Welcome to Saturday's Potluck

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

Each year in the garden is different, experience helps but every year there are new lessons to learn. Participated in gardening in Central Oregon for over 50 years. Interesting climate, transitional area between temperate forests on the foothills of Cascade mountains and the sagebrush steppe extending to the Rockies. Highly variable growing conditions from year to year, similar to political; movements. The few years spent in Corvallis and Portland areas much more predictable patterns.

My observation skills are improving or the microclimates are more extreme this year (actually more extreme). These daffodil photos were taken Friday morning all within 40 feet of the house.

The north side I did not include the picture it is just dirt. If the soil is brushed away the tips of the leaves are peaking out from the bulb waiting for a little more warmth.

The southeast corner of the house the leaves are up about five inches, flowers to follow in the weeks to come.
soe daf a.JPG

It was 24 degrees and the same variety of daffodils drooped to the ground just south of the house next to the drive. By mid-day it was up to 60 degrees, flowers were straight up their full 14 inches.

soe daf b.JPG

Miniature daffodils next to the foundation have been blooming for over a week alongside the crocuses.
soe daf c.JPG

A little insurance for a good spring bloom are the few indoor pots in the sunroom. I have been enjoying spring blooms since early February. Crocuses are almost done, hyacinths fragrance permeates the air, daffodils and tulips backdrop is new leaves on the fig tree.
soe daf d.JPG

The main push to plant not sensitive to frosts will be after irrigation water starts mid-April. Plan is to identify and use the microclimates better to extend the growing season. Will experiment with the same seed in various locations.

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Knowledge of ingredients is one of the secrets to great cooking and maximizing the purchase power of the food portion of the household budget.

This weeks video library focuses on meat cutting and purchase tips by an experienced butcher. The type of cuts he is using may be bought at a restaurant market or Costco. Use the scraps and less favorite parts for the pet recipes supplied last week. Keep the knife sharp.

Common chicken cuts from a whole chicken.

Better ground meats.

Cuts from a sirloin.

Cuts from a top round.

Cuts from a boneless chuck.

Cuts from a boneless pork loin.

This book was gifted to me a few years ago, found it to be very helpful.
Basic Butchering of Livestock & Game John J. Mettler, DVM
This is the book for anyone who hunts, farms, or buys large quantities of meat. The author takes the mystery out of slaughtering and butchering everything from beef and veal, to venison, pork, and lamb. The text is clear and easy-to-follow. Combined with 130 detailed illustrations by Elayne Sears, the reader is provided with complete, step-by-step instructions.

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Nine considerations for a cultured person in old China.

1) What he saw with eyes or what he thought in his mind was clear and right.

2) Whatever he heard with his ears, he understood correctly.

3) He had to appear as a gentleman in deeds and in thoughts.

4) He should be polite.

5) His words and thoughts should be loyal to his country.

6) He had to work well to earn respect.

7) Whenever he was in doubt he would ask intelligent questions.

8) He was required to think about the cause of a problem whenever he was disappointed.

9) He had to perform meaningful and righteous deeds.

________

What is on your mind today?

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Comments

enhydra lutris's picture

and open thread. Will check out the links a bit later (farmers' market day and I haven't even started to make breakfast yet). It is interesting that you're in a transition zone. We are in some sort of weird pocket zone- I forget if it is 9a or 10b, or the boundary between them, but it isn't very big. I obtained a "when to plant" schedule from some ag software and it is not in accordance with the normal schedules for most of the surrounding area, so most sources are putting out starters and seeds at the "wrong" time for us according to it. We mostly just wing it, though we're looking into maybe getting improved row cover arrangements and maybe a soil temp probe if I find one really cheap.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

studentofearth's picture

@enhydra lutris conditions is where my expanding skills are at the moment. Have had trouble with some of the distance nurseries sending plants and starts at the wrong time, even with special requests. If I can not get past their automatic software prompts for shipping use someone else for the next order. Becoming more skilled at creating my own starts from cuttings and seeds.

Still have not purchased a dedicated soil probe. Need one so infrequently, I grab the digital meat probe used for the barbecue, then clean it well. I get tired of replacing batteries in tech toys used infrequently.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Lookout's picture

Microclimates are the trick aren't they? They can be altered with walls, trees or perennial plantings. Taking a walk down into the valley you can feel the cool air draining and puddling in the low points here. Our SE exposure definitely moderates our weather.

