Saturday, November 20, 2010

Homegrown

I think Jack and I have been making some progress, albeit small steps, towards producing more food here. He has been experimenting with sprouting seeds, which is pretty cool, and can be done by even apartment dwellers. He came up with this little set-up that fits under the countertop and will hold about 6 quart jars, or 4 quarts and 2 gallons. I like the neat little trays for the water to drain into. The lids have mesh or cheesecloth so the water can pass through easily. The jar closest to this end has alfalfa sprouts, then radish, winter wheat and fenugreek and broccoli. So far, the alfalfa and radish have done the best. In fact, we ate those on salads tonight along with stroganoff I made with deer meat, which I killed last year. We also had homegrown tomatoes and local onions in the stroganoff. The sprouts were very tasty and they are really healthy for you. They can also be added to soups and slaw and the larger sprouts can be used in stir-frys.
Do any of you sprout seeds and if so, which are your favorites??

The cabbage and broccoli are doing good. This is cabbage in the front, broccoli in the background. If all my cabbage plants do well I may try my hand at some homemade kraut this year.

I finally got around to planting my garlic today but it's still regularly in the 60's and 70's here, so I think they will be fine. I believe I planted somewhere around 50-60 cloves. These are planted on about 4-6 inch centers, which some might say is a little close, but hey, what the heck. I need to pack stuff in where I can. I added some bone meal and more compost to the area so I'm hoping these really do well. I go through a good bit of garlic with cooking and pickling, especially with Jack here now.

We also discovered a bit of a surprise in the garden today. We were out there prepping the area for the cold frame and Jack asked me why I had not picked all the fruit before the last cold spell. I said what??? There wasn't any fruit growing in the garden. Oh, yes there was too. He went over to this one overgrown little spot, which I thought was the remnants of a cucumber vine. He pulled back the dead grass and low and behold, there were scads of these things on the ground!

I had to laugh in amazement. Back in the summer I had bought an African Horned Melon from the grocery store and upon getting it home, discovered it really wasn't that good. So, I ditched the remains in the garden for compost. I never thought about it seeding itself. But wow, did it ever! There were probably a dozen or more of these bizarre and very prickly fruits. Unfortunately, they really are not very good. Mostly seed and a rather bland taste. They are cool to look at though. However, they do turn bright yellow when ripe and I thought they would be good for self defense. You sock somebody in the head with one of these babies and it would probably get their attention. The thorns on them are very sharp.

So, tomorrow morning I get to open the kiln on a glaze firing, so ya'll keep your fingers crossed for me. It would really be nice to have a great firing.


*Neil Young

7 comments:

Island Rider said...

Ohh, I know that feeling of anticipation of opening the kiln and the pleasure when the project turns out well and the disappointemnt when it doesn't. Here's hoping you are pleased this AM.

HermitJim said...

Garden surprises are always good! Well, nearly always...!

Sprouts are coming right along, aren't they? Could go a long way in getting some extra vitamins in your diet!

All in all, looks like everything is going pretty smooth...now if only the firing went well!

edifice rex said...

Hey IR! thanks! well, so far it looks as though it went well.

Hey Jim! yes, I think the sprouts are going to work out well.
thanks! I think the firing did go well.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I have made sauerkraut. It only takes 5 or 6 good sized cabbages to make a five gallon pail of kraut. It is easy. Your plants are looking really nice. I have always wanted to grow some garlic. The city near here has a galic festival each year. Thank God for immigrants who bring their food culture with them. While I like garlic I am not ready for garlic jam or garlic ice cream.

Good luck with your firings.

Jenn said...

Add those melons to your soup stock? Might give an interesting flavor in a dish that it doesn't have on its own?

Rita said...

Annie,
I don't know if you recognize it but you sound happier. Best to you each day. :)

edifice rex said...

Hey Philip! eeewwww, garlic ice cream! bleh!!!!
Can you not grow garlic because of the cold there? It is a very easy crop to grow otherwise. Just plant it and forget it really.

Hey Jenn! that's an idea but the melons really don't have much flavor either; just a lot of seeds. :D

Hey Reet! Do I? lol! well, I do feel encouraged and more enthusiastic about most things.
thanks!