Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Independance Day 3-30-2010

1. Plant something: nothing. However - I have seedlings!

I did, at least mentally, figure out which planting pots to keep and which to re-home. They aren't very useful when I don't have room to store them all, let alone use them.... and several are too small for the likely uses. I'll get it down to what will actually get used.

2. Harvest something: nothing.

3. Preserved something: nothing.

4. Waste not: Added meat pies to my skill set, for using of leftovers. Yum!

6. Build community: Monthly order from local farmer.

7. Eat the food: I'm learning to cook with sourdough. I'm also trying to quit going to the store so often; it's costing ALOT to do that. Getting "just one thing" has annihilated my grocery budget. Yes, it's that bad.

8. Crafting: Frogged two items. One didn't work, the other I used the wrong yarn and that killed the project. I'm working on spinning more often, and also re-starting DFH's wool mittens - amazing how one can screw up when one has put it down for a month. I put a massive dent in the sewing repair pile as well.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Waking up the Garden

I went out this weekend and checked on the garden.

The rosemary is OK, and I'll give it a bit of a trim later. One of the chives plants came up; the other has 3 leaves. We’ll see how it does. The parsley barely survived and was finally moved somewhere out of the wind where it will still get light. Somehow, I don't think it liked being in a 4" pot on the coldest, windiest corner of the balcony.

I planted Red Ruby Swiss Chard, overseeded with spinach, and put lettuce in another pot. Basil is started in the house, and everything else is on the balcony. I'll put out more lettuce & spinach in a week or two, try to keep those on continuous harvests. I know that the cool balcony let me keep harvesting lettuce into June or July.

I’m in zone 7b and keep forgetting I can start seed indoors in February here…

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Independance Day 3-16-2010

1. Plant something: Ruby Red chard, spinach, lettuce mix.

2. Harvest something: nothing

3. Preserved something: nothing.

4. Waste not: Eating of leftovers. Root stew.

6. Build community: nothing.

7. Eat the food: Apple pie. I made 'quick' white bread; I had forgotten how filling homemade bread is. Root stew, with foods bought at the market that are still good. Re-hydrating last summer's local tomatoes and enjoying them on my sandwiches.

8. Crafting: I'm working on a granny-square afghan for a Yule gift, a blanket of flowers for the bed. Most of the Yule gifts will be food; I'll do a bit of prep over the summer but the most will get done in November.

I'm also working on a kerchief for me, and DFH's cross-stitch Yule stocking. Those three are what is currently active. RAK's? Ohhh, different story...

Monday, March 15, 2010


... That I've changed. A bit at a time, and then you look things over and are surprised with what you accomplished :)
  • I use olive oil applied with a cooking "paintbrush" instead of cooking spray. Using seasoned cast-iron helps, too.
  • We use dish clothes and cotton towels instead of sponges and paper towels. I put out fresh ones last thing before bed each night.
  • We use fabric napkins. For the three of use, I have about a dozen napkins. I wash them with the towels (hot water) and as long as I keep on laundry we don't run out.
  • I make breakfast bars or muffins as take-along breakfasts.
  • All the cleaning is done with vinegar and baking soda.
  • I don't use dryer sheets. I air-dry the fabrics that cause the static, and have no problems. The fabrics in question all seem to be polyester, rayon, or another man-made material.
  • Clothing is repaired, then later re-purposed, whenever possible.
  • Food shopping is seasonal, local, and organic... in about that order. We feel the additional cost is off-set by the savings: we don't lose hours at work or pay the doctor.
  • My favorite place to shop (other than the bookstore!) is the local thrift store.
  • Gifts are handmade whenever possible.
What kind of changes have you made?

Are you "Brown"?

I've never heard of this before:
Browns as a group often share a set of beliefs that are catching on, much to the chagrin of global marketers. Browns take a moral or ethical stance toward these issues, and are often rooted in beliefs that are radically decentralized, local, and emphasize self-sufficiency. They don’t keep their houses cold and grow their own food as a publicity stunt. They are ambivalent, at best, about using mainstream media outlets to explain what they are doing, and why.

But, -yes. Very much, yes, this is how we think, my love and I.

(found via Peak Oil Blues)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Independance Days 3.3.2010

The Independance Days Challenge has restarted for the new year. Here's my first week's report:

1. Plant something: Sweet basil, indoors. I need to remember to start sprouting those commercial potatoes, or find some organic ones; I can’t plant enough to order seed potatoes so I plan on using slips. Root vegetables, herbs, and greens get along alright out there so that's what I plan on growing.

So far, it looks like the parsley and chives on the balcony have survived the winter.

2. Harvest something: nothing

3. Preserved something: nothing, but making plans and gathering recipes. We could use more home-canned convenience foods. I ordered another book, and visited Creative Canning for ideas.

4. Waste not: Eating of leftovers. Old dining set went to thrift and we bought a new one that’s far more useful for us. Old computers were scavenged for parts and now await a trip to the recycling. Also I created printable inventory sheets, to help with grocery shopping but also with what we preserve and when we eat it, since I plan on dating & keeping them.

6. Build community: ordering meat & eggs from a farmer that attends the local farm market during the summer, and makes drop-offs during the winter. All meat & eggs are purchased this way now.

7. Eat the food: chocolate cake with strawberry and raspberry preserves from last fall. Heavenly. Beef stew, home canned. Apple pie and applesauce. Dried fruit snacks. Starting to remember all the peppers I dried, and cook with them.