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Monday, May 04, 2009

IDC 5/4/09

Independence Days Challenge 2009: week 1 (I jumped the start last week!)

1. Plant something - Willows. Golden peas; moved sunchokes. "Bushed" the Sugar Snap peas with willow cuttings.

2. Harvest something - Elephant garlic (shown upper right), onions, kale, maple blossoms, chard, broccoli, leeks, dandelions. Blew 26 goose eggs (with basketball pump); froze eggs. Harvested one egg-bound hen; made stewed chicken and saved all the broth.

3. Preserve something - Baked and froze bread. Froze kale.

4. Reduce waste - Bringing home cardboard, newspapers, bottles, and bubble pack every day, for use in projects around the place. Using, with permission, neighbors' grass clippings in garden. Weeding like mad.

5. Preparation and Storage - Taught 25-yr-old son shotgun
basics. Designing barn extension and new cold room. Have collected about sixty wine bottles for winemaking.

6. Build Community Food Systems - Beloved and son volunteering at Extension Service as Master Gardeners. Continued blogging "A Self-Supporting Home", first published in 1904, as it contains densely packed garden, animal husbandry, orchard, and apiary information. Sold free range eggs, gave away garlic bulbs, runner beans for seed, bread.

7. Eat the Food - From storage: wheat, oats, spelt, rye, buckwheat, brewer's yeast, sunflowers, flaxseed. From dried: Runner beans; basil. From frozen: trout, blueberries, blackberries, apples, plum sauce, pear sauce, bok choi, sugar snap peas. From poultry: duck eggs, chicken eggs. From garden: elephant garlic, onions, kale, maple, chard, broccoli, leeks, dandelions. Also: Maple blossoms. Traded some plum sauce for "pot stickers" (dumplings). Baked four loaves of spelt bread with kale.


Win/loss column: our beloved Saturn wagon, with 198,000 miles, died; will donate to St. Vinnies. Some tomatoes and peppers in the "greenhouse," along with most of the parsnips and kohlrabi, have succumbed to damping off, need better seedling setup. Potatoes knocked back by unexpected hard freeze; everything else pulled through. The fig trees made it through the winter, which was unexpected. And the nectarines
are in leaf, though far behind the new pears, cherries, and quinces. Some willows in the new coppice have died, but I have replacements for them in the ground in the garden, along with some cuttings from the Santa Rosa plum. Also, many, many of the new filbert trees and willows in the boundary hedges are doing splendidly. Ancona ducklings and Rhode Island Reds are now half grown and we expect to introduce them into the flock in 2 weeks or so. Ducks have reached through the fence and eaten some of the sunchokes that I moved, so had to chicken-wire along the bottom of the fence in that area.


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