Saturday, February 18, 2012

Independence Days Challenge 2b: 02/17/12

Time again for an IDC update. I have no idea where my time goes, but Friday sneaks up on me before I know it.

This is a hard time of year for me. It is a period between winter and late winter and summer (in the north anyway; south is another story where "spring" actually exists). Of course, with all the mild weather we've had this winter, it seems rather spring like now (but I know better to wait as winter may bare her teeth yet).

So, this is the quiet IDC time, in a sense, yet it is also a time when the little indoor chores can be completed (at least in theory!)

Planted Something: Started more seeds: tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, eggplant, cumin and basil. The flats of seeds started on my first IDC (technically the one before the challenge actually started) are up and some have their true leaves. I need to put them under lights (I bought a light in KY and it didn't work so I have to return it). Currently, they are near the big Victorian windows of my office.

I guess I can also put in this section the kombucha starter I received at that Permaculture group. I started it last weekend and I see it is doing well.

Harvested Something: One kumquat from my (poor, suffering) houseplant and lots of eggs (I've already lost track of the number-maybe 24).

Preserved Something: Nothing this week.

Waste Not: The usual "R's": Reduced food waste, Recycled packaging and papers, Reused jars and yogurt containers for planting. Also, brought home my compost from KY for the chickens or garden (it is already part of the system at the farm).

Want Not: Found some interesting cookbooks at the thrift store this week, including Daniel Leader's Local Breads. I've always wanted this book (and hope in my extreme disorganization I don't already have it. Should I find it, I plan to have a giveaway. I already found I have two copies of Gaia's Garden). I also found two large planters on clearance at a home improvement store. They will be perfect for the apartment planting. I also picked up a Youth Catholic bible for the oldest boy who goes to Catholic school (as an aside, my kids are being raised Catholic because of paternal tradition. Funny, since I consider myself to be pagan; however, I think the structure and community is good for them, so I go along with it. I just express that religion is a personal choice for each person and we respect all beliefs in that way. I have to say I am having some second thoughts on this choice of mine due to the recent political issues and the war on women in the US, but that's a topic for another day).

Other want nots, we had our taxes done last night (yay!) and are expecting a large-ish refund (which, sadly, will go on the "get out of debt" pile). I ordered more trees from a local conservation district (hazelnut, American cranberry, red maple, black cherry, and flowering dogwood). The trees I ordered a few years ago (and noted on that year's IDC!) are doing well and have grown tremendously. I need to fertilize them soon. I may actually get a crop off the apricots (fingers crossed). I also bought more seeds: Asian greens and radicchio.

Last, I worked out 5 days this week and have continued eating healthy (vegetarian and no sugar). I have lost a total of 15 pounds and want to lose another 15 by May or June. My clothes are fitting better already!

Eat the Food: I made granola with honey from the neighbor and it was wonderful. I used leftover vegetarian fajitas (we ate out last night for the first time in months) in our eggs this morning. I am making vegetarian split pea soup (from the stores) with curry.

Build a Sustainable Community: Yes! I attended another meeting in KY. This one is a group focusing on building farms everywhere and anywhere. The topic for this month's meeting was berries and an organic berry farmer taught us the ins and outs of planting Blueberry, raspberries/blackberries, and strawberries. I learned I have been making many mistakes! So, I plan to retry blueberry plants this year and care a bit better for the raspberries I have planted. I really want to start a group such as this in Indiana. I also met a few people who are putting their urban properties into edibles. One woman lives about 6 city clocks from me in the same neighborhood (Louisville) and we exchanged phone numbers. I really enjoyed myself!

Skill Up: Learned how to take care of berry plants and how to increase crop yields (all organically!) I have also been reading from the 2011 influx of urban farming books. So far, I think the one called Urban Farming Handbook is my favorite even though it (like a lot of them) focuses on the NW corner of the US. I am also studying how to graft apple buds. I plan to order rootstock to try and save our two damaged "wild" trees and an old Granny Smith I spotted in an old abandoned farm property near the farm.


fullfreezer said...

Sounds like you have been busy.
I, too, have been having second thoughts about how the 'religious' education for the my children has been going. Or maybe it's just that I've been having second thoughts. And I think I know where you're going with your political worries. For some reason, several of the candidates frighten me....

Hope you have a productive week ahead.


Bee Girl said...

First, thanks for finding me! I'm enjoying poking around our blog!

Now...What a great week you've had!!! Sounds like you've accomplished lots! And, no worries, a big chunk of my tax rebate is going to debt pay down too...every little bit helps, right?! Also, congrats on your weight loss! I really need to find some motivation to get into Zombie Ready shape ;-)

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Gina said...

Zombie Ready Workouts (tm) would make awesome infomercials!! ;)

Yea, they scare me too. We are living in strange days indeed!

CatHerder said...

Havent planted anything yet..but bought seeds yesterday finally...trying to PURGE any clutter from our home...before you know it i will be outside from sun up to sun down working on the yard!

Gina said...

Oh, I so hear you on the clutter! Trying to do that myself.