Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Yummy Recipe from Aymi

Moroccan Couscous in an Aromatic Sauce

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Homesteading/Homemaking & Privilege

In this video, iremythpurr goes on a bit of a tangent about radical homemakers. Snooty delivery and vast assumptive strokes aside, she does raise some good points.

Many folks do not have the means to be stay-at-home parents nor self-sufficient homesteaders. That is where I agree with her. Her claims that the lot of us are all middle {or higher} class white women, individualistic, and pro-capitalism are just a tad much though.

Now I don't identify as a 'radical homemaker', but I think that similar characterizations have certainly been aimed at many homesteaders, and quite frankly it appears that she is taking a swipe at anyone who lives this way. To this I take offense.

Most of the folks that I know who are homesteaders have low incomes, are community oriented/involved, and are anti-capitalists; my better half and I included for all three things.

My partner does work full time for money, and I work for a different currency {barter and trade}, which gets us discounted rent, fresh organic produce, and sometimes the other odd necessity or luxury. We are involved in our communities and activism. And we would not shed a tear over the downfall of this unsustainable and unjust system that we currently have in place.

There must be others like us outside of the sphere of those we communicate with.

She goes on to knock women who make the choice to stay home {as a feminist 'house wife' I grit my teeth anytime one of my feminist peers do this}, state that this way of life is not 'radical' {right, because this is mainstream and doesn't go against the grain at all!}, and piss and moan about folks who are not activists {perhaps she forgot that many folks who are poor and/or homeless aren't even privileged with enough time or resources to actively participate in community organizing!}.

Anyhoo, apologies for the rantiness. Those of us who do get to homestead are indeed lucky...I just wish that folks would not assume that we were born with silver spoons in our mouths or horseshoes up our arses.



Monday, August 16, 2010

My Puter's Kaput

funny pictures of cats with captions

Cute kitteh from here.

My computer is pretty much FUBAR, so it will be set out in the retirement pasture and I will need to get a new one. This will be extra slow around here 'til then.



Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Recipe & Some Garden Updates

Howdy folks! The older veggie patch isn't much to look at right now because we have planted a bunch of cold weather crops for an Autumn harvest {peas, beets, radish, chard, and other greens}, but out new bed is pretty lively right now.

The corn has been a bit of a disappointment so far, but I do think we will get a small harvest out of the deal. The pumpkins and squash on the other hand have been doing really well.The sunflowers should be blooming soon, and the pole beans have been fruitful.

As always there are plenty of critters around. I almost plucked a up preying mantis while harvesting beans. Needless to say I will be paying more attention from now on. {!!!}

We've been making all sorts of meals that include pumpkin and squash flowers lately, and you can find recipes for those online. I thought I would share a concoction that I made last night. I am not sure what one would call it...perhaps a warm salad? I didn't write down the measurements I used, I just kind of used whatever I had leftover in the fridge and harvested from the garden that day. I hope that you folks give it a try and share variations of it. :)

Pumpkin flowers
Mustard greens
Swiss chard
Green beans

Sauteed in butter {beans first, then zucchini, then greens, then pumpkin flowers at the very end}. Drizzle on Honey garlic sauce and salt and pepper to taste {I used a really yummy honey garlic sauce from Soul Sisters, a really neat local shop who also makes preserves and sauces}.



Luverly of the Week: Sunflowers from Photon Phisher

Photon Phisher has a whole bunch of wonderful photos over at his Flickr. Check them out. :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Giving the Pumpkins a Hand in Love...

I spent some of my Lughnasadh hand pollinating our pumpkins. I think that many folks prefer to let the bees do their jobs, and although we have had plenty to help us out, I still like to do a few myself.

For the folks who would like to give it a try and don't know how, I thought that I would share how to.

First, you need to know the difference between a male flower and a female flower.

Male flower.

Female flower

Female flower with baby pumpkin on it.

Male blossoms generally start to bloom about a week before the females do, and there is often many males for every female. A few days after you see the gentlemen blooming, look for a lady who is going to be ready.

I find that if you spend quite a bit of time in the garden, it is fairly easy to tell when the lady will be ready the day before. The morning after that is a good time to do the hand pollination {try to do it on a day that is not rainy or windy}.

When you know for sure your lady flower is ready, pick a male flower that is open and his pollen can be seen on your finger when swiped. Once you have chosen one, carefully remove the flower from the plant.

Then remove the petals to expose the stamen.

Then gently rub all parts of the lady flower's stigma with the stamen.

After a couple of days the female flower will fall off, and if all goes well the fruit will grow. :)



Monday, August 2, 2010

Merry {Belated} Lughnasadh & Lammas!

There were three kings into the east,
Three kings both great and high,
An' they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn should die.

They took a plough and ploughed him down,
Put clods upon his head;
An' they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.

But the cheerfu' spring came kindly on,
And show'rs began to fall;
John Barleycorn got up again,
And sore surprised them all.

The sultry suns of summer came,
And he grew thick and strong;
His head weel armed wi' pointed spears,
That no one should him wrong.

The sober autumn entered mild,
When he grew wan and pale;
His bending joints and drooping head
Showed he began to fail.

His colour sickened more and more,
He faded into age;
And then his enemies began
To show their deadly rage.

They've ta'en a weapon long and sharp,
And cut him by the knee;
Then tied him fast upon a cart,
Like a rogue for forgerie.

They laid him down upon his back,
And cudgelled him full sore;
They hung him up before the storm,
And turned him o'er and o'er.

They filled up a darksome pit
With water to the brim;
They heaved in John Barleycorn,
There let him sink or swim.

They laid him out upon the floor,
To work him farther woe,
And still, as signs of life appeared,
They tossed him to and fro.

They wasted, o'er a scorching flame,
The marrow of his bones;
But a miller used him worst of all,
For he crushed him 'tween two stones.

And they hae ta'en his very heart's blood,
And drank it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank,
Their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
Of noble enterprise;
For if you do but taste his blood,
'Twill make your courage rise;

'Twill make a man forget his woe;
'Twill heighten all his joy:
'Twill make the widow's heart to sing,
Tho' the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne'er fail in old Scotland!

~ John Barleycorn by Robert Burns

We wish all merriment, plenty & a fruitful first harvest! For recipes and a history of Lughnasadh and Lammas go to our post from last year.


Aymi & Laurel