Phaedra's 2023 Adventure

Phaedra

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We started renovating the second chicken coop, with a fully-covered run. This time, I learned to do things in a more effective way. :D I hope, the basic structure can be done by this Sunday.
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Two signs arrived today. :D
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I still have some tomatoes turning red/yellow in the greenhouse. With freshly-picked lettuce, boiled eggs, roasted pecan, latte, and the homemade toast, so good.
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I planted the very small shallots (from this year harvest) and purple onion sets, plus a viability test sowing of home-saved coriander and nasturtium. All will stay in the greenhouse during the cold months.
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Also, it's time for growing microgreens.
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In the early morning, the bread machine made me a honey and milk dough, and then I worked out two different bread from it - a loaf with caramelized apple and apricot

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And some bacon and cheese rolls - both are so delicious.
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Life is going on, and each today is the real treasure we do have.
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Phaedra

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We spent 6 Euros and got two Lidl bags this morning. As usual, we are happy to rescue food like this. All I need to do it to tidy them up, and make them into delicious dishes.
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The leaves from the cherry radishes - they just need some water to perk up again.
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Now they are ready to be served (to our hens) :lol:
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Hens got their fair portion
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I already have some ideas for tomorrow's 'lunch with neighbors' :D
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I deboned several chicken thighs and made a bone broth with bones, some sliced ginger, dried goji-berries. My lunch today is noodle soup with bone broth, boiled egg, cherry radishes, and the salad leaves.
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I also transformed one poor-quality wooden box (for sweet potatoes) into a new garden basket.
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Phaedra

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I love your bargain shopping trips!

I love all kinds of bargain shopping trips! Guess what I got this morning, can't believe it! I went to another local discounter on the way back home from the dentist, and I saw those florist chrysanthemums with 50% discount stickers!

Oh my, I know the story. Each pot has three plants propagated from cuttings, and each plant has only one flower on the top as they removed all other flower buds. I really didn't care how the current flowers look like, as they are living plants, next year they will shine again when I take good care of them.

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1.5Euro per pot is totally a win for me. What I didn't realize it, after we checked the invoice, each plant costs only 0.29Euro, wow! I totally got three MUMs and one miniature rose at that wonderful price.
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Phaedra

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Green manure - winter mustard on the new asparagus patch
My expectation is harvesting some young leaves before any really low temperature kill them.
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I grew several different varieties of nasturtium this year, only this one climbs well. Two plants construct a lovely section that both our neighbor and we enjoy very much till now, the middle of November. I went outside this morning and collected some seeds. It must be wonderful when they climb on the new roofed chicken runs next growing seasons~
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Something interesting, even a few nights, the temperature was close to zero degree C, and it keeps raining - there is still one volunteer tomato hanging there. I collected the fruits and sent it to the compost today.
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The first time I tried to make a Christmas Garland - I wonder why I didn't think about doing so until this year.
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Mmm, I also put two baby pumpkins, they just fit in.
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Don't know why, I just re-arranged a lot of things recently and had the similar question, how come I didn't think about that earlier? This fresh spice combo box is one of them. As we cook very often, such a box is a very good helper.
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For example, a home-styled fried rice for today's dinne.
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Phaedra

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The red onions are doing fine, and they do look lovely. I might build a small hoop tunnel which will cover two raised beds and the quail house, after the roofed chicken run is done. Then, these cuties can be transplanted together with the second batch of garlic.
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I painted the newly-built door for the chicken run, but it will take a much longer time for the paint to dry as the rain has no end, sigh. Hopefully, tomorrow I can fix the hardware cloth and the door handle, then it can replace the current one. I am also trying to make swings for two flocks.

Friday, we went to Lidl as usual and brought back two veggies/fruit bags. The 6 Euros spent today, amazing
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Besides one lemon was rot and reported to the compost directly, the rest are just good.
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Banana and some of the carrots were processed and sent to the freezer.
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I used the pears and kiwis (from last week) to make a jam; Lemons were peeled, cut into slices, and then layered with muscovado sugar. It will be ready to enjoy after one to two weeks.

