Homestead Projects & The Garden

Hello, friends.  Last week, while heading to the grocery store, I noticed two stations had $2.99 gas.  Across from my last stop was a station with $2.77 gas.  Filling up there saved $1.80.  Lettuce, radishes, the last few asparagus, and broccoli were harvested.  We kept the a/c off, with days in the upper 80's, until the day the house reached 79 before cooking dinner.  On those evenings, it was turned on for a bit.  J is keeping our old system limping along until our new one hopefully arrives.  We only run it for a little while in the evenings when needed, and open up at night.  On Sunday, we saw they backed up the ship date another week, which is how it's been going since October.  We're going to start seriously looking for an alternative unit.  After a meeting with someone in town an hour and a half away, I picked up 9 pairs of workpants for $10 for J, which he had found on FB Marketplace.  They're the good cargo type work pants that he likes.  It couldn't come at a better time, as his are all falling apart, have weld holes in them, etc.  I received another $1.50 digital credit from amazon, making a $7 total credit.  There are a few shows with charges I'd like to see on my Prime list, so I'll likely use it towards some of them.   

The asparagus J ordered came in.  I gathered any soil I could find in empty pots to reuse, which we mixed with peat moss and native soil.  This mixture made up the mounds the asparagus crowns were planted on.  The inoculated biochar was scattered through the bed, mycorrhizae and organic fertilizer was placed on the mounds before the crowns, then native soil covered them.  Once they send up shoots, the remaining soil will be filled level with the top of the bed.  I made a batch of homemade toothpaste.  Last summer, I infused a jar of coconut oil with chocolate mint, and another with rose petals.  I used a mixture of these, in place of plain coconut oil, and left out the essential oils.  A batch of yogurt was made, and laundry was hung on the line.  An onion was harvested.  J picked up a gallon of milk, as they were out of half gallons.  We're only buying it to make yogurt for the pups these days, with both of us off dairy, so I froze the remainder.  We have quite a few plants with little tomatoes, which is always exciting.  As J finished creating orders, I cleaned and powder coated them.  That and packing them kept me busy several days.  With metal prices rising significantly, we had to raise our prices, but we thankfully continue to get new orders.  We are grateful. 

Some work was done on the workshop.  I painted the trim molding earlier in the week.  J found some crown molding left over from the house build, so we decided to use that as well.  It was pretty dirty, so I scrubbed it all well.  When I was building the house, my SIL worked for a molding company, and I was able to get all the molding I needed for free.  All of it was considered imperfect, but many had just minor scuffs.  Other pieces just had to be cut down.  That was a real blessing, and now we're blessed again.  J put the crown molding up, all the vertical trim, and made a frame around the exhaust fan.  It feels good to be making progress again.  The garden and other projects kept us from it recently.  One of the projects was a two vehicle carport J found on a FB Marketplace estate sale, at half the price of new.  It's now up, and holding his two personal vehicles.  His work truck sits out in the weather.  About twice a year, I refresh the yogurt with new starter.  As the local stores only carry organic plain yogurt in quarts, I froze the remainder in cubes, and will add a cube to a batch every so often.

With Saturday and Sunday's nights in the 40's, and a high in the mid 60's, I decided Sunday was the perfect day to process the last of the winter squash in storage.  The butternut squash and hubbard squash were diced, steamed, then pureed.  The spaghetti squash were baked.  There were 2 1/3 squash that had to be composted, but they'll still feed us, by adding fertility to the soil.  When I finished with the squash, the end bits and skins filled up a second gallon bag of veggie bits, so I went ahead and simmered it all for broth.  That will make a bit more room in the freezer.  Some of the cooked hubbard squash was kept out, to make a pumpkin bread.  I was able to use pumpkin spice mix that I made up earlier in the year.  For dinner, I made a plant based broccoli mac & "cheese", which I loved and J liked, so that's another recipe I can add to our repertoire.  I was able to use our broccoli in the dish, and found my favorite GF pasta so far.  Speaking of broccoli,  J & I hand picked many caterpillars off the broccoli and cabbage over the weekend, both imported cabbageworm and zebra caterpillars.  The chickens were happy to get an extra large helping of protein.  The pups got chopped broccoli stems and dandelion greens.  I guess we're all eating well on the homestead.  Wishing you a most enjoyable Memorial Day.