August 11, 2011

Independence Days Update—Almost time for school

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We’ve enjoyed a few days of slightly cooler temperatures which made working in the garden much more enjoyable.  I spent a few hours weeding the vegetable beds, but the flower beds are still in desperate need of attention. 

I’ve been thinking about the fall garden for this year.  We have a tree that we need to cut down near the large vegetable bed, and the fall would be the best time to do it.  I’m considering putting the garden to rest earlier than normal and not having fall vegetables.  Every time I consider that, though, I can’t help but yearn for a pot of turnip greens.  I’ll have to pray about that more.

We made another trip to the blueberry farm in Norris, TN, for another round of berries.  The trees weren’t nearly as full as they were last month, but it was still an enjoyable trip.  We met Blue Frog Creations, and we chatted while the kiddos played.  It is good to have some berries in the freezer for the winter.

It is almost school time, and I’m trying to soak up all of the time I can with our sweet girl.  As I type, she’s making me a lovely necklace to wear today, drawing pictures of superheroes, and planning a play that she’ll give when her friend comes over soon.  The simple pleasures in life are some of the best!

What did I plant this week?—Not a thing. I probably won’t start planting again until late August/early September if I do at all.

Planted to date in 2011--

Super Sugar Snap Peas, 7 tomatoes (brandywine, grape, Early Girl, Better Boy), Choko Baby bok choy, One Kilo Chinese cabbage, 4 eggplant, Blue Lake Pole Beans, Christmas Lima Beans, Kestral Baby Beets, Touchstone Gold Beets, Chioggia Beets, Bull’s Blood Beets, Waltham 29 Broccoli, Rouge d’Hiver Romaine Lettuce, Matina Sweet Butterhead Lettuce, Galia Melon, Gooligan White Baby Pumpkin, Gourmet Rainbow Radish Mix, Gigante Inverno Spinach, Cavili Zucchini Squash, Milano Black Zucchini Squash, Supersett Yellow Crookneck squash, Sweet Beauty Watermelon, Marketmore cucumber, Genovese Basil, dill, flat leaf parsley, Jenny Lind melons, Butternut Squash, Garlic (planted in the fall), yellow and red onions, 8 bell peppers, 6 jalapeno peppers, 4 cabbage plants, 4 broccoli plants, daylilies, surprise lilies, sedum, 4 o’clocks, hollyhocks, red cockscomb, moonflower, zinnias, sunflower mix, marigold, butterfly flower garden seed mix, thyme, chives, carrots, coriander, horseradish, garlic chives, Peace Vine tomato, another type of basil (friend gave it to me), Sweet Million Tomatoes.

What did I harvest this week?—Blueberries—almost a full gallon.  I yanked one of the tomato plants that was growing out of the compost bin and daughter helped me to collect all of the green tomatoes.  I’ll pickle them in the next few days.  Also harvested—red tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, jalapenos, herbs, and one eggplant.

What did I preserve this week?—I made a couple of pints of jalapeno rings and froze almost a gallon of blueberries.  I didn’t get around to making watermelon rind pickles, but since I didn’t have much luck with them last year, I’m not too heartbroken.  I froze some zucchini bread that I made.

How did I work to reduce waste and live more simply?— Our utility bill continues to show improvements as compared to previous years.  In spite of the hot weather, we had a lower than expected bill. 

How did I work at building and strengthening community food systems?—  I passed some donations on to others who could use them.  I shared some watermelon with our neighbors, and she gave us a dozen and a half eggs that her sister had from her farm in return.  Love that!  It is so nice to have good eggs in the house!

Did I try any new recipes or were there any special meals at our table?—  Nothing brand new that I can think of.  Today I’m making Grandma Hryhorchuk’s squash casserole recipe, though.  It is so good, and it always reminds me of family.  I’ll try and post it if I get a chance.

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