Green and Thrifty, Second Week of August
Here we are again! More green and thrifty! First, a photo of Paul's small but exquisite lettuce garden. He has a beautiful big vegie garden space, but it is still not fenced, so there is no point planting salad for the wallabies and possums, as they are just as happy to eat grass. He has small pots inside cages instead, and it is amazing how much food you can grow in a pot.
Here is the possum who would love to eat the lettuce. What a sweet pink nose he has.
When the possum is dancing on the solar panels on the roof at night, Paul chases him away with a rake, but during the day when he is snuggly and cute inside a hollow log in the bush Paul goes down to chat with him and takes him an apple core. It is a complex relationship.
Meanwhile, here in the city cottage there are no possums, and I have planted the first seeds of the season. Oh, the joy! This is such an exciting time of the year. I am trialling little plastic greenhouses for the seeds to sprout in. When I say plastic greenhouses, I mean cake, biscuit and avocado containers donated by one of my friends who has teenage boys with prodigious appetites. I'm wondering whether the seeds will warm up and sprout quicker in these? I have planted lettuces, spinach, cabbages, broccoli, Chinese broccoli, mustard greens, mizuna and kale. Next week I will start the tomatoes, capsicums and chillies. The greens are hardy and will be able to go out in the garden at the start of September, but the tomatoes I'll pot on and keep in the warm porch until October.
This week I was gifted many eggs from my friend Carla's adorable fat chickens. I have been indulging in egg salad sandwiches for lunch, along with lettuce and rocket from the garden. The eggs are so yellow from very free-range farmyard chickens, who eat a lot of green weeds and bugs.
I rinse the egg shells and save them up until I have a heap to grind up in the food processor. Usually I tip the ground egg shells into the compost as a general source of calcium, but this year I am saving them and I am going to put a spoonful under each tomato plant. Calcium can help prevent blossom-end rot in tomatoes. Last year most of the tomatoes developed this nasty rot, and this year I will be prepared!
Foraging: this week I foraged a piece of cutlery. I was out with a friend and I found this dinner knife on the road verge. I am perplexed at how someone manages to drop a knife on the road? Anyway, it is a nice Stanley and Rogers knife in the exact pattern of the set I have at home, so thanks to the vague person who takes their cutlery for a walk and fails to bring it home again, I now have an extra knife in my cutlery drawer. I also found another clothes peg on the pavement. I am continually surprised at how that happens as well. There is no moment in my laundry routine at which I take clothes pegs out to the footpath..
Today it is not raining for a change, so I washed sheets, towels and tea towels. The sheets take up the whole of my small clothesline, so the towels and tea towels I hang up on the verandah which gets lovely afternoon sun. It is a little bit tricky getting the sheets dry in the winter. I have no dryer, by choice, because the price of electricity, right? But my clothesline is in the shade and it takes two to three dry days in the winter to dry the sheets. Sometimes I have to bring them inside and finish drying them on chairs in front of the fire. I had an idea, the other day, of hanging up a clothesline in the attic to dry sheets, but I will have to think about how to attach a line to the ceiling that will support the wet sheets..
I do love the smell of laundry dried outside in the weather, and I love that free solar drying power! I can't imagine how many dollars I have saved in the six years I have not used a clothes dryer!
Paul brought me some garlic from our friend Gordon's excellent vegie garden. I have used it in two big pots of soup so far. I have eaten vegetable soup for dinner for fourteen days in a row now, apart from a couple of dinners I had at Paul's place. I think that is a record! Even I am getting a little tired of soup, although it is still delicious every time. My children do not agree, but I think I make excellent soup. Anyway, tonight I am going to soak some chickpeas so I can change up dinner to chana masala instead. Tomatoes! Rice! See, this is a very clever trick for really appreciating the smallest changes in life. Have the same thing for dinner for two weeks, then basmati rice and chickpeas will seem like a very exotic dish:)
What I have been eating from the garden: Lemons, lettuce, mizuna, spinach, rocket, silverbeet, parsley, and edible weed, chickweed.
I was given: eggs, pumpkin and garlic.
I gave away: flower seeds and bay leaves.
Tell me about you! What thrifty projects have you been working on? What have you foraged off the street? What stage is your garden at? Tell me all!
I am thinking that next week I will do a Green and Thrifty somewhere around Friday and incorporate another Mending Club there. I must have some motivation to mend my pyjama pants! So email photos if you would like to join in, or send me a link your mending blog posts or instagram posts. We would all love to see all the mending:)
Over to you xx