Posts filed under ‘Go Green’
1.Plant something – green beans, lettuce, dill
We have many eggplant but this is the biggest one right now.
Some dill is seeding along with coriander.
2. Harvest something – cabbage, zucchini, lots of herbs, lots of hot and sweet peppers, summer squash, onion, lettuce, arugula, carrot, green beans, green tomato, blackberries, cucumber, new potato.
3. Preserve something – frozen squash, zucchini, herbs and breadcrumbs. Frozen and canned blackberries. Zucchini Relish.
I love this relish but halve the recipe because that is all we can use in a season. I use it in my favorite cole slaw recipe, and on hot dogs.
Link to slaw- Cranberry Cole Slaw.
Make sure you use a 5% acidity vinegar!
The first time I made it, I started to use a cheap off brand and thought to check, while the recipe didn’t specify. That vinegar was only a watered down 4%!
I switched off to a 5% cider vinegar and that worked well.
10 cups zucchini chopped
4 cups chopped onion
3 bell pepper chopped
5 tablespoons kosher salt
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups white vinegar ( 5 % acidity!)
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons celery seed
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Place unpeeled chopped zucchini, chopped onion, chopped bell pepper and salt into a large pot. Cover with water and allow to sit overnight.
Drain water and rinse in cold water. Drain again.
Combine sugar, vinegar,mustard, turmeric, cornstarch, celery seed, nutmeg and ground pepper. Pour over zucchini mixture in pot and cook on low heat about 30 minutes.
Ladle mixture into sterilized pint jars and seal in a boiling water bath.
4. Prep something – new garden bed
5. Cook something – new! Roast Cauliflower and Green Beans with Dill.
Just take about 1/2 large head cauliflower and break up along with 2 handfuls fresh green beans. Throw it into a covered casserole ( I like to use my cast iron chicken fryer) sprayed with olive oil spray. Top that with a couple of tablespoons fresh dill weed and lemon slices. Salt, pepper and spray with more cooking spray then cover and roast in 375 for about 30 minutes.
To serve remove the lemon slices and grate some parmesan or asiago cheese on top. I can eat this for lunch by itself.
6. Manage your reserves- rotating canned goods
7. Work on local food systems – No
8. Manage waste- Still throwing on compost heap..
9. Learn something new – I have found a way to help rid my kitchen of garden gnats!
Anyone that brings garden veggies into the house has to know you sometimes carry in gnats too.
Just throw your compost waste in a bucket with a lid on the counter, but place the lid on the kitchen counter while filling. When you get ready to carry the waste to the compost heap slap that lid on top and hold down until you get outside. You would be surprise how many gnats you can transfer back out into the open
Something to ponder from our local newspaper.
While we know what the Independence Days Challenge was designed for as written by Sharon here.
I thought I might tell what the challenge means to me personally.
As we all know, we can not tell what the future may hold as far as climate warming and food inflation or even scarcity of certain foodstuffs may bring ( I have been having a hard time lately finding short grained rice, has anyone else had this problem? Good bye rissoto for the time being anyway).
This challenge is a way to work toward an independent mindset, while perhaps knowing I am certainly in no way independent for the moment. The more I continue in the challenge the more I come to realize how very much I rely on outside sources.
I do however hope to be prepared ( in my mind with contemplation) to meet any personal challenge that may come my way as we watch the climate change and the world with our food supplies change along side it.
With those thoughts, I continue with my Updates.
Plant something – more lettuce
Some of our eggplant is blooming and I am such a proud parent as this is the first time any eggplant I have planted has made it this far.
Eggplant is suppose to be easy to grow also, so who knows why all my attempts in times past have resulted in dismal failure?
We finally have some cucumbers forming.
2. Harvest something – About the same as last update LINK, with the exception of a few green beans added to that.
I am still anxiously awaiting wild blackberries.
3. Preserve something – frozen squash, zucchini, cabbage, onion.
4. Prep something – nothing
5. Cook something – new!
Zucchini Pizza. I just made a regular pizza with italian dressing drizzled over and grilled zucchini on top. Hubby liked it (but I had to add hamburger as he is a meat eater extremer), and it was very good with some of our dried chili flakes from last season.
