This morning, the girls were able to haul wood chips over to the Korean Pine and give them a good mulching. They also got another coat of paint on platform bed frame that will become a litter box platform in the basement.
They fed the kittens early, to keep them out of the way, emptying the kibble bin in the process. Turns out I should have bought two bags last time, not one.
While they were doing that, I did my morning rounds. Checking on the garden beds, I found myself able to hand pollinate more Ozark Nest Egg gourds, Styrian pumpkins and summer squash, as well as get a harvest.
There was a surprising number of cucumbers to pick.
I don’t know what to do with them anymore! We planted adequate amounts of cucumbers for our own use, but with my sister being so very generous in giving us some of her own cucumbers we have more than we can use! We like cucumbers and pickles, but not that much of it! 😉
With the ground cherries, I’m just picking what is ripe enough to fall to the ground; there are many more on the plants that are still very green, and getting very big!
The beans might be winding down, but the yellow pear tomatoes are winding up. I’m hand pollinating the summer squash as much as I can, so hopefully we will be picking more those, soon, but sometimes, there’s just nothing to pollinate.
Whenever I pause to take a picture of our morning harvest, I try to get two set ups; one spread out like in the above photo, and one with everything back in the colander.
While I was working on that, I had two kittens that were very, very interested in what I was doing!
This one was ready to climb right into the colander! The little black and white one, whose paws you can see at the top, kept trying to play with the pea pods while I was trying to take the first pictures.
My plan for after I finished my morning rounds was to head into town and pick up another bag of kibble, to last us until my husband’s CPP Disability came in on Monday. We got a nice surprise, though. It came in today. So I decided to do a Walmart trip at the nearer, smaller city, instead. Costco can wait until the main pay comes in on the last business day of the month.
After seeing the Old Farmer’s Almanac prediction of a “glacial” January and February this winter, the girls have put together a stock-up list of non-perishables, on the assumption that we will have at least 2 months where we won’t be able to go anywhere. Every shopping trip, we already try to get a little extra for the pantry, but we’ll be working to step it up a bit for non-perishables, whether it’s case lots of canned soups, or extra Costco sized packages of toilet paper. We’re trying to figure out how to re-arrange the old kitchen to store things like paper products, since that room freezes in the winter.
With that in mind, while at the Walmart today, I did pick up some extra flour and a couple of cases of ramen noodles. I also picked up a small plastic storage shelf that just barely fits in the old kitchen space where the rocker is. I’ll need to find another place for the rocker, but the little shelf has already freed up space that had been taken up by cases of canning jars and paper products. We moved a plastic couch that had been in the sun room, into the old kitchen, where I pictured being able to sit in the cooler old kitchen on hot summer days, only for that to never happen. We’ve been using the room for too many other things. There are a couple of old wooden shelves that aren’t being well used, but I don’t want to move them, as they are strong enough to stand on, giving us access to the breaker panel. I guess we could move the couch to the storage house, but that’s already so full of stuff, there really isn’t anyplace to put it there, either.
We’ll have to figure something out, since we want to convert the old kitchen to a sort of walk-in pantry.
The thing that will take up the most space is going to be the bags of kibble. Today, I was able to find a couple of 10kg bags, along with the usual 7kg bags we get at Walmart. When we make our Costco run, we’ll get their 9kb bags, too. We have a hard time stocking up enough kibble to last one month, never mind stocking up enough for 2 months!
Ideally, we’ll be able to adopt out more kitties before winter, though, and won’t need to buy so much cat food!
While I was out, I got a message from my daughter, updating me on what they were able to finish before heading to bed for the day. I’ll have to make my way into the basement to see how much further my younger daughter got down there. During the night, I could hear large things being moved around. Meanwhile, her sister got the remaining fresh tomatoes sliced up, and they are dehydrating in the oven right now. Once those are dry, I’m debating what to do next with them. We can just store them dry, put them in jars with olive oil, or powder them. Eventually, we’ll probably have all three.
Since we will likely be dehydrating more often, I decided to look at dehydrators. There were none at the Walmart, so I went across to a Canadian Tire. After much searching, I did find one in the hunting section. A small one, way out of budget. Ouch!
I didn’t get a dehydrator, but while wandering the store looking for one, I ended up getting a few other handy things, including an extra jar holder for canning, like we already have. When it comes time to make and can tomato paste, they will be in 125ml jars. The jar holder is designed to stack smaller jars on top of each other, which will allow me to can up to 12 small jars at once, which will save us plenty of time.
While on the way home, I stopped at a farmer’s market I’d never been to before. There were some of the same vendors I have seen at others, including one that sells fresh produce. They did not have a lot to offer; looks like they are having a difficult year in the garden, too. I did find the pie lady, though, and picked up an apple bourbon pie. I don’t know how large this particular market normally is, but it seemed there weren’t very many vendors. There are a couple of others I’ve been to last year and can compare, and those have most definitely seen a major drop in the number of vendors. The types of things being sold has changed, too. Not a lot of fresh produce, canning or meat products, but more direct sales booths, like Norwex or Pampered Chef, and hand crafts. I’m glad I stopped by, though. Along with a lovely pie, I found some excellent handspun yarn. I think I’ll give it to my daughter, though. I haven’t been able to crochet in quite some time. My fingers have become far too stiff, and the high humidity of late has been brutal on my arthritis. I do miss it, though. 😞
Now that I’ve done the Walmart shopping, I find myself seriously considering making a trip into town. They still have that case lot sale happening, and a few cases of canned soup for the pantry would not go amiss.
The question is, do I have the energy for another drive into town today?
As I’m writing this, I’d have to say no. I do not.
We shall see.