The blog has been quiet lately ... too much work going on outside! That means I ought to have something to tell you on my Independence Days Update, right?
Nope, nothing planted. The spaces I have are still full! I may have room for some more radishes soon though.
More lettuce (it's amazing to me how about six little lettuce plants are keeping me in salad); a few more new potatoes (roasted on the barbecue tonight - yum!); beets & their greens (does anyone know if you can preserve the greens somehow ... dehydrated, maybe?); and ... the first snack peas of the year!
A sheep got into my garden and nibbled a lot of the blossoms off the pea plants, so we're a bit behind the curve. It was awesome to have fresh peas while gardening!
I also picked several calendula blossoms, which are drying in anticipation of being made into a calendula-infused oil.
The clover and yarrow are now packed into jars for tea, and yes, I labelled the jars!
Well, I stored clover and yarrow tea ... but to report the same thing in two categories would be double dipping. Can't think of anything else, though.
The new freezer has had two coats of Tremclad and now looks respectable enough to come inside. We won't move it in until the basement floor is done, though - no point moving it around multiple times.
Oh, we also acquired a new 'spare' refrigerator. The fridge in the main kitchen is actually a deep freeze, converted to work as a refrigerator via an external thermostat (this is a very energy efficient way to go, and since the main kitchen is in the half of the house that is primarily solar powered, energy efficiency trumps convenience). This deep-freeze-fridge is great, but it's a bit awkward to get things into and out of, and with more of us living here now, we do find that more fridge space is needed. We had acquired a small fridge a few months back, and installed it in the 'bridge' between the two houses ... but it was ailing and indicating that it really was ready to quit. The Reluctant Farmer kept an eye out on Kijiji, and located a slightly larger fridge that we picked up for $65, just in time for the old fridge to finally give out.
We will be moving the old (non-working) fridge out to the shed, where it will serve as rodent-proof storage for feed and other such things. It's useful to have an airtight cupboard outdoors!
We cleared away a bunch of wood that was piled up in an unsightly mess outside, and rescued what could be used for indoor firewood in the process. It's all stacked nicely outside the patio doors, ready for cold weather.
Cooked Something New
We haven't been too creative in this category recently ... although I did invent a glaze for the barbecued ribs we had tonight - some red wine that had turned rather vinegary, brown sugar, commercial barbecue sauce, and some ketchup. It worked!
We continue to clean up the messes outside ... I'm not sure if this is reducing waste or not, but wherever we can, we do take things apart in ways that allow the materials to be reused. The existing feeders have all been deconstructed (The Boy did a great job) and the lumber saved for the next job. We moved the bus shelter from the corner, and will be taking it apart - the lumber there will be useful for any number of purposes. As we live in the country, we also burn whatever we can, so although burning isn't always the ideal method of disposing of things, it generates ash which I add to the garden, and we try to keep the fire as hot and fast as possible.
Worked on Local Food Systems
I sent in our application for a food handling permit, to allow us to sell lamb directly to customers(processed at the properly inspected and regulated facility, of course, then stored in our new deep freeze). We have gone through the flock list and sorted out who is staying and who is leaving, and tomorrow morning I'll be taking four sheep to the auction. We've been investigating other means for marketing our lamb, and today I updated all my records, consolidating them into a new binder for easier reference.
There's another bit that fits into this category too ... but it's significant enough to warrant it's own post. :) Stay tuned!