54) Not more sustainability, surely?

Though really, can you ever have too much?  I will admit, a catchup on the rest of my life is definitely in order, but it's been one of those months.  And the backlog has reached the point where it is, frankly daunting.  These posts are at least structured, and scheduled (even if I *am* late again).

Anyway:

 
1.
Plant Something –

  • Bush beans, peas.
  • Started a new batch of beer (not really 'planting', but definitely 'starting')

 

2. Harvest something –

  • Broad beans
  • French beans
  • Mustard greens
  • Spinach beet
  • Beetroot leaves
  • Beetroots!
  • The very last garlic scapes
  • New potatoes
  • Mint
  • Broccoli
  • The first blueberry! It wasn't 100% ripe…

3.
Preserve something
    Nothing this week

4.
Waste Not
(reducing wastage in all areas)

  • Saved peas from the last of the mange tout crop for next year's seed
  • Racked 'dormant' wine from demijohn into storage

5. Want Not (preparing for shortage situations)

    
Nothing this week!

6.
Build/support Community Food Systems

  • Shared seeds
  • Educated folks on making yoghurt (it's easy! It's good!)

7. Eat the Food

  • Spinach beet on pizza
  • Beetroot leaves in chicken soup and in stir fry
  • Garlic scape butter on garlic bread
  • Last year's summer squash, roasted with sage and olive oil
  • Pizza bases made with sourdough
  • Yoghurt and yoghurt cheesecake (coffee flavour was good, but runny)
  • Beetroots, roasted with rosemary and salt
  • New potatoes
  • Bush and pole beans (our go-to veg this week)
  • Wine and beer.  🙂

8.What I bought

  • Bread
  • Onions
  • Wine

9. Looking forwards

  • Aubergines still flowering! No fruit set yet…
  • The tomatoes are setting really well; some are nearly ripe, and lots more are visibly ripening.
  • All my onions are lying down.  Why?  Are they failing??
  • Blueberries are actually starting to ripen.  Ye gods, but they're slow!
  • The last of the broad beans will be ready very soon now; need to save some for seed
  • The various squash plants have finally started to grow properly, and might even set some fruit one day soon!
  • One of my chilli plants has baby chillis!
  • Garlic needs harvesting, but I'd rather it was dry.  Oh, the irony…

53) Sustainability Sundays: The Neglected Blog edition

Good grief; this is my third Sustainability Sunday post in a row, which clearly means I'm not posting anything else.  Must rectify.  Anyway:

 
1.
Plant Something –
   
Nada, despite my fit of organisational activity last weekend.  Should probably check the seed box and see what's due…

 

2. Harvest something –

  • Broad beans
  • French beans (both pole and bush.  I think I'm a bush convert, though I love the way poles look.)
  • Mustard greens
  • Spinach beet
  • Beetroot leaves
  • Garlic scapes, and…
  • The first garlics.  Sadly, they had an intruder-cat-meets-defensive-dog incident over the weekend, and I decided to pull them rather than leave them in the ground – which was rather wet at that point.  This may affect their keeping qualities – we'll have to see.

3.
Preserve something

  • Two batches of yoghurt (one will become cheesecake very soon now).
  • Mashed and froze overripe bananas
  • Blanched and froze broad beans
  • Cooked spinach beet for pizza toppings (J will eat it!  In fact, likes it!  Indeed, requests it!! Yay!)

4.
Waste Not
(reducing wastage in all areas)

     As well as the usual, I've been trying to establish better habits in the shower (minds out of the grimy gutter, you lot).  I have a bad habit of leaving the shower running whilst I'm shampooing my hair, shaving my legs – you name it.  And there's no need to.  It keeps the shower area warmer in the winter, but that's it; and it's not winter.  So I've been reducing water wastage by shutting off the shower unless I'm really, seriously using it, right that second.

5. Want Not (preparing for shortage situations)

    
Nothing this week!

6.
Build/support Community Food Systems

    
Nothing this week!

7. Eat the Food

  • Broad beans in various incarnations.  This has been the week of the broad bean (I think that's fava beans to American readers, btw).
  • Beetroot greens on pizza
  • Spinach beet in risotto (nom!!)
  • Garlic scape butter used to make risotto (definitely nom!)

