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!
So I got a good bit of positive (and no negative) feedback on my Independence Days posts, so I guess I’ll be continuing for a while. I do think it helps me stay on track, and I hope it also inspires a few of you to do the same.
Well, on with this week’s update…
Plant Something: Can’t say that I did. I’m waiting on the slips from my sweet potato to get big enough to transplant, but other than that, I’m pretty much out of room. I’d love to start some work on more beds, but being a little over 5 months pregnant, I’m not really supposed to be doing any heaving lifting or overexerting myself. I’m pretty sure that rules out a new hugelkultur bed!!
Harvest Something: Herbs, a few radishes, a little spinach, snow and sugar snap peas, and lots and lots of green beans! We would have strawberries as well if I had protected them from the chickens better early in the season, but that’s all been taken care of now.
Preserve Something: Hmm. No, mostly just trying to empty the jars at the moment.
Waste Not: We haven’t really wasted anything yet, but my fridge is looking pretty ridiculous at the moment, so I’m on a grocery store moratorium until I can get some of it eaten up. Stay tuned for developments.
Want Not: Never did make it to Aldi, but I have gotten in the habit of buying two or three of non-perishible items we use all the time. I have additional pantry space downstairs, and I need to start using it more effectively. I’m also looking into a feed store that’s actually inside the Atlanta perimeter (!!), which I’m hoping will sell me some baking soda and other supplies in 50lb bags.
Eat the Food: We had a crazy epic cooking day on Sunday. I cooked 2 dozen biscuits, sausage patties, made mozzarella and ricotta cheese, and cooked a pan of baked ziti (beef/lamb/pork mix instead of beef). The hubs smoked some spare ribs, a whole chicken, and some Italian sausage. Then on Tuesday we made one of our favorite soups, a potato sausage soup that is a knock-off of an Olive Garden soup, only we get to control the ingredients!
Build Community Food Systems: We had our neighborhood block party this past weekend, complete with local BBQ and (very) local beer. My husband and another neighbor brewed up 30 gallons and just like last year, it was a total hit! We raised a lot of money for neighborhood improvements, and I couldn’t be more proud to live here.
Skill Up: Yes, I made mozzarella cheese! It didn’t turn out so great, but I’m thinking maybe it was my choice of milk. I had to heat it a long time to get any curds to set. Next time I’ll try with a different brand to see if I get better results.
What are you doing to build your independence?