Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In Review (or how to knit several posts into one)

Plant Something: At this time of year, it's hardly news to plant something...but the corn is in the ground, and about a third of the vegetable plants, and raspberry starts, and the best so far was some horseradish from a friend farmer, Becky.  Horseradish fans - when do you harvest and grind?  Why? I've heard both Spring and Fall...

Harvest Something: I've told you about my aspirations of supporting myself from our farm...how about including the wild?  I picked fiddleheads from our camp a while back and made a nice big dish for dinner - yumm!
 
Preserve something: (Allow me a little latitude on the word "preserve") we are trying doggedly to incubate and hatch heritage turkeys.  After fifty eggs, rats, skunks, bad weather, faulty thermometers, four different incubators and pretty uncooperative hens, we are just letting nature handle things.  This season, the preservation of Narragansett, Bourbon Red, and Midget White populations is just going to have to rely on the whims of nature.  
So far:
Born this morning.

Prep something: Spent days and days winding and dyeing yarn for the summer festivals and markets.  Don't want to touch sock yarn anytime soon...

Cook something:  In the never-ending quest for things made with maple syrup instead of cane sugar...I present maple-banana-fudge bars: (a made-up recipe, but my ample butt can attest to the goodness)

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

1 C maple syrup, Grade B preferred
1/2 C softened shortening (butter)
2 free-range eggs
2 C flour
1/2 C rolled oats
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C walnuts, chopped (optional)
2 Soft ripe bananas, mashed

Cream shortening and maple syrup.  Add mashed banana.  Mix, then add eggs and mix again.  Sift flour, oats, soda, and powder together and add to liquid ingredients in portions; mixing after each one.   Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Pour batter into prepared 9x13 pan, bake for 40-45 minutes.  Test for doneness with the toothpick thing...

Manage reserves:  (Well, more emphasis on the "manage" than the "reserves")  About a week ago now, we checked the hive to make sure the queen had been released.  Yep.  She's left the wee box and is off to laying eggs and eating royal jelly, or something like that...
Work on local food systems: We've finished taking memberships for this year's CSA and have compiled the little surveys on what folks want.  Beets are a new request, and less greens and lettuce was mentioned a few times.  Other than that, we appear to be on target.  We are trying more dry beans this year, more onions, broccoli and herbs.  First Market weekend: June 6th.

Reduce Waste/Recycle:  We finished our 3-bin compost system.  (Plans from the Winter issue of Organic Gardening magazine)  Due to the presence of bears in the neighborhood, we cannot compost food waste; just chicken coop droppings, barn sweepings, grass and weeds, etc.
Learn Something: Never think that you're done learning anything.  Even after all the socks I have knit, I learned a new technique - knitting on two circular needles.  And I like it!









Be a friend:  I have connected via the phone with one of my blog buddies, Michelle.  It is always so interesting to hear an actual voice to go with the persona you have already put together in your head. We are having a wonderful time delving into the world of sock knitting...actually, I already live there, and I am pulling her in to join me...(*evil grin*)

11 comments:

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I really like the look of that sock! Yep, think I'm going to have to buy me some more Plymouth Encore for the trip, and try those from the toe up for me. But probably just one at a time, since the longer circs aren't here yet. But I'm thinking of doing the wristwarmers two at a time as a way of testing the waters to see if I can keep things straight in my mind and untangled in my balls.

bybiddie said...

I think I NEED that sock pattern. And thank you for the recipe, even though MY wide butt doesn't need it, my inner, needy child does. That is the cutest poult...

Susan

Diana said...

We had similar problems last year with our Narragansett turkeys; children playing with the incubator temp, abandoned nests, foxes, our own LGDs, etc. We also left things to nature this year... although I did raid the hen's nests and put some of the eggs under our 'scovie ducks who are great setters. We now have about twenty poults that have hatched out! I am keeping them in the brooder to make sure they grow out well before letting them free range. Good luck with yours!

melanie said...

Michelle-
Good idea on the wrist warmers - I had not thought of that! And I wasn't worried about you tangling your balls; us women what got 'em already keep 'em straight. That's why the men are intimidated...no?

Susan-
That is simple a 2x2 rib. Do three rows of rib, then in the fourth row, knit the 2 stitches together,but do not take them of the needle. Insert the right needle back between the stitches and knit the first stitch again,then slide them off. Purl two, and so on.

Yeah - and Marianne's gonna have a hard time turning that poult into Thanksgiving dinner...

Christine said...

What in tarnation is a fiddlehead?

I really want some Narragansetts next year. I had hoped for this year but that's not happening.

melanie said...

Christine- A fiddlehead (so named because of its resemblance to the top of a violin) is the sprout of a fern, usually an ostrich fern. They are quite prevalent in the forests and wetlands of the Northeast. If you are lucky enough to catch them early, they are great sauteed in butter...

And at the rate we are going, we may just have your Narragansett - NEXT YEAR...

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Isn't ANYTHING good sauteed in butter? ;-)

kristi said...

Lots of good ideas!!! I love the socks of course but since I am just learning about wool & stuff all I can say is that they are cute & look warm & I love the color....however, since I am pretty handy with wood, I can say I am really liking those compost bins!! That may be another summer project for me. So I don't get a turkey this year?

melanie said...

Kristi-

Oh, yes...you get a turkey. When you pass through on your way home from Vermont S & W (remind the FWB he is working that weekend) you can have one, but the question is how BIG will it be???

Elysbeth said...

Love the look of that sock.

And the turkey...soooo cute and potentially delicious.

thecrazysheeplady said...

I love your three bin compost area. Very, very nice.