Tuesday, August 31, 2010


When it rains, it pours!
In doing the record keeping for the garden trial, I was to count the number of pods per plant. The winner- 126! Of course, I was outdone by my parents who had one plant with 165. sigh. But I haven't picked all of them yet. Maybe I can still beat them with varieties 32 or 42- they aren't quite ready yet....

Monday, August 30, 2010

I don't feel productive.

It seems like it has been a really long week. And it's only Monday. That's the problem with working 6 days in a row. It just makes things seem LONG. But, on a brighter note, this means that I've got a 4 day weekend coming up. WOOT! Of course, we have plans so I won't have much down time but at least I don't have to go to work. And we're planning some fun stuff. Friday the children all still have school but V and I will be home. Hopefully we can get some projects done or at least progress made. One of my goals is to sort my closet this weekend- we'll see if that actually happens. Saturday will be busy. V and J16 have Tae Kwon Do and Kum Do in the morning, there is the farmer's market and then I13 is having a friend come over in the afternoon... A GIRL!!!! Ack. It's bad enough having one interested in the opposite sex, I'm just not sure I'm ready for two. Evidently they have been talking about video games and I13 asked her if she would like to come over and play. And she said yes! Oh how quickly they grow up.
But the highlight of the weekend will be Sunday. We are planning to go to Mt Pleasant to the Midwest Old Threshers and Settlers Reunion. This is an annual event that we have been to multiple times. I've been going since I was a child since my grandfather and then my father were exhibitors of antique tractors. It is SO much fun to watch the old steam tractors in the cavalcade of power every day at noon. They parade around the grounds and every steam engine blows its whistle at noon. They also have teams of draft horses, demonstrations of threshing, veneer making, sorghum making, a blacksmith... you name it... if it was done by the early settlers it's probably done somewhere there. The children love it. It's nice to see them excited about looking at museums of "old time" tools and washboards and (not too) graphic descriptions of hog butchering. They also have a buckskinners camp and last year they had Dexter cattle and goats. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures- I usually do.
Monday- we don't have plans but I'm sure things will be busy around here.
But, it is another Monday and I usually do my Independence Days update. Here goes:
1. Plant something- nope
2. Harvest something- tomatoes (not too many), eggplant, hot peppers, pattypan squash, cucumbers, herbs. I noticed this evening when I was out that I'll have to harvest and process the edamame tomorrow. It was getting too late to start.
3. Preserve something- hmm, not much. Made some refrigerator pickles but that's about it. Things have slowed down enough (except for cucumbers) that we have been able to eat what's coming out of the garden. Well, except for the peppers- we could probably eat hot peppers every day for the next two weeks and still have plenty. I'm waiting for a few more to ripen then I'm going to start drying them.
4. Waste not- nothing out of the ordinary. More repurposing, as usual.
5. Want not- Not much going on here. I've been too busy to do much.
6. Community food- hmm, I didn't get to the farmer's market last weekend and haven't been much of anywhere recently.
7. Eat the food- we're not doing too bad here. Things are starting to get back into the crazy busy evenings with activities for the children starting up again now that school is back in session. I've been pretty lax over meal planning over the summer but V and I were talking this evening that we need to get back into the swing of things and get organized again so we don't end up resorting to convenient junk.
So, my goals for the week- a) plan the menu, b) finish the laundry that didn't get done because I worked the weekend, c) sort my closet (or at least part), d) pick and process edamame, e) register J16 and I for our bellydancing class. Oh, all that and having events for the children both Tuesday and Wednesday. Our class will begin in a few weeks on Thursday evenings so that will make three nights that we need to be places right after dinner. sigh. And so it begins....

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Construction update

It's been a while since I posted an update about construction around the house. Many, if not most rooms are still somewhere in states of chaos and construction. We (or should I say V) are making steady progress on the basement. The rumpus room needs to be finished by the end of October when we expect delivery of our new couch.

