Tag: garden


fava harvest

I harvested these favas the first week of May. We just finished eating them. Imwalle Gardens still has favas so I bought 20 lbs of them yesterday. Even though I still felt like crap. I got them mostly processed. But my stomach issues weren’t over and it was a less joyful food processing session than usual. Fava season is as important to me as tomato season. I look forward to it all year.

Last year I did a ton of marinated favas and made the terrible error of not cooking the favas before canning them. I blanched them as usual and thought they’d be tender enough. I was wrong. The bigger beans weren’t tender enough to be enjoyable eating. So I have to figure out what the hell to do with all of them. I’m thinking I can cook them in a marinara sauce until tender? I have to try it.

It’s sunny outside and I want to go do some gardening things. I need to make supports for my tomatoes and I need to get some seeds planted (I didn’t get any planted yesterday) but I also need to work on my survey. I think I’ll do both. Somehow. A bit of each.

Why does my mom and all my neighbors put wind chimes up? I wonder if they would notice if I attached chewed gum to them so they would thud instead of “tinkle”? I will now fuck off on a fantasy of wind chime sabotage. Life is good.

Self Care Means Going Small


As you all know by now, my great non-drinking plan was interrupted by stresses I wasn’t strong enough to handle sober yet. But we’re back to no drinking and me working on self care in all the ways one can care for one’s self. The big theme I’ve been working on mentally is doing small things. Or, doing things in a smaller way. I tend to go all out or not at all. This isn’t so great when my energy is low and my body is hurting.

For example; I have many big garden projects that I need to tackle, but I have low funds and my back has been very weak this summer. In addition to that I’ve had so many other responsibilities and projects that have sucked up all my energy. It’s frustrating as hell. My garden is suffering in this heat and needs a ton of compost added and then a thick layer of mulch. I can’t do it right now. So how to make progress under those conditions?

Go smaller. I might not be able to do a lot but I realized that I can take very small parts of my garden and improve them. The first one I tackled was the barrel just outside our back door. The soil level dropped to the half way mark and everything in it was overgrown and struggling. So I pruned back what needed pruning, dug all the plants out, filled the barrel with fresh soil (I had a bag already) and replanted the giant aloe as the centerpiece and the million bells to drape over the side as it had been before. Though it might actually die. We’ll see. I repotted my rue and am going to repot the lemon verbena if it doesn’t die before I get to it.

That’s a tiny piece of my garden in need of attention that I was able to give attention to. One small focal point that is more pleasurable to look at and makes me happy. When I can afford a few plants I will add a couple of small succulents to grow at the base of the giant aloe.

Next up I need to care for our potted fig. I have many of these little areas that need help. Go small.

The same applies to housework and homesteading projects. I’m pretty stressed out at the thought of not being able to can any tomatoes this year. I got to Imwalle Gardens and their tomatoes are finally truly IN and ripe and beautiful and I want to CAN THEM ALL. But my back pain is a real obstacle. So is time. I need to spend more time on my website and business and writing. Plus I’m still looking after my mom (and her dog) and so there just isn’t time to do it.

I will be pickling jalapenos though. That’s a quick and easy canning project.

But here’s what I realized: I love canning so much and spend a lot of my summer preserving summer food for later that I often don’t spend time making special dishes using them fresh. Part of it is that preserving projects tend to take up my whole kitchen for days at a time. Then I’m too tired to explore cooking new dishes. Or my kitchen is just a disaster. So instead of canning tomatoes this year I’m going to concentrate more on cooking with the remaining summer vegetables this harvest season.

Tomato dishes I want to make: Tomato tart with a basil crust (old favorite), then a vegan version of this same dish using cashew cream instead of cheese, herb and breadcrumb stuffed tomatoes, eggplant and tomato sandwiches with pesto (another old favorite), and Mexican style rice.

I want to go through my cookbooks and find some new things to try. There’s still some corn available and summer squash. Not for much longer though.

So that’s what I’m working on. Going small.

Chick had her surgery and it seems to have gone well. We won’t know for sure until her sutures come out and we see if her ear pocket actually successfully closes. It looks pretty good right now. No infection so far. But this surgery isn’t always successful. I hope it is for us because how we’ll be able to afford continuing care or other surgery I don’t know. I also don’t know if amputation is the next thing when the surgery fails, I’m afraid to ask. I love her beautiful floppy velvety ears.

I got some Sugar & Pith orders so I’m excited to make more sachet blends today and ship some good stuff out to friends! I just have to clean up my new apothecary space (away from the kitten nursery since that space can’t be kept sterile now). As soon as I’m done with this post I’ll clean up in here, get dressed, and work on my orders.

If you didn’t see my Chick post or GoFundMe campaign to cover the cost of her surgery and you’re interested in donating – here’s the link again:

Chick’s Surgery Fund

Thanks so much everyone for your support and generosity!

I think now is the time to get productive.