11 September 2009

Independence Days Update

Ohh, it’s been awhile. Let’s see what we’ve done!

Planted: Not a thing. It’s not quite planting time here … although I do have some garlic cloves to go in, once I finish clearing out the garden. It’s just not quite time yet.

Harvested: Lots in this category! All the carrots, most of the beets, a few squash (which are sitting in the coolest room in the house to ‘age’), the last of the bolted spinach and lettuce (which was fed to the sheep), and all the onions. Oh, and all the peas. And some potatoes.

The Boy went and gathered rose hips for me, and raspberry leaves.

We also had several sheep go to the butcher, which probably counts as harvesting, and as always, gathered lots and lots of eggs.

Preserved: The aforementioned carrots were washed, cut, cooked and vacuum sealed in boil-in-bag vacuum bags which were then plunked into the freezer. Apples (generously donated by friends from work) were cooked into juice, which was sweetened and thickened into syrup and bottled, and mushed into sauce, which was then dried into fruit leather. Two batches of onions were sliced and dehydrated (OUTSIDE!), peas were done in another batch in the dehydrator, and other onions were hung up to dry and put in a mesh bag for storage.  Raspberry leaves have been dried for tea.

Waste Not: The donated apples would’ve been tossed in the garbage, but my coworkers know that I’m likely to make use of this sort of thing and offered them to me if I could use them. I love their generosity! The pulp from the apple cooking was fed to the sheep, who gobbled it up like it was candy. We had the butcher give us all the trim and bones back from our sheep, and the dogs have been eating well with the fresh meat. A bunch of the trim was cooked down and the fat rendered, as soon as I can find a source of lye, I’ll make up some soap. Lamb cuts from last year that were becoming frostbitten in the bottom of the freezer are gradually being fed to the dogs, who aren’t particular about such things. (They eat roadkill. Clearly they aren’t particular.)

Want Not (Preparations): Well, we did a bit more infrastructure work – TRF is most of the way through repairing the wind generator, and the fenceline feeder is in place for winter. Some friends of my parents’ had several panels made for goats that they weren’t using anymore, and we inherited those … they are very sturdy and one had a feeder already attached to it, which makes an excellent mineral dispenser. 

Community Food Systems: Have had a few orders for lamb already, and shared some of the lamb garlic sausage with coworkers (who were uniformly impressed with it’s non-lamby-and-wonderfully-spicy flavour). Continue to sell eggs to regular customers, and sold some of the organ meats to a friend who feeds raw meat to her dog. 

Eat the Food: We’ve had lots of lamb, eggs, and potatoes lately, and have been noshing on fruit leather for snacks.

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