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Seeds, Oliver, beekeeping class, ferments, and GAPS diet. | Speedkin

Seeds, Oliver, beekeeping class, ferments, and GAPS diet.

Seed catalogs have started to arrive.  Doesn’t it seem a bit earlier this year?  I don’t remember getting catalogs before December.  Whatever, it’s nice to start figuring the next season’s planting as we head into the dark, chilly part of the year.  I’ll be sticking to the usuals, such as peppers, tomatoes, beans, etc, but I want to get more herbs going this year, along with root veggies, and maybe try again with the squash family.  (Why am I the only person on the planet who cannot grow squash??)

This past weekend, Isaac was in a musical at the high school.  He was in the chorus, playing one of the orphans and, later on, one of the thieves.  Rehearsals had been going on for two to three months — that was a lot of work, I bet.  They put on three shows over the weekend and we went to the Saturday evening one.  It was really amazing!  I was so incredibly impressed!  Not just at the hard work & talent involved but that people can get up on stage and do… anything.. in front of so many people — without having a nervous breakdown and passing out.  *shudder*  Taking him to & from rehearsals felt like a major pain in the butt at the time (it wasn’t, really; it only took a few minutes out of my day) but seeing the show made it all worth it on my end.  I hope he chooses to do more!

Our beekeeping club will be having their annual holiday dinner in a couple of weeks.  Man, those people are some good cooks!  At each holiday dinner, they hold a silent auction.  Most everyone brings something or two to put on the table and then we all mill around and jot down bids.  It’s to raise funds for the club and it’s just plain ol’ fun.  We’re not talking big ticket items, just little things.  I think last year I made a bee-themed bag?  This year, I’m making some bee sting/bug bite balm.  I’ve got some herbs infusing for it right now.  Maybe if I get enough time after Thanksgiving weekend, I’ll sew something up as well.

Speaking of the bee club, they’ve decided on a time for the 2013 beginning beekeeping class.  I’ll make a separate post about it down the road but, for now, it’s going to be February 16 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  Same as always:  Everyone is welcome, kids included.  You get not the class but also membership into the world’s best local beekeeping club, the Illinois state beekeeping association (you don’t have to live in Illinois), a free beginning beekeeping book, and door prizes.  The cost is $30 — that’s for the entire family, not per person, and includes everything I listed.  Good, good stuff from good, good people.  If you’re in northeastern Missouri, southeastern Iowa, or western Illinois and are at all interested in learning about bees, this is where you want to be.  You won’t be pressured to buy bees — at all — but you will have an opportunity to get in on the group buy if you wish.  Shoot me an email or leave a comment if you want more info.

I recently got in a much-awaited order:  Pickl-It jars.  Oh, man, I’m excited!  I’ve done great with ferments like kombucha, viili yogurt, and kefir — even doing some salsa now & then.  But, overall, I’ve had horrid luck fermenting veggies.  Sauerkraut, I’ve tried repeatedly and all have been disasters.  Blech.  Now, armed with the Pickl-Its, I can give t another go — anaerobically, as it should be.  This week, I’m prepping to start sauerkraut, kimchi, cranberries, ginger carrots, and beet kvass.  I got the beet tops cut off the beets this morning and put into the dehydrator.  I’ll pound those to dust and sneak them into various soups & stews over the winter.  I can’t stand the things but I can’t stand to let them go to waste , either.  From the book I have on anaerobic ferments, it says the beets need to sit for a week or so without their tops to concentrate the sugars, before I make the beet roots themselves into beet kvass.  I should be able to get the other ferments going over the next couple of days, though.  I’ll keep you all updated on my new fermenting adventures!

