Sharon September 8th, 2008
Now that my summer classes are over, I have a little room to move, and I’m overdue for an IDC update, and wanted to update y’all on a few other things.
1. The book is officially out, and should be in most bookstores as of today. The Independents get it first, so if it isn’t at a local chain, try them (better yet, try them first if you’ve got one ;-). Everyone whose mail order for the book I received by last Wednesday should have their book or get it within a day or two. If you don’t mind, no more email book orders after today.
2. When the first food storage class ended, we elected to keep the internet group open for further discussion. Because of privacy issues for the Adaptation-in-Place course, we can’t do that, but what we have done is start a new group so that the course participants and anyone else here who is interested in joining, can keep the conversation going. I feel like my month-of-adaptation-boot-camp just barely got things started - so there’s a lot more thinking to do. If you are interested in joining the group send an email to [email protected]. Remember, you can change how you receive the adaptinginplace group content by going to the website at www.yahoogroups.com and going to “edit membership” at the top left of the page.
3. Posting is going to be a little less frequent here. Right now, the net is taking up a lot of time and energy, and I feel like my family, the farm and more domestic concerns need more of my time than they are getting. So I’ve decided I will be online only on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. There will be posts those days (and I may publish posts through the magic of the internet other days), but I won’t be around quite as much - so that I can actually do the stuff that I’m supposed to for independence days, so I can adapt to homeschooling two school-age kids (Simon is now in 2nd grade, Isaiah starts kindergarten and Asher is nearly 3, and so moves from “full-time hindrance” to “part time hindrance, part time preschooler ;-), so we’ll be busy - and meanwhile Eli is headed into 3rd grade at the school he attends) so we can do a lot of fall clean up, wood stacking and getting ready for winter. I may be back in the winter, or not - but if you are trying to get in touch, don’t be surprised if I’m not around as much, or it takes a while for me to get back to you.
Ok, on the Independence Day Challenge. I have to say, I’m really happy with how this has worked out for our family - at the same time last year, I had much less food put up, and my management of my garden was worse (I won’t say “much” worse, but worse ;-)).
Plant something: Spinach, arugula, turnips, radishes. I also transplanted some rhubarb from seed to larger containers to go in the ground in a couple of weeks. I’m getting to the point where there probably won’t be much planting - not enough light anymore to really get things to harvest that don’t grow quite quickly. But I’m still plugging at it - moving some things into the self-watering containers we built, which will winter over on the sunporch.
Harvest something: Oh yeah - tomatoes, peppers, onions, eggplant, garlic, green beans, beets, cucumbers, mushrooms, zucchini, hot peppers, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, turnips, apples, thyme, sage, rosemary, basil, mint, and more….
Preserve something: Raspberry jam, Greengage plums, dried tomatoes, dried sweet pappers, dried sweet corn, dried peaches, pickled jalapenos, pickled onions, pickled garlic, made kimchi, made salt-herb mix and added crumbled dried tomatoes for a soup base, canned honey-lemon carrots, rhubarb sauce, applesauce, made cider vinegar (was early cider anyway, and not that good), canned roasted tomato sauce, made goat’s milk yogurt, goats milk yogurt cheese and kefir.
Managed Reserves: Cleaned out freezer for the winter, to make room for soon-to-be-butchered poultry. Used up last year’s pickled beets and chutneys. Did a spice and seasoning inventory, and placed a Penzey’s order. Began to sort out the school materials and consider what might be needed for the next couple of years, so that I can keep an eye out for cheap supplies. Also began sorting through last year’s herbs and seeing what needs replacing and estimating our usage. Began trying to figure out where to move the herbs so I have more room for canning jars filled with canned food. Have not yet figured it out.
Prepped something: Stacked wood. Cut wood. Began lengthy process of shifting computer room (and relevant books) up to our bedroom for the winter, so that we can shut the guest rooms up for winter (except, of course, when guests are in them). Began a large scale de-cluttering with computer room and our bedroom. The goal, of course, is to go through everything. This has never happened, and I probably need Chile to come and kick my ass regularly ;-). Local fruit farm is being turned into condos ;-P, but 30 year old, highly productive blueberry bushes are being dug and sold for the price of digging them. Put my name down for a bunch. Began making next year’s garden plan. Finally ordered garlic and bulbs.
Stored something: Ordered more wheat, more oatmeal, more distilled vinegar (good for cleaning), more fair trade earl grey, more corn, alphabet pasta and wine yeast. Haven’t received any of it. Began hosing out buckets that have been emptied to be refilled.
Reduced waste: Finally gave up on the dump, which no longer accepts many things that could be recycled, and accepted that if we want to recycle most of our stuff, we have to pay for the trash service (which comes up our road anyway). We don’t usually generate enough waste to justify every-week pickup, but we’re tired of schlepping our recycling in to friends or having it build up in enormous piles, and the dump doesn’t seem inclined to change.
Cooked something new: Greengage plum jam, chili garlic sauce
Worked on local food systems: Not so much - I’ve been head deep in the AIP course. Time to get to work, though. How about y’all?