8.What I bought

  • Bread
  • Onions

9. Looking forwards

  • Harvest seed peas and pull up the old plants
  • I think the raspberries are just about done.  It's their first year, and the very hot conditions have not been too kind.  I think our neighbour has also treated her garden with something noxious, right on the other side of the fence that the rasps live against.
  • Aubergines are flowering!
  • Must remember to feed the tomatoes…
  • Peppers are doing really well in my mini greenhouse.  Lots and lots of fruit have set and are growing well!
  • Some of the broccoli needs harvesting before it actually flowers
  • I think the dwarf peas I planted out last weekend died.  They're so ridiculously quick to crop, it'd be good to get some more in the ground ASAP.
  • Must investigate what's actually inside those funky little chick-pea pods.  Are they ready to harvest, or not?  I have no idea…
  • Blueberries are actually starting to ripen.  Ye gods, but they're slow!

52) Sustainability Sundays: the very quick edition

OK, so it's only a few days since my last post on this topic, but let's get back on track with the days, hmm?

 
1.
Plant Something –
   
No new seeds have hit soil, but I have planted out dwarf peas, bush beans and soya bean plants this weekend, along with beetroot and other brassica seedlings.  I don't like planting out when it's so hot and dry, but it's long overdue for these plants anyway, so they're going to have to live with it!  – or not. 

   I've also had another quick scan through the seed box and arranged it for the next few weeks, so the after-midsummer planting can commence next week…

 

2. Harvest something –

  • Raspberries
  • The last few mange tout.  I might get a few more pods off these plants, but they're basically Done, baby.  I expect to be pulling them out next week…
  • The first of the broad beans!

3.
Preserve something

     Nothing this week.

4.
Waste Not
(reducing wastage in all areas)

     Just the usual –
composting etc.

5. Want Not (preparing for shortage situations)~

    
Nothing this week!

6.
Build/support Community Food Systems

  • Blogging about it

7. Eat the Food

  • Raspberries and yoghurt on my breakfast
  • Broad beans, straight from teh pod.  Nom!

8.What I bought

  • Bread.

9. Looking forwards

  • Beetroots are looking very healthy and getting to a good size; start
    eating the greens!
  • Broad beans harvest
    will ramp up during the week;
  • Harvest seed peas and pull up the old plants
  • Raspberries will be harvestable over the next week or so
  • Aubergines are flowering!
  • Tomatoes are abundant, but still green.  Must remember to feed them, and keep an eye out.
  • Peppers are starting to set fruit!

51) Sustainability Sundays: the very late edition

Over a week and a half late!  I've been more than fully booked for both days of both the past two weekends.  I've had an awesome time, but the blogging has definitely suffered for it; I have so much to catch up on!  I keep taking photographs of the garden, but they're out of date by the time I get them uploaded and/or the blog post written.

Before I start this post, I should mention that Geodyne has also started doing these posts.  She's far more committed, hardcore, organised and invested in this stuff than I am, so if you're enjoying my gardening exploits, you really should check hers out!  She's also adding another section to her reports: things she bought which she *could* have provided for herself.  I think that's a great idea, so I'm going to add on the same, and yet another section, too – looking forwards.  I'm aware that the garden is about to start its really productive season, and also that I do best when I'm working to a pre-prepared plan, so I'm going to list my thoughts about the week (or, in this case, four days) ahead.

 
1.
Plant Something –
   
Nothing in the last two weeks!   Mostly lack of organisation here, I think.

 

2. Harvest something –

    Loads!

  •   Strawberries (and the first few raspberries):

DSC04869

  • Mange tout (I think these are just about finished now.  I've let a few pods develop fully for next year's seed, so fingers crossed that works out).
  • Garlic scapes

DSC04864

  • Broccoli (I'm particularly smug about this, because last year, caterpillars got the lot):

DSC04882

  • Spinach beet
  • Various herbs
  • The very first of the new potatoes

3.
Preserve something

  • Mange tout blanched and frozen
  • Greens sauteed and frozen

4.
Waste Not
(reducing wastage in all areas)
     Just the usual – composting etc.

5. Want Not (preparing for shortage situations)~

    
Nothing this week!