Speaking of weather...it's been wild this spring as tornado alley shifts from the Midwest to the SE. We've had a foot of rain in the last 10 days, and more on the way tonight and tomorrow. Veggies seem to enjoy it. Mulch gardening helps prevent soil splash and supports the seedlings. My roads are a mess. Called my gravel contact, and he was backed up but should get to me in a week or so. Maybe good use of our stimulus check...at least keeps it local.

Well thanks for the OT. I look forward to checking out your butchering book. Been to a couple of hog renderings at an old 1840's farm. They have a large cast iron tub buried with a fire box on one end and chimney on the other. The water temperature is critical for hair release...not too hot and not too cold. Chains were used to roll the hog so both sides are ready to be scraped. The winch is hung in the Oak beside the tub where the pig can be hoisted to be scraped and cleaned out before cutting into hams and such. The old man who used to organize it has passed and it has been years ago. Everyone that helped gets sausage or some cut of meat. Glad I had the experience.
Here's a similar story...
https://www.southernfoodways.org/interview/a-tennessee-hog-killing/

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

studentofearth's picture

@Lookout rough spring season. Good you have the equipment to keep the drive passable and have not been isolated.

We have always had the fortune of several small custom mobile butchers. They will come onsite to put down a animal, then haul to their location for processing. Without big equipment like the backhoe described in the Tennessee article it is hard to do an animal over 200 lbs. We have become so unaccustomed to lifting and carrying significant weights in modern society, even our luggage has wheels.

The older properties homesteaded in the early 1900's had rock walls, lines of popular trees and serviceberry bushes wherever irrigation was available. Dryland homes kept a few native Juniper trees to provide shade and disrupt winds. The property I am on was developed in the late 1970's when it was popular to flatten the landscape and add buildings in the middle of cleared fields. Modern building methods were used to insulate, heat and cool the buildings. Translates into bake in the summer and freeze with the winter winds.

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3 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

for the OT and the last couple of OTs as well! I copied pet food recipes...TY ...very much appreciated. My knife skills are lacking, and I have been avoiding practicing. Thankfully another family member keeps the knives sharp but I should be able to do it as well. We definitely need sharp knives for filleting fish, and we always have them sharp for that.

I'm outside before the heat sets in, it is supposed to reach 85 today and I want to get the outside chores finished before then. I'm looking forward to reading more closely this afternoon/evening.

Nice pictures of your flowers outside and in your sunroom. True about microclimates, they keep us on our toes. No such thing as uniformity in nature. It keeps things very interesting.

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studentofearth's picture

@randtntx perform them is no longer available. My deficit has been growing plants. Available to assist at planting and harvest time, but the planning and maintenance for growing was always someone else's responsibility.

In a discussion with my sister last week, she commented how she never imagined me with a roomful of blooming and edible plants.

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3 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

snoopydawg's picture

for something that is totally out of their control? Looks to me like the government has given companies permission to screw people out of charges they are not responsible for after DeJoy has been allowed to fuck with the post office for 3 months and getting those services back are going to be very difficult which of course is the plan. Companies knew this was coming which to me hints at conspiracy. Some members of the house have finally decided to work on a bill to stop him, but of course unless dems drop the filibuster it will never pass the senate. That is a damn horrible excuse because that does not need to happen. Biden can fire the whole board, put his people in and they can stop the damage and they could repair the damage if given permission and money to do it.

3 months and not one dem said HEY WAIT A DAMN MINUTE. The guy who futzed with the mail (possibly felony) And made it harder for people's votes to get counted is still there. We have do do something right gd now! But that never happened.

AND they gave permission for people already living on the edge to get more screwed money wise. And democrats never fixed the gaping hole in the relief checks that allowed creditors to garnish them up and leave people no money. And Mustard Pete Buttigig thinks it is just a marvelous idea to impose a mileage tax which will effect the poor the most. For gawd's sake you blind others, please wake the hell up.

Gawd's NG! People think this is just the GOP plan to destroy the PO. FCS who is in power? O I see. Putin told Trump to destroy the PO to weaken the US. Makes sense now. And apparently Biden is too afraid of Putin to put a stop to it PDQ and will be leaving DeJoy in place to help Putin's goals. Got it. facepalm.

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15 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

@snoopydawg
My wife is paying hers by phone. I used to pay them all by mail to support USPS. No more. Now I'm happy that Amazon has it's own delivery. I've ordered a few used books that were shipped by mail. took four to five weeks to reach me by media mail.

