Saturday, May 24, 2008

around the homestead

Plants were purchased on Thursday and we were able to get a variety of Brandywine, Amish Paste and Cherokee Purple tomatoes as well as a variety of hot and sweet peppers. After mulling it over, we decided we have to forfeit a weekend picnic with family in order to get the garden in. The weather forecast is excellent through Monday and we can’t let the opportunity pass. Last year the weather was too wet for planting on the Memorial Day weekend and our garden was a little late getting planted. Since we are planting a second plot this year, it will likely take us most of the weekend to get garden related chores accomplished.

We knew our small plot was very rich dirt as we had planted their years prior. A number of years have passed since our prior tenancy here, and the woods have grown closer to the back edge of the yard. We made a tough call about whether to risk keeping the young walnut that hovers over the secondary plot. As much as we hate to ever cut a tree, (sigh) we decided we couldn’t risk the possibility of the tree destroying a good portion of our food supply especially now, with the increasing costs of goods. We just learned our electric co-op is intending a rate hike, which was expected, but that it could be as much as a 70% increase, putting us above state regulated companies. Yikes! That makes us ever more dependent on our homegrown food supply and our ability to cut costs wherever we can. So, down came said Walnut.

It didn’t want to fall precisely where we had estimated so Coop and I had to help it along by roping it and directing a pull. We both can feel that in our back and shoulders! She wasn’t teribly big but took everything we had to pull her down.

As I also mentioned the other day, the spirea are in blossom and I don’t think I’ve ever seen them bloom so thick and full. Probably because Coop had cut them back extensively the first year here. Last year they had just a few blooms but more than made up for that this spring. As you can see they’re large bushes and I’d guestimate about forty years old or better. When we lived her before we kept them trimmed down, but when we moved back in August of 06 they were overgrown to the point of entirely blocking the sidewalk.

And here are the "bronze" Iris.

And, Mr. GE being silly.

On Thursday I baked up a batch of banana bread.

One loaf went to the freezer for use later, one loaf was cut and another one (with chocolate chips) saved for last night’s dessert when the kids were up for dinner. I made my daughters favorite meal; crispy fried chicken, smashed taters, milk gravy and a green salad.

The past week kept us busy as usual, puttering about inside and outside the house. Coop retilled the back garden patch and I planted the zinnias, we did our monthly bargain shopping among other things. I looked for lye while we were out, but despite it being a common commodity in stores some years back, no one carries it these days. In fact when I asked about it, no one I spoke with even knew what it was. I figured Sam and Fannie, our Amish friends, would know where to find it, so I asked when we stopped by to get eggs and butter. It just so happens Sam’s parents purchase it in bulk, so Fanny said the next time they saw her in laws, she would see if she could get me some. I am anxious to try making my own soap. Fanny had called us into the bedroom to speak with her. I mentioned in a previous post that she was pregnant. She’s further along than I realized and now at 24 weeks she’s at risk and will be bed bound now until she delivers. If she carries to term that means all summer. I felt so bad for her and Sam. It was obvious how worried they were. They have a girl there to help out, taking over Fanny’s responsibilities in and around the house and I noticed a boy out helping Sam on the farm.

Coop also put my antique medicine cupboard up this past week! Yay! I’m using it as a spice cabinet in the kitchen. He wanted to paint it but I argued that point. I wanted to retain its character so after a good clean up, he hung it up as is. He even made a shelf for it to replace the one that was missing.

(yes, I really do need all these herbs & spices)

I bought this about 15 years ago from an old gentleman at a yard sale. It was priced at $2 but when I showed an interest he let me have it for $1. Throughout the years it’s one of the few things I’ve held on to. Some things just have that type of simple, nostalgic charm and you do that. Precisely why I keep Coop around..snicker snicker. Well, at least that’s what I tell him anyhow. : ) Truth is I don’t know what I’d do without the man…but don’t tell him that, ok?

1 comment:

  1. Banana cake WITH chocolate chips sounds SO good!!!


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