Thursday, May 10, 2012

Independence Days Update

May flowers are bursting out all over. The pear trees are covered in white flowers. Now the apples are showing signs of pink and white. The weather has been a little tough. After April's unusally dry weather we have reached May where the weather is wet for 4-5 days in a row and then 1-2 days of dry sunny weather.  This means that for those 1-2 days I spend all day outside trying to get as much in the ground as possible and the 4-5 days compiling to-do lists that, hopefully, I will get to soon.  The one postive of this is that the iside of my house is surprisingly tidy for this time of year. It is all a balancing act.

There is so much wild green goodness that wants to be picked. Dandelions are shy during the rain but during the breaks I have been able to collect a few quarts of flowers. Dandelion roots are easily pulled out of some of the mulched beds. Horsetail is up. Purslaine and yellowdock are everywhere. I love this time of year.

Some friends and I are gathering to do some community canning. Some of us are just learning this skill. Others, like myself, enjoy adding this element to what can be a very solitary activity. My friend Sara believes that women need to work in community more. It definitely makes the job more enjoyable. We began our first gathering this week making dandelion jelly and dandelion wine.

Plant: So much has gone into the ground I hope I can remember...carrot, onnion, Good King Henry potherb, chard,broccoli, parsnip,beets, lettuce, rosa rugosa, hazelnut, everbearing raspberry, peony, rhubarb, cranberry, jerusalem artichoke, arnica, borage, blessed thistle, motherwort, hollyhock, yarrow. Started gourd, basil, melon indoors.

Harvested: french sorrel, chives, rhubarb, dandelion root, leave and flower.

Preserved: one gallon dandelion wine, 5 pints and 2 half pints of what should have been dandelion jelly but is more of a syrup ( more on this later). 1 quart dandelion leaf dehyrated. 1 quart dehydrated dandelion root.

Local Foods: Shared some elecampane with an herbalist friend. Fiddle heads, lettuce from farmers market. Some one gave us some turkey eggs to try and some one else gave us some duck eggs to try. Local meat and dairy.

Eat the food: Fiddlehead quiche with local bacon. Local salad. Dandelion salad dressing ( with dandelion syrup). Last years dandelion wine. Sorrel, dandelion green, chive frittata.

Waste not: I am working on  a funky little project using some crocks ( the shoe) and a cedar post I hope to have something posted by the end of the week or so.

Want not: I found some old canning jars, the sort with the glass lids, at a yard sale. Our local hardware store sells the rings for these. I use this to store dehydrated foods in. I ran a 5k this last week. I was the last adult to arrive but I felt great that I finished. I used to run all the time but after Evan was born I sorta slowed down a lot. Exercise is supposed to be good for perimenopausal symptoms so I say bring it on!

Skill up: This is a new catagory for the challenge that I have not been including. But I think an important one. I have a wild herb walk I will be going on at the end of the month. There  is also a wild greens class offered locally that I will participating in this month as well.

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