Hooray! It's jam week!
I skipped making jam last fall. Its a bit of a blur, but I think I was busy with a baby? Well she is almost a toddler and sleeps much more regularly now, so I have a little bit of time to make jam and replenish the dwindling supply.
I will be making at least one type of jam every day this week. And if you follow along and play my game, I will be giving away one jar of jam a day :)
Day 1 -
Today's jam is Pineapple Rhubarb!
This was a new one for me last year. I was very surprised that we all enjoyed it so much! It is sweet, not tart at all and it a really great way to use up rhubarb. I like Strawberry Rhubarb as well, but this is my new favorite way to use rhubarb.
To enter to win a small jar (not a pint, not pictured) of Pineapple Rhubarb jam, leave a comment below and tell me your favorite what your favorite pineapple dish is! The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Wednesday's post :)
Saturday, April 7, 2012
March has come and gone without so much as an inkling of real progress.
Our plan of a major project a month has fallen by the way side, as all good intentions and resolutions eventually do. It looks more like this now:
March - Where did it go?
April - Still winter. Not much can be done. Plant seeds, plan and revise.
May - Flooring upstairs, Bathrooms (when we can finally get the bathtub out of the basement)
June - Paint house, yard, REPLACE Porch Roof!
July - Yard, etc. Kitchen? Maybe.
August - more yard work
September - trim work!
I hate the idea of spending the next 2 decades working on this house and I really have no intention of letting things take that long, but to maintain peace I really can't expect or push things along as fast as I want them to happen. Ya' gotta go with the flow and work with what you have, right? Its the Alaskan way! Work like crazy all summer and then go crazy in the winter because you didn't get enough done last summer!
What has been happening around here?
Over the last few weeks, Spring has been trying to break through the deep snow. The ice has been melting and sliding off our metal roof. Several times we have been woken by the slam of ice as it drops from the main roof to the porch roof a dozen feet below. One of these actually broke the supports for the porch roof! Not only did the enormous piece of ice break the extra bracing, it actually broke the original timber in 2 additional places!
When we began the process of buying this house, we were told by the bank that the house was not financeable in its condition. The bank that owned the house gave us permission to do some minor repairs to get it up to the minimum standards. One of those repairs was the porch roof! Mr. Ireland braced the broken supports, it passed the inspection, and we put a new porch roof on our list for "not immediate but in the near future" repairs. We want a dormer over the steps and this year we really got a taste of how bad the steps are to navigate when there is ice constantly dropping in sheets onto them. Guess what project just got bumped to the top of the summer project list?
We also started our garden. Well, we started seeds for our garden. I don't think this will be enough food for our family for the winter, but it is a start. I have a feeling I will be annexing more of the back yard for a garden!
All the kids helped plant seeds!
Mr. Ireland finally found time to fix my car! I am so grateful to Mr. Ireland's brother, Mr. Ireland, for loaning me his vehicle for the last 2 months but I am very happy to be back in my van.
Are you ready for some REALLY bad line drawings?
Most of my time has been spent looking around, planning and day dreaming. I have taken a few pictures of our yard, trying to catch the path of light around the property and thinking about the best locations for the next chicken coop and a greenhouse. I think I have a great place for the coop. I will be able to see my chickens from the kitchen window and I can walk out the kitchen door right to the gate, if I move the coop here. It will be nice to watch the chickens while I am doing the dishes. Moving the coop is a big job. I will have to do most of it myself, since Mr. Ireland is not what I would call an animal lover! He really wants nothing to do with the chickens. So its up to me to attempt to move this decaying structure. I figure I have nothing to lose! If it works, great! If not, well I was already going to have to build a new coop. I'm thinking the best time to try this is as soon as the ground is dry. Any volunteers?!
That is the back deck in the bottom right corner. The back of the coop would face a very steep hill. It may have to sit up on stilts.
As for a green house... Mr. Ireland wants a garage and I think I have convinced him to extend the roof line on the east side of his garage to make a green house. That will give it a mostly southern face and on our property that is where most of the light hits in the winter. This is pretty important to me because I have a handful of fruit trees growing in pots in my house that will eventually need a year round green house! I have a couple of avocados, banana, apricot and meyer lemon trees. The collection is only going to get bigger. If the green house is part of the garage, the space can be heated to keep my trees from dying! I think it is totally possible if we take out the island of trees next to our driveway.
There's no sense in dreaming if you don't dream big, right?
An acre in town sounds like a lot of land. It is and it isn't. A significant portion of the property is drive way and septic field and house. Does any one know if I can plant things on top of my septic leach field? I don't need to rototill, I can layer growing material on top. I'm thinking potatoes. I need to find more space for plants! Please feel free to share your thoughts on this :)