Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Winter Urban Homestead Update

A couple of years ago I ran a series on urban homesteading and what it means to me.    I have learned a lot over the years, by reading and learning from others.  I would have loved to take a course or two on permaculture and landscape design, but live a little far from any community college to go during the evenings..  On-line courses would be the next best when time permits. 

We are in the middle of winter here in Ontario, Canada.   My garden sits under a couple feet of snow and will be for another month or two.  There is more snow in the forecast.

So, what does an urban homesteader do in the middle of winter when their gardens are covered ?

Lots ......  

I spend more time in the kitchen, trying out recipes; making lots of different soups. 
This one I call Stone Soup.  The stock was started from a bag of vegetable cuttings,
simmered, then strained.   Next I use up vegetables I have on hand.  This time round I used
carrots, celery, onions, green beans, cabbage, collard greens, garlic and spices.  
There are beans soaking and waiting to be cooked to later add to a soup.  

Saving and sorting through my seeds that I have saved, and looking through seed catalogues.  
Reading through my gardening journal on what worked last year and what didn't.
Dreaming about what I want to grow this year and new ideas I want to try.   
Since the ice storm we have lost many branches in our trees so there will be more 
sun in our back yard.  Perhaps tomatoes will fare better this year.   
It won't be long and I'll be starting some seeds indoors for spring planting.

Growing my own sprouts - "my indoor garden" - above is mustard, arugula and red clover.  
Great to use in sandwiches instead of lettuce and very nutritious.  
Out of season vegetables are very expensive this time of year.  
These sprouts above were started just 4 days ago and already are about 1-1/2 inches tall. 

Celery on my window sill - see post on "Re-growing Food"
Soon this will sprout roots and new stalks.  
I'll then transplant into earth for planting in my garden.

 Reading lots of books from the library on gardening.  This year I want to start a 
vegetable garden in the front yard.  Since I leave in suburbia it needs to have curb appeal 
so the neighbours/Town don't complain.   Their are lots of good books out on 
designing a front yard vegetable garden. 

This is another soup on the stove today.   This one is called "Super Immune-Boosting Chicken Soup"
The recipe can be found over at Nourishing Meals website.
There are so many that are sick at the office I thought this would be a good soup to 
have on hand.   The aroma while cooking is divine - lemon grass, ginger, garlic....yum ! 

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