Tuesday, September 30, 2008

::30 Days:: Day 9

The girls gathered black walnuts from around the yard. When we drive out, I have spotted many walnut trees on the side of the road, with all the fallen walnuts being crushed under the tires of moving vehicles. I don't usually eat these walnuts, but since my girls went through all the trouble, I might as well learn how to work these nuts. Our walnut trees are old and gnarled with dead branches, so they didn't have very many nuts. They may be cut down next year to make way for new growth.

Fooling around with the baby after dinner. I caught Baby's smile on camera! Beef Stir-fry was on the menu tonight.

During the summer, every night after dinner, we all went outside. We dump the days' worth of peelings and coffee grounds into the compost bin in the garden. I'll take down the laundry, the husband takes our leftovers to the "bird table" where the outdoor cats scavenge the meat bits and then whatever is left goes to the birds and the occasional opossum or skunk. Cooler nights have put a stop to the nightly outdoor fun, but the peelings still need to be disposed of and laundry still needs to be taken down. You can see lots of apple peelings here from all the apple-ly foods I have been making.

One of the things I love about hanging clothes to dry outside, is they get folded as I take them off the line. I sort between family members as I go and also sort by how they get put away in the drawers:: I take down the girls' skirts and pants first, then the tops, then lay the dresses on top since they get hung in the closets. Then I do my husbands' clothes, and then mine. Makes putting them away a cinch and I don't mind doing it so much then. I don't mind doing the laundry, but having to fold and put away when I use the dryer is such a chore. Line-drying works so much better for me, the only negative that I can see, is having to get up earlier in the cooler weather for maximum drying time.


Karen Mayes said...

*Chuckle* after reading the words "Beef Stir-Fry" statement, then I see a photo of colorful compose and for a very quick moment went through my mind "Beef Stir-Fry?" when I looked at the healthy dirt photo ;o)

I have a plastic container of compose on my outside balcony and right now the lettuce is growing atop of it. Then after the lettuce leaves are eaten, I will just add the vegetables' remains, eggshells, etc to the comtainer and keep it lidded over the winter, like I did this past winter.

moxiemocha said...

I'm thinking about setting up a compost. We just moved to a new house in Kentucky from Virginia. What do you do with the compost? For the garden? For the flowers? What are your recommendations for the compost bin?

I agree with Karen. I was shocked to see that picture, but I realized that was the compost. :)


mishkazena said...


Just like the other commenters, at first when I saw the picture, I thought to myself... hmm that doesn't look like beef stir-fry ;)

No wonder, it was a compost bin, after all. I've had an underground compost for 18 years. The mature compost was used for the garden and flowerbeds. Though I no longer cultivate the plants, I still maintain the compost bin, to reduce my contribution to the landfills. At least the earthworms have a big job to keep themselves busy ;)

How do you shell the walnuts?

Lantana said...

Your Blog is as refreshing as an ocean breeze. I can recall my black hands from picking walnuts! Watch out for wormy ones. Smile

jenny said...

Karen-- we always have volunteer plants growing from the compost bin. Last year it was tomatoes and squash. This year it is onions and mushrooms. Nice to see that living in an apartment doesn't stop you from having a compost!

Moxie-- every spring, we take the compost and till it into the garden. Makes the soil rich and dark when we do that. We add to the compost every day but only empty it by half in the spring. Amazes me how muxh we put in there, but it never gets full!

There are lots of option for compost bins on the market, but you can also make your own with an old plastic storage bin-- just drill some holes in it for ventilation. Add shredded newspapers, food scraps, leaves, etc.. anything goes except for meat and fat trimmings.

Mishka-- I plan on using the internet for more directions on how to work the walnuts, but I do know I need to let them dry out and then peel off the green/black husk around the nutshell. Black walnuts have HARD shells and I remember once reading that you can drive your car back and forth over the shells to help crack them!

Lantana-- I know all about those wormy ones!! eww! I love the way the walnuts smell when we gather them, that fresh almost antiseptic smell of the husk. Do you remember the smell?

Woody said...

When we get home with our walnuts we put them out on the drive so we can run over them. This has been a very effective ritual for knocking the husk off. Then we let them sit for a while to dry so the meat shrinks a little to separate from the shell.