The following are the steps we took in the past week towards greater self-sufficiency (information on the challenge and my first Independence Day Challenge post):
1. Plant something: This morning, I finally got the strawberries plants that I was given for Mother’s Day transplanted into the new square foot garden that hubby built last weekend and I painted during the week.
2. Harvest something: Nothing this past week.
But on Thursday we picked up the produce from our CSA and on Saturday I bought green beans, potatoes and cabbage at the farmers’ market.
3. Preserve something: Saturday afternoon we started a crock of sauerkraut. It should be ready to can in 10 to 14 days.
Then Saturday evening we canned 4 pints of tomatoes (from the CSA.)
Sunday it was back to canning more french cut green beans. Not sure if we’ve got enough to last until next season but I’m thinking the beans may be about done because I had to do a lot of picking through them to get enough to make it worthwhile canning.
4. Reduce waste: Dave made our regular trip to drop off the recycling.
I fixed the waistband on a pair of our son’s exercise shorts.
And I’m currently working on a couple of quilts using leftover fabrics from other projects.
Used water from canning to water plants.
5. Preparation and Storage: Dave put up two new shelves, one in the laundry room which gave us room to store our canning equipment and extra paper goods. And the second, in the spare bedroom closet to hold some of the produce we’ve been canning.
6. Build Community Food Systems: We found a source locally for raw milk and though it was clearly marked For Pet Consumption only, we made the sweetest butter from the cream we skimmed off the top of the jars and I’m looking forward to learning how to make cheese. I’m also going to be making some of our old family recipes that require farm fresh milk and cream.
Also found a local farmer selling grass-fed beef. Now we just need to find another family who is willing to do a shared purchase with us.
As mentioned above, we added a new square foot garden to the backyard.
7. Eat the Food: I cook most of our meals from scratch, so the food definitely gets eaten. This is some of what I made last week:
The last of the blueberries from blueberry picking were made into Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins.
Made a dish of braised turnips, leeks and squash (from CSA.)