18 May 2009

Independence Days

Once again, Sharon is running the Independence Days Challenge: the idea is to give ourselves a list of things we can do that help to move us towards independece, and then to celebrate the accomplishments each week - no matter how small they might seem. By taking a moment to look at what we have done, it helps us see that we really are making progress - even when the to-do list doesn't seem to get any shorter.

I heartily recommend reading Sharon's post about the challenge - it'll explain better than I possibly could.

Jumping right in, then ... here's where I'm at:

Planted Yup, it's planting time! The frost-hardy things can go in already, so the potatoes are out (well mulched), peas, beets, carrots, turnips, wheat (kamut wheat, it's an experiment), onions, and some chives. Oh yes, lettuce and spinach are out there, too, and several herbs in a new bed. Inside are a bunch of seedlings waiting for the weather to turn, and those are given a dose of water every day and left to soak up indoor sunshine for a bit longer.

Harvested Eggs, like always. Not much else is ready for harvest just yet, unless you count mucking the barnyard as harvesting compost!

Preserved I discovered, when clearing out the pantry, that we somehow managed to acquire four ten-kilogram bags of flour. We do use a lot of flour, as we bake our own bread quite often, as well as enjoying pancakes and waffles on a regular basis, but wow, that's a lotta flour. I got one of the large food grade plastic buckets from downstairs and transferred the contents of two of the flour bags into the bucket for safe keeping. That's about all the preservation at this point in time. Oh, I did take some soup that was aging in the fridge and put it into the freezer - if nobody's in a soup mood now, might as well freeze it for when someone is in a soup mood later.

Reduced Waste We have the usual tasks: composting, feeding scraps to the critters, and using cloth bags for shopping. No 'special tasks' in this category this past while, though. Still, the day to day stuff counts too, and is worth noting. Oh, I did replace the zipper on The Boy's winter parka - it'll possibly fit him for one more winter, depending on the timing of growth spurts and such, but it's been a great jacket, so even if it doesn't fit him come winter, it can go into the bin downstairs and await the next person in line. :) I consider "fixing instead of discarding" as reducing waste - although this job could also have gone in the next category ...

Preparation and Storage We had a 'preparation and storage' payoff this week! Dinosaur Boy's feet have grown and his rubber boots weren't fitting anymore. A trip to the basement turned up a set just about his size, stored correctly in the box marked "boots" no less!

Build Community Food Systems We are small scale food producers with a few local clients, so we're a tiny part of the community food system. We purchased grass-fed beef from a farm nearby this week, and we are selling eggs weekly to customers in the city and in our rural community. Requests for lamb are coming in already ... which is great!

Eat the Food We ate some eggs, of course, as they are a staple food here. When my stomach was churning earlier in the week a cup of yarrow/mullein/calendula/rose hip/clover blossom tea (all gathered here, last summer) settled things quite nicely. We routinely cook out of the pantry - today The Reluctant Farmer dug out a can of tomatoes with nice spices to add to the pot of chili we made. The meat for the chili was ground from a rooster that was butchered yesterday - the nicest chunks of meat from said rooster were skewered between slices of onion and cooked on the barbecue at a neighbour's place yesterday night!

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