March 27, 2011

Independence Days Update: The Weather Did a Switcheroo

 DSC_3630We participate in Sharon Astyk’s Independence Days Challenge .  Below is our weekly update.

The weather did a little switcheroo this week.  We were in short sleeves and soaking up the sun, and then the weather shifted mid-week to much cooler.  We have had a bit of rain, which my new seeds needed.  We turned off the heat and haven’t turned on the AC yet.  Then when the weather shifted cooler, we had to make a decision—do we turn the heat back on or do we just wait it out?  We have, at least at this point, decided to wait it out.  Hubby has kept us warm with the fireplace, and I’ve been doing a little more cooking to warm up the house.  It is by no means unbearable because our home is very well insulated, and we think that it is worth it to save money and help reduce our impact on the environment. 

The trees and shrubs were all in full bloom earlier in the week, but the rain and wind blew a lot of the petals off of the trees.  The second wave of daffodils are still in full bloom and the tulips withstood the storms. 

The early spring plants are sprouting green everywhere in the garden.  Most of the seeds appear to have a good germination rate this year with the exception of the peas.  I used some of the seeds I saved from 2009 mixed in with some newer seeds, and I’m afraid that has a lot to do with the turnout.  In the next week I’ll have a better feel for what that crop will look like, and I can always add a few more seeds to the ground if necessary.  That’s the beauty of saving your own seeds! 

Plant— With the rain and cold spell, I haven’t planted anything else yet.

Harvest—Lots of flowers in two tiny hands.  On Tuesday we had the entire upstairs decked out in flower arrangements, and it looked like we were going to have a wedding or baby shower!  Love that!  We’ve been consistently picking a few asparagus each day.  The cold snap has slowed the growth some, but the steady harvest has been satisfying.  I just saw a recipe for pickled asparagus spears, and my mind is already working on how to expand the gardens to allow for more asparagus crowns to be planted.  Shhhh, don’t tell my Hubby!

Preserve—Nothing preserved this week.  I just found a great blog on preserving, and their zeal for canning makes me want to do more unusual recipes this year.

Waste Not/Reduce Waste— I mentioned the heat and air above.  We do little things to reduce waste—saving the chicken broth when poaching chicken to use when making soup next, using leftover water from meals to water plants, putting on an extra layer instead of turning the heat on right away.  Those little things add up, though!

Want Not/Prep/Storage—My cousin dropped off two huge bags full of clothes for our daughter on Tuesday.  They are hand-me-downs from her daughters, and they are in great condition.  She has an entire closet full of summer and fall clothes now.  I’m excited about how much money it saved us, but I also appreciate the fact that it is lower impact on the environment.  Isn’t it nice how eco-friendly options also save you money?

I added a few more boxes of pasta to the pantry.  When I realized I hadn’t printed the limit on some online coupons, I made one more run to Kroger on Saturday afternoon. 

Building Community Food Systems—A friend read my post last week about missing farm fresh eggs, and she shared some with me.  They have beautiful plump yolks, thick shells, and a wonderful taste.  How I have enjoyed them!

I worked in the food pantry at church some this week and need to do a little more work making up boxes and taking stock of things.  For a while we had a lull in how many people were accessing the pantry, but now the numbers are up a little.  I want to make sure we have well-rounded boxes ready for easy distribution.  One of the hunters in our congregation donated a large supply of ground venison, and it has been such a blessing to be able to give out meat to people instead of just canned goods. 

I spoke at a local MOPS group on Gardening with Children, and much of the questions focused on starting a vegetable garden at home.  It is great to be around so many women who were excited to get started gardening!  I hope that the talk will inspire them to get their hands dirty and get growing this year. 

Eat the Food— We’ve had eggs with asparagus and green onions from the garden three times this week.  That tells you how happy I am to have the garden going and farm fresh eggs in the fridge!  YUMMY!

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