Independence Days Saturday #1.

Before the boys went to their father’s place this weekend they cleaned their room and brought out the washing. I was in the kitchen when Ryan17 said, “Coming through!” I turned around to see this.
A patient and placid dog is a wonderful thing.

Yesterday I collected the scraps from the fruit shop and left the chooks to pick at them before I put them in the compost bin. When I came out a little later the gerls came running up, thinking that the camera in my hand might be food. Stoopid chickens!

Then they went back to foraging in the bin for titbits. But the pecking order is alive and well. They won’t let Pudgy anywhere near.

She accepted the situation fairly gracefully, nonchalantly pecking at insects and grass over near the fruit trees while the other gerls ate their fill. But where’s Hazel, you might ask?

She’s still broody. Here she is, broodily surveying the yard just before I lifted her out to give her a gallop.

Later on the two pure-bred gerls were able to sneak over and enjoy some greens. Lizzie noticed after a while and chased them off but I think they enjoyed themselves up until then.

OK! Now onto the Independence Day Challenge.

Seeing as today is my first week and I only began 3 days ago, I don’t know how impressive this will all be. Evan15 gave me a 2012 diary for Christmas to use as a gardening workbook… one of the ways I’m trying to get myself to get better with the ‘follow-through” so I’ve decided to adapt the book to use for the challenge.

Here’s how I’ve divided it up. I’ll see how it works. The book may not be big enough to do this and record my gardening things adequately, but I’ll give it a shot before I race out and buy something else. (Hmm… maybe I should put that in the ‘waste not” category? Or maybe that’d be cheating…)

Independence Days Challenge Week 1.

1. Plant something: Spring onion seedlings. (They died.)
2. Harvest Something: Beetroot, radish, beans, silver beet, peas, strawberries, 2 tomatoes, spring onions, warrigal greens, squash, 20 eggs.
3. Preserve Something: Plum jam x2 batches; dried apples, lemon verbena and mint.
Waste not: Lettuce going to seed was fed to chooks; sewed up a rip in Tom20’s shirt instead of throwing it out; used a zest-less lemon languishing in the fridge for my first batch of jam; saved 2 lemons left on a cut-off branch from my neighbour’s tree to make my second batch of jam; warmed up Evan15’s sponge cake in the microwave and poured runny strawberry jam over it for a dessert. (yum)
Want not: ordered two books on gardening and urban farming. Bought a 5kg packet of red lentils.
Eat the food: Beetroot, strawberries, silverbeet,beans,radishes, 2 tomatoes (the Amish paste was delectable), eggs.
Build community: gave jam away to my neighbour and to Ian; gave advice to Liz about starting a herb garden near her kitchen and on growing a citrus tree; hosted the January Gardening POD meeting.

That’s all I could think of. I bought some more plums to make jam but I think I’ve run out of jars, which is a bit of a problem.

(My second batch of plum jam with the basil and watercress labna.)
Speaking of jars, does anyone have a quick way to remove labels? I’ve been using an old bottle of ‘Big Kev’s Goo Remover’ which smells weird and takes forever to use. I’d like to be able to remove a label from a jar in under 10 minutes. It’s far too time-consuming; particularly as the holidays are running out *sob*.

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8 Responses to Independence Days Saturday #1.

  1. Kate says:

    Love your blog, and really like you Independence day idea.

    Re cleaning jars, I soak in hot water and use a scraper to remove most of the paper. For the residual glue I use the home made citrus cleaner from S/S, spray on leave for a minute or two then wipe with a cloth. Rinse jar well and/or pop in the dishwasher.

  2. persiflage says:

    I use eucalyptus oil for the jar sticky residue, after scratching away with my fingernails, or a small sharp knife. A good soak also helps.
    Ask people to return the jars.
    I had to go out and buy some at the Essential Ingredient after making so much cumquat marmalade. My neighbour this morning said she had some jars for me.

  3. Jayne says:

    I love this idea!
    You’ve inspired me to go plant some more seeds each day 🙂
    As for labels – as above what Persiflage suggested.
    Or check Shannon Lush, she’s got some great tips.

  4. kris says:

    Good soak and then eucalyptus oil to soften the glue and scrape it off.

  5. Liz says:

    Some of the older style Op Shops have jars, I know there’s one in Fairfield with them but I suspect that is a bit of a trek from where you are.

  6. river says:

    Jar labels? I peel off as much of the printed section as I can, exposing the thin white layer that’s attached to the glue. Then I soak them in a sink of hot soapy water, fill the jars too so they don’t float, stand them so the labels are completely covered in hot soapy water. Go off and do something else for about a half hour or until the water is cool enough that it won’t burn your hands. The labels should just slide off. Any residual bits of glue come off easily with steel wool and it doesn’t scratch the glass. Rinse well.

  7. Robyn@Belli says:

    Try filling the jar with hot water and leave for a few minutes (this loosens the glue) then the label “should” peel off. Sometimes this works, sometimes not – I have decided it must relate to the type of glue used. Anyway it is worth a short because it is effortless when it does work!

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