Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Snow day!

It started snowing late last night, and it's still snowing, almost 24 hours later. They were predicting 8 to 12 inches. Due to the unbelievable drifting, however, I have no idea how much we have! There are spots where we can see grass, and there are places where the drifts are four feet high. It will not be fun shoveling the driveway tomorrow. That's where some of the four-foot drifts are located.

Today, I got the urge to make soap and get my tomatoes started in peat pots. I made three batches of soap: a lavender essential oil and wheat germ, a Valencia orange essential oil, and an unscented recipe that I just invented. It includes cocoa butter, shea butter, avocado butter, palm kernel oil, jojoba and several other oils. I'm calling it a "butter bar," and it's definitely for dry skin. A couple years ago, I made a really rich soap with lanolin and shea butter, and it caused my face to break out. I will only use this one for my hands. I think it will be great for my daughters though, because their hands have been getting really dry.

I also started 32 little peat pots with tomato seeds, including green sausage, green zebra, pink grapefruit, white currant, red fig, and several others, for a total of 12 different types. In the past, green zebra and amana orange have been my favorites. The green zebra tomatoes make an outstanding quiche, and the amana orange tomatoes are about a pound each, so they're excellent for freezing, because they are easy to peel, and it's simple to put away a one-pound bag in the freezer quickly. This will be our first year for Cherokee purple, green sausage, cream sausage, pink grapefruit, white currant, and red fig. I know I'll like the sausage tomatoes because their long cylindrical shape makes them great for slicing. I also planted three pots of ground cherries, which are supposed to be great for making pies and jams, just like real cherries, but they are a member of the tomato family and grow in a husk like a tomatillo.

Only three months until we can put everything in the garden. In one month, we can start putting out the cold-weather vegetables like peas. I am so looking forward to spring!


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Wow, I haven't heard of ANY of those tomato varieties, even though I've grown a few "heirlooms"! Where did you get the seeds?

Deborah said...

All of my tomato seeds are from either http://www.rareseeds.com or http://www.heirloomseeds.com. Since I like a lot of different types of tomatoes, I don't use all the seeds in one year, and I've found the germination rate is still good for a couple years. This is not true with all vegetables though, especially lettuce, whose germination rate falls to about 0% when the seeds are a year old.


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