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.)