Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Project or Two...or Three

   Holidays and a stomach bug have given me a chance to slow down the hectic pace I generally operate at. Here on the homestead there is always a project or two going on, and with my slow down I had time to get a few going.
   First off we have floor installation. Due to the erratic nature at which tornadoes drop trees on my house, it has been years since we replaced the floor; recent extreme humidity seasons made it more than necessary. Instead of replacing the linoleum tiles we opted to do it up right with laminate planks. Bedrooms already have a lighter color laminate which we love. Now the rest of our downstairs will have a heartier version. So far, living room complete, and I love it. 
    When the weather cooperated, we focused on changes to our greenhouse. Instead of low beds with a concrete stone path we have cinderblock raised beds filled with fresh organic growing medium. That along with a new shade cloth and some irrigation hoses should lend well to prolonging our greens harvest- we shall see. Despite the freezing drizzle, we do have sprouts popping up in the new beds- I can't wait for fresh lettuces, chard and kale!

     Then there is the slow down project; on that offers quiet to the mind. Quilt fabric is cut! With a grandbaby on the way there must be a quilt, right? Natural muslin joins with shades of green to form a 'friendship path' pattern complete with colorful tumbling blocks and creamy paths. There is also a birthday pillow in the works, but I can't show that one:) With a heater under my table the stitching has begun; a great way to unwind at the end of the day.
     A homestead is a busy place; ever changing, ever evolving. I love fresh ideas and activities bringing new life and productivity. As one project draws to a close another is sure to follow keeping us on our toes. Changes are coming in this new year- some will be difficult, all will be challenging, but come what may there is always a project or two to keep you mind occupied.  


Unknown said...

I love the fresh start we can create at the beginning of a new year. I enjoyed this post, Michele.

In the fall I planted some Fordhook Swiss Chard. It grew beautifully! The problem is, no one who at liked it! I was so bummed! It was quite bitter. Is there a certain variety of chard you prefer? Or should it have been picked in it's baby stages? What's your favorite way to prepare it?

Hope you are in better health soon and it doesn't spread in the family. The downfall of the season-sickness abounds.


Dicky Bird said...

I use projects to keep my mind "busy" as well.

Simply Scaife Family said...

Andrea, I have used a wide variety of Swiss Chard seeds in the past several years and two things that I realize are, 1. picking younger leaves mean more tender, palatable flavors, and 2. our southern heat can reek havoc on greens. One tip a fellow master gardener shared was to pick your greens and refrigerate them over night allowing the tannins to release yielding a less bitter green. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds feasible.
As for preparing, I generally sauté it with garlic and red pepper flakes in a little olive oil, but have used it in soups and smoothies.