6. Manage your reserves – Made a large batch of spaghetti sauce to use up some of my frozen roasted tomatoes. I am afraid our tomato reserve will not last until we have more ripe however. The tomato are really slow this year.
7. Work on local food systems – No.
8. Manage waste – Still throwing on compost heap
9. Learn something new – No
And, just a picture of some wild geese to end with.
While they are pretty they are also nasty things and we got the dogs mainly to keep them at bay. They used to get so brazen as to mess on our decks without the dogs.
PS, of course we have fallen in love with our dogs, they are part of the family!
You can find Sharons update with more updates in the comment section here.
I am running a very late update with the 4th weekend and all.
1.Plant something – more green beans, lettuce
The winter squash is forming.
Tomatoes are forming but very slow it seems.
While the cucumbers are blooming I find it odd that we don’t have cucumbers yet.
The corn is beginning to top.
2. Harvest something – cabbage, zucchini, lots of herbs, lots of hot and sweet peppers, summer squash, onion, lettuce, carrot, squash blossoms, wild raspberry ( wild blackberries are looking large and abundant but won’t be ready to harvest until the end of the month ).
3. Preserve something – tons of dried herbs, frozen squash and zucchini.
4. Prep something – nothing
5. Cook something – new! Grilled Honey Lime Shrimp Link to recipe. You know if worse comes to worse and I had to eat all local, I wouldn’t have the shrimp!
Let us pray.
Take the lobster and calamari if you must, but please leave me with shrimp and scallops. I will make do with our pond fish if I have to.
6. Manage your reserves – no I have been extremely lazy it seems.
7. Work on local food systems – No again.
8. Manage waste – Still throwing on compost heap, but forgetting to turn it .
9. Learn something new – Something about myself, I am not very good at maintaining compost and I don’t want to go without shrimp.
Sharon’s update with other updates in the comment section can be found here
1.Plant something – more green beans
The potatoes are blooming, some of our Blue Lake green beans are blooming and we will soon have summer squash.
2. Harvest something – cabbage, zucchinni, lots of herbs, hot peppers.
3. Preserve something – frozen bread for bread crumbs, frozen herbs
4. Prep something – nothing but…( getting instructions for a small green house.)
5. Cook something – new! Zucchinni Blossoms . Read about it here.
6. Manage your reserves- ..Managing my raport with my neighbors, I guess that qualifies as a reserve since I have been working on it for a while.
Using more of my crab apple jelly in this ice cream.I have got to get that jelly used up because our crab apple trees are full this year.
small sample view of crab apples
7. Work on local food systems – More hay for neighbors beef cattle. I don’t believe he could mow without a tractor. Neither could we. (but we could build a fench and put cattle in to graze someday if necessary)
8. Manage waste- Still throwing on compost heap .
9. Learn something new – How to stuff Zucchini blossoms .
Biggest Independence- Freedom, I stopped attending a local church because of this man standing behind a pulpit and pointing out “others sins” when he wasn’t a bit better than anyone else.
Independence Days Challenge Update. The original idea from Casaubon’s Book which can be found here. Link
You can find this weeks update here along with other updates in the comment section.
1.Plant something – more green beans, swiss chard
2. Harvest something – lettuce ( starting to bitter from heat), peppermint, cilantro, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, lemon balm, lemon thyme, chives, mexican marigold also known as (texas tarragon), dill, summer savory, lots of green onion, hot peppers.
The dill is starting to head.
We will soon have zucchini and cabbage. Nothing I like better than a cabbage stir fry.
3. Preserve something – chopped green onion for recipes in freezer. More dried herbs.
4. Prep something – I would think fixing our pond pipe, Link , would qualify as preparing since we must prepare to save our fish in that particular pond. Still weeding and watering.
5. Cook something – new! Lemon Tea Bread and Lemon Balm butter recipe from Cooks.com.
Turned out great! Read about it here.
