Vegetable Garden

The garden is slowly producing food for us. We’ve brought in and preserved broccoli, cauliflower, green onions, and collard greens. We also harvested the potatoes and stored them in the underground storm shelter. Today, I harvested some cabbage that was ready. Mr B says he’ll cook it up and we’ll get it frozen or canned.

As I wandered the property looking at wild blackberry vines and my garden, I’m seeing a lot of promise for a lot of food soon. The blackberries are blooming, and there are little green and pink fruits too; I’m keeping an eye on them because that’s free fruit I can freeze.

I have blooms and small squash happening.

My Lima beans and snap peas are blooming. I can’t remember which is which, but that’s ok for now. I’ll know which is which when they get ready to harvest.

I have cowpeas growing out there! I thought all the cowpeas didn’t survive the transplant process.

It’s a lot of work, but it’s also kind of exciting. Now I’m off to take a nap.

Leaps and bounds

I’ve mentioned that the compost heap is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s growing faster than even I expected it to, thanks to all of the spoiled food the boss tells me to get rid of and the trimmings from preserving the vegetables we grew.

I figured it was time for a little photographic proof.

Here it is before we turned it last Thursday.

compost heap 27 april 2017

And here it is after I brought home a trunk full of freegan bad food from work on Friday.

compost heap 29 april 2017

It’s getting so big that we’re going to need Mr B to use his orange tractor to turn it soon. That’s probably a good thing, because I think we need to make a bigger vegetable garden next year.

Amateur hour in the garden

So none of us really know what we’re doing in the garden. We’ve been experimenting, I guess. We’ve been talking with neighbors, reading on the internet, and asking at gardening supply places. It seems like every time we make a plan, Mr B finds a new way to build a mousetrap; like when he made the garden longer but with fewer rows so he could fit his tractor in between the rows of plants. I’ve just kind of stepped back and waited for instructions (well, that’s what I was doing before I went on strike). We also seem to have an inordinate amount of green leafy shit growing out there. Seriously, there’s like 4 or 5 kinds of lettuce, some cabbage, two colored varieties of chard, a few types of greens, and some spinach. There are only a few partial rows of beans, which I’m not sure I understand since Mr B doesn’t eat meat and is constantly talking about needing ways to get enough protein, but OK. It’s an experiment, and we’ll learn from it.

We had to relocate the compost heap and create a better way to contain it than the small area we had created with a few pallets. I’ve been back at work at the produce stand, and I’ve been bringing home a lot of freegan spoiled fruits and vegetables to add to the pile.

side note: there’s a lot of stuff coming out of my work as “spoiled” or whatever. My boss has some exceptionally high standards for the products he sells. I’ve seen him toss out whole bushels of cantaloupes because they do not meet his standards for sweetness and texture. I’ve been called into the walk-in cooler to taste cherries because he knows that his sense of taste has been warped by all of the high-quality fruits he gets in stock; I’ve had to tell him that the cherries weren’t necessarily as good as his usual, but they were still far better than your average grocery store cherries. He won’t sell a green tomato that has turned red because he says the texture of the tomato is crap after being refrigerated like green tomatoes have to be refrigerated. There’s a lot that heads out the back door at work… The boss doesn’t care where it goes as long as it doesn’t head toward his customers’ tables. Quite a bit of it gets eaten out here because it’s perfectly good food. Bossman is just glad he doesn’t have to deal with it, and if I can keep it out of a landfill… well, he likes that, too.

So I’ve been bringing home a lot of stuff because the boss tells me to “make it go away”. The compost heap is growing by leaps and bounds.

compost heap is growing

Sunshine got out there yesterday with some pitchforks and turned the compost heap. It was interesting to see the various layers. There was some dark rich stuff towards the bottom of the heap, a few potato plants sprouting on the top, and small bits half pulled through the fencing by little raccoons or something. There were also approximately 8,947,837,658,298,798,632,058,967,093 ants crawling through the pile, and I saw at least one slug.

This week’s heavy rains left standing water in some low spots in our garden and Mr B got out there like a little kid, barefoot, and shoveled a trench to allow it to drain off. It was kind of fun watching him splash mud all over himself.

Today’s agenda includes getting out there and picking broccoli and cauliflower, and researching the proper method to freeze them. I think something called blanching isĀ  involved, and I’m going to have to find the freezer tape to mark the containers with. It’s amateur hour in the garden, and it’s definitely a learning experience.

final note: Having a chronic illness has really sucked this week. I’m hoping I can muster the energy to accomplish this today. The fatigue is still really bad, and the pollen + humidity isn’t helping It might be time to start back on the iron supplements if I can find them. It’s hard to do life when one’s limbs feel like they weigh 100 pounds each.

We’re growing our own food!

Well, some of it, anyway.

Some of my sprouts didn’t survive. I’ve been trying to remember which ones didn’t so I can grab some seeds to plant in their place, and I’ll be digging through my seeds that are left over from trying to grow my own sprouts and see what I have.

