Sunday, June 15, 2008

Good eating

We had been eating a lot of salad, up until the weather got a bit hot and things were going bitter. The above picture was typical for a few weeks though. Herbs, swiss chard, lettuces and broccoli or cabbage leaves were the norm. I still have a couple bags of lettuce in the fridge and we've planted some heat resistant varieties to see how they do.

There is one raised bed that gets a lot of shade that might make a good summer lettuce bed. We'll see. I've been told that July and August are the hardest months for lettuce but the rest of the year is pretty easy around here for growing them.

Our farmer's market bounty was a loaf of ciabatta, a brownie, lettuce, some strawberries and a bundle of lamb's quarter.

Our Brandywine tomatoes are doing fabulous. Since this picture was taken last week they've gotten quite a bit larger and are covered with blossoms. A few have set fruit too. One of the cherry tomatoes has several fruits and I'm eagerly awaiting the first harvest.

Sierra has become quite adept at building frames for the hives. I can whip out ten frames fairly quick now, with her help. One of the hives got a second hive body as they were starting to get crowded. The other hive hasn't even worked five of the ten frames very well yet, I'm starting to worry about that one. They need to get busy or they won't get through winter. Not sure what is going on but I'll get someone out to look with me soon.

The healthy hive is incredibly busy every day now.

Last week when I inspected the hives I had to scrape a lot of burr comb off the inner cover. I decided to strain out the little bit of honey that was in was so good and gave us a glimpse of future rewards.:)

The view from the hives is looking more filled in lately.

A meal that was almost zero miles...some scrambled eggs from about 1/10th of a mile down the road, chock full of herbs and greens from our garden with some mint tea to top it off.

The pizza was inspired by our visit to Touch the Earth Farm where we were fed very well. I used a puff pastry crust and topped it with olive oil, mozza and plenty of basil, oregeno, marjoram, garlic and some leeks. It was SOoooooo yummy!

The more we grow our own food, the more we enjoy the entire process. We've pulled a few potatoes this week (got my first purple tonight) and had a couple for breakfast a few days ago.

I've also taken to spending part of our grocery money on staples we can store long-term. We've got about 50# of flour, 25# of rice, lots of peanut butter, canned beans and dry beans, oats, baking soda, vinegar and more. The idea is to buy items we use all the time and get to the point where the budget is a lot about what we want to buy, rather than what we feel we have to buy.

The more we store and grow, the less dependent we can become. It's a slow process at times, but it feels good to be in process. I have a feeling this will be a winter where we will be very glad to have large stores of food. Prices aren't falling, that's for sure.


Alyse said...

Reading about your lettuces in the sun reminded me of a friend who lives with very hot summers and grows lettuce all summer long successfully by covering them with an old bedsheet during the day. I haven't tried this myself, but I thought I'd pass it along - couldn't hurt to try.

I get hungry reading your posts :)
~ Alyse

Christi Krug said...

I'm living more wholistically vicariously through your posts! You do about ten inspiring things a day. That honey looks gorgeous - and those beautiful salads. How awesome the way you enlist Sierra and all your kids to help.