Monday, May 4, 2009

Independence Days challenge

So far, this has been a crafty blog. But I was a late-comer to crafty mama blogs. The first blogs I read were environmentalist blogs...and that's a big part of who I am. In the same way that I'm super-focused on learning more about sewing this year, last year I was intensely focused on local food. (We're still committed to eating locally, but now it's just a matter of course.) One thing that really helped define my summer last year was Sharon Astyk's Independence Days Challenge. She challenged me to try to plant and preserve a little every day, rather than trying to do it all in one fell swoop. So, I'm in again, although I'm already behind this year! (I'm going to cut myself a bit of slack, though, in this new-mama year.)

The full explanation is on her blog, but the general categories to tackle each week are:
1. Plant something
2. Harvest something
3. Preserve something
4. Reduce waste
5. Preparation and storage
6. Build community food systems
7. Eat the food.

I like the idea of posting on Mondays, because I'm most likely to have accomplished something on the weekend. So here's what I've done this week (not much!):

1. Planted: 3 Guomi bushes, 2 Aronia bushes, 2 Sandra Berry vines, 1 Ruby Autumn Olive bush, 1 Serviceberry tree, feverfew, bee balm, horseradish
2. Harvested: hardly anything--a snippet of chives here and there...
6. Build community food systems: I did most of the planting with the 1-5 year-old children in my early-childhood program, and they're eagerly awaiting the harvest. I'm also re-introducing them to the herb garden, where they harvest snacks every day. And I guess showing my freaky food-storage self to my "huge" bloggy audience should count here, too.
7. I'm working on clearing out the freezers of last year's produce in preparation for this years. I'm stretching the last few jars of applesauce by mixing them with pureed frozen blueberries and strawberries.

There's a big plant sale this Saturday, so maybe that will get me motivated!

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