I got out in my vegetable garden last night and got the garlic in. A short while back my son and I put in the fall salad veggies, and the radishes and peas are coming up nicely. The other things are starting to poke out. We’ll see how things go. I’ve laid onion and orange bag nets over as much as I can. I read that rodents don’t like to chew on them, and I’d like to actually harvest the peas and carrots this time. Either squirrels or chipmunks climbed the fence and ate them last spring. I was putting potatoes in the dehydrator today and decided to save the peels to work into the soil of a box not currently planted. I have to get more into that mindset to keep the soil filled with nutrients. Maybe I’ll designate a small container on the counter for peelings and such. I put crushed egg shells out yesterday, and I need to remember to snag lawn clippings too. The grass acts as weed control as well as being a benefit to the soil.
Soon my raspberries, tayberries, and a few flowers will be coming. The tayberries are a leap of faith as I’ve never tasted them. The bushes aren’t supposed to produce for two years, so it will be a while before I find out if it was a worth-while investment. I’m hoping to get some blueberries next year. My tophat blueberry had some blossoms this year, but I wasn’t surprised that they didn’t develop. I really like the idea of ‘foodscaping’, but I know that thought makes DH a bit nervous. It would be helpful if our backyard got more sun, but a shady yard is better for the kids to play in.
If you are considering trying your hand at gardening, don’t wait. There is a lot of learning involved, both from printed materials and from experience. With flowers, I remember reading that you can count on losing one third of what you plant. That’s a pretty good average. I’ve had times when 100% came up, times when nothing came up, and everything in between.
I tried dehydrating raspberries. UGH! They were awful! I threw them out. Peaches and nectarines were okay, but the catch twenty two on those is that when they are at full flavor, the texture is not as conducive to preparation for the dehydrator. The dehydrator does concentrate the sugars in the fruit, but it doesn’t magically transform the taste. DH thinks its nuts that I love them so juicy that I have to eat them over the sink, but I’m not alone on that point.
Someone brought tomatoes into church for anyone to take, so I took a few to dehydrate for tomato powder. They just need to be ground up now. I don’t think there’s anything else out there that I’ll try dehydrating. I tried cucumbers, and I have to say they weren’t worth it. Those are much better in brine! Next summer I need to learn how to can.
I’ve been enjoying my new sewing books. One is on how to fit a store bought pattern to individuals. This should be useful as I think I’ll still be sewing dresses for my girls for some years yet, and I sew for myself. I don’t have a problem raising a scoop neckline or putting sleeves from one pattern onto another, but I have a ‘tween who is a bit too tall for the girl’s sizes, and too small for adult sizes. Most adult patterns start with size 8. She’s 5 foot 2 and thin. We did find a pattern which goes down to a size 4, but I think we’ll still need to know the tricks for adjusting the patterns.
I also got a book on couture sewing. It is packed with information! There’s almost too much to learn. I think it will be a good reference and will also help me to modify patterns, help clothes to lay better, etc. I’ve already read several of the tricks couture sewing uses to help clothing look its best. Will I use it all? Probably not, but it’s never a waste of time to learn.
After the Renaissance Fair (which was fun, as usual), I’ve knocked out a few small sewing projects and now have the dresses lined up. Mine comes first. I found a black fabric with a raised swirl embroidered in it, and it’s a bit like a suedecloth in texture. My oldest wanted a red dress, and I found a dark red linen/cotton with leaves embroidered on it, and my middle will have a navy corduroy with light blue flowers embroidered on it. All of these were clearance finds. If you have the patience, it really can pay off. I haven’t found anything good (being defined as fabric to our tastes and of use to any of the clothing types I make at home and priced right) for some time. I guess that means I’m about due to find some good stuff the next time there’s a ‘half off clearance’ sale. I carry the yardages needed for the things I make the most frequently in a notebook in my purse. I also know the most common length of zipper used in the dress patterns for the girls and I .
Mostly, I need to keep my momentum going. My list of projects is long, but not impossibly so. One thing at a time…