Monday, August 10, 2015
We had no big plans for the weekend, and settled in for a few slow and simple days. We began with a trip to the market on Saturday morning. It's peach season around here, and we stocked up with both peaches and nectarines, to eat fresh and to freeze. We visited with a few friends at the market, and then headed over to a lovely vegan restaurant for lunch.
We spent the afternoon at home, Justin and Reece creating something in the workshop, and me in the kitchen. Cucumbers were set to lacto ferment, beets and beans were pickled, and peaches and nectarines washed, sliced and added to the freezer. Slowly the pantry shelves and freezer are filling up, and it feels good, really good, to put by the food we grow and harvest for the winter season ahead.
By the time Reece was tucked into bed Saturday night, both Justin and I were beat. He settled in to watch a movie on Netflix, and I sat reading close by.
Sunday morning I was up early to prepare a few meals for a friend, and once they were delivered, I headed back home where we welcomed my parents for a cup of tea and a visit. Once they headed home, lunch was enjoyed and then I spent the afternoon in the garden seeding the fall/winter garden while Justin and Reece headed out back to the pond with Shelby, our dog, to play in the water, and catch frogs. Bush beans, Swiss chard, kale, beets, carrots, and lettuce were seeded, and hopefully today or tomorrow my spinach seeds will arrive and I will get those in the ground. I also seeded a cover crop of buckwheat in two beds, and then spent a bit of time building up our new hugelkultur bed.
We sat around Sunday night after dinner, enjoying a beautiful summer night, lingering just a little longer before bath time. Once Reece was in bed, Justin and I did a little Sunday night soap making. Working with lye was a huge edge for me, but I am now feeling very confident working with it, and am having fun experimenting with different soaps.
Once the soap was done, I enjoyed a cup of tea, read a few chapters, and then settled into bed for the night. The week ahead is slow and easy, a few friends visiting here and there, swimming lessons, blueberry picking and haircuts. The evenings are completely open and will be filled with dinners on the back deck, outdoor fires, knitting, and reading. Slow and easy, it's how we are moving through these August days, and it feels just right.
How was your weekend?
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Sounds like the perfect weekend. We too were hanging out at home. Tidying away camping stuff and planning the next trip.......the garden needed a weed which it got a little of, more of that during the week, plus some more seedlings to plant out. Now for a quiet week before another busy one after that :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, it was really lovely. Planning the next camping trip, how fun! Soak up the quiet week, and enjoy!Delete
Sounds lovely. xoReplyDelete
Thanks Julie. xoDelete
what a weekend! the restaurant looks lovely and yummy. I've been incorporating more meatless meals in my rotation and I would love to have a restaurant like that around to be inspired by and to eat at!! You are lucky :)ReplyDelete
It was pretty awesome Karen. It is a wonderful restaurant, and the food is delicious. We don't visit often, it is expensive for us, but we had a gift certificate from some friends, which made it even more special :)Delete
We are lucky, and I know it. I don't ever take for granted the wonderful food and restaurants available to us. Good luck with your meatless meals, if you need recipes let me know, we are vegetarian here :)
I remember the first time I made soap with lye, I was terrified. Now I've done it so many times that it barely registers anymore. I'm still careful, but it's pretty straightforward. Saturday morning I attended a CPR class for work and the rest of the day was spent at home piddling around. Sunday Greg and I took both bikes out for the first time together and then he and Hannah took them out. Huge step for the both of us! It was a good, restful weekend and now we're ready to go to school and back to work for me.ReplyDelete
Yes, each time I do it there is less fear, and this time I did it mostly by myself. I have learned not to fear it, but to respect it, and that helps a lot. This batch was made for a customer, so another batch will be made up tomorrow night as we are out of soap at the moment :(Delete
How wonderful to take the bikes out, that is a huge step. How was it? How did Hannah do? I bet it was wonderful!
