Thrifting and Kefir

August 4:
I stopped in at the thrift shop on my way home from physical therapy.  There wasn’t much there that peaked my interest, but I was able to pick up eight wide-mouth quart Ball canning jars. They price them at $.29 per jar so I was pleased.  I always seem to run to of these first and I found a new blog that recommended cutting up lettuce for salads and storing it in these jars using a vacuum sealing attachment.  I tried it and the iceberg lettuce still looks very fresh after a week.  My oldest son loves it.  Many thanks to Paula at “Salad in a Jar“.  She also has great instructions for making Greek Yoghurt.

My new booklet from Ed Hume on gardening by the moon suggested that I, “sow seeds of lettuce and chard”, and “plant spinach and cabbage”.  I’m not sure exactly what the difference is between sowing and planting other than that sowing involves seeds and planting could mean seeds or starts.  I had no starts so I sowed seeds of Paris Island Romaine and Great Lakes Crisphead lettuce.  I also put in some Olympia Hybrid spinach seeds as I can’t find many vegetable starts at this time of the year.

I also found the greatest idea about planting parsnips.  I have to try it.  You plant the seedlings in toilet paper tubes and then plant the entire tubes when they are ready to go outside.  I found the idea at The Simple Green Frugal Co-op Blog.  Tomorrow I have to figure out how late I can put in parsnips…..Anyone know if it’s too late to plant parsnips in the Pacific Northwest?

August 3:
I think the realization that our summer is coming to an end hit my husband and I today and we set out to get a few tasks finished.

  • We stopped in at the thrift store this morning to pick up a few books and I found a lovely green drying rack.  It will be great on the upper deck for drying swimsuits and shoes.  When fall comes I’ll move it into the garage for drying sweaters and rain clothes.
  • I harvested the garlic today.  We ended up with 65 heads of garlic – 41 of softneck and 24 of hardneck.  We set up a drying rack in the garage for them to cure a bit.  They are still not as large as I would like, but they do look better than last year.
  • I also harvested 1/2 pound of green beans (first of the season as I got them in really late), 3/4 pound of broccoli and 4 cucumbers.
  • We purchased a truck load of mint compost and Joe filled the garlic bed and dug it into the existing soil.  We moved the winter savory, two varieties of sage, some basil and a curry plant into the bed.
  • I top dressed some of the compost into my rhubarb bed.  I’m at my wits end trying to figure this out.  It comes up fine in the spring, then just about harvest time, the leaves and stalks dry up and die back.  Then it sends out new growth.  Does anyone know what’s wrong with my rhubarb?
  • I finished my fermented raspberry syrup.  I ended up with two bottles from the half batch.
  • The water Kefir grains that I ordered arrived today (a little leaky) so I rinsed them and put them into 2 cups of filtered water with 1.5 Tablespoons of sugar (I need to get some raw sugar) and a small handful of dried cranberries.  Hopefully all will go well.
  • My copy of “Ed Hume’s 2011 Garden Almanac – Month by Month Moon Sign Gardening Calendar also arrived this afternoon.  Tomorrow I will be sowing lettuce and chard (if I can find some) seeds as it is a first quarter moon in Libra.
  • I also started a batch of Greek yoghurt today.  I heated the milk to 175°, then dropped the temperature to 115° before adding the yoghurt culture.  The I popped it into the yoghurt machine and left it alone.  I’ll need to check it tonight to see if it’s ready to strain.
  • The dogs spent the day inside because of the heat.  It’s not terrible, but they’re getting older (10) and it seemed to be bothering them. They did get to go out and romp in the orchard after dinner.

August 2:
I finally got a little more done today.  On the way home from physical therapy I stopped at the thrift store and found a metal bucket that had a great old green paint job.  When I took the lid off, I found a surprise.  It has a double wall.  I think it’s actually an old cooler.  What a find for under $7.00.

This afternoon I cut off the garlic scapes and I’m going to try adding them to a stir-fry as I’ve never tried them before.  I also harvested about three pints of raspberries and another three pints of blueberries.  I think I’ll use some for baking and freeze the rest. After harvesting, I fertilized the vegetable garden using for fish fertilizer.

August 1:
Today I decided to do nothing around the house except water a few beds.  I met up with my best friend Stacy for a pedi and Thai.  I stopped at Safeway on the way home for pasta sauce and spent the rest of the day reading.  I feel very rested (and a little bit lazy).

July 31:
Today I harvested the first of the carrots.  They were so nice.  I’ve got to reseed for another batch in the fall.


2 thoughts on “Thrifting and Kefir

    1. Thank you for the fantastic ideas. My yoghurt has always been runny, even when I incubated it overnight. This time I followed you instructions and it was thick and wonderful in just a few hours. I can hardly wait to try some of your other recipes.

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