Monday, October 19, 2015

First Frost & Frugal Accomplishments

We had our first light frost Saturday night, and a freeze predicted Sunday night.  That always means a bit of scrambling to make sure all indoor plants are in, tender plants in the garden are harvested, & water lines are ready.  I'm happy to be joining in with Frugal Accomplishments.  Last week, I made my first ever batch of Fire Cider, using my garlic, rosemary & rosella calyces.  The recipes allow for variation.  I bought a pomegranate at Aldi's recently for .99, and added the seeds.  I bought 4/$5 artichokes, and put the stem bottoms and trimmings into my vegetable broth bag when I steamed them.  I love artichokes, & used to be able to find them on sale for .99, but no more.  I saw some this week at Harris Teeter for 3.49 each!  Made yogurt and kefir.  Frugal fail- had to compost a zucchini I had forgotten about.  The tea camellia is blooming, always nice to see during the cooler months.

The sumacs and dogwood are so pretty, with their turning leaves.  I made some progress on my quilt.  Picked basil and rosemary.  Pulled a few carrots; shredded them in the pups dinner and saved the greens and ends in the freezer bag for broth.  Made pasta with our tomatoes, squash and herbs for sauce, & put squash & onion ends in broth bag. Did laundry with homemade soap and hung it on the line.  I had picked up a loaf of organic bread while at the grocery store, then found a loaf of the same bread on the markdown bakery rack, so put the full price one back where I got it.  Got organic avocados 4/$3 at Aldi's.

My sister & I had a day together, enjoying some thrift stores & a trip to TJ Maxx.  Found a 100% alpaca scarf for 2.99,  a like new Pendleton wool scarf for 1.50, Burts Bees Baby organic cotton baby clothes for my niece's upcoming shower at TJ Maxx (total outfit $11).  I made an online purchase at Lowe's through Swagbucks, and paid with my Lowe's card, which gave me an 8% discount overall.  I paid off last month's bill in full, to avoid any interest. We were offered solid wood flooring that was left over from a project for .50/ft.  Bought a bushel of NC mountain York apples at the local feed & seed for $24.  I'm not sure how that works out per lb., as I don't know how many pounds, but I enjoy having them to use through the winter.

When our first frost was threatening, I harvested all the tomatoes of any size, quite a few eggplant, one pepper, a couple of squash, chard, basil, lemon verbena & pulled all the cranberry bean plants up.  I had spent most of the day on the roof with J, working on a homestead project, so didn't have time to pick each bean by hand.  On Sunday, I picked the beans off the plants, & got about 1/2 shelled.  I also cut all the zinnias for a bouquet in the house, so I can enjoy them as long as possible.  It's always sad when the flowers are done for the year.  I finished washing all the windows, and got the last of the plants indoors.  Pups got the holier chard leaves chopped up in their dinner.

J & I harvested all our sweet potatoes before the frost.  We had a good harvest, which was unexpected, due to weeds, drought, then lots of rain.  Voles had eaten portions of some of them, and with those, I will cut away the good parts and dehydrate for pup treats.  They're good for them, they love them, and they're free except for time and a little electricity.  I also dug one hill of potatoes, and was happily surprised.  I ran out of time to do more, so will plan to dig the rest early this week.  I added Home Fires to my Netflix queue, after Brandy's mention of it.  Wishing you a wonderful week!


Michèle Hastings said...

It's amazing the difference in temperature between your Seagrove location and mine... we escaped the freeze this weekend.
You sure did find some good deals this week. I have been trying to shop at Aldi more often. I don't seem to hit at good produce times. Maybe I should go in the morning and not evening.

April said...

We had a hard frost Saturday night and that brought down my garden. I picked the remaining green tomatoes and hope some of them will turn.

As always, love your photos!

Laurie said...

Every night has got a little more, Michele. This morning, looks like the figs and comfrey and done for. Fall is good too, though! Hoping for ripening green tomatoes here too, April. I've had some ripening up at Thanksgiving in years past.

Precious People Preschool said...

I have been reading your lovely blog for a while. First time to comment.
If you have a outside shed or garage you can pull the whole tomatoe vine up roots and all and hang upside down in the shed by a nail hook rope etc.
The tomatoes will hold a really long time on the vine and ripen n slowly

Laurie said...

Thanks for your comment, Patti. I did try that one year, but didn't really find any advantage to just pulling them off the vine & letting them ripen on a platter, which also happens slowly. It's not uncommon to have tomatoes last to Thanksgiving, & sometimes beyond, doing it that way. I've also tried wrapping each one in newspaper, & putting them in a box, but again, no real improvement, but additional work. Is there any advantage you see to hanging the vines up?