Independence Days Update

1. PLANT SOMETHING: Some of my watermelon plants are coming up now. I planted three different kinds of cucumbers: one for slicing, one for pickles, and lemon cucumbers. I also planted my six little blueberry bushes in front of the house. One of them is mysteriously missing now and since ordering season is over for them I guess I’ll have to get another one next year. I have a feeling that the puppy must have dug it up but I couldn’t find it anywhere in the yard. What a bummer. On a good note, the potato plants that were accidently run over with the rototiller are coming back up again. I’m not sure if it is the same stems or new ones so hopefully it didn’t hurt the yield too badly. At least we’ll have some! 🙂

2. Harvest something. Not much ready right now. Next year I’ve got to plant some lettuce! My gooseberry plants have some pretty big berries on them but I don’t think they’re quite ready yet. I guess you could say we are harvesting hay because that is stockpiled feed for our animals all winter. We got 85 good bales off before a hailstorm hit and then the rest of a 7 acre field got poured on and will be cattle feed. Brian cut a couple rounds on the 15 acre field today. He has decided to say forget the weatherman and go with his gut instincts. I think he’ll be better off.

3. Preserve something. *sigh* This is become more of a to-do list then notes on what I have done. I’ll have to e-mail my Mom after this post and see if I can get more of her rhubarb to freeze. Oh, and my friend at work did leave some in the fridge for me so I’ll get that tomorrow. Who knew I would love rhubarb so much. Plus I found a new recipe for it today so I’ll try that.

4. Prep something. I have a couple of things to do here:

-Build a compost bin: we currently have to haul the table scraps across the road to avoid having them end up as dog food. Even then sometimes the puppy sneaks over and grabs a bite.

-Clean out the little red shed: this is the place where my chickens are housed and my sheep were at originally. I need to clean out the thick bed of hay and straw before the slatted wood floor gets rotten. Then I can finish the chickens’ coop.

5. Cook something. Not much new here. I did make another patch of rhubarb muffins – Mmm Mmm!

6. Manage your reserves. I’m still doing okay here with the pantry. I was a little bummed when my fiance proudly announced he found a great sale on Powerade and then bought 2 cases of 15 bottles each. A few months ago I would have been excited about his find (and I was still a little proud at how price-conscious he is!) but it sucks to buy all those plastic bottles. We do reuse them until they get slimy or smelly but I’m afraid that probably isn’t too healthy. Of course they go in the recycling bin after. So in an attempt to prevent this problem in the future we also bought a huge thing of Gatorade powder so I can mix up our own batches at home once the other stuff is gone.

7. Work on local food systems. Okay I still need to find a local source of feed for the sheep and chickens but I’ve got my flour source now! Atleast I think so. I called and talked to Shirley at Hampshire Farms and learned that they have several different kinds of flour and beans available. The flour is sold in 2# packages but larger quantities are available for order so I am going to try out a few different kinds and see what I like. Funny thing, as we got to talking we figured out that the farms’ owner went to school with my fiance’s parents and although there main farm is about 30 minutes away they also have an organic vegetable patch only 2 miles from our house! What a small world. I am so excited to get my first flour from them!

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