Monday, October 18, 2010

Date night and other items

V and I had DATE NIGHT!!! Last night we went downtown to the Englert Theatre for a concert by The Wailin' Jennys. We had hoped to be able to go out for dinner before the concert but, fortunately, we never got around to making reservations because we wouldn't have made it. We had a busy, busy weekend. V was busy in the basement and I was busy outside and in, leaving me lots for updates.
1. Plant something- I got my day lilies planted and a horseradish start that I was given. Fortunately, the weather was lovely and it was such a pleasure to work outside. Sunny and low to mid 70's is amazing for mid-October in Iowa. K10 and I also worked to plant something:
K10 waters his experimental beans.
They are doing a science unit in school on plants, studying seed germination, pollination and growth (all that good stuff that he already knows pretty well from being around me). They just concluded an experiment on how different environmental conditions influence seed germination. He had two ziploc bags with two seeds each on moist paper towels. One was the control and all students bags were under the grow lights in the classroom. With the other bag, each child got to decide what conditions to provide. One child chose to use an energy drink rather than water (they molded- yuck- not going to do that with my seeds!), others put them in the fridge or provided different lighting conditions. K10 chose to put his seeds under black light (he uses a black light as a nightlight in his bedroom). All 4 of his seeds germinated beautifully, then they were allowed to do with them what they wanted. He (of course, being my son) wanted to plant them (because you can't just let them die!!). So, we got a pot, filled it with potting soil and carefully planted them. They're all doing well so far. I'm just not sure where we will put them when we bring them inside. They are Great Northern beans and K10 wants to build a stick trellis so they can climb up. I think he thinks he's going to be able to harvest beans this winter. Who knows- maybe they can live under my grow lights since I won't be starting seeds for a while. It could be fun. We have grown lettuce under grow lights in the winter- but it's a bit easier to contain than semi-vining beans.
2. Harvest something- Still getting a few tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. It's supposed to get down to near freezing this evening (they're forecasting 35*F) and I'm not planning to cover anything. It's time.
3. Preserve something- I made pear chutney yesterday. Yummy!! It's the same recipe I used last year that we really liked. This year I used a mix of pears and apples since I had some dropped apples that I needed to use before they went bad.
The raw ingredients.
Pears, apples, dried currants, dried cranberries, onion, garlic, hot peppers, brown sugar and lots of spices.
Filled jars, ready for lids.
The finished product
Oops, my hard water is showing- I forgot to add vinegar to the canner.
4. Waste not- Not much different than usual here. Composted, used cloth shopping bags, repurposed when possible. V did manage to fix my old craft cabinet so I don't need to get a new one.
5. Want not- I stocked up on 30 lbs of potatoes. The local store had a sale at 10 lbs for $1.97. At that price, I couldn't pass it up so we got plenty for storage. The sale goes through tomorrow so I may try to stop and pick up one more bag since we have storage space. We also picked up a couple of whole pork loins locally and cut them up ourselves and repackaged for the freezer.
6. Community food systems- pork loins, not much else local this week. I'm still trying to arrange pick up with a few people who want pumpkins since I would like to reduce the population before it gets cold enough that I need to move them into the house. I've got space for food storage but not THAT much.
7. Eat the food- we had a fabulous pasta sauce made from the last tomatoes, peppers and eggplants last night. We figure we have enough peppers for more stuffed peppers and we will have one last caprese salad tonight with our local beef burgers.

I finally got notice that my male Kiwi has shipped so that should be arriving soon. Then, I think my planting will be done for the year. Time to put the garden to bed for the year and concentrate on the inside of the house.


  1. You are having extraordinary weather, nice! I am jealous that you have a basement where you can store stocked up taters! And I don't eat pears by themselves, but what you did there looks amazing!

  2. It's nice to get out and enjoy your hubby by yourself once in awhile. We had our weekend when we went to the MTS the first time 2 weeks ago. The kids schools really do some interesting projects! They're always doing something really neat. How lucky they are. The pear current looks quite yummie!! ...debbie

  3. HIya, hon...

    The chutney looks delish. I have the same hard water problem, and didn't think to put a little vinegar in the canner. Live and

    We took up a lot of garden space this year with both regular and sweet potatoes, but the results were wonderful. We'll probably do it again next year. The sweet potatoes are ginormous and perfectly wonderful. The res pontiacs are great too, we probably harvested 50 pounds or more...

    I'm in the middle of applesauce myself. And have been fighting the dreaded flu/cold bug the past week...very ill and in bed for about 3 days...yuck. Coming out of it finally...only to find my house covered with an inch of dust, and apples calling my name.

    I'm not covering anything either. It's time for it to be DONE. lol

    Great to hear of K10's plant experiments. Keep us posted about winter

    Take it easy missy....


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