Travis Johnson wrote:
And finally winter stolice this year came in with some sad health news. After 15 months of battling cancer I just found out I did not win, and have to keep going, only this time knowing my foe is stronger than I thought. Considering how tough winter is, I am not looking forward to winter as well as, that.
Travis, if only I could bottle summer sun, vitality, plus the growth, abundance and healing health of nature in some kind of lovely vessel and send it to you there. My wish for you is all that and more.
Travis Johnson wrote:Summer Solstice has actually always made me feel glum. Part of it is living in Maine where it is said we have two seasons:
2. Getting ready for winter
With today being the longest day of the year, that just means we are now descending closer towards winter. Just 19 days ago we had frost, so to think of the days growing shorter day by day, is what makes me glum. Frost will not return again until September granted, but as the weather people say each day the shortening of the days, I get melancholy.
Uff. I'm sorry for the glum, Travis.
I'm kind of amazed at how long the winters are in Montana, too. Being from Seattle (five years ago now!) which doesn't really have winter, the upside of Montana winters for me had been more sunlight. And the snow brightens the days just so beautifully! And the the dry cold is so much easier to take IMHO than the constant damp drizzle in Seattle. I've learned I love shoveling snow here. Admittedly, we probably don't get as much snow as Maine, though it's an activity that gets me outside doing something useful and caretaking of my home, so I enjoy it.
The way I look at it with the shorter days is that we'll get some respite from the heat. It does get hot during the summer days here in Montana, more than Seattle, though mercifully it cools off most nights. If it were longer days, we might not have that welcome cool and fresh air in the wee hours.
dandelions are less bitter after a good rain (or lots of irrigation) - it doesn't matter if they have bloomed or not
cooking / sautéeing in fat and protein (like bacon, ham or vegan/veg alternative) helps reduce the bitter
Edit: here is a picture from *summer* dandelion greens picked here at wheaton labs. It was July 2016 (not 2017 which was DRY, dry, dry!) and the leaves were still remarkable nice and wide - full of moisture making them less bitter.
Thanks for reviving this with a mention in the daily-ish, Anne Miller!
I took a couple simple photos last fall. The first one shows half gallon mason jars that I keep in the freezer for scraps. In the photo, I have filled them with cold water to thaw the scraps so I can get them out and in to the crock pot. It takes a bit of shaking.
The second is a very full crock pot of scraps. I love using crock pots, and this batch was humming along in November when the extra heat in the house was a good thing, but I need to kick that habit and get better about using the haybox cooker in the summer or on hot days.
We do vegan broth a lot (just veg and mushroom scraps), or a combined meat bone and veg broth from bones we save after a meal. Some folks like to put a splash of vinegar in to help get the calcium out of the bones (or veggies?). Some folks even add egg shells to theirs. I once saw a cook add coffee grounds to his broth to dark and flavor it, but I don't like the idea of caffeine in my broth, so I don't do that!
If there are days we anticipate a lot of veg cooking, we start a crock pot about half full, and add veggie scraps as we go, until it's full.
Yes, how to harvest that energy....though actually, I want to better learn how to deflect the bullshit in the first place. Some kind of mental martial arts deflection, where an artful dodge just lets the crazy fly right by, harmless.
So many that I love (hello leeks, onions, garlic - hey was garlic on the list?, asparagus, artichokes, squash, sweet potatoes...), and we're eating loads of lambsquarters and chard fpr our greens these days, which I also love. Though I chose the humble potato, since it seems to be "the food of my people" and quite a comfort food at times.
Ah, awesome, thanks! I do like that page's distribution description:
On gravelly to heavy, usually dry soil, often in scabland or rimrock, from the sagebrush plains to the lower mountains, in w. and s.c. parts of MT. Also from B.C. southward, on the e. side of the Cascades, to s. CA, CO and AZ.
Bitterroot is a cool-season, perennial forb in the purslane family (Portulacaceae). It seldom reaches more than two inches in height but has a thick, often branching taproot that can be over 12 inches long. Bitterroot has a short caudex with densely clustered, succulent leaves, one to two inches long, at the caudex crown. The plants appear in the spring on dry grasslands and sagebrush slopes as dense, green rosettes of fleshy leaves (a characteristic of the purslane family) that dwindle as buds appear, and are dried up and gone when the flowers open. The blooms are unmistakable and appear as bright spots of color on the typically dry and rocky soil. Opening only under direct sunlight, they vary from pale to intense pink, but are occasionally white. The flowers remain open for only two to three days and are pollinated by insects, usually native bees.
