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Archive for the ‘Independance Days’ Category

Preparation and Storage

Plant Something

Harvest Something

A handful of green beans, a few cherry tomatoes and a few remaining black raspberries. Nothing that really made it into a meal from my garden.

Basil from “E’s” (aka the “toilet guy“) and “H’s” satellite garden.

Preserve Something

On Saturday, the “guys” (“E”, “H”, and “J”), who all live in the city, met at the farmers’ market and picked up a few things for us to preserve. On Sunday, we all got together and produced the following:

Pesto: Outcome was six (6) cups of pesto. Basil from one of the satellite gardens, purchased cheese, pine nuts, garlic and oil. Six 1 cup containers at a cost of roughly $18. Cost to make – $3/cup.

Roasted Red Peppers: Outcome was fourteen (14) cups of roasted red peppers set for the freezer. Purchase of 26 red peppers and cost of oil about $12. Cost per cup to make – about $0.85.

Cherry Compote: Outcome was 14 pint jars. The cherries were $7 for 5 lbs of cherries and about $3 worth of sugar was used. Cost per pint jar was about $0.72

allthree

Reduce Waste

Nothing to report.

Build Community Food Systems

Checked on “C’s” satellite garden. The eight tomato plants there are going absolutely nuts. The green beans are getting large and will need to be picked soon. I’m hoping that “C” will be able to dehydrate a lot of Roma tomatoes as they ripen.

“E” and “H’s” satellite garden is doing very well. There are probably over 60 tomatoes on the one Roma plant alone, the big boy has just one at the moment, and the cherry tomato plant is just going nuts.

Eat the Food

Cherry tomatoes on the salad at “H” and “E’s” house for dinner. Snacked on cherry tomatoes, green beans and black raspberries at my house.

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Preparation and Storage

I’ve been doing some reading on various types of food storage.

Plant Something

Replanted – tomato plants and green bean plants into pots or into the ground in my very sunny front garden. My tomato plants do not seem to be getting enough sun and that is why they look so anemic. Seriously, some of these plants have not grown one inch since I put them into the ground. I still have a lot more to move – and when the rain stops this week, I will get to that. What a mess!

Harvest Something

Arugula, lettuce, sugar snap peas, black raspberries, and cilantro

Preserve Something

Nothing to report.

Reduce Waste

Nothing to report.

Build Community Food Systems

I’m glad all the satellite gardens are doing well. With all the light issues with my tomatoes (and other plants) I’ll be glad that the others have a good crop to share with the group.

Eat the Food

Arugula, lettuce and sugar snap peas in a nice salad a few times this week. I found some volunteer cilantro from last year, and used a little bit of it in cooking, and my black raspberries have finally started to produce. Just a handful yesterday and today – but the canes are loaded. I’ve just been snacking on these on my way back to the house.

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I didn’t have anything to report last week, so there was no “week 4” listing. This week is not much better. I’ll be glad when something other than lettuce and arugula is ready to be harvested and eaten.

Preparation and Storage

A friend of a friend passed along 10 jars of preserves, apple butter, salsa and something called peach honey (very sweet) to me. This was added to my food storage.

I was able to clear out some space-wasting food stuffs that I really don’t care for and pass these on to someone else who could really use them, and in doing so make more room for long-term food storage.

I started collecting all of the glass jars and lids I have saved over the past 6 months from the grocery store to see what I may be able to use for canning and storage in the up-coming months.

Plant Something

I moved some bush bean plants to thin out the rows and placed where I could find a spot for them to grow throughout the garden.

Harvest Something

Arugula, lettuce and peas.

Preserve Something – nothing to report.

Reduce Waste

Build Community Food Systems

A friend told me that a family she knows is going through tough times – both of the parents are out of work. Between the two of us we went into our back-up food stock and put together a sizable box of food for this family of five. It helps me, too, because it frees up space for other foods, and gets rid of some items that I don’t particularly care for – especially the “meat helpers” which were passed on to me by a friend.

This friend that I helped start a garden this year has now helped this family start a garden.

Eat the Food

  • Sprouts from my counter top.
  • Arugula from the garden.
  • Lettuce from the garden.
  • Snap peas – mostly right off the vine – they never make it in the house.

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Preparation and Storage

With help from a friend, I added:

  • an irrigation system (several soaker hoses, regular hoses, and splitters) to the garden.
  • straw around those plants already up to keep in moisture and keep weeds at bay.
  • I purchases a medium sized chest freezer in anticipation of freezing some of the harvest – both from my yard as well as from the farmers’ market.

Plant Something – nothing to report.


Harvest Something

  • arugula
  • lettuce
  • radishes

Preserve Something– nothing to report.

Reduce Waste

  • While thinning the lettuce in the satellite garden, instead of tossing these tiny lettuce plants into the neighboring ivy bed, we saved them, took off the roots, rinsed and ate them as part of an appetizer.

