G Freden

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since Jul 27, 2012
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Recent posts by G Freden

I love zucchini!  It's actually not something I've ever had much success with but finally this was my year  I had too many, and even that wasn't enough for me!  Great tip about the pipe.
1 month ago
I started a new pickle jar after watching this video:

Mine took about three weeks to get going but now it's pretty darn tasty and I keep adding whatever vegetables I happen to have too much of at the time (the cucumbers in particular were amazing).
1 month ago
Yes I still have it in a planter, but it gets badly affected by peach leaf curl every spring and has gotten pretty weak now.  It grew two fruits one year but that's it.  I should really overwinter it in my garage until after flowering (they say the leaf curl fungus enters if it's rainy as it flowers/leafs out)--maybe it'd get a little more growth.

1 month ago
When I fall off the low carb wagon (lots of times) I tell myself what I am going to eat when I get a craving for carbs.  I decide beforehand and stock up.  "I will eat as much bacon and eggs as it takes to stop me wanting cookies."  And I do it.  Even if I have to eat a dozen eggs and a pack of bacon in a day.  In fact I often have to stuff myself with low carb items before the cravings go.

Another thing that helps me is I've noticed a pattern in my cravings.  I'm busy at home or work all morning and afternoon and am not thinking about eating.  In fact, I often do intermittent fasting by skipping breakfast and just drinking water or tea in the morning until or even after lunchtime.  But after dinner, usually an hour or two after, I'm no longer busy;  I'm sat down with my laptop or book and suddenly I'm craving carbs.  But as I have come to expect it, I also know what to do:  get up and fry some eggs and bacon  

For what it's worth, it usually takes me a full two weeks of eating strict low carb before the cravings stop.  Then it's plain sailing again.

(Edited for clarity)
1 month ago
Oh yes, and for pickling, I got some kilner type jars from ikea;  they are 1.8L capacity and hold about a dozen gherkins each :)  I also bought two 3.3L glass jars with separate lids too--one is full of a mixture of veg and spices, fermenting on my counter.  Obviously these don't seal like the jam jars, but I only expect them to live in the fridge and get eaten this year.  I've had a couple of the larger jars for several years now, and went and bought several more this summer.
1 month ago
I also reuse jars and lids, and I "can" after a fashion:  using my stock pot with a cloth folded underneath, I'll put my sealed jars in and fill it with boiling water up to their shoulders (about 3/4 of the way up the jars) and boil them like that for 10 minutes.  I take the jars out and let them cool on my counter;  the lids usually all pop as they cool to show they've sealed--any that don't I will put in the fridge to eat right away (though this doesn't happen most years).

I'm kind of paranoid about botulism, so the only preserves I make this way are jams and whole fruit preserves;  I know that the acid and sugar content is too high for botulism to grow in these, and any other spoilage is easy to see/smell.  
1 month ago
I never got around to taking a photo of the seed tray with wool (kind of past seed starting now).  But I wanted to post a quick update on how things are growing.

Most of the early transplanted beets and kohl rabi went on to grow just fine, and I've harvested many of these.  The only slight drawback to the wool at the roots is, well, wool at the roots!  Pulling up an individual kohl rabi wasn't really a problem, but I did have to extract beets very carefully from their cluster, otherwise the little puny beets would come up with the big fat beet I was trying to pull (I don't thin beets, but leave them to grow together).  The root balls of everything I pulled were large and luxurious, and while fully entangled with the partly decomposed wool, also growing well beyond it.  

Plants I have not yet pulled--such as climbing beans--have also been producing well;  certainly everything is producing as normal and I can't really tell the difference now between the wool starts and the non-wool starts in terms of production (or pest damage).  On the whole, the growing season has been good;  I'm happy to continue using wool for seed sowing in the future.

Robert Ray wrote:Each painting, a lesson and step towards ones unique style. Your lavender is lovely as is.

I agree!  There's no wrong way to paint.  

I will say however, it's helpful to learn The Rules as a beginner as it helps with technique--after all, it can be discouraging not being able to translate your vision into art.  A class will probably help with some foundational rules, then feel free to break them.
2 months ago
Hi Johnny, when I was a kid, we got three ducks and they completely cleaned out our suburban garden of grasshoppers, and in fairly short order;  we didn't feed them any additional feed over summer.  I now live in a wet, mild climate suited to slugs and snails, and thanks to my own two ducks, no longer trouble my vegetables (they also self harvest cabbage caterpillars and many other bugs and creepy crawlies).  

I know it's not for everyone, but honestly ducks are such great pest control, and if you don't want to keep them long term you can always eat them at the end of the season--they are delicious too :)
2 months ago
Maybe I'm a philistine, but I use a ball point pen

I usually draw with a pencil and paint over that;  then if I'm using ink, it goes on after painting.  I don't really use ink in my style of painting, though I use it a lot with my coloured pencil drawings.
2 months ago