TIL two things: that it's the state flower where I live (I know, I should have known that!) and in the purslane family!
Nicole Alderman wrote:Hmmmm, I wonder if large muslin swaddle blankets could be repurposed into grocery sacks?
I got some of these swaddle blankets when my daughter was born. They are HUGE, thin, and sturdy with some stretch to them. (They have more stretch if they are put into the dryer, which tends to make them bunch up.)
I'll take a picture of one of mine hanging on the line...
I like the light muslin or flour-sack/dish-towel-type thin cotton for produce bags similar to what's shown here. It works pretty well to keep things in the fridge. Plus, I do think the finer cotton works better than the mesh re-usable produce bags.
The thing is, most produce bags are tiny, like those in the upper right-hand corner of this picture. I like to buy BIG bundles of chard, or kale, or a BIG bunch of beets with luscious, leafy greens; or big, long, fat leeks. That means I'd rather have a sack as long as for a baguette (maybe the length in the upper left corner?) but at least three times as wide.
I have quite a few cloth bags that organic sheets came in, made out of the sheet material, that even velcro closed, but they are only long enough for short things - even scallions/green onions often stick out the end of them.
Hope I didn't go too far off-topic, R. Ohhh, what if you sold an entire handmade kit like this for someone's car - where it all snugged together just so? That would be a gift I'd buy for family and friends!
r ranson wrote:Today is the first sunny day since Ice Tea day. Unseasonally cold here - but at least we missed the SNOW last weekend. This is really good because people here don't know how to handle snow in the winter, snow in June would have completely shut down the city.
I got some jars and put tea leaves, water and some sugar in each. In one jar I put a splash of lemon juice, in the other kombucha because that's somewhat sour. I put them on the windowsill. Now I'm wondering if I should have looked up some directions or something. The results will be 'interesting' if nothing else. Can't imagine anything bad can grow in there as tea is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial or whatever. So is sugar. Looking forward to the result.
How many days do I have to wait?
Until it's as strong as you like it! That's my opinion, any way. I think it depends on how sunny and warm that location is, how strong you like your tea, how quickly your tea leaves release their goodness.
Glad you're not so worried about anything bad growing. Refrigerator tea or a cold brew, in my experience, generally takes overnight (6-8 hours) for a good strength, so if it's a lot warmer, it will of course be quicker than that.
I know I'm replying late and missed "the day" though iced tea season is just getting started around here!
We have several of these glass pitchers (Amazon affiliate link here) which fit in a crowded refrigerator ever so politely.
Though in the past, I had one like this one (Amazon affiliate link here) which is more expensive, though if my recollection serves, it also seems sturdier than the first one which seems to have thin glass.
We also have often used gallon jars like this one (Amazon affiliate link here), though they are so rarely empty, that it's been really helpful to have the glass pitchers that don't get usurped into food storage!
One of the favorite, simplest herbal (no caffeine) iced teas we've made was just rooibos. For some reason, when cold-brewed in the fridge, and served cold or iced, it was determined VERY refreshing on a hot day. Rooibos is not my favorite, but out of almost a dozen people here one summer, it was that group's favorite by far.
I buy teas in bulk, so I'll often just put the bulk tea in with the water overnight, then strain as I pour from one pitcher to another, and voila!
What kind of container do you all use for your iced tea?
other person: so-and-so needs to live their life *my* way!
me: look at my honeysuckle putting on flower buds!
other person: got it.
And now my honeysuckle is in bloom!
This makes me sooo happy! As does gathering greens each morning for our eggs-and-greens breakfast, drying herbs on my racks and copper wire in the kitchen, making wildflower bouquets, sitting outside in the misty coolness with a mug of coffee and a cuddly cat on my lap looking at all the lush growth....ahhh.
John Saltveit wrote:If you added black strap molasses, you would be adding potassium, calcium, magnesium to your drink.
I make a "sports food" for my Saturday baseball games: Beans (potassium), olives, ginger, garlic, rosemary, yogurt or kefir, soy sauce, sesame/sunflower/pumpkin seeds/walnuts, celery, greens, beets, and whatever else is on hand. It helps me avoid cramps and play longer without pain. It has all the electrolytes in it, but no sugar or artificial colors, preservatives or flavors.