In other news, I’m going to be starting on the GAPS diet Monday.  GAPS stands for “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”.  Don’t let the “psychology” part of it fool you — while I may be completely psycho, it’s also for allergies and a gazillion other things.  It’s not a permanent diet but a temporary, healing diet.  The first month or so, the “intro” is rather restrictve but it’s very quick.  You start out with a limited range of well-cooked meats & veggies that are not likely to offend your system and then add other things back in, one by one, backing off if they cause you any issues.  Once you’re on the full GAPS diet, it’s pretty  easy as the choices are plenty.  The gut continues to heal and, after a year or two, all should be as well as can be and you can transition to a normal diet, to hopefully include even grains and other major offenders.  I’m going on it for my severe allergies.  There’s not much I can eat anymore without some sort of reaction — and those reactions are getting worse and worse.  I went on the full GAPS diet last year and saw some remarkable improvements, even without doing the intro.  It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure, but I’ve experimented on myself enough to think this could be at least part of the answer for me.  Either that or I end up in the ER one of these days with one of these stupid reactions to food.

So now ya know.  I’m sure I’ll be rambling on about GAPS this or that stages & foods over the next few months, probably some whining along with it.  Keep me in line, folks!

4 Responses to “Seeds, Oliver, beekeeping class, ferments, and GAPS diet.”

  1. Ang November 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    Never to early for seeds. I have found a few places online offering free seeds. Send your germplasm request to the usda seed banks early. Sometimes it takes 6 weeks to get what you order. All free. Can’t wait to see your 2013 seed list!!!

    • Diane November 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

      Yeah, there are a few places to get free seeds but it’s a bit of a pain to jump through those hoops. I’ve done it before but I prefer sticking to seed catalogs and private trading these days. Of course, maybe the USDA and assorted places have simplified things since I’ve last messed with them?

  2. Ilene November 21, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    I wonder if you have celiac disease? Have you ever checked into it? It runs in Hubs’ family but thankfully he doesn’t have it. Onset, at least for his family, seemed to be in middle age. We had never heard of it before the first sibling found out he had it. Now, we hear of many, many people who have it.

    I did not know that about beets needing to sit around without their tops! Next time I grow beets, I’ll try that. I love beet greens cooked with a little bacon fat, some sugar and vinegar. Yum-o with beans. I cook the stems first, they take longer to cook, then add the leaves. Oh, and add onion.

    I had never heard of Pickl-It Jars! I followed your link to see what they were. Oh! That looks like how you make cider, only in tubs and jugs! I bet I could use my 5-gallon fermenting tub for making sauerkraut! The airlock would keep out wild yeasts. Seems I am always learning from you.

    Wish I could go with you to that bee-keeping meeting. Our friend, David, who is an exterminator, keeps bees. He knows so much about bees, I pick his brain every time I see him.

    I, too, need to sit down and go thru my seeds, decide what I need and so on. I noticed on someone’s blog they recommended Horizon Herbs. Sounds familiar to me, seems like I’ve ordered from them. Usually I order from Sand Mountain Herbs. They always refund my money for what they don’t have, but I wish they’d tell you what’s out of stock before you order, and service is ok even though I’ve seen some complaints. It’s a small business, he does the best he can, I guess.

    I’m so glad Isaac is enjoying high school. I really enjoyed high school. Grade school was the pits though. Your kids are so lucky to be home-schooled through that period of their lives. They will be wonderful adults.

    • Diane November 21, 2012 at 10:46 am #

      Nah, you won’t catch me volunteering myself to be a guinea pig for doctors unless there’s arterial spurting involved. ;-) I don’t think it’s full-blown Celiac but quite probably gluten intolerance, among many other intolerances.

      I didn’t know that about beets sitting around, either. I know the increased sugar concentration will help the fermenting critters but I’d think it will also help the flavor when you’re just roasting them? Dunno. I can’t stand beets roasted or pickled. *shudder* Maybe I’ll learn to like them roasted — it’s one of my goals for 2013.

      My favorite seed companies are still good ol’ Pinetree and FedCo. Those specialized herb companies always seem to charge too much but, then again, I haven’t looked at them much in recent years. I like Johnny’s and Baker Creek, although Baker Creek is getting a bit too big for their britches lately if you ask me. I don’t know that I’ll order from them this year.

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