Build Community Food Systems

  • One of the friends with whom I am sharing the cost and labor of this little “farm” (as the three from the city like to call it), came out and pulled weeds and helped with the irrigation system and laying out of straw. This “city boy” is really becoming a gardener!
  • Our group of four got together this past weekend and two made cheese while the other two weeded in one of the small satellite gardens.

Eat the Food

  • Radishes from the garden.
  • Sprouts from my counter top.
  • Arugula from the garden.
  • Baby lettuce from thinning out the lettuce crop – this was added to some of the cheese that was made and balsamic vinegar was added. It was a beautiful presentation that was half eaten before someone suggested that this would have been a nice photo to put on the blog.

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Preparation and Storage – I extended the shelves in my pantry so there will be ample storage space for items purchased on sale and for canned items. This consisted of purchasing MDF (medium density fiberboard – cheap and environmentally friendly) and some 1″ x 1″ wood lengths and extending the shelf. Cost just over $10.

Plant Something– nothing to report
Harvest Something – nothing to report
Preserve Something – nothing to report

Reduce Waste – I spent Saturday selling a bunch of items I had laying around the house for which I no longer had a use. Most of this “stuff” I would have just thrown away – but I was fortunate that there were people out there willing to pay anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar for these items.
Build Community Food Systems – nothing to report
Eat the Food – nothing to report

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Sharon, over at Casaubon’s Book has an Independence Days Challenge that I am going to try to take part in this year. From what I have gathered, it is a challenge to do something in each of the following categories each and every week.

  • Preparation and Storage
  • Plant Something
  • Harvest Something
  • Preserve Something
  • Reduce Waste
  • Build Community Food Systems
  • Eat the Food

Well, since “H”, “E” (aka “the toilet guy“), “J” and I – plus CT at her satellite garden – have decided to work on a “family garden” (or one large garden and two small satellite gardens) and preserve what we can – I figured I’d give this a shot. I have done so much this past week… I can’t imagine I would have the energy to do something like this weekly – nope, just can’t see that happening.

Preparation and Storage:

One of the group – “J” – and I spent a Monday late afternoon weeding and pulling flowering plants where the new garden would go.

On Thursday, he, and another friend with whom I had bartered my time for his, came over to my house and we hauled four loads of amended soil to set up the garden area and (finally) fill in the raised bed. The amended soil is beautiful. Each truckload cost just under $27. “J” covered the cost of one load.

BEFOREbefore

AFTER

after2

after

after3

“E” and I built a second raised bed next to the first. (To see how to build a raised bed garden, see this post.) When we hauled the amended soil we dumped a big pile in the middle of where the new would go, so we just needed to spread it around when the raised bed was done.

newbed

Plant Something:

Over at CT’s garden (a satellite garden just a few miles from my house) I planted eight tomato plants: three Cherry, three Roma and two big boy (one of the big boy’s broke on the way into the ground).

Then, “H”, “E”, “J” and I met yesterday afternoon at my house and planted:

  • Twenty-six tomato plants (a total of 37 now in the ground at my house) – including Roma, Big Boy, Cherry and Yellow Pear Tomatoes.
  • Two four foot rows of Radishes seeds (front garden).
  • Two four foot rows of Lettuce seeds (front garden).
  • Eighteen Fennel plant (started from seeds a few months ago).
  • Twenty Sweet Red Onions (started from seed a few months ago).
  • Two eight foot rows of Romain Lettuce.
  • Two eight foot rows of Basil.
  • Two eight foot rows of Bush Green Bean seeds.
  • Three bell pepper plants (most are planted in H&E’s satellite garden).
  • Seventeen broccoli plants.
  • A four foot row of Honeydew Melon seeds.
  • One Watermelon mound of six seeds.
  • Three Zucchini mounds of three seeds each.
  • Three Cucumber mounds of six seeds each.
  • Three Butternut Squash mounds of three seeds each.
  • Six Strawberry plants (the only plants I actually purchased).

Harvest Something:

Since Theresa explained how easy it is to grow sprouts over on Pondering the Myriad Things, I have been able to harvest sprouts practically every day.

Lettuce, Arugula, and a few radishes were harvested from the garden.

Preserve Something: Nothing to report.

Reduce Waste: Nothing to report.

Build Community Food Systems:

Started a garden over at CT’s – the “over-flow” garden. Prior to this year she didn’t have a garden, but with a little encouragement, she dug up a chunk of her yard, and I planted tomatoes. She excitedly planting carrot seeds, lettuce seeds and strawberry plants on her own.

Over at the “main” garden in my back yard, “H”, “E”, and “J” and I planted the garden with seeds and seedlings for our family garden.

Eat the Food:

I love sprouts. I use mostly in my new favorite sandwich: toast with a little brown mustard, provolone cheese, sun dried tomatoes and sprouts. YUM!

From the thinning out the Arugula and Lettuce, “J” was able to create a lovely salad for the four of us – complete with a radish from the garden.
first lettuce

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