Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Independence Days week 4

A little light this week. I've been busy cutting grass, attacking weeds, and shoveling (forking?) manure. Trying very hard to stay ahead of things before the hot weather arrives.

1. Plant something - Popcorn (Pennsylvania Butter-Flavored, and Ladyfinger). We tried Ladyfinger once before and it didn't do that well, so I'm doing a trial of another variety as a comparison. Field corn (Ohio Blue Clarage). This is from seed we saved a couple years ago. This is sort of an all-purpose corn that I'm interested in growing for several potential purposes. It's supposed to be decent in the milk stage as a sweet-corn substitute, though I'm sure it's nowhere near as sweet as true sweet corn. It's supposed to be great as a livestock feed, and for cornmeal. It's mostly a dark blueish-purple, with some white kernels here and there. And if I could ever grow enough of it, it could be used to heat our house. I planted a plot of about 45' x 15' or so. I was going to plant a bigger area, but the sod has gotten so lush and thick that even the tiller has a hard time with it.

2. Harvest something - Eggs. That's it for the moment. The asparagus is just about done.

3. Preserve something - Still nothing here.

4. Reduce waste - Lori reminded me that we're trying again with cloth diapers. We had some issues (especially with Amelia), so we've made some modifications.

I'm never sure what to count here. Do I include things we do all the time, like hanging laundry on the line rather than using the dryer? What about using a Bissel-type sweeper prior to vacuuming, which reduced the number of vacuum bags and electricity, while providing the chickens with a supply of popcorn kernels and Cheerio crumbs? I tend to focus on new things, improvements, and non-routine tasks. What are other people doing for this one?

5. Preparation and Storage - Not much going on here at the moment. We are fairly well stocked and prepped. More reading, including A Nation of Farmers. Moved some bulk dried beans from their bag into a bucket for better storage. Talked to a couple people about potential barter.

6. Build Community Food Systems - Sold 4 dozen eggs at the office. Missed the farm market this week. Helped a couple people with gardening & farm market questions. Answered chicken questions for the next-door neighbors, who just got a bunch of chicks. Lori baked some cookies for Amelia's preschool end-of-the-year party.

7. Eat the Food - Strawberry jam, syrup, honey, eggs, and popcorn.




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