24 June 2008

Independence Days Update

My updates are unfortunately rather haphazard ... but we are done travelling now and home for the rest of the summer (insh'allah) so perhaps we'll get a bit more organized.

Hey, there is always hope.

So, what have we done lately?

Planted Definitely we've had activity in this category! The garden is now fenced in and it's clear which seedlings or transplants didn't take, so there are 'known empty spaces' to be filled. Some seeds were replanted (I had no luck with several of my herbs and a couple of pumpkins and tomatoes succumbed to one disaster or another). More carrots were put in, some wheat (that's an experiment ... if it grows, it'll be good winter chicken food), and I tried again with some of the herbs. We'll see if they take.

Harvested Today I harvested the first things from our garden! I got enough tiny radishes to have them with dinner. See below for what I did with them. :)

Preserved Hmm ... nope, no preserving. That'll come a bit later.

Prepped One of the people at work had a bag of clothes for a girl a fair bit older than Princess Girl, but thought I might be able to make use of these clothes. Absolutely! There are coats and shirts and tights and skirts ... mostly they won't fit for several years, but there's a jacket that will probably fit this winter and a purple satin cap that's already been worn. :) The rest will live happily in the Bin downstairs until there is need for it.

Managed Reserves I have been terribly remiss in handling the reserves this past while. The pantry is just ... there. At the start of July I'll make a special grocery trip on the sale Tuesday to stock up on some of the things that are getting low.

Cooked something new I tried something new with the radishes! I had no idea you could eat radish greens. I sliced the radishes, sauteed them in butter until they were golden (okay a bit more than golden, I was distracted) and then tossed in the greens and sauteed them too. It wasn't exactly a big hit, but it's highly nutritious, I mostly liked it, and nobody had a big problem with it. I'll keep trying, I saw a recipe for making soup from the radish tops, with onions and potatoes. Given the way the potatoes are growing, we should have lots of those!

Reduced waste I think I have finally gotten my family trained to use the reusable shopping bags. On our vacation, we stopped at a grocery store to get some bread and fruit - the kids and The Reluctant Farmer went inside and I was getting lunch ready. I realized after they'd gone that the reusable bags were all still hanging by the door! Oh brother, I thought, he'll come back with plastic bags. Just as I thought this, I looked out and saw each person carrying something ... and not a bag in sight! The Reluctant Farmer said the cashier offered a bag and he said no, she'll throw a fit if I come out with plastic! I have lots of helpers, we'll just carry it as it is. Yay!

Learned a new skill While we were on Vancouver Island, we realized that The Boy had forgotten his belt. He's very skinny and any jeans that are long enough to fit are too big in the waist, so this is a problem. His grandfather offered him rope, but he declined. I had just purchased a book on various needlework and fibre techniques, so I used some of my wool to make a five strand braided belt. I'd never done five strand braiding before, so that was new. The belt worked, mostly, although it was too narrow to be ideal, but it was a good experiment. I saw instructions for 8 strand braiding too ... now that'd be neat.

I think this next bit might fall under 'prepped' ... or maybe 'practice runs for times when things don't work'. Our hot water heater controller has bitten the dust - the thing was buzzing disconcertingly when we returned from vacation, and eventually stopped working altogether. Our hot water is heated by the boiler, but the tank has electronics that control the heating ... so no electronics, no hot water out of the tap. We will be able to replace the controller widget, but it takes time to order one in. We've been washing dishes with water heated on the stove, and bathing in the swimming pool (heated by the amazing solar heater - thank goodness it is summer).

Just this morning, The Reluctant Farmer said "You know, we do have a hot water tank. It's in the motorhome." So, tonight we showered in our home away from home ... at home. It's a backup of sorts, and my goodness am I glad to have it!

The Reluctant Farmer has been investigating passive solar water heating systems. We think we'll add one of those to our list of 'good things'. :)

1 comment:

  1. Hey...you went and changed stuff! Now we'll have to come back and visit again so we can see the new layout of the land. :)


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