And the preserving begins!

Today I did my first batch of freezing – broccoli! Considering I have 45 odd broccoli plants, there was surprisingly little from them – but the heads weren’t getting any bigger and were in fact starting to flower, so I cut them all off and blanched and froze most of them (reserving a small bit for tonights dinner – I’m planning on doing a roast chicken:), probably amounting to 1-2 bags once they’re bagged (I freeze everything on a cookie sheet first so I can pull out only how much I need).

I also noticed that the local You Pick strawberry field is opening up (they were open on thursday, apparently closed today, but open tommorrow…), so I’m planning on going and picking strawberries tommorrow for the first time. Not sure how many bags of strawberries I’ll want for this year – I know I started out with 12 last year, but I also had some from my co-op, and they’re all gone… and Andros is getting bigger and eating more, so I might shoot for 15 or so.

Everything else in the garden is looking good – my peas are starting to flower, and so are a few of the bigger tomatoes, so with luck we’ll be eating fresh peas & tomatoes here shortly. I finished planting everything on Tuesday when my mom came down – she brought me another 8 basil plants, which went beside my tomatillos and then the rest of the bed and end of the cucumbers were planted in beans. My first bed of beans has started to sprout up and are looking pretty good. Though I should probably plant another little row of carrots & radishes!!

Also on Tuesday, we moved our chickens’ fence around the garden, and just let them go free. They seem to be doing pretty good, though they are scratching an awful lot around our blueberries, so we’re not sure they’ll be free for much longer… Of course, the other option is to put chicken wire around the blueberries and go from there.¬† We also just orderd 3 new grape vines – Reliance seedless, which are supposed to be pretty hardy and disease resistant. Hopefully they come soon and do well and next year we start having seedless grapes!! ūüėÄ

Weddings, chickens and food, hurrah!!

Well, its been a while since I posted, but lots has happend. I finally got my car back which is wonderful. We drove up to Wisconsin for Kevin’s Dad’s wedding… spent around 24 hours in the car, and about 30 hours actually *IN* WI. Not exactly the most fun weekend I’ve ever been on, but it wasn’t bad. Mostly just very expensive – $4/gallon gas is *not* conducive for traveling!!

On Monday¬†when¬†we got back,¬†I¬†called¬†to¬†find¬†out where¬†on¬†earth¬†our poultry fencing was¬†to be¬†told¬†that¬†it still¬†hadn’t¬†shipped! But,¬†then somehow¬†they got it¬†shipped¬†out¬†that¬†day, and it finally came today. Minus¬†the electrifier. Ugh. The fence¬†itself¬†seems very nice¬†though – super¬†easy¬†to¬†set¬†up,¬†move¬†around, adjust etc.¬†I really¬†can’t¬†wait¬†to¬†let¬†them¬†out¬†tommorrow¬†and¬†let¬†them just¬†run¬†around¬†for¬†the¬†first¬†time outside! They¬†about¬†bum¬†rushed¬†me¬†out¬†the gate¬†this morning when I¬†went¬†out¬†to feed¬†and water¬†them. Hopefully¬†the¬†charger will come¬†tommorrow…

On¬†the gardening front, last night I¬†stayed home from Tae Kwon Do and¬†got a¬†whole¬†bunch¬†of peppers¬†planted (like… 24ish??),¬†which was¬†good cause’¬†tis definetly¬†‘that¬†time¬†of¬†year’¬†to get¬†stuff¬†planted, you know? Also got three zucchini¬†plants planted¬†too… that’ll be¬†wonderful. I’m¬†gonna have zuccini comin’¬†outta my ears! I can’t wait¬†to¬†eat zucchini bread for breakfast every¬†morning again!! ūüėĬ†ūüėÄ Might just¬†have to¬†figure out a¬†way¬†to preserve¬†it for¬†teh¬†winter too… though I haven’t a clue¬†how to!!

Then, today,¬†I got some¬†tomatoes¬†planted¬†– 23 to be exact. Plus¬†the two we¬†planted a¬†couple¬†weeks¬†ago… I¬†think we¬†have space for about¬†that many yet…¬†so if¬†its¬†nice tommorrow maybe I’ll¬†run¬†over to Skipper’s and¬†see about getting some more ūüėÄ I’d¬†also¬†like to get¬†some¬†more peppers yet, but maybe I’m crazy. We’ll¬†see.

For dinner¬†tonight I¬†made “Piglet DH’s Lentil Curry” from this thread¬†on Mothering.com’s forums. It was *wonderful*!¬†I¬†made my own ‘chili¬†past’¬†by¬†soaking chili caribe¬†in warm water for¬†a few minutes,¬†then blending¬†it¬†up and¬†mixing¬†in¬†some¬†chili¬†powder¬†to make¬†it extra thick, and Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste. I’ll definetly be¬†making¬†it again¬†sometime,¬†though¬†I¬†think I’ll try draining¬†the¬†lentils before adding everything else¬†to¬†them – by the¬†time¬†enough of¬†the water¬†had evaporated,¬†they¬†were totally mushy. But¬†still very tasty!!

Tommorrow¬†is Fra Diavolo Shrimp,¬†which¬†is¬†one of¬†our favorites. Its soo good¬†and¬†easy¬†to¬†make, especially with fettucini/linguini¬†noodles. I think I¬†have¬†enough but¬†I¬†might make¬†them fresh, haven’t quite decided. I love my¬†pasta¬†rolling¬†machine –¬†its soo¬†easy¬†to¬†use,¬†and¬†really¬†quite¬†fun. We’ll¬†see.