Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

A GAL NAMED SUE: We’ve had a flurry of new members this week. Scratch that. We’ve had a bushelful of new members this week, and you’ve brought with you an equally abundant harvest of invigorating ideas. It’s especially exciting now, as the leaves fall from the trees and we barrel on toward the close of the year, to think about new beginnings. This week on HOMEGROWN, those have included projects both big, such as Calamity Jane’s upcoming study group on permaculture, and small, like Cynthia’s family’s annual apple processing day. We find each new project thrilling and inspiring—and an awesome reminder of what kinds of adventurous, resourceful, indomitable, and plucky things a community like HOMEGROWN can get up to.

So, as just one—but a good one—representative of the newest cohort of HOMEGROWN members, we welcome Sue, an earth mama from greater Portland, Oregon. “I have been gardening for over 30 years and keep expanding the garden/orchard every year,” she writes. “I became a Master Preserver-Family Food Educator this year and have enjoyed sharing what I have learned with the public.”

She’s also a handspinner of yarn and a knitter. “Not such a great knitter,” she writes, ever humble, “but I knit most of my own socks.” In true HOMEGROWN fashion, you can learn right along with Sue: She promises to share her knitting patterns for apple, pear, and pumpkin ornaments—keep an eye out for a 101 in the coming weeks—just as soon as she finishes her fall canning. In the meantime, you can share what you know with her: Sue is looking for advice on preserving sweet potatoes.

“I have read that they need to be cured at a very high temperature, which is a challenge in October in the Pacific Northwest," she writes. "My crop last year was fairly successful, but they started to get soft in January; there weren't many left. I started my slips this year from what I had left last year.” Got a sweet-potato tip for Sue? Post it here—or just say hello by leaving a greeting below or posting a note on Sue’s profile page.

And then? Keep the good ideas coming! We’re on a roll. There’s no telling what’s next.

What is Meet Your Neighbors? Most of us spend a fair amount of time tending our online gardens, but it’s easy to forget there’s a real person behind every quiche recipe, chicken inquiry, and hoophouse design here on HOMEGROWN. Well, nuts to that! MYN gives us a chance to meet over the back fence and shake hands. (Or maybe hug? We’re huggers. But no pressure.)

Views: 101

Comment by Sue Gee on October 26, 2012 at 12:33pm

Wow what an honor.  Never thought I would ever be a cover girl.  Some of you might be curious about this picture (maybe not, but just in case).  My handspinner's guild, Aurora Colony Handspinners, puts on an antique spinning wheel showcase each year.  It features around 30 working antique wheels.  As you can see we dress up in period costume and spin on the antique wheels.  We raffle off a working antique wheel at this event each year.  In 2011 I was the proud winner of the spinning wheel in the picture, thus my big smile.  If this event is of interest and you live within driving distance of Aurora, OR, it is held the first full week-end or March at the Aurora Colony Museum.  Let me know if you want additional information.

Comment by Shellie A. Gades on October 26, 2012 at 9:41pm

Hi Sue!!! Welcome to Homegrown.org. Don't you just love this place.  I love sweet potatoes. have never tried them. Unsure if it's even possible here in west central Minnesota.

Comment by Jennifer on October 29, 2012 at 10:32am

Sue: Congrats on your wheel win! Thanks for sharing info on the guild event—and thanks for being such a lovely addition to HOMEGROWN. I am drooling over your pork and beans, and it's only 10:30 in the morning.

Comment by Sue Gee on October 29, 2012 at 2:18pm

Hi Shellie,  Thank you for the warm welcome.  This is a great site, I know I will learn much and meet some great folks.  

I did not think I could grow sweet potatoes hear in the NW either.  After reading an article in Mother Earth News, I gave it a try with surprising success.  The trick is heating the soil.  The unfortunate piece is that you pretty much have to use plastic.  Clear plastic pulled tight over the bed works pretty good.  You can buy the slips, but I just bought some organic sweet potatoes and grew the slips from them, the first year.  Second year I used the left over sweet potatoes from the year before to grow out the slips.  They do need to be cured at a fairly warm temperature in order to keep.  They are really pretty plants as well. 


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