Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Independence Days week 3

Busy week....

1. Plant something - Lots of stuff here. I finally found my seed plates for my little Earthway seeder. Too bad the little seed chute was clogged with debris from sitting in the barn too long. But I did finally get it working, and had a long enough break in the rain to get the ground dry enough for more planting.

Planted carrots (Danvers Half Long, Nantes Coreless, and Chantenay Red Coreless). I also have some planted in a container, with a mix of sand, peat moss and compost, because I have bad luck getting them to grow in the ground. But I did full rows of each of the three above, to see if any of them can make the cut.

And beans (black turtle, Envy (edamame), and garbanzo/chick peas). I was going to plant Jacob's Cattle beans too, but I somehow managed to lose my seed packet.

And finally, on a whim, I bought and planted some sweet potato slips. I'd never grown them before, so when I read that they like a well-drained, sunny location, with relatively poor soil, I was slightly stumped. Then it hit me: The dirt pile. Last year I got a load of fill dirt, to fill in around our foundation where the ground had settled too much. There's a good bit of the pile left, so I figured what the heck. The south side of the pile is now covered in little sweet potato leaves.

Oh, and I put a couple lavender and basil plants in with some annual flowers in the flower boxes by our front door.

2. Harvest something - Eggs and asparagus.

3. Preserve something - Nothing.

4. Reduce waste - Ummmmm. I used a wood pellet bag in our kitchen trash can instead of a trash bag. Pretty lame. Especially since I generated a bunch of waste trying to clean out the garage. I'll have to work on this one.

5. Preparation and Storage - Got a big bag of food grade diatomaceous earth (for insect control, among other things). Rearranged our fake root cellar a bit. Reorganized the garage and barn a bit to move the gardening tools back into the garage. Everything in the barn gets covered with spider webs, bird droppings, chicken dander, and who knows what else. The garage is not great, but way better. It's hard enough to get all the garden stuff done this time of year without having to clean off every tool before use.

6. Build Community Food Systems - Sold 7 dozen eggs at the office. Sold 5 rain barrels to Larry & Gail. Bought greens, pasta, lavender, maple syrup, a pork shoulder, and blueberry pie at the farm market. (I love that farm market!) Bought a quart of honey from a local beekeeper.

7. Eat the Food - Oh I ate the food. I ate the hell out of that food.

I kind of improvised a recipe based on a combination of things I knew and a suggestion from one of the vendors at the farm market. I boiled the (garlic-herb) fettuccine from the market. Meanwhile I made a creamy parmesan sauce and cut up and steamed the asparagus. I chopped up the greens and put them into the collander. I drained the hot water from the asparagus and the pasta over the greens to wilt them just a little. Then the pasta, greens, and asparagus all went back into the pot, and I dumped the cream sauce over it all. And finally, I busted up some roasted peanuts and tossed them in for a little texture. (I would have toasted some walnuts if I'd thought of it beforehand, but the peanuts worked well enough.) And wild blueberry pie for desert. [*wipes drool with shirt sleeve*]

Too bad the ants got to the last third of the pie before we did. That was a kick in the teeth...




At 5/14/2009 8:52 AM, Blogger Madcap said...

You ate the hell out of the food, huh? That line made me laugh!

So, where was the pie when the ants found it? Were you picnicking?

At 5/14/2009 10:41 AM, Blogger e4 said...

Yeah, I don't even know what that means, Madcap.

Sadly, both the pie and the ants were in the kitchen.

We get a whole succession of invertebrates coming in. First it's the cupboard moths. Then it's the tiny water-loving ants. They see our kitchen sink as their municipal water supply. After that come the sugar-loving ants who go for honey, syrup, blueberry pie, and other tasty treats. They just moved in. And it's a tricky transition, because they look very similar to the previous ants. Maybe they are one and the same and just have different needs as spring progresses. I'm never quite sure.

Next up should be the gnats. Then the houseflies for a long while. Then the spiders move in, and finally back around to the cupboard moths.

It's how we mark the seasons. :)

At 5/14/2009 3:02 PM, Blogger Madcap said...

My husband's always asking why the hell we live up here in the Northern Waste, and I keep telling him it's because we don't have:

-Poisonous snakes
-Tse-tse flies

and now

-Ants in the kitchen.

Thanks e4! Always helpful to have an outside perspective.

At 5/15/2009 9:06 PM, Blogger d.a. said...

Also laughing at "at the hell out of the food"... ROFLMAO!

At 5/19/2009 11:07 PM, Anonymous ~Lori said...

4. Reduce waste - I can help with that! I'm switching back to cloth diapers so we used a lot less of those. :D


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