Independence Days Update: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Sharon May 12th, 2010

On Saturday, the temperature here dropped 50 degrees in an hour and half, in conjunction with the biggest hail I’ve ever seen.  The tomatoes were outside taking advantage of the fine, warm day and light drizzle - and while we got everything under cover as fast as we could, I lost a lot of leaves and a few plants.  And many of my early planted greens got hammered - potatoes and onions were only just up, so they were ok, but the bok choy, lettuces and kales may or may not recover.  Ah well, that’s farming.

Since then we’ve been mired in cold and intermittent wet - temps dropped here down to 24 degrees, and in much of the valley below, they fell below the critical 29 degree threshold for loss of fruit blossoms.  I’m not sure how the local growers are going to do this year. 

Our own fruit blossoms didn’t do as badly as I had expected, however.  The strawberries are probably mostly lost - but we planted most of the trees against fences and walls and in protected areas, and it seems possible we’ll still get a decent crop.  At least from the trees that survived.

The big disaster of this spring was the girdling of many of our fruit trees - I know, I know, I should be wrapping them with hardware cloth, but we’ve never had a major problem before.  In this case, all the damage happened during our huge, late storm in March - when four feet of snow were dropped on us and stayed for weeks, the mice and voles went looking for food - and enjoyed a meal of the tender young barks of our fruit trees.  We lost almost half of our young trees - two of our three plums, half of our apples, both of our pears and a cherry.  It is a tough loss to absorb - and we have probably lost a couple of more years of good fruiting, because our remaining plum and several of our early apples no longer have pollinators.  The apricots, peaches and quinces were unharmed, as were the majority of the cherry trees, but it will be a long time, even with better protection, before we make up these losses.

On the “step forward front” our new housemate, Phil, is preparing to move in to the house, and we’re excited to have an extra pair of hands and good company.  In the meantime, there’s a lot of moving things around to do to get the house rearranged for his residence, which will begin next month.  

We’re still not sure if Bast and Jessie are going to kid in the next couple of weeks, but we’ll be entering kidding watch later this week.  Both goats are bigger than the other does - but neither is as obviously pregnant as last year’s does, so it is a toss up.  Fingers crossed, though.  We’re also expecting baby rabbits in a few days - hopefully with happier outcome than last time.  And there are 10 heritage breed turkey eggs under a hen in my barn, and a whole bunch of chicken eggs as well (since we are trying not to disturb them and the whole crew has gone broody - it is a team thing!). 

We have a buck pen to build, and we’re slowing, painfully rebuilding the raised beds around the house.  The lawn is getting scythed and the weeds are getting pulled.  We’re eating our own asparagus (and some from the carrot barn when our insatiable love for the stuff pushes past our limits) and plenty of good greens.  The spring rush is here - occasionally held off by cold or wet - and it can’t be stopped now, even when it is two steps forward, one step back.

Plant something: Bok choy, chinese cabbage, lettuce, arugula, kale, chard, collards, cabbage, beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, peas, fava beans, garlic chives, alyssum, calendula, blackberries.

Harvest something: Nettles, lettuce leaves, garlic mustard, beet greens, rhubarb, asparagus, various herbs, sorrel, milk, eggs.

Preserve something: Nope.

Waste Not: The usual composting and feeding things to other things.  We’ve been trying to make sure that lunches are done from leftovers the day before, so that we don’t have to stop work or school or play to cook mid-day, and we seem to be doing a reasonable job with that, and thus, making sure there’s no food waste.  Lots of “misc” meals ;-) .  Began sorting through the outgrown clothes to give to friends and Goodwill.

Want Not: Ordered fair trade organic chocolate chips, lentils and wheat.

Eat the Food: An almost infinite amount of asparagus.  Toasted cheese sandwiches with asparagus.  Asparagus risotto.  Asparagus with lime dressing.  Stir fried asparagus and tofu.  Do you sense a theme?

Build community food systems: Donated plants and starts to a local community garden.

What about you?


18 Responses to “Independence Days Update: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back”

  1. AnneT says:

    We had frost but no hail. We did see some snow flurries on Saturday. I covered my small bed of yellow strawberries that were setting fruit and they came through fine; as did the blueberries that were blossoming. I obtained a pool liner that someone discarded last summer on the boulevard (anything on the boulevard on recycle day is free for the taking). Cutting around the tears, I got a number of good-sized pieces that are light to handle and really insulative. Some of it gave extra protection to the tomato seedlings in my greenhouse too.

