Green and Thrifty
It is that time of year when people who have fruit trees and vegie gardens are calling their friends and saying, "Please come and pick the plums/zucchinis/tomatoes." And I do. Always say yes, is my mantra. Think of something to do with it later. A lovely friend with laden fruit trees called and I picked damson plums, greengages and peaches. After counting last year's jam in the pantry, I have realised I don't need to make any at all this year, although I may make an exception for figs in a couple of months. Fig jam is my favourite. So I dried the damson plums (yum) and stewed peaches and greengages and filled up my small freezer with them. I am also drying the last of the peaches and greengages. I feel like a happy squirrel, filling up the pantry for winter.
I finally have my very first ripe tomatoes, and a handful of sweet, crunchy beans.
This has not stopped me from saying yes to the tomatoes and zucchinis from my lovely neighbour up the street.
I see ratatouille on my horizon. I am not an enthusiastic cook, but I do get inspired by a kitchen bench full of garden veg. Over the last couple of weeks I have experimented with fermented cucumber pickles. Oh, my goodness, I could eat these with cheese and crackers for a very long time before tiring of them..
In garden news, I have been collecting plant cuttings everywhere I go - friends' gardens, walking the dog, the local park. I want to assemble an all year round flower garden to sandwich the vegie garden and attract lots of lovely bees and other pollinators. I also want to create a native garden in a hot, dry section of the garden that I plan to not water after the first year. I am also growing plants for a future garden at Paul's place, so all in all, the potting bench is working overtime.
I have been growing more vegies from seed, and yesterday planted out lettuce and silverbeet. I built a little bamboo fence to keep the dog out. He is not a digger, thank goodness, but he loves to stretch out and nap on newly planted seedlings, much to their detriment. He also likes to eat the sheep poo, which he thinks are lovely snacks. As you can see above, I also have sixty four basil seedlings to plant out soon. Sometimes, growing from seed can be almost too successful.
I made dog food in the slow cooker. My neighbour gave me some venison from his freezer that had extensive freezer burn. Now the lucky dog is eating slow cooked venison. He is also eating a fair amount of zucchini. I am sure it is good for his coat or something.
I said yes to two chrysanthemum plants and a wasabi plant from a friend's garden. I love filling up my garden with plants from friends.
I donated a large box of children's books to the local school library. This is marvellous because since the girls cleaned out their rooms in December these books have been precariously perched in piles in the corner of my loungeroom. I also gave a box of felt scraps to a teacher friend for her classroom craft. And some dress-ups.
Rosy has finished school and Posy has changed schools to one that doesn't have a uniform, and I sold almost all of the girls' old uniform very cheaply to a new student who is starting at their old school. Her mum was very grateful, and so was I.
I woke up one morning to discover a very large, pink, inflatable flamingo peering in my dining room window. Turns out one of Rosy's friends was coming to visit her and found a large, inflated flamingo on the side of the road, and decided that this is something that Rosy really needed. He may have been rather inebriated at the time. Anyway, after I spent all of a day tripping over the flamingo every time I went outside, one of Posy's friends visited, and decided that the one thing really lacking in her life was a large, inflatable flamingo. So she took it home with her. I was so grateful. I am glad I live at a clearing house for objects found on the side of the road.
Tell me about your green and thrifty adventures this week.
Eating from the garden: tomatoes, beans, zucchini, cucumber, cape gooseberries, tarragon, rosemary, sage, lemon verbena, rocket, lemons, limes
Eating from other peoples' gardens: zucchini, tomatoes, peaches, plums, strawberries, lettuce
Eating home preserves: fig jam, tomato relish, garlic, green tomato pickle, cucumber pickle, stewed apricot, dried basil and oregano.