Swap-bot: Belated Beltain Postcard

Here’s the post card I made for my Beltane Postcard swap, sorry about the crappy image! I took this with my cell phone because I couldn’t find my camera! I have the next swap for Litha/Summer Solstice up at http://www.swap-bot.com if you want to join in the pagan postcard passion!

Beltane Post Card

Beltane Post Card

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This Year’s Garden

Last year we used John Jeavon’s book called “How to Grow More Vegetables” to start a small vegetable garden.  This year we have the original double dug bed,  and  added several raised beds.  We also decided to purchase plants this year, as we just don’t have the space for starting seeds. We read in the Jeavon’s book that seed starting is just not a beginner skill. We hope to build some green house space in the future.  We are growing head lettuce, radishes, broccoli, beats, onions, three types of potatoes, cucumbers,  red cabbage, tomatoes,  green peppers,  zucchini, and a pumpkin,   in the Jeavon’s plot. In the raised beds we have some extra cabage,  cucumbers, a few strawberries, and some swiss chard. None of the strawberries came up from the box I bought at Sams Club, but the Rhubarb did!  The blackberries are blooming, and the eldest blueberry bush is full of unripe berries. The raspberries are blooming too.  Here are some pictures from about two weeks ago.   Last week I thinned out my apples, and the ones left have grown so much faster and bigger!

Raised Beds

Raised Beds

Jeavon's Garden Plot

Jeavon's Garden Plot

Giving Up Angel Food Ministries

Julian helping me in the kitchen

Julian helping me in the kitchen...

It’s been two months since I’ve ordered food from AFM.  When I first quit my job to stay home with my son Julian and raise some chickens, I was freaked out about money. We started buying food from Angel Food Ministries, and it’s been a big help! But since then, I’ve done enough comparison shopping to know where to find the best deals  (around here, Sam’s Club)  and we just don’t want to eat the processed foods anymore.  We have been eating most of our vegetables from Provident Organic Farms CSA or from our

Vincent learning to Vaccume

"I love vaccuming!" said Vincent! No really that's what he said!

own garden, and this year from “Sharron’s Natural Gardens”.  The Processed foods that come with AFM  taste so salty that we can’t  really eat them!  Also their cuts of chicken come so badly mangled that they are only good for making soup.  One good thing about living on the Eastern Shore is that chicken is very cheap! Until we have our new “Chicken Tractor” (a portable coop) built and we can raise more of our own meat, we will be taking advantage of the $0.88 a lb roasters at Sams Club, and the $0.95 a lb chicken thighs.  We are also considering raising our own pigs.  I’ve begun reading “Storey’s Guide to Raising Pigs”.   The nice thing about being a part of the Transitional Movement is that over night progress is not expected…. and I’m proud to say that in this time of “economic re-evaluation” (aka Resession) we have been eating more local home cooked organic foods than we ever have in our entire lives!

The Eggs are Hatching!

Update: Four have hatched, and several more are pipping! I did some research and discovered that yellow skin is a recessive trait, and the only birds I have with yellow skin are the RIRs, so all the chicks with yellow skin are pure RIRs. The Speckled Sussexes have white skin, but since it’s a dominant trait,  a pure SS or a SS x RIR will both have white skin.  Did I mention I have a BS in biology? I guess it’s coming in handy finally!

Day old Chicks!

Here are the first two which hatched on May 2nd.

Incubator

Incubators keep the eggs warm until they hatch.

The Brooder

Our Brooder was a gift from Sharon of "Sharon's Natural Gardens". We made some repairs to it and painted the top.

Brooder Lamp

Inside the brooder we use a plastic storage box and lamp to keep the chicks warm and out of drafts.

A Slow Foods Affirmation by Liz La Posta

Sharing a meal is a sacred act of fellowship with our family and loved ones,
Eating is a sacred act of communion with the Earth,
Cooking is the sacred act of preparing food for a delicious meal,
Farming is the sacred act by which we grow the food that we cook, eat, and share,
joining our labors  with the abundance of Mother Nature to sustain ourselves.
The distractions that remove this awareness from our everyday lives are the true inconvenience.
-Liz La Posta

eBooks vs New Books vs Used Books

I’ve been following the new ebook devices a little bit, hearing about it mostly on NPR and PBS. I’m not the type to jump on new technology.  Charlie Rose had a great interview discussing how the iPad will affect Kindle sales and the publishing companies.  Competition is always good for business, as far as the devices go, but as an avid use of http://www.paperbackswap.com I’m wondering how will eBooks (for any device) will impact the trade and sale of used books?  With fewer copies being printed, I think it will be harder to find used books in the future. Maybe the value of used books will increase?  I hesitate to purchase eBooks at all, because you can’t loan them to friends, as far as I can tell, and you can’t trade them or resell them. Or am I wrong?  On the other hand, using fewer trees is always a good thing…

Kitchen Gardening Cookbook: Asparagus to Zucchini

Asparagus to Zucchini

Here’s another great kitchen gardening cookbook from the “Madison Area CSA Coalition” via www.localharvest.org.  Even if you aren’t gardening yet, you can still learn to cook like you are!