March 28, 2010

Independence Days Challenge: 3/21 - 27

In her book, Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation, author Sharon Astyk says of the Independence Days Challenge,

I challenged myself to not be intimidated by the whole idea, but to do one little bit every day or week.

The categories in the challenge (below) do indeed seem like an overwhelming task list. But after I read the above quote, I resolved to aim for at least one thing each day. That helped. I no longer had to juggle the entire list in my head, nor was there any pressure to accomplish everything each week. So here's my summary for last week:

1. Plant something – nary a seed

2. Harvest something - from fall garden:
  • radishes
  • turnips - almost 8 lbs
3. Preserve something -
  • fresh turnips refrigerated for food storage
4. Waste Not
  • Made a chicken feeder from an old piece of PVC pipe and scrap lumber
  • Mulched strawberries with cardboard and chipped twigs and leaves
  • Learned about the Society of St. Andrew, a grassroots, nondenominational, hunger relief program which feeds the hungry by gleaning farmers' fields after the harvest. For more info on this one, click here.
  • Using discarded wooden stakes as twitches for the goat fence bracing
  • line dried laundry
5. Want Not
  • Found Sharon Astyk's Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation at the county library and checked it out. An inspiring read.
  • Found Mrs. Wages pickling lime (for nixtamalizing corn) and Bread & Butter pickle mix (DH's hands down favorite) on clearance and bought two of each for food storage. Also bought more tuna and some canned turkey for food storage.
  • Researched area farmers markets. Found one locally, which operates from May through September
6. Build Community Food Systems – only via my blog

7. Eat the Food


Sharon said...

Carrots are planted and potatoes arrived via UPS today. Um, that's a bad energy thing, I just realized. Anyway - we're going to pick up the remainder at Peaceful Valley Farm Supply in Nevada City next month when I go over for the Foothill Fiber Guild weavers meeting. Gardening has challenges at 5,000'

Nina said...

I've started the onion and leek seed. I transplanted the basil into larger pots and delivered three of them to new homes.. share the wealth with friends.. Our outside plant date for tender plants is May 24 so it's about time to start tomatoes.
This week I'll be digging up part of the garden to start some of the early seeds like radishes and salad greens. I found onion sets on sale but not yet seed potatoes, which I find odd.

Callie Brady said...

I'm enjoying reading about all this. We have more rain and snow on the way.

Leigh said...

Sharon, *LOL. It's funny how some things are taken for granted, even energy-wise. That's a good argument for seed saving, in addition to saving the cost of having to buy new seeds every year.

Yes, I imagine you have a lot of gardening challenges at that altitude. My challenge is hot dry summers! May we all encourage one another to overcome our individual challenges!

Nina, good for you! Sounds like your last frost date is about a month after ours. My tomatoes, and green peppers are just sprouting indoors. Sweet basil (which I love) will wait until I can sow it directly into the ground.

Callie, thanks! Yes, that rain and snow are a real nuisance when planting season arrives. Hopefully the rain will settle down and be generous enough to give us a good watering once a week. :)