Saturday, June 4, 2011

The To-Do List

I make at least 2 or 3 lists a day. On the backs of envelopes, in dusty notebooks, and we even have this great whiteboard, which is just a big piece of plexiglass screwed to an old refrigerator we use for keeping snacks in, in our outdoor kitchen.
Lately, it seems that even though all of us are working long, hard days, accomplishing a lot, the list is only growing. The satisfying job of erasing something from our whiteboard usually is accompanied by the less satisfying job of writing three more new tasks. But this is the "crunch time" and I was expecting it! We are soon going to add the category of HARVEST to our list which already includes

Yesterday we planted about a third of an acre into potatoes. I dug trenches with a one-bottom plow on the tractor, and we dropped spuds at one foot spacing down the line.
It was a big field! I left every third bed open, and we seeded buckwheat, because the flowers will draw beneficial insects that will hopefully keep our Colorado Potato Beetle population down. An experiment in biological control.
Speaking of insects, in our outdoor kitchen we've been having visitors of the apian variety-- Mason Bees! We have these wooden cutting boards (from Goodwill) that have two holes in each side where there were once metal handles coming out to prop the board up on a kitchen table I assume. We noticed that bees (we thought they were honey bees) were going in and out of the holes. Then they plugged up the holes with mud! I was okay with this-- I was going to plug up the holes anyway so we didn't have bees bothering us. But yesterday, I tried to plug the toaster into the power strip, and I noticed they had plugged up every single grounding hole on the strip with dry caked-on mud! Now I was angry. What were these bees doing anyway? I googled "Mason Bees" and found out they were solitary native bees, just looking for a place to lay their eggs. They stuff pollen into the holes with the eggs, and seal them off with clay. Amazing. I decided to build them a better home. We'll see if they like it!
Check out if you want to build your own!

1 comment:

Ann Michael Henry said...


Any chance you can set up a way that we can share recipes? I'm making Kale Crunch and our kids (18 & 14)says they are addictive! I'll post it here.

Kale Crunch -
Preheat the oven to 350.
Line a large baking tray with foil, then brush or spray it with oil.
Stem and mince (not too fine, like small potato chip size).
Add the kale to the pan and spread it out as much as possible.
Bake for 10 minutes, mixing it up once or twice during the that time.
Sprinkle w/ grated parmesan, if desired (I recommend!)and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more - stirring occasionally until it's as crisp as you like it.
The kale will continue to shrink and crispen the longer it bakes.
If you watch it closely and stir it often enough, you will get it quite crisp without burning it.
Remove the tray from the oven and let the kale cool on the tray.

This is from Molly Katzen's Vegetable Heaven.