Friday, February 3, 2012

Independence Days Challenge: 02-03-2012

Well, this is update number one for IDC. Of course, this is the short week as the IDC just started Wednesday (and I wasn't sure if this Friday was the first post or next week...either way I have a few tasks and challenges to contribute this week). Next week will be better. I will be planting more seeds, learning TWO new skills (well, refresher you could say on one), and probably canning something!

This week:

Plant Something: I planted asparagus, rhubarb, broccoli and cauliflower seeds and they are now in my warm and sunny office. I hope they sprout as it is older seed (I cleaned out my seed storage and am testing and purging old seed-a lot more to go).

Harvest Something: We found four eggs in the big barn (Lyndon has great egg spotting eyes). Sadly, the chickens are laying all over the place due to coop damage last month (we had 60 MPH winds that also pushed down several trees-more on that in a minute). Nothing plant wise yet.

Preserve Something: Not this week, but maybe this weekend which will be on next week's IDC list.

Waste Not: Fixed the old compost bin an X built for me. It's been going strong since 1999! Scraps to chickens is normal event. I rotated (self)canned goods in pantry so older stuff is in front. Found and cleaned all the old seedling pots I have saved or stored (in barn, garage or house) and see I do not need to purchase any (except the 2 I bought down in Louisville) this year. On the same topic, I collected a bunch of insulated coffee cups from the DH car (he's a total slob) to use for seed starting. This is from the recent past, but I have a stack of yogurt cups for the seeds as well. The seedling trays I found out in the barn should hold them all. In sad news, my MIL bought a 1/4 beef to can and freeze. She was telling me about it and said they planned to cut up the meat into chunks themselves (less cost). At first, she said it would have bones. I asked what her plans for the bones were and she said she didn't want them. I was excited. I could roast them and make nutritious bone broth. However, she said that she had the butcher debone the meat and wasn't taking the bones.

Want Not: I have been on a bit of a "no spend" since the start of 2012 and am doing fairly well. I have not purchased anything beyond necessity or for spring planting. I did add Roasted Green Tea, star anise, and a spice mix (cinnamon, cumin, anise and clove) and sweet basil seed to the pantry. I bought these at a small 'mom and pop' Asian store in KY. I also received many seeds in the mail this week. I ordered most of them from very little businesses. I hope they are good (all heirlooms, but I will later buy hybrid tomatoes and green pepper plants for garden gaps from the IN Amish). I bought mostly heirloom tomatoes and hot peppers (Peter's Pepper, fish, and some others I can't remember off hand), and a smaller variety of other heirloom seeds (zucchini, cucumbers, beans, ect.) I also order bare root trees, three apples to replace the two mature ones we lost in the winds, two hazelnuts, and two raspberry plants (these will arrive in April).

I also surveyed all the damage the winds and heavy, wet snow caused. DH started to cut up the trees (despite never listening to me say I planned to order mushroom span. Sigh) and I requested long enough poles from the branches to use as trellis for beans and vines. He broke our chainsaw (and I just paid $60 to have it tuned up and sharpened) and I am not sure if it can be fixed. Can you tell I'm unhappy with him right now? He constantly sets us back 5 steps for every one we manage. One of the trees was a very nice apple tree (and a less nice one fell as well). It really looked healthy so its a bit sad. There was also damage to the chicken coop's yard fence and will need to be fixed. I am planning on painting the coop and putting in a rock "patio" in the front in order to cut down on the mud, so maybe the revamp is a blessing in disguise. We are taking out the floor and switching to a deep mulching method. This method requires deep layers of wood chips and each year it naturally composts the litter for the garden, but keeps the top nice and dry and clean for the hens (and rooster). I think it would be best for the yard which is often a mud pit and I am hoping it alleviates the stress of cleaning it with our harried schedules.

Eat the Food: Well, since today was my first full day home (in Indiana), I made eggs for breakfast and lunch. Tonight, we had a Thai inspired stir-fry, but the only item in it I can say is part of this challenge was an older jar of green beans I threw in.

Build a sustainable Community: Not much to report here (yet). Stay tuned for next week!

Skill Up: Again, next week will be more exciting here! However, I am always reading blogs and books and other items to learn. In fact, I did read about the deep mulching technique this past week, but I can't remember if it was in one of the three-4 books I'm reading or the 'net. Beyond that, I will try to be more specific in the future.

Are you playing along? It's easy!


fullfreezer said...

I wasn't sure if I should post today or wait until next week. But, I've got things to report so, why not!
I think we had those same winds a while ago. They were fierce! Besides losing a whole bunch of shingles off the barn (sigh) the only damage was a shattered trellis on the pergola on the deck. I guess the lattice (still covered with dead morning glory vines- oops!) couldn't take the strain.
I'm eager to see what you've got planned for next week... I'm curious now.

fullfreezer said...

Oh, and how can your MIL NOT take the bones. Yeesh!