HOMESTEADING IN THE CITY

HAUTE TIME

We harvested the first ears of sweet corn yesterday and enjoyed them with the evening meal of cucumber- tomato salad, steamed beans over couscous. It was a delight that we were craving for some time.

With all the fresh produce, it means our grocery bill is cut considerably! The money saved can be used instead for projects on the homestead.   Whoohoo!

One of the peach trees we have along the fence line (aka fruit tree hedge) has ripened fruit ready to harvest. We tried a number of varieties to see which ones did best, and, so far, there are nadda pears, a few apricots, zilch plums and of the two peach trees — only one’s producing fruit. JD and I discussed whether we should give the trees another year or, in Spring time, plant different bare roots.

With the peaches we made a fruit bowl with other tasty treats from the garden – grapes, strawberries and elderberries.

The ‘maters are coming on in bucketfuls and today we had cream tomato soup and later on this evening we’ll freeze some of them. {Note in the photo the light specks on the tomatoes from the compost tea}

Speaking of compost tea, when people come over they often comment how “dirty” the plants look – that’s so true, looks like dried, dirty muddy water. We have to explain that it’s compost tea spray that makes the plants look like they need a bath.

BEAN TOWN

JD planted some lima beans on the new chicken enclosure and they are starting to fill in, really looks lovely against the bamboo. There are always improvements to be made — JR and JD built a better door as the previously made one was warping a bit.  (bottom, right photo)

Andrea, to answer your question about the garden, we calculate that 95% (or more) of the plants in the front yard are edible and or useful plants (tea, medicinal, dyers, etc)

            Sleeping ducks                            Chickens waiting to go into their coop

DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE CHICKEN

Some of the hens are still in a broody mood and JM is trying to break them out of it by not letting them nest in their coop. So, the hens aren’t laying many eggs now, but that’s fine as we’ve not done any baking lately. The ducks, on the other hand, are great layers, no spurts of broodiness to worry about.

SOAPWORKS

I summoned up “the nerve” to experiment with another soap recipe, this time using palm and coconut oils.   Right now, the soap is in the mold and we shall see if it’s successful or not in a few hours (no peeking!)

I think I’ve gotten the hang of the castile soap and gave out samples to a few friends for their reviews. So far there’s been a positive response.  Of course, we all like the soap, but then again we are biased… right?

I also made a bunch of exfoliating sugar scrub, using white sugar a friend had given us — which we can’t bare to bake with, rather stick with the “dirty” raw sugar. Mixed the sugar with some glycerin, oils and essential oils — voila!

WE SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM

The other day while chatting with some friends one of the guys blurted out “why don’t we make some ice cream?” I thought, why the heck not?  So, it was off to the internet to see what’s out there in the way of ice cream makers.

Being partial to hand power, I was torn between the hand-cranked model and the electric (There were some beauties offered onLehmans – but the prices *ouch*).

Weeeeeelll, being that extra time is rare (guilty – compromised right there) a (and cheaper) electric model won out — not entirely happy about it…. sheesh.

JULY HAPPENINGS

Join us for these events:

KNIT-TOGETHER (and crochet too!)

Cast-away with us

Tuesday, July, 13, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Come join us for a evening of handworks in a peaceful garden setting.

It’s the perfect way to relax, meet others, practice your technique and skills, or share favorite patterns and show off your creations.

Whether you’ve never knitted or crocheted a stitch before in your life, have done so a long time ago, just learned, or are an expert — all skill levels are welcome!

Cost: Free — please remember to bring a healthful dish, snacks and or juice to contribute to the potluck

HOW GREEN IS YOUR MONEY?

And what is it doing?

Sunday, July 18, 6:00 pm

Meet Don Sarich, CEO of the Permaculture Credit Union (http://www.pcuonline.org)

For those who care about the health of the planet and a sustainable future, the important question is, “Is your money working for or against the future that you envision?”

After the meeting, join us for a potluck dinner.

There will be servings of organic homemade ice creammade using fresh strawberries from our garden for sale. The evening will conclude with a performance by classical guitar player Tony Pereira who will be playing his beautiful music under the stars.

Cost: Free — please remember to bring a healthful dish, snacks and or juice to contribute to the potluck.

Weather Report: Nice

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