May 19, 2020
I was watching a vlog, and the author described that the spinach was about to go to seed when the bottom lobes of the spinach become pointed. I looked at the spinach in my garden, and sure enough, the lobes were pointed, so it was time to harvest.
I filled up my largest bowl with spinach, washed it, and spun it in my salad spinner. My granddaughter enjoyed helping spin it.
I got two bags of spinach from each bowlful I collected. Altogether, I was able to freeze 8 one gallon freezer Ziploc bags of spinach from the garden.
One reminder, is to preserve only the best from your garden. If it was not a full leaf with a stem, I did not freeze it, but saved it in a separate bag to be used fresh.
You can use frozen spinach crumbled in eggs for omelets, add to soups and stews for an extra boost of vitamins. My husband, who loves to bake, has a recipe for bagels that uses spinach. I can’t wait to try it!
After I preserved the spinach, I replanted the area with bush bean seeds, and fertilized with an organic fertilizer, one cup of fertilizer for every 10 feet of row. I had two rows, so I used two cups of organic fertilizer. I used seeds from a company that is in our pacific northwest area, so that the seed would be acclimated for our region. I watered in the fertilizer after spreading it.
The Flower Garden
Our flower garden is picking up. The Western Wallflower is blooming orange blossoms, and the native plant Foxglove is starting to bloom as well.
We also have invited the squirrels and birds to our yard. You can see the bird feeders hanging in the picture. We are seeing more different kinds of birds than I have seen here before. Evening Grosbeaks, Western Scrub-jays, and the Housefinch. So much fun! The Western Scrub-jays have been taking bits from my coconut coir basket my Nasturtiums are in that are on our patio just outside our back door. So they are making a nest. Hopefully, we will be able to see the little ones later.
You can see the fence in the background. We have a squirrel corn feeder on the fence post. We put a new corn cob out every other day. We also put peanuts, and sunflower seed in the ceramic ornament that is in the far right corner you can see of the flower garden, for the squirrels. The squirrels use the fence as a super highway to travel the whole neighborhood. One day we saw a Stellars jay, and a squirrel chasing each other in the flower garden over a peanut!
Getting Ready for Spinning
I have a bag of wool that I am working through washing. This is the first time I have used the washing machine to clean the wool, as our last washing machine was too automatic. It also would act up a lot, and it would take forever to get a load of laundry through.
First it is necessary to use a scouring soap and hot water to clean the lanolin from the raw wool. Lanolin is the grease that coats the wool. It is important to not let the wool agitate in the washer, as that would make it felt, and be unusable for making yarn. I put the hot water, wool, and the scouring soap in the washer and let it soak for fifteen minutes.
While it is soaking in the scouring wash, I gently squeeze it a few times to release more of the dirt and lanolin. After fifteen minutes, I drain the dirty soap water, and fill the tub again with hot water, and soak the wool for fifteen minutes to rinse the wool. Drain again, and put on spin to get out the excess water. Spinning does not felt the wool. Then I put it out on the picnic table to dry outside.
This wool has been extra dirty at the tips, and hasn’t been able to be fully cleaned, but it is very long, so I have been cutting off the stained tips, and still had plenty of length to use it.
Tonight is spinning guild night. Because of the Covid virus, our meetings are conducted over Zoom. This is the first time I will Zoom with the guild. I have started on a Mobius cowl that I will share my progress tonight with my guild. After it is finished, I will upload a picture to my next blog. I am making this cowl from my own handspun yarn made from bought roving. It was spun bulky.
I am having trouble with my cable from my phone, and wasn’t able to upload the picture of my start on the Mobius cowl. I will get a new cable today.
Good day to you, and may God richly bless you.