Monday, August 31, 2009

Independence Days Week #18

Harvest something:
- 9oz of chard
- 13oz pole beans
- 1lb cukes
- 7.5lbs tomatoes
- purslane, dandelion, horseradish leaves, grape leaves, mint, nettle, goldenrod flowers, mallow flowers, chamomile, oregano, thyme, basil

Preserve something:
- made and froze tomato sauce
- drying herbs
- infusing mallow flowers into honey
- tincturing American ginseng (My favourite seed suppliers also cultivate their own American ginseng. Happy day!)
- infusing goldenrod, some into oil, some into rubbing alcohol- For External Use Only! (My first liniment! I just really like the word liniment. Liniment. Say it with me now: liniment. Mmmmm...)
- started second step of basilcello
- started another batch of sauerkraut (Hopefully with cooler temperatures and the right amount of salt, I won't lose this batch.)
- crab apple and plum jam (Yep, I finally did it. I got the water bath canner out and put up some food. Phew. More on this later...)

Waste not:
- made Everything But the Kitchen Sink soup with all the veggie bits that needed to be used up
- made rice in the sun oven
- returned paper egg cartons to my local egg guy
- bused, walked and biked to run all my errands this weekend, and oh boy were there ever a lot of errands!
- attempting to make apple cider vinegar from canning leftovers with the help of Chile and Kate

Want not:
- salvaged very sturdy bucket and garden tools from the curb
- thrifted stainless steel travel mug (to replace the one I left in my dad's car while I was visiting on holidays), measuring spoons, baster, canning jars

Preparation and Storage:
- purchased canning lids, pickling salt, sugar, beeswax (to make salve from my infused oils), thermometer, timer
- cleaned out ancient condiments from fridge, composted contents, washed all the jars for reuse (Wow, did it ever feel good to get that job checked off my 'to do' list!)

Build community food systems:
- local food from farmer's markets
- gave away tomatoes from garden to neighbours
- received jar of crab apple preserves

Eat the food:
- enjoyed soup for a few meals
- stir fried chard, purslane and dandelion
- tomato, basil and bocconcini salad
- cucumber salad
- green beans with rice
- jam on toast


Anonymous said...

Please feel free to make more Everything But the Kitchen Sink soup.

It was satisfying in ways almost indescribable.

Anonymous said...

Hi Amber,
I noticed in an earlier post (can't find it again) that you tinctured Nettle seeds. I'm a big nettle leaf fan, but have never heard of using the seeds before. I found some info on the net. Sounds interesting. This is the only site I follow regularly, so it feels more like asking a real person :)
Have you used the seeds before? What are they like for you? Have you used them for long periods of time? Very Curious.

Thanks! Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

One more thing,
I reference your blog a bit. Any chance you could add a 'search this blog' gadget? Would be very helpful!

Thanks again!

Amber said...

Hi! Thanks for the comment and great questions.

I only just learned about nettle seeds this year after reading what has now become one of my fav herbal blogs.

Here is a recent post the blog author put up not too long ago, all about nettle seeds.

There is also a great discussion of nettle seeds here.

I have been harvesting the seeds for some time now and using them in their dried form and taking about half a teaspoon a day, when I remember.

I also tinctured some for a friend, which should be about ready now.

The seeds are not unpleasant to eat and I tested the tincture the other day and it has quite an earthy taste underneath the alcohol.

I find my energy levels are consistently good when I take the seed and even if I've had too little sleep the day before I can make it through the day very alert and on the ball.

I've only been using them for about two months, so it's kinda hard to say exactly how they might be effecting me or not, but I certainly don't feel any negative side effects and I suspect I am deriving some benefit from using them.

I love nettle in general, eating it, drinking the tea, using it for a hair rinse... I'm happy to have found a use for the seeds as well. Most people cringe when they come across nettle growing. It makes me happy!

If you give the seeds a try, I'd be interested to know what you think of them.

As for a search function, because I use blogger, there should be a 'search blog' spot at the top of the page, on the blogger tool bar.

Let me know if you don't have that option and I'll see what I can do.

Take care,