Monday, June 1, 2009

Independence Days Week #5

Plant Something:
- spring garlic gifted to us from Martha's garden
- 2 pepper seedlings gifted to us from our garden neighbour
- yarrow
- 7 cucumber seedlings
- 4 cabbage seedlings

Harvest Something:
- spring garlic
- violet leaves
- Gill-over-the-ground (or apparently, more commonly known 'round these parts as Creeping Charile or ground ivy)
- chives
- red raspberry leaves
- nettle seed
- dandelion leaves and flowers

Preserve something:

- drying violet leaves, Creeping Charlie, nettle seed and raspberry leaves
- dandelion vinegar

Reduce waste:
- cooked chickpeas in sun oven while at work (it's nature's slow cooker!)
- used the chickpea water for soup stock
- scavenged wood to build cucumber trellis
- scavenged seed starting trays and pots out of blue boxes

Preparation and Storage:

- added bulk lentils to food storage
- added 2L water to storage for a total of 26L
- got hatchet and the blades on my antique food chopper sharpened by the neighbourhood sharpener dude who drives around in the summer time ringing his bell. He's like the ice cream truck for adults who have blade sharpening needs!
- learned to identify Lamb's Quarters, yellow dock, Lady's mantle
- registered and had first day of year long herbal apprenticeship

Build Community Food Systems:
- went to potluck with fellow wild edible's participants
- talked about Independence Days challenge at peak oil discussion group, and with a friend
- shared green garlic with others
- helped neighbour gardeners protect some seedlings from risk of frost
- went to farmer's market

Eat the Food:

- ate the last of my homemade sauerkraut
- used chives in a version of this tasty recipe


Green Grrl said...

Ooo, should I be harvesting some leaves from my raspberry canes? Anything I need to know to do this correctly? Cool!

Amber said...

Yep! From what I've read the best time to harvest raspberry leaves is just before they flower, when the buds start to appear but right before the plant devotes its energy to flowering and producing fruit.

Red raspberry leaf is known as a uterine tonic, so it is especially good for pregnant women, however it is beneficial for women in general due to its high vitamin content and iron.

There is a good description of how and when to harvest and use the leaf here.

Very cool indeed!

Amber said...

Oh, I should add, for folks who don't visit the link, that the leaf should be used when it is either completely fresh or completely dry. Apparently the leaf goes through a chemical change during the drying process, so using wilted, partially dry leaves can cause nausea and vomiting.

Ruhh (aka Ron St. Louis) said...

Thanks for that tip regarding the best harvest/use time for raspberry leaves. My property and surrounding area is covered by them.

Oh yeah and although I've never made use of the sharpening wagon guy I've seen his truck around and always thought it to be an awesome idea.

I am considering buying a mushroom patch kit that you might find interesting too. Check the rest of Peter Stamens stuff too and watch his inspiring video on 6 ways mushrooms can save the planet.

Amber said...

Hey Ron!

Glad you found the raspberry leaf tip helpful.

And thanks for the mushroom links. I was just talking about the possibility of growing mushrooms with my dudeguy the other day!