Home & Garden

Heritage wheat - Part 3

My heritage wheat has germinated beautifully!  Several plants actually have two small stalks emerging from one seed. This is typical of the way grass grows but it's also good news for me since every stalk that grows will produce a head of grain.  I've read that particularly with emmer as many as 40 stalks can grow out of one seed!  Wow!  I'm going to leave the remay cloth on for a little longer because I want the seedlings to be protected from cold as long as possible and I also dont' want any crows to pull them up!  It's late October so pretty soon we will get a good hard freeze and they will go dormant for the winter. 

It's apple sauce time again!

It's apple sauce time again!

Apple season is in full swing and so we are in high apple sauce production!  We picked 3 pecks from Randall Orchards in Standish.  Here is a link to their Facebook Page.  I did this last year on this blog and if you'd like to see the video series where I did my own step by step apple sauce instructions CLICK HERE!  The only difference this year is that instead of sugar we used about 1 cup of honey per 10-12 pounds of apples and the result was nothing short of fantastic!  Try it!  All told we processed 11 pints and 4 quarts of apple sauce.  Ideally I'd like more but for now that will have to last us!  For the quarts it really helps to use wide mouth canning jars since the sauce can be sort of hard to remove from a standard quart jar.  Happy canning!

Bees - Drones kicked out!

Bees - Drones kicked out!

It's late fall and therefore time for the drones to leave the hive.  They have lived out their sole purpose which is to mate with the queen and so the worker bees are kicking them out of the hive.  It seems cruel but it is the way of things when it comes to bee culture.  It is part of their life cycle.  I noticed several dead drones and one that was still alive so I brought a few inside to look at.  Drones are easy to spot because they are larger than worker bees and have large eyes. 

Heritage wheat - Part 2

Heritage wheat - Part 2

My heritage wheat is planted!  We chose two raised beds for the site.  We weeded and added compost and then made rows.  I planted both varieties, emmer and banatka, in rows that are 12 inches apart and then 12 inches between seeds in the row.  So essentially this is 12 inch spacing.  After planting I covered the beds with remay cloth to prevent birds from digging up the seeds.  I will wait until the seeds germinate and then I'll remove the remay.  I'll be curious to see how much growth happens before they die back for the winter.

Harvest time in our big garden! 2012

Harvest time in our big garden!  2012

Well it's harvest time in our large garden and we are in high production!  We're harvesting potatoes, which is always fun.  Harvesting potatoes is like going on a treasure hunt.  You know where to dig but you have no idea what you're going to find!  Soon these lovely yellow and white orbs begin poking through the earth and it's like finding gold!  We've also harvested lots of tomatoes and we are canning them like crazy, over 30 quarts so far!  I did a video on canning tomatoes last year so if you'd like to see it CLICK HERE!

DOWNSIZING YOUR MOTHER'S HOUSE

DOWNSIZING YOUR MOTHER'S HOUSE

When you’ve lived a long, full life, chances are you have the “stuff” to prove it. Packed away in the attic, strewn about the cellar and garage, scattered throughout your entire home. If you’re like most people, just the thought of having to deal with it is overwhelming, let alone actually tackling the project. When it’s your parent’s house that needs to be cleaned out, the task is somehow even more daunting. Read more to get some great downsizing tips.

Avesta Housing hires Mindy Woerter as communications manager

Avesta Housing hires Mindy Woerter as communications manager

Avesta Housing, northern New England’s largest nonprofit affordable housing developer, has hired Mindy Woerter as its new communications manager.

In this newly created position, Mindy will oversee the organization’s media relations, online presence and branding initiatives. She has more than 10 years’ experience in journalism and most recently was online editor at Mainebiz in Portland.

A Topsham native, Mindy now lives in Durham.

About Avesta Housing

Avesta Housing is celebrating 40 years of providing and advocating for affordable housing. An award-winning agency, Avesta has grown to become the largest nonprofit developer in northern New England and one of the country’s most innovative leaders in affordable housing. Avesta manages a portfolio of more than 1,900 apartments in 31 Maine communities including Portland, Windham, Bridgton, Rockland and Kennebunk.