Britesea - Living the good life in rural Oregon

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Got a bunch of tulips and dutch iris planted today. I put hardware cloth down on top of the soil to keep the chickens from scratching in the nice, soft dirt. I'll pull it off in a week or two, when they have forgotten about it (I hope).

I dehydrated several trays of comfrey and garbled it (love that word; it means crumbling the dried leaves away from the tough stems)- it filled half of a gallon sized ziplock. I still have tons more, as well as a small mountain of catnip, horehound, peppermint, bergamot, sage, thyme, tarragon, dill seed heads, and parsley. Most of the herbs will be dried, but I'll be making chimichurri sauce with the parsley. I also have thethat larger green beans that were too big to be tender in the dehydrator on very low heat (about 95F); I hope to be able to harvest the seeds for planting next year. This is only the second time I've tried saving seed, so I hope it works. I also need to get the seeds from the melons I have in the fridge (I sure hope keeping them cold won't hurt the seeds) as this variety is the first one I've been able to get fruit in my very short season

After going through the freezer, I found a full month's worth of various meats in there. So I made up a month's worth of menus to use them up. Tonight is Shrimp Creole, looking forward to it!
What will you do with all that comfrey? I've not been good about saving my comfrey, generally just cut it and toss it in the run, or let it fall over, right where planted in the orchard. It typically cycles through 3 periods of grow tall and bloom, lodge, then an other cycle of grow tall... I do want to save some tender tips from current stand to make some healing salve.

I don't know if your over-ripe bean pods will be mature enough to have viable seeds. If you have any more left in the garden, you might pull a section of the vine with those pods, then let them dry right on the vine. I let my pods dry in the garden as long as possible. Finding that the longer they have to complete this maturing process, the better the quality of the seed bean. If the pods have yellowed, and thinned, so the seed is very loose in the pod, there is a good chance that the seed is mature enough to complete the drying process in the house. (if outdoor weather insists that they be brought in!) I lay them out on newspaper or cardboard to finish drying. I would think that the heat of the dehydrator, even at 95* would be counterproductive to viability. Do you have a fan only option?

As for the melon, I don't think refrigeration will hurt the viability of the seeds IF they are mature. I try to let my cucurbits get VERY ripe before harvesting seeds, even to the point of sacrificing the fruit for table use.
 

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also need to get the seeds from the melons I have in the fridge (I sure hope keeping them cold won't hurt the seeds) as this variety is the first one I've been able to get fruit in my very short season
I've had melon that another left on vine all winter. The seeds did sprout, right there! You may be OK. Nothing gained if you don't try. :D

After going through the freezer, I found a full month's worth of various meats in there. So I made up a month's worth of menus to use them up. Tonight is Shrimp Creole, looking forward to it!
NICE -- won't have to cook a lot for a while. :clap Not to mention shopping & buying!
 

Britesea

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DH accidentally threw a whole bucket of serrano chilies to the chickens because I told him to throw out the last few tomatoes in a bucket (they were too gone for use)... he grabbed both buckets and dumped them. *sigh* at least I had already freeze dried and frozen at least a year's worth before he did that.
I finished up the bell peppers in the freeze dryer last night. I still have some cucumbers to do something with, and I need to finish the herbs. I've got plenty of calendula, comfrey, horehound, peppermint, bergamot, dill seed and catnip laid by now. Need to make some tarragon vinegar which is DH's favorite, and the thyme needs to be garbled and packed up. I didn't get much sage or lemon balm out of my plants this year because they were new plantings, but I got some. The verbena is happy so far in the greenhouse with a cloche on for extra protection-- but she needs to come into the house for winter. I forgot to cover the oregano with a cloche too so it's not looking too happy; I'll try cutting it back and bringing it into the house too.
We made some room for a couple of cilantro plants in the living room too; I hope I can get them to grow.

I use the calendula and comfrey for an antibiotic salve that we dip into for every little boo boo. DH feels it works better than Neosporin or any of the other OTC's. Horehound for coughs and bergamot for fever as well as tummy upset along with peppermint. Dill is supposed to be good for bronchitis and other lung complaints, though I've never needed it (I mainly use it in cooking), and catnip for calming and mood elevation. I also gathered a fair amount of shepherd's purse this summer which is good for stopping excessive bleeding (internal as well as external). Thyme is a powerful antifungal and antimicrobial, as well as apparently being good for cholesterol and hypertension (have some thyme tea!) So my medicine cabinet is expanding.