    Plant: got some basil and chamomille from the farmer’s market that I put in pots (and brought inside during the cold spell!). Planted some red potatoes. Usual sprouts.

    Harvest: rhubarb, garlic chives, sprouts.

    Preserve: rhubarb wine, rhubarb concentrate, rhubarb compote.

    Waste not: made some seed bed covers from plexiglass we had hanging around and some spruce lumber; used more lumber to make another planting box. More of the spruce lumber from a discontinued set of shelves went into shelves for the greenhouse.
    We hauled a bunch of old metal things to the metal recycling near here. Rationalized my water hose layout so I can give a full hose to my neighbor for her garden.

    Want not: stocked up on sprouting seeds, gluten-free flours, coffee, pork ribs for summer BBQ.

    Community: shopped the farmers’ market.

  2. Lise says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry about the loss of your trees! I lost too many new bushes to neglect this year, and I’m disgusted with myself.

    My update is here:

  3. Gabrielle says:

    The weather went from hot earlier in the week to almost needing a sweater over the weekend. The cooler temperatures made lingering in the garden and outdoors even more enjoyable than usual.

    Plant—We FINALLY planted our potatoes! FINALLY! Planted Mountain Rose, Purple Majesty, Nicola, Yukon Gold, Bintje, and Banana Fingerlings. I planted the first wave of filet pole beans, cucumbers, and Jacob’s Cattle shelling beans.

    Harvest—The first of the peas have become pods that we have quickly devoured, and I seriously doubt we’ll have more than a handful make it into the house. We love to have the sweet and tender pods and peas as a snack when outside. The pea plot becomes our candy vending machine. ;) Also harvested: radishes, the kale that had resprouted from the stems, onions from last year and spring onions from this year, lettuces, spinach, broccoli raab, bok choy, rosemary, oregano, and beet greens. We had plans to pick strawberries this weekend, but we decided to stay at home for some family time. We’ll go to the patch next week when it is a little less crowded.

    Preserve—A few chopped green onions were put in the freezer.

    Waste Not/Reduce Waste— We made it through the heat earlier last week, and I’m pleased to report that we have not turned the AC on yet. I was quite tempted, but I knew that the cooler weather was moving in this weekend. Waking with a chill on Mother’s Day, I was glad we held off. We continue the usual waste reduction stuff—recycling, reducing usage, energy saving strategies, making do, composting, and eating leftovers. I now have a few crates of assorted sizes of mason jars from my grandmother’s house that my dad brought me from Memphis. After a good cleaning, they’ll be ready to fill.

    Want Not/Prep/Storage—Tidied the back porch, gave the lawn chairs a good scrubbing, swept the path, moved some old potting soil from last year’s pots to a pile where I’ll eventually add some butternut squash seeds. Hubby helped with the potato boxes and worked outside on various jobs. I added 10 lbs of organic raisins, 3 lbs of organic oatmeal, and about a year’s supply of toilet paper to storage. I also bought a case of Evol burritos at our co-op that were a great price with coupons and a case discount.

    Building Community Food Systems— Visited the Market Square Farmers Market this weekend, though we only bought cilantro this week. Most of the other foods that were available are plentiful in our garden right now and not as easily preserved. Picked up milk for our small milk co-op. Hubby checked on our friend’s chickens over the weekend when they were out of town. Picked up the eggs from that and bartered with her earlier in the week for eggs in exchange for baby-sitting. I meant to make it over to the church veggie garden to plant some things, but I never did. I’ll try and do so on Tuesday this week instead.

    Eat the Food— Made some pasta using the veggies from the garden with a little olive oil, butter, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese. Served that with salad dressed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Such a simple meal, but it went over very well with the family. Instead of making salmon patties late in the week, I made fajitas instead. Everyone enjoyed them, and I only wished that I had bell peppers in the freezer from last year to use with the onions. I shouldn’t complain because we used our last one only a few weeks ago.

    We used the last of the dill pickles that I made last year. I’m starting to make a tally of how much we need to preserve of what foods to make it through the entire year.

