Independence Days, Week 3

Plant: Still waiting for the “Fall planting” seedlings (lettuce, spinach, chard, etc.) to graduate to planting-out size. “Unplanted” most of the tomato plants (one chilly day and night and they succumbed fully to the blight). Also planted sustainable lawn seed on our erosion-prone slope: curious about the result!

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Harvest: Finally harvested the first carrots (which as you can see are tiny, even after being in the ground for 4 months) and the first edibleĀ  radish (they are supposed to be the easiest to grow, but my first batch produced only diminutive maggot-eaten and awfully bitter knots). Also more yummy green beans, dry beans, extra sweet peas, kale, chard, cucumber, eggplant, more cherry tomatoes from potted plants, which are still successful against the blight.

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Preserve: After the frenzy of the last two weeks and because we arrived late at the Farmers Market, I bought only green beans to supplement our own beans and pressure-canned all those, making 7 quarts. Brewed up some blueberry-basil vinaigrette. Bought meat and fish on sale at the grocery store and froze it.

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Waste not: More freecycling of cardboard boxes. Scored several wooden pallets they were throwing away at the local elementary school, and two water tanks (don’t yet know what to do with those). Still picking up Starbucks coffee grounds and collecting acorns. Today also chatted with the neighbor who owns the horse and she will start using our property to get to the conservation land behind us. This means the horse manure is now for the taking. Now I need to find a way of transporting the manure and assign an area for its composting (those pallets could come in handy for that). It would be good to get some finished or going at least before it starts freezing (in about a month and a half), or maybe we could stick it, fresh, in the new beds for next Spring.

Want not: Anything more and we’ll have to start the small (freecycled) chest freezer downstairs. Washed and stored away extra blankets. Organized our firewood, stacking some in a manner that’s better for drying.

Build community food systems: Had a great chat with a local inventor/entrepreneur who is building a 95% sustainable house right here in my town and gives sustainability classes. He’s keen on joining our Transition effort. Also making local-food-related plans for our immensely popular neighborhood block party next weekend.

Eat the Food: Ate everything out of the garden, and some of the canned apple sauce and jam, and we didn’t croak.

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