Oh so much to talk about today. No, no harvests. The tunnel is still buried in snow and no thaws in sight. But I have been using my harvest, finished part of my experiment, and started my spread sheet tally. I'll start with what I've been eating.
As usual when my husband is out of town, I made a batch of soup to eat up over several days. This time it was black bean soup. It is an easy recipe. Black beans, salsa, broth, cumin, and salt. I cooked the Trail of Tears black beans (from the garden) the day before. The salsa was canned from my tomatoes and peppers. The broth was made from a chicken raised by a friend of my townhouse mate. Sadly the cumin was bought from the store. I did try to grow cumin last year but all the seedlings died very quickly. I'm trying again this year. Anyway I whiz it all up in a blender and heat it up. It is fast and delicious. I topped it with Vermont cheddar. Yum.
Also I'm sad to report I ate the last of the pickled hot peppers. My breakfast every morning is eggs. I fry up some veggies. In the summer it is whatever is on hand. But in the winter it is peppers, onions and mushroom. Then I scramble them and the eggs all together. When I don't have any red peppers to use in the fridge I toss in my pickled jalapenos instead. Yum. This was the last batch of eggs to be made. BTW this is not four eggs. This is two eggs. They both had double yolks. I guess it was a fitting send off of the last peppers. Now breakfast has no home grown produce in it at all. How sad. I'm growing a lot more peppers next year. So hopefully I can freeze some for my breakfasts. I'm going to test if frozen peppers work well first, but I think they will.
I had a minor experiment going to see how things stored in the fridge. In December before the ground froze solid, I picked a lot of Asian greens. I wanted to see how they would last. The results are in. The tatsoi above is from that batch. I can probably keep it two months in the fridge without an issue. The Fun Jen gets a bit dry on its leafy ends, but the rest of the stalks and closer leaf is just fine. The boc choy is OK but not great. It lasts a bit shorter. BTW I store my greens in a large tupperware container with a towel on the bottom of it. It seems to keep greens better than any other way I've done it. Nothing slimes out. The greens get enough air, but it is small enough that the air stays very moist. It works well.
The greens that I picked in January (I saved some tatsoi from that picking to see how it would last) didn't last as long. They really needs to be eaten within a week or two of picking. The partially frozen stalks just can't hold up. This gives me a really good handle on how to save my greens for next year. Basically fill up the fridge as much as possible with them early. Then during winter during thaws only pick enough for a week.
I used the tatsoi in a nice stir fry. Again featuring the chicken mentioned before. Basically it was roast chicken one night. Chicken soup another. Then stirfry. Then the last of the broth in my black bean soup. I still have some shredded chicken left which might go into enchiladas or tacos later this week. A whole chicken lasts a long time in a two person family.
Now for the tally. I've bought seeds from Fedco. My biggest order ever at $74.50 for seeds. Usually it is half that. But then I used to have less than half the space too. And I'm trying new things I haven't ever done (like fava beans) or haven't done in a while (like corn and melons). I have the space for it all now, so I might as well use it. I might order from Pinetree too. Ali was raving over Black Futsu Squash and it seemed perfect for me. But I don't know. It might happen another year. We will see.
I also placed an order with the Northeast Organic Farming Association. A big one so I joined too. I have to laugh at it since our little 9000 sqft lot that I share with another family is by no means a farm. But I figured I would stock up for the next several years with heavy stuff. It costs too much to ship and they sell it so much cheaper than my local shops. I probably won't do this often, but this year seemed like a good one. The total is $454.52. Which is a lot. Yes indeed. But over the long run it will be cheaper. Fertilizers, soil amendments, worm poo, Sluggo, seeds starting soil, netting, irt mulch, twine. I'm wondering how many years it will be before I have to buy it all again. Since it is for more than one year I'm going to amortize it over three years. Some of it will last much longer and some less, but it is a good enough.
I also need to add in things that were already amortized. The beds, soil, tomato cages, concrete bricks, and composter. So far this year I'm down -349.49 and I have more to add in. I need to buy more tomato cages and supports for my beans, cukes and melons. I might get bamboo for that. I liked bamboo in my old garden. It was easy to make any support you needed. I'd like to make an arch over one section of my path and I could do that with bamboo. They sell large bundles of bamboo which I'd have to get. Bamboo is also nice since we are putting in live bamboo along the edge in the shaded spot in the yard. We could harvest to add to the stash as it grows. But I'm still thinking on it. I won't need it for a while.
- Spent and Amortized total: $-363.49
- Total harvested for the year 0.59lbs
- 2011 Tally $-359.38
Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.