Doing the Happy Dance! At my annual medical exam, the doctor was so impressed with my lab results that I am now officially OFF my statin drug, and my metformin dose has been cut in half! She does want me to get another blood test in 3 months to make sure the cholesterol and A1C don't start climbing again, but I think I'll be ok. I reduced my daily calories by another 300 a day, and the weight - which had been plateau'd again - is coming down once more. It took a couple of days, but the stomach has shrunk again so I feel full even with slightly smaller meals. I'm now down to pretty much what I think needs to be my permanent daily calorie goal so if I plateau again I need to up the exercise instead.

The chickens have been allowed into the garden now that the cold weather has mostly closed down the growing season. All I have in there now is a bed of beets, another of garlic and shallots, the kale, broccoli and collards. It was funny to see the chickens stretching up to grab bits of kale- they've stripped the bottom half of the stems now. The stinkers wouldn't touch the kale when I threw some to them during the summer, but now that most everything else is dying, they are going after that and the comfrey and the mallow weeds.

Still eating down our freezer meats; we had Fajitas last night (using romaine lettuce leaves instead of tortillas) and tonight I'm cooking up some Rockfish in a creamy shallot sauce. Haven't decided what sides to have with it... maybe green beans and garlic.
 

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I think I'll come to your house for supper tonight. Congrats on the good medical report. You've earned that report! Wonderful news! Keep up the good work.

My birds are decimating my Sorrel. I need to dig a clump to put into the green house. And, today, they started in on the chard. I shooed them away long enough to be able to nip the tender center leaves for the kitchen. They can have the rest!
 

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Agree!! You earned the great Dr report. Looks like you could have those "found" dinners used up in time for loading some from Thanksgiving. :clap
 

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We'll need the room- we have 2 Tom turkeys to butcher... White Broad Breasted, so I expect them to come in at about 50# each.
 

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Might want to half one...to lay in freezer better. Plus, that size would need to be cooked in portions, at my house! You are feeding them well. :D
 

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Sometimes, when I buy a frozen turkey at the grocery, I have them quarter it. They have always been willing. That makes it super easy to cook enough turkey for hubby and me without wasting any. Can't go wrong with that, especially when turkey cost 49 cents/#. Would love to have some home grown turkey. How do you find the feed conversion rate of turkey to compare to Cornish Cross?
 

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I've never grown Cornish Cross. We got into the turkeys because a friend gifted us with 2 last year-- she had ended up making pets of them and couldn't stand the idea of butchering them.
Last year the hen was roasted whole for Thanksgiving- she was about 30 lbs so everyone got all the leftovers they wanted, lol. We parted out the tom- the breast alone was 25 lbs of boneless meat! 2 wings, or 1 thigh made a meal for the 3 of us. the drumsticks were a meal plus leftovers, and I cut the breast into 8 roasts... so we got a dozen good meals out of one turkey, plus lots of good broth. This year, we are donating the hen to a raffle benefiting the Lions Club, and keeping the 2 toms for ourselves. I don't know if I want to continue doing turkeys, but if we do I want to switch to a heritage breed that might manage to self-perpetuate. I waffle between that or some Jersey Giants.
We really don't have room to grow any livestock except birds or rabbits, and even the rabbits would be problematic (according to DH) because of our cold weather-- we would have to build some shelter for them. We already have an insulated coop for the chickens, and we've been butchering the turkeys before winter and they just sleep outside in the fenced henyard. If we get bigger birds for a continuing flock (either the turkeys or the jerseys) we'll have to make some changes to the setup so they can get in out of the cold, but not as much as if we started a rabbitry. I may convince him to do rabbits someday, but not yet.
 

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My understanding is that rabbits do better in cold weather than they do in warm weather. If you placed your hutches in an area that was protected from wind and snow, they should do just fine. Rabbits are "possibly" on my bucket list. I could actually see myself raising rabbits before committing to turkeys.
 

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