a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Swimming in Vegetables . . .

where the pool once was 

Dave and son Luke --- the water volleyball champs for 3 years running!

This week I have been posting about our cheap-and-make-do gardening efforts.  The first two posts were ways we have been successful using a variety of small and small-ish containers----in the tiny area that wasn't taken up by our 15x30 foot above ground swimming pool.

The pool died three years ago shortly before a good friend, who lived at the end of our street, offered us her raised garden boxes complete with soil. The gift was unbelievable! Moving them seemed overwhelming---if not impossible!

As words from an old Roger Miller song encourages,  "knuckle down, buckle down, do it, do it, do it!"

Impossible just takes a little longer!

We left all but one section of the pool's metal framework in place. With the exception of the one box  shown in the photo below, the others fit perfectly within it. 

As we enter the garden (through the one removed framework area) notice how that one "outside" box snuggles perfectly between the framework and the steps to the deck---couldn't have fit better if it was custom made for that spot.

The three tires in the lower left have potatoes planted in them. We planted in the second tire and as the plants grew higher we added the third tire. Again, when the plant grew up above the third one, we added a fourth.You remove the tires one at a time to harvest. 

Last year we added a compost area where the white buckets are. It is amazing how fast it fills up with the peelings and trimmings.

There is peace and satisfaction in watching the garden grow. There is great pleasure in picking the produce and often, eating it right on the spot. . .and sharing it.

And sometimes there is humor.

Once you have your produce, whether from home, market, or farmer’s market, it needs to be washed. The following, from internet sites, are homemade washes/preservers and comments from their contributors.

● I have been using this for years. It can be used in spray form or as a soak. It  really works and works very well! no chemicals 100% natural and will remove dust and dirt and kill any little bugs and bacteria not to mention it costs only pennies to make and when used as a soak it will help preserve your veggies so that they will last quite a lot longer. Because of the fresh lemon juice any unused spray may be refrigerated until used again, I just usually use up the 1 cup and then discard the rest --- the exact amounts do not really matter a little more will not hurt, I really don't even bother to measure I just eyeball everything. If you are using a smaller bowl then reduce the vinegar to 2 tablespoons and salt to 1 tablespoon it will work just as well.
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup water 
2 tablespoons salt 
Put all ingredients into a spray bottle (be careful as it will foam up) shake gently to mix, then spray on veggies or fruit, allow to sit for about 2-5 minutes and then rinse under cold water.
1/4 cup vinegar
2 T. salt
Fill a clean sink or a large basin with cold water; add in vinegar and salt, then swish around with hands (you may also do this in a large bowl). Place the fruit and/or veggies in and allow to sit for 25-30 minutes although I have even left soaking for over an hour (this will not effect the flavor at all, the vinegar cleans and the salt draws out any little bugs, dirt and other small unwanted things, it also will remove some of the wax. Rinse under cold water and dry.

Vinegar-less Wash
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
2 tablespoons baking soda 
1 cup water 
Put this mixture in a spray bottle. After spraying, let produce sit for a few minutes. Rinse well. 

● This writer states she saw the following vegetable spray on Oprah and notes: Be sure to mix this in a DEEP pitcher. The baking soda and vinegar will react and foam everywhere if you do not.
1 cup water 
1 cup vinegar 
1 tablespoon baking soda 
20 drops grapefruit seed extract (you can find this in your healthy food store, natural antibacterial) (optional) 
Mix all ingredients together in a DEEP pitcher. Pour into a spray bottle. Spray on fruits and or vegetables and allow to sit for 5 or 10 minutes before rinsing.


Norm and Heather said...

I love those egg plants -- almost I am persuaded to plant some if I could be sure they would tun out that cute!

Norm and Heather said...

I love those egg plants -- almost I am persuaded to plant some if I could be sure they would tun out that cute!