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The peeled skins (yellow part) will be dried, collected, and soaked in the vinegar for making household cleaning agent. The white layers (bitter) are staying in the fridge for two days for offering some refreshing fragrance before contributing to the compost.
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The rain will keep go on, so I might probably spend the weekend with the sewing machine, or make some salt dough for Christmas decoration items.
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Phaedra

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Foraging in the garden - I sowed some seeds directly on the ground some months ago. Most of them are seeds I don't want to spend time to take care of, like beetroot, spinach, cluster mallow(Malva verticillata), and others.

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Cluster mallow, which I will buy the seeds again and let them grow randomly in the garden. They are very easy to grow, can be ornamental, but need good space. I personally love those 'multifunctional' ones a lot. They are very healthy, robust, pest-free, and capable of offering different but pleasing shades of green for a long period during the growing season.
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I usually take the leaves only and use them in the soup or mix them with other greens for stir-fry.
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@digitS' Steve, I got some leftover Ethiopian mustard seeds, and some of them grow nicely.
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As I just sprinkled seeds on the ground of one area where my fruit trees and perennials checked in much earlier, I had no idea what will germinate or grow. During the peak growing period, of course, there was no guarantee that seedlings could get proper environment to grow.

But some of the tougher plants did grow, like spinach. Although they were lacking of vertical space to grow, their stems crawled, crawled, can crawled until they found the light. I thought there are many small spinach plants growing, but in fact, just several of them. However, each node developed a rosette of leaves, so adorable. Maybe, if they have a longer warmer weather to grow, those nodes might even root?
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Anyway, unexpected harvest is so much fun.

Okay, something funny - I used this kind of fruit protection bags for drying flowers and herbs indoors recently. Well, the effect is not bad!
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More funny moments from our dogs - Momo, she looks more like a kangaroo in this photo, but she did try to make good use of the pillow I made for her. :lol:

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And Bobo, he loves to stare at me with all his heart when I played video games with DD. Well, a few minutes later, he fell into zzzZZZ and started snoring.
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Phaedra

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We had snow quite early this year, and it seems a white Christmas might be possible.
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The two Lidl 3-Euro bags of this week, as bountiful as usual - The interesting thing is, I might never buy some ingredients, like Parsnip or cream-color peppers.
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Everytime we brought back such bags, hens enjoy a lot of bonus. In the past, I might keep some for making broth, but now, most of the scraps went to hens.
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We have a very small rice cooker that we brought back from my FIL's house. I bought a very good one when we moved in, so I didn't know how to do with this tiny one until recently - to cook for two dogs. My strategy is simple, human, dogs and cats basically share the ingredients, so there is no need to evaluate, purchase, and store foods for dogs and cats.

For dogs, as long as the unnecessary seasoning and those they shall not eat are removed, they can have fresh meals with diversified food. For example, they got the same veggies from the bags, and for the meat, I marinated turkey meat with plain yogurt, salt, and spices. They got the similar thing, turkey meat and two different organs marinated with plain yogurt and a bit turmeric powder.
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Or like today, we have salmon and chicken, and they shared the same.
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Food is, in my opinion, one of the most important element in a family life.

It's almost December, and the season of MUMs is also leaving. This should be the last homegrown MUM bouquet.
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But, the snapdragons are going on! Those were cut back till two nodes above the soil surface, and now they are about to blossom again. I learned that they are a bit frost resistant, and after several light frosts, they remain in good shape so far.

I hope, the severe frost won't come too quickly, but I also brought three pots of snapdragon into the greenhouse earlier. They were cut back and transplanted in 7L pots. If they can overwinter in the greenhouse, I would have another head start for the next growing season besides chili.
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All calla lilies tubers were roughly cleaned and dried. I stored them in individual paper bags from the providers of tulips I bought for 2024 and let them stay in an unheated room.
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What I bought for myself during this black Friday week - My next target might be a quail house.
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