6.
Build/support Community Food Systems

  • Blogging about it

7. Eat the Food

  • Strawberries and yoghurt on my breakfast
  • Broccoli!
  • New potatoes
  • Sauteed greens on pizza (with blue cheese, walnuts and egg.  Fabulous!)
  • The garlic scapes became garlic scape butter.  This made an awesome garlic bread thing (although J did ask if it was broccoli pizza!), and last night was also used to pan-fry some thin-cut pork chops, which I finished with lemon juice and black pepper, and which were totally delicious with our first new potatoes.

8.What I bought

  • Green beans.  My pole beans aren't producing yet, but the bush beans (which went in later!) are starting.  I think I'd have been able to pick fresh green beans this week, if I'd started the bushes earlier.
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli. We've harvested enough for about one meal for one person so far; we eat way more than that!
  • Mushrooms.  My mushroom growing experiments haven't really worked out so far; more investigation required.

9. Looking forwards

  • Beetroots are looking very healthy and getting to a good size; start eating the greens!
  • Broad beans are growing fat and the first should be ready to harvest within the week;
  • Soy beans, dwarf peas and the next round of bush beans **really** need planting out.
  • I need to review the seed box and start planting for the next section of the year, now that midsummer is past.

50) June roundup, July goals

June has been a startlingly different month to May!

  1. **Yarnscape: work at photographing dyed yarn (step 1).
    Yes!  In fact, I’ve surpassed my expectations here, and Yarnscape is now live on Etsy!
  2. Overdye summer tweed yarn and cast on Basil (Ravelry
    link).

    Yes!  Madly, I started Basil with the intention of completing the knitting in two weeks – but gave up when it became clear I wasn’t going to manage it.  I’ve barely knit since.

  3. **Experiment with knitting socks on my knitting machine.
    Nope.  I think I might be ‘back-burnering’ this project for a while; it’s clearly not speaking to me right now.
  4. Finish plying the blue silk and pick out a new spinning project.
    Yes!  I’m incredibly pleased with the blue silk, and I’m looking forwards to casting on with it – as soon as I finish Basil.  As to my ‘other’ project, I’ve gone back to spindle-spinning some tussah silk for the scarf project.
  5. Keep up with the gardening!
    Yes!  The garden is entering that wonderful stage of the year where it’s green and productive.  Of course, it still needs lots and lots of work, but I haven’t gotten any further behind in the last month, which is great.

  6. *Plan and maybe warp my  handspun silk scarf project.
    I started – I did some calculations, and realised I was going to need a lot more weft than I have currently spun, and maybe some more warp.  So I’ve been spinning with that in mind.
  7. Train for my Race for Life event
    Frustratingly, no.  I’ve been banned from running by my osteopath (for now, at least), and so will not be running the RfL this Sunday.  I will, however, be walking it.  Whilst drop spindling.  If you fancy sponsoring me to benefit Cancer Research, there’s an online sponsorship form here.

4.5 out of seven!  That’s pretty awesome – and one of the goals I didn’t achieve (the running) was really out of my control.  It’s been a great month for me, with lots of progress on some important goals, and plenty of fun things, too.

This month, I am going to be pretty busy.  I’m attending a two day weaving workshop this weekend (which clashes with the dratted RfL), and I’m going to Knit Nation at the end of the month.  In addition, the Tour de France kicks off on Sunday – and that means Tour de Fleece, too! (another Rav link).  As ever, I need to
look after my health and energy, so I can’t be too aggressive with my goals.  With that in mind:

  1. Yarnscape: Continue listing yarns, and get some fibre up, too.
  2. Finish knitting Basil (Ravelry
    link), and cast of the blue silk Peacock Feathers shawl
  3. Tour de Fleece spinning (more details later).
  4. Finish the spindle-spun silks
  5. Keep up with the gardening!
  6. **Plan and maybe warp my  handspun silk scarf project.
  7. Re-start the Pilates practice (again).  Let’s go for five days a week.