Sunday, June 25, 2017

Baby Birds, Unruly Squash & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  This month at our ladies homestead meeting, we made kimchi, a fermented cabbage, to which we also added carrots, garlic, and hot pepper. It's pretty potent stuff, but I like it on vegi dogs, and it has good probiotics for your belly.   Last week, I made this pesto with our basil, garlic and purslane.  If you're not familiar with purslane, it's full of good things, including omega 3's.  It grows wild in some places.  I planted ours from seed some years back, and it continues to volunteer in the garden, much to J's regret.  As rainy days were approaching, we harvested our garlic, and have it drying in the carport. We try to grow enough for the year.  Often we have to buy some after March or April.  The keeping quality goes down, as it puts out shoots, shrivels up and such, but this year we just did eke by with out buying any.  A minor success, but one that makes me happy.  I walked with the pups for exercise every day, most days twice.  I'm joining in with The Prudent Homemaker today.

J was given a couple of nonworking pieces of farm equipment last weekend.  In taking one apart, he found 5 baby Carolina wrens in a nest.  The farm where it was picked up was about 10 miles away, so needless to say, mama and papa wren were no longer around.  It just so happens that a pair of Carolina wrens decided last week that a window feeder at the kitchen window was a good place for a nest.  Though there were eggs in there already, J wanted to see if they would raise these little ones, and sure enough, they are flying in and out bringing food.  We hope they're keeping those eggs warm enough, so they'll be able to hatch out too once these three have fledged, but at least it's given these little ones a chance.  Update: the little birds have opened their eyes, and seem to be well.  I'm thankful for good foster bird parents.  I haven't had success so far in getting pics, but will share them if I do.

Swagbucks goals were met each day, and points redeemed for a $25 amazon gift card.  From the garden, cucumbers, yellow squash, blueberries, mulberries, wild blackberries, chard and lettuce were harvested.  We removed the last three eggs from the broody hen, none of which were viable. I had another thought about how that might have happened.  Though it seemed as though she was sitting all the time, maybe she was off the nest long enough for the eggs to get cold, then get back on them before I returned?   The two current broody hens either seem to have one or no egg under them, and the rest are cold in other nest boxes, so I've not tried them with another round of eggs yet.  When nights were cool enough, we turned off a/c and opened windows for fresh air.  I cleaned out the wild blackberries that had come up and were starting to take over the raspberry area, as well as virginia creeper and tree seedlings.   Next, I plan to fertilize the raspberries, and hope these steps will increase productivity.  

In working on eating down the freezer, I was delighted to find a bag of elderberries I froze and forgot about last year.  We had used the last of our tincture, so I'm happy to be able to start another batch now.  I finished the body of the antique wardrobe, and have started on the drawers.  I removed the laminate on the three largest, and gave them all a good cleaning.  Summer squash and asian cucumbers can be a bit unruly to store.  When they were threatening to take over the fridge, I canned up the squash, adding 4 quarts and a pint to the pantry.  I'd been picking up the apples that were dropping, and decided to try making vinegar.  It didn't work well in the past, but I think that may have been because they don't yet have enough sugar to ferment.  I read online about adding some honey, so I started a batch with that method.  We'll see how that goes.

I gathered flowers from the garden to enjoy in the house.  One night, I made my Mom's squash soup, using half of the first tromboncino, our garlic, home canned tomatoes and herbs.  Our lettuce and cucumber were used in several salads last week.  Another night, I made asian cucumbers with vegi sloppy Joe's and corn, which got 4 more things out of the freezer, as there were some partial packages.  While in the freezer, I found packages of frozen mint cubes, and frozen basil cubes.  As we have both of these coming in fresh again, I defrosted and composted these, to make more freezer room.  A package of frozen yellow squash was defrosted and given to the chickens, which they loved.  I found that I like canned yellow squash much better than frozen, both the taste and texture.  I prepared ravioli one night, and used our garlic.  The rain has made everything grow, including the weeds, so I've been weeding every spare minute.  Have a great week, friends!


Life Freedom Family said...

Those are beautiful flowers :)

Alexa-asimplelife said...

Fresh berries and flowers...just beautiful., as are the pair of foster Wrens. Nature is wonderful.

Alexa-asimplelife visiting from Sydney, Australia via Prudent Homemaker

Laurie said...

Thanks, LFF. Brandy's lovely bouquets inspired me to gather one of my own. Alexa, nature is wonderful indeed. I'm off to check out both your blogs. Thanks for visiting!

cookingwithgas said...

oh! The baby birds, what a great story! Now I see what you are talking about- great outcome.

Michèle Hastings said...

I never would have thought that birds would become foster parents. What a great outcome for them!