Monday, July 27, 2009

Flora and Fauna

It's been awhile since we've had rain, so I watered the garden Friday afternoon. I was very careful not to water the tops of my Brussels Sprouts, so as not to wash off the Bt spray that is controlling my cabbage worms. Some of the potatoes are still flowering, pretty white star-shaped flowers with yellow centers. Eventually these will turn into seed pods holding potato seeds. I've always wanted to try to grow a potato plant from seed.

A small garter snake became trapped at the bottom of our slide. Graham and Benjamin were very interested. I picked the snake up and held it out to them. Graham reached out to stroke the smooth scaley skin, whereas Benjamin decided he would rather just look. Graham asked to hold it and I said no, believing that it was in the snake's best interest not to be handled by an exhuberant five-year-old. It would have been great for Graham, but not so good for the snake. Maybe I made the wrong decision.

The currants came out of the dehydrator Saturday night (okay, they were scraped out with fingers and forks). Five cups of currants made three cups of dried fruit. I look forward to experimenting with them.

The dehydrator is going again. Last night I brought up the rest of the 2008 garlic, just starting to soften and sprout. I peeled the cloves and hubby helped to cut off the ends, halve them and take out the green shoots. This morning I put the garlic into the dehydrator, and hopefully sometime this evening they will be dry enough to grind into powder (via food processor or blender, we'll see what works best). Homemade garlic powder! Of course, after all this work we'll probably only end up with a tablespoon full. But, like many things I find myself doing these days, it is an experiment.

Freya kept us company while we were working with the garlic. The paper bag that I used to carry the garlic up from the basement was on the table, and she discovered the leftover braids and leaves inside. The bag became her cave, and the braids became her toys. If you're one of those people that freak whenever a cat jumps up onto a table, well then, don't ever come over to my house. We don't encourage it, but we don't freak either.

I like the idea of my children building healthy, resistant immune systems early in life, and I certainly believe that there are lots of beneficial bacteria inside and outside of our bodies. The less I do to upset the balance of organisms in my body, the better. I make it a point to avoid anything 'anti-bacterial.' Just plain soap and water will do the trick. I don't know much about probiotics, but it's on my 'Learn More About This' list.

I read an article last year about work being done to restore people's natural intestinal flora and fauna. If poop stories gross you out, don't read it.

Once you get past the initial 'ew, gross' reaction, it really is interesting.

And on that note, it's time for brunch!


Frustrated Farmer Rick said...

So Jo how did that garlic powder turn out?

Jo said...

Stay tuned! :)