I’m not sure what’s up with me lately. I haven’t really felt like writing. Really, I haven’t really even wanted to be on the computer all that much. I know enough about myself to know not to force myself to do something or eventually I’ll lose interest in it stop doing it. And I really don’t want to do that with this. It’s strange being this way. I’m doing a lot, but most of it seems kind of like a “been there, done that” type of activity. But I’ve been doing a lot. Not to mention reading through Gaia’s Garden, Food not Lawns, Forest Gardening and Diet of a Small Planet (among others) as fast as I can.
We recently bought a pig, which I was excited to do. I’m excited to cure the ham and bacon myself. Quite excited about that actually. I think I’ll just do a wet cure/brine type of thing since they will be refrozen when they are finished, but that’s something new to do and try and learn. I really plan to try a dry cure next this coming fall so I can take advantage of the cold weather to preserve the meat over the winter. I’m excited to fire up old smoky and smoke up all the shoulders too and make up a ton of pulled pork. I just love pulled pork. The price of the pig worked out to about $2.20/lb, plus I ended up with 12 lbs of lard to use.
We cooked Easter dinner at my house and had some people over. Of course I cooked bread again, but it was a little different. I had the ham in the oven and the bread and the ham didn’t correspond temperature wise, so we ended up cooking the bread in a toaster oven, which we had in the bathroom on the counter, because the kitchen was out of room. I’ve never made bread before in the bathroom so that was interesting. I also decided not to score the top and the bread ended up being very soft and pillowy on the inside. I have no idea if the scoring or the toaster oven caused that. Or if it was a fluke. Or the fact that I couldn’t fit in any water to steam it like I have in the past. Who knows. I’ll try everything separately until I figure out what causes it to be so soft on the inside.
We’ve been outside getting the gardens ready when the temperatures aren’t crazy low. So far I’ve gotten onions and radishes, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, tons of carrots, broccoli, bok choy, peas and fava beans, lettuce, swiss chard and maybe a few more things planed that I can’t remember right now. The garlic seems to be doing great this year, even if I did accidentally cut down some of the tops last year when I was weeding that bed. The potatoes went in last Sunday (I missed Good Friday because it was so cold that day) using a modified leaf/tire method of growing. The last thing for me to do with the gardens is get the 3 sisters garden planted (or I might do peanuts there), build a few beds to train some crops up a privacy fence to use my vertical space and build the last big bed which will be a key hole bed and hold the tomatoes and peppers among other warmer weather crops. Oh, and I might be doing some sunflowers and sunchokes along a patio to offer some natural shade to that patio when it gets unbearably hot in the summer.
We’ve also been busy ordering up some fruit plants. We’ve ordered 5 raspberry bushes, 2 cherry bushes, a pear tree, a peach tree and some asparagus to plant. Soon I’ll be buying 3 or 4 blueberry bushes and adding some strawberries over a hillside. I just don’t like digging up the yard outside when it’s 25 degrees.
On top of that we yanked one kid out of a day care that wasn’t up to par and my wife and I are working opposite shifts for now so she can be home with him during the day while I watch them both at night. This month can’t get over fast enough. My poor wife is running on very little sleep right now.
In other news, this here is a picture only a mother would love.