Weekend Update

We had such a nice weekend, we enjoyed a family members “gender reveal” baby shower, found out a little girl will be joining the family this fall. We couldn’t be happier.

Other than that, we just hung out at home, the Kiddo spent the night a t a friend’s house on Friday. In turn, the friend spent Saturday night here. I’ve been on a fresh bread kick recently as I have selected that as the next step to hone in my mini homesteading practice. I decided this would be a fun learning experience to share with the girls. So Saturday night they worked together to create 2 loaves of fresh egg bread, of course it was even fresher with the use of our home-grown eggs.

They did such a great job and were so very pleased with the final result. They is not much better than enjoying a slice of fresh-baked bread, still steaming from the oven. The delicious reward to a job well done.

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We chose the egg bread recipe simply because I feel it is, hands down, the best bread for fresh French toast. I proved this theory by creating a Sunday breakfast of French toast and bacon. I can now confidently say the Hubs, Kiddo and Friend all concur.2013-07-28_10-57-45_382

I sent what little we had left of the 2 loaves home with the friend so she could proudly share her spoils with her family. But after we were done with the bread, all that was left was half of one of the loaves. I think I’ve hooked the friend for a return visit next weekend with the promise of fresh sourdough bread making, her favorite. I have already gotten the sourdough starter “cooking” on the counter. Having the friend over is a win, win. The Kiddo gets some friend time, They leave the Hubs and I alone so we get some adult time, and they make the bread for us all to enjoy. child labor, gotta use while you’ve got it!

 

Sunday afternoon was spent primarily hanging around the house, well the backyard really. Watching the hens free-range the entire yard in peaceful cohabitation with our cats and dogs as well as my brothers 2 dogs who are over for a week-long stay while he is off fishing. such a peaceful thing seeing them all get along. I must admit, watching the hens free-range, hunting up tasty bugs and lazing about in a communal dust bath has become one of my favorite past times. Here’s Foxy Roxy hangin’ with her peeps.

 

While out for their supervised free-range time a couple of the girls discovered my unprotected wine and produce box planters and decided they were due for a good soil turn. I finally saw it their way and conceded to let them clear out my late and straggly plantings of mesclun and lettuce as they really hadn’t done enough to be worth the protection and watering. Not a bad idea, letting the hens do some of the dirty work. After all, they are going to reap some of the rewards from the garden, so why not have them put in some of the grunt work. once they were finished tilling the little planting boxes I replanted one with kale and the other with a sweet salad mesclun blend. Of course I also took measures to ward off any further over eager tilling by covering the boxes with some hardware cloth.

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Once I start planting it is hard to stop. S I changed out my scraggly, barely there oregano with a more prolific and larger leafed variety.

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I traded out one of my 3 pots of basil, that had started to go south, for dill. I also swapped out the less than fantastic pineapple mint for a yummy smelling sweet mint. That’s pictured in front of the dill.

 

The Kiddo found a decent enough lavender plant at the local home improvement store, so I got that planted.

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I am the supplier of fresh cat grass to my grandma’s Siamese and am past due for a fresh delivery, so I got a little pot of that started. I also started two pots of catnip, one to keep for my girls and one to share. When looking through plants at the store I stumbled upon lemon grass. I’ve never grown it before but thought, why not give it a try. The hens were quite pleased with that choice too, so I quickly made a screen for it and moved it up onto a little table, fingers crossed this keeps them away from it.

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Last week the kiddo and I started some seed for our fall garden. We planted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, assorted cabbages, artichokes and added cauliflower seeds this weekend. We were pleasantly surprised to find the cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli had already begun to sprout. I have never had great luck pre-starting seeds as they tend to either become leggy or mold or cooked in too much sun. Crossing my fingers again that I have luck this go round.

 

One more new thing to tell you about. We are trying out this idea of re-growing some crops from store bought veggies. The easiest, by far, is green onions (scallions). I just save about 2 inches of the white end with the roots intact and stick them down in a planter with wet potting soil. They almost instantly begin to re-grow. I am also trying this with celery but have no results to show as of right now.  I think all my fingers are crossed on other ventures so, toes crossed.  But here are my onions, half are a couple of weeks old and half were just planted Friday night.

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I’ve read that you can harvest the green tops 4-5 times before needing to replace the onions. I love saving money, even if it’s just a few cents.  That, combined with the joy of cooking what we grow, makes this Urban gardener one happy lady.

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