Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Morsels: Fair and EcoChallenge

This weekend was the Common Ground Fair.  The kids and I love the fair, but Rob grew up in Deerfield, NH (home of the largest fair in New England) and has some fair loyalty issues.  He's never truly appreciated Common Ground and all its goodness.  He usually opts out.  However, this year he was away at a conference the six days prior to the fair so Friday was a guaranteed family day.  
Which meant a trip to the fair all together!   

Some highlights:  

tractoring into and out of the fair

sweet smiles


all tuckered out
With a second adult around I was finally able to attend one of the many workshops offered at the fair.  I sat in on a bee keeping lecture, and am so glad I did.  I've been saying for years that I want to keep bees, and now I feel ready.  Since Rob seems to be allergic I'll have to keep the bees elsewhere, but a friend has offered space on their homestead for a hive, and I think my neighbor may allow a hive in their field.  I also just read that allergies can be "bee" specific, so he may be allergic to yellow jackets, or hornets, and not honey bees.

I used a birthday gift certificate (thanks Mom!) to get "The Backyard BeeKeeper:  a guide for absolute beginners".  This will be the third book I've read on bee keeping.  I'm also hoping to take a class soon, and plan on being ready for bees in the spring.
And maybe milk goats in another few years (did you see that face?)


* These days its not uncommon for the toilet paper to look like this:

* Kale and I picked and washed an entire sink full of kale (we have a deep sink).  It took about an hour to triple wash the kale, de-stem, blanch, cool, and bag it.  At toddler speed mind you.  In the end we had only 3 quart size freezer bags to show for our work.  Hmm.   As Americans we spend so much less on food than the rest of the world, doing it myself really reminds me what food is truly worth.

* Marley is sporting her short fall hair cut.

*  I finally got around to building this chicken hut to move from box to box in the garden.  Right now its in the bed that once held the onions.  The lucky ladies who get to stay at "chicken resort" will stay for two or three days until the bed is weed, bug, and hopefully larvae free.  Then we'll move it to another bed and send two different ladies on vacation.
I used some plastic netting for the sides, but it ended up being a bit short.  I improvised by stapling our old couch cover over the top of the whole thing, which also negated the need for hinges, and added some shade as well (yeah for resourcefulness).

* Rob's niece had her first birthday a few weeks ago.  We weren't able to make it down to NH for the party, but I made this sweet dress and mailed it to her.  Kale was a willing model along the way.  The finished dress has a pink ribbon hem along the bottom.  I can't wait to see pictures (hint hint).

* While Rob was away a few friends came by to knit and chat, and make the evening a little less lonely.  The new coffee table was perfect for our decadent spread.

* September is a different sort of harvest.  Leggy beans, huge cabbage, dark rainbow chard, and of course all that wood.  

* As well as bringing stuff in (from the garden) we're also sending it out.  Rob inspired a little fall de-cluttering by playing "12 things".  We each chose 12 things that we no longer wanted/needed and sent them off to Good Will--or the end of the driveway for a "Free" yard sale.  In the pile were:  an old sink from the backyard, the office chair, many articles of clothing, several books, 3 vases, a small table, some toys, a toaster and more.  It feels really good to get rid of things we aren't using.  And its really nice to have a little less clutter around the house.  

And it was a great intro to the eco-challenge I'm participating in beginning Saturday.  For two weeks members of our UU Church congregation are challenging themselves to be "greener" in one or more areas--you choose your own goal.  Some people have set their challenge to take showers shorter than 5 minutes.  Others have lowered their thermostats, planned to ride their bike when traveling less then 5 miles, and more.  My goal is to  produce no waste for the two week period.  I can already tell I won't make it to zero waste--I don't really have all systems in place yet (ie. I'm still receiving a lot of junk mail that is not recyclable) but I will do my best.  If you want to play along you can go to the EcoChallenge website

Or you can just play along on your own and share your successes here!  What will you do for the next two weeks (beginning Oct. 1) to help our planet?  
Please share! 

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