Independence Days by Sharon Astyk pg 72
This is where I am heading with my food storage and preparation plans. I feel it is worthwhile to store food, but not to rely on this entirely. It is more important to be planning alternative ways of providing the goods we need.
For this week:
I finally finished the narrow path!
Once again, more flowers! I am waiting for the cold to pass before sowing any seeds, even under cover. I don't have any heating for propagating.
A trip to the hardware yielded some more plants from the markdown table - I just cannot go past this table!
2 Easter daisies for $2 each and 3 punnets of calendula for $1 each.
2. Harvest something
Yay for the chickens! In the past week, they laid 67 eggs!! I have been giving some away, but hopefully will get back into selling them soon, when production stabilises. Even more hopefully, I will hatch some more chicks this year as I didn't do any at all last year - and I missed their gorgeous fluffiness and cheeping.
Still loads of lemons as well.
Also harvested some lavender to dry and to use to make lavender vinegar for cleaning.
3. Preserve something
I made a batch of roasted tomato sauce for the freezer - see here for recipe. Yield was five zip lock bags with 3 cups in each.
Does making vanilla essence count?! My order of vanilla beans arrived, to be popped in a bottle of vodka to steep.
4. Minimise waste
As a follow up to two weeks ago, the chickens are LOVING the compost system. Just outside their pen door, I have started a pile just for them to scratch in. As our paddocks are overrun with nettles, I started with a big layer of them. Then weeds from the garden, some rotted down sawdust, some fallen leaves and some rotted down pea straw from last year. Then keep on layering. To encourage them to use it, I sprinkled some grain on it for the first few days. But now they go straight to the pile when I let them out for the day. I just have to keep adding to the pile every day or two.
I'll get some photos of them when the rain stops!
It is Plastic Free July at the moment as well, so working hard to eliminate those single use plastic items.
5. Want Not
I have been slowly adding to my stores. I have devised a master shopping list of items that I will buy, some every week, some once a month. This will slowly build up my stores again without adding too much extra to the weekly shop.
6. Cook something new
I tried this Chicken Cacciatore recipe, using the roasted tomato sauce in place of the bottled pasta sauce. It was yum - and everyone in the family said so! It is quite rare to have every single person agree on a dish, so they will probably get fed this until they are sick of it!
7. Manage your reserves
So that all those eggs wouldn't go to waste, I had to freeze some. I have also juiced some of the lemons to freeze the juice and also the zest. There is only so much lemon curd the family wants to eat!
8. Work on local food systems
I have found two produce swaps that happen locally. Well, when I say 'locally', I mean they are both about 70 kms drive or so - that is local! I am really hoping to start one here - I have heard that there is definite interest, so this is in the back of my mind for spring/summer.
So, still not a huge amount happening here. It will all start to speed up soon and then I will be wishing for it to slow down again so I can keep up!
Some links for this week:
How To Grow Herbs Fast For (Almost) Free - all about taking cuttings
Grow Ginger From Grocery Store Ginger
Food Storage Calculator - super simple calculator. Just enter the number of family members and the number of months you want to prepare for and voila! This is a great starting point for you to fiddle with to suit your own needs.