Friday, October 16, 2015
Green and Thrifty
Some days my heart does little happy somersaults and I send thankful thoughts back to my past self who occasionally did just the right thing. Just over eleven years ago I was six months pregnant with Posy, and my very dear friend Karlin was helping me to plant two apple trees. Well, when I say 'helping', I mean, I pointed out where they should go and serenely folded my hands over the bump, while Karlin did the actual digging. And then I carried off a single clump of forget-me-nots from Karlin's garden to plant under the apple trees. Karlin's husband Ed was appalled. He had spent the last two years desperately trying to eradicate every last skerrick of forget-me-nots from his garden. He was convinced I had gone mad. But look! Sheets of forget-me-nots under the apple blossom. Yes, I have to weed forget-me-not seedlings out of the rest of the garden, over and over again, but I am convinced it is worth it. Next year I am planning pink tulips to peep through the forget-me-nots..
Anyway, how is any of this green and thrifty? Apple trees, gloriously pretty and produce food. Forget-me-nots - gloriously pretty and free, and reproduce themselves a thousand times over. I love my garden full of self-sown weeds:)
In other green and thrifty moments this week, I was given a bunch of kale from a friend's garden and cooked up an enormous warm potato salad with bacon and kale. I steamed the kale then tossed it with the bacon...
Then added rosemary, olive oil, salt and garlic aoli. That was lunch for everyone for several days.
This morning I washed the breakfast dishes then put all that hot, soapy water to good use cleaning out the fridge. There were some, ahem, casualties. But I also managed to save the last sad apples and pears and stew them with cinnamon for tomorrow's breakfast, and put a pot of vegetable and barley soup on to rescue the limp vegetables in the bottom of the 'crisper'.
Clearly, after that I needed to buy more vegetables, so I set out to do all errands that involved heavy lifting ( I am trying very hard to walk for errands that don't..). I came back with a 20kg bag of pool salt, a bale of pea straw, and exceptionally heavy vegies. 5kg of cheap carrots, which didn't fit in the fridge, so I chopped, steamed and froze half of them, for fast food when I need some 'veg in a bag'. And many large tubs of Greek yoghurt that were on sale. I really, really need to have a go at making some. Since I have banned just about every other food from the house the girls have taken to living on a yoghurt, oats, nuts, seeds and fruit mixture. We go through kilograms of yoghurt every week.
I went to the library just in time to avoid library fines. I am a star! And now I have a lovely new stack of delicious, delicious unread books. I just love the library:)
It is seed planting time. Once upon a time I fussed about with endless little pots of seedlings from August onwards. Now I just wait until the weather is warm enough and direct seed everything in the garden. I make tiny individual seed beds in the garden with a trowel full of compost to start the baby seeds off. So much simpler. And I still get ripe tomatoes more or less when everyone else does...
I love planting seeds. It seems just too easy. Of course, two weeks ago I weeded and fed the gardens, and put a little lime down, and sheep poo, and pea straw, and all of that nearly killed me, but today at 9.56am I decided to plant seeds, and at 10.04 I was done. Eighteen tomato plants, two zucchini, some lettuce and a few peas in pots. I am determined to crack succession planting for lettuce and baby spinach this year (not a difficult feat, you understand, merely requiring planting some lettuce seeds every two or three weeks. Consistency. Not my thing).
Green and thrifty just goes on and on - as I am typing at the table, Rosy is in the kitchen making a banana cake out of the squishy bananas. Being thrifty is just so delicious.
Tell me about your green and thrifty week while I go and sample some of that cake...