May 24, 2010


We love bagels!  Expecially everything bagels with cream cheese.  I decided to try making them at home.  They are delicious and so easy.  There are tons of recipes online so I won't type one out here but you should try making them yourself. 
The recipe I chose did not call for eggs so the result was a little lighter than traditional store bought bagels but I didn't mind.  We topped ours with poppy seeds, dried minced onions, sesame seeds, kosher salt and a little garlic powder (dried minced garlic would work better).

Last week we did a little work in the garden.  I'm going to put down more cardboard and make my lasagne beds on top.  I hope it works!  We have lots of composted leaves. some chicken litter and additional dirt to mix with grass clippings...maybe some peat moss.  Should be interesting.

Tom's on vacation for a few days this week and we're going to work on the garden and a few other jobs that need to be done outside. 

The rhubarb is looking very happy now that we've put cardboard down and mulched with straw.  Now to pick some strawberries to go with it.  The green house plants seem to be happy as well.  Some of the seeds that didn't germinate in the house are coming up now.  Even one of the husk tomatoes.  Overall, the plants are doing well but I don't think I'll use peat pots again.  Most of the seeds were started in plastic packs with a soil blend.  In an effort to eliminate the plastic (which were all recycled), I thought the peat pots would be a "green" choice.  They dry out so quickly.

We did a little wildcrafting last week and decided to try drying our harvest in the greenhouse.  We used an old screen door on top of the screen "ceiling" in the warmest part of the greenhouse.  It worked very well!  Ideally, they should have been dried in the dark but because the drying happened so quickly, I think it will be fine.

I spent a little time in the woods with the girls over the weekend.  It wasn't a long time but we'll take it. We don't have as much time as we used to to do things like that. Everything is so green and there are plants growing there that I have never noticed in our woods before.  It's amazing when you stop to notice just how many different kinds of plants there are growing in one little area.  Identifying them is fun but I'm not experienced enough the feel confident that I'm making a definite identification on a few of them.

One of my favorite is chickweed.  Stellaria spp.  This year it is thriving!  I like to add the aerial parts of chickweed, S. media, to my herbal healing salve for it's drawing properties.  It's still used today for eczema and skin irritations.  In Europe, it's a traditional folk remedy, mainly taken internally as a cleansing diuretic and tonic for rheumatic pains and weakness. Chickweed was traditonally harvested as a vegetable and is loaded with vitamins A, B and C, minerals and fatty acids. Harvest through out the growing period.  The root of S. dichtoma was used as a tonic for malnourished children and a free food in European rurals areas during hard times.  (Taken from The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ode) 

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