Category Archives: Uncategorized

Biking to the store.

Wilhemina and I biked to the grocery store last night. It’s almost 4 miles round trip, our longest ride to-date! It was definitely all up-hill, I could really feel it in my thighs, but it was great coming back! Very fast and easy. I forgot to put the cover on the back of the bike trailer and apparently stuff was blowing out of it (the mariner’s bag that Willa acquired downtown was the  biggy) but a couple of nice people chased after us in their car to return the bag. That was very nice of them.

I think I need some rear-view mirrors for the bike and a flag for the trailer before I really feel comfortable riding on the streets with Willa. I’m thinking about a on-bike child seat for Harriet, which I think she’ll be comfortable in before she is comfortable in the trailer.

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Garden losses

Well, I did get the planting done mid-July, and the seeds started sprouting quite quickly, unfortunately something (I suspect the slugs) munched most of the seedlings down to the ground. The beets, rutabaga and parsnips were almost a total loss. The brassicas didn’t fare much better.

I did a quick, late, replanting on Sunday. I hope it isn’t too late. I am planning on making some Solar cones to try to extend my winter harvesting so maybe that will make-up for the late planting. If these seedlings don’t make it either than my only hope is to pick up some winter starts at Tilth’s Harvest Festival.

Fermenting

A friend just lent me her copy of Wild Fermenting by Sandor Katz and I LOVE it. So I currently have some fruit scrap vinegar and sour dough starter simmering away upstairs. I am quite excited. As soon as I can acquire an organic pineapple I am going to try to make pinapple vinegar and then….. Cortido. My family and I adore Cortido and apparently the quicky version with apple cider vinegar is not the true way to make it. So I am going to ferment some, just as soon as I’ve finished fermenting the pineapple vinegar. I probaby won’t do it more than once, because pineapples don’t grow here. But after I know what it should taste like I’ll experiment with other, local, fruit vinegars and see what I like best.

I did have a plan for scrounging organic orange and lemon peels from my local organic juice bar for making more candied peel, maybe they would also gift me with their pineapple peels for making vinegar. I would just buy the fruit but no-one but me would eat it, and I wouldn’t eat very much of it, and it just seems silly to buy fruit for the peels.

I’m also looking forward to making tasty sourdough rye crackers and (hopefully) weaning my family off of the evil white flour crackers which seem to comprise the majority of their diet.  The problem is going to be making the crackers tasty enough that they’ll eat them, but not so tasty that they’ll eat nothing else.

It’s here!

I picked up my new bike yesterday. It is very very comfortable. I can climb hills with it much more comfortably than I was able to on my last (very old and decrepit and probably poorly adjusted) bike. I adore the cushy memory foam seat. Now all I need is a fetching new basket for my lovely bicycle.

The Bike

I decided to see if I could cut my gasoline consumption in half by buying a bike and trailer. This way I can haul the kids around West Seattle for errands. So far, I have the trailer and a bike rack for my car. I’ve ordered a bike (Giant Suede DX) and hopefully I will have it next week. I just hope that I have anywhere near enough muscle in my legs to haul the kids up the hills to the PCC.

I’m very excited about my bike. It is Soooooo comfortable. I haven’t biked more than a block in almost 20 years. I bought a bike at a garage sale about 5 years ago but it was really painful to ride. My neck is just too messed up for me to be able to ride bent over. The Suede lets me ride sitting up and I really love that.

I know that I tend to have strong and fickle enthusiasms so I am really fighting the desire to spend a lot of money tricking out my bike, only to let it languish in the garage. I did invest in a lovely blue bike helmet though. I look quite fetching in it if I do say so myself.

The Winter Garden

I finally got the majority of the winter garden seeds in yesterday. It’s hard to plant with Harriet climbing the garden walls and trying to feast on the Hens and Chicks.  I still need to get the winter potatoes in and some more beets, cilantro, fava beans, peas and more carrots. I’d better get on it. It’s already mid July. 

It’s so hard to pull out summer vegetables that aren’t quite finished. I need to plant onions in a bed that still has a lovely block of chard in it. It’s going to seed but I’ve been enjoying some delicious chard with eggs for breakfast and I don’t really want to pull it out. I do have a lot of kale and beet greens that I’m leaving in the garden so I suppose I could just switch to having those with my eggs.

Buying a truck to convert to electric

With gas prices being what they are, Kevin and I have decided to buy a small truck and convert it from gas to electric. So on Sunday Kevin and Harriet and I piled in to the car, stopped to drop Wilhelmina off with her grandparents, and drove down to Tacoma to purchase a 1996 Chevy S-10 pick-up. The truck’s body looks great, and the mechanic who’s doing our conversion says that all we need is a solid truck body and brakes that work. The person we bought the truck from promised that it ran well, so that was a bonus. It sure stunk of gasoline fumes though.

Harriet slept all the way to Tacoma and woke up when we arrived. After we bought the truck Harriet and I drove back to Seattle together, only she wasn’t very happy about being in the car at that point. Kevin got to drive back to Seattle wreathed in gasoline fumes. I’m not sure who had the better deal.

The truck passed the emissions check (which is absolutely amazing to me and explains a lot about why we have global warming) and the girls and I took the bus downtown on Tuesday to get a replacement parking permit. I think that I put ours in a good secure spot to keep it from getting lost and now I can’t find it. We had a good time on our trip. Harriet and Wilhelmina LOVE people so they chatted with people on the bus all the way downtown. We got gelato and a burrito at Pike Place Market and Wilhelmina and I looked at all the fish.

So next in the line-up is arranging financing for the conversion. Then we get in line with our mechanic and off we go!