- How to keep our outdoor cat warm throughout the winter
- How to store all the squash from our volunteer plants
|Not a very elegant solution|
And how was I going to keep all that lovely butternut and acorn squash from freezing? I really didn't want to spend the time cooking it, mashing it up and freezing it - I still had pumpkin in the freezer from last year. And sometimes you just want a stuffed acorn squash, or roasted butternut. But I didn't have the time or money to build a root cellar.
Cat house, root cellar - how to combine the two?
So, I came up with the cat cellar!
|First, I gathered up four cedar 2 x 4's that I had left over from building raised beds, and marked where the shelves would go.|
|Next I put on the shelf supports, offsetting them so that I didn't have two by fours sticking out of the frame the uprights made. Hope that makes sense.|
|Eva in front of her future winter home. I had all this lovely foam insulation laying around from an earlier upgrade inside the house - figured this would be a good way to insulate my cat cellar.|
|The first shelves in. The plan was to put the food on the ground floor, and then provide a entrance for Eva that would be out of the weather.|
Meanwhile, while working on this, I am also working on cleaning up the yard and getting stalks and stuff cut up for compost. Found a bonus by an old compost pile - borage starts from the borage I composted in late summer:
|If you can harvest borage leaves when they are young and tender like this, you have a real treat! Any older, and they get annoying bristles on the back. Although they can still be used to make a Mediterranean green sauce.|
|Borage leaves taste like cucumber - have a light delicate taste - and are a great addition to sandwiches and salads. My granddaughter ended up eating over half of my sandwich, she really liked the borage leaves.|
Essential information about Borage:
Borage contains the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), typically in concentrations of 17-20%. Linolenic acid is omega-6 fatty acid that play vital role in restoration of joint health, immunity, healthy skin and mucus membranes.
Fresh Borage has high levels of vitamin C (ascorbic acid); provides 35 mcg or 60% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin C is one of the powerful natural anti-oxidants that help remove harmful free radicals from the body. Along with other anti-oxidants, it has immune booster, wound healing and anti-viral effects.
Borage contains very high levels of vitamin A (140% of RDA) and carotene's. Both these compounds are powerful flavonoid anti-oxidants. Together, they act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
Vitamin A is known to have antioxidant properties and is essential for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin A and carotene's are known to help body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Borage is a good source for minerals like iron (41% of RDA), calcium, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, which helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is an important co-factor for cytochrome oxidase enzyme in the cellular metabolism. In addition, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, it determines the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.
The herb is one of the good sources of B-complex vitamins, particularly rich in niacin (vitamin B-3). Niacin helps lower LDL cholesterol levels in the body. In addition, it has riboflavin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates in adequate levels. These vitamins function as co-factors in the enzymatic metabolism inside the body.
So you see that you can easily grow all the vitamins, minerals and componets you need to stay healthy.
Next project (in between rain storms and cold weather):
Getting the garden tools ready for next season.
|Rebar I used in the raised bed covers is rusting - actually, rebar is rusting when you buy it at the lumber yard. My rake and hoe are also showing signs of rust.|
Now, off to uncover my tomatoes and see if there are any ready to bring in.