Have a wonderful week.
i love reading the details of your slow and simple because by sharing them you remind me how much there is to take in during our days. Wishing you and your family a beautiful start to your week.ReplyDelete
Aw, thank you Erica, you just made me smile. Hope you and your family have a wonderful start to your week as well. xoDelete
Is that soap in the last photo? I have never made lye soap despite the fact that I have the lye here just waiting to be used.ReplyDelete
It is Tracey, lavender soap, for a customer :) You should try it, there is the initial fear of working with lye, but after a few batches the fear fades, and you become respectful of the dangers, but not fearful.Delete
It does feel good to grown, harvest and preserve your own food. Those pickles look yummy! Sounds like you had a full (in the best possible way) weekend!ReplyDelete
You bet it does, and more so in the middle of winter to open those jars and enjoy the tastes of summer. Those pickles are delicious. It is my first year lacto fermenting and I don't think I will can any this year, all of our cucumbers will be fermented, so delicious and crunchy.Delete
It was full, but in a loving life kinda way, and that feels good.
It sounds like such a busy, productive weekend. I really love the look of your pickles, the color is beautiful. Good for you working with the lye. It always feels good to get over a hump like that and move on toward doing it all the time.ReplyDelete
Yes, busy and productive :) Those pickles are delicious Jennifer. After trying the lacto fermenting I am a convert and don't plan to can any the other way this summer.Delete
Yes, I love walking my edges, moving from a place of fear to respect. I have done it with the lye now, after a few tries, and it feels so good.
Your August sounds like it's going completely to plan! Are the seeds going to stay out in the open or are they going to be in your covered Winter areas?ReplyDelete
It is Sally, and I am loving it!Delete
They are in the open right now, although I did put a row cover over them to help with germination and to keep the little bugs from eating them. But as we move into September they will get a tunnel over them, first with a frost row cover, and later with plastic, so we can hopefully harvest well into the winter. Fingers crossed we keep the voles at bay this year, so they don't eat everything like they did last winter.
Sounds like a great weekend, that last picture is intriguing. Where do you sell your stuff?ReplyDelete
Thanks Carlin, it was :) That last photo is soap, just put into the soap mold to cure overnight.Delete
I don't have a shop or anything, just word of mouth locally, and those that aren't local, just email me orders and I ship them out and send a paypal invoice. It works for now.
Slow and easy August days. I like that. We are enjoying those too. Even in the midst of a move which has been less than slow and easy...trying to savor quiet and lazy evenings as we can.ReplyDelete
They are pretty awesome! Glad you are enjoying some too. Can't wait to hear more about your move. Hope it is going well.Delete
Sounds like such a lovely week-end. Your cukes look amazing. Sadly, our first lacto-fermented beans were not a success. I know what Ben said about mold not being so bad, but I think that I would like my first time to NOT be one where I had to scoop off a cm of white fuzz, you know? I will try again. Maybe you'll just have to show me how you make yours when I'm there. Maybe there is something I'm not quite catching. My sauerkraut looks and smells amazing though. :-)ReplyDelete
Will you be watching the Pleiades this week? We are hoping for a few cool and clear nights.
Have a wonderful week my dear. xo
It was, thanks Yanic! The cucumbers are amazing! I did one jar the day they talked about it in the workshop, and we cracked it open and love them. So this weekend I did five more jars, and will do more once more cucumbers are ready. I don't think I will can any the other way, we love them much better this way.Delete
Yeah, I didn't like the green beans as much, but I didn't add any spice or garlic to them. I think I will harvest some beans tomorrow and try again with some dill and garlic added. I think we will enjoy them more that way.
We can for sure chat about it when you are here. My sauerkraut is smelling pretty good too. I think when you are here it will be about time to crack it open for a taste :)
Hmmm...is that the meoter shower happening this week? Yes, we have plans too. Suppose to be able to see it best just before dawn here, which works perfectly with my early wake up time. And I think tomorrow morning is suppose to be clear. Fingers crossed.
