Overview: April 2021

April decided to throw some surprise cold weather at us this year, and then flipped over to switch things up with about three days of summer-like heat, which massively delayed all garden projects for the whole month. Oh, well, at least it’s nice outside now!

Image is of a blooming cosmos. The cosmos is magenta around the edges, streaky medium-pink against pale pink, and yellow in the middle. Ferny green leaves are blurred in the background.

Gardening

I haven’t gotten to transplant my warm-weather crops like tomatoes yet, because April refused to stop being cold! All the plants are well hardened-off, and they’re all ready to go out at any time, but it looks like planting them is going to have to be a May project.

I had very low germination on my parsnips and beets, so I sowed more- hopefully they’ll come up! Especially those beets, because I can’t try to make sugar at home without them, and that’s one of the major projects I’d like to try this year.

We’ve been steadily harvesting lettuce all month, and the radish patch is getting thinner one plucked radish at a time. A patch of last year’s onions finally got pulled for use, and all the baby carrots have been harvested, leaving their spaces open for new seeds.

Self-sown chamomile’s blooming faster than we can pick it, and the strawberry plants, regular and alpine alike, are absolutely covered in flowers and baby green fruit! The red raspberry plants have little closed buds on them, while the golden and purple raspberries aren’t quite there yet. The blackberries aren’t blooming yet, but they’re nice and green and escaping their fence, as blackberries tend to do.

Speaking of fruit, we also got some new plants in! Three new cherry trees, a crabapple, and a big batch of new strawberries, all planted and settled in. I also ordered a completely new plant to try- Boysenberries. They haven’t arrived yet, but soon!

Seeds

As for plants not growing in the garden (yet), I decided that I need to start using up some seed packets to free up space in the seed box, so I went ahead and used up the rest of my alpine/wild strawberry seeds, the rosemary, and the stevia.

Image is of two small Cosmos flower sprouts, with a little tiny flash of another in the right-hand corner. They are in a green pot, with green honeysuckle leaves in the background.
Lil tiny Black Magic cosmos seeds- three sprouts out of five seeds isn’t bad!

I also decided to start my Kiwano Rund jelly melons and Black Magic chocolate cosmos seeds indoors- the jelly melons to give a bit of a head start on the season, and the cosmos because those seeds are pretty expensive and I didn’t want to lose track of them in the garden.

Outdoors

The chickweed and purple deadnettle are about gone, sadly, but we’ve got a few cooler spots around that still have some green plants for the foraging! We spent a lot of this month picking dandelions to dry, because we never seem to ever harvest enough. Maybe this year we’ll have hit the magic amount!

It’s been so lovely out on the warmer days that I’ve taken my spinning out a few times. The tricky part there is trying not to drop my spindle on the ground and getting my fiber all dirty!

Crafting/Creating

I actually managed to come up with and post four recipes for this month, so yay! Content! Let’s just ignore that one of them was about a failed recipe, shall we?

I’ve spent a lot of this month mostly alternating between spinning and cooking experiments. With the spinning, I’m largely trying to make a dent in the little 1 oz fiber samples I was given. But since I also have a pretty hefty fiber stash, I’m chipping away at that, too.

I did make the mistake of trying to spin silk thread-thin. This… is going to take a small eternity.

Half of all my spun fiber’s been washed to set the twist, and stored in skeins once it dried. I made another mistake here of getting impatient and washing in batches, so one particular skein of yarn that turned out to have residual lanolin had an effect on about, oh, five skeins. They all smell like sheep now. Oops?

Three paleo foods in a rough triangle; at the bottom is a tupperware container of edible cookie dough. At the left, a partial container of energy bites can be seen. Taking up most of the upper right, the smooth yellow surface of a paleo lemon cheesecake is in a glass pan.
Paleo edible cookie dough, date-based energy bites, and lemon “cheesecake”

As for the cooking experiments, I’ve been playing with paleo recipes lately! I’m not about to go full paleo anytime soon, but I’ve found a few recipes I like. Dates, surprisingly, taste a lot better than they look!

Other

A messy stack of books, laid out so one cannot see every single book in whole.
Every time I buy books, I try and recollect a few that I remember liking as a kid, and toss in a new fiction book or two. But nowadays, most of what ends up in my cart are how-to books or cookbooks.

I decided to indulge myself and ended up buying very large stack of used books. About half of them are project/cooking books, because I’m idea-hunting. I’ve read through most of what I’ve bought already, but I’ve got a few more to go!

Other than that, I’ve poked around in a few little hobbies, but not completed much in them. Just dabbling, mostly!

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