Monday, October 19, 2009

a new leaf

this fall finds me starting feel interested in homesteading again. after a summer of feeling burnt out, i'm now sad to see the garden going to sleep. today i moved our cold frame next to the back porch steps, dumped a 5 gallon bucket of compost into into, spread it around and planted some chard, kale and my 3 rosemary plants. later i'll go back out and plant some herbs, possibly bergamot and spearmint and any other small plants i can find. i also have a few sprouting onions i'd like to stick in there as well.the sweet potatoes are lying on the porch of the barn drying. in a week or less, depending on the weather, i'll individually wrap them in newspaper and box them up for storage up in our bedroom (cool and dry) for the winter. a few are sprouting so i'll bring them into the kitchen and let them go for the next few months to get a jump on next year's plants since this year i was way behind and dug up a bunch of undeveloped roots when i harvested them.
the luffas are hanging on the vine, recently touched by the first freeze of the year. i'm waiting for them to dry up a bit then i'll harvest and bring in to make into luffa sponges. i have about 20 or so. they will make great solstice gifts along with some soap and other herbal goodies.i've started craving wild food lately too. i dreamed of catching and killing some cotton tails and cooking them up for dinner. now i'm craving rabbit! i need to get to my dad's house to harvest some hazelnuts...hazelnut butter sounds delicious! i'd like to harvest some acorns but i don't know where the big ones grow that would be worthwhile for harvesting. i think part of my craving wild foods is from reading the delicious meal posts kiva and darcey have been making on facebook...they make me drool! i keep begging greg to go hunting this year so we can fill our freezer with venison. with the advent of the realization that i've taken on more than i can chew with our homesteading dreams, i feel turning to the wild for some of our food would help to relieve that burden...scrounging for food instead of having to spend several months cultivating it sounds marvelous right now. eating venison for breakfast every day sounds wonderful.

i'm hoping to find some autumn olive berries to make jelly with. the only jellies we have on hand are herb jellies and i'm craving some berry jelly. go figure. i broke open the last apricot jam i had today for an almond butter and jelly sandwich. delicious!

on the food front, i still haven't gone to the grocery store. greg has though. he tends to throw a monkey wrench into my plans and about the same time i put a ban on the grocery store, he decided to go back on the south beach diet. i'm happy that he's finally wanting to slim down to a healthier size but darn, it's hard to work around that diet given the food we have on hand! so, he's gone to the store a few times and purchased steak and pork chops, onions (even though we have onions here, he's enamoured by large red onions) and zucchini. i did kindly point out that him running his credit card up further with these purchases does not help out our current financial situation.

sharon has got me wanting to ditch my no spending mantra and join in on the pantry stocking. this is one thing i'm nervous about is whittling down the pantry while not spending money. i do so love the weekly suggestions of what to put by. oh, the torment!

i've started a batch of ginger beer using honey instead of sugar. we'll see if it works. it sounds divine and although we generally don't buy soda to have on hand, the kids would enjoy a treat occasionally!
i'm dreading this holiday season for more reasons than one. family issues, money issues, time issues are the main ones...although we don't buy a lot of gifts, i'm not sure we'll even be able to afford gifts for the kids this year. generally they each get just 1 so hopefully, we can squeeze something out. i'll just have to get more creative with the stocking stuffers. i tend to go overboard with those!

herbally, i'm hoping to focus on regional plants and plants that i can grow so i'm compiling a list of 100 herbs that i know grow around here to start studying in the next year. i started doing something similar a year or so go back but then got sidetracked. this is my way of picking back up on it. i'll be posting on this soon.

3 comments:

Annette said...

Ah, I started that recipe and then realized that we had nothing that would hold 20 cups of water in addition to the 1/2 gal that became the 'starter'. 20c = 5 gal, right? Did I go wrong in the math? I LOVE ginger beer and if my math is wrong, please please please tell me.

tansy said...

4 cups in a quart, 4 quarts in a gallon...16 cups = 1 gallon so it's just a quart over a gallon. :)

the starter is only about a pint (half a quart). you don't add any more water to the initial starter. so really, a container that holds 1 1/ gallons would be sufficient.

your math is wrong so get brewin'!! lol

Annette said...

you do not know how happy I am to hear that! LOL It is a good thing my girls did not get their math skills from me! *sighs*

I shall begin brewing now. =)

*hugs* Thank you so much Tansy!

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