Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Independence Day Challenge 2009: Week (s) 10 and 11

I didn't post an update last week and am two days late for this one. It's not that I haven't anything to report, but rather that it's been one of those times when I have allowed myself to be swept away with the business of living, and the business of writing (which is not the business I get paid to do, but that of which I dream - constantly) this blog fell by the wayside.

But also, we had twenty-eight out of thirty days of rain in the month of June, and when the sun (finally) came out last week, I took advantage of the drier weather to do laundry and get outside in the garden. Deus Ex Machina used the opportunity to split some more wood, which I and the girls stacked along the fence.

We also moved our young broilers outside, but we still have the older ten. They are scheduled for processing next Monday. The ducks were moved out of their "yard", and the young broilers were put in there. The ducks now have free-reign of the backyard, and I found them a "new" pool - both of which are okay with them. We don't mow a lot in the back, and they enjoy snuggling into the taller grass, and they also spend much time foraging the bugs. I don't know if it's made a difference, but I enjoy watching them :).

The brooder is still "brood-ing." We have two new pullets for ourselves, and we're raising another two for a friend (like we did before - as he and his wife don't have the time or the space for chicks, but we do).

The sun is hiding again today and there have been a few sprinkles. Seemed like a good time to get back online and post my progress ... such as it is :).

Plant Something:

I seeded some more spinach and peas. I know they are cool weather crops, but with all of the weather we've been having and the fact that the bed they are in is back in a more shady area of my yard, I figured it would probably be okay.

I also planted the squash plants I was given, and mounded a volunteer potato in the same bed. I have several volunteer potato plants this year. I hope it's a good year for spuds for me, as we eat a lot of potatoes.

Harvest Something:

Lettuce, some beets, one garlic (to see how it was doing - it's a little small), garlic scapes, green onions as needed for flavoring, and peas.

The raspberries and service berries are ripening, and the girls have been picking and eating them.

Deus Ex Machina checked the blueberry field in the woods behind our house, but it looks like last year's bumper crop of blueberries is not going to be repeated this year. We'll have to find someplace else to get blueberries. I'd like to make some jam, maybe some syrup, a couple of pies to freeze, and definitely have more frozen for adding to things like bread pudding and oatmeal.

Preserve Something:

I have a total of twenty pint jars of strawberry jam and several pint-sized containers of frozen strawberries. I'd like to get more, but I'm not sure that we'll make it back out to the fields this year. I'm sure we'll run out.

I haven't put anything up this past two weekends, and I should be doing something right now. I have frozen cranberries from last year, which need to become cranberry sauce.

Reduce Waste:

Our "new" duck pool is from a fellow freecycler, who bought it for her dogs, but found that she couldn't use it. Her dogs hated it. My ducks love it.

Seems like it works out well for all concerned.

Preparation and Storage:

I think, at this point, Deus Ex Machina is doing more in the "prep" category than I am. He's been taking lots of walks in the woods and learning to identify various edibles.

We took a class recently, where we learned to carve wooden spoons. It was a great class - lots of fun - and the girls got to play with knives, which they enjoyed :).

Otherwise, I don't think we've done much in this category.

Build Community Food Systems:

I talked with the dairy farmer recently, and we're getting more beef from him. I've put my name on the list for another quarter cow, and he has some hamburg coming back from the butcher in another week or so that I'll get a share of.

And the farm stand here in town is open for the season! Yay! I talked with the owner about getting a bulk quantity of pickling cucumbers, and at first, she offered to pick the abandoned rows for me, and then, I thought it might be more convenient if I gleaned the rows myself - save her time. You know? And she agreed! Today, when I was there, I talked with her son, and he said I could probably glean the strawberries, too. So, while we probably won't be doing any more at the PYO places, I may be able to pick up a few more quarts of strawberries that the Farm Stand farm. I'm very excited. Cucumber pickles and strawberry jam are two of Big Little Sister's favorite foods, and there's never enough of either.

1 comment:

  1. Those look like very happy ducks.

    Great score on the gleaning!