6. Manage your reserves- Thinking about canning shelving to hold more canned goods in an extra closet, but haven’t done anything about it yet.
7. Work on local food systems - Neighborhood fishing, which we allow because ponds can get overpopulated just like forests. We do have to monitor how often it goes on though.
We had one neighbor that began to just come and take fish anytime he wished and we finally had to tell him not to come without permission. Funny but he hasn’t been back since. That was several years ago too.
Our community is great. We have had neighbors fix our lawnmowers and patch our roof totally free of charge. All they want in return is to fish every now and again.
We also swap out garden veggies, like if our potato harvest is great but our green beans don’t fair so well, we will give certain neighbors potatoes for green beans and the likes of that. Just an example of the wonderful neighbors we have.
8. Manage waste- Still trying to remember to throw on compost heap and donated some old furniture to charity.
9. Learn something new – About Rhubarb diseases, mine has what is called Ascochyta leaf spot. See what that looks like here.
I don’t have a lot to update.
You can view Sharon’s update and many others in the comment section here.
Planting – I did finally plant my cilantro babies, and I am letting some go to seed for next year.
cilantro blooms aren’t they pretty? delicate like.
Harvesting - I am still harvesting the same things from last update…OH yeah, I harvested some pitiful excuse called garlic.
pitiful excuse for garlic
I learned something new..don’t plant garlic in the same place next year!
Cook something new and manage reserves -Trying to use up my crabapple jelly from last year I added vinegar to some of it and found out it made a nice salad dressing.
Squash and cucumber are in bloom. Tomatoes and potatoes are getting ready to bloom.
Everything is a little late this year because of the weird weather we had April/May.
Still weeding and watering the gardens and trying to remember to throw stuff on the compost “heap”. I say “heap” because hubby is too covered up right now to build a bin.
Maybe I need to learn some hammer skills?
Here is my very late Independence Days Update from last week. You can find Sharons update here.
1.Plant something - more green beans, more radish, eggplant
2. Harvest something – radish, lettuce, all sorts of herbs
3. Preserve something -mint jelly, froze a large batch of pesto, more herbs dried and frozen
4. Prep something – nothing
5. Cook something - new! mint jelly for lamb, first time I ever did mint jelly although I have done blackberry and crab apple. I thought I might have gotten too much food color in it as I was working, but once finished I had to put it in the window to show off the beautiful color for this photo. Isn’t it beautiful?
Here is the recipe although I only got 3 jars and it claims to make 4 jelly jars. Got this off the net from somewhere I think. I can’t remember.
1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves and stems — washed
4 drops green food coloring — (4 to 6)
2 1/4 cups water
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (in the bottle)
1 pouch liquid pectin — (3 ounce)
You’ll need half-pint-canning jars with bands and new lids and a large cooking pot or canner. Sterilize jars while working with jelly mixture.
Makes 4 jars
*Make sure mint is washed clean. Chop finely. Combine with water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. To remove the mint, strain through cheesecloth (triple layer) or jelly bag. Add food coloring.
Combine 1 3/4 cups of mint juice, lemon juice, and sugar in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat while stirring frequently. Add liquid pectin and continue stirring until you return to a full boil. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and fill hot 1/2 pint jars with mixture. Do not fill to the top, leave about 1/4-inch headspace. Place hot lids on jars and screw on bands. Process in boiling water canner for 5 minutes.
6. Manage your reserves- cleaned out freezer and sorted by items
7. Work on local food systems - Gave hay to neighbor for his beef cattle. He had to cut and bale it though. I got my field mowed.
I have probably forgotten many things but that is what I remember. These ID posts have turned out to be good for my motivation and journal skills.
The air around our home at the moment permeates with a smell of wild roses and honeysuckle. They are blooming draped over trees and vines like blankets along our wooded paths.
We mow with our trusty tractor the 40 some acres behind our home into walking trails.
We have a dear neighbor that owns conservatory property next to ours of about 300 acres. He mows his trails and they intersect with ours and we both reap the benefits of beautiful horse and walking trails as they are avid riders, and myself an avid hiker.
