Vermicomposting

Shoot! I had 2 drafts going at once and published the wrong one! I don’t know if I can ‘unpublish’ something without actually deleting it, so here it stays. . . . . minus proper editing. Argh. I can’t be bothered now 🙂

Composting with worms. I’ve intended to do this for years. Although I’ve buried plant-based kitchen scraps in my garden for a while now, I’ve neglected to specifically compost with worms. As an organic gardener, I’m very interested in how I can feed and nurture my veggies. Naturally. Synthetic, cancer-causing chemicals are not welcome in my body, in my food or in my home. They can stay away from my yard, and all the critters that reside here, too!

We live in a world full of chemicals used to kill fungus, bacteria, insects, plant diseases, snails, slugs, as well as undesirable plants or “weeds”. Oftentimes, these chemicals kill indiscriminately, much like antibiotics destroy bad bacteria along with the good! It’s why we’re seeing a decline in bees and monarch butterflies, to only name two. We should be protecting and caring for all of the beneficial insects because without them, healthy soil and rain/water, the human race would quite possibly die. Our food supply depends on these three basic things, along with farmers of course.

Since I’m also a vegan, I’ve rejected the standard animal manures many people use. Biosolids? NEV. ER. I’m OKAY with worms though. I’m super vigilant when I’m raking up yard debris like leaves and branches or when I’m moving heavy items such as firewood, rocks or lumber. If I see a worm, I must pick it up! And save it.

A sure sign of tip-top soil is the presence of worms. And let me tell you, I have worms! It thrills me to no end, when I turn my shovel, and see their wonderful, squiggly bodies. Weird perhaps, lol, but I can handle that category. I think I covered it last year when I wrote about my toads 🙂

And speaking of toads, I found my first one yesterday! I was wondering if they were out yet and now I have my answer. He (or she, I can’t tell, nor do I care) was under an old board in my main garden bed. I was looking for worms, not expecting a toad. I took a QUICK pic and left it be. Toads in the garden is a good thing! Although now I have to be careful walking around my yard at night, when I let the dogs out to do their business.

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I did some preliminary research 2 nights ago, and much more yesterday morning, because I’m anxious to finally get at it! This business of vermicomposting. I learned very quickly there are two main types of worms; earthworms (commonly called night crawlers) and redworms.

They’re each valuable but have different tasks in our garden.

earfhwormsEarthworms, aptly named, are responsible for ‘moving earth’. They do a lot of mixing and aerating, traveling deeper than redworms, taking organic material with them. They’re not suited for composting as they need to burrow through soil to eat and survive.

 

redwormsRedworms, however, are designed for consuming kitchen scraps and yard waste. They have voracious appetites and will make short work of the food you provide them. They migrate upwards, towards food placed above them.

In return, they’ll multiply and give you lots of poop! The more civilized term would be castings 🙂

Worm castings improve soil texture and provide high nutrient levels your plants will thrive on. This valuable “waste” is significantly more beneficial than regular compost and highly admired by serious gardeners..

To be honest, I resist the idea of having to buy worms. I try to use what I already have these days. It fits well with my anti-buying mentality. I’m an eco-friendly person and want to tread as lightly as possible upon this planet. I KNOW. Buying worms would not be a huge deal considering what I’d be doing with them. But still. I’m stubborn.

During my perusal of the many different websites offering advice on how to layer a worm bin, I discovered the plethora of materials used. Broken bricks, pebbles, leaves, shredded newspaper, grass clippings, cardboard. All of these, and more, can have a function in your worm bin. Personally, because I’m an organics freak, I dislike the notion of cardboard and newspaper, which can and do have ink on them. I wouldn’t eat a piece of newspaper, so I’m not going to feed it to my worms either. I use organic sugar when I make hummingbird food and organic nuts and seeds when I make suet for my chickadees and woodpeckers. It would be otherwise hypocritical to me. I don’t want to harm myself with conventional foods but will potentially endanger the teeny, tiny bodies of the birds with it? No way, JosĂ©. It’s why my dogs eat well also 🙂

In regards to this worm bin, I decided I was going to employ creativity instead. I have the space and the time to adapt and conjure up my own version. For those of you who are confined to utilizing an actual, store-bought contraption, you’ll obviously require a purchase of worms.

