March 21, 2010

Independence Days Challenge - Week 3

This is my Independence Days Challenge update for week 3, March 15 - 20th. I'm going to start posting my updates posted on Sundays for the previous week. The weeks seem to be fairly random, depending upon the folks participating. Sharon (The Chatelaine's Keys) is offline currently, so I don't know when updates from others will be available. For myself, this is a useful exercise, and even though a lot of it has been routine for awhile, it's helping me seek other opportunities for independence, as well as keep track of it all.

1. Plant something
  • rosemary from pot to herb bed
  • seeds started indoors:
    • Sweet Basil
    • Cantaloupe
    • Lavender
    • Oregano
    • Peppers
    • Thyme
    • Roma tomatoes
    • Rutgers tomatoes
    • Watermelon
2. Harvest something -
  • rosemary leaves
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • turnips
3. Preserve something - nothing for week

4. Waste Not
  • line dried laundry
  • kitchen scraps to chickens and compost
  • grass clippings to compost
  • old cardboard boxes for mulch and leaves. Last year I found this worked very well for keeping weeds down all summer. In addition, using them this way means less trips (less gas) to the recycle center.
  • made the door to the chicken yard with odds and ends of lumber. Looks like it too :)
  • reused a kitchen sink we found when 1st cleaning out the chicken coop. Same size as the old one, but much newer.
5. Want Not
  • prepared front yard Mediterranean herb garden for planting by adding sand, kelp meal, and wood ashes. Turned and hoed it.
  • tilled big garden
  • weeded peas and cabbage
6. Build Community Food Systems
  • blogging about it
  • talked to neighbor about our chickens
7. Eat the Food
  • fresh rosemary for soup
  • split peas from storage for soup
  • soaked rolled oats and rolled spelt for breakfasts
  • carrots in salads
  • steamed turnips and broccoli
  • sourdough molasses cake - adapted from another recipe

Sourdough Molasses Cake

1/2 C organic palm shortening
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 C raw sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C blackstrap molasses
1 & 1/2 C unbleached all purpose flour
1 C sourdough starter

Cream shortening & sugar. Add egg, molasses, & sourdough starter; mix thoroughly. Sift dry ingredients together & add, mixing well. Bake in greased & floured 8x8 inch baking pan at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes.


Marie said...

I really enjoyed reading this!!! Enjoyed your visit the other day on my blog too, I have been really bad too at staying consistent!!! But I am so blessed to have met you in this blog world!!!

Callie Brady said...

Not ready to start planting yet, but I'll be interested to follow along and see how things turn out.

Alison said...

I love this theme; I think I should join in myself. I went exploring last week, and the original challenge says you're not to dwell on what you *didn't* do - and that put me off for a few days. I see the point, but I also think that it wouldn't hurt to identify an area for improvement every so often, too.

Seed planting is in full swing with me; some indoors, some in the ground (which has thawed remarkably in the last two weeks), and some in my mini-greenhouse. Now I'm stuck at my desk again, the sky is very blue, and I wish that my plans for the day included digging.

Leigh said...

Maries, Cottage, thank you! I agree it's hard to be consistent in visiting and reading blogs, but really, a busy life can be a good thing too!

Callie, I'm curious, do you ever plant things just for your chickens? Grains or beans? I need to start thinking about this.

Alison, you should join in! As you can see, not every category has to be accomplished every week.

I know what you mean about citing areas needed for improvement. And as you say, there is a point to not focusing on that. If we did, most of us would have posts too long to read! Maybe an occasional analysis is a separate post(?) Actually that would be helpful and I may consider doing that once a month myself.

Julie said...

Its nice to know that I'm not the only one that hangs there laundry up. I even have a line down stairs so I can hang it in the winter! I have a gas dryer and it saves us over $20.00 a month not to use it. I know that doesn't seem like alot to most people but its alot to us!

I penny saved is a penny earned!

katrien said...

You got a lot done. Tilling and turning... Here now it is raining again. Some of the land hadn't even dried up yet from our previous flooding - here in my town, not on our property, as we're on a hill. Can't wait to get out there to stick the favas in.

Leigh said...

Julie, I haven't ever calculated the savings by line drying, but I agree every little bit helps. And in the end, it all adds up.

Katrien, I empathize. We're finally drying out after weeks and months of rain and wet soil. It's hard to be patient when so many things need to be planted!