Sunday, April 28, 2019

Homestead Happenings on a Stay-at-home Sunday

It happens to the best of us.  We go to the Winter Farm Store and buy a bunch of onions, and then, a couple of months later, we realize the onions have started to sprout.  Despair not!  This can actually be a good thing.

A while back I read this book.  It was doomer fiction.  The protagonists in the story, knowing how fragile our lifestyles and infrastructure are, took steps to insulate themselves against the exact event they always knew would happen.  

But they also lived in a suburb (which begs the question, if they KNEW the shiznit was going to hit the fan, and that being in the suburbs would be very, very bad, why did they stay in the suburbs?  Shh ... it's fiction), where their neighbors were not quite so prepared.  

Immediately, they discount their neighbors as useless in this emergency, grab their bug-out paraphernalia, and get the heck out of Dodge.

I say, they were missing a valuable opportunity.

See, I have these onions.  They sprouted. 


I trimmed off the green sprouts and cut them into 1/4" pieces.  These will be used as a garnish for tacos or something.  Then, I peeled the brittle skins and pulled off the layers until I got to the heart of the onion.  Each one had a couple of root starts.  I planted those.  

What you see in the picture above is what I can use in meals now.  The root parts are in one of my container gardens.  Worst case, I've wasted garden space ... but since I could companion plant the container with lettuce, there'd be no wasted space, actually.  What's most likely to happen is that I have onion tops that I can trim for a few months, and then, I have some bulbs that I can store for use this winter.

That's what bothered me about that novel.  The neighbor, who was deemed useless, might have something that would be useful.  I realize it was a plot device, and very necessary to the overall theme - which is to show how we are woefully unprepared to such an event - as a society, in general.

But I tend to think, in real life, we would be surprised by what our neighbors can offer in an emergency situation, and with some reimagining, we could probably figure out how to find useful something that seems like it is past its prime.

Like these seeds.

If I direct sow them, I may or may not end up with a plant.  It's always a gamble, really.  There's very rarely 100% germination rate with seeds, but when one has such a small space in which needs to be grown so much, it's difficult to consider using old seeds in the garden, and chancing getting nothing.



But I'm not going to throw them away, either.

I decided to try sprouting them.

I have this fancy-smancy seed sprouting apparatus, but I've seen people use canning jars, too.  The goal is to get the seeds wet, but not submerged in water.  With my sprouter, I fill the top bowl with water.  Each of the clear bowls and the top bowl has a hole in one side.  I stack them all together.  Fill the top bowl with water, and then, when all of the water has drained through the four top bowls, I dump the bottom bowl.  Repeat daily until the seeds start to sprout.  The sprouts are ready to enjoy in about a week.  
 

Worst case, none of the seeds germinate.  I'm out nothing, except the time it took to fill up the water. 

Innovation and creativity are key to survival, and those things are what make us adaptable, successful, and ... well, human, right?  

Little Fire Faery was invited to her friend's senior prom.  She didn't ask us to go dress shopping.  She asked if I would take her fabric shopping, because she found a tutorial for a dress that she wanted to make.  That's what she's doing, as I type this.  She making a prom dress.  

Deus Ex Machina and Precious joke that they are practicing for the 2020 Homestead Olympics.  They're planning to compete in the log toss.  

I think she's exceptionally brave, and to me, it takes a great deal of talent and self-control to be on the receiving end of that log.  As much as I trust Deus Ex Machina, I would not be able to stand there while he threw a log at my face.  



My children humble me, and they continually inspire me to do better, to be better.  

Planting stuff, splitting and stacking firewood, sewing a prom dress ... not too bad a way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.  It's a good life.

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