Wednesday, September 21, 2011
One of two blogs I follow is Stephanie Pearl McPhee's knitting blog Yarn Harlot. http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/
Which you should go to right now ... and scroll down to read her September 14th entry about birth and babies and mothers.
The column is a love letter to her friend Jen who recently gave birth to a beautiful girl.
Best regards to all,
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Hope you are all well, and had some great weather for whatever you did today. We had about 20C and sunny here in London. Just great.
It's just past 10:00 p.m. here. We just switched on the new Excalibur dehydrator to 125Fahrenheit, to begin turning slices of pears into pear chips, and tomato slices and halves into "sun dried." The dehydrator is our new household appliance - I was going to joke and say "toy" but it cost too much for a toy ... and I'm just starting to realize that it will be a useful kitchen tool in many ways I didn't know it would be. Apparently, as well as using it to dry tomatoes and pears, I'll be able to use it as a warming oven to make yogourt and let bread rise. Who knew?
I also did some experimenting with drying herbs, which I usually dry simply on trays or by hanging (depending on which herbs). I thought that a bit of time in the dehydrator would speed up the process a bit and that way I could deal with a particularly large amount of peppermint. I had four trays of peppermint, and put them in for about 1 hr and 15 minutes. That reduced the volume so the leaves fit onto only two trays. And I'd chopped up mustard leaves from a huge plant that was growing. They reduced by over 1/2 in that same time ... and I discovered that, although the leaves were large and almost soft, they must have a structure that lets them lose water quickly. They dried so much that they were beginning to blow around the trays. Quite funny. The sage - with a much denser leaf - dried a bit in that time, reducing a large tray's worth to fitting nicely on a smaller tray (the size I have available). So, all herbs will complete their drying on trays, but I don't have to find spaces for so many.
Tarragon is drying in my office, another jar of dried basil has been added to the cupboard; I think there's enough in the garden to harvest another collander-full. I've got to harvest rosemary ... and think about which plants will come inside for the winter and which will be sacrificed to winter. We had an accident with a jar of dried oregano, but lucky us we have more growing. Shadow cat was caught with her head in the compost bucket yesterday - I'd been harvesting catnip and she wouldn't touch the lovely leaves I'd put on the floor for her, but she went for the remains instead.
My fingers smell wonderful from handling so many things this evening.
Best regards to all,
Sunday, October 16, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Brescia College Auditorium. Fee: $20.00 (students and seniors $10.00)
If you are interested in or involved with community gardening, urban agriculture and the related environment, food or agriculture issues ... we hope you will come on out. We want to make connections, help people find others to work on projects, and - after the event - stay connected with each other.
The morning session - update on London Community Gardens Program Review (LCGPR); generation of topics for ... discussion groups to map out practical ways to evolve community gardening.
Lunch - this will be a brown bag affair - please bring your own lunch plus something to share with others at your table [we will have healthy snacks and beverages available prior to and during sessions]
The afternoon session - short presentations about various urban agriculture projects ... generation of topics ... to take back into discussion / work groups. As with the morning group work, we'll get back together to share ideas ... and come up with some ways to stay in touch and work together after the gathering
There will be information displays from local groups involved with community gardening, urban agriculture, environment and food ... and a "seed swap" table - contributions are welcome, but don't be shy about taking if you aren't bringing.
Full information: http://www.communitygardenslondon.ca/news.html
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org