April 18, 2010

Independence Days Challenge: April 10 - 17

I can't say when the sight of my pantry full of food started to make me feel richer than money in the bank. It was a process of unlearning all the things that my society told me.

Sharon Astyk, Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation

I can relate to this. Not only in terms of a sense of security in case times get tough or a natural disaster strikes, but also in the sense that I am able to help more folks with food from my storage, than I could buy for or donate money to at any given time. This has in fact happened. I have been able to give a week's worth of groceries to friends and family in need, when I never could have afforded to buy that much for them.

Just like with saving money, a little here and a little there adds up in the end. But while saving money seems out of fashion these days, the Independence Days Challenge is heartening in that more and more folks seem to be interested in having well stocked pantries once again. Obviously, myself included.

Here's the little bit I did this past week:

1. Plant something
  • replacement Junebearing strawberry plants
  • Pyrethrum
  • comfrey
  • tomato seedlings
  • sweet pepper seedlings
  • sweet basil seedlings
  • marigolds
  • Lavender
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • parsley
  • sage
  • hollyhocks
  • butterfly flower (weed)
  • rudbeckia
  • corn
  • beans

2. Harvest something -
  • broccoli
  • turnips
  • wild onions
  • carrots
  • radishes
3. Preserve something - nothing this week

4. Waste Not
  • mulching with leaves and cardboard
  • line drying clothes
5. Want Not
  • Stocked up on canned items: mushrooms, mandarin oranges, & chicken
  • Bought an extra can each of black olives & tuna fish
  • Bought a rhubarb plant. Not sure where I'll put it yet!
6. Build Community Food Systems
  • Same ol' same ol', just blogging about it
7. Eat the Food
  • Fresh broccoli and dried cranberry salad with poppy seed dressing. Very tasty!
  • Opened the last jars of strawberry jam and tomato sauce (for pizza, always for pizza)
  • Finally tried my lacto-fremented turnips. Delicious!
  • I have 5 lbs of organic raisins in storage so I made sourdough raisin muffins. Trouble is, DH isn't all that crazy about raisins. The muffins were really tasty, but it looks like I'm going to have to find something else to do with them! Does anyone have a good recipe for raisin pie?
To see what others are doing for Independence Days, click here.


Nina said...

planted - rest of seeds to be started early, radish, lettuce, spinach, arugula in hopes of an extra early harvest.
Harvested - basil and parsley
There are chives ready to harvest too, just haven't needed them yet.

Woolly Bits said...

freeze the muffins and take one out, when you like one:)) I have a similar problem with raisins, DS doesn't like them either. I make onion relish with raisins - he doesn't eat that anyway:)) dito for muesli etc... though I never buy that many anyway, which reduces the problem somewhat. if all else fails and I end up with out of date raisins, I put them out for the birds, who love them....

Flower said...

Still too wet here to plant...but the potted flowers are in! I made a batch of lemon marmalade with an improved recipe. Tart and tasty. The lemons came from my friends tree. She lives in AZ. We are eating heartily from the freezer and last years harvest. Planning ahead for this years garden.
Muffins...I like Woolly Bits idea!

Leigh said...

Nina, I'll be curious about how those early seeds do for you. Seed starting is an art and science that I have a long way to go to perfect.

Bettina, oh yes on freezing those muffins. Actually, I can't remember why I got those raisins in the first place. I think it may have been to make my own raisin bran cereal. Onion relish with raisins sounds delicious!

Flower, lemon marmalade sounds wonderful! I have a dwarf meyer lemon tree, so I will have to keep marmalade in mind once it starts to bear, which may be as early as later this year!

Eleanor said...

Wow, you really got a lot done. How did you get such early harvests? Things are just getting going here in Kansas.

Here is what I did this past week.

Leigh said...

Eleanor, most of that (except the radishes) is actually from last fall's garden! Thanks for visiting and commenting. I enjoyed your update too. So nice to meet like minded folks.