Me, I’m making an open worm bin, from wood. NO plastic for this plastic-hater! I’ll designate an area in my yard and measure off a 3′ x 4′ section. I’ll dig down a full 6-12 inches and then begin constructing the sides. I believe 3′ will be deep enough, with the option to go higher if necessary. OR I’ll make an off-the-ground bin with a tray below. It’s an as-I-go project. And I’m known to change my mind.

I’ll do layers like I’m supposed to but ONLY with organic materials gathered from around my yard. Leaves, dead grass, broken up pieces of bark, etc. I also have organic eggshells and organic coffee grounds. I think I’ll be pretty pleased with the outcome.

In the meantime, because I couldn’t wait, I concocted a smaller model directly in my main garden bed. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. It didn’t cost me anything and the worms are free to wander, if they so choose. It’s an experiment.

I had an old, wooden drawer missing the bottom. I nestled it snugly in a corner of my garden bed. I layered dead grass, dead leaves, an organic potting soil blend with includes peat moss and dirt. I put in some worms, not a huge amount, just what I could readily find. More dirt. Leaves only this time and then my (previously frozen) kitchen scraps (celery, spinach, carrots mostly) and some crushed eggshells. I have SO MANY saved from when I wasn’t a vegan. Now I can put them to use. More dirt and leaves on top of the food and more worms! Covered by more dirt and then finally some large, super thick pieces of bark.

I did all of this while it was cloudy. Worms can dry out very fast when the sun is shining. It’s also why I dig in the garden, preparing it for planting, when it’s overcast. A light, rainy day is even better!

I watered each level as I went, not too much but enough I hope! And as mentioned, if the worms don’t like it, they can leave. MY EPD was near by as usual, with her EPB. (that would be my Ever Present Dog with her Ever Present Ball, lol). I also call her Charlotte.

I figured, half way through the process, it made sense to have worms above the kitchen scraps, as opposed to below when using redworms. If earthworms travel down, they’ll encounter the food, and hopefully stay to eat. And then they can go elsewhere, they’re not trapped in a plastic bin. The most difficult thing for me will be leaving it alone! I already want to see WHERE the worms are. Are they eating? Are they gone? What are they doing?!

There are several key things one should know when composting with worms:

  • Type needed – redworms, not earthworms found in your yard.
  • Moisture – too much slows down their activity, not enough, they’ll dry out and die.
  • Food – mainly plant-based but also ground eggshells. NO fish, meat, cheese, dairy or oily, greasy stuff. Coffee grounds – limited because they’re acidic
  • Shade – they prefer it, please don’t leave the bin in the blazing sun
  • Ventilation – is a must
  • Sand and soil mixed in the bedding will provide grit for digestion
  • When they’re happy, they can double their numbers every 90 days 🙂

I’ll keep you posted on the success, or failure, of my worm composting adventures. And if it’s something you’re keen to try, it’s easy enough to Google ‘how to compost with worms’.

You gotta love the internet. AND worms!

http://www.homecompostingmadeeasy.com/wormcomposting.html

Okay, I did include one link, the information on this particular site was exceptional. Like any subject I’ve researched, I’ve learned how scattered important details can be. It’s not often I find one written piece that covers a lot of ground.

 

 

Think again about dried food!

Sometimes I wonder why it seems like “forever” for a good idea to take shape. I have a decently intelligent brain. I’m not exactly young, so I’m aware of a thing or two. And this idea I had only came to me last week! I’d have loved to have discovered it years ago!

I’ve always known about dehydrated foods in a very minor sense. I’ve bought raisins, dried blueberries, cranberries, apricots and dates many, many times.

I’ve dried my own garlic and ginger. I even did a post on that.

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I’ve dried lemon peelings. Very, very thinly sliced lemon peelings, no pith at all. I then ground the dried peelings into powder to use as flavoring in baking.

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I’ve had a tray of rose hips withering away in my wood stove room for a few weeks now. I will grind those also and use them in tea.

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I dried all of my Red Rubin basil from the garden.

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I forgot a paper bag of mushrooms in the back of my fridge once and they dried completely out! I kept them though and used them in spaghetti sauce. And guess what? They worked brilliantly! In fact, you’d never have known they weren’t fresh.

We all know about dried/dehydrated foods. But most of us probably don’t give it much thought. Most of us don’t consider doing it ourselves. I never truly did, despite occasionally dabbling in it, until recently.

I detest food waste. Or waste of any kind really. With so many people starving in the world, I believe it takes a lot of ignorance to allow food to be thrown out. I knew a woman once who didn’t like left overs and always tossed them!! How horrible!

