Well, we sure have has a lot of rain.  Almost a solid week of COLD rain, some high winds, and some hail.  That made it really difficult to get out and do things.  But, I managed to get a few things done.

Plant Something:  Since I couldn’t plant outside, I planted starts for the summer, in Jiffy Pellets, which are inside.  If it warms up, I’ll take them outside.  Then, I can avoid the trials and pitfalls of hardening off, which I am alway too impatient to do properly.  I planted the following as seeds: Royal Calais flint corn (an entire flat), Mexican sour gherkins and H-1 little leaf cucumbers, yellow zucchini, Mammoth and lemon sunflowers, nasturtiums, parsley, columbine, pie pumpkins, and probably some other things, but I forget what. 

Harvest Something:  none

Prep/Want Not:  I am learning to bake sourdough bread according to Peter Reinhart’s Crust and Crumb.  

I really am enjoying this book.  Baking artisan bread is very different from what I grew up with.  For one thing, every single kind of bread starts with a “preferment” of some kind, which may be a sourdough starter or some kind of a “sponge”.  The sourdough that I am working with is a very mild sourdough that is made with wild yeast that lives on the wheat, and therefore is in the flour.  It takes a couple of days to make the bread, but boy is it good.  It is moist, with a tender, very fine crumb.  I am going to keep practicing, so that this becomes routine.

Also, I took a trip to Costco, to purchase staples, including a 50-lb bag of bread flour.  The flour is now safely stored in a 6-gal. bucket with gama-seal lid and a zip-lock polymer liner to keep air out.  There was quite a bit more than could fit into the bucket, so I filled several large Tupperware containers.  I’ll use that first, before I break out the bucket.  I also stocked up on maccaroni, spaghetti, dried beans, etc.  And, I organized my basement pantry.  I just have some heavy-duty steel wire shelves in the basement, but it works great.  The shelving units roll on wheels, and are super heavy-duty, so I don’t have to worry about sagging shelves.  They can handle a lot of weight.

Build Community Food Systems:  Unfortunately, we were not able to go to the farmer’s market, due to the downpour.  Interestingly, I learned that our local farmer’s market was price-fixing, and the KS attorney general got involved, and made the knock it off.  I know that three  or four farmers were given the boot by the farmer’s market.  We say them protesting on the opening day.  I heard that these farmers wouldn’t fix their prices and complained about the price-fixing to the attorney general, or someone, and were kicked out because they complained.  I could have some of the details mixed up.  In any case, we are going to try some other farmer’s markets around here.  Maybe we can get better deals.

Eat the Food:  Well, that bread I baked sure go gobbled up quickly.  Other than that, nothing.