The moisture barrier and subfloor are down for the rumpus room and V's workroom.
We are fortunate that we don't get huge amounts of water in the basement during big rainstorms. In fact, we have managed to do enough to keep the basement dry unless we have HUGE amounts of rain. We've discovered that 6 inches of rain in about 48 hours or less is the critical threshold for water leaking in. To avoid ruining things, we've discovered this great stuff that goes under the subflooring. I forget the actual name but we just call it "dimple board". It is a plastic (?) product with a waffle pattern of dimples that lets water and air circulate under the subfloor, keeping things dry. It will raise the floor by about another half inch but if it keeps things dry, it's worth it.
Ready to finish framing the walls.
V has an article deadline for his paying job tomorrow but after that will probably start framing the walls of the rumpus room. Then comes more drywall and the floor! The built-in bookshelves may take a bit longer but the books have been boxed for so long I almost forget what we have!
I have been busy setting up the guest/sewing room.
Why am I excited about an empty box?
Because my fabric stash has a new, permanent home in our antique dresser!!
Well, that's part of the stash- and some of that is even J16's fabric. I need to get a new cabinet for my craft and sewing supplies since the one I had used before was left out in the shop and evidently absorbed enough water that the particle board has started to crumble. In fact, part of the side fell off when the cabinet was moved. V will repair it and use it in the shop so I get a new one. After I get a cabinet, I can unpack the rest of my craft stuff and the last of the fabric.
When V's workroom is finished he will move his desk in there and out of the food storage room. Then I will move the table that is currently in my sewing room into there and bring in my big sewing table. So, we will be playing musical furniture. V's study will eventually be upstairs in the addition but not until all the books and other boxed stuff is out of there and he can build in bookshelves. And yes, we're considering the kitchen remodel. I truly think we're insane.

Late August wildflowers

I took a walk yesterday. It was early evening after I had gotten off work (Yup, it was my weekend to work).
We have had an explosion of wildflowers this year. I believe it is due to a combination of the land not being grazed for at 2 years, the weather and it being too wet for V to go mow happy. Along with the explosion of flowers, we have also had an explosion of butterflies this year as well. I though I'd share a few photos of my walk.
The sun is setting. Look at all those flowers!
It was kind of hazy for a long distance shot but there are thousands of flowers in the wetland.
The goldenrod is starting to bloom
Bees and butterflies LOVE the boneset that is growing everywhere.
Purple spikes of Lobelia mix well with the golden Sneezeweed.
Looks pretty messy doesn't it. But there are at least 6 different flowers blooming.
And the marsh grass (I believe it is called Barnyard grass) is beautiful against the blue sky.
This hill was covered in the summer with bergamot and Queen Anne's Lace. Now it has lobelia, boneset, sneezeweed, goldenrod and Pale Touch-me-not
We had a few days of cooler weather but today we're back near 90 and it's been dry for a while. My tomatoes are ripening very slowly (the ones that haven't died completely. However, the vine crops are going wild! I'm still getting lots of cucumbers and pattypans and the pumpkin is still bent on world domination.
Today found V and I at the home center for a while, contemplating flooring for the basement family room. I think we may go with bamboo. It's exciting that we're getting ready for flooring down there! We were also eyeing tile for the kitchen. However, we have decided that if we are going to redo the floor in the kitchen, we will tackle the cabinets at the same time and do a complete kitchen remodel. Yikes. We have always planned to replace the old built-in cabinets that came with the house and if we are going to cut tile to fit the kitchen, we want to make sure it fits the footprint of the new cabinets. We are hoping to be able to salvage enough useable pieces of the vinyl flooring that is currently in the kitchen (it isn't really adhered to the floor very well so should come up easily) to use as flooring in V's planned workroom in the basement. We don't want to spend much money on the workroom but want something down over the subfloor. I'm not sure when this project will start but be ready for lots of tirades from me when it does. I HATE having my kitchen in an uproar. I'm guessing that I'll be exploring crockpot options for a while when it happens.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to school night

Tonight V and I got to go back to junior high. I always enjoy the back to school nights they do for the junior and senior high. As a parent, you start out in your child's homeroom where you get a copy of their schedule and your "Powerschool" login. Powerschool is the online grade reporting system so at any time, day or night you can check your child's grades, see about assignments that are due (or late) and check out those test scores. It can come in handy when trying to decide about privileges!
Anyway- back to school-- After homeroom you get to follow your child's schedule, having the same 4 minute passing period to get from class to class, and have an 8 minute period for each class where you can meet the teacher and learn about what their expectations are for your student. Pretty awesome.
It is also pretty cool that I13's language arts teacher has a blog where he posts daily about the assignments and what was talked about in class. Handy for parents who want to be in the know or if your child has missed a day of school. I think I'll be following along...
Next week we get to go back to high school and follow J16's schedule.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More flashing lights and loud rumbles

