Monday, 20 July 2009

Monday 20th July 09

A lie-in... lovely. Got up at 10.30 and didn't do much til about midday.

Then I persuaded the boys to come and help me put the tent up, which was quite easy as it is very similar to the previous design I had... except this seems better designed actually. We had a bit of time trying to suss out where to hang some daft pocket things and our nearly 12 year old worked it out.

After lunch Gill and the boys went to the dentist and I completed the York Green Festival insurance documents and sent them to two of my colleagues to check. I really hate Microsoft Office 07, which I have on a trial. It's too complicated, I couldn't work out how to 'save as' and had to just save, then go into my documents folder and alter the name from there. What a faff.

Anyway, they will be on their way tonight or tomorrow.

I made a nutloaf with some old bread, yesterday's rice and a couple of leeks minus their tough flower stalk, grated carrot, a couple of tomatoes, plus some 'bush basil' which is doing really well in the conservatory. This is what I'll grow in the future, it tastes lovely and is easier to grow than the big leafed varieties. This is the first year I've grown it. Oh, I lined the baking dish with slices of a courgette, perhaps our third or fourth this year.

After tea I took the tent down 'all in one' so that when we put it up again we don't have to bother putting the internal compartment in again. Also popped down to Freshways and picked up 2 sacks of assorted unwanted material... including a load of coconuts which don't compost well, but do burn well! There were also a large number of fresh red dates, some with damage and dark-coloured bad bits, but the majority seemed quite acceptable. I wondered how to use these? Fresh they are a bit astringent, but if I blanch them and dry them, they might be useful in something. I might ask Raj how he uses fresh dates.

A busy evening dealing with the York Green Festival insurance documentation, and then trying to sort out how to deal with the compostables which will be generated at the Big Green Gathering... the farmer/festival has been granted 'an exemption' and is allowed to compost on site, but he wants to use the composted material. When I last composted on site, in 2006, there were too many sticks in the pile (which I'd built with several aeration layers using sticks, branches, twigs, cardboard and straw) for him to use it. This year we are going to use Bokashi EM which will mean we don't need to initially aerate it as much... just have it drained. There is another keen composter going to the Gathering, called Chris, and he'll be there from the Thursday before, so he'll be involved in the pre-build.

Last thing at night, I blanched the dates and this got rid of the astringent properties and they tasted sweet, and will be lovely dried.

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