    Jam—1 pint per month and an extra couple of pints to use for baking cookies and such. Extra pints needed for gifts.
    Pickles—1 pint of dill for every 2 months. Hopefully we’ll have enough cucumbers to also make sweet pickle relish for hot dogs and salads this year.
    Beets—1 pint for every 2-3 months or at least 1 pint for every major holiday to serve on a relish tray.
    Pears—1 quart canned fruit every month, at least.
    Peaches—1 quart canned fruit every month, at least.
    Frozen fruit—3-5 gallon bags
    Sherbet—as much as we can fit into the freezer
    Frozen corn—we only put up 3 gallon bags last year. The previous year we put up more than 3 times that amount, and it was completely worth the effort. We’ll shoot for putting up as much corn as we can get our hands on.
    Green Beans—we put up about 6-8 quarts last year. It would have been nice to have had at least 2 times that amount, if not more.
    Dried fruit—last year we dehydrated about 3 quarts worth of fruit. I’ve learned that as long as I don’t burn the fruit, we’ll use as much as I can dehydrate.
    Zucchini—I froze about 4 gallons of zucchini, shredded and chopped. It was nice to pull out for frittatas and omelets. We dehydrated about 2 quart jars worth, and I think that is about all we can use of dehydrated.
    Tomatoes—I wish I had recorded how many cans I had put up last year, but I didn’t. I estimate we only need about 1 quart per month of the year, maybe a few extras. We still have tomatoes from last year.
    Bell Peppers—I froze 3 gallon bags full of whole peppers. I wish I had at least another 2 gallon bags worth.
    Pickled peppers—I canned about 4 pints worth. It would have been nice to have a few more so that we didn’t have to reserve them and use them sparingly.
    Onion relish—I only made a few half pints of these. They were yummy, and if I have more red onions this year, I’ll make as many as I can.
    Butternut squash—we had 26 squash in our dry storage last year. We used the last one in February/early March this year. This was more than enough to eat and give away to friends and neighbors.
    Potatoes—we can never have to many of these.
    Okra—we only had enough to freeze a few pints worth as a ready made okra and tomato dish. The more we can freeze, the better.
    We’ll try our hands at preserving broccoli this year, probably most of it will be frozen and a few will be dehydrated. We’ll see how it goes. I’m also going to try and can homemade mustard, watermelon rind pickles (if the watermelon come in), and chow chow this year.

  4. Claire says:

    It got quite cool for this time of year in St. Louis as well - but no frost even though there was a frost advisory. It didn’t end up dropping below 40F here. The house dropped to 63F before it got warm again yesterday; we didn’t turn on the heat, haven’t had it on since the end of March, won’t need it again till fall. As for AC, it hasn’t gotten that hot, I’m not sure the AC works, and I don’t know if we’ll fix it if it doesn’t.

    Sharon, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your trees.

    Plant: parsley, cutting celery, lavender, anise hyssop, blue sage, bee balm, and three different echinacea species, all as seedlings, into the herb bed.

    Harvest: strawberries, lettuce, lambsquarters, green onions, shiitake mushrooms. My DH found a coral mushroom in the woods.

    Preserve: nothing this week. My strawberry patch isn’t large enough to make more strawberries than we can make fresh. That should change once I make a full bed for just strawberries.

    Waste not: the usual, including setting aside packing materials for use as mulch liner in the new veggie beds to be started soon.

    Want not: got a nonelectric floor and carpet sweeper and a heavy-duty trowel that should never bend (the trowel replaces the one I bent this spring). Ordered and received bulk tea, milk, baking yeast, and spices as current supplies were nearly exhausted.

    Community food systems: gave some of my excess seedlings and seed potatoes to my neighbor and helped her plant her garden with them. Her three year old daughter helped us this year for the first time.

    Eat the food: strawberries, glorious strawberries! Friends brought strawberry shortcake ingredients (the cake, whipped cream, and store-bought strawberries) when they came for dinner on Saturday. We had it that way with them. They left the remaining cake and whipped cream with us, which we are now eating with my homegrown strawberries … my berries are much riper and sweeter, I don’t need to use any sugar on them.

