Nettle, not just for stinging. We've added a "Eat Your Yard" section (so dubbed by Bear), in which we'll be sharing recipes for eating the wild foods (and weeds) we're growing (on purpose) in our yard.
Nettle is one of the first plants to emerge in the Spring in our yard. It's a natural multi-vitamin. We eat the fresh leaves in Spring and make a nettle infusion drink the rest of the year (which even Bear says he likes better than mint tea). Our bodies have learned to crave the plant's amazing nutrition. Our Nettle page includes information on growing nettle, and recipes for: Nettle Soup, Nettle Pasta, Nettle Quiche, Ramen Nettle, and how to make a Nettle Infusion. Yummm...
Theresa and I were at Farm & fleet buying stock tanks to garden in. Our car would hold 1 at a time and some of the tanks were too big for it. While waiting to see if Farm & Fleet would deliver to us we talked to a couple who were buying a trailer there. We talked less than 15 min. about gardening, food and about them being in a hurry to get to their son's (?) home to pick something up. When the manager said how much it would cost to go less than ten miles Brad said "Don't worry, we can do it for you for nothing."
A REAL NICE GUY... Him and Angie got the tanks to our house, no problem, saved us some money and headache. ( We felt like giving them something so we gave them a jar of canned venison and a jar of homemade tomatillo salsa. )
It's good to find nice people out there. Once again,thank you Brad and Angie from Bear and Theresa.
It's getting kinda scary around here. Usually Theresa gets some ideas and I go along with them to, you know, keep her happy... you know... This year the projects seem interesting, I am interested in getting them started. Next thing you know I will be the one with the ideas and it will be complete and organized AnArChY!! ... OK I'm better now... Here are some of our plans to get done by next Winter.
Garden project #1, Mushroom garden: Yep, last year I wouldn't eat the things, this year we are going to grow them in our yard. We answered a Craig's list ad from Eric near Dodgeville. He is selling around 1000 logs that were innoculated with shiitaki mushroom spores last year. We bought nine. We should get at least two harvests a year for four years if things go well.
Garden project #2 : Gardens in Stock Tanks. We have had wilting problems with our tomatoes and other plants. People tell us the problem is in the soil so we are going to start new gardens in stock tanks on the other sunny side of the yard. We are buying a couple of stock tanks and a LOT of dirt for the project. Theresa knows more about this one than I do.
Big outdoor project: Expand the Catio. We built a 8' x 10' x 8' cage on the house so the cats could go out when they want and be safe. This year we will put up a fenced area in the back yard and connect it to the Catio so the cats have more room and we have more of a chance to be in there with the cats. The trick is going to be connecting them and making doors that the cats can't get out of but unlucky squirrels and humans can. If we could, we would fence in the whole yard for the play area. Wish us luck.
Big Indoor project: Nicer Tornado Shelter. Theresa likes to be prepared for disasters, with emergency supplies and shelter. When the tornado alarm goes off we head to the unfinished basement to wait it out. Usually it sucks because the basement collects dirt and spiders. When our water heater broke a couple weekends ago, we cleaned out the big room of our basement for the first time to make room for a new water heater, then decided to whitewash it since we could actually see the walls. It looks a lot better! Now we need to clear out the small room, do some wall fixing and get it organized so we are willing to use the basement more often.
I'm getting tired while inspired just thinking about these projects. We will keep you posted on our progress.
I've added instructions for how to build a small backyard pond, that will both benefit wildlife and fascinate humans. This is my favorite part of our yard, and I can't say enough to encourage you to add a pond to your own yard and enjoy the wildlife that will visit it. My instructions are quite lengthy, but are also hopefully quite helpful, as I've tried to pull together all the details I wanted to know when I built our pond and started welcoming frogs and dragonflies into our yard.
If you need some inspiration for your gardening plans, we've added some before and after photos of changing our lawn into edible permaculture gardens. Later we'll be adding more details about how we created each garden. Happy Spring planning!
Theresa & Bear's Blog
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