Nope, it's not a thunderstorm- although you would kind of expect that this time of year in the midwest. The road construction crew is back. Working in front of the house. At night. Now they are grinding off the old pavement from the highway and will repave. They are working on the far side of the highway tonight. I almost wish they were working on our side so they would get rid of the annoying pot hole. It's not a problem for us to drive through but it's really loud when trucks hit it in the middle of the night.
So, it's another long night of a vibrating house.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Poor Boo

Poor Boo (as we call I13) He had his oral surgery this afternoon. All 4 teeth came out easily but he had IV sedation for the procedure since they were all permanent teeth. Unfortunately, they weren't all on one side or the other. He had one tooth from each side of the mouth on both top and bottom. He was pretty groggy for a while and then complained of his entire face being numb. Don't you just love dental work!! ;( Anyway, he has some high powered pain killers that we gave him this evening and he has excuses for school for both PE and Band for a week. Considering that he plays a large brass instrument, they didn't want him blowing that hard for a while. He's actually really bummed about that- he loves band.
And speaking of band- K10 got to try instruments today. I really like the way they let children decide if they want to be in band or not here. They take all 5th grade students in small groups and let each student try every instrument to see what they like and what the director thinks they may be well suited for. We've been thinking for a while K10 would want to be a drummer. He is forever drumming his hands on everything and has a really great sense of rhythm. But he says he's trying to decide between the saxophone and the trombone. I asked him about drums and he complained that if you were a drummer then you had to learn how to play ALL of the percussion instruments. Of course, when we pointed out that it was just a variety of ways to hit things with sticks he started to reconsider. Either way, it will be his decision. we won't push him one way or another. I'm just glad he is interested in band at all. V and I both have musical backgrounds and musical families. My MIL is a retired professor of music, V's older sister is a music professor and plays in their local orchestra (and occasionally with the Philadelphia orchestra), his brother is in a band, my sisters are both quite musical, V plays 3 instruments, I play two. It will just be interesting how he responds to having to practice on a regular basis. Oh, the joys of beginning musicians begin again.....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Independence Days- the summer of butterflies

A beautiful visitor
We have had so very many butterflies here this summer. There seem to be even more than last year. It may be the weather, or just the year, or the fact that it was too wet for V to go mow-crazy so we have a bazillion wildflowers growing on the farm. It was funny/sweet to see the boys being very sad over a dead Monarch they found on the sidewalk. They were fascinated (and kind of grossed out) to see the ants eating it. Even at 10 and 13, it's good to see them so interested in what's going on in the natural world around them.
It's Monday, time for my usual check in with Sharon's Independence Days challenge. For those of you unfamiliar, check the link in my sidebar (I'm too tired and lazy to add it into the text tonight). It is a great challenge toward self sufficiency and a great way of keeping tabs on what I've accomplished in a week or so.
1. Plant something- um, no.
2. Harvest something- tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, basil, eggplant, apples and the first edamame! The plants are loaded but the pods are still pretty flat. I managed to find enough filled out pods so everyone (MIL included) could try them last night.
3. Preserve something- froze and canned tomatoes. made some refrigerator dills with dill I had dried and stuck in the freezer last year- not as good as fresh, I'm guessing- but dill is impossible to find around here this year (I asked multiple vendors a the farmer's market)
4. Waste not- nothing too unusual here- composted, recycled and repurposed as usual. It was fun to see my MIL looking at everything we've accomplished. She even was commenting on how much we have done and how much money we have saved by doing much ourselves and by not being wasteful. It felt good to have some recognition of that.
5. Want not- Have continued to stock up on dried pasta at the store- they keep having good sales so I have been picking up a box or two every time I'm at the store. We tend to eat a lot of pasta- especially in the winter and it stores well (I'm fortunate to not have trouble with bugs!)
Also, because I'm not sure where else to put it: our new bedroom furniture was delivered today!!

The tall chest (this one is mine)
Finally, after more than a year, my socks and undies have a permanent home (not in the suitcase- isn't that pathetic!) We also got a lower dresser/mirror combo that will be mostly V's. Our antique dresser that was in our bedroom has been moved down to the sewing/guest room so I'll have a dresser to store my fabric stash. Ooo's and AHHs here!
6. Build community food systems- shopped at the farmer's market and took my MIL along. She was bemoaning the fact that they don't have such a nice market in her hometown (Reading, PA). We got sweet corn, goat cheese, local wine, cheese curds and possibly the best brats I've ever had from a farmer who raises pastured pork. I also got some information on a new endeavor that someone I met at my permaculture class is trying- he's trying to set up a "local foods buying coop" Kind of like a CSA but for things like meat, eggs, dairy, etc as well as fruits and veggies. The nice thing is that you can order what you want, not have luck of the draw in a CSA share. He's hoping to have it up and running in 2011 so I'll have to let him know we're interested.
7. Eat the food- we fed my MIL fresh, local foods all weekend. Friday night it was grassfed beef and caprese salad. Saturday was farmer's market brats and sweetcorn (accompanied by tomatoes and cucumbers) and even a bottle of local wine (Felony Red by Wide River winery). Sunday night was pasta with sauce of fresh tomatoes, pattypan squash, peppers, onion and garlic. Not fed to the MIL- but we had tortellini (OK, they were the frozen ones) with fresh pesto. YUM!!

