Just a Touch of Winter Gardening

So about 4 days ago when I was cleaning out the vegetable bin in the fridge, I found some less than lovely green onions. They had moved, more or less, into the slime stage that is a day or two before the liquid stage. I felt bad about it because normally I try very hard to control my food waste. When you eat mostly organic and humanely raised foods, it is expensive to be wasteful. But with being ill, I haven’t been cooking like usual. In an attempt to salvage something out of it, I cut off all but the bottom two inches of the bunch of green onions.

I had an old terra cotta pot that was originally one of those indoor growing basil kits that never actually worked. I got the soil mix wet enough to hold water and then planted the green onions. They had some fairly nice roots so I figured I’d get something out of them. Sure enough yesterday one of them began poking through and then this morning I was greeted by four little green shoots poking their way through. In a week or so I can start snipping them and have a constantly growing supply of green onions. I will still buy more as I like to use the white parts as well, but at least this set didn’t go fully to waste and will be perfect for using in egg flower soup, on top of a baked potato, or in an omelet.

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The fodder system continues to thrive. I did have a day where there was some smell. Turns out that the colander I’d put some of the seeds in that had not sprouted to give to the chickens was stinking pretty badly. Once I took care of that it got a lot better, but there was still an odor. I realized it was coming from the catch pans where the water collects after flooding, so those each got a good scrubbing out and the odor was gone. I don’t let them sit until the next flooding anymore. Instead I come back after a half an hour and dump and rinse the catch pans. As I harvest each bin I am also washing it out with hot, soapy water, then rinsing well. After I dump the soaked barley into the newly cleaned pan I am washing the soaking pan out with hot, soapy water before refilling it with barley and cold water. No more smell at all now.

It is a learning process. I am getting closer to having less wasted seed. I really was using too much the first few days, but I have reached what I think it the right amount to make sure the majority sprouts and less seed is left just sitting there. The barley grass is coming in much thicker and taller now without the overcrowding.

Today is supposed to get up to 45 degrees. It is also supposed to rain but I don’t care. Since our supposedly sunny Sunday has disappeared from the forecast I am going to spray all the trays today. We scraped them well last night, but I will feel better getting them sprayed off and scrubbed down. I am feeling somewhat better, but I hope standing out in the rain spraying trays doesn’t make me feel sicker again. I’m still running a fever and not feeling normal, but all the sleep has helped. It desperately needs to be done, though, and with Andromeda and Phoebe due on the 16th if I do it today I can then put their trays back in and not bother them again with their cages until after they have kindled.

With the weather change I don’t have to worry about the water bottles in the shed freezing. With it raining, I probably don’t have to worry so much about the outdoor chicken waters either, but we will see. It still may freeze some during the nights this week. Hopefully not, though.

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