Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Independence Days Challenge: Dust Bunnies and Weeds.

We have had a few days of rain here after a bit of a hot spell. It has been a good time to catch up on the work that should be done on the inside of the house; stuff like housework. In the meanwhile the weeds have had the opportunity to take over. Dust bunnies and weeds. This time of year it is hard to keep a balance between the two.

Life is pretty good right now. Mark finishes the school year this week. Evan has his first fishing pole. He caught his first fish this week. A little perch. Tristan is finishing up his GED and looking for work. This is not an easy proposition. Many of the jobs that used to go to teens are now being taken by those who were unemployed and needed any kind of job. He has managed to find some work with an organic farmer.He will be helping with haying. But the planting season got started a little late this year; so, the farmer is not ready for him.

However, another opportunity has presented itself. We have met a family through our homeschooling network. They have been going through a bit of a hard time lately and are planning to move. They have asked Tristan if he can do some work around their place. The work would include mowing the lawn, some heavy lifting with the move and filtering cooking grease for their 5 grease cars. They have limited funds and would be willing to barter a grease car for his labor. Tristan just got his permit and hopes to have his license by this fall. He will have a full education of grease cars this summer. And his mother will have significantly more gray hair as she takes him out on the road.

Plant: More tomatoes, more squash. A friend gifted me a mint plant. Feverfew.

Harvest: beet greens,spinach,lettuce, burdock leaves, lambs quarters, basil, parsley, sheep sorrel, french sorrel, swiss chard, rhubarb, chive blossoms, chives, scallions.

Local Foods: Local milk, local meat from the feed store. Local apple cider vinegar.

Preserve the Food: Chive blossom vinegar. I used the local vinegar for this. Dehydrated Strawberry leaf, dehydrated raspberry leaf. Chicken stock.

Eat the food: Mixed greens salad. I peeled and chopped the stems of burdock leaves to use like celery in come crab cakes I made this past weekend.

Waste not: The sheep are still eating the lawn. This means we have not had to really mow the lawn much. I do take the push mower out and mow in front of the house. I used the grass clippings on a sheet mulched keyhole bed that I have as my herb garden. We are replacing the screen in some of our windows. The house needs some new windows but we are not ready to do this yet. So we bought a roll of screen to fix the screens we have. I plan to take the old screen and use them for several other projects we are working on. One is a sifter for the compost bin. Our wheat will be ready for harvest soon. I will also make a screen box for winnowing. I also plan to reuse the screen to dry the sheep's wool after it is washed.

Want not: Mark picked up a 50lb pound bag of spray malt for making beer this summer. Mark has found out that he is lactose intolerant. This runs in his family. We are learning to adapt to this change. One thing he can eat is yogurt. I usually make yogurt using dehydrated cultures. But I have been experimenting with taking a little bit of yogurt from a prior batch to make the next. I have read varying recommendations about this. One source, Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz, tells of a yogurt culture that has been kept alive for 100 years. But I have heard of other folks who found that the quality of the yogurt degrades over many uses. Yogurt was made before the age of commercial cultures. I think this will take some further research. I started a new sourdough starter. The last one was killed when life got really busy. I hope to put keep one going in the kitchen but put some away in the fridge if the kitchen starter should be neglected.

1 comment:

Practical Parsimony said...

I love this title--dust bunnies and weeds. It is the story of my life. Maybe he can tell us more about grease cars when the summer is over.