This morning I noticed that a couple of the broccoli plants in my garden were bolting. I had completely neglected them while outside, focusing primarily on the peas and hoeing the garden. Plus we got our first CSA box from Real Food Farms so our household veggies needs had been met. When I went outside to cut the stalk, I felt overwhelmed. How was I ever going to cook and serve all these vegetables? But then I remembered, the whole point to growing a garden and subscribing to a CSA was to put away organic, healthy foods for the fall and winter. I spent the rest of my morning blanching broccoli and flash freezing it in the deep freezer. After I got back from lunch with the girls, I tossed the frozen broccoli in freezer bags and put it in the deep freezer. I have the feeling future Kelly will be rather grateful. Hopefully she doesn’t mind the yellow parts that were a day or so away from blooming.
Nashville is under a mandatory water conservation after the floods. They only have 1 functioning water treatment plant (normally 2), and it can only generate 3/4 of the city’s typical needs when running at maximum power. I thought I’d pass along a few tips to reducing your water usage. Some of these we implement every day; some we learned during the whole sewer line fiasco. And a few our new ones we discovered during this time.
1. Navy showers. Turn the water on to get wet. Turn it off to suds up. Turn it back on to rinse. You can get away with very little water and still get clean, which is essential if you’ve been helping your friend clean her ruined house.
2. Train your hair to get washed every other day. Believe it or not, you can teach your scalp to not produce as much oil. The first week or so, your hair is pretty icky on the non-washing days, but then it gets use to it. The key is to not get your hair wet in between.
3. Don’t run the shower full blast while you’re waiting for the water to get warm. It might take a little while for the little trickle to warm up, but that water is just fine for brushing teeth or filling water pitchers.
4. Bathe in succession. I take my shower. Chris takes his shower. Cecilia gets her bath (in minimal water). That way the water has already been heated up, and we don’t have to waste more waiting for it to heat up again.
5. If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down. A commonly loved saying by many conservationists. For me, it’s a hard one to overcome because my parents would charge me a dime every time they found an unflushed toilet when I was a child. However, given the mandate, I think it’s okay to defy them.
6. Reuse cooking water. If you cook noodles for lunch, reuse to water to cook your potatoes for dinner. Starchy water is starchy water. Or save the water you used to rinse your fruit to water your plants or wash your dishes.
7. Collect rain in a rain barrel for watering plants.
8. Use hand sanitizer instead of washing your hands. I’m a big advocate of washing hands. Don’t get me wrong. But when you have a toddler, 3 dogs, and 4 cats around. There’s lots of hand washing. Sometimes substituting hand sanitizer (with alcohol) is okay.
9. Run very full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine. I line dry my clothes so I don’t have to worry about overpacking the dryer.
10. Hand wash big pots and pan by filling your sink with little water. It’s amazing how much space large items can take up in the dishwasher. I usually stick them in there because I’m lazy, but when I can only run the dishwasher every few days, I’d rather stick three bowls in than one pan. Especially if hand washing the pan takes very little time and effort. Make sure you save up the big items and wash them all at once though. Don’t wash them individually, and fill that basin. It’s surprising how much water is wasted by doing it one at a time.
I’m sure most of you guys have heard about the major flooding in Nashville and Tennessee. Our suburb was hit hard. Thankfully we are safe, but one of our friends lost her home. She currently staying with some other friends, but they’re home isn’t pet friendly so we volunteered to care for her two dogs.
The dogs, Cody and Shayne, are extremely sweet. Lucy is getting along fine with them. The only downside is the occasional accidents, but considering we’re use to a messy toddler and we’ve got hardwood floors, it’s really no big deal. We’re just thankful to have floors for them to poop on. The funniest part is the parade. I’m use to being the grand marshal of a three creature parade; it’s now up to five. I never have to pee alone!