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Monday, May 12, 2008

If you have the patience

[posted by risa]

Freshly blown goose eggs -- risa b

The range trip was fun but I spent a lot of the last few days thinking about food ... At least one meal a day I try to eat as much as practicable from whatever we have grown or raised ourselves.

This weekend's stir fry was heavy on spring greens accordingly.

I diced up radishes, chard stems, shallots, and the stem of a perennial elephant garlic (as sort of a leek substitute) and put them in the hot oil and went back to the cutting board to shred a hard-boiled duck egg, chard greens, chives, onion greens, radish greens, spinach, celery, dandelion, and parsley and added these to the wok, tossed, under cover, just before turning off the heat.

Served with homemade buckwheat/rye bread and a local microbrew (this last was selected by the young folks).

Daughter tried the stir-fry and liked it. I wound up polishing off the rest, as the young men were working hard on the wasabi chips they'd bought.


After everyone left, I made grass clippings all afternoon and spread them on all parts of the garden. Worked on this year's irrigation layout. Gave away a dead riding mower. And I finished cutting and installing the last of fifty beanpoles.

The plan for the poles is that the sugar snap peas will climb them first, followed by a later planting of runner beans. I've learned that if you install these poles very early, in relatively wet soil, and keep them watered along with the plantings, some of them take root and sprout (willow, ash, filbert, cottonwood) and can be collected at the end of the summer and planted out to build up the wood supply.

This has gone so well that I've added another step: gathering the prunings from these species into bundles, with all but the topmost leaves stripped, to set beneath a stone, in the creek. The trick is to get back to them before the water runs dry and pot them up until winter dormancy. The survival rate is fairly high, and this is an easy way to keep your self in kindling, beanpoles, trellises, or, if you have the patience, firewood and/or shade.

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