Monday, November 17, 2014

Sheet Mulching, a Hoop House, Autumn Meals and Frugal Accomplishments

I'm joining up with Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker, with the weeks' Frugal Accomplishments. I harvested broccoli, carrots, chickweed.  Filled the 2nd gallon bag for vegi broth, simmered and canned it up, getting 6 1/2 pints to put on the shelf.  I ground up all my bread ends for bread crumbs, and froze them.

I tried the sheet mulching (aka lasagna gardening) method on a bed next to the house, with lime, newspaper, compost, cardboard, cow manure and leaves.  In the past, I've thrown fall leaves on this bed, and we've tried cardboard in the garden. Neither worked well by themselves, but I'm hoping the combination will encourage it all to break down into lovely soil.  I couldn't make it any thicker, as J said it needed to be lower than the wood siding, or we would be inviting termites. In time, I hope to add more ingredients, as it breaks down. I used this as a guide.

I worked in my compost- sifted one bin and put it on the bed above.  Made yogurt, and this pumpkin walnut raisin bread with our smallest cheese wheel pumpkin.  Yummy!  Also made a butternut squash recipe from here, using squash and garlic we grew.  I had to add a bit of water towards the end, to get it to soften up nicely, but that worked like a charm.  Also good.

At the discount grocery, I got- organic, fair trade sugar for 1.75/lb, jasmine rice for .60/lb., 7 oz. jars of kalamata olives for 1.75 ea., 26# bag of Wellness Core grain-free dogfood for 17.50 (reg. price 52.00!), organic agave nectar @ 2.00 a bottle, plus others I've forgotten.

I forgot to mention I joined Swagbucks in the last post.  I am still working on my first gift card.  I will say I was disappointed that the surveys so far all seem to want to gather as much information as possible about our household, rather than get my opinion, but I will give some of the other ways of getting points a try. If anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear.

I made this recipe with kale that some friends gifted me with.  We liked it a lot. I left out the currants, and swapped out the pine nuts for walnuts.  I also made this quinoa recipe, using some of our last grape tomatoes, onion, garlic, fresh oregano, and frozen basil grown here.  We liked this one a lot too, though it has a lot of cheese.  I'll be trying some healthier quinoa dishes for more regular use, but will make this one again too.

Here is a hoophouse we built over the coldframe recently.  We drove rebar into the ground and used PVC pipe for the structure.  We covered it with 6 ml plastic, and held down the edges with bricks and rocks.  It's not perfect, but we hope it will work better in rain and snow.  I'll get a picture of the inside and post that another time.  Like much of the country, we've gotten cold weather the past few days, with nights in the low 20's.  In a few days, that low is supposed to drop into the teens.  Stay warm and cozy, friends.


Michèle Hastings said...

The quinoa recipe does look delicious. I am such a sucker for cheese!
That was a great deal on the dog food. What discount store to you shop at?

Laurie said...

There are 2 in Asheboro, Michele. One next to Something Different, & 1 on N. Fayetteville... both called 1/2 Price Grocery & More. Got to search for the good stuff... don't get cereal (old).

Michèle Hastings said...

Thank you Laurie. I didn't know about them. I will have to check it out.
I always enjoy your frugal lists. They are inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Did you make the beautiful angel?

Laurie said...

I did not, Shara. I've had her for many years. I started out displaying her during the holidays, but these days, she pretty much hangs out on our porch. I figure you can't have too many angels around, you know?