May 27, 2017

Weather: 70s and then Rain for most of the day. 

Currently my Edibles Garden has strawberries already ripened. And I have picked them, and so have the kids. I have made a simple syrup out of some, and the majority have been washed, topped and diced before freezing. As soon as we get more canning jars we will defrost them and make jam.  (Ball brand jars are the best for this. $12 for 6 at stores around me.) I think we have enough for six jars. The next batch I pick after the rain will be put in the dehydrator to be used in trail mix, or powdered down for strawberry milk.

One of our more frugal ways is that we do not put on central air until we have at least three days in a row of 90+ weather. Unfortunately we do not have ceiling fans or an attic fan, but we have gotten quite a few box  fans over the years. I tend to either pick them up at yard sales or flea markets (some of the older ones are quite durable) and the last bunch I have gotten at a local discount store called Ollies! (Ollies! Good Stuff Cheap!) With some care these fans will last two or three years. But when they die, well I have to toss them. Why am I mentioning this? well a few years ago one of the standing fans (with a round case) had a motor that over heated and so I took it apart and found it would run as long as the front case was off (the blades had warped due to the heat and would get stuck on the front case). This was not a safe thing to have around cats and kids, so I spent a lovely hour separating the metal fro the plastic for recycling. I had a bumper crop of tomatoes that year and was not able to process them all in a timely manner. Thus all of my garden baskets were full. I realized that the front case was ideal for this not only was it round, it was light enough to carry, and had open spaces so I could fill it up and rinse it in the sink without the need for a strainer. I still use it today and it holds 4 lbs of strawberries without over flowing.

I have filled it completely three times this season.

Have I mentioned yet that am allergic to strawberries?

I have one basil plant, one chives plant, a bell pepper plant two cucumber plants and three tomato plants growing. I also have replanted some bean plants from my window. I did have to purchase a bag of top soil ($14) to pack around them and I have been making sure they are not getting flooded. A Freecycle find was some aquarium rocks. I have surrounded the plants with them in an effort to help with water drainage and prevent the stems from flopping over.

Another find, thanks to a friend, was of an old grill. Apparently a neighbor of her’s had never cleaned this grill and them left it when they moved. There was two buckets of ash in them. This went into the compost bins and will help greatly with maintaining temperature. Unfortunately the grill itself is not usable as it fell apart when I started removing the ash.

I’ve also pulled a potato plant from the compost bin and replanted it in the area where the Furry Overlords like to garden. It seems to be doing well.

 

Today is a baking day, as the rain is preventing me from playing around in the dirt. We have been using strange things that were in our cabinets in an effort to not buy anything for a bit. Meals have been quite flavorful.

I’ve had a quote in my mind today: ” I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose, I would always greet it in a garden.” Ruth Stout

Truer words for me have never been spoken.

 

 

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