An entire wagon full. See? You don't need acres upon acres of land to provide food for your family. A normal sized yard with a well-planned garden will provide plenty. This was only two rows about two feet long. The secret to growing nice straight plentiful carrots is to dig down a good eight inches of soil, making sure to remove any rocks, then combine the soil with plenty of compost to make a nice soft friable soil. You really don't need a lot of land if you use the land intelligently. Adding compost to your soil is so important to growing healthy and health-filled vegetables. You're replenishing the minerals. That's why so many of the vegetables you see in the groceries stores, may look beautiful, but that's about it. The large commercial farms use a lot of chemicals to make their food grow, and years upon years of farming the land have depleted the minerals. It's important to let some of your garden lay fallow for a year and give it a rest, add compost, and rotate your crops. One of the things that has been keeping me busy has been canning these carrots. Carrots are a lot of prep work!
Oh! Miracles of miracles! We planted a hazelnut bush several years ago, but it never produced any nuts. Last fall I had a talk with it and told it that if it didn't start producing, I would cut it down. Well! This year it gave us these
five little nuts. So I've granted it a reprieve. I'll have to study up on how to prune it. Has anyone out there ever grown hazelnuts and have any tips for me?
Another reason I been absent is that we have been doing a lot of rearranging of the house. Being an older home, it really lacks in closets. Last year it just about drove my son and me crazy with all the winter coats hung on a rack in our dining room. We both have a tinge of obsessive-compulsive syndrome and disorder makes us uncomfortable. Anyway, something had to be done with the coats and boots before another winter came, so Ran built us this coat cupboard:
Anyway, another thing we did was rearrange our rooms. The dining room was always so small and has five doorways in it, we were always banging into something. So we made it into a small sitting area, which works much better.
I also cross stitched this little crow tuck-in.
We also laid this little flagstone path under the trellis.
I have wanted a ringer washing machine for ages. They are so economical and save so much water. You only need to fill the basin once for all your loads. You start with the light colors and the least dirty and move on down to the darker and dirtier clothes. Another tub is used to rinse the clothes. You can agitate the clothes for as long as you need. So it can take as little or as long to do the laundry. And the machines are low tech, just a pump switch and a motor switch. When we get done with the laundry, we siphon the water into a wash tub and keep the "grey" water for flushing the toilet and watering plants. Saves gallons of water. How many times does the average washing machine fill and empty during one wash cycle?
RECIPE FROM THE PANTRY
Two thing that it seems we always need to "use up" are bananas and milk, so an old-fashioned southern banana pudding is always a great way to use them.
3/4 C. sugar, divided
vanilla wafers (bought for $1 at the dollar store)
3 tbsp. flour
dash of salt
3 eggs, separated
2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4-5 bananas, sliced
Combine 1/2 C. sugar, flour, salt in a saucepan. Separate eggs and beat the yolks into the sugar mixture. Stir in the milk. Cook over low heat until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. (I also stir in 1/2 tsp. of banana extract, optional).
Spread a small amount of custard on the bottom of a 1 1/2 quart casserole. Cover with a layer of wafers. Top with a layer of bananas then the custard. Continue to layer, ending with the custard.
Beat the egg whites until frothy. Gradually add 1/4 C. sugar. Beat until whites form stiff peaks. Spoon on top of pudding. Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes or until the meringue's peaks begin to brown.
THRIFTY THINGS WE DID THE PAST FEW WEEKS
Thought I'd never get to it, didn't you?
Harvested and canned carrots.
Harvested blackberries and made jelly.
Laid a flagstone path under our trellis with free stones.
Refinished a table, hutch and chair with stripper that we bought at estate sales and a thrift store.
Built a cupboard from repurposed wood.
Heated the house with free pallet wood.
Collected and cut up free pallets for firewood and building.
Made a cross stitch piece from thrifted items.
Attended two auctions for free entertainment.
Traded bushels of carrots, apples, pears and garlic and herbs for a lamb roast and some venison.
Used that venison and our vegetables to make chili which I canned.
Attended a moonlight madness sale where I bought a pork loin roast for 89 cents/ lb. and roasting chickens for 69 cents a pound.
Prepared the chickens, one which we ate and used for sandwiches the other I froze the meat. Ditto for the pork roast.
Saved all the bones and meat scraps from the lamb, pork and chicken and made a good bone broth that I canned.
Bought a wringer washing machine at an estate sale.
Used the gray water from washing clothes for flushing toilets.
So that's it for this week! Hope you all have a lovely week ahead!