Producing more food for my family and becoming generally more self-sufficient has been one of my long time goals now, so I was excited to see the Independence Days Challenge is back on Sharon Astyk’s excellent blog The Chatelaine’s Keys. So each week on Thursdays I’m going to post what I’ve done in each category in the past week. I’m hoping that this will be the additional motivation I need to reach real food independence!
It’s getting pretty exciting here on my .4 acre. Spring is arriving early and I have to make sure I don’t get ahead of myself in the planting. It helps to have a nice spreadsheet with dates to keep me in check. I mean, seriously, it’s the first day of March and just look at this peach tree bud:
Anyway, here’s the recap from this week:
Plant Something: Yes! Basil, radishes, and unfortunately some new Roma tomato seeds, because I, um, left my tender young Roma seedlings outside one night when it got down in the 30s. Ahem. At least my slicing tomatoes (which were a little bigger) seem to have fared well. I’m also seeing pea and bean shoots coming up in the garden, so that’s exciting!
Harvest Something: I picked a wee bit of spinach out of my now mostly cleaned up lettuce beds (gotta make way for french beans – yum) and harvested some perennial herbs (rosemary, thyme) but not much else. I’m patiently waiting for my arugula plants to finish going to seed so I can save them, but I hear it can take a month or two to make pods!
Preserve Something: Eh. Not much around that needs preserving.
Waste Not: Well, I dunno. Didn’t do so well on this one. Did a pantry clean out, which I will be talking about in tomorrow’s post.
Want Not: I stocked up on salsa, does that count?
Eat the Food: Cooked some nice Cooks Illustrated dishes (gotta love that magazine) from the latest issue. Also experimenting with homemade stuffing mix later this week.
Build Community Food Systems: My super-local (walking distance) farmer’s market opens April 14. In the meantime, I’m just trying to spread the gardening good word, so I hope that counts for something. A few of my friends are planting gardens for the first time, so I’m kind of excited to play the “mentor” role.
Skill Up: I’m learning a lot about seed starting this year. It’s my first year to try and start seeds indoors, and so far, so good.
I have a feeling this challenge is going to get into full swing in the next few weeks. I’m still waiting for the week where I hit all the points!