Under the Weather and Saving Runner Bean Seeds

Overnight it tuned a cool 40 degrees and I woke up with a lousy head cold and sore throat. Oh no! I decided to cancel my in-town physical therapy appointment for today and stay home to try to heal. Sorry my foot!

Fennel in pan USEFennel seeds in a drying pan.

I went right to the fridge to take a huge shot of elderberry syrup made with Elderberry and other wonderful healing herbs that I bought at the Great Lakes Herb Faire I attended in early September. More about the Faire here: https://smallhousebigskyhomestead.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/back-home-from…kes-herb-faire/

Pans on wahser and dryer USE

My washer and dryer helps to dry the beans inside the pods.

This magical elixir was made by herbalist Lisa Rose of Burdock and Rose Herbals and quite honestly, it worked really well for me. Four days of the elderberry treatment the last time I had a cold and I was soon back to health. I am crossing my fingers that it works as well this time too.

Foraging Book cover

Lisa M. Rose book on foraging in the Midwest.

I decided this day would be a light work day as well as a nurturing one for me. I bundled up in warm long underwear and a sweatshirt and turned on the Eden Pure heater to take the chill off the house. This Eden Pure heater is such a blessing in the cold weather. Not only does this heater take the chill off the house, because it is portable I can move it close to me and it warms me right up.  And best of all, it can be moved from room to room as needed.

Runner beans on towel on floor

More seed pods than workspace so the floor became a temporary holding space.

I worked on the computer for a while and then I began to work on what I call “Sit Down” projects that have been waiting for a rainy day. I have pans of dried herbs and bean pods in my kitchen, laundry and dining room that need my attention. They need to be separated, fully dried out and stored until next spring’s planting season.

VERT pods on boiler USE

We have hot water boiler heat and this hot water boiler unit dries herbs quickly.

The harvested Scarlett Runner Beans seeds needed to be separated from their pods and to finished drying in the warm laundry room air. I prefer to leave them to dry on the vine but a cold snap and an early frost changed those plans.

Fennel in pan with legs

Sitting on the floor and separating the fennel seeds from the flowers.

After I finished the beans, I worked on the fennel seeds separating the seeds from the flower heads. I love to have my own fresh fennel seeds for cooking and this past spring I replaced my fennel plant as the old one died. The old one lasted some 7 years and was real good producer for me. I knew I had to be careful not to buy the kind that you dig and cook the roof for fennel soup but rather the perennial kind that goes to seed and comes back year after year. Next came the oregano.

While I separated seeds from pods I watched the 2012 documentary, In Organic We Trust, made by filmmaker Kip Pastor. Because I have studied the subject of organic food intimately, there was not a lot of new information for me, but it did serve to cement my earlier resolve to continue to seek out and eat, organic and locally grown foods.

Runner beans on towel on floor

I am storing my seeds and beans in glass jars with lids to keep the bugs out and my harvest as fresh as possible. The oregano will be used for cooking and for the chickens.

Even though I was not happy about feeling sick today I was happy to get this work done and the laundry room cleaned up and tidy once again. I am grateful I have the washer and dryer top as well as the boiler unit to dry things on but I’m even happier to get the room cleaned up and vacuumed up once again. I do admit, I like a neat and tidy looking house! (I suspect it’s the German ancestry in me!)

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!

Small House homesteader, Donna