  5. Susan in NJ says:

    My professional life has not cooperated this spring with gardening activities — that plus it’s been an absolutely brutal allergy season this year around here.
    Plant: No — just tending seedlings and making things survive the striking hot/cold swings.
    Harvest: Lettuce and chard leaves, chives, walking onion greens, sage, thyme, tarragon, one onion.
    Preserve: No.
    Waste Not: Tended the compost a bit, made stock, got old computers refurbished for expanded office and got replacement batteries for other electronics (my partner is being weaned from the constant upgrade cycle but slowly). Was given three large dinnerplate dahlias that got beaten up in the wind over the weekend and so couldn’t be sold. Other than that, sigh, we actually were running an air conditioner to make an upstairs office useable during the day but were able to cool the rest of the house off at night with open windows.
    Want Not: Organic FT coffee, organic raisins, working on rotating stock on shelves and freezer.
    Community: Farmer’s market for vegies and plant starts; contributed to postal worker’s food drive
    Eat: Not a lot of fancy cooking here but great strawberries and asparagus don’t need much elsea. Found a recipe for aspargus pesto that I’m looking forward to trying.

  6. Sue Sullivan says:

    On Colorado’s northern front range, we woke up to a thick wet blanket of snow in our suburban backyard. Hard to tell how much, though 7+ inches were forecast, because it’s melting quickly. Hope the broccoli and strawberries come through okay. Figure the greens and onions and raspberries will do fine. The apple and pear trees, still saplings, seem fine (I shook them off before going to bed). Mother’s day weekend is considered last frost day here, but it came early this year. As anxious as I was to plant out, I can read a national weather service long range forcast as well as the next woman.

    Plant: Shaking a figurative fist at the weather gods yesterday, I planted a flat of sweet corn in newspaper pots (thanks for the idea last week, Sharon), and a second flat of melons, watermelon and zuke in paper pots. Potted up thai hot peppers and Genovese basil. I’m still walking flats of peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and basil in and out of the house each day, but I’ll start planting out this week.
    Harvest: Last fall’s bulb unions as green onions, lettuce, bok choi and spinach for us. Wild-growing alfalfa and backyard clover for the chickens.
    Preserve: Nothing
    Waste not: Collected random plastic bin lids to use in making self-watering containers, which I’ll put on the south side yard where the sun is great and the soil crappy.
    Want not: Spent a $200 online GC from my Mom to (which, interestingly, does not have the bulk food you get in a warehouse store but does have a surprisingly large selection of emergency preparedness food. Weird to see at such a mainstream venue) on a big batch of kids vitamins and supplements.
    Build Community Food Systems: Got a free 30-gal used Rubbermaid tote from the local construction materials recycling store and promised them some extra red bell pepper starts for their raised beds in return. Offered extra brassica and pepper starts to a friend in my gaming group who is delving into food growing this year.
    Eat: Greens, onions, eggs, tomato sauce, raspberry jam.

  7. Karen says:

    We went through the pregnant goat observation twice this year. Is she getting fatter? Is her udder getting bigger? We had a 50% success rate, one doe was pregnant and gave birth at 150 days (long for a Nigerian Dwarf) and one went in to heat, went back to the breeders and doesn’t seem to have to taken for this year. One doe to add to the herd is good though.

  8. Gina says:

    For all that April (and March) was unseasonable warm, May is making up for it. We had a frost warning the other night (although I don’t think the temps fell that far) and I believe we have yesterday as well (lost one plant, but everything else seems fine). It feels slightly fallish, but more wet outside. I really wish it would warm up so I can get the seedlings out of their pots. I water them twice a day to keep the soil from drying out.

    Planted: One zucchini plant (yeah, I am a hopeful type when it comes to gardening-it’s also the one I lost, LOL!) nectarine, sour cherry, plum, apricot and Japanese maple trees; 5 blueberry bushes (we cut out all of the ugly shrubs along the barn and replaced them with the blueberries); two one blackberry (dogs chewed up the other one); milkweed; orange mint; ginger mint; pepper plant (in protected herb garden); basil; lavender; lemon thyme; hens and chicks; transplanted many pepper and tomato seedlings to bigger pots (sigh)

    I noticed the fava and purple green beans are up, the onions bulbs planted last week have emerged and the lettuce, radish, turnips, chard, and beets need to be thinned (maybe we will have a micro-green salad tonight). Sr worked on making me a new herb & rhubarb bed next to garage as my rhubarb seems to despise the location I originally planted it. I obtained 7 new root starts as well, so (hopefully) we should have plenty of rhubarb one day.

