“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
I know I could have separated this post into individual entries; but, just going to give you a “vegetable soup” of sorts post (little bit of everything) to savor.
Well, they were right. El Nino is here – with a vengeance. Hadn’t seen this much rain in ages!
Another torrential downpour dropped 4″ on the urban homestead last Friday into Saturday. The recent deluge and the devastating Station Fire combine to be a destruction combination causing massive mudslides in the foothills above Pasadena (hope our readers in those areas are ok!)
Rained heavy again Tuesday and we got almost another inch.
A local Freedom Gardener brought over some goat’s milk. Jordanne & I whipped up a batch of goat cheese.
The leftover whey I’ve already used in making biscuits, pancakes and starting some fermentation ala Sally Fallons Nourishing Traditions.
Bringing the milk to boil
Adding squeezed lemon juice to separate the whey
Squeezing out the excess moisture
Using up some of the whey to make simple, flaky biscuits
Keeping the garden healthy and productive is certainly a challenge, especially in such a small space and using no synthetic fertilizers (Check out this article ‘The Dark Side of Nitrogen‘).
Here’s how to boost nitrogen level – naturally and with a common place weed.
Finally! Been waiting for these weeds for a long time, but our travels postponed our spring tonic brewing.
Farmer Sergio finally hitched up his wagon and came into town (Saturday night) to deliver us a bag load of this nutrient laden weeds – and a few other goodies from the farm. He harvests these stinging weeds by hand – no gloves. He’s no frills trick in picking nettles is to “grab their steams from underneath and quickly pull.”
Going to turn these stingers into a stinking gooey, sludgy spring tonic that will give the plants and soil a natural nitrogen-rich boost for spring.
Bucket of rainwater
In go the nettles and rainwater
Using an old metal baseball bat – pounding the nettles to get them all nice and bruised.
Will allow the mixture to sit for about 2-4 weeks to give the liquid fertilizer a boost – stir regularly to added a bit of oxygen to the goop.
Once this nitrogen rich concoction is ready to go Farmer Justin will be dumping bucket loads into the compost pile, diluting (1:10 or 1:5), using to foliar feed plants and drenching the soil
I know it’s taboo never to knit something for your significant “other” till you’re hitched but think I am safe and deemed our relationship “steady” with Mr Hotwater bottle here so I knitted him two nifty new outfits. Yeah, I told you it was “steady” and he’s a “hottie” to boot.
Farmer Justin harvests delicious and gorgeous heads of broccoli
In the Garden
Our harvest tally for January is
Produce 130 lbs 5 oz
Eggs 18 (ducks) 15 (chicken)
Hmmm, here’s an interesting mass of green stuff growing in water in one of the greenhouses.
Pink and blue
Pathway work with pavers
Chickens in a row
Basketful of broccoli (seeds and basket are available for purchase at Freedom Seeds)
Rain & Snow
The rain we had on Tuesday left a coating of snow on the mountains and conditions are pretty icy here on the urban homestead this morning.