Sunday, August 3, 2008

Independence Day Challenge

    Sharon Astyk over at Causabon's  Book began a challenge back in  May that follows the wise  advice of one of my heroes, Carla Emery.  It essentially goes like this; in the spring plant something everyday. Then, when the bounty is ready, preserve something every day.  Sharon has expanded it with consideration for preparing for hard times  for example: economic recession ( or worse), supply disruptions due to rising energy costs and supply concerns, extreme weather events.

 I've been working the challenge since May. As a result I have more food preserved from our garden at this point than I ever have.  With many more crops still waiting to ripen. Sharon has taken a few weeks off from logging folks results. I find that when I can write everything  down it gives me an idea where I am going and what I can work on next.  The challenge was part of the inspiration for starting this blog.

Well here are several weeks worth of IDC...

Planted:  I haven't planted a thing! Ugh I really need to get my fall garden planted.  I have four free beds that I think I will just plant spinach in.  We like spinach  a lot.  I will put most of the spinach under cover when the weather cools with the hope of having a prolonged harvest and  an early spring crop. 

Harvested: Raspberries,blueberries, dill, pole beans, swiss chard, basil, garlic, onions, oregano, mint, comfrey,catnip, cilantro, anise hyssop kale, broccoli florets, broccoli leaves..

Preserved:  froze raspberries.  These grow wild on our property and I pick about a quart every other day.  I worry about them molding while I  get enough for making jam.  So I freeze them.  They will be great in Muffins and pancakes this winter. Dries basil,oregano,catnip,hyssop, mint, dill.  Dried kale, broccoli leaves and zucchini.  Our zucchini got infected by cucumber beetles but there is so much cheap squash out there so we can fill the larder any way.  The wee  thinks that dried zucchini are chips which is great because he has an aversion to green food. Canned dilly beans and bread and butter pickles.  This week...the great blueberry preeration marathon. Hung many heads of garlic up to cure. Put aside the best heads for seed for next year.

Managed reserves: Hubby and I spent a whole day just weeding the garden and smushing potato beetles. Our bed broke so went to second hand store and found a new metal framed bed that hubby painted up nicely.  A neighbor gave us a trundle bed for the wee one and we are waiting for the mattress to be delivered which means ....that my reserves will be better managed because wee one will be out of our bed.

Prepped: Good scores at the Goodwill.  I found 2, glass, one gallon jugs for making wine.  I found some twin sheets for trundle bed and extra blankets.  A large enamel basin that I will use when I harvest the dry beans. I actually had to buy pint canning jars brand new because I've used all the ones I had stored already.  Went to Reny's and stocked up on some herbal teas, olive oil, Raye's mustard ( milled in Eastport, Maine). I read Bill McKibben's book Deep Economy.  Half way through Dmitri Orlov's Reinventing Collapse.

Support local food systems:  I am hitting the local farm stand at least once a week and I go to the farmers market when I am in that neck of the woods. Almost every meal we've had this past week has had locally produced food in it.  From bread baked locally, all of the veggies we are eating, meats from the farmers market and eggs from our ladies.  At least 2-3 meals a week are all locally produced.

Cooked something new: I put up dilly beans for the first time.  Someone had given us some last winter and they were so crisp.  What a treat in January! 

Learned something new: I am learning how to set up a blog.


1 comment:

WENDY BANDURSKI-MILLER (nee Callard) said...

Well i am impressed by all your have an outstanding attitude and i love how you think.

Local Local Local.

Another thing really worth trying is SPROUTS......honestly through the winter you can grow inside in the kitchen and it really adds to the sense of independence. Of course they are also YUMMY.....