is opened.

    Eat the food: Still cleaning out last summer’s fruit and vegetables from the freezer. Going to try a beetroot gratin with the frozen beets tonight, which should be memorable. :)

  10. TLE says:

    Plant something: golden purslane, mixed lettuces, corn salad, mint, lemon & rose geranium.

    Harvest something: tuscan kale, broccoli,garlic tops, mixed lettuce, endive, spinach, lemons, surprise winter chilli, coriander, parsley.

    Preserve Something: froze bulk chickpea bounty.

    Prep & Storage: stocked up on super cheap pumpkin, olive oil, tahini & olives.

    Build Community Food Systems: still lagging here.

    Reduce Waste: cooked big batch of dried chickpeas and froze in portions (no cans to recycle!), re-used bulk olive oil can as planter, plus usual composting & recycling.

    Eat the Food: mixed veggie pasta; pumpkin/spinach & pecan risotto; spinach, feta & walnut stuffed mushrooms; roast beetroot dip; moroccan spiced roast veggie salad, chickpea, pumpkin & spinach curry.

  11. KC says:

    In Virginia, it is getting down to 50 at night now.

    Plant something: a sprinkling of kale and more buckwheat.

    Harvest something: Tomatoes, peppers, beet greens, chinese greens, green beans, zucchini, summer squash, hubbard squash, godiva pumpkin, basil, okra, black eyed peas. oh and little tiny lemon cucumbers.

    Preserve something; dried okra and dried nardello peppers. hubbard squash (froze), canned tomatoes.

    Waste Not: more composting of spent brewer grains.

    Want Not: bought 2 dehydrators ($5 ea) at local thrift store. How exciting. I immediately started dehydrating okra and peppers. I was surprised at how quickly it works. This will expand my repertoire!

    Eat the Food – more okra-tomato -pepper dishes – added cottage cheese for protein. Also sprouted lentils and sprouted mung beans. Hubbard squash is delicious with butter. Oh and for breakfast one morning- zuchini/potato fritters. I grated potatoes and cooked a little in the pan while I grated zuchini (and squeezed out extra juice). Added onions ,3 eggs ,and a little wheat flour and corn meal along with partially cooked potato.

    Build community food systems – We played music at a local orchard on Saturday and they gave us peaches, and 2 kinds of apples. Sharing peaches, aples, tomatoes, etc with friends and neighbors. I borrowed a canning kettle from the neighbor (she has a small one for pints).

  12. Devin Quince says:

    We just opened 3 food production gardens in our neighborhood last week. Our canning series starts on the 12th of Sept along with plans to can with some friends who are interested. We also had a nice picnic with 2 other AIP class participants.

  13. mnfn says:

    Still watching flood warnings as the weather alternates between grey, set-in rain, storms and gales and tantalising glimpses of spring sunshine.

    Plant: potatoes (royal blue, kipfler (spelling?), and an anonymous deep purple from a friend)

    Harvest: a few more arugula leaves, thyme and oregano

    Preserve: seville marmalade, made white wensleydale cheese, BB is halfway through making demiglace stock.

    Waste not: usual recycling and composting, dropped some unwanted clothes to op-shop, got metallic waterbottle to replace the not looking so healthy reused plastic water bottle for my desk at work.

    Want not: Getting manure and pea straw for the garden, oil for the heater.

    Community Food Systems: Back to nearby town markets – while our favourite vege stall wasn’t there, the local small nursery was.

    Eat the food: Aloo gosht; ‘Hunter’ stew with mashed spuds and vege, leftover stew converted to pasta sauce. Umm – why doesn my mind always go blank here? We cooked, we ate, but I can’t remember what on earth it was.

  14. Judy says:

    I just posted an update. We had 6.3 inches of rain in 40 hours a few days ago and now it is getting down into the low 40s at night with highs not even reaching 70 today. With all the rain and cool weather, my tomatoes are rotting before they ripen but I’ve managed to can 25 quarts of sauce and some salsa.

