May 16, 2010

Working toward the goal

The weather here in Central Pa was beautiful yesterday!  We did some tidying, dusting sweeping and mopping in the morning but spent the afternoon outside preparing the garden.  All the seedling flats have been moved to the greenhouse now.  The only seeds that didn't germinate were the husk tomotoes.  We had to replant some of the things because the seeds were from 2008 but now most seem to have come up.  The tomatoes are going to be so much fun!  We have a variety of colors and sizes with lots of the old paste tomato standbys for sauce.
The raspberry patches need some attention so we started cutting out the old canes and next week we'll move some of the volunteers back into the beds.  We have four beds; two red, one golden and one black.  Now's the time to harvest red raspberry leaves for tea. 
I'd like to put in some strawberries but I think it's too late this year. 
Radishes, leeks and swiss chard are growing in the kitchen garden along with some volunteer bok choy that didn't grow last year.  The kitchen garden is home to some of my herbs like lemon balm, lemon thyme, bee balm, horehound, a variety of mints, black cohosh, comfrey, lavender, chives, tansy and lady's mantle.  To these will be added annual herbs like basil for pesto, lettuce, a few fun tomatoes to pick and eat on the spot and  who knows what else.  The first batch of some of the perennial herbs are ready to harvest.
My dandelion wine is about ready to be bottled with breather tubes for a while and then corked and put in storage until Thanksgiving.  It's great for catching a virus in the early stages or a minimal daily dose to cleanse the liver.  The taste is nutty and fruity but mild.
Spring is a great time to begin wildcrafting, too.  The dandelions and coltsfoot were just the beginning.  It's so much fun to go out in the meadow and woodlands to see what's growing there that I can use.  Plantain, self-heal, stinging nettle, cleavers, chickweed...

My girls are so much help and I appreciate them so much.  They both love working in the garden with me and watching things grow.  Both like to cook but I think the youngest is a little more interested while the older one loves working with herbs and creating remedies and personal care items like scents, powders and lotions.  We've a batch of first aide salve in the works. 

June is going to be crazy!  We have a wedding to start off the month, E's beau coming for a visit, finishing work in the garden, Bible school prep and a week of VBS, and then zip! June is over.  July is still up in the air but part of it will be getting E ready for college in the fall and possibly an exciting trip for her which will last over half the month.  Then we'll have just a couple weeks before she's off.  Not looking forward to that day. Where has the time gone?  I will miss her so much!

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