Sunday, August 31, 2008

Independence Day Challenge

It is a beautiful evening.  It's about 7:15 and the sun is setting.  We are nearing autumn equinox.  Time seems to speed up this time of year.  So much to do, so little time.  Hubby has gone back to work.  The familiar routine has worked its way back into our lives. Tomorrow is Labor Day so time to record my labors.

Planted: more spinach

Harvested: spinach, onions,beets,tomatoes,potatoes, corn,zucchini, basil,pole beans, catnip, acorns.

preserved: tomatoes, kale,pole beans, corn,zucchini,onions.  I have talked with several folks this harvest season that are canning for the first time.  The upcoming heating season is on everyone's mind.  Many folks are looking for a way to be more self reliant as a way to save some money.

Local Food: farmers market, farmstands, and volunteering at community garden.  All of the food I prepared for the potluck was local or out of my garden.

prepped: chopped and stacked firewood, made sure to fill the tank of the car this weekend and filled a couple gerry cans full of gas.  Hurricane Gustav could impact gas prices. We needed to fill the cans for our plow truck.  It feels better to have the cheaper gas in it.  Although at 3.65 cheaper is all relative. The teenager is doing a fine job on his first major carpentry job.  He is rehabing a shack a neighbor gave us into Alpine Dream Chicken Coop.

managed reserves:  The potluck this weekend gave me the excuse to rally the troops to finish a few projects and clean up the yard a bit.  Mowed lawn for the second time this year and used that grass for mulching the paths of the garden and feeding the compost bin. Organized garden tool shed. Tidied cupboard out.  It is a good feeling to have a cupboard full of food that I have put up myself.  Bottled some strawberry rhubarb wine.  Hubby bottled what seems to be a very fine batch blueberry ale.

Reduce waste: Turned compost pile and gathered more materials for making an other pile.  I have made and used 5 piles of compost this year.  With the garden waste, pre- winter animal pen mucking and raked eaves I hope to have at least one more pile made and turned and two more made to winter over for the spring. 
 After stacking the firewood, we need to cover it to keep it dry.  Last year we used a tarp. It worked but then got frozen to the ground and made it hard to get to the wood underneath.  We hope to build a wood shed someday.  It was on this summer's list.  But we needed to build a barn instead.  So , the domestic goddess was taking the day off and the handy woman went to work.  Animal feed now comes in woven plastic bags.  I cut up the sides, cut off the bottom.  I laid them flat and stapled them to scrap barn boards of poor quality at either end of the bags.  The boards give weight so the bags don't have to be weighted down with logs. Four bags will cover about 2/3rds of  a cord of wood.  We haven't thrown the bags away because they just seem to have another purpose besides taking up room in the shed.  We just hadn't figured it out yet.  Sorta harkens back to the old flour sack dresses.  Okay, maybe not as pretty.  

Learned something new:  I learned how to load and use a staple gun.

Cooked something new:  I made a marinara and canned it in my new pressure canner.  I have always just made a tomato puree and added lemon juice.  Then Hot water bathed the tomatoes.  But now I can be exotic and add garlic , onions and oregano.  Wooooo.  Tomorrow...Salsa!

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