  15. d.a. says:

    Links to recipes and books on my web site :-)

    Plant something: Spouse doesn’t want to haul soil by hand cart for the raised Fall beds, so unless I want to do it all by myself, looks like I’ll be renting a Bobcat for a day from one of the local hardware stores. One rental unit has a front loader in the front and a digger in the back, so maybe we can quickly load up the beds with soil and then get to work on digging more holes for Spring tree planting…

    Harvest something: Eggs from our girls. Also foraged pears from an abandoned pear tree next to the nursery where I work. The pears, although ripe, are of the firm/crisp variety – perfect for canning. Thinking about using a Spiced Pears recipe.

    Preserve something: not this week.

    Reduce waste: Used old railroad ties (that a previous owner left on the property) to create a goose pool that butts against the side of the hill. Lined with a pond liner, so no worries about creosote tainting the water. One more goose pond to make, then no more plastic kiddie pools!

    Preparation and Storage: kinda sorta – reading Extreme Gardening – How to Grow Organic in the Hostile Deserts by Dave Owens. I don’t live in the desert, but I do live in a semi-arid region where water conservation is a necessity. I’ve also contacted a local permaculturist to discuss a consultation for our property.

    Build Community Food Systems: ordered local, humanely-raised beef products through the co-op. Also have enough eggs to sell through the co-op this week as well.

    Eat the Food: I set aside the medium-sized eggs from our Cubalaya chickens for personal use, and they are very tasty :-) . Munched on some of the foraged pears as well.

  16. ceridwen says:


    …not that you actually need any more work…cough….but I just decided to check out your “food storage and preservation link” – as I’m “taking a leaf out of your book” and trying to learn about this at present. Anyhow – I just noticed the “Food storage and preservation” link on your heading when I was thinking “wonder if Sharon keeps any of her recipes here on this blog?” – but am not sure if I’m doing this wrong – as I could only find a March entry on there??? – or maybes time being short and tasks being long you’ve not had time to put much there yet??



  17. Gabrielle says:

    Plant Something—Nothing planted last week. I plan on putting fall seeds in the ground this week, as the weather is scheduled to be more fall like.

    Harvest Something—We harvested butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, jalapeños, tomatoes, green beans, onions, 1 melon, red and green okra.

    Preserve Something—I froze green beans and potatoes, yellow squash and zucchini, and basil. I dried some more purple hull peas for winter storage. I saved seeds from the melons. I canned Easy Jalapeño Rings. I have a car load full of free canning pears to pick up tomorrow afternoon and hopefully more coming from Memphis later in the week. Those pears should keep me busy for a while, and I’m very much looking forward to having them!

    Prep and Storage—Hubby worked on placing fence posts this weekend. We added some more dog food to storage (free with coupons!). We added organic ground beef to the freezer storage. We thinned a few bags of toys from our daughter’s room for donations.

    Reduce Waste—We continue to do our other energy saving measures and recycle, compost, and use a rain barrel. We continue to purchase a weekly CSA basket. I was pleased to give some of the zucchini to my cousin this week—at least there are a few less that I have to worry about cooking and preserving! Another cousin passed some hand-me-down clothes to us for our daughter. We are bringing some donations to the church for a rummage sale they have planned in November.

    Building Community Food Systems—I made up some boxes at the church food pantry for easy distribution this week. I participated in a tamale making event at the church on Saturday. Not only did most of the people there learn a new skill, but we also had a great day spent with people of all ages.

    Eating the Food—I haven’t been really all that inspired by cooking this week. The only “new” cooking I did was to add okra to my vegetable pasta. I hadn’t added it previously because I thought it would get too gummy, but it worked quite nicely. I cook pasta in one pot. In a separate skillet I sauté vegetables in a little olive oil. In this week’s pasta I had egg plant, zucchini, leeks, garlic, green onions, okra, green beans, and bell peppers. Mix the drained pasta into the vegetables. You can add olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese to taste.

  18. anita says:

    My update for the past couple of weeks is here

    I’ve been slack—I fell into a 4000-page black hole for a week or two; Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel novels. Otherwise I may have gotten more done. Maybe.