My recent nature walk behind my house was extremely productive. I always think my nature walks are productive because anything that relieves stress like walking through our woods or just sitting and looking over the ponds is a plus.
Here is a picture of our larger pond behind our home, and that is my house in the background.
I am a bit of a softy about our fish. While we have fileted catfish and bluegill from our ponds, I don’t make a habit of it. I do look at the ponds as an investment that will be there if we ever run upon hard times.
But that is another post. On with my nature walk.
This walk was special because I ran upon several “fox grapes” ( also known as skunk grapes)forming in pine trees that were very reachable. Read more on fox grapes here.
I have often found my favorite grape in wooded nooks along the way, but often they are too high to reach. Nature has a way of protecting her bounty.
In my own mind nothing beats the taste of wild fox grapes, even though we do have some tame vines in our yard.
I will keep an eye on those wild jewels and try to grab them before habitat dwellers around our home beat me to it.
Come Late August/ Early September I hope to be trying this jelly and thumbprint cookies from wild grape jelly.
From Glen Arbor Sun
Wild Fox Grape Jelly
Proportions:1 Cup grape juice (see below)
¾ Cup sugar
1 Tb. lemon juice
Combine these ingredients in a large kettle. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil then turn down heat to maintain a full simmer. Cook until it reaches jelly stage 220 degrees Fahrenheit or when two or three drops at the edge of a spoon slides off in a sheet. Pour the grape jelly into previously sterilized glass jelly jars and seal immediately with melted paraffin.
This amount makes about two glasses.
Grape Juice From Fresh Grapes
Wash off the grapes and drain in a large colander. Pick off the grapes from the stems. Be sure to include several still under ripe ones. These will help the jelly to jell. If you are lucky enough to get a quart of grapes ad the same amount of water and place with two small green apples that have been quartered but not peeled in a large heavy kettle. Hopefully while gathering the grapes you also came cross an apple tree. These apple will help the juice to jell.
Bring the mixture to a full boil then simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the skins pp. Give the mixture a hearty stir and pour into a jelly bag (I use an old cotton pillow case). Hang the bag overnight so the juice can slowly drip into a large bowl. The Musk, pulp left in the bag can be used to make Grape butter and can also be the beginning of Balsamic Vinegar.
Oven 350 degrees
½ C real butter
¼ C brown sugar
Add: 1 egg yolk (keep the egg white to use later)
½ tsp. Vanilla
Stir in: 1C flour
Wild Fox Grape Jelly
Chill the dough for 30 minutes then roll into one-inch balls. Dip the balls into the slightly beaten egg white and roll in the finely chopped nuts. Using your thumb, make an indentation into the center of each cookie and then fill with one teaspoon of Wild Fox Grape Jelly. Bake 8 min. or until golden brown.
My Independence Days Update.
You can find Sharon’s update here with other updates in the comment section.
1.Plant something - More cucumbers and tomatoes have been placed in the garden. I planted Henderson Limas and the zucchini to feed the nation. The limas have sprouted and I love the little lima children.
The potato, corn and green beans are up.
Some of our peppers are blooming.
2. Harvest something - We harvested all sort of lettuce, green onion, radishes and herbs
3. Preserve something - I dried several herbs this past week.
4. Prep something- I got information on growing upside down tomatoes which I am going to try. You can see what a great idea by going to Eclectic Edibles
5. Cook something - Always cooking but have been a bit lame on the subject since getting my new high speed. I can’t even explain the freedom I feel without being bound with dialup.
6. Manage your reserves- Spent much time with newspapers and checking local sales since I always stock up sale items when taking my shopping trips. When it takes an hour to drive to stock up we make the trip as little as possible. I am bad about just circling things on the flyers and carry them with me and not making lists. My organization skills could use some tips and patience on this. We weeded the flour beds and gardens.
7. Work on local food systems - Afraid not this week. I intend to look into a local stand that supplies local fresh eggs and take a visit to a local working meal for flour (correction I meant to say working mill not working meal here…do I have food on the brain or what!). Not enough time in my days.
I’ll leave this post with some beautiful flowers blooming at my home right now.