I plant basil every summer. Not just for culinary uses but for its medicinal value. A little research on the internet about basil will reveal that it has properties that help draw venom out of bites and stings but that a blog is for another day.
Since I usually don’t get around to planting basil seeds in the spring I end up buying a plant at the local home and garden store. This year there happened to be three plants in the planter instead of one. So being the frugal person I am I gently divided the roots of the three plants and replanted them into separate planters. And presto I now have three basils plants for the price of one.
Once the plants reached full size I took several cuttings and put them in water for a week or two to root. Once each plant had a fair amount of roots I transferred them to planters to give away. At this point I have lost track of how many plants I got from the one that I bought. I have shared with friends and at the end of the summer plan to take one of the smaller ones I rooted and bring it indoors for the winter. If all goes according to plan I won’t have to buy one next spring.
I love being able to go outside and “pick supper”. Selection varies from night to night and season to season but it sure beats going to the grocery store. You can’t get much fresher than “just picked”. Last night we had fresh picked asparagus sautéed in butter with mushrooms and carrots along with a salad filled with freshly picked lettuce. No pictures of that though we ate it all up before I thought about it.
Tonight we had crappie caught by my Dad out of our pond, wild onions which were great in the hushpuppies and an infusion of peppermint tea. All organic, chemical free and loaded with nutrients. Wild onions are full of minerals and peppermint has many known health benefits including improving digestion.
I spent the afternoon digging up garlic and onion chives as well as peppermint to plant in containers so that I can have fresh herbs indoors next winter. The chives are fabulous in salads and on baked potatoes. The peppermint tea is useful for helping fight off winter colds. My tomatoes, bell cayenne, jalopeno, and habanero peppers are ready to plant as soon as the weather cooperates. I couldn’t resist planting a few cucumber seeds but I brought them inside to germinate. A few days head start will allow me to have fresh cucumbers just a little bit earlier.
Hopefully I have inspired you to start growing your own food if you aren’t already doing so. Let me know how it goes.
I have been reading about cob building and now that I have an outdoor cat I decided to see if I could build it a shelter for free. For the bottom I used a greenhouse tray that I obtained the last time I bought a flat of plants. For the upper portion I found a scrap of old Formica in the garage. For insulation I lined it inside and out with 1/2″ thick fiber fill that was used as packing around some furniture we bought.
The hubby kept telling me the cat wouldn’t get in it but you can see it did before I could even start putting the cob on it. The cat is inside it in the featured photo but he is so far back he doesn’t show up very well.
I am by no means a cob building expert. If you want to do any cob building I highly recommend you find better instructions than mine. I just used what I had available. I mixed equal portions of sand and clay. Since I didn’t have any straw I used pine needles that I cut into 2″ lengths. I mixed it all together then added enough water to make a moldable clay. Then I applied it to the mold in blobs and used my hands to smooth it all together.
Once it was build I pressed pebbles into the top to make it more durable. So far it is holding up well. It sits under an overhang so it doesn’t get very wet. I don’t know if it would survive if it got thoroughly wet.
We jokingly call it the Cat Cave. It even has a front porch. The cat loves it. I got him out of it one morning when it was 15 degrees outside and he felt toasty warm. It was free so I love it. I did learn however that I do not want to try a large-scale project like this. It was hard work.
You can make your own windshield wiper for pennies and it works great. All you need is a one gallon container, 1/2 C ammonia and 1T dish soap. Fill the jug with water leaving room for the ammonia and dish soap. Add the water first or you will find yourself waiting for the bubbles to subside before you can finish adding the water. Add the dish soap and ammonia. Put the lid on and shake. Add to the wiper fluid receptacle as needed. You might want to add a drop of food coloring so you won’t mistake the wiper fluid for something else. I write the name and recipe directly on the jug that way I don’t have to look for the recipe when I need to mix up a new batch. During harsh winters you may want to add a bottle of rubbing alcohol to make sure it doesn’t freeze.