Monday, May 4, 2009

Independence Days Update #2

1. Plant something - We had to replant a few things that our goats took out, but in addition to that I started seeds for summer stuff like okra, melons, sunflowers and also for some fall items like winter squash (pumpkins, acorn squash, blue Hubbard, etc). I also direct sowed kohlrabi, spinach and lettuce and I transplanted some other lettuces and some Brussels sprouts. We also received our sweet potato starts and our sunchokes via mail - those will be planted a little later.

2. Harvest something – does cutting some lilacs to make our house smell WONDERFUL count?

3. Preserve something – I don't think I did any preservation at all this week. That's not good. Next week, we are making cheese - so that will count towards preserving some of our milk, right?

4. Reduce waste – I know this is silly, and I should have done it sooner, but I started washing for reuse all of our veggie bags this week. We are good about using cloth for the main bags, but for some reason, if I needed a plastic veggie bag, I used one. I try to avoid using any bag, if I can, but when you are buying a bunch of green beans, they need to go into something! This week, I decided it was high time I started reusing those bags for more than just picking up dead mice that the cat leaves for us. I washed and dried some and immediately put them into our cloth grocery bags for the next trip.

5. Preparation and Storage - We ordered and received a hand pump for our cistern well. If all else fails, we will be able to hand pump water and then purify it in our Berkley filter. I am also going to sign up for Sharon's Food Storage class if she's still got space available.

6. Build Community Food Systems - Our goats got out last week. My H was out of town and I was at work and luckily, our neighbor's dog alerted them to the fact that there was something odd going on. They put the goats back in their paddock before they could totally destroy our garden. I'm not sure if this counts as building community or not, but we did promise to share with them some of the veggies they saved! I also shipped two jars of blackberry jam from last year to my mom. One for her and my dad and one for her to give to another friend of hers. It's not local, but it is building community!

7. Eat the Food - We are working towards using up what is in our pantry before we start filling it again. I used up the last of last years tomatoes (frozen) in the chili I made over the weekend. We are still enjoying canned pears, apple butter and miscellaneous other goodies from our pantry on a weekly basis. This morning, I had a 100-foot meal (almost). I had freshly made goat's milk yogurt with frozen blackberries (from last summer) and drizzled with honey. The honey is local but store bought for next year, it'll be our own!

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