One Local Summer is going great so far! And you can always sign up. If you want to participate just let me know.

We’ve been working hard to clean out our fridge. Last weekend I went a little too overboard at the market. I couldn’t help it, they had sooo much fresh stuff there. I was able to get 4 lbs of beans frozen over the week and I have another 3 in the fridge to freeze. I think that will be all for me though. I want to can the rest. Plus we’ve been eating a ton of zucchini and squash and broccoli and cauliflower, along with fresh potatoes. Fresh potatoes rule! So far the garden is growing a lot but hasn’t borne much fruit yet. It should be coming soon.

I dug up a chunk of celery at the end of last week so I could make some chicken noodle soup. My wife had a cold and that’s just the kind of guy I am you know. I couldn’t believe how strong the smell and flavor of the celery was. First time I’ve used fresh celery like that. I only planted 6 transplants so I’ll have to plant more for this fall or something. I’ll probably use those 6 before the summer is over. Celery (and carrots to a certain extent) are two things I absolutely can not get at the markets around here, so I’ve planted extra of my own to hopefully make up for that, although it is not nearly enough of them. We eat them a lot. Same with onions, except those are easier to get around here. Another strange one that isn’t prevalent is garlic. That year I was able to find one vendor with fresh garlic. And I think I cleaned him out. I used his cloves to grow some garlic this year, but it still isn’t enough and they didn’t do well. I think mostly planter error. I “accidentally” trimmed their stalks last fall thinking they were weeds. And I harvested them, but I think it was too early. But I ordered a bunch from Seed Savers to plant this fall again so we’ll give it another shot.

7-4-07-002.jpgWe made fresh pizza with homemade crust this weekend. So many people have done that on their blogs, but I was hesitant to try it. Not anymore. The crust is so good when you do that. I couldn’t believe how crunchy the bottom of the crust was. And it really doesn’t take anymore time than ordering a pizza from the pizza place. Considering I put on top quality ingredients (even using the mozzarella in the water) the cost was only $12 for 2 pizzas. And there was one lunch portion leftover and a couple pieces that were nice to have as a run by snack. If I can find some rennet (I’ve been looking but haven’t been successful so far. I don’t want to break down and get it off the net yet) I plan to make my own mozzarella the next time we have pizza. If you look at the pizzas below you can tell which one I made first. It took a little while for my pizza slinging skills to come back from college, but the 2nd one was much better in appearance.

A friend of mine gave me some chickens her dad raised. I think they must have been on steroids or something. They are huge!! It took at least an hour longer than normal to roast it in the oven. But, that will be even more chicken meat to can and broth to make and can. I love chicken broth. I honestly think it is a cure all for things that ail you. I have the cold that my wife had now, and I drank a quart of hot broth this morning. I’m feeling very good this morning. Ny-Quil and 11 hours of sleep last night probably helped too!

My friend’s dad is like the ultimate hobby farm guy. He has about 60 laying hens, 100 hens for meat, a horse or two, some goats, some ducks and I think a donkey too. I don’t know all the animals. That doesn’t seem like a hobby to me, but he says it is! It’s like Noah’s Ark over at his place. He grows a ton of produce and he gives it all to his family and friends. His full time gig is as a vet so I think farming/animals must be in his blood.

If you haven’t heard about the Planet Earth series that has been on the Discovery Channel from the BBC click here to read more. We had a chance to preview the videos for GG and they are nothing short of spectacular. If you have kids or grand kids you need to get a copy to watch with them. They are super educational and a great way to talk to your kids (or grandkids) about nature and animals and living together with animals.

Talk later. Have a good 4th. Make that cookout a local cookout!



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