Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Independence Days Challenge, In full swing

It has been a bit of a wet spring. April Showers and all that. Still, there is snow on the ground. It is supposed to rain for the next three days so perhaps the snow will finally be washed away. Because we have had some rainy weather, the sunny days demand great bursts of energy be given to the outdoors. The garden beds are beginning to take shape. The seedlings on the windowsill are reaching above the brim of their cups. Often, I find myself day dreaming over patches of barren soil, just imagining the garden of my dreams, plotting the layout of the herb and flower bed. Ahhh spring!

Plant: spinach, fava beans, peas, beets. Transplanted chard in the cold frame and moved chives. Started elecampane, pennyroyal, hyssop, amish paste tomato.

Harvested: nothing yet, but I saw some dandelions along a brick building downtown the other day. It reminded me to take a walk around our property and look for the greens. The ground is not quite green yet. I also want to check that our wine making supplies are set to go soon. We dehydrate a lot of foods. Both our dehydrators had pooped the bed. So we are trying to decide which route we should go. Just replace the ones we have with similar models, up grade to an Excaliber, or make a solar dryer. All have their advantages and disadvantages. But we should make a decision soon.

Preserve: final count of the Maple syrup was a solid 4 gallons. Some sap had started to ferment. Mark boiled some of this down to use for making a maple beer.

Local Foods: The summer farmer's market opens this week. I am buying eggs from a local dairy farmer. Local meat.

Eat the food: On sunny days we are enjoying the grill. On rainy days we still eat soup.

Waste not: There is a great yard sale that takes place here every year. It is called Kid's Stuff. It raises money for kids to go to summer camp. I have been cleaning out stuff to donate. Building up a good pile in the compost bin. I am hoping the rain will help get its heat up a bit. I will turn it in 21 days. I have saved a couple of pizza boxes from a dinner I had at my friends house to use as solar cookers.

Want not: I am making a list of items I am looking for at the Kid's stuff sale. Ice skates for Evan. Some winter gear in larger sizes. Training wheels for his bicycle. I have an opportunity to ramp up the knitting business and do wholesale. A store downtown is going to sell some of my hats. Set up gutters along the front of the house and moved rainbarrel. Re-caulked the kitchen sink


LindaM said...

You are being very productive. We were sidetracked again by 7 inches of snow last week.
I have a 9 tray Excalibur and I highy recommend it. We dry a great deal too and need a secondary dehydrator so will be supplementing with a DIY solar dryer. The best of both worlds. If you can get a larger capacity deydrator, you won't regret it. I thought 9 trays would be enough. It wasn't for us.

cargillwitch said...

I have been using an excalibur dehydrator that was my moms - collectively it has seen over 33 years of service! That speaks volumes. I dried three fruit ladden pear trees worth of pears last fall.It was on 24/7 for over 5 weeks and is still in mint condition. My hubby makes venison jerky with it from the November hunt right through the winter in small batches.
Can't recommend them highly enough!