But back to the subject of this post. My last harvested pile of kale leaves was wilting in the fridge. I wasn’t in a hurry to freeze any more. I have enough already! And the soup I had planned wasn’t happening. SO. What could I do?

And then I had a light bulb moment!

Why couldn’t I DRY them? Although much bigger than a basil leaf, it was the same idea, wasn’t it? I figured it was worth a try. And I had fabulous success! I’ve even Googled the nutritional value of dehydrated/dried foods and everything stays intact.

I’ve had a few days to ponder that however and I’d have to disagree. Everyone knows when you eat something freshly picked, that’s peak nutrition. The longer it’s been, the less value it has, which is why choosing local is good. It (the apples, the lettuce, whatever) didn’t have to travel from Mexico or Ecuador (or anywhere far away).

Dried food, dehydrated food, sits around until it’s dry. . . . .aka – kind of old. So it has to lose value. It just makes sense.

Some say frozen food has a high nutritional value because it’s frozen soon after being harvested. Others will argue it’s cells have been damaged and therefore so has it’s value. I think there’s positive and negative aspects of all methods, even fresh.

I like air-drying since it requires zero electricity and I don’t have to purchase an expensive dehydrator. The one I’ve had my eye on is around $500 🙂 Stainless steel. To help avoid the plastic I hate so much. It’s a dream that can wait.

I found one site that listed nutrient loss as follows:

  • Air drying – 3-5%
  • Dehydrating – 5-15%
  • Freezing – 40-60%
  • Canning – 60-80 %

If I go by this, air drying is a great choice. Freezing is better than canned (obviously, canned is cooked and cooked food is always largely depleted of nutrients). Fresh of course if best! Most of the time. But not possible all year round where I live. From my garden, that is. Obviously I can shop for fresh.

I have that handy dandy clothesline in my wood stove room for the next several months 🙂 It was perfect for hanging my kale leaves on. 020

In about a week, I had a completely dry veggie. I’ll probably use them (now crumpled in a jar) in smoothies. 065I really, really wish I’d thought of drying them sooner.

I wouldn’t have put any in the freezer! They’re space consuming and very fragile.

I’m looking forward to the 2016 gardening season as I’ll dry as many as I can. It’s a wonderful preservation technique.

I’ll be picking a LOT more rose hips too! They’re an incredible source of vitamin C and vitamin A! And. I. Mean. Incredible. Vitamin A is known as the skin vitamin. I’d be a fool not to take advantage of a local, free supply of that. No packaging. No carbon footprint. 100% organic. AND it’s great for my skin!

I encourage everyone to explore the world of food beyond the grocery store! Wild foraging. Growing your own. Preserving what you find and what you harvest. It’s very rewarding and you can control the quality of your food! No GMOs. No chemical pesticides. No biosolids.

Nothing you don’t want. Only pure goodness, the way nature intended it to be. Before man began fiddling with things.

 

Still harvesting. Amazing!

I was wrong. I didn’t pick the last of the leaves off my brussel sprout plants the other day. I was just out in the glorious sunshine and thought I should uncover my kale so it can take advantage of the rays.

And I was able to harvest the smallest leaves off the tops of my brussel sprout plants! They’re showing no signs of suffering in this cool weather.

029I can hardly wait for next year when I can have 15 plants instead of 5 because the leaves are still my favorite new leafy green.

I’ve been enjoying them rolled up and thinly sliced in a mixed veggie salad the last several days; purple cabbage, onion, orange pepper, carrot, hemp seeds, black sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil and blueberry vinegar. YUM.

027And if you’re wondering what that little spot of green is beside the leaves, it’s an actual brussel sprout! 🙂 Obviously way small but still a real brussel sprout! Gee, can you tell I’m excited?

I have another photo with a fork in there too so you can see just how small it is.

032I’m so sad now, they never had a chance to amount to anything worth eating. . . .

I’m going to harvest my kale later today. Who knew I’d be picking anything on October 3rd?? It’s wonderful. And since I have kale in the freezer, I’ll probably make a soup with this batch. If my sister lived closer, she could come and get it but she’s too cheap to drive SO FAR. I’m a whole 20 minutes away! Crazy, eh? Another city entirely, in my opinion, would be ‘so far’.

Her loss 🙂 My gain.

Make time to eat!

It’s not unusual for me to get so absorbed in what I’m doing, I forget to eat. Well, okay, that’s not entirely true. I neglect to eat. Like today. Here it just after 1 in the afternoon and I’m finally having something! My growling stomach should’ve forced me into the kitchen hours ago.

