Monday, June 29, 2009

Independence Days

This week’s post is a little sparse as was the week. I spent three days on the road to Ottawa for a specialist appointment. The good news is that my leg is looking good and unless I have any problems I’m good to go. I’ll get a hold of him in a year or so to get the plate taken out. YAY! Less road trips for me. I’m still not 100%, this is the first trip down by my self and wow, it took it out of me. I’m happy to be home and playing in the garden.

I do have a question. There are loads of mushrooms appearing in the composting bedding from the chicken coop. They appear overnight and are gone in the sunshine. Today is rainy and cool so I actually saw them while they still had caps. Any ideas what these guys are?

So on to the weekly update:

Plant Something: Yarrow, Thyme

Harvest Something: Rhubarb, eggs

Preserve Something: Rhubarb Marmalade

Reduce Waste: Fed some neglected fridge leftovers to the chickens.

Preparations and Storage: Does thinking about it count? I did use some of my water storage for ice packs from the freezer and replaced them with fresh water.

Build Community Food Systems: Not so much.

Eat the Food: Moose burgers….mmmm…

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Solar Oven

I found these instructions for a cheap and cheerful set up that I had to try. The windshield shade cost me $12 at Canadian Tire. A little more that what was mentioned in the article but hardly prohibitive. My pot is brown (with some funky 60's white detailing), hopefully dark enough to soak up the rays. While I was setting it up I had my hand on it contemplating the wind issue and immediately noticed how hot my hand and wrist got. This should work!


The oven is set up and hopefully starting to work.

I soak some chick peas overnight. They are in there with lots of water, a dash of salt and a bay leaf to keep it interesting.


Well, I don't know that the thermometer is going to work. It's a meat thermometer and may not work for ambient temperatures. Everything is heating up for sure though, the pot lid is too hot to hold and the water is pretty warm.


Not much has changed. The thermometer wasn't working so it's inside the pot now.


The temperature is sitting just over 40 degrees. It may cook those beans by this afternoon at this rate, maybe not. I don't think this is the solution for world hunger!?

Well, 1700 and I give up. The temps inside never made it above 50 C. That's not even boiling.Today was quite warm reaching at least 25 outside. I wonder if I need another layer? The article talked about a 'cooking bag' but I'm not comfortable with the idea of plastic reaching those sorts of temperatures. More research is needed.

I finished up the chick peas inside on the stove. Later tonight, hummous. Yay!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Independance Days

Independence Days is a call to action I read about on Sharon Astyk’s blog and is an effort to get people thinking about their food sources and working towards independence from the (more and more) unreliable factory food system. You should read her thoughts on the subject. She is far more eloquent than I.

A major factor for me was the car accident I was in late February. I didn’t live at home for almost three months. Currently I’m home and thrilled to be here. I’m getting around with a cane (except when I stubbornly leave it behind to try and carry more stuff!) So things are behind, getting things done takes way longer to do that it used to and I’m trying to be ok with that.

So on to the weekly update:

Plant Something: I potted up the basil and rosemary (purchased), put some pumpkin and squash seeds in the newly mulched bed (not hopeful there, the chicken manure hasn’t mellowed enough), expanded the asparagus bed by 18 plants.

Harvest Something: Rhubarb, asparagus, eggs

Preserve Something: Rhubarb pickles

Reduce Waste: This is a day to day thing for me, can’t think of anything extraordinary.

Preparations and Storage: Does expanding the front veg garden count? I had to finish cleaning out the chicken coop from the winter’s deep litter system and had way more ‘stuff’ to deal with than compost space. So I sheet mulched with newpaper and dumped the straw/manure there. I did throw some seeds in it but it’s too fresh to grow anything this year I would think. Tried out an idea for a solar oven. Not a huge success there but I learned things and I will try again there. Also I taught myself to spin! That's worthy of an entire post on it's own.

Build Community Food Systems: gave away the excess eggs, shared the pickles so others could try the recipe. Seriously, what to do with all of this rhubarb is a community issue?!

Eat the Food: Finished off another jar of Apricot Jam from two seasons ago, had lots of eggs. Snacked on the last of the asparagus. Made rhubarb crisp. Baked and ate lots of bread.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's Finally Looking Like Summer Here

I don't want this to turn into a 'follow my injury progress' blog but it's honestly hard not to. My world has been broken apart into bits, before the accident and after the accident. Days revolve around physio therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, aquafit, blood tests, prescription refills... the list seems endless and really not very much fun. Right now this is my job, getting better. I've been told that I can expect 100% back from my leg but I need to make that happen. Making that happen is a whole lot o' work and not very entertaining. Hopefully I'm breaking some sort of silence here by acknowledging this and putting it out there.

Little bits of my life before the accident are gleaming through. It's getting there and I'll keep you up to date.

Now where did I leave that knitting?....