Monday, September 28, 2009

Independence Days Week #22

Plant something:
My planting for this year is done until the garlic goes in sometime late next month. However I have started sprouting seeds again, and though it's technically not exactly planting something, I think it's an important element to a more local, nutritious diet, especially for those of us in the northern hemisphere, so I'm going to include my sprouting here. This week I sprouted mung beans.

Harvest something:
- 3lbs tomatoes
- 3lb head of cabbage
- tatsoi
- chard
- pole beans
- chamomile
- cucumbers
- nettle
- mallow flowers

Preserve something:
- elderberry elixir with fresh berries from the farmer's market
- froze tomatoes
- started small batch of fermented pickles
- mallow flower syrup
- shelled and put up pole beans
- pickled beets

Waste not:
- enviro-laundry and dish soap refills
- baked bread, roasted carrots, beets, squash, cooked rice in sun oven (On Friday I managed a two dish sun oven day! The squash was done when I got home from work and there was plenty of sun left to cook some rice. The squash and carrots ended up as a delicious soup.)

Preparation and storage:
- added iodine to medicine chest
- found tinctures on sale and since tinctures last for ages I promptly picked up a few useful remedies to also add to the medicine chest
- the ADGMD picked up some candle lanterns to add to the emergency preparedness supplies

Build community food systems:
- the usual local food from the farmer's markets

Eat the food:
- tomato and basil pizza with cheese
- tatsoi, chard and nettle stir fry with rice
- cream of nettle soup
- mung bean salad
- stuffed poached egg tomatoes drizzled with basil infused oil


Tony R. said...

So what exactly do you have to do to "put up" beans? Thanks!

Amber said...

So easy!
Plant and grow your beans up poles.
Leave beans on the vine until the leaves die back and the bean pods start to get hard, dry up and shrivel.
Panic because you think you let your beans die and you've lost your harvest.
Take a deep breath and have faith.
On a dry day, harvest your shriveled up beans.
Pour yourself a glass of wine (or two), grab two big bowls (one for the beans, one for the empty pods), and a friend if you like..
Get comfy and start shelling your beans.
Delight in running your fingers through the beans over and over again.
Leave the beans out for a few days, turning them occasionally to ensure all the beans are dry.
Store the beans in a jar, in a cool dry place (save some for seed).
Smile with satisfaction and make plans to plant three times as many beans next year!

Tony R. said...

That's awesome...seems super easy! I can't wait till spring to plant some beans. This year we just got a few green and wax beans.

What kinds do you plant?

Amber said...

I planted bush beans and poles beans this year, but I don't remember what variety! I have the seed packets tucked away somewhere...

I do know that they came from a lovely local couple who save their own heritage seeds.

If you can find a local seed supplier I would suggest checking them out. The bonus advantage to this is that often the plants will be more adapted to your climate and growing conditions and resistant to pests.

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Green Grrl said...

Very impressed with your pole beans! I tried to grow some beans for drying this year but they were bush beans and with all the rain we got, the slugs were out in full force and ate them all. Boo. Will try again next year with a pole bean variety.

Amber said...

Hey Green Grrl! It was basically dumb luck and laziness with the beans. ;) I wasn't sure when to harvest them and kept putting off finding out until it looked like they were dead. Then I panicked thinking I had lost the whole crop. Thankfully it all worked out in the end, and I can't wait to try and grow tons more next year!