The rush of events is beginning. J16 starts up violin lessons tomorrow after a few weeks break, choir practice begins this week and the children all have back to school nights coming up. sigh- it was so nice to have evenings to ourselves this summer.
Tomorrow afternoon, I13 is having oral surgery to pull 4 teeth. His mouth is so overcrowded they can't get the others to line up properly. Hopefully everything will go smoothly. We're going to have to make an appointment for J16 to have her wisdom teeth out soon, as well. Oh what fun.
I hope you all have a fabulous start to your week.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

KinderGardens- a learning year

We've been asked to talk a bit about what we've learned this year through our KinderGarden projects. Wow! Where to start. This has been a learning year on so many levels.
One thing we discovered this evening-
These little guys are HOT!!!
Along with our usual stuffed hot peppers, I had three tiny Black Pearls, stuffed with cream cheese- no bigger than my thumbnail. OH, BABY!!! Even V went running for a glass of milk. I had heard rumors that they have heat on par with habaneros- now I believe it! Yowza!
I've also fallen in love with a sunflower. Two other plants of the Moulin Rouge sunflowers have begun blooming- these are even darker- almost chocolate brown.
Absolutely gorgeous!
I also learned that Galeux d'eysines pumpkins will take over the world.
Or at least a third of the garden. Fortunately the sunflowers are tall.
I've also learned that as a family we can accomplish many things working together- but that construction and gardening don't mix together well, considering the time commitments needed for both.
But we did manage to find a place for V's mother to sleep (She has been here since Friday and will leave Monday morning)
The room went from this...
And this.
to this...
And this- still not finished but closer.
It's starting to look like a real room. One thing I'm excited about is that, not only is this our guest bedroom, but this is to be MY room! In all the years we've been together, I've never had a room to call my own. This will be my sewing/quilting room, a place where I can work and not have to put things away after every time using them. Most of my craft and quilting stuff is still boxed up, even now, a year after we moved and I'm chomping at the bit to find them again.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Ack! Where has the time gone??!! The children start back to school TOMORROW! I don't so much mind the back to school shopping- I actually enjoy getting school supplies and that has been done for a while. What I hate is the labeling of back to school supplies. Oh, for the older two it isn't so bad- they are pretty much in charge of their own stuff for middle and high school. But I've still got one in elementary school and everything has to be labeled. ICK.
I'm also feeling a bit frantic to get the house cleaned. V's Mom arrives on Friday to spend a few days with us. AAACK!!!! V and the boys are downstairs now working to finish the framing on the guest room so she has a place to sleep. We got a bit distracted with taking advantage of the beautiful weather this weekend to finish the deck that this got neglected. There are still no overhead lights in that room either- all the lights that were originally there have been disconnected (once again- high intensity down spotlights that we don't need). The boxes are there- I just hope V has a fixture to hang. J16 and I will be running off tomorrow evening to get sheets. We have a full sized futon bed that will be in that room but we don't have any full sized sheets. OOPS. I'll probably need to find some pillows as well since we don't have spares. However did we live without a guest bedroom before?
But on a brighter note- I13 helped me with dinner this evening. We did a take on ratatouille- kind of like in the movie.
Ratatouille ala Ian
Eggplant and pattypan squash slices, interspersed with rounds of paprika peppers, smothered in tomato, basil, garlic sauce with some cheese melted on top for good measure. Mmm.
It seems that the garden is slowing down a bit. I only found three cucumbers and three squash this evening and only picked about a third of my usual basket of tomatoes. Not even enough to fire up the canner- now if only I had room in the freezer....
Gotta go- I've got miles to go before the MIL gets here. ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Independence Days-We did it!!

