Monday, February 8, 2021

Midwinter on the Homestead


Hello friends.  Last week, I redeemed 2100 Swagbucks for a $25 Lowes GC, which will come in handy for the workshop build.  I harvested a small cabbage and parsley, both used in a dish with our garlic, sweet onion and homemade bread crumbs.  Last summer's garlic is fading in storage.  I took a portion of it, and dehydrated it to preserve it, and will grind it for powder at some point.  It takes time to peel all the cloves, so I stopped when I got three trays filled.  My dehydrator is one of the old, round, cheap types I've had for 20+ years, but it does what I need.  Some years back, I asked J to make some sheets to fit it, from some food grade stainless mesh he had in the shop, which makes it easier to do small pieces of things.  While baking potatoes for dinner, I added some sweet potatoes, to make good use of the oven.

I continued gathering paperwork, and crunching numbers, in preparation for taxes.  Yogurt was made.  Though the garden grows slowly this time of year, I was able to harvest kale and mixed winter greens.  The mixed greens were made into a winter salad that night.  It's such a treat to have tender, fresh from the garden greens midwinter.  I sliced up two of the sweet potatoes, and fried them with cinnamon.  I cleaned up one of the raised beds.  It was full of henbit, among other weeds, and was quite a challenge, but at the end of it, I was able to plant two rows of Frosty peas.  I planted them mid-January last year, and they did pretty well, considering they never had proper support.  Here's hoping they do at least as well this year.  The chickens got all the weeds from the bed, so they also got the treat of a midwinter salad.  Lately, I've been giving our farm cat a spoon of wet food in with her dried food most evenings.  I saved the can, and screwed it into a post in the chicken pen to hold oyster shell.  I did this long ago, and it fell apart at some point, so I've been scattering it on the ground.  This will make it less wasteful.

Thinking about breakfast one morning, I remembered seeing random bags of single pancakes in the freezer, and determined to find them.  It took a couple of minutes, and now the freezer is less two bags.  While looking, I noticed a large bag of blueberry pancakes, and need to remember to pull them out one weekend.  I read about house finch eye disease recently, then began seeing birds with eye issues.  I am good at keeping the feeders filled, but not very good at washing them, so I've got to up my game on that.  I washed all the feeders and bird baths with a 10% bleach solution as suggested.  I don't know if there are others feeding birds nearby, but at least the ones here won't be spreading disease.  A batch of Wake Up soap was made, the oils warmed on the woodstove, and filtered rainwater and homegrown dried spearmint incorporated.  

On Saturday, while I powder coated orders, J finished the porch floor of the workshop, and made a threshold out of a piece of lumber I salvaged 20+ years ago, just before the local little store was torn down.  There's a lot of the salvaged store and school building that was next door to it in this house.  I love that a piece of it will also be in the workshop.  I pulled butter beans from the freezer, made a kale salad, and finally used up all the cranberries in a fresh sauce that also used our blueberries.  As I was finishing my shower one night, I happened to look up and see a stream of water spewing from where it shouldn't, above the shower curtain and into the bathroom.  Uh oh.  J checked it over, and it can't be repaired, so he put a clothespin on it, to keep the spewing contained in the shower.  Not ideal, but it will work until the new one arrives.  I researched the link he sent me for a better quality showerhead, and found it elsewhere with free shipping and 2% back through Swagbucks.

Sunday morning started slow, which was lovely.  After a leisurely breakfast, I made suet for the birds, then began packing orders.  Once that was accomplished, I unmolded one batch of soap, and cut another.  The Prudent Homemaker's taco soup was made for lunch.  Instead of black beans, I finished up a quart of crowder peas I opened earlier in the week.  By around 3, J had finished some more orders, so I decided to powder coat the 3 that were ready.  We're trying to get a bit more caught up, to give us time to finish the workshop, though not sure how that's going to work, as orders continue coming in.  I can't complain, though it would be nice to get into the new shop.  With some leftovers, I made frittata to use them up, and warmed leftover sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon.  Some of the leftover kale salad and cranberry sauce was enjoyed with it.  J has made us reservations for Valentine's Day, which surprised me.  The forecast shows a number of days coming up with possible wintry precip, but whatever happens, I'm sure we'll have a lovely day.  Wishing you a day filled with love, however you spend it.


daisy g said...

The workshop is looking good! How rewarding to be able to craft something that you will use all the time.

I need to get in the habit of cleaning out our bird feeders, I never think to do that. They are emptied so often this time of year, that I hate for them to be without food. Thanks for the reminder.

Fritatta! I'll have to give that a go when we have an excess of eggs. ;0D

Enjoy your week. We got snow over the weekend! Life is Good!

Laurie said...

Hooray for snow! It's lovely having enough eggs to consider frittata. I cleaned one feeder at a time as it emptied, and dried it quickly on/near the woodstove, so they still had something to eat.

Barbara Rogers said...

I enjoyed adding your blog to my list that I follow. Very interesting and I salute your efforts to live green.

Laurie said...

Thanks, Barbara! I noticed you have several blogs, which must be somewhat of a challenge to keep up with.

Michèle Hastings said...

We are enjoying our winter garden as well. So fun to pick fresh greens in February! Enjoy your Valentines Day outing. I bought some strawberries to dip in some good chocolate for a special treat.

Laurie said...

Thanks, Michele! The strawberries sound yummy!

Jeannie said...

Thank you for sharing the information about finch eye disease. I followed the links until I found pictures of infected birds so I know what to look for. Never once have I cleaned my bird feeders. The thought has never entered my mind until now. At present, it is covered in ice but as soon as the weather warms next week, I will be bleaching it.

Laurie said...

I hear you, it has definitely not been on my to do list. Stay warm!