Independence Days, Week 4

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Amie draws worms and a little girl watering the grass with the complete and barely-used artists set found at the landfill. Mm, something else seems to have come along from the landfill (click to enlarge) (*)

Warning: there’s a lot of “didn’t do” this week – it’s been a bit of a down-week…

Plant: Amie and I planted peas and favas in pots – they’ll be moved into the hoop house. I’m still waiting for the Fall seedlings to reach a good size before setting them out into the rain-burst and slug-eaten world, or more safely into the hoop house if things speed up on that front. I planted the Bountiful Harvest compost crop (fava, vetch, wheat and rye) in the largest terrace up front.

Harvest: New on the menu are peas and lima beans – so sweet straight out of the pod, they never make it to the pot! A few cherry tomatoes are still coming in, but not many: they too are eaten out of hand. The kale is really liking the chillier weather, and the chard is liking the absence of those huge cherry tomato plants looming over them. More tiny carrots and some nice, chunky radishes, and parsley. And the usual: green beans, the last dry beans, cucumbers and eggplants. I rummaged in the Salem part of the potato bins and was not pleased – maybe Salems, being med-season potatoes, weren’t the right kind for the bins. I hope the late-season Bintjes will have performed better.

Preserve: Gave the canner a rest this week, mostly due to the paucity of produce at the farmer’s market (tomorrow’s Farmers Market promises half bushels of peaches at reduced prices, and pears). But have been “minding the store”: checking the seals on the jars, stirring the blueberry/basil vinegar.

Waste not: The Starbucks coffee grounds have filled up all our compost bins – must make more (bins) because more (grounds) will be coming in. At the landfill I picked up bags and bags of perfectly fine board games, Mecano sets, a kid’s artist set, and, as you saw, a fat cockroach (*), as well as a small satellite dish that DH wants to turn into a solar oven. I got some more gardening tools through Freecycling. We’re continuing with all our usual stuff.

Want not: Bought a large bag of sugar for the stores.

Build community food systems: Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling well enough to execute the brilliant plan for our crazy-popular block party on Sunday. It  was to leach the tannins from the acorns Amie and I picked and to make muffins out of them (Straker from Doomstead Diary pointed me to a great EatTheWeeds video about acorns). Imagine everybody’s surprise at the accompanying card: “These muffins are made from acorns foraged right here.” Next year, or earlier, of we do some food related event before then. Did get to chat with lots of neighbors about our garden and our plans for next year. Made contact with a beekeeping couple in my town, and they offered to help me set up a hive in Spring. They’re also interested in the Transition Initiative I am trying to get going here!

Eat the food: We emptied a jar of the home-grown basil pesto I froze some weeks ago – yum on pasta and spread on bread! As usual ate a lot straight from the garden (see harvest), as well as some of the frozen burgers and sausages – there’s some room in the freezer again. We have a great freezer-system: a sheet stuck to the side of the fridge with four columns: the date something was “entered”, the food stuff, the packaging it’s in. I can see what we have and what is getting old at a glance.

(*) Geen zorgen, Oma, ‘t is maar nen plastieken kakkerlak!

(*) No worries, Oma, it’s only a plastic roach!

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