At least I’m making up for it by having a blast of nutrients in the form of a freshly made juice. I ventured into the garden this morning and harvested the last of my brussel sprout plant leaves. In a post I published earlier in the gardening season, I mention these lovely greens. They’re fabulous! I LOVE them!

I’d only considered consuming them when I realized I wouldn’t actually get sprouts. I was thrilled to learn the leaves are edible and even more thrilled when I found out how mild in flavor they are. It’s also late in the year for having anything still alive in my garden (in fact, the only other veggie I have yet to pick is kale) and these aren’t showing any ill effects of the cooler weather or frequent rain. I will absolutely be planting these again next year even if I never get sprouts. I highly recommend trying them. They’re an incredibly sturdy plant and the leaves aren’t dainty in any way. Torrential rains simply shed off them like water off a duck’s back (not that I’ve ever seen water shedding off a duck’s back).

They’re great cooked in a stir-fry with garlic slivers, onions and red, orange and/or yellow bell peppers. Add a can of black beans and some seasonings (if you like, I don’t bother) and a diced tomato or two. Roll up in a homemade, whole wheat tortilla. Yummy! Or try them thinly sliced in a mixed greens salad. You probably won’t even know they’re in there but you’ll reap their benefits. (Hey! I used ‘they’re’, ‘there’ and ‘their’ all in one sentence and I did it correctly). And, of course, use them in juicing. Smoothies too, although I have not done so yet.

I picked 38 leaves today, in various sizes since I was taking all I could get. I’m sad gardening season is over. However, I do enjoy winter so I will get over my sadness 🙂

As you can see, my sprouts really didn’t yield anything worth saving. They’re smaller than a green pea, lol.032Fortunately, the leaves made up for any effort I went to by starting the plants from seed. 033035

Aren’t they beautiful? Green as can be and no damage from bugs. I mean not ONE single bug hole. I wouldn’t care if there were anyway. I’m just loving these leaves so much I could go on and on about them 🙂

I used 12 smaller ones in my juice and the rest will go in the fridge to be used soon in the above mentioned stir-fry. Trust me. If you can plant brussel sprout plants, even if you detest brussel sprouts (how could you??), please give them a try. You can never go wrong eating more leafy greens. And variety is fantastic!

My apple and brussel sprout leaf juice was wonderful. A bit foamy but sweet and refreshing.

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Now I’ll have a meal of homemade soup (cooked on my wood stove to see if I could use it rather than my electric range) and a homemade sourdough bun. And I’ll remember to have breakfast tomorrow.

Brussel sprout leaves and crab apple trees

Yesterday’s first attempt at cooking and eating the leaves off a brussel sprout plant was highly successful! I’m so happy to have another leafy green to add to my list. I didn’t do anything complicated.

I began with sautĂ©ing onion and garlic, YUM.004 I probably eat onions every day. I used red palm oil and olive oil since I’m out of butter.

Then I threw in the chopped stems of the leaves. 006

And finally, the leaves themselves.

012The next time, I’ll cook them a bit longer. I wouldn’t say they were tough but they definitely weren’t soft like spinach. The taste isn’t overwhelming, or even prominent. I guess they remind me of kale or collard greens.

Not brussel sprouts 😩

Regardless, fresh from the garden and 100% organic, they’re loaded with nutrients.

015 Sprinkled with hemp seeds.

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Now, on to the crab apple tree. I know I said trees but I only have one 🙂 When I was walking to the end of my driveway earlier to retrieve my recycling bin, I looked over at my crab apple tree. I’ve been meaning to harvest the apples for a while now and since I had a handy bin, I decided to get it done.

I have about 30 pounds of crab apples! This is the most I’ve ever gotten as far as I can remember. Way too many for just crab apple jelly, which I haven’t made in a decade!

Charlotte likes them, so she’ll get “a few” and I’ll eat some as well. 020024

But what do I do with all of them? I think I might attempt apple sauce. I’m aware that crab apples are not the kind of apple to make sauce from. However, I’m going to do it! This occurred to me while I was writing and the idea is taking a firm hold. I’m also out of homemade apple sauce so it’s a perfect plan.021

My lunch for today :)

In my garden, lettuce (4 kinds) and kale have been in abundance for several weeks now. Swiss chard is at the very baby stage. I enjoyed 2 baby cucumbers a while back and then one of my 5 plants died. And another. I figured out why though and take it all as a learning experience. I need to remember to feed certain vegetables!! Cucumbers are one of them.

