Monday, May 30, 2016

Late May Blooms & Frugal Accomplishments

There have been many things blooming here this week.  I'm joining in with Brandy's Frugal Accomplishments.  Last week, I spread some cardboard in the garden paths.  Moved a plant that wasn't thriving to a sunnier spot.  Planted the borage and cosmos seedlings I started 5 weeks ago.  Moved all the house plants outside to their summer location.  Prepared tomato rice loaf with our tomatoes and celery, along with our okra from the freezer.  Baked more sweet potatoes, as it looked to be the coolest day & night in the forecast, reaching only the mid 60's, which was lovely.  I worked on stripping the paint off the last porch post.  Washed laundry with homemade laundry soap & soap gel, & used homemade soap in the bathroom and kitchen.

I planted Long Keeper tomato seeds, a variety we'd recently read about and wanted to try.  Also planted calendula seeds.  Weeded a bit in the onion and dill beds.  I baked 3 more large sweet potatoes, and again made a pie with some of the leftovers.  Our Meyer lemon appears to have 3 little lemons!  I contacted my newspaper, as I did not receive the Sunday paper, as well as a Sunday paper several weeks ago.  I will get a credit for both, as well as last Sundays paper delivered.  Watered the recently planted seedlings with rainwater.  J got the ceiling of our porch primed and painted, & the fixtures hung.  He worked on sheetrock in a few areas in the room, and I helped sand a small area.  Reused a box to ship an online order.   I found this box turtle near our shed.

Did a light cleaning of the chicken coop, and pulled an armful of spearmint, which I spread in the coop.  J recently bought a paper shredder, after reading about others who use shredded paper in their nest boxes.  He's been wanting to get away from having to buy or barter for hay, so we will soon try the paper.  We've read pros and cons, and decided it was worth a try.  We've had another couple of hens go broody.  After the first had been broody a couple of days, we tried sitting her on eggs in the private nesting area. She was having none of that, however, & promptly went outside.  The second hen had been sitting 2 or 3 days, so I moved her to the private nest, & she sat right on those eggs, 6 of them. She was still there at dusk, so we're hoping there will be another round of chicks in a few weeks.  I hope so, because J seems to think the 2 current chicks are starting to look an awful lot like roosters.

A friend I hadn't seen in over 30 years came for a visit.  I cut flowers for the house, and shared sweet potatoes, kale, an aloe seedling & a bit of chard for her to try.  I prepared a quiche & kale salad for lunch, with sweet potato pie for dessert.  She helped J & I shell peanuts.  We are trying to grow Red Valencia peanuts for the first time this year. J ordered a lb. of seed, and we planted 500 hills! More than we had planned on, but they supposedly last a good long time in the shell, so if they do well, maybe it's something we can plant every few years.  We've got beans, cucumbers and squash coming up.  The hen has been doing a splendid job sitting the past several days.  I've been taking the other silly broody hen, who never has an egg under her, outdoors to the side of the chicken yard we're not using at present, so she can't get back into the nest.  Once I've made sure she's gotten some food and exercise, I let her back in with the others.  She just makes a beeline back to her empty nest, silly girl.

I pulled an onion to use in broccoli salad.  Pulled weeds for the chickens.  Went by the discount grocery, but only got 4 items.  I was sad to see some very high prices, and almost no organic products.  I hope it will get better, but it's possible that the heirs to the store have different ideas than the original owner, which would be a shame.  Harvested red clover blossoms, some mint & red raspberry leaves, & made an infusion with these & dried nettles.  This made a tasty drink.  Harvested kale, chard, spinach & arugula.  Made pasta sauce with our tomatoes and herbs. Made Brandy's Spanish rice with onions I had dehydrated & bean burritos using olives I had recanned.  J & I planted a dwarf pomegranate and several turks cap starts.  We also created cages using fence wire, & I placed them in the garden around tomatoes, peppers, basil, tomatillos and an eggplant.  I applied rock dust to the tomatoes, eggplant, blueberries, plum trees, cherry trees, rhubarb (I hope to be harvesting some next year!) & a few other assorted plants.  Wishing you a Memorial Day spent doing whatever makes you happy.

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