February 26, 2010

Generousity and the Human Spirit

This post is personal -
I received a care package of heritage vegetable seeds, 21 packets, last week. I want to post a public thank you for this generosity and it has taken me this long to be able to express what this kindness really means to me. The seeds were obviously specially picked out to suit my climate, even an oriental vegetable for fall planting. The seed name, seed seller and days to maturity were clearly written on the tiny kraft envelopes. How did she know my distaste for plastic and my belief that seeds need a breathable container for storage? There is more seed in each envelope than I got in any envelope I have purchased in the last 5 years. They are rare and wonderful varieties which get my dopamine going in fantastic anticipation of the food they will produce. They are seeds for plants that I can save the seed from, to have for all time. I really believe everything I grow or can save seed from will be a survival inheritance for those who come after me. Did I mention 21 packets?! Not a small expense for me. More people are eating from my garden this year than ever before, we will not be short of food.

Who is this wonderful gift to me? Kelli at How My Garden Grows Go check her blog out. She can do magic with plants, just look at how much food she produces in her front yard garden. I know some of this magic was shipped with my seeds. She is studying to be a master gardener and her posts are interesting and full of new ideas about modern gardening. Last fall she did a comparison taste test with her heirloom tomatoes. And wouldn't you know it she sent me seeds for both the best tasting varieties. She knows I grow hot peppers in my house and she sent me seeds for miniature sweet peppers so I can have them all winter too.

I have had very bad luck buying good seed, wasting a lot of time and money. A stranger's kindness can reach across the continent to be an answer to my prayers. As much as I love the seeds it is the personalized gesture of compassion, so rare in my world, that makes my heart swell the most. Thank you.

February 17, 2010

Tree Porn for the Butterflies

I grew up on the vacant prairies so everyday here in the BC woods is magically beautiful. It still amazes me to see 100' trees and I look at them everyday. Today was 15 degrees above normal. We have no snow left. This is 6 weeks ahead of the norm. Am not sure whether I should plant or not. A frost could come when the trees and bushes bud and take my fruit crops. I wonder about the perennials and trees in the southern United States and whether they will survive the long periods of snow.

February 15, 2010

Farmers Wanted

Farmers Wanted

Apply via e-mail to ruralrose@msn.com. In your letter, include who you are and what you want for the future, your skills and limitations and what you require in exchange for your services.

On our farm, daily chores could include:
woodworking, carpentry, masonry work,
small engine and automotive mechanics, welding,
taking care of sick and baby animals,

feeding/watering/moving animals (rabbits, goats,
turkeys, chickens, pigs, worms), collecting eggs, goat
milking and help with kidding, hunting, fishing,
harvesting/preserving herbs/mushrooms, fruits and
vegetables, cooking/baking, cleaning, cutting
firewood, selective logging, planting/watering crops,
butchering/cutting/wrapping, smoking meat and sausage
making, collecting/spreading fertilizer,
working with
leather, running a chipper,
starting seeds/propagating, making wine/cheese/tofu,
setting up hydro-power for farm, irrigation projects,
fencing, predator patrol, tree
pruning/grafting, beekeeping, weed pulling, value-added processing, and selling to customers.

February 04, 2010

Memories of Summer

I am missing summer today.

Time Elapsed

I found this little video on youtube today. It was taken near my home. Watch the clouds, this is how they are most days. The snow is all but gone now. Peace


February 01, 2010

Frugal Preserving Food - Pickled Eggs

In keeping with the fermented foods and egg posts I present pickled eggs. Don't ask me how long they last because they disappear from my fridge almost immediately.

Like all fermented foods, pickling eggs is easily accomplished with the correct timing. Air gets into an egg as it ages, so the peel comes off easily from an older egg. For this reason I reserve my cleanest eggs for 2 months before I make pickled eggs.

Usually, this time of year, we have eaten all the dill pickles and pickled hot peppers. I use excellent organic apple cider vinegar for these and hated to throw it out when the pickles were gone. This vinegar is excellent to add to soups and salads. Still, when the pickles were consumed we kept the jars of vinegar in the fridge to pickle the eggs in.

Bring the eggs to the boil like as described in my previous post, Eggs Are Good.
Peel the egg trying to keep the egg attractive with the yolk inside. My eggs are so super that the yolk are huge making this almost impossible. I am sure I could pickle them, but they make the vinegar clouding and unappealing. I make egg salad out of the duds. Egg salad, eggs, mayo, dry mustard, salt and pepper, celery, grated carrots and dill pickles - mmm.

Well back to the pickled eggs. Peel them and put them into the jars. Fill the jar as much as you can without packing them so tight that the vinegar can't engulf all the eggs. I love the spicy hot pepper eggs out of hand and the dill pickle eggs are excellent in salads, especially potato salad. I give the vinegar to my chickens and would never reuse the vinegar after the eggs are gone. Could it be any easier?

Can you tell it is dinner time for me? Peace

Garden Seed Shortage

Seed shortages could imperil home gardens
Gardeners may have hard time finding seeds for cucumbers, carrots, onion

updated 10:21 a.m. PT, Mon., Feb. 1, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa - Dreaming of biting into a garden-fresh cucumber sandwich this summer? Better order your seeds now.

A poor growing season last year and increased orders from Europe could make it difficult for home gardeners to get seeds for the most popular cucumber variety and some vegetables this spring. Farmers, who usually grow different varieties than home gardeners, aren't likely to be affected.
Seeds for what's known as open-pollinated cucumbers seem to be most scarce, but carrots, snap peas and onions also could be in short supply.

Read the complete article here seed shortages.