Friday, July 31, 2009

Independence Days #12

Strange how this year late July has brought something of a lull in the garden and the kitchen. Blame it on the weather, if you will, since that has held up the progress of some new crops -- and thus of my food preservation plans.

All works out well, however, because I've been so busy with Local Roots projects that I haven't been able to devote much time to the food. (Yes, that is going to have to change!)

So here's this week's Independence Days report:

1. Plant something: Lettuce, spinach, golden beets, and beans in the Southern Belle's garden. We also mulched the new crops so that she has less weeding to worry about in the last few weeks of her pregnancy.

2. Harvest something: Spearmint at the Renaissance Man's garden; zucchini (again!), potatoes, onions, golden chard, basil, and lavender at the Southern Belle's garden.

3. Preserve something: Dried zucchini shreds, broccoli, kale; froze two more pints of corn; canned five half-pint jars of zucchini relish; made herbal honeys with rosemary, thyme; started more herbal tinctures (rosemary, thyme, basil, lavender, rose hip).

4. Reduce waste (Waste not): Cleaned out a few jars from the refrigerator and washed them up for late-season canning; extended the use of the canner water again.

5. Preparation and storage (Want not): Received my order of bottles, jars, and tins -- hooray! Also ordered and received the first equipment for starting seeds in the winter.

6. Build local food systems: Finished work on the August Local Roots newsletter; sent out Local Roots producer meeting announcements; sent first three pieces to local paper for weekly Local Roots ad/column; wrote update article for the Ethicurean on Local Roots; picked up a book on scythes; shared seeds with the Renaissance Man's sister-in-law for a fall planting at the Farm; talked livestock with RM; shared zucchini with other Local Roots steering committee members.

7. Eat the food: Zucchini bread; fried okra and green tomatoes; corn on the cob; fattoush; zucchini pancake; cheese grits with kale; roasted potatoes and cauliflower; a luscious curry.

I still have a good bit of produce in the refrigerator, though there's not much I want to preserve, so I'm not quite sure what I'll end up getting at the farmers' market tomorrow. I should think about that. I also hope to get into the garden this weekend and do a little cleanup so that I can plant more fall crops (and then mulch them).

There's always something to be done, if I just look...

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