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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Homesteading Update 03 April 2011

I haven't been idle, but I'm not getting much done, so here's an update anyway.

Remember my Room of Shame?  I finally got the new closet doors installed by my contractor.  They are solid core, so I can hang stuff on them, and now they swing out instead of just sliding left or right so that I can actually use the closet for a small office/craft closet (not that I craft- just writing that makes me cringe, but that's what they call those things...I just want a place to stuff all my crap and be able to lock it up).  I can't get to it right now, because other projects have higher priority, but once it's done I can work on turning the Room of Shame into a Den of Comfort for Guests.  But that's a long way off.

Then tonight for dinner we're having the first of the asparagus from my asparagus bed.  This is rather exciting for me.  I know.  What a gardening geek. Actually, I can't tell if it's because I love asparagus and it's the inner foodie in me that's excited, or if it's the gardener who brought forth from the earth that's excited.  Either way, both are getting a share in the booty.

This is a picture of my attempt at producing white asparagus, which is a European delicacy.  The Germans call it Weiss Spargel.  I'll let you know how it turns out, if it turns out.

Then last but not least, I found some nettles growing in the park on our walk this morning, so I nabbed a couple of stems (good thing I was wearing gloves).  I've been looking for nettles as I walk the paths for awhile now and today was the first I'd ever seen them.

I planted seeds for nettles and comfrey a couple of weeks ago (borage, too) but so far nothing has come up.  At any rate, I put the leaves of my specimens in a cup and poured boiling water over them, and then steeped them like a tea.  It's supposed to be a good spring tonic.  They smelled delicious, sort of like a cross between asparagus and celery.  The flavor was weaker than the aroma, but I can see how a bunch of this stuff would make an awesome soup.  If my seeds don't come up, I'll have to try again, but at least I now know for sure they can be had in the park.  I wonder how they'd be with pasta?

I am working on drawing plans for my dining and breakfast nooks, which are taking awhile.  It's good to get all the mistakes made on paper and out of the way so that I can get the construction done fairly quickly and painlessly.  

So not much else is getting done right now.


Miriam said...

Congratulations on the asparagus - it looks superb! No sign of ours yet...

You can definitely make pesto from nettle leaves. We have scads and scads of it growing at the back of our property, and I am determined to make good use of it this year as a tonic for me and tea for my plants.

Paula said...

Oh good job Miriam! It's supposed to be awesome for plants (people too!)
I wish I had scads of it growing at the back of my property- that's where I sowed it!

Jennifer Montero said...

I have asparagus envy! It's my favorite vegetable but we haven't got the right soil conditions for it in our tiny garden. We have a good local supplier so I can still eat my fill before the season's over.

The den of comfort looks wonderful! And I like learning the german words for things.

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Asparagus envy! Asparagus envy!

We planted ours (the purple kind) last year, and probably won't do any harvesting until next year (unless we just can't help ourselves). Still, every day I go peer at the bed to see if any are coming up. Even if you don't like asparagus (?!), you have to love the first little spike of spring.

Rae said...

Yay asparagus! Sounds delish!

Congrats on getting a step closer to the "den of comfort". I had one when we moved in, but it's sliding closer to shame status. :)

Paula said...

Tamar- I planted our purple asparagus last year as well, but I have some extremely robust (huge) spears coming up, so I suspect that they were two-year old crowns when I put them in. I'm not supposed to be harvesting this year, theoretically, but I think I'll be okay. I don't plan on making this a long season- maybe one or two more harvests- tops. I suggest that you see what yours look like when they come up. But yeah- what a great harbinger of spring!

Paula said...

Jennifer- I don't have the right soil either- that's why they're in a raised bed!

Paula said...

Thanks Rae. If I remember correctly, you said your clay was way under things, so I bet you could grow yourself some asparagus. You certainly have the room for it!

Toni aka irishlas said...

Okay, who plays those instruments I see sitting on the floor there?

Congrats on being one step closer to completing the room of shame project.

You know what? I don't know if I've ever seen a nettle. Or, if I have, I didn't realize what it was.

Paula said...

You've a sharp eye Toni! Those are my violin and viola, which I played a lifetime ago. I can't remember the last time I played, and the viola needs to have its tailpiece reset so that it can be tuned up again. They were given to me by my late father, so I can't bear to part with them, even though I no longer play them.