Monday, June 1, 2015

In The Garden & Frugal Accomplishments

I'm happy to join in with everyone taking part in Frugal Accomplishments today.  I cut a bouquet for the house, did all laundry with homemade soap and hung it on the line.  Harvested raspberries and mulberries.  Prepared ravioli with our garlic.  Weeded lambs quarter and purslane from the garden, and chopped them up for the raw portion of the pups dinner one night.  Other days, I weeded lambs quarter and wild lettuce, which I gave to the chickens.  Washed plastic bags for reuse.  J & I planted the last of our summer garden... okra, purple pole beans, crowder peas, a second round of cucumbers, summer and winter squash/pumpkins, tomatillos, sweet corn, and melons.  We're glad to have that behind us.  We finally got much needed rain, a little over half an inch.

waiting for a treat
Opened up windows as the temperatures allowed.  The humidity was very high, so this was usually late in the day, and then I closed up the house in the morning.  I sometimes run a small fan in the afternoon, and usually the A/C does not come on until late afternoon (set at 77).  Mended a shirt and a tote bag.  Harvested lambs quarter to freeze.  Moved the houseplants outdoors to their summer location.  Cleaned out the chicken coop, which went around the fruit trees, and put fresh hay in nest boxes.

milkweed; smells so sweet!
Thinned another apple tree, so the remaining fruits will hopefully be of good size. I was excited about plums on one of our new trees, but found each of them had signs of some sort of boring insect, so we pulled them all.  SO had sprayed all our fruit trees once already with a natural mixture, but had not been able to do the follow up spraying.  I'm sad about the plums, but hope next year will be better.  The winter did my stevia plant in, so I purchased another, and planted it.  I forgot to mention a couple of weeks ago that I took a pollinator class.  As part of the class, we were supposed to be given a couple of milkweed plants to take home.  We were actually given more like 3 dozen little seedlings, of two types of milkweed!  I also purchased 3 bronze fennel plants, which are another host plant for pollinators.  The fennel and milkweed seedlings were all planted.  We were given several cases of Ensure that had expired, and M poured two cans around each of the fruit trees.  This is an experiment, but SO is thinking the sugars, vitamins, minerals and probiotics will help provide nutrition and support a healthy microbial environment around the trees.

A couple of the women in our homestead group brought materials for a mason bee house for each of us to put together.  I had missed the meeting, as it was the anniversary of our first date (which is the day we celebrate), but they were kind enough to give one of the kits to me.  M put the house together and hung it near the pond a couple of weeks ago.  They are excellent pollinators as well.  One of the women who I attended the pollinator class with gave a presentation at our recent homestead gathering, and gave everyone a mountain mint plant, which also got planted.  Our winterberry plant is blooming, and it is always covered with pollinators when I walk by.  It's a lovely sight.

dry canned oats ready for the pantry
I listed 4 items on ebay.  Found organic corn, peas, and baked beans at Harris Teeter at 10 cans/$10, so I purchased several of each.  Made Brandy's black bean burgers.  Baked a "zucchini" bread using grated tromboncino I had frozen.  Made both the burgers and zucchini bread with our eggs, and the burgers with our garlic.  Harvested and cooked chard.  Opened a jar of pear vanilla sauce I had canned for a side dish one night.  Dry canned 50 lbs of oats.

I met my stepmom in Greensboro, to shop for fabric for my quilt top.  We found one fabric and thread at Joann's, and were able to use 40% and 50% off coupons there.  We found nothing at the second shop, but found the remaining three fabrics at the third shop, and I was able to buy those at 15% discount, thanks to her quilt guild membership.  They were generous to extend the discount to me.  I'm excited to work on this next week!

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