Friday, October 17, 2008

Odds and Ends

Well, I guess I'll start with the odds--down in our basement we have 20-odd 6-gallon buckets (I actually went down there to count them, and there may be more) that my parents brought to us when they were visiting earlier this year. My best source (Mom) found them on sale for $4.00/apiece, if memory serves, and bought a bunch for us. Where we live, these kind of food storage buckets cost $8-8.50 each, last time I was shopping for them, so when I was asked if I wanted any while the sale lasted, I said yes. It's just been awhile, so I have forgotten exactly how many I purchased. I do pass them on the way to do the laundry, however. :) Sooooo.....buckets, buckets, everywhere--now we just have to purchase the food to fill them with. A little odd to put the buckets before the food, but in this case, oh, so much less expensive. I would also add that the more people that you have looking for deals with and/or for you , the more likely you are to be able to get more for your food storage buck. They don't even have the kind of store where my mom bought these where we live, so we were fortunate indeed...that plus my parents were willing to transport them for us... you gotta love the parents... :)

Also odd? We have not yet received our cords of wood that we ordered and that were supposed to be delivered on Tuesday. That day my husband called the gentleman up and asked about arrival time, and was informed that the gentleman was in the middle of a crisis with his truck. My husband talked to him the following day, and there was some sort of family situation, which I sincerely hope had a happy outcome. However, we have yet to hear from said gentleman since that time...odd indeed, considering the price for a cord of wood around here. If we don't hear from/are not able to contact him soon, perhaps we will have to call another gentleman who cuts cords of pine wood.....

As for the ends, since we did not receive aspen wood to use, we decided to use the "ends" of our poor little tree in the backyard, which my husband cut down recently. It was some variety of maple tree, I think, and was quite fun for the children to climb in (and handy for almost giving their mother a heart attack because of various antics) while it was healthy, but some time last year it became quite evident that it was dying. Whatever kind of problem it had, it shared with a tree with one of our over-the-fence neighbors, and when they had their tree treated they called us and the tree doctor gentleman sprayed our tree as well. It helped a little, but not enough, and as it died, my husband pruned it, but there was really nothing to be done. So it had been there awhile looking like a tree but turning into firewood, and even though we waited to cut it down, and it was obvious that it needed to go, it was sad to see it finally gone. Even sadder when you think how long it takes a tree to mature into something that can provide shade and that children can climb and play in...

Let's hope that the same problem doesn't strike Bartholomew's peach tree. As for the other neighbor whose tree was ailing, their tree is still standing, so time will tell. I hope they have happier results.

And the garden is coming to an end--the carrots and some radishes have been left to go to seed, and the pumpkins are still working on obtaining a more orange hue (I hope :). This is probably the end of the pictures of the pumpkins while still in the garden:

Recognize "baby"? Sometimes it's hard to keep track, but to the best of my knowledge, this is the pumpkin I've been documenting for awhile now. I hope that "baby" doesn't turn juvenile delinquent and refuse to turn orange... :)

Then there is "most likely"--as in most likely to turn orange by Halloween, and I think that we were pretty lucky to pick out that this one is probably going to turn entirely orange first ...

And even if we were lucky with "most likely," don't ask me how I overlooked the tremendous growth of the following pumpkin-- I present to you..."gargantua"!

The next pictures of the pumpkins likely to appear on this blog are of pumpkins in the form of jack-o-lanterns, or in the form of pumpkin soup. (Mmmmmm...pumpkin soup!!) The latter is highly dependent on my ability to actually turn pumpkins into a food source, which I have never attempted to do before. (I've eaten pumpkin seeds before, but don't recall (and highly doubt) that I was actually in charge of making them edible, so yet another adventure awaits...) I hope we can use them well, because we have had quite a good crop this year.

I never mentioned the corn--we ended up getting six ears total this year, which is still more than we would have had if we had not planted them because of the cold weather earlier in the season. Ah, well. The corn was kind of chewy, but it was from our own garden... :)

Before I forget, be sure to check out Riverwalker's great post on salt--much more informative than my last post, and very useful to know for storage. I do still like the story-- and the reminder that salt can be valuable indeed.... :)


The Scavenger said...

Marie, sorry to hear the wood guys has put you on hold. I would try to stay away from the pine if I could. A cord of hardwood is worth more than 2 cords of pine in my opinion. You get much more burn for the buck. Just don't want your money to go up in smoke. Garden looks great. I'm sure glad you got a camera now.


Marie said...

Thanks very much for the info about the pine--we haven't quite given up on the aspen gentleman yet, because anyone can have a bad week. We'll just have to see how it goes, but it's good to know about the pine, since the only other gentleman we've heard back from said his wood is pine. We don't want our money to go up in smoke either.... :)
The garden has been fun--just hope that the pumpkins can hold out until they are the right color... Always appreciate your comments!

hsjacobus said...

abt. the buckets

Who says you have to buy the food first. I say way to go girl for getting such a good deal on the buckets. At least now you won't have food storage sitting around getting vermin in it because you couldn't afford to buy the buckets after buying the food.

Check with your local bakeries. They sometimes have their empty frosting ones for free.

Marie said...

HSJacobus--I was really happy about the buckets, because when you factor them in at the normal price, proper food storage gets expensive pretty fast. That's a great idea about the bakeries--I should check that out. Thanks for your comment!