Two bills we pay in person. we drive to village hall to to pay the water/sewer bill. That's closer than the supermarket! My wife pays Target at the customer service line. They scan the check and hand it back.
Paid my income tax online via turbotax. next year I'll use FreeForms. Filed my Illinois tax return half an hour ago on-line. Main problem was proving that I'm me.

The US mail is now a chancy way to send anything.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

@The Voice In the Wilderness

They try to get you to pay utility bills through automatic withdrawals from your bank account or by credit card *but* you can pay by cash at convenience stores. Health insurance premiums also...

PTB everywhere want to eliminate cash (and hence what's left of privacy and autonomy) but fortunately there's a fair bit of resistance to that here.

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studentofearth's picture

@snoopydawg back shares to keep stock prices up and generate bonuses.

The Credit Card Act of 2009 created restrictions on billing cycle adjustments which were beginning to be used to generate late fees and interest rate changes.

2011 Reuters- The Obama administration’s plan to rescue the U.S. Postal Service would allow the agency to end Saturday mail delivery and sell non-postal products, according to documents released on Monday.

2012 Save the Post Office - In its 2012 annual report, the Postal Service stated that it had “reviewed over 4,000 facilities, resulting in the identification of over 600 buildings earmarked for disposal.”
...
Early on in the CBRE contract, the sale of historic post office buildings also became a source of controversy. Dozens of communities across the country found themselves fighting the Postal Service’s decisions to relocate their post office from a landmark building to a smaller, nondescript, and often inconveniently located rented space.

2017 Government Executive - The positive financial news did not prevent Obama from calling for the Postal Service to continue shedding jobs in his fiscal 2017 budget, along with a comprehensive overhaul of the agency’s operations. The projected 12,000 USPS job loss in 2017 falls in line with projections released by the Postal Service itself in 2012 as part of its five-year plan.

It looks like Biden will finish the job.

If other countries around the world follow China's lead and refuse to be exploited by USA and European based corporations and military for profit extraction US citizens will become a bigger target. Money extraction will be creative. Very Frustrating.

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6 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

CB's picture

I'm pretty good at dismembering these delectable creatures but I learned in your video how to easily save that little piece of tender filet along the backbone by pulling the meat off instead of cutting.

One thing I noticed was the amount of water released while the chicken was being cut up. I have never seen this happen with a fresh, unfrozen chicken. Maybe that chicken was processed by plumping? I have plumped my own chickens by soaking them in salt/sugar solution for several hours but only after having cutting them up.

I purchase 10 pound boxes of premium skinless boneless flash frozen chicken breasts, dip them in cold water (which immediately freezes over) then vacuum pack them in meal sized portions. You will know they are premium when they still have the filet/tender attached.

I thaw in the fridge while they marinate with one of many flavors I've developed over 50 years, Italian, Greek, Piri-Piri, Cajun and a dozen others. You can start off with purchased spice mixtures and then personalize to your palate. Don't forget to 'work' the ziplock bags now and then to mix and rub the flavors in. Then I throw them on a covered 500 deg barbi, flipping 4 times to get that signature cross hatching and heat to an internal temp of about 150. Then let them rest for about 5-10 minutes. I'm known for my tender, moist and juicy breasts - never dry and tough.

I also cook an entire chicken that way. Just make sure it has been trussed well and ONLY flavor with a good amount of coarse salt (black pepper or other seasonings will cause the skin to burn). I use two nested baking pans, each lined with foil with a grate to rest the chicken on. This insulates them to ensure the drippings do not burn and smoke. Push a remote thermometer into the center of the breast from the rear and roast at 500 deg until temp comes to 150. Remove, brush off excess salt, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Like all BBQing, you will have to learn this technique on your own due to all the variances involved. The grandchildren love it. The trick is to vary the ratio of chicken meat (dark or white) with the salty, crispy skin to your personal taste.

Here's a tip about cooking chicken (or other meats) for Chinese stir fry - it's called velveting. About half the main course meals I make are Asian themed. They're fast, flavorful and varied.

Have a good one....

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enhydra lutris's picture

@CB

too impressed, but raised in SoCal, which makes a difference vs average US tourist I suspect.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

studentofearth's picture

@CB The site for Chinese recipes is very good. I learned to velvet meat when a copy of The Key to Chinese Cooking (1977 by Irene Kuo) found its way to my library. It has made the long distance to my favorite Chinese restaurant less painful.

