Well. It was a success. The Self-Reliance Challenge nudged me to get my challenges done. First up was laundry. Laundry doesn’t change much around here. I mean…it’s laundry. It was time to get the clothes line up now that the snow is gone. I seldom use the dryer. It’s 28 (!!!) years old and still going strong. Things that aren’t used all that much tend to last. In winter I dry laundry on wooden racks by the wood stove. It adds a little humidity to the air, dries the fabric quickly, is easy on delicates, and it doesn’t run up the light bill. When the weather is nice the clothes are hung on the clothes line to dry in the breeze. Did you know sun is good for yellowed whites? I like to hang my cotton kitchen towels out to be bleached by the sun. I do still use a little bleach now and then to keep them looking nice as long as possible, but not nearly as often in the summer.
Bread. No homesteader who owns a bakery should buy bread. Seriously. We don’t eat a lot of bread so it’s not really missed when I don’t make it, but two weeks ago we wanted sandwiches. I made white sandwich bread on Sunday. It’s void of meaningful nutrition so it’s not one I make often but it sure is delicious.
Firewood. I did call around and didn’t get the answers I was looking for. “I don’t know when we’ll start delivering. We won’t start cutting until August.” “We haven’t set our prices yet.” “That’s a long drive…” It’s a start but really, nothing useful accomplished.
Gardening. This kept me busiest.
- Pulled a lot of weeds in the raised beds. Bringing in top soil and the disastrous sandy clay also brought in a lot of weed seeds.
- Built a compost pile in the corner where I grew pumpkins. I’ll move the pumpkins to the other side this year since the compost won’t be done for six weeks.
- Turned the contents of the Earth Machine composter.
- Picked radishes, boc choi, spinach and sage.
- Pulled the year-old spinach when it started to bolt and used it in the new compost pile.
- Cleaned up the perennial gardens and cut sage, lemon thyme and chives.
- Read up on starting ramp seeds. Still undecided on how I want to grow them. Seeds in the fridge for a while, plant them in August? Or toss the seeds out in the best spot and let them do their thing without my help? hmm…
This Week’s Self Reliance Challenge List
More gardening. Tomato, pepper and cucumber seedlings need to be transplanted into the high tunnel on a cloudy day. I have rocks to put down in front of the garden shed and bricks to make a path through the perennial garden by the back porch.
The winter’s straw bedding needs to be cleaned out of the hen house.
Thursday and Friday are all-day baking days for Saturday’s Open Market Day at Tractor Supply in Calais.