We do have lots of things that did make it, though. I’ve forgotten exactly what is what, but I remember that we have broccolis growing. There is cauliflower, cabbage, red and yellow chard, potatos, onions, radishes, more lettuces and greens than I can even remember…

side note: the big black & brown dog in one of the pictures is the neighbor’s dog. His name is Leroy Jethro Gibbs, after the NCIS character played by Mark Harmon. Leroy just recently got bitten by a copperhead and had to go stay at the hospital. I’m so glad he is OK, because Leroy Jethro is my buddy.

I’m hoping that I can get out there next week and maybe plant seeds to replace what didn’t sprout. It’s exciting to grow our own food.

final note: I know, just yesterday I posted about how I’m still on strike. However, Sunshine and Biff are out of town working. Which sucks, because it leaves my safe room closet in a state of half-finished-ness and leaves me here as the only one to take care of the cats and chickens and shit. I am not happy about any of it, but what the hell else am I gonna do? We have to pay for the house build somehow, and robbing banks doesn’t seem like a good way to do it.

Things are happening and I can’t keep up

Today is day one without the prescription meds for my back and hip pain. I’m doing ok so far, but I can already tell that I’m probably going to have to go back on some of them and it’s probably going to have to happen tonight through the entire weekend because it’s going to be brutal at work without them. I’m just glad I can finally think straight for a change, and I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

Sunshine has chosen today as THE day to clean out the dirty clothes hamper the back seat of his truck, which means that I am doing two loads of clothes today even though I did two fucking loads of clothes yesterday. Asshole. Now, I get to spend today doing stuffs when I really need to be spending it on the couch resting and healing before tomorrow’s marathon day at work. That’s some grade a fuckery right there, Sunshine.

Speaking of Sunshine, he and his employee (who shall hereafter be referred to as Biff) are out there at our build site helping the welder put the skeleton of our structure in place. I’m not sure it’s a great idea to have a master mason and a hodtender acting like they’re iron workers, but the master iron worker doesn’t seem to mind it.

After the steel skeleton is in place, Sunshine and Biff will be spending a few days getting the saferoom/closet built before they close in the exterior walls and roof.

I know it seems like shit is happening quickly now, and it probably is; but I also know that progress is about to grind to a halt while we pick fixtures and finishes (lights, flooring, appliances, and etcetera) because all that shit is going to cost a lot of money. I am not compromising on fixtures and finishes; it’s a small house, so it isn’t like I have 6 bathroom sinks and McMansion square feet of flooring to pay for. We’ve also got to investigate incinerating toilets, because I just can’t wrap my head around the whole composting toilet thing.

What I do know is that, pain or no pain, I am looking forward to the shopping trips to the restore and other repurposed/salvaged building supply stores to get as much of our stuff as we can, and big box stores for the rest. I am definitely more concerned with making sure my house is sturdy and safe than I am with the “lipstick and mascara”, but the lipstick and mascara is still fun.

Now, my happy ass is going to crank up the Netflix and try and rest this back and hip injury between loads of laundry and trips to the build site to supervise.

Unexpected bonus from the concrete company

After the concrete trucks dumped their prescribed amounts of product on our foundation site, they had to rinse out their slides that direct the concrete to the place it’s needed. So these guys did us a solid and rinsed their slides in some of the holes left in our driveway after that debacle with the septic system that somehow turned into digging up most of the fucking yard.

Now, I’m trying to figure out what we could possibly need more concrete for so we can fill in the rest of the borked spots.

A major piece of the puzzle

Our slab got finished yesterday! The concrete truck arrived around noon

concrete truck is here

And they started pouring

The guys that were doinng the finishing were able to do the slope for my curbless shower which excites me greatly

sloping my shower floor

The first major piece of the puzzle is in place

my slab is done

Now we can start thinking about getting the actual structure up. First will be the closet, which is also going to double as a tornado resistant safe room (because we are entirely too close to Moore OK for my comfort). This scary looking mess of vertical rebar is the beginnings of that tornado resistant closet.

safe room rebar

Our fireplace foundation (which is over two feet thick) is in place

fireplace foundation

and my shower floor slope is absolutely correct. It is holding water exactly where it should be until we take the tape off of the drain

my shower floor slope is correct

As exciting as this is, it’s also a drag because it means it’s time for us to go to work. I’m ready for the shopping trips to the re-store type places to see how much of our house can be repurposed materials. I’m ready for the shopping trips to buy the “lipstick and mascara” for my house: light fixtures, faucets, sinks, storage solutions, and etcetera. I guess that will happen exactly when it is supposed to.

final note: considering how many storm systems we have rolling through here the last week and in the coming week, I can’t get out of this RV fast enough. It’s definitely anxiety inducing to be living in an RV during tornado season, even with an underground storm shelter on the property.