  19. Sharon says:

    Ceridwen, Thanks for the reminder – I really have to work on that, because when _Independence Days_ came out way too huge (shocking, me, too many words?!?! ;-) ), they made me cut a lot of the links out, and put them up on my site, with the link to all the details. ID is coming out in a month, so I’d better get my act together!


  20. heathenmom says:

    Plant: Too wet to plant: we got about 10″ of rain last week, and it’s still coming. We’re gearing up for fall planting if it ever stops raining long enough. :P

    Harvest: okra, tomatoes, poblano peppers, eggs, herbs; weeds and tomato hornworms for the chickens

    Preserve: Tomatoes (dried), okra (pickled)

    Waste Not: I’m working with a co-worker to design rainwater catchment systems for our workplace (a power plant). The first step is installing irrigation for our flower beds. The next step is convincing The People Who Control the Money that we should make the investment to harvest the water from the roofs of all the buildings on our plant site (millions of gallons annually) to use in plant operations instead of pulling from the aquifer as we’re doing now. My supervisor thinks that, if it goes well, we could probably convince Corporate to support using our ideas system-wide. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this! It’s a HUGE long-term project, but the environmental impact could be tremendous. Think happy thoughts for us. :) Other than that, just normal composting/recycling/critter feeding.

    Want Not/Prep/Store: * I put this under Community Food System last week, but I think that community-building not specifically related to food belongs more under “Prep.” Tuesday was our first civic club meeting and it was GREAT! I volunteered to help organize the Halloween Carnival (the civic club’s biggest fundraiser of the year). This meeting was a really, really big deal for us as a family. I’ve been so worried that all of my grandmother’s trash talk about our religion would have the whole town ready to burn us at the stake. I’m pretty ashamed of myself that I made such assumptions about people. Everybody was so nice. :) We even met a nice couple – new to the area – who are pretty serious preppers! I’m hoping to get to know them a little better. * Picked up a couple of pairs of 2nd-hand boots for my oldest. * Got 2 kid-sized backpacks for my girls, to use as their bug-out bags. We already had some extra adult-sized packs for me and dh. Now, to actually pack them.

    Community Food System: The first order of business at the civic club meeting was discussion about the new deep well they’re planning to have put in, and the hand pump they’re going to install on the current shallow well. The leader of the group said that, in an emergency where the power is out for several days, there’s no reason for the community not to have a water source. I think I’m gonna like this new group!!

    Eat the Food: * More stir-fried okra and peppers. * I’ve been eating a lot more oatmeal from the pantry, mixed with fresh local fruit. Mmm!

  21. [...] Casaubon’s Book is the originator of these posts and she put one of her own up the other day, at this link here…I didn’t do much gardening this summer because I didn’t feel well (sometime [...]

  22. Fern says:

    Harvested and canned tomatoes. The tomato plants are now slowing down – I won’t have to can any more of them this year. Bought some more canning lids, to replace the ones I’ve used so far this year.

    Hung up hot peppers – Thai and cayenne – to dry. Froze green peppers as per husband’s preference.

    Started work expanding the garden area. Since I’ve a TINY garden area, this means putting down a layer of newspaper and topping that with 6 inches of grass clippings from the compost heap. In 5 more weeks I’ll have tripled the back yard garden area. Well, it will be garden in the spring, after the grass dies off from the newspapers and mulch.

    Contemplating planting garlic. Did start more ginger. Split the large ginger into 3 pots, and have LOTS of turmeric that has come up and is growing vigorously!

    Wishing I could afford to buy peaches to can/dry, but don’t have the $$$.

    Since we’re not getting our weekly baked goodies from the Farmers Market due to $$$, I’ve learned to bake EXCELLENT oatmeal raisin cookies (with cinnamon, toasted nuts, and nutmeg).

    Community stuff on hold, been busy with business stuff and aftermath of Mother In Law being mugged (90 year old woman, thrown to ground, not only broke arm but needed plate and screws put in. But with osteoporosis, even that is very complicated – and had to wait 2 weeks for surgery due to the Plavix she’s been on since her heart attack 6 or so years back). Had to push husband to make some of the calls to medical people on this. I’m the medical maven here, but if *I* get ill/injured someone else needs to be able to step up.