I was able to enjoy lots of peas right off the vine and then it seemed to stop producing. And now they’re having a second flurry of growth. It’s been so many years since I last had a garden, I can’t recall if that’s what peas do. Regardless, they never make it to the kitchen. Between me and Charlotte (my dog), we devour them where we stand. She’s even learned to steal her own when I’m not looking!

Brussel sprouts, although growing very well, will not produce any actual sprouts.  I didn’t begin them soon enough. Lesson learned! Red Rubin basil (it’s a gorgeous purple and probably why I decided to grow it) is doing great. I’ve been drying the leaves inside because I have no idea what else to do with them. Yeah, purple is likely the ONLY reason I chose it. I’ve never been a basil fan.

An hour ago I picked a 3rd cucumber, larger than the first 2, but probably still not as big as it could have gotten. However, I wanted a cucumber sandwich for lunch 🙂

025It weighed in at a mere 240 grams, plenty enough for a sandwich. And for sharing with Charlotte.

If I’m correct, it was Picolino cucumbers I planted. I also have Muncher cucumber seeds but they’re old, so I believe I left them alone.

Picolino cucumbers grow well (when you feed ’em!), they have smooth, although slightly tougher than Long English, skin, they’re only minimally seedy. 029I’ll definitely grow them next year.

It’s soooo wonderful to pick a vegetable straight from the garden.

  • No packaging
  • No driving to the grocery store
  • Max nutrients (no sitting in the store for days on end)
  • You can grow varieties not available in the grocery stores
  • You control what, if anything, gets sprayed on your food.
  • I’m 100% organic. NO pesticides, no chemical fertilizers, none of that nasty stuff.

I always found gardening to be so rewarding. I wish I’d never gotten out of it and I can say for sure, now that I’m back into it, I’ll never abandon it again!

Today’s sandwich was deeeeelightful. 035Lettuce from my garden, lots of it. Onion, sliced thin, not from my garden. Whole grain, sourdough bun, made last night, toasted to perfection.

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Now if only I had another cucumber.

Less than 2 minutes can change your life

I’m very dedicated to organics. I believe in the industry and I support it as much as possible. My garden is grown strictly without the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers. When I eat at home, it’s 100% organic.

I wasn’t always this way.

When I was in my early 30’s, my mother was diagnosed with diabetes. My grandmother had high cholesterol and the beginnings of macular degeneration. It made me stop and think. I didn’t want to end up like them when I got older.

I searched for ways to ward off these kinds of problems and it led me to nutrition, which led me to organics. I’ve done the work. I’m not a “blind” organic freak who has latched onto the latest craze. I learned if we put poison into our bodies, we WILL suffer the consequences.

Now I’m in my mid 40’s. I AM older! (How the heck did that happen??) And although I don’t have any illnesses that I know of, I can surely still acquire one.

I don’t want to.

Food can be our enemy or it can be our guardian. I definitely try to strive for the latter. I don’t succeed every single day but when “mistakes” become fewer and farther between, it’s all good. Very, very good.

I know many, many people scoff at organics. I also know if they did their due diligence, they’d very likely feel differently. My sister recently showed me a short documentary on the effects of organic food. It was so powerful, I immediately told her to share it to my Facebook page.

She did. And now I want to share it with you.

You hear about all those nasty “things” they spray on crops and it’s an abstract notion, easily dismissed. When you actually SEE it, it makes an impact. You don’t have to go organic all at once, simply begin with the most contaminated produce (apples and celery are right up there!). It took me several years to finally have my pantry (and fridge) converted completely over.

It takes time. It’s your health. It’s worth it. YOU are worth it.

http://foodmatters.tv/content/the-organic-effect-a-short-documentary

Happy Sunday :)

Big Brother is the name of this theme. It’s the 5th one I’m giving a go. I like it because it has a clear menu with a ‘home’ button! All 4 themes before now didn’t and I have no clue if I could have created one. I’m still far too new at this.

The rain from yesterday was woefully short lived but my garden is coming along, slowly. Or maybe it just seems that way. I did get a late start after all. Some little critter has been voraciously eating my mustard greens021 If I can find it, it’s toast.

And cutworms have been decimating my teeny, tiny lettuce seedlings, only in one section though. I just caught it about 10 minutes ago 028and turfed him over the fence.

