Sunday, July 31, 2016

Monthly Goals Update and This Week's Goals

 GAH!!!!!!!  I am so, so frustrated right now.

I was getting invaded by slugs, so I went and bought beer yesterday and set up slug traps next to my seed beds and spread coffee grounds around to deter the ants from them and figured I was hopefully going to see improvement in the seedlings.

Well, it turns out that beer attracts chickadees.  Chickadees like seeds.  I went out to check on the garden to have a flock of chickadees take off for the trees and found my beer traps nearly empty and my seedlings dug up and the seeds on the bottom of them eaten.  At least some of the chickadees were intoxicated enough that they ran into the side of the camper.  I hope it hurt *grumble*.

I quit on the idea of a fall/winter garden at this point.  It was kind of an experiment anyway seeing as how our first frost date is 24 days away or so.  At this point I've blown through a full package of turnip seeds, am lamenting the loss of Tyfon (Chinese vegetable) seeds and generally wanting to do nasty things to all bugs and wildlife.  

I do have a few turnip seedlings that are advanced enough I MIGHT get a few turnips out of the bed, hopefully, and the beet seeds are kind of bursting from the soil in the one bed, so a few of them might survive too.  I'm just not planting anymore seeds right now.  Carrots and turnips are at least relatively cheap at the produce stand and there's the U-Pick farm that I can hit.  Thank goodness I've been saving for the last month in case disaster hit with the garden.

Anyway, the goals for this last week were kind of a mixed bag.

I got erbswurst made for my husband's birthday this week out of materials I had around the house in the pantry and freezer (seen up top and yes, I know it looks kind of gross *laugh*).  Erbswurst is actually a German survival food and is super condensed pea soup formed into a sausage.  You then cut off chunks of said sausage, mix with boiling water to the right consistency and voila!  Pea soup. 

Making it took a long while.  I had to pulverize the peas in the coffee grinder that I normally use for herbs and things and that took a while so I didn't overheat it.  Then it was only after, oh, two hours in that I realized the way I was rendering fat down and bacon down on low heat that I was essentially making lard to hold the sausage together.  So, it took pretty much a whole morning to get it done.  It did come together alright, but I have to admit that the sight of a BRIGHT green sausage is kind of odd.  It also made quite a bit for one recipe.  My husband keeps wanting to try and store it at room temperature, but with the bacon in it I'm nervous to do that, so I'm storing it in the fridge for now.  It should keep forever in there. 

The pretzels, however, didn't get done.  I just had too much to do with a sick kiddo and the garden and things.  At least the son is feeling better now.

I, obviously finished a Christmas gift this week.  Cleaning goals took a back seat due to my son being sick this week, so that didn't get done.  It's been cool enough that I COULD have canned stuff this week, but I was so tired during the day with my son not sleeping at night that it just wasn't going to happen.  I'm hoping this next week will go better for that.

I have continued to harvest peas out of the garden and raspberries (getting down to the end of those) and rose hips around the yard.

Getting up earlier didn't happen.  In fact, today, my son was up at four but blessedly went back to bed, so I ended up sleeping in WAY later than I planned.  Hopefully tomorrow I can get up earlier and get an early start on food preservation things that need to be done.

And, once again, the menu plan didn't happen.  This week I'm determined to do better in that regard.

This week's goals are pretty simple.
1.  Continue to work/save what is left in the garden.
2.  Continue to work on Christmas gifts.
3.  Rearrange kitchen and pantry so everything works in my new "system".
4.  Pay bills for August.
5.  Figure out shopping goals for August.
6.  Figure out monthly goals for August.
And there you are folks.  My goals for this week.  How about you?