Too many meats in the market are pre-brined to increase weight and try to improve flavor of poorly raised meats. If on a salt restricted diet soaking the meat to remove salt loses more flavor. Sourcing quality ingredients is a constant challenge.

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2 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Lots of hours have been spent this week clearing acreage, clearing flower beds.
We luckily found a lawn and garden place 15 minutes away that had exactly what I wanted for my
flowerbed in front of my yard. Big, beautiful blue plumbagoes, so tomorrow, planting them.
They draw butterflies, honey bees, moths.
Hope everyone is safe from the virus.

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studentofearth's picture

@on the cusp Working as a team sure makes the job of spring clearing go faster.

Blue Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata) is described at most sites as a shrub for warmer zones. Should be a showy addition.

Last fall I planted Hardy Plumbago Ceratostigma. A short creeping plant for a steep slope by the ditch bank. Liked the idea of red foliage in the fall.

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5 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@studentofearth was in S. Africa, where they were the "hedge" in the front of my tent.
I had never seen them before, thought I would forever associate them with warthogs and lions roaring in the night.
And then, here they were. I bought some, and they grew spectacularly in my lawn. The recent Texas freeze killed them, killed many other beautiful plants in my yard. This is a rebuild. Here is what they once looked like:

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is a pretty challenging environment for farming/horticulture - although if they took a cue from Iceland and started using the abundant geothermal resources for food production (one upside to sitting on top of a super volcano) it would open up a lot of possibilities.

CO and I go back to 1957 or so - and its still my official US residence, but have never tried actually growing anything there (have on the west side, though).

Where my sister lives in Bend they apparently subdivided an orchard back in the late fifties or early sixties and spared a lot of the (mostly apple) trees in the process. A fair number are surviving, but mostly in poor condition - I've tried to get her to contact a group there that searches old homesteads for heirloom varieties by AFAIK she never has. Not good losing the diversity.

Lost Apple Project

Farm report of the day here on the Pacific coast of Central Honshu is that I'm only a week or so out from first snow peas *and* the first of the sugar cane cane sections I planted in the fall have sprouted! My first experience with the stuff. They used to grow a lot around here (about the same latitude as Atlanta, getting toward the northern limit for sugar production) but as with a number of other crops such as barley, post-WWII imports were cheap and abundant enough to make domestic production unprofitable.

Aside from any sugar yield, if most of what I planted makes it it will help with the key microclimate consideration here, which is protection from blasting coastal winds. Need to work on shade also to help my rhubarb get established well enough to survive more than one year - blazing summer sun has done in my previous attempts after getting decent yields early in the year.

Good luck with the various endeavors, SoE.

"You are your own best teacher. My advice is to question all things. Seek for answers, and when you find what seems to be an answer, question that, too."
~ Louis L'Amour

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I had to look it up on the internets to describe this feeling,

A day late and a dollar short is another way to say too little too late. When a person is a day late and a dollar short, he has not only missed an opportunity due to tardiness, but also because he has not put forth enough effort. Originally, the phrase a day late and a dollar short most probably referred to not having enough money to avail oneself of something. The oldest known use of the phrase a day late and a dollar short in print was in 1939. The idiom was most certainly in common use before this, and probably has its roots in the general poverty common among most American citizens during the Great Depression. The idiom is very popular in the American South.

Living inside my own fine Great Depression head, I blew the last of the grocery budget on a new oven. It has an attachment to spin things so of course I did try it. Stuffed a chicken with lemon, garlic, and some rosemary sprigs plucked from the dirt patch. Faked this recipe and cooked it outside on the tiny deck. Turned out great, but sharing it was even better. I miss shared meals. ta
---
There is a new version of the Anarchist's Cookbook available here, for those who might also like vegan and vegetarian recipes:
http://foodnotbombs.net/new_site/anarchist_cookbook.html

SBN 978-1-937276-76-8 - Price $19.95 per copy. By Food Not Bombs cofounder Keith McHenry with Chaz Bufe
Introduction by Chris Hedges
Its Author on the Original Anarchist Cookbook (William Powell)
Publisher: See Sharp Press Publication Date: October 1, 2015
ISBN 978-1-937276-76-8
Price: $19.85
Pages: 154
Size: 8.5 x 11

Support Keith McHenry
Food Not Bombs

Peace and Love

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