Monday, May 11, 2020

Peas, Bees & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  Last week, though the kale is flowering, I was able to harvest enough tender leaves for one more salad, and then J pulled up all but three plants, and gave them to the chickens.  The remaining three are for seed saving.  I'm happy to report seven chard plants are up as I type this (update: 14 on Sunday!), and many little parsley too.  I made fritters to use up some leftovers; this time, black beans, asparagus, and autumn succotash.  Oregano was harvested for roasted potatoes.  Episodes of Call The Midwife were enjoyed, and another free Kindle book was read.  The hawthorn I planted years ago is finally big enough to flower.  The haws or berries support heart health, so it's a good plant to have around as we age.  It is susceptible to cedar rust, and we have many cedars, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.  The black currants have put forth new growth.  One in particular is looking happy.

I've been saving up peas for at least a week, so I could make Fresh Pea Soup, which is the main reason I grow peas.  It is so amazingly good.  I doubt we'll have enough asparagus to make soup, as I need 2#, so I'm glad I was able to make at least one of my favorite spring soups.  The chives and the dill in the basket were harvested for the soup.  I'm not getting a lot of anything right now.  There were 4 asparagus and 4 more eggs from the morning, but it all adds up.  The eggs are bountiful, and I do share those as I can.  While I shelled peas for the soup, I watched youtube videos from a girl in calico and fairyland cottage.  I made a loaf of bread.  There was no ww flour ground, so I mixed in some oats, cornmeal, and ground some flax to go with the unbleached flour.  It turned out well.  I ordered a pair of shoes at 75% off.  J has been transplanting all the volunteer tomato plants he sees in the garden.  I received a $50 check from my car insurance company, due to COVID-19.

Miner bees next to the pond.  If you look close, you can see several flying.
When I was at the dentist last week, I asked how many more teeth I had with amalgam.  It turned out there was just one more.  It happened to be next to the tooth he was working on, and he said he would do it for free.  That was a real savings, as they charge a $300 fee each time they remove mercury fillings, for all the fancy equipment they have to do it safely, and I expect a hazmat fee added in.  As a thank you, I sent several of my soaps to the dentist, as well as one to his assistant.  Hummingbird food was made.  As we've got more garden planted and less wild areas this year, I've begun collecting dandelion greens to add to the lambs quarter.  I have a goal to create a separate area for the lambs quarter.  It's such a tasty, nutritious and reliable wild food here.  Purslane is beginning to pop up.  I munched on some while working in the garden.

Our anniversary was Thursday.  I asked J what he'd like for dinner and dessert.  He decided that pulling some things from the freezer was a good idea, and I had to agree.   I made eggplant parmesan with our frozen eggplant slices, pasta, and apple carrot zucchini bread with our tromboncino squash.  Though the lettuce is bolting, I'm picking small amounts if it passes the taste test.  J sprayed the fruit trees with an organic spray.  Bird suet was made.  I'm still using the dehydrated canning leavings from last year, tomato skins and bits, and berry seeds and bits.  Here's the basic recipe I use.  I baked 5 of our sweet potatoes.  There are enough left for one more round, then that's it until the fall, when we'll hopefully have plenty harvested.  Saturday night was forecast to freeze, so we scrambled getting everything tender covered, with tarps, buckets, boxes, canning jars and anything else we could come up with.

Thankfully, the weather forecasters were wrong this time, and we skated by without a freeze.  We're grateful, as we sure have a lot of tender things planted at this point.  A batch of yogurt was made.  On Sunday, J & I put up twine for the beans.  It always reminds me of what I've seen of football practice, passing the ball of twine back and forth, over and under the horizontal strings.  While weeding the carrots, I was very excited to find two basil volunteers, which were transplanted to a raised bed.  Basil has been one of the challenging plants this year, with a couple of the seedlings dying, and the others just languishing at the same size.  I need to put fertilizing them on my to do list this week.  J has come up with plans for a structure to protect our corn from hungry critters, and for moving our original cold frame, which is now too shaded, to the lower end of the pond garden, and making it more user friendly for us.  A pan of egg shells was crushed and added to the compost bin. As our state was slightly easing restrictions Friday night, I went grocery shopping earlier in the day.  Like last time, I got all on my list except a couple of produce items.  All is well on the homestead.  I hope it's well where you are too.


daisy g said...

Love the peek into your garden! No doubt you will be well fed for the year.
Grateful the big freeze passed us by, although I had covered a few seedlings with buckets, cans and the like. Looks like clear sailing from here on out! (Hope I didn't jinx us.)

Happy Belated Anniversary! We just passed our 21st. Never thought I'd see it! ;0D

Enjoy your week, Laurie.

April said...

We are still having freezing night, unusual for this late into May, so my starter plants are inside at night! It was so cold today that I brought them in mid-afternoon just so I didn't have to go back out! Crazy weather! So no seeds planted yet and the tilled garden is sitting empty! Bring on spring.

Happy anniversary: always a day to celebrate in this household!

Laurie said...

We've got another frost warning tonight, so out we went this evening to cover everything again. Sure hope it's the last time this spring. It's almost a month past our average frost date, so let's hope so. I brought some tender starts in too, April. Happy Anniversary, Daisy!

Michèle Hastings said...

We did the scramble too to get everything covered and brought in. I am glad we were spared. The house has been chilly the last few mornings but I refuse to turn on the heat in May!
Great news that your dentist replaced a filling at no charge. We are still waiting for our dentist to re-open. Jeff has had a temporary crown since the end of February. His appointment for the permanent has been rescheduled twice. Hopefully it will really get done next week.

Laurie said...

We've still had our wood heater going, but I think tonight will be the last night. I hope Jeff gets to have his crown finished soon.

Jeannie said...

I loved seeing your garden. It looks so big!
My problem seeds this year are okra. They have been planted twice in starter cups and still haven't sprouted. Even on the hot front porch, I think it is still too cool.

Laurie said...

We used to plant a long row of okra, but found out Joseph is allergic, so we haven't grown any the past two years. I hope yours sprout and are bountiful!