Thursday, March 5, 2009

8 degree differential

7:30 am: 18 outside and 26 inside both frames. Supposed to get pretty hot and sunny today - I may need Sarah and Quinn to vent the square foot garden cold frame in the afternoon.

I unloaded a full truck of wood chips from sylvan into the compost pile this morning. The "green compost" bin is overflowing. I want to get a load of manure on Friday to rebuild the compost piles and get them burning again. The problem with compost bins in the winter is there is an abundance of carbon ingredients and absolutely nada in the way of nitrogen. That plus the cold temps meant that my compost sat pretty stagnant this winter. It is supposed to get warm this weekend and if I can get them fired back up with a load of mushroom manure (nitrogen), and some good layering of the two, I think I may be able to jump start them back into action. I think there is probably also a couple cubic feet of finished compost at the bottom of my "green pile" which I need to expose, remove, and prepare for use. I may even get a chance to work the soil in the "sun garden", removing the green manure (wild rye and white clover) and spreading a thick layer of finished compost.

Can supply update: Last year we canned approx 125 jars of various fruits and veggies. As I have said in some of my earlier posts, our 2008 garden produced an abundance of black plum roma's and hot peppers. Therefore most of our cans included these two ingredients. We had a ton of spaghetti sauce, salsa and chili. While we are definately getting tired of spaghetti sauce, our canning work in fall 2008 has served us very well over the winter. Here is an update of what we have left.
  • 11 qts spag sauce
  • 2 qts cabbage soup
  • 7 pts apple sauce
  • 2 pts pickle relish
  • 2 pts pickles
  • 1 qt pickles
  • 5 pts salsa
  • 1 pt spicy beens
  • 1 pt beets
  • 2 pts carrots
  • 5 pts various jellies

Total of 39 jars of stuff remaining. The chili went the fastest and was definately the most popular. The hot peppers were fantastic and a big hit. I never, ever thought we would eat all of those. Those peppers were excruciatingly hot when fresh, but when canned they became much more mild. I add them to everything. Of course my seed starting was so bad last year, that I am not even sure what kind of peppers those were. The pickles were also a pleasant surprise. All of our friends seem to love pickles, so they made for nice little gifts. The kids also eat them, so we used them much quicker than I imagined. I definately struggled with finding a variety of recipes to can last year. I was in a spaghetti sauce rut. This year I will be more creative. Sarah is copying recipes from a nice canning book as we speak. We also overdid the vinegar in most of our recipes last year, becasue we were concerned about spoilage and safety. I think our second canning year will be much better due to our experience in year #1.

1 comment:

  1. you know team lev will always help you eat spaghetti sauce! the stacy pickles are our favorite thing to eat. sometimes we fight over them! for real!