Since I’m an organic gardener, I tend to leave things be unless they’re completely out of control. And even then it’s usually only some serious squishing with my fingertips. Aphids! Not cutworms! Ewwww.

I’ve been eating from my garden as well. The odd leaf of baby romaine lettuce022 baby kale023 or baby spinach026

Pretty soon I’ll be overrun with glorious greens! I can’t wait!

It never fails to amaze me, how quickly things can grow. Next year will be even better. I’ll utilize my entire main garden bed. . . . right now I have weeds in part of it 025

My greenhouse, or half a greenhouse I should say030

will be taken down this year and a new one put in its place. Mosquitoes are no longer unbearable so I can make good progress. That project will be a post all on its own however. It’s a lovely story about how my nimrod neighbor fell a tree into my yard.

For now, I’m heading into the kitchen again. I managed Mini Apple Raisin Muffin Tops yesterday. Broccoli and cauliflower casserole, which is a new recipe and has been made twice in 2 days it’s that good! And pork chops in gravy, for my company. I’m still a vegan 🙂

Have a super Sunday everyone! See you all tomorrow.

What to write about?

It was suggested to me recently that I have too many topics on this blog. It’s supposed to be about denim quilting. Perhaps it’s okay to include organic gardening and vegan cooking but then I should stop. Don’t write about my dogs. Don’t make the equivalent of basic “journal entries”. Keep it brief and pertain to the name.

Of course, in my defense, I said, “And more. It’s CouchQuilts and more“. To me, this means I can write about whatever I want 🙂

I’ve been considering this advice and have come to a conclusion. I appreciate advice, especially when it’s wise and well-intentioned. Sometimes I even follow it. In this case however, I’m going to reject it.

Although I can certainly do dumb things, I’m not a dumb person. I’m abundantly aware of the meandering style of my blog. I often write about what interests me that day, or even that moment, and it may only be about the robins nesting in one of my trees. Totally boring. But the beauty of computers is this wonderful ability to hit ‘delete’ or ‘close’ when content doesn’t inspire us to stay. And anyone who reads my blog is free to do as they please. While I hope to have followers who’ll enjoy what they read, I know I will never satisfy everyone and I don’t strive to.

I do this for me. So far I like what I do. Are some entries more captivating? Yes. Are some completely irrelevant? Absolutely. It’s a reader’s choice to read or not 🙂 Simple. I’ve even gotten over the offense I initially felt when my own mother, after I questioned her, admitted she has no interest in my site.

I’ve done it myself when visiting other blogs. Often an entry is just too long. Maybe it’s not my kind of subject matter. And guess what? I go elsewhere. No harm, no foul. The blog author doesn’t know and they still had fun composing their entry.

So there you go. I’m continuing on as I have for the past month. Obviously I’ll write about quilting but I’m also going to write about “much more” 🙂 It’s who I am and I can’t be any other way.

Friday again. Where does the time go?

Good morning! I’ve been up since 5:30 and have accomplished a fair amount already. Or at least it seems that way. 2 loads of laundry. Done. Roasted cauliflower soup for my sister. Done. I just need to taste test it so I can give it my stamp of approval. Bread fresh from the oven. Done.

I began making bread from scratch last year. And when I say scratch, I really mean it. I don’t use conventional, store-bought yeast. I use a sourdough starter and for those of you who are familiar with such a thing, you know they require tending. I also mill my own whole grain flours. I’m in love with homemade bread. One day I’ll do a post about it 🙂

For now I’ll do a quick update on what’s going on around here. Mama Robin has been incognito for several days. I was worried about her eggs so I climbed a ladder to check her nest and it was empty! Whatever happened will always be a mystery but now I can cut that dang tree down, yay.

My company is arriving tomorrow rather than today. I have more time to get ready! Another yay.

I solved the issue with my Singer sewing machine. The upper thread kept breaking and fiddling with the tension wasn’t helping. It was so extremely frustrating! I finally Googled it and ended up changing the needle. Magic! And a third yay. I won’t do a fourth one, I promise. My Janome is still sitting on the sidelines. . . . I think it may need to be taken in. I can’t sew without my machines. Quilting is on hold.

My garden is doing well although I know now I should have started my seeds indoors way sooner! Okay, I knew that when I started them! Next year will be better. I can’t wait to begin picking baby lettuce. I have 5 or 6 different kinds.

And that’s it. I’ll post my soup recipe if it earns a thumbs up. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! See you again soon!