    Harvested: raspberry leaves, lamb’s quarter, eggs, friend gave me a couple of stalks of rhubarb from her patch.

    Preserved: Butternut squash (these were the ones harvested last fall and they were still going strong. I roasted all 6 I had left and made two loaves of squash bread and froze two-cup increments for later loaves).
    Dried raspberry and lamb’s quarter leaves.

    Want Not:

    Sr gave me a green house for Mother’s Day! It is a sturdy walled type (although on the small side). I really hope he (we) construct it before fall.
    Kids and I made concrete stepping stones for the grandmothers for Mum’s Day. We used pebbles and other tidbits we had on hand. They turned out cute.
    Sorted out more outgrown clothing and junk for yard sale. Cleaned boys’ playroom and put all the baby toys in the sale pile.
    Added Olive oil and apple juice to stores
    Oh, oh…I almost forgot (!), we had a female calf born Monday! She is black and very active. We are going to try to bottle feed her and handle her to tame her down more than I did her mother (well, people before me as well). I would like to at least prepare her to be a milker when/if we sell her. I am researching leading, etc. so I can do this right. My cows are tame, but horrible milkers (like to kick).
    On that topic, a neighbor brought down a male lamb to bottle feed. Ewe had triplets and rejected this one. It is 5 weeks old and has been in the house on a bottle since then. We have him in the barn, but when out I let him follow me around (like a puppy). I am still unsure if I want to keep him, but, so far, he has been a cinch to care for (three bottles a day, plus he is starting to eat creep).
    Paid property taxes on three properties (yuck).

    Waste Not:
    The three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle
    Compost to compost; scraps to chickens. Kept coffee grounds separated to feed blueberries.
    Not a good week here as I can’t think of anything else…

    Eat the Food:

    Butternut squash bread (I reduced sugar in recipe and still sweet)
    Calico beans
    Chicken and noodles

    Community: Helping neighbor with lamb; food out for Postal Food Bank Day; offered extra pepper and tomato seedlings to friends who (used to) have urban homesteading interests, but it seems interest has faded and they are replanting their yard back into lawn…:(

  9. anita says:

    Sorry to hear of your tree loss, Sharon. We had cool weather this weekend, but nothing like that—down in the low 40s at night and 60s during the day. Now, however, we’re back up and nastily humid . . .

    My update (and they’ve been sporadic this spring; most of my time for the past few weeks has been outside) is here:

  10. Michelle says:

    Keep me posted about the rabbits, please!

    Where do you obtain your chocolate chips?

  11. TLE says:

    Plant something: not this week…waiting for the new moon!

    Harvest something: lettuce (radiccio, cos, mizuna), parsley, basil, mint, spring onions, pak choy thinnings, 3 snow peas.

    Preserved something: Made huge batch of stewed apple & pears, froze half.

    Waste not: usual composting, worm-farming & recycling.

    Want not: Picked up 2 litres of ‘local’ (ie Bilpin) apple cider vinegar. Made big veggie soup with bits & pieces that would otherwise be wasted, froze in batches for quick dinners. Veggie burgers with leftover half carrots, bits of celery etc submerged in them (because you can only eat so much soup).

    Build Community Food Systems: Just a little bit of blogging about CSA box.

    Eat the food: Chickpea cutlets, roast veggies & salad; corn fritters, blackbeans & salad; veggie burgers with homemade chutney & garden greens, soup with homegrown jerusalem artichokes & greens.

  12. Lisa says:

    If your does are that close to kidding,you really should be able to feel them.Place your hands on the right flank,just in front of the udder,kind of low.I can feel them, faintly,at three months.If you just sit with your does,hanging out while they chew cud,you can even see the movement from the fourth month.I usually do this,the feeling part, while they are eating their grain,so they stand still.Good luck with kidding,I hope that all goes well.

  13. Eva says:

    We’ve had some weird unseasonal frosts here in Ireland too as well as a couple of hail showers but nothing too destructive. We have some potatoes planted in bags and containers that we keep having to cover but that’s the worst of our inconveniences. So sorry about the tree loss, it’s terrible when you get a setback like that.

  14. MEA says:

    Sorry to hear about the friut trees.

