Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cast-iron fun and my herbal future

The cast-iron cornbread pan - would make great banana bread as well, I think!

So over the weekend when we had to make the trip to go pick up our CSA share, we decided that a quick spin through the Joe's sporting goods store was a good idea. They are going out of business, so we figured they might have some good deals. They carry a little of everything (from guns to camping gear, to athletic shoes, to generators to motorcycles) and I can't help but wonder if half their business problem might have been an inability to commit to one customer base! Anyway, we got this cool cornbread cast iron pan for cheap. It came with a mix which is what you see in the photo, but also some yummy sounding recipes. We do have corn meal in the pantry, but we are both looking forward to creating our own meal from our own corn next fall. When we do, we'll make sure to pull out this pan and whip up a delicious batch!

Of course, fresh cornbread goes GREAT with farm fresh eggs and a little bit of thick sliced pepper bacon from organic, grass-fed, local pigs. It was a yummy breakfast indeed - missing only some fresh berries (only a few months away!).

Farmfresh breakfast! Eggs from our girls, fresh baked cornbread and thick sliced pepper bacon from our CSA share. YUM!

Tuesday night I got home and had plans on watching my one TV obsession. I don't know why, but I just love watching The Biggest Loser. I think I like seeing all these people really transform their lives. I don't normally like reality TV at all, but this one has me hooked. Anyway, it wasn't on because of the basketball finals (the blazers are in it, so that's what we get to watch) so I opted to find something more productive to do. I finally got my Dad's b-day present packed up and sent off (sorry it's so late, Dad!), I got a couple of jars of blackberry jam sent to my mom, and I started some more seeds.

Seedstarting on the stove top (just for the photo). I love using the papertowel rolls because they make transplanting so easy, but I felt I ought to reuse the other containers as well.

I used some of the soil mix left-over from the weekend garden marathon. I mixed it with water in the wheelbarrow in the garage (it was rainy and cold last night) and then filled all the extra containers I had laying around from the first round of started seeds. I set it all in a box from the garden center and then diagrammed it in my notebook. Then I planted numerous types of winter squash, some summer squash, okra, a couple of types of melons, some lettuce, marigolds, sunflowers and nasturtiums. I moved the whole lot into the greenhouse first thing this morning. It always feels so good planting getting a fresh start.

Lately I've been doing a lot of reading about herbs. It started out as a small research project to decide what to put in my herb garden, but it's blossomed from there. While I have a good idea of what cooking herbs I want to plant, I didn't really know what other types of herbs were useful. As I've been researching making my own herbal remedies, herbal cleaners, and herbal/floral potpourri, I'm really finding it fascinating. The herbal wormer and herbal healing salve that I get from Molly's Herbals is working wonders for the goats, dogs and myself (I used the healing salve on a healing cold sore and was stunned at how quickly my skin recovered!). I really find myself wanting to learn more, so I am seriously considering signing up for a course or two. There are quite a few alternative medicine programs in my area (not surprising considering the 'alternative' nature of my state!). I've been researching what's available and trying to decide when the best time would be for me to sign up. It sounds like a good 'winter' project for me, but at the same time, I'd like to be able to apply what I learn in the here and now as things are growing. But, I do think it would help to have some of my own experience growing things before starting. There is still so much information for me to read on my own that I expect that I'll hold off on the class for a little while longer. Either way, I'm excited about this. It's such a fun topic!

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