Thanks, you too! xo
I'm making some fermented pickles too! Got to love Harvest for that. That soap looks divine. That will be my next new skill. Soap making. Just got to work up the nerve and also buy the dedicated equipment for it.ReplyDelete
They are so good KC! I made a jar right away when they talked about it in the course, and we already cracked it open. Once I knew we liked them, I fermented five jars this weekend, and as soon as more cucumbers are ready, more will be fermented.Delete
Thanks, the soap is fun to make, now that I have gotten over my fear of lye.
Oh how wonderful your weekend and coming week sounds. Let me know how your pickles turn out! And please share some soap tips! I am dying to get into it but I don't know where to start! Where did you purchase your lye and materials? Such a wonderful life you are living these days my friend.ReplyDelete
Alexa, they turned out great! We LOVE them! I did one jar just to make sure we liked them, and now we have five jars going and more to get started once more cucumbers are ready in the garden. So good!Delete
Oh you would love the soap making, so fun, once the initial lye fear is gone :) I picked up the lye at Home Hardware, and the oils just from the health food store. I use a lye calculator to determine how much lye to use with the combination of oils I am using.
You are welcome to join my anytime for a little soap making session :)
Aw, thanks. It feels pretty darn good to us :)
I'm excited to see pics of your soap and read more about your process for making it. I've always wanted to give it a try.ReplyDelete
Your pickles are looking yummy. Sound like you had a great weekend!
I am not sure I will share the process for making it, there is already so much online about it, and honestly I am not expert, just doing what I know and have learned from others online. You should definitely try it, super fun!Delete
Thanks, they are so yummy!
It sounds like a lovely weekend. Sometimes the ones with the littlest plans turn out to be filled with the lovely small things of life. Here is to an equally wonderful week!ReplyDelete
So very true Kathleen :)Delete
Sounds so lovely. Also, I don't think there is anything quite as beautiful as rows of canning jars filled with goodness. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Alyssa! I am with you on that one. At the moment I am just a few canning jars away from filling our pantry shelves and gosh it is beautiful to look at, and makes me so very happy.Delete
I wish I could say the same about our August! Right when our little farm is calling us to stay home and collect and preserve the fruits of our harvest, our social life and school are calling us back into the world. It is a tense time of year, balancing these things, but at least I expect it these days. And I have the strength, as I get a little older, to carve out the time that we and the farmlette deserve.ReplyDelete
I am curious about your pickles (I missed the Harvest workshop). Did you simply brine them and jar them? I've always read that you have to use a crock. And after you open them, so they stop fermenting, how do you store them long term?
I am so happy you are having some quiet days with that beautiful family on your little homestead. Such important time!
Off to wake up the four year old birthday boy :-)
Yes, I am sure this is a busy time of year for you, with the start up of school, but I am glad you are carving out some time for both you and your family, and all the goodness in the garden.Delete
Yes, make a salt water brine, add in your cucumbers (or green beans) some garlic, dill and oak leaves (the tannins help the cucumbers stay crunchy). I leave them on the counter overnight, slightly open, then seal them up and put them in the basement. I burp the jars daily, and in about a week or two they are ready. Then they move to the fridge, to slow the fermentation process, and we eat them :) If you had a basement (that stayed cool enough), garage, or root cellar, they could be stored there as well. They will last 4 to 6 months, and while they are still okay to eat after 6 months, they might be a little mushy. We will most likely move ours to the basement once it is cool enough down there for winter storage, but for now they move to the fridge. And yes, it will get a little crowded in there for a while :)
Thank you my friend, we are definitely enjoying these days.
Four!!! Wow, happiest of days to him. I hope he has the most wonderful day. And a happy birthing day to you mama. xo
Lovely. Somehow I missed that you've been making your own soaps. We're long overdue to make another batch (something my friends remind me of regularly enough). It is a deeply rewarding process even if it can be a little intimidating.ReplyDelete
I haven't talked about the cold process soap at all. I had been making melt and pour for years, but took the leap into working with lye this year. I love it, and won't go back to melt and pour. You are right, it is rewarding, and now that I have gotten over my fear of lye, it is so simple.Delete