Saturday, August 8, 2009

August 8th - To All Ye Beer Snobs!

To all ye beer snobs - fear this! Mountain Creek - priced at only $2.50 a sixer, weighing in at 6.0% alcohol by volume, this cool slice of heaven goes down easy and crisp. Oh yeah!

Now on to serious matters - food preservation. Lately, we have been pulling out all sorts of goodies from the garden and are now in a position to prepare, consumer and/or store the food. Pictured below are the items we've collected! Dehydrated mulberries, chamomile, sun-dried tomato, pickles, carrots, zucchini and potato. In the foreground are the veggies I picked just today - the first eggplants, broccoli, and more zucchini! The veggies we don't consume right away will be spirited away to the dehydrator so they don't go to waste and for use this winter.

Dehydrating food is a beautiful thing. This technique of food preservation is very efficient in terms of space, integrity of vitamin and nutrient content and the amount of energy needed to get the food in this state. Once the food is dehydrated, it can stay on the shelf for years with little disruption of vitamin content and taste.

Here are the mulberries. There are more out there, but time has not allowed me to pick too much more. This should be enough for about 3 pies. I have rhubarb dehydrated, too, which will find its way into a few pies.

Pickles! It's a store-bought spice mix. Jason popped a jar open and they are quite delish! They should be better in a month or two.

Outside in the garden, things are getting good. Here are our bean plant. Those little flowers are where the beans will come from. Can't wait!

Tomatillo. Very excited about tomatillo.

More beans. These have purple flowers, adding to the overall purple theme of the garden.

Some of the first tomatoes out of the garden! The weather has been so strange and cool that our tomatoes haven't been able to truly take off. I think we will start seeing a lot more coming in now. The tomatoes plants are truly monsters - they love it in the 'spaghetti garden'. I wish the peppers could be persuaded ...

We've been getting eggs from our chickens now! This morning Jason brought in 7 eggs. No kidding. It is going to get ridiculous quite soon.

Purple-stalked kale. We have a kale-lentil stew recipe that we haven't touched since almost before we got married. That would be a worth-while recipe to bring to the front. Kale is very rich in vitamins and a great source of fiber. This, too, can be dehydrated for use in adding to soups and stews later.

The 'mystery gourd' a-frame! It's is, apparently, kicking some ass. I was scheduled to construct another a-frame, since the amount of gourd plants was wider then the a-frame ... but ... i don't think this is going to happen. I've been trying to get all of the plant vines trained up the side of the a-frame and just don't have time to build another right now. So ... we'll see.

So far so good! Here is some kind of squash hanging from underneath the a-frame. :)

It does appear that my urgent gardening duties have been exhausted and that I can finally get back to finishing up this crazy dome. I just spent a bunch of moo-lah on clear woven poly agricultural tarp to cover the structure. Now I have sit and do the meditative work of pressing and drilling the struts for the dome so that it may be once and for all erected.

I may need more Mountain Creek for this job. It's Saturday night ... my favorite jazz/world music show is on tonight ... and my friend downstairs will be playing music, which means I get to sit it. Should be a good night regardless. :)

peace ...

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