The Garden Harvest

I am an avid vegetable gardener. Flowers and other plants, not so much. My front yard is not well maintained or pretty. C always has to do the weeding and ask me what to do with the plants. I know how to landscape garden, I just don't like it. I think plants should be useful in some way other than just pretty. He has banned me from growing any food in the front yard.

So I have my vegetable garden in back. It is about 10'x15', and I have a plot at the community garden that I share with a friend and that is another 15'x30'. Oh, and I belong to the Quiet Creek Farm CSA. There are TONS of vegetables around this place come spring and summer. I have an understanding with C, garden all I want, just no wasting food. OK, I will admit, I will get rid of some extras salad greens now and again, I will forget that the bok choy is in the bottom of the fridge, but typically, nothing is thrown out. It is either canned, dried, eaten, or given away.

I just bought a new dehydrator. C thought this would be instead of the one I had before, it is more like in addition to the one I had before. This new one is more powerful and has a timer and a heat setting so it is great for more delicate items. The older one is fantastic for things you can just set and leave going till you remember them and take them out (sometimes the next day for me).

All the veggie extras (like turnip greens and kale stems) get boiled with my leftover chicken bones and I can my own chicken and sometimes vegetable broth. I get my chickens through the CSA and can that meat as well for later use. It makes great enchiladas and chicken salad.

This year I also got a pressure canner. I am excited to be able to do green beans that don't have to be pickled and other vegetables as well as the broths and meats I mentioned already. I really think that with some solid planning, I will be able to have most of my food for the year stocked by the end of summer. I am learning what we eat most of and what we like best it will take a few years to figure it all out but I will get it all under control. By no means does this mean we don't go out to eat, or that I don't go to the grocery store, but what it means for me is that I know what we are eating most of the time. I know what is in it, I know that it's healthy, and I know where it came from. I've started getting meat from a few local farms, splitting a pig and a cow with family and friends, stocking my freezer too. C picks on me some, but when I use something from the store (like tomato sauce) he can instantly tell and misses the home cooked taste. I take great pride that he would rather eat home than eat out when given the choice.

Sometimes it gets a little stressful. I need to get things put up and out away before a big event. Sometimes I loose a little sleep. I have been known to make pickles at 5 am before a day at Musikfest. Overall I enjoy the challenge and the  process of it all. The bounty of the season brings me joy.


Just 1 minute

So I listen to a lot of podcasts. A LOT. Most are dramas (Welcome to Nightvale,  Pleasure Town, Our Fair City) but I also throw in a good dose of history (Stuff You Missed in History Class, Sawbones, The Memory Palace, Lore) as well as women's issues (Stuff Mom Never Told You), Crime (Serial, Undisclosed), Design (99% Invisible) and some odds and ends (The Mystery Show, Invisibila, Jack's Farm Radio). See I said A LOT of podcasts.

I listen when I work, go for walks, drive in the car alone, or sit and knit at night. When I run out I either find more or break out the audiobooks.

But I have a new one. Happier. Now I started following The Happiness Project when it first started as a blog. Then it morphed into a book that I admit I never read, and I fell away from following blogs to following podcasts. Now it's new incarnation is the Happier podcast and I am catching up from the beginning.

But why did this get me here. What was so interesting. The 1 minute rule. If you see something that needs to be done and will take you less than a minute to do, then just stop and do it. Don't put it off until it takes longer, or until it drives you crazy because it's not done. What can this be? For me it has been washing the glasses in (or near because sometimes for some reason they don't make it in) the sink. Takes just a minute and there is now almost always an empty sink. Toilet? Just a quick brush anytime it looks like it needs it. Shelf needs to be dusted. Just do it. Doesn't have to be the whole room or the whole unit, just the one I noticed as I walked downstairs.

It's great for the business too. Quick emails (not detailed ones, those get done once or twice a day in office work sessions), print an order and place in in the to do pile, add something big to my to do list, you name it.

Why does this help me? Because I get overwhelmed. I get anxious. I get almost claustrophobic when I feel like there are a million things to do. So I am heading things off at the pass. Doing them before they make my to do list. Doing them before they are just driving me to the brink of sanity, doing them before a little project grows into a huge one. And most importantly doing them before I get so stressed that I am just a ball of nerves and I try and tackle everything at once in a whirl wind.

So if you hear me say that I "just need 1 minute" I do, I have something important to accomplish in that time :)