3 hours ago
Monday, April 6, 2020
The Spring Garden & Frugal Accomplishments
Hello, friends. How are you doing during this stay at home time? Are you enjoying the time to catch up on your to do list, to relax and spend time, virtually or real, with loved ones? Have you read some books, planted something, or gotten creative? I'm enjoying the time here. I do still find myself having to go out, which I'd prefer not to do. This week, I placed an order for an item we needed for one of our home goods customers, expecting it could be shipped. Well, it was only available to pick up in store. J had to go to town, to pick up a part for one of his customers, so the plan was he would get it, until I read that the person who purchased it had to show up with their ID, which meant I needed to go. It turns out they didn't ask for ID, but I wore a mask and didn't touch anything besides my order. I also took my overflowing recyclables to the dump, and made a bank deposit, but neither of those was risky. Hopefully, I can stay put this week.
My last visit to Trader Joe's, a number of weeks ago, I purchased a spray of pussy willows. They, along with lilacs and mimosas were at my childhood home, and all these plants are special to me. I intended to try to root several of the pussy willows. By the time I did, their life force was ebbing. One still had a green stem, so I put it in a pot with rooting hormone, and am hoping for the best. As a member of the willow family, I thought they might root on their own in water, but that wasn't the case. Perhaps because they had catkins on them? A few spears of asparagus were harvested, and laundry was hung on the line. Popcorn was made in the wok for snacks. J planted cucumber and tromboncino seeds, and I planted carrot and beet seeds, which could have already been planted, but we didn't have an area prepared before now. One of the varieties of carrots was a free packet of Cosmic Purple carrots. That should be fun! While I was awake one night, I mended a nightgown and a free Vera Bradley tote. The tote was part of the December building clean out. I added fabric to the tattered straps, and intend to do a bit of mending with embroidery to two spots on the bag.
For J's birthday, he requested pizza, so I made a double batch of dough, parbaked and froze one for future use. On the pizza, I used our red and green pepper and garlic, some of the recanned olives, and mushrooms. I gathered oregano for the sauce. He'd been telling me about a nut cake his grandmother made, which he loved as a kid. I asked his aunt for a recipe, which was basically adding a mixture of nuts to a yellow cake mix. I found a recipe for yellow cake, and chopped walnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds and a few pistachios to add to it. J declared it a success, though it did not come out of the bundt pan in one piece. Oh well, at least there was no one to see it but us. He uses a nose rub from The Honest Co., which was almost out, so I researched and made some for one of his gifts, along with a homestead-related book, and the one gift he had asked for. Strange days to have a birthday, but I decorated with balloons and birthday swags, and picked colorful papers to wrap his gifts. J planted red noodle beans, and created a bed for the tomatoes, one for sunflowers and other plants, and another we're going to try peanuts in.
I planted two celery ends in the garden, and fertilized the peas, potatoes, rhubarb, garlic and some strawberries with old chicken manure. Then I cleaned out the chicken coop, the first time since the fall that I removed everything, as I use the deep litter method through the cold months. Three wheelbarrows were hauled out, and added to the manure pile. Fresh mint was pulled from areas it was encroaching around the garden edge, and added to the nest boxes and floor. Lemon balm was gathered, and dried for tea. I am enjoying using my homemade toothpaste, and am really liking the flavor. A dish with our sweet potatoes was made, using sorghum and sesame seeds. I was in the mood for baked pancakes, aka dutch babies Sunday morning. I don't eat them often, and they hit the spot. One of my goals during these days is to spend some additional time in spiritual pursuits. I've managed two or three days a week, which is less than daily, but more than it had been, so that's a plus.
Many swallowtails are fluttering around, and several were on one of the plum trees. I saw our first hummingbird at the feeder Sunday morning. A new plant dye experiment was begun, using avocado pits. So far, it looks very unimpressive. The directions said to add 5-8 avocado pits, which would turn the water deep red. So far, I've added 22 pits, with some color to show for it, but not deep red. Well, I suppose that's why it's an experiment. It needs to sit overnight, then the fabric can be added. Maybe the sitting will intensify the color. I'll report back on progress. The peas are blooming, potatoes are sprouting, and there are tiny peaches and nectarines on the trees. I have high hopes for this year's garden. What interests are you pursuing these days?