Monday, September 21, 2020

The Last Days of Summer & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  After the morning walk on Monday, gathering what there was to be gathered, and packing orders, I harvested some more dye plants... sumac berries, tansy buttons, and poke berries.  I also harvested rushes at the pond, day flowers, orange morning glory, and smartweed.  Five bundles were prepped and steamed.  This time, after folding up the fabric, I used a hammer on it, as I was taught in a class I took a few years ago.  The results were a mix, with some pieces more colorful than others.  One of the pieces was one I had dyed with lichens previously, and it barely took on any new color.  But other pieces, ones previously dyed with onion skins and goldenrod, had some nice markings.  I'm having fun experimenting.  While I was looking for dye plants, I noticed our muscadine had several grape clusters, and they were ripe.  The vine was off my radar, as we've only gotten two or three grapes off it before this year, and it's not a place I usually walk this time of year.  I was happy to find them, filled my pockets, then came back with a basket.  Later that day, I noticed some nice wild purple ones, on my way to the mailbox, and harvested those too.  

A friend came by, our first visit in many months, and we had a nice, safe visit while pond sitting, until a black snake came moseying towards the pond, heading straight towards her.  Life in the country!  Pawpaws were shared with her, and homestead magazines.  She gifted me a bag of beautiful linens, including some from Germany.  Figs were chopped and frozen.  Squash was grated and frozen, and a squash shared with J's business partner.  I strained the rose and chocolate mint infused in coconut oil, and used some of both in a new batch of toothpaste.  I also added essential oils of peppermint and rose, and Ipsab.  I'm liking it.  A load of laundry was hung on the line.  A batch of golden paste was made for the pups.  Before our honeymoon to Italy, we'd read that bathroom facilities could be primitive in places.  We didn't find that to be the case where we traveled, but I'd bought a purse sized container of Poo-pourri to take along.  I was happy to find out this week that I could refill this container from a large one.

I'll soon be taking another road trip.  Part of my preparations are always making sure food doesn't go to waste.  I'd been saving a bag of fresh butter beans in the fridge.  Since J pulled up the vines, I went ahead and blanched and froze what I had.  The first butter peas were harvested, and the fresh ones were blanched and frozen; a pan of dried ones were shelled.  Somehow I'd forgotten that one or both of the lemons I started from seed were Meyer lemons.  I realized it while looking through the blog, trying to figure out exactly how I did it.   Before that, I saw some recently at the grocery store, and bought them.  They were zested, the juice saved, and a dozen seeds prepped for growing.  I only ended up with 1 1/4 lbs. of grapes, and wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, so I skinned and seeded them, and froze the skins and juice separately.  I canned another batch of pears for gifts; this time was pear port compote.  Sometimes the garden produce makes me laugh.

The pups were both given baths in the outdoor shower, using my handmade dog soap.  McNibs hadn't "agreed" to one this year yet, so this time I insisted.  One of the hospice nurses who was one of my massage clients contacted me last week, to buy some soap.  That was a lovely surprise.  I cleaned out the chicken coop, using the handy dandy new clean out door, and boy, did that make things easier for me.  Dog fennel was harvested, to add to the nest boxes, and for the floor under the roosts.  I got the garlic chive I was recently gifted in the ground on a rainy day.  A batch of yogurt was made.  While catching up on ironing, I enjoyed some simple living and homestead videos.  I used the last of our cabbage and our potatoes in colcannon.  J changed the oil and rotated the tires on my car.  Then my battery died, so it was replaced.  I made hummingbird food.

On Friday, sweet peppers were chopped and frozen.  All the eggplant was cut in slices, baked and frozen, for future eggplant parmesan.  Two winter squash were cut in cubes, and frozen.  One had a crack and the other was chewed on, so they wouldn't have stored well.  One of our pears was used in a green salad, with pear vinaigrette.  Leftovers were turned into fritters.  Some of our silly hens have not quite gotten used to the new nest boxes yet.  I've found eggs under the ramp into the coop, and one silly hen laid an egg from the roost.  Needless to say, it was smashed to smithereens.  At least the eggs seem to be picking up a bit again.  There were 5 a couple of days last week, up from the usual 2, or 3 on a good day.  I've brought them all sorts of goodies.. squash innards, a small cantaloupe that hadn't quite ripened, pepper seeds, wild grapes and greens.  A breakfast scramble was made, using our eggs, tomatoes, peppers, squash and lamb's quarter.

J noticed there were nights in the 40's, in the upcoming forecast.  We brought all the tender house plants indoors; the orchids, lemons, avocado, aloes, snake plant, jade plant, and corn plant.  It seems quite a bit earlier than usual.  A plus is we've got about half of that job done now.  The next morning, I found an anole on the bathroom wall.  She must have come in with the snake plant.  I got a large vase, J managed to get her in it, and transferred her outside.  I gave him a standing ovation :o).  A side of one of the dog beds was coming undone, and I mended it with heavy duty thread.  I recently saw a post about using dock seed for flour.  I didn't find any dock seed, maybe because I harvest so many of the leaves for the chickens, but I was able to harvest a good amount of plantain seed.  I'm thinking I'll research it while it dries a bit.  I believe I can substitute it, but if not, I'll use it to supplement the chickens feed.  While out of town, J & I stopped at a discount grocery we were passing by.  Unfortunately, there was very little food, though plenty of other stuff.  We picked up three items, and quickly were on our way.  The weather is turning cooler, just in time for the first days of fall.  Wishing you a lovely week, friends.


daisy g said...

Yes, we've been enjoying cooler days! Isn't it wonderful?

I didn't think lemon trees could grow here. Maybe I need to try that, as I love the smell of lemons and making lemonade. The trick would be to find somewhere inside that it could spend the winter.

Glad your egg production is picking up. We are slowing down, as a couple of the girls seem to be molting. Ah well, we have enough.

Enjoy the autumn weather!

Janice said...

Are you going to try dyeing with the wild grape skins? We found one bush full! We gave them to The Gurls! :)

Laurie said...

I'm not sure we'll ever get lemons, but I hope so.

I hadn't thought of dyeing with the grape skins. Hmmm, that's a thought, though there are not many of the purple ones. I give some to the chickies too!

Jeannie said...

You have discovered a new variety of squash/pumpkins and you should call them "Butt-kins"!

Laurie said...

I like it!!

christine said...

Grape hull pie is delicious!

Laurie said...

I'll check that out, Christine. Thanks!

Michèle Hastings said...

You have been very busy! That is quite squash :-)