Thursday, 2 July 2015

Independence Days Challenge: Week Five

I was pleased to get the potato patch prepared this week, all ready for the chitting potatoes to be planted in about 4-6 weeks.

1. Plant something

I purchased some more great bargains as well. So I planted - 40 strawberry runners, 24 asparagus crowns, a chocolate mint, walking onion, a punnet of dwarf snapdragons and a punnet of cornflowers.

2. Harvest something

Some day soon I will not be writing lemons and eggs here every week! Although I did also use some mint, rosemary and chives in cooking during the week. I also harvested some lavender and put it in white sugar to make lavender sugar and kept some to dry.

Eggs - yay! The egg production just keeps going up. Two weeks ago, it was lucky to be two a day - now I have to get back into the habit of taking a basket to hold them all. For the week to date (4 days - Monday to Thursday), I got 37 eggs.

3. Preserve something

Hmmm, another canning fail this week! These school holidays are quite short and I want to spend as much time as possible with the boys.

4. Minimise waste

Following on with the chicken feed idea from last week, Katie shared her experience of growing buckwheat for her chickens.
And from Geoff Lawton, a video on feeding chickens without grain, by using compost. I watched this video ages ago and had forgotten it, until I was speaking to a permaculture friend about the chickens. She reminded me of this so now I am starting some compost heaps out in the paddock for the chickens.

5. Want Not

Just re-reading storage blogs and books to try and work out some sort of system! I am just at a loss here - there has to be a way to make this happen without any extra space!

6. Cook something new

I ordered some milk kefir grains and started making it a few days ago. It was expecting it to taste really horrible but I quite like it. I have been thinking about kefir for a while, but finally went ahead when hubby started buying Yakult all the time. The waste in those little bottles drives me crazy! Then I researched the ingredients - lots of sugar! 

Milk kefir grains
I found a recipe for kefir cheese, so when my kefir has multiplied enough, I will try this.

7. Manage your reserves

I have purchased my heirloom seeds for this year and am planning to do some serious seed saving this year.

Therese commented last week about my storage shed plans that a strawbale shed would be a great option for keeping temperatures more stable. Yes! Like this one - Jana's Strawbale Shed.

I also borrowed some Tiny House books from the library for some additional inspiration. 

8. Work on local food systems

Just some private swaps between friends this week. Eggs are multiplying as they are now laying 9 or 10 a day!

Some links for this week:

44 Of The Most Impressive Tiny Houses

This treehouse is one of my favourites!
How to make kefir cheese and whey

Gravity chicken run design - such a clever idea! Put the chicken run on a slope and they will automatically scratch everything to the bottom for easy collection.

Have a lovely week!

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