I’ve known for a few weeks that I miscounted somewhere along the line and added an extra week to my year, but since I still can’t put my finger on exactly where it was I’m giving in and having two Week 50s. Alright on with my week.
Last Saturday I visited Omega Center, which many of my fellow co-workers have visited and quite a few of them rave about. I was picking up Mitch, who had been visiting Gaia. When I got there they gave me a tour. I really like the retreat center and I’m glad I got to see it before I leave the area. They have a building called The Sanctuary which is a peaceful meditation room at the top of a windy set of stairs. On our way down from the Sanctuary I noticed that along the rock ledges someone had been writing out various inspirational words and phrases with pebbles.
Last week I saw a lot of vegetables that came in what Eme calls the Big Mama size. (Side note: Eme also insists on bringing the Big Mama vegetables home to her housemother.) There was the zucchini, which actually came from the Seed garden. Then there was the turnip, which I pulled out of the carrot bed. Lastly was my favorite, the Big Mama tomato in the greenhouse, affectionately nicknamed The Pumpkin. Looking at the plants (pictured left) I expect more Big Mama tomatoes to come from the greenhouse.
I also learned in order for tomato seeds to be viable they need to ferment. Izzard spent a rest hour squeezing the seeds out of many sungold cherry tomatoes into a jar so they could ferment for a few days. As the seeds ferment the liquid rises to the top and becomes less opaque.
I also went through a major pickling phase. I pickled green tomatoes and cucumbers over the week. I pickled 6 gallons of green tomatoes, totaling 33 jars. I also pickled 4 gallons of cucumbers, totaling 21 jars. I was pretty proud of myself not having a single jar go into heat shock and shatter. Although I didn’t take any pictures of the jars during the first few minutes after pouring hot brine onto the garlic, basil and cucumbers (or tomatoes) I saw that the green things in the jar turned a more brilliant shade of green. I think it’s the same thing Zak was telling me about flame weeding- the cells on the surface of plant burst causing the chloroplasts to all turn bright green for a few moments. It only took a few moments before the veggies being pickled started to look more like something marinating in vinegar and salt.