Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Independence Day Challenge

Well, how is the economy treating you?  

We are doing okay.  For now. 

Hubby came home from work; last week and the week before,  with news that both schools that he teaches at are freezing their budgets.  One school thought they may have to have layoffs. 

We had lost some income earlier in the year, so we have learned to adapt.  We planted a big garden and preserved most of its bounty. We paid off a few small debts. We have stocked up on some bulk food to stretch the grocery dollar. We grow our own meat and we don't eat it but once or twice a week.   We drive one car and we are more intentional in its use.  We are getting by and do not want for much . So far, so good.

But a layoff would be a problem for us.  

This is a really a really smart woman.

This is the really good book that she wrote.

I've been reading Sharon Astyk's blog for about a year now.  I decided to join her Independence Days Challenge when oil was over 100.00 a barrel last spring. I decided to join when the price of the flour I buy, in 25lb bags, went from 13.00 to 21.00 in one month.

I still do the IDC challenge, now, to provide insurance if hubby should find himself under employed in the next year.  And I do it for this little obscure index.

I also do it because it is actually a good way to see how incorporating elements of simplicity into one's life ( cooking from scratch, eating local and organic, living with the rhythms of the seasons, finding a good deal at a thrift store) can ease the uncertainty in these uncertain times.

It has been about a month since my last IDC posting.  So there is quite a bit to report.

Plant something:  Nothing to plant. But we are getting seed catalogs.  Yeehaa!!!

Harvested: There are jerusalem artichokes  in the ground but we had an ice storm last week and can not get to them.  They will be there for us in the spring.

Preserved:  I got some late season apples at one of the last regular farmers market so I made more applesauce.  Hubby helped a friend harvest her flock of rams.  She gave us half a mutton for his efforts.

Local food systems:  We are buying eggs from local farmers until our new chicks start laying. Bought local goat cheese for Thanksgiving at the farmers market.

Managed Reserves:  I keep an eye on the winter squash every week.  If there are any soft spots I either make soup or bread  with the squash.  I may have to learn to can it soon because, if I have too many squash turning at once, I won't want to waste it. I keep an eye on the home canned food; making sure that we are not eating all of one thing at a time.  This is really hard because we have all become pickled carrot fiends.  Finished putting the garden to bed.  

Prepped:  I found 2 pairs of winter boots on freecycle.  New trays for the dehydrator and a neighbor gave us another dehydrator. The same neighbor gave us a case of baking soda that was damaged at the grocery store. It smells like it may have had laundry soap spilled on it so we will use it for cleaning.

reduced waste: finished putting the compost bins to bed for the season.  I should have a good amount to start the season with. I am enjoying the thrills of freecycle.  I haven't killed my worms yet. But they are taking up a lot of space in the bathroom so I  am going to move them down to the basement.

cooked something new: I have tried several new squash recipes.  We have too many squash. I learned how to make baking powder.  2 parts creme of tartar to one part baking soda.

learned something new: I learned how to make homemade playdough.   I am making most of my gifts for Christmas this year and I learned that I need to give myself  more time.

Pay it forward:  We have been helping out our church's food pantry.


Anonymous said...

Is it cheaper to buy bulk online? Geez woman do you own math: it depends on what you buy, where you live etc.

Fleecenik Farm said...

It was more of a rhetorical question. Because it has been something I have investigated and after adding shipping costs it seems outrageous compared to what I can find locally. I am assuming that you came here from Causabon's book?

Kathy said...

Ah, you inspire me to do better. I do buy local and when available I accept the eggs one of the Lt's brings in to work. LOL -- he loves his chickens but they lay too many eggs. Yummy!

Christmas wrapping was either recycled at the curb (I like it, but I don't) or folded neatly and put away for next holiday season.

I haven't actually purchased wrapping paper in years now. ;)