It's DONE!!!!
Oh, I know that it's Monday and time for my Independence Days update. But first: The deck!!
V and the children built the pergola this morning.
Complete with privacy screen to shield us from the highway.
We finished the rails after I got home from work.
J16 sets the table
Our new outdoor living space!!
We have a temporary sheer curtain up to filter the sunset.
Dinner outside!
It was LOVELY!! The weather cooperated and it was a beautiful evening.
Now, as promised, a short IDC update. We are all exhausted. We got a late start with construction since I ended up working an hour late due to an "emergency" outpatient from the clinic that needed seen.
Here goes:
1. Plant something- not a thing. With all the craziness in our lives, I never managed to get any fall crops started. Oh well. Maybe next year....
2. Harvest something- tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, patty pan squash, apples.
3. Preserve something- tomatoes- and my sanity- and, come to think of it, all fingers and toes!.
4. Waste not- hmm, we reused the old deck frame for part of the new deck and some of the lumber in the pergola is salvaged. J16 and I picked up a stack of clay pots from the curb (probably 10-12 medium to small pots- but no saucers)
5. Want not- Not sure if this counts, but... WE BUILT A DECK!!! With shade to make it more useable in the summer. Oh, and I also stocked up on canned tuna and pasta this week at the store.
6. Community food systems- J16 and I stopped at the local orchard to ask about our apples. We also picked a few apples to bring home with us. YUM. I didn't make it to the farmer's market this weekend because of construction stuff. Maybe this Saturday- V's mother is coming to stay with us for a few days this weekend and I'm sure she would love to go.
7. Eat the food- Garden goodness- what more can I say. With as busy as we've been, we have had a few convenience foods recently- Zatarain's red beans and rice was tasty to have along with tomatoes and stuffed peppers last night. And- gasp- we had frozen fries with our grass fed burgers for our first dinner on the deck. But, you know, if that's as bad as it gets- I'm OK with that. I guess we drank lots of Gatorade this weekend as well, but, you gotta do what you gotta do to stay hydrated working in the heat.
Now, I've got to get to bed. We pulled a 12 hour day yesterday and I had a tough day at work, followed by construction. My pillow is calling to me.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Busy day in photos

It was another busy weekend here at Troll Bridge Farm. The deck project is nearly complete....
I13 and V lay deck planks.
J16 is also hard at work. Putting in spacers.
Getting closer....
Not at all deck related... How many butterflies can you count?
The new and improved? view from the orchard.
Back by popular demand: Sunflower Moulin Rouge.
The boys take a short break on the new deck.
The beginnings of a pergola!
V thinks they will be able to finish the deck tomorrow. All that is left is to attach the railing pieces and finish the pergola. We sat out on the deck this evening and enjoyed the cool weather that has arrived (at least for a bit).
J16 and I took a short break this afternoon and went over to the local orchard to ask about our apples. The orchardist was stumped. They aren't any apple he is familiar with, which reinforces our idea that this is a lucky, random seedling. My parents stopped by for a bit this afternoon as well (on their way back from visiting my uncle- Mom's brother- who had broken a hip a few weeks ago) and they thought the apples were good as well.
The children only have a few days left before school begins. They go back to school on Thursday. They will have two days of school to ease back in before the weekend. For me, it is back to work as usual tomorrow. I'll probably have to can some tomatoes tomorrow evening. We'll see.
I hope you all have a great week.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tree Frogs and Apples and Decks! Oh, My!

What a few busy days we've had here. We had another storm roll through last night. Another 1.6 inches of rain- sigh... At least it is settling the ground around the new septic system. We are spotting some places where we will have to fill in a bit because of settling soil.
The storm blew a little visitor out of the trees last night:
A tiny tree frog, no more than an inch and a half long, if that.
He (or she) was fun to watch on the window screen.
Today has been busy! We got delivery of the pavers that will be used to make a two different patio spaces here (one my project, one V's) and then we picked up the rest of the materials to finish the deck. Then V and the boys got busy with construction while J16 and I ran a few other errands, did some chores and picked tomatoes and peppers.
But, just so you don't think that all we do is work the children to death:
The boys playing X-box this morning.
But, we are mean parents... Even in the summer we stick to the rule that games are only for the weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) The other days of the week, they need to find things other than games to amuse themselves.
However, they did work.
Oops, the box of deck screws dropped and the boys got to pick them up.
But here is the completed frame.
V and I13 work on the steps.
They started laying the planking this evening but didn't get very far before they called it quits. They plan to start early tomorrow and will try to finish the decking. We have the rails but they may take another day or two to get up. We are planning a pergola over part of the deck for some shade since it is on the south side of the house where it gets unbearably hot. I'm thinking maybe hardy Kiwi to vine up it. Any other suggestions?
And finally, WE HAVE APPLES!!
I picked a few from our one mature tree. They are totally unsprayed and we didn't really do anything to them this year other than prune the tree some trying to make it more manageable. But look at these!!
They need washed but they are Oh, So Tasty!
Look at the size of that thing!!
I'm thinking about taking one or two over to the orchard nearby to see what the orchardist thinks of them. He's the guy we got some of our apple trees from and who taught the pruning class. I was telling him about this overgrown tree/bush that we have and he decided that it must be a seedling of some sort. It can't be a grafted apple since it looks like it has been cut off at the base at some point in time and allowed to sprout up from the roots with multiple trunks. For a seedling apple, these are really good: Crisp and slightly tart- reminiscent of a cross between a Braeburn and a Granny Smith- and they are early ripeners. Maybe I can talk him into grafting a few trees of this. That would be fun.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sunflowers and KinderLabor