  1. Spread crushed eggshells around your seedlings, slugs won't get to them because they can't move through sharp edges of shells... plus, eggshells improve soil

  2. I went out early this morning and picked all the basil leaves leaving very little left. I am hoping for at least one more cutting and make my dh a pasta dish he saw on tv and wanted me to try. I have seen only about one dz. Japanese beetles but boy can they destroy a plant. I do have more tomatoes starting to ripen so hopefully will be about to get them before anything else does. Cheryl

  3. My Dearest Ericka,
    I am so sorry to hear about the disaster with your garden; however, you may not give up. I suggest you sit down and have a good cry (you have earned it), blow your nose, then get up and try again. Quitting is never an option.
    In a few days, you will receive a package in the mail with enough seeds to plant an acre size farm. When they arrive, throw them all out and just dare any bug or bird to eat them all. Most of the seeds I am sending are for winter plants that bolted on me this spring. You will notice many of them will say something like “cabbage ?”. Everything just seemed to bolt and fall over in a big mess together. It will be a surprise! Perhaps you can figure out what is eating everything and experiment with different poison options. Just remember. If you harvest just one meal this fall, you have succeeded.
    One package of seeds is labeled “pyrethrum, don't eat”. It is for next year if you want to try it. It is the ingredient used in organic bug sprays. You will see it listed on all the spray bottle labels. It is a small daisy plant that you harvest the leaves, make a tea, then use it as a spray. I tried it this year. It has worked so far on flea beetles and aphids; but, you have to spray it and hit the bug it seems. It also seems to only be good for one day. The next day the bugs can walk over the plant where you sprayed and not die. If you want to Google it by the Latin name it is: Pyrethrum, Chrysanthemum cinerolanifium.
    I will head to the post office in the morning and then await your reply.
    The self appointed bossy blogger

    1. Aw, thanks Jeanie! I did indeed have a good cry, went out and planted yet more seeds this morning, spread some egg shells and some DE around the plants that are still hanging in there and then planted the kid's old metal chairs over the seedlings after I sure they had enough water on them. Then I spread some nylon mesh netting type of material I had over the top of them and weighted the edges down with rocks. By God if slugs and birds are going to go after the seedlings I have left they are REALLY going to have to try. At least enough light gets through the mesh on the chairs so they won't suffer from lack of sunlight. Stubborn to the point of stupidity. That's me *laugh*.

  4. Hi Erika,
    Jeannie is the best. So wonderful to have support in your corner. My Dad always told me that a "Winner never quits, and a quitter never wins." The war on bugs and slugs shall be won:)

    I finally pulled the kale and cabbage out that the beetles decimated and prepared the ground over the weekend for new seeds to try the fall garden experiment. I had some extra seeds that would be ready for harvest in 50 days and unearthed some spinach seeds that I forgot I had that should be ready to harvest in 30-50 days. Here's hoping the beetles are gone and won't get these. As I've told you I'm absolutely homicidal about them. My goals for this month are to continue with food preservation and storage, get some Christmas gifts made, be creative in preparing meals, and get all of the blinds washed. (Ugh). I also want to go to the library and see if they have any books on edible and medicinal plants or weeds. From what I can see on online there appear to be things growing in my backyard that could be useable for medicinal things. Then I want to check with the agricultural center to see if they offer any classes in such things that might be tuition free. Dorothy

    1. The best and most prolific herb that grows as a weed pretty much everywhere is plantain (Google Plantain herb images and you'll quickly realize you walk over it all the time). It's a wonderful herb for skin care products and has some internal applications that I'm drawing a blank on at the moment. You can fry up the young greens and use them in stir fry even. Dandelions you can use the blossoms in skin care products as a hydration agent, the leaves can be harvested when young as greens and eaten like spinach and the roots can be harvested (which is a PAIN but can be done), dehydrated and used as a coffee substitute (and is a great liver cleanser). I really got into herbs and things for a while and even studied textbooks on the matter as I was trying to find things that would help my son's skin. I'll dig up my herb books, get some references that I really liked and I'll e-mail the list to you :).

    2. Thanks for your help. I have read about the plaintains and my yard is full of them. I'm curious about the plants that have little purple clusters of flowers, and some that have little orange four petal flowers. We also have abundant chicory growing everywhere and when roasted and ground it is a great coffee extender as well as liver cleanser (I think), it's also good soluble fiber (inulin). Also can be mixed with dandelion root to make a decent tasting herbal coffee.