"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another Fine Weekend

Click to enlarge↓

Another fine weekend was spent doing what we love! The deer in the above picture spent over an hour with us on Sunday afternoon while we picked a couple more gallons of huckleberries. Every time I turned around he was circling me keeping a distance of around 20-30' away poking his head up every so often to take a look see, perhaps he just wanted a good scratch behind the ears.

These are one of the 7 or 8 species of huckleberries we come across each summer.

It was in the 90°'s the last couple days, the sailor and strange young lad in gold lam'e boots had lots of watering to do.

While the troops were providing moisture I was involved with my new muslin bags. :)

I was busy (yeah right) bagging pepper, eggplant, and tomato plants for seed saving purposes.

We ended Sunday with a nice harvest of basil, two more gallons frozen for winter fare.


Silke said...

Hi Mike, sounds like the heat is on where you live! It's been ok here, believe it or not! Plenty humid though... No rain either and we've had to water every day. Your basil looks great! Ours is just now starting to really take off - I get so impatient with it. Our mint and lemon balm on the other hand are growing like weeds! As are rosemary, thyme and oregano - by they just keep going all year long! Sometimes I think the herbs are my favorite part of the garden - they just smell so good and add such lively flavors to our food. :) Silke

randi said...

Totally grooving on those gold lame boots!

Stefaneener said...

Oh, cool about the bags! It's nice to brain-share. . . they just have to work, don'tcha think?

VTduckie said...

Mr. H, Can you please give me advice on spaghetti squash? When are you supposed to pick them? Are they green when you pick them or do you wait for them to ripen to yellow? This is the first time I've grown this variety of squash (I usually stick to zucchini) and I have several large squash that look like they're ready to pick. I even have one that is already 10 inches long by 6 inches in diameter! It looks like a good sized pumpkin! However, it is only just turning light green and doesn't have any hint of yellow yet.

Mr. H. said...


I love all the herbs you mentioned, especially the perennial ones. I started growing various herbs years ago and some have really established themselves well. But, it has just been in recent years that we have been using them regularly in our cooking.

Honestly, I would grow oregano, blue spice basil, thyme, sage, and tarragon for the flowers and scent alone.

Mr. H. said...


Groovy is a good term for those ridiculous boots. My involvement with horses is over for now but I did retain the love of cowboy boots. If I am not barefoot, with sandals close by, in the garden my favorite footwear is an old pair of cowboy boots.

Our grandson decided that he needed a pair as well and, with grandmas approval, picked up a pair for 10 cents at a garage sale. He wears them everywhere. Perhaps I will have to get a gold pair in the future..but I have to put my foot down at the swim trunks that go with them.:)

Mr. H. said...


I'm so excited to use the bags. The small ones work great for peppers and eggplants while the bigger ones seem to fit nicely over tomatoes and fit perfectly on my squash flowers.

I was struggling with how to save pepper seed as I grow them so close together and this seems to be the solution. Much better than caging or isolation. If you come up with any other seed saving ideas please let me know.

Mr. H. said...


We harvest them when the rind is hard and cannot easily be punctured with a fingernail and the color should be yellow to deep orange. Remember to leave a couple inches of the stem on if you plan on storing it for any length of time (they perspire through the stem). Size is not nearly as important as the other factors I mentioned.

Of course one can always harvest immature squashes for stir fries or other dishes. Look up some spaghetti squash recipes online as they are treated a little different then other squash but are very good to eat.

The ones I am growing this year are just starting to flower, another month and I should have a few of my own green ones. I was able to store one for ten months this last year and it still tasted pretty good, they are a nice storage squash.

Thanks for visiting my blog,


Knit Witch said...

Wow! What an impressive blog! I just found your site today and am enthralled with it. I can't wait to share it with my husband! We escaped the city life of Atlanta about a year ago and now live in the mountains of N. GA. We are constantly working on our own gardens and trying to move towards a more sustainable way of life - we aren't quite weaned from the grocery store yet! What do you do for flour, sugar, etc? I assume you are still purchasing those types of staples at a store of some sort???

Anonymous said...

Well done you with the seed saving! Wherever did you get the little muslin bags?

Mr. H. said...

Knit Witch,

It sounds like you are on the right track. You watch, that garden will start getting a little bigger every year, growing ones own food can be quite liberating. I bet the mountains of Georgia are beautiful this time of year.

I am working towards growing some of my own grains, such as wheat and flax but have not gone all out in that department as those crops take up a bit of room. I may try planting larger amount of winter wheat this fall though.

We buy a small amount of wheat, oats, and honey from Azure Standard -
http://www.azurestandard.com/about.php Honey replaces most of the sugar in our diet and we have grown stevia in the past. We do grow all of our own food though, meaning we could get by easily without buying any of the above products or the various condiments we purchase locally.

Keep in mind we don't eat a lot of bread products so wheat and sugar could easily be left out of our diet altogether.

Pretty much, we try to grow as many of the little necessities as possible. Soap-wort for laundry soap, stevia for sugar, Belgian endive root for a coffee substitute (we cheat and mix this with real coffee), vinegar for cleaning, various herbs for medicine, and so on. It's really amazing how many products one can produce in their own back yard.

Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by for a visit.


Mr. H. said...


Thanks, saving our own seeds has been the next step in sustainability for us, we have a long ways to go but are off to a good start. I have been looking for a better way to save pepper, eggplant, and certain tomato seeds and isolation and cages are not a pratical solution for me. So, instead of using glue or tape on the tips of the pepper flowers before they open, as this does not work very well for us due to morning dew and rain, I got these neat little muslin bags.

They were purchased online through Amazon - Cotton Drawstring Muslin Bags, 2.75" X 4" - Pack of 50 for $10.75 and a pack of 25, 4" X 6" for $7.95 via Rina's Garden Creations. They seem work great so far. I am using the big ones for squash and tomato flowers and the small ones for eggplants, pepper, and may try using them on cucumbers.

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