It's been too hot and humid to be out in the garden too much but we have been busy in other ways around the farm. Our sunflowers seem to have gotten off to a late start this year. First, from the Goth Garden:
Sunflower Moulin Rouge
Stunning, deep red flowers. Quite Lovely.
Then, in the main garden we have the Flash Blend from Botanical Interests, a lovely mix:
This sunny yellow guy is a good 10 feet tall!
The sun was setting behind this one, adding to it's colors.
But sunflowers aren't the only thing growing- look at these:
Lotsa Peppers!! Jalapeno!
I13 was asking about making salsa so guess what we did tonight? Mmmm....
And finally, considering the heat index was in the low 100's today, I'm glad I was working at my paid job and not with the kinder at home (which happened to include J16's new boyfriend).
Deck reconstruction has begun!!!
We will eventually wrap the deck all the way around the addition but that probably won't be finished until spring. We will finish this section enough to use this fall.
And, yes, we are firm believers in child labor here. The children all help on construction, garden and kitchen tasks. This way, they are learning valuable skills in addition to having the satisfaction of building our home. I mean, really, how many children get to help frame and drywall their home and help design the layout of the basement. This house has been (and will continue to be) lots of work but it is also a great accomplishment for us all.
Oops, gotta go get my tomatoes out of the canner- it's time to go watch some meteors!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Love!

Even after all these years, he can still make me weak at the knees.
Happy 49th to the love of my life.
My partner, my friend.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Independence Days-Harvest time!

This will have to count for two weeks of my IDC update since we were gone last week when it was time to post. It's been busy here and my vacation was much too short! I had to go back to work this morning and while it was nice to be back, there are too many things I didn't get done at home that I had hoped. But here is my update for the past two weeks.
1. Plant something- I FINALLY got my Manchurian Apricots and my Nanking Bush Cherries planted in the ground. They have been languishing in pots since this spring, waiting for the septic to get finished. It's finally in! Woo Hoo!!! I can start work on the living/garden space I had planned for the southeast corner of the shop.
2. Harvest something- TOMATOES!!, cucumbers, eggplant, hot peppers (the bell peppers have just now started to set on) and patty pan squash. I need to check my edamame- a few days ago they had little pods but weren't filled out yet.
3. Preserve something- tomatoes and peach jam.
4. Waste not- the usual 4 R's (reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose). Got used barrels from the cheese factory to use for rain barrels.
5. Want not- hmm, stocked up on canned tuna and boxes of pasta at the store when they were having a sale. V and I are talking about getting a second small chest freezer to use for veggies and other stuff, leaving the bigger freezer for meat (or vice versa). We are contemplating buying some pork from the farmer we get our beef from- he has pastured pork as well as beef. The freezer is full and the harvest season is really just beginning.
6. Build community food systems- shopped the farmer's market and chatted with one of my class instructors who was working a booth for "locally grown" t-shirts. Bought sweet corn from a farmer and more Missouri peaches from a roadside stand.
7. Eat the food-
The last, lonely piece of quiche.
We've been having wonderful local meals this week. Tonight was quiche (eggs from Kalona, left over sweet corn, onions and chiles), sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and stuffed hot peppers. One of J16's friends was here this afternoon and stayed for dinner. She was impressed with the local food. Only the cheese and the flour for the crust weren't local (most from within 20 miles from home if not from the garden). Oh, and don't forget the cherry pie from the weekend. Good food, good food....