I read some fascinating things about beets and stamina. Beets or beet juice helps oxygen get into your muscles and has tested as a better athletic performance enhancer than almost anything else!
Maybe beet juice (or powder or kvass, etc.) would be a good addition to a Switchel (for those who like beet flavor).
More about recycling (or, answering common questions before they are asked again):
We typically use containers where the recycling can be mixed - at events, in the FPH kitchen, or in rentals.
More than one well-intentioned person has suggested we have separate bins at each location, instead of separating when taking to the garage. I usually laugh!
We have at least 10 separate recycling types.
Each type of recycling needs to be taken to town to be put in a bin that is specifically for one recycling item. Often, we go to more than one drop-off location for different recycling things - aluminum scrap at this place, plastic at another place, jars and containers with lids at the Good Food Store, plastic bags at Target or Rosauers, glass now goes to Washington State.
And if the items aren't clean enough, separated correctly, lids taken off, etc. we run the risk of losing that recycling option. It has happened and is why we no longer have any glass recycling nearby.
Some days, I wish we could be like a park that says, "you pack it in, you pack it out!" But most people aren't wired that way or are completely unaware of how to reduce or separate their waste. So we get to play with their garbage after they leave.
I wish that what I am about to write could be far, far simpler. Though it takes some work, care, and thought to reduce waste in our rural environment.
These rather messy signs are the simplest version of our recycling at wheaton labs. Every facility at wheaton labs should have at least four bins (or cans, buckets - receptacles of some kind any way!); one for each of these categories.
The thing is, we do not have curbside recycling. We separate and take our recycling to town, and some times even to a different state. Not joking.
So, if you are here helping out and need to empty one of these containers (from an event site, a rental, the FPH, etc.), I'll do my best to explain where each category goes.
landfill Landfill items go in the garbage can in front of the garage* or the garbage can(s) behind the shop. When all garbage cans are full, they are taken to the transfer station were Paul pays to have it go to a landfill.
recycling Most recycling items go in the garage.
We sort our recycling into labeled boxes.
Recycling must be CLEAN. Currently we can recycle:
brown cardboard (only brown)
aluminum cans and aluminium scrap
steel / tin cans
glass OR plastic containers with 2" diameter or larger lids (take for re-use to The Good Food Store - when they are collecting)
newspaper (we generally keep this separate from burnables to use for removing paint from RMH barrels)
catalogs / magazines (most magazines are kept in the library as reading material, so this is primarily for the catalogs that are like magazines)
plastic - only if it has a number, and must be separated
plastic bags (generally plastic shopping or produce bags, though we some times add in other types of plastic bags, too)
glass (glass without a 2" or larger lid we take to another state, or are saving up for making other things out of it)
clothing, household things go on the free shelf
Note that we are not able to recycle aseptic boxes at this time.
compost Otherwise known as kitchen scraps. Mostly we sheet compost these (put them in the garden with lots of mulch on top) though that gets confusing or complicated for new folks to do. A simpler alternative is to add it to the compost pile next to the shower shack.
NO paper/paper towels/cardboard/tea bags
NO produce labels There are cans of sawdust or wood chips next to the compost pile, next to the FPH water hydrant, and by the FPH back porch for:
mulching or covering over compost in the garden or the compost pile
replacing a layer in the bottom of the compost bucket
Please cover all (about to be rotting) food or kitchen scraps thoroughly with mulch of some kind. Otherwise it smells, breeds flies, and looks really trashy.
burnables We do not have a way to recycle paperboard, some types of cardboard, paper towels, and lots of other papery things. Though we heat and cook with wood, so this paper makes great fire starter materials. Burnables are stored in paper grocery bags or cardboard boxes near the firewood inside the garage.
Different areas have such different recycling protocols. Ours certainly seem new or different to a lot of our visitors and residents. It bears repeating: if recycled or reuse items are not clean, they get smelly or moldy, and the place we take them to (recycle facility or The Good Food Store) will put them in the landfill instead of recycling or reusing them.
*Note that the garage refers to the garage/library building which is up next to the Fisher Price House (FPH) higher up the driveway at base camp. The shop (aka the auditorium) is the large metal building lower down at base camp.