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June 2015

I can’t believe we are halfway through 2015.  This has been such a busy and packed year.  This last month especially.  Thankfully, I have been keeping notes or this post would be one blur.

In the food department, we picked elderflowers for cordial and infusing alcohol (I shared the recipes earlier this year).  That same trip got us 4 trout and lots of arnica.

The markets are just starting as well as the foraging.  I picked up green beans this past weekend for $1.48 a pound.  I’m not 100% sure this is a great price but about 15 pounds of green beans gave us 25 pints of canned beans and 5 quarts of pickled beans.  I had done some research that said 1 pound of food equals 1 pint but that didn’t work with the beans.  I’m not complaining because I ended up paying less than $1.48 a jar.    I figure we paid somewhere around 70 cents a pint.  At the store, I can buy a can of green beans for about 60 cents but the pints give us more green beans and we know exactly what is in them.

I bought a bunch of rhubarb for $6.  After washing, I chopped it all up and froze in 4 cup “servings”.  The plan is to turn it into my favorite rhubarb dessert – pudding.  When the temperature drops a bit, I’ll make some and share.  That $6 investment will get us 3 batches of pudding.

I, also, bought raspberries and strawberries that I was going to turn into jam but we are running out of jars (and the family is snacking on the berries) so that might not happen.  This coming weekend, we’ll be getting cherries so I have to save some jars for that as well.

We did a big purchase from Bob’s Red Mill.  Their bulk prices from their store are so amazing.  If you are ever in the Portland, Oregon area, I recommend stopping by.  We split 25 pound bags of polenta, teff and ivory whole wheat flour (for about $50).  All of Bob’s Red Mill products are grown with organic practices – no GMOs or weirdness, even if not labeled organic.

That trip also got us a box of asparagus which we blanched and froze.

Outside of the food realm, I have been working on relearning many of the healthy holistic practices.  I’ve been studying essential oils and relearning why we take the herbs we do.  I can’t wait to share more on that.  I find that once I start investigating holistic medicine, I get completely absorbed.  At this point, it’s all a big jumble of facts in my head.  I promise to share when I can put them in line and make the information clear.

I so look forward to July.  I love that we get to see so many friends and family members with the holidays.  I love that the “real” picking begins.  There will be no time off in July and I am okay with that.

What I am not okay with is that it’s been in the 100s already.  We are worried about the weather.  The Palouse is notoriously cold in June.  We can still get snow early in the month.  The weather perks up quickly in July but we still have fairly cold nights.  The fourth can be hot during the day but bracingly cold once the sun goes down.  We’ve never had heat like this so early.  And when it does get hot, it’s temporary. Usually we get cool at night so it’s not miserable.  We’ve had a week of hot with little break.  Sunday night, I was driving home at 7pm and it was still 100 degrees.  While this is speeding up some crops, I worry what the heat is doing to the rest.

My biggest worry is that I can’t predict what the rest of the summer will look like.  I hope our frost dates remain the same and that we don’t turn cold before September.  On the other hand, I am terrified that the heat will keep climbing.  We are ill equipped for hot weather here.  Few places have air conditioning.  Oh well, can’t control the weather.  We can just do what we can and keep moving forward.  This weather is doing great things for our food supply so we’ll stock up while we can.

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