    Frondly, Fern

  23. Susan in NJ says:

    Plant: No.

    Harvest: Sage, thyme, rosemary, a couple of tomatoes.

    Preserve: No.

    Waste Not: Illness, lethargy, awayness and weather resulted in a lot of produce on the compost heap. Sigh.

    Want Not: Refilled kitchen dried fruit containers. Got more sides for building raised beds out by the garage and bok choy and broccoli starts.

    Community: Shopped the farmer’s market.

    Eat: Nothing new.

  24. Rob says:

    Had a busier week- got more done than last week, have a more more detailed post on my blog
    1. Plant something: Some turnips; kale, leeks, lettuce, salad greens, radishes
    2. Harvest something: Turnip, tomatoes, Salad greens, Blackberries, Banana Peppers
    Community garden- summer squash, chard, peas, tomatoes 3 pounds to the food bank
    3. Preserve something: Pickled cherry tomatoes with raisins,
    4. Reduce Waste (recycle, reuse, reduce, repair or compost something): Saved two coffee canisters for door prize tickets and car show balloting; a couple of pop bottles from work for bell cloches and funnels for some of the self watering planters (Make it easier to fill them from hose) Bought a new PVC Free Shower curtain. My old one will be used as a truck tarp- That will be me driving down the road with the tarp with surfboards on it!
    5.Preperation and Storage:Piclled Cehrry tomatoes with raisins
    6. Build Community Food Systems: Took three pounds of produce from the community garden to the food bank; did my watering day at the community garden,
    7. Eat the Food (cook or eat something new)- Double stuffed Banana French Toast; Pickled Cherry Tomatoes; Mascarpone and Blackberry Stuffed French Toast

  25. Gina says:

    A bit behind (seems to be a trend with me this year). Still cool here (nights dipping down into the 40′s) and I think the summer garden is almost done for the year. This means I am almost done canning tomatoes (yay!) I still need to make ketchup and some more sauce with the ripe ones and then a final picking of green for green salsa. Plans are then to yank out the spent plants and start to amend the soil in the garden for next year.

    2 week update at the blog (meager as it is…)!

  26. Michelle says:

    Sharon – just a what-for – my rabbits LOVE corn husks. You can convert some of your leavings into fertilizer quicker than composting them if you share them with your rabbits.

  27. Future Farmer says:

    Preserved: 9 quarts of tomatoes from three raised beds. The first time EVER canning something I’ve grown!

    But I have a question about Sharon’s salsa. Whenever I make my own salsa for immediate consumption, I always just use raw tomatoes, fresh cilantro, lime juice, garlic, and chilies.

    But if I canned this, wouldn’t the poor cilantro be reduced to a pitiful, flavorless mush due to all the boiling water heat? I’ve also read that the tomatoes themselves lose considerable vitamin potency because of the processing.

    Suggestions and experiences, anyone?

  28. Sharon says:

    FF, I like fresh salsa better too – but there aren’t any fresh tomatoes or cilantro in the winter, and I like some salsa better than no salsa ;-) , and yes, you lose some nutritional value. On the other hand, again, depending on climate, not as much as, say, not having enough to eat all winter ;-) .

    That’s pretty much what goes into our salsa, and while not as good, it is awfully tasty come february when we haven’t had a ripe tomato in three months.

    Michelle – Our goats love them too. They are decent barn bedding as well.

    Fern, prayers for your MIL – that’s awful.


  29. This is a informative blog and I will be back soon. Thanks for the timely message! I hope all is well.

  30. Thank you, very useful. I wasnt actually a big fan of Spinach for many years ( understatement, I hated the stuff), but after marrying a vegetarian I kind of had to get used to it, and have slowly come to absolutely love the stuff. Spinach curry is undoubtedly my absolute favouritest! I even found adedicated spinach recipes website which is my new favourite site now, you should take a look!

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