    I learned there is another grass bandit in the neighborhood. Someone is taking bags of lawn waste that I’ve noted for composting before I get to them. At this point there is plenty to go around, so I’m glad that someone else is helping keep them out of the landfill.

    I composted the straw from the wee-a-torium with the last of the raked leaves from the beds. I did not use it as much as I would have like, and the novelity soon wore off for the girls. I also realized, mid-winter, long after I’d stopped venturing out, that as it was roofless, the people who live over the pizza place might have had some interesting viewing. I didn’t ask: some things are best left unknown.

    The beds I sheet composed turn out lovely and easy to fork.

    Have planted nothing but pea and greens.

    Had intersting community building experience. Beucase I find it as easy (or as horrible) to cook for 10 as for 4, I tend to make extra to give to neighbors who need a meal for whatever reason. Friend whom I’ve often done pot luck with is having a crisis, and I offered to bring meals 2x a week. She said that right now her children ate only mac and cheese and she was on a restricted diet for diabites, but it would really help if I could pick her children up from from school 2 days a week. I think that when someone is comfortable telling you what they need, you are beyond the end of the beginning of community building.

  15. Cassandra says:

    Whoa! Don’t give up on the trees yet, try bridge grafting. My dh, an orchardist, saved quite a few of our trees when we had a big mouse damage year. There is lots of information on how-to on the internet.

  16. Susan in Virginia says:

    Well, all the family weddings and showers are done for the spring; the last big event is my son’s college graduation. Once that party is complete, I’ll be able to focus back on my normal spring tasks - not that I am complaining. I am extremely proud of my son for finishing school, as he is a late-bloomer when it comes to college. He completed college while working full time and took 4 classes a semester until he met all of the requirements for his major. It takes a great deal of fortitude and perseverance to earn a degree following that route.
    So here is what is going on at my house:
    1) Plant Something: planted the rest of my herbs - dill, parsley, cilantro, more basil. Bought some peppermint and put it in a big pot. I all ready have some spearmint that was given to me.
    2) Harvest Something: still using the fresh chives, mint in tea, rosemary in frittata, and getting eggs.
    3) Preserve Something: Dried some spearmint for winter teas.
    4) Waste Not: Same - shredded paper from work for chicken litter and veg. garden mulch.
    5) Want Not: Looking forward to a new batch of baby chicks next week.
    6) Community: nothing this week
    7) Eat the food: see Harvest Something

    Have a great week!

  17. KiwiRach says:

    unseasonably late frosts and enthusiastic planting are a bad combo and beans, achoha and sweetcorn recently planted out all perished in the frost. Bah Humbug. The spuds have lost quite a lot of leaves to frost, but it doesn’t look fatal.

    planting - salad leaves
    harvesting - cut and come again salad leaves planted in autumn in a builders bag in our front yard.
    waste not - dh emptied home compost bin and took three wheelbarrow loads of compost to the allotment
    community -planing our churches application for an ‘eco-congregation award’

  18. Evey says:

    I spent a cold, wet and windy weekend up at the farm in WV. I didn’t get too much done due to the weather.

    Plant Something: I did get heirloom givted Greasy Shortcut beans in. Also did major mulching on the summer potatoes that are coming back after they got nipped with frost late April. I left detailed planting instructions and a map for DH to plant the two flats of starts I took up. Everyone was bugging me to bring up the tomatoes as “they need to get in the ground”, I keep telling them it doesn’t really help them to sit in cold soil for weeks.
    When I got back to NC, I put more sweet potatoes in water to sprout. The others did nothing for a month and all of the sudden last week, started sending up multiple sprouts.

    Harvest Something: Small amounts of various salad greens that overwintered. Fresh herbs as needed. Checked out a few garlics, but they still look like leeks- tasty anyway. We won’t touch them again until July.

    Waste Not: Most of my meal contributions were made from freezer veggies and blueberries. Here in NC, I am diligently working on eating up freezer misc and dried beans stores so I don’t have to move it in June.

    Want Not: Stocked some packs of salmon and family size packs of tuna. Bought a gallon of organic olive oil on sale. I am starting to checkout (research at this point) use by dates on various food stuffs to help me plan what to purchase.

    Community Systems: Traded some Greasy Shortcuts for October beans. Also some celery starts for 8 more pounds of potatoes. I’ll give this neighbor some winter squash starts next month and maybe a few sweet potato slips if she wants to try them.

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