June Brings…(Sourdough success, garden beauty, and permaculture plans)

It took me a month of working with my sourdough starter, but it finally resulted in a delicious loaf. It still needs work, but I think it was a darn good first try.

Fresh sourdough bread!

Very yummy for breakfast with local eggs.

I’ve been making my own bread for several years now, but was only recently tempted to try a sourdough.  The idea of being able to catch my own yeast was definitely appealing, and I was continually hearing claims that sourdough is easier to digest. (Oh, and sourdough also means that it’s even more local! WOO!)

And so it all began with a mason jar and equal parts flour and water.

I think I may have started when it was still too cold in the house (and I had to leave home for a decent amount of time, leaving it to rest in the fridge), but I really struggled with getting it active enough.  It definitely was alive and had a delicious, fruity smell, but it wasn’t rising enough.

However, with a little magic (and a lot of love), it eventually did and the rest is history. I wish I felt qualified to give a tutorial about sourdough, but I used advice from so many different sources that I wouldn’t know where to start. I will say that in the end, everything came together for me because of Cultures for Health. And let’s hope my starter is alive enough now that it just stays that way (with continued love and attention, of course)…

It’s alive!!!

In other news, the garden is doing well, although I have less food than usual because I am not sure how long I will be in this house.  There is still much beauty and excitement!

Remember when I planted peas on St. Patrick’s Day? Well, I’ll be harvesting within the week!

Oh, I love you, peas.

The raised beds are also bringing all the lettuce that I can eat (yours will get here, Grace!)…

…baby tomato plants…

…dill and parsley growing in the understory of the larger tomato trees (gotta love the mini food forests)…

…a hubbard squash getting ready to go vertical (we can only hope)…

…a potato plant…

…and purslane…WAIT! That’s a weed!! But you’d better believe it’s edible so it will be staying around unless it starts fighting with my other plants.

Speaking of weeds…I’m sure a lot of gardeners would have my head chopped off for this, but I’ve left a few of the thistles to grow so that I can harvest their seeds for medicine!  (It’s true that many of them had to go as they are very painful to keep in the garden, but all plants have their place!)

Come on, I’m kind of pretty in a dangerous sort of way.

Other weeds that I’ve left in areas include this gill over the ground (Glechoma hederaceaa member of the mint family) which I’ve been drying for tea…

…and the plantain which is the easiest, most awesome medicinal in the whole yard!  Recipes for plantain coming soon (not the bananas!)!

This is a narrowleaf plantain. There are also many broadleaf plantains around.

Oh, and there is a mulberry tree growing out from a crack behind the garage.  Poor li’l guy…I don’t have the heart to cut it down, but I’m sure the landlord won’t let it stay much longer.  They make amazing berries, though, and they’re just starting to come out on the larger trees in the area!

There is so much more, but I feel like this is getting too picture heavy already! Maybe I’ll have to do a part 2 tomorrow…

To end, I’ll just also throw in a permaculture vision of what I would do to the backyard if I was going to stay here forever and had unlimited ability to do whatever I wanted…

I made this as part of an assignment for my Permaculture Design Certificate.  It’s not perfect (and don’t make fun of my art skills!), but I was so happy to think about creating a little ecosystem in the backyard here.  I probably don’t need so many cisterns, but it can’t hurt! And also, after I scanned this in, I realized I left out where I keep my compost pile in this yard.  You’ll just have to believe me that it’s in there next to the garage. Overall, this plan includes a water capture and retention system, a way to grow a large amount of my own food, a way to grow medicinal herbs for myself and to sell, and it also allows space for native plants and edible “weeds” to grow.  Oh, and there’s room for chooks (yes, I have stolen the Australian way of referring to chickens — I love it.)!

I am so excited to make a permaculture design on the land where I move next!

And I promise to share what I learn with you, or you can always hire me to help with the design of your backyard. ; – )

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Wildcrafting Wednesdays

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4 thoughts on “June Brings…(Sourdough success, garden beauty, and permaculture plans)

  1. The bread looks great! Sourdough, I just love it and as you say so good for you too. Your garden is doing fab. Love this time of year when the veggies start producing.

    • Yes, I would love to keep the tree. I’ve been trying to think of a way to dig it out and move it to a safer location. I haven’t come up with anything just yet, but I’ll keep brainstorming!
      Also, thanks for commenting on my permaculture plan! I felt a little self-conscious to post it so I’m glad it looks good to you! : )

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