Monday, May 18, 2009

Independence Days Update

1. Plant something: Nothing this week I am afraid. I meant to plant more Armenian cucumbers, and okra which are apparently two of the very few veggies that thrive during our hot summers here. Ah well, perhaps next week.

2. Harvest something: Did well here. Harvested 5 1/2 lbs of tomatoes, almost 1 lb of Ichiban eggplants, a bunch of small carrots, a handful of radishes, 2 1/2 lbs of beets, and 2 lbs of baby leeks, (they had stopped growing for the last few weeks for some reason, so I pulled the lot).

3. Preserve something: Well I certainly tried with my canning fiasco. Even though I failed miserably at canning, I did freeze some of the salsa so I guess that counts.

4. Reduce waste: Nothing much new here except completely shuttering up the house during the day to keep the heat out. I never got around to trying out the crock pot on the patio, but plan to do so next time I use it. Did the usual composting, line drying, and recycling, oh and I moved and replanted a few plants that weren't doing well where they were to new locations. I suppose that counts as well.

5. Preparation and storage: I still have the book "Food Matters", by Mark Bittman to read on my night stand, as well as the usual huge pile of Mother Earth News, and now also "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens", which I am wanting so much to read. I am taking a new class this week which is joy of joys, statistics, (YUK), so I have a feeling that my leisure reading will take a back burner for a while. Still working on digging out the sand box, and planning to start the process of completely killing the already quite dead bermuda grass this weekend so that area can be utilized in a more productive way.

6. Build community food systems: Managed to force some beets on a neighbour after I told her that I would prepare and cook them fully first. (For some reason I am having trouble giving my beets away).

7. Eat the food: Did well here. Made marinara sauce with the tomatoes, which I also used on pizza. Also put the last of the spinach and swiss chard on pizza, and used more tomatoes in salsa. Made a salad with carrots and beets, and ate the radishes in another salad. Just had a delicious tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad this evening using tomatoes, and basil from the garden.


Esther Montgomery said...

Your beets . . . are these beetroot or a different kind of beet? If beetroot . . . do you preserve them? I like them best after they've been preserved like that for a while. The flavour is much enhanced. Maybe your neighbour would like them more that way rather than straight out of the ground and cooked?

I've been saving two litre plastic milk bottles for a while because I have run out of flower pots. I've put holes in the bottom and am planning to start sweet corn plants in them. They look horrible, I don't know if they'll work, I'm only doing it because I've spent so much money on flower pots this year I don't want to spend any more. I'm a little worried about plastic and food . . . but, having said that, I've been saving the things and cutting them in half and putting holes in the bottom . . . so here goes!


bodaat said...

that pizza sounds deeee-lish! i'm not a huge fan of beetroot either. growing up, my mum would boil it and then cut it into slices. ever since then, i just can't it!

fullfreezer said...

Oh, I love beets! But I do think they are somehow intimidating for people sometimes. Maybe they've just never had them prepared well.
And I don't think your canning was a total fiasco- Just a stop on the learning curve. You'll get the hang of it.

Mo said...

Yes Esther, beetroot. I have to admit school dinners put me off beets for years, but I love my own grown ones.

I think your pots sound as ingenious as ever, and I am sure you will manage to make them look truly artistic as you do with everything! :)

Bo, come and try my beets, I'll bet you would like them! I discovered they made my pee turn pinkish the other night after I had eaten about a pound of them. Great stuff!

I think you are right Judy that people are intimidated by beets because most of the people I have offered them to have declined politely, (and some not so politely! :)