I've been making small pillows with buckwheat hulls for many years now. The only problem is when they spring a leak...buckwheat hulls everywhere. The latest has a cotton case to hold the buckwheat hulls, a pillow case made out of an old wool blend sweater, and two flannel pillow cases, turned opposite directions. Maddie, the visiting Chihuahua approves.
I unraveled a shawl that I started awhile ago. It's being added to the blanket/ wrap that I'm making. Thinking about how other things unravel too... thoughts and plans. How we wind things back up. And start again.
And we sure did get sunshine! I went out to the garden at 10 AM and completely lost track of time...
Garden projects: I am trying artichokes one more time. Many years ago my father built me a cold frame with a reclaimed sun window. The wood finally rotted out to the point it wasn't usable this winter so I propped the window up on some cinder blocks. I'm hoping this will give the artichokes a bit of shelter. I also buried a bucket full of chicken compost underneath.
The window box that has lost it's bottom will be filled with potting soil and then planted with carrots. I have very rocky soil which makes it hard to grow root crops.
Neighbors: Two of the chickens are laying eggs consistently again. That's good 'cause I'm going to have a new neighbor and I'll want to share eggs. Hopefully they like chickens...
Trees: A bit of fabric drifted into the garden. I needed to stake and tie two of my new apple trees. I planted four new trees this spring. I think I've run out of space for fruit trees, even if they are mostly mini-dwarf, dwarf or espaliered. This makes 15 fruit trees and 3 hazelnuts. On a city lot.
Community: And that brings me back to a TED talk I listened to this morning...
Love what he has to say:
"I use the garden, the soil, like it's a piece of cloth...." Ron Finley
Cloth: I'm building up the front side of my "When I Grow Up" project by adding a layer of woven fabric around the wheel. I can already feel how much more sturdy the fabric is.
These tasted good! It's been a long while since I've made muffins. Made these with pastry flour (wheat) and sweetened with honey. Honey is definitely an appropriate sweetener for these.
And then there was The Life-Changing Bread. Everything seemed good as I made this, but the reality, well, I'm working on it. The crust is fantastic but the interior just doesn't work for me. Too much flax. So far I've decided it's best cut into small pieces and toasted. I have a bunch of crumbs that I'm going to toast and call granola. I think that will get me through this batch. For future baking, I'll stick with the quinoa crackers that I really like.
And then there was some sewing...
It's made of flannel. Not the really soft fuzzy kind, but a work weight flannel. I love it, but I'm slightly hesitant about wearing it to work as it is very loose fitting.
And then the garden...
I don't think it could have been more beautiful of an afternoon. I planted peas, did some pruning, planted the new fruit trees that I picked out this year and puttered.
I'm thinking I'll have some sprouting broccoli to eat soon too...
I've had everything but the binding on the collar and the hem done since the end of December. Seems like a good idea to finish the shirt while it's still cool enough to enjoy a flannel shirt. I may dye this with onion skin or indigo at some point.
Cooked the last of the large winter squash. It's such a wonderful rich yellow, healthy and joyful.
And a treat with the first egg, an individual chocolate cake.
It's based on the "sticky chocolate cake in your coffee mug in 3 minutes" from Yvette van Boven's book Homemade Winter. Except I used oat flour, honey, and made a honey and cocoa powder glaze. I also don't have a microwave so it was cooked in the oven for 20 minutes (she gives a recommendation for that).
I believe I've shared a picture of this before, but wanted to do so again. For a couple reasons:
Thinking about how I find some foods easy to sweeten with honey while others still taste best to me if sweetened with sugar. There is a difference in texture. Although I haven't given up sugar completely, it is no longer my primary sweetner.
Thinking also about the variety of flours I use now, about how much I enjoy using a mixture of different types. How that changes tastes and textures.
And thinking about what we choose to celebrate and how.
The stitched side of my current sewing project, the one that I am calling "When I grow up."
I think for my most of my childhood if someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would have answered "Maybe a teacher." I know by the time I was in high school I was set on that course.
I don't think I would have said, "When I grow up my life style will be focused on sustainability." That probably started in 9th grade. I took a class called "Energy Education," a science class focused on energy sources. My dad helped me make a solar hot water heater for a class project...well, my dad made it while I watched and I presented it to the class. (As an aside, some of my favorite gifts from my parents have been tools.)
Sometime we talk about countries being older or younger. What does it mean for a nation to grow up? What would it mean for humanity to grow up?
Maybe I am thinking too much again...
Today was the second "Winter Market." There are three scheduled for the community I live in: one was in January, today's and then one in March. In April the market will return to being weekly. Today a friend of the family who has a booth at the market observed that I am faithful to the market. And I am. I go to almost every scheduled one.
Today I bought: pears, swiss chard, potatoes, bread, cheese, a turnip, dried beans, a cabbage and sunflower sprouts.
By the time I made it home from the market the clouds were breaking up and the sun was coming out. It felt warm enough that I turned off the heat and opened the windows up... it was good to air out the house. To dream of spring.
"When I grow up I will eat organic local food. I will grow fruits and vegetables and herbs. I will sell my car. I will make most of my clothes. I will be a caregiver and teacher. I will be a story teller."
The brown dot is what is left after I dipped the top edge into a walnut dye vat. I didn't leave the fabric in for long.
The text at the bottom says "When I grow up..." Seems appropriate to be working on this right now. Yesterday I spent the day at an Early Childhood Conference. The focus of the conference this year centered around childcare as a profession.
As I was wrapping the edges of some of the sections I thought about how we sometimes compartmentalize who we are.