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Month: November 2012

After the Storm: Greens Survive …

After the Storm: Greens Survive …

 This was last Saturday — nearly two feet of snow, followed by a couple of days of very cold weather — temps down into the single digits overnight. This weekend, it’s all melted off, and it’s a lovely day, sunny and nearly 50 degrees.

Although I tucked the garden up for winter a few weeks ago, there were some greens and leeks still out, and I’d tucked up a few kale, komatsuna, and chard plants in a hoop house, hoping to eat my own greens as long as possible this year.

 Here’s what I found under the plastic, and a layer of floating row cover I tucked over the plants themselves. When cut and washed, it came to two pounds of my own nice clean greens — more than enough for a week’s breakfasts and lunches (Himself doesn’t eat greens, so I generally don’t serve them with dinner). I’ve become slightly addicted to refried farro with greens and a fried egg — either for breakfast or for lunch. Also, tabbouleh, with sautéed local greens. Whole grains and all …

 The bok choi survived the snow quite nicely as well. They were so sad during the summer when it was hot, but they’ve been very happy ever since the heat broke in late September. I harvested four of these, taking a chance on the weather to leave a few more out to keep growing. Also harvested about a dozen leeks, also leaving some to keep growing.

So far, so good with winter greens. I also have a bunch of blanched greens from the garden put up in the freezer, so I might just be able to get through the winter without buying strangers’ greens. We’ll see …

Basement Clothesline …

Basement Clothesline …

Basement Clothesline

The photo is kind of dark, but as they say on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour — this is what’s making me happy this week. It’s a small-ish, 5-line clothesline I put up in the basement.

When I first bought this house the whole basement was strung with clothesline — but the lines went the long way — and were in a place that was inconvenient (and they were kind of old and spiderwebby and scary). So when they replaced my water lines a few years ago, I had them cut them down.

But as those of you who have been reading for a while know, I have strong feelings about the ethics of clothes dryers. Is it because I’m old enough to remember when they weren’t ubiquitous? When I was really little, it was not at all unusual for people who had a washer to not have a dryer — at any rate, I have real issues with dryers.

And while I use the outdoor clothesline throughout the year when it’s nice out (our Livingston winds are good for that at least), I’d been stuck using the dryer during the winter.

Until now — about two weeks ago I got an absolute bug in my bonnet. I had a crappy little retractable clothesline down there, but it collapsed every time you tried to use it. So I went to the hardware store, bought a bunch of eye bolts, and some clothesline, and in about an hour had strung up a nice, small, not-in-the-way clothesline.

The other key to the indoor winter clothesline is my fancy new washer. My old washer died almost two years ago, and Himself found me a killer deal on a lone washer that had been returned to Lowes for some reason — the color was wrong? There was a cosmetic scratch? I can’t remember, but it didn’t have anything to do with performance. The new, front-loading, spinny washer gets so much water out of the clothes that it really makes putting them in the dryer seem criminal. (Also, tip for people who complain about crunchy clothes — add vinegar to the fabric softener hole in the washer — no crunchiness).

So this morning, when it’s 10 degrees outside, with two feet of sparkly new snow, I’m doing wash and hanging it in the basement … which makes me very very happy.