Monday, September 14, 2009
Independence Days challenge, week 20
Time again for Sharon's Independence Day's Challenge:
1. Plant something: No.
2. Harvest something: Eggs. Good King Henry, swiss chard, kale, chives (sounds like a bunch, but we're talking enough to make one meal of "green eggs" for the kids. But hey, it's something grown in my own very shady yard.) Chocolate mint, sweet cicely, bee balm, thyme, False Solomon Seal berries.
3. Preserve something: Elderberry tincture. The blueberries that were dehydrating last time I wrote turned out to be 1 1/2 qts. dried. Froze 5 1/2 lbs. cauliflower, 3 lbs broccoli. Dried red clover. Canned 8-1/2 qts pears, 4 1/2-pints pear butter.
4. Waste not: Made 3 diaper covers from thrifted, holey wool sweaters. Made a dish scrubber from some mesh bags lemons came in (we eat only local produce...with the exception of lemons. I couldn't give them up in my tea! I'm trying to grow a potted lemon tree, but so far, it's produced nothing.) Made the pear butter from the cores and peels left over from canning pears.
5. Preparation and storage: Last week I forgot to mention that I went to a great tag sale where I got a $1 percolator to replace our broken drip coffee maker, a 16-volume children's encyclopedia, and a manual typewriter (for use with the kids in my program now; for homeschooling later). This week, I went to a wonderful sewing-supplies sale, and got some fabrics which will become clothes for Lucy. I also forgot to mention buying 3 rain barrels a few weeks back. This week, I added 3 boxes salt to storage. The shelves are slowly, slowly starting to fill in (see photo above), although we're still far behind where we should be at this time of year.
6. Build community food systems: As we canned this week, my friends kept asking whether the families in my program realize just how much time I put into food preservation for their kids. They don't, really. But thinking about it made me think about the impact of feeding our family plus 8 other kids a week. I love, for example, that when the kids polished off the bowl of blueberries I gave them for lunch this week and I said there were no more, they asked "Why? Did you save them for the winter?" Yeah, I did. And I love that at 4, they know that and think of it as normal. It is their normal.
7. Eat the food: We ate a lot of eggs this week: green eggs with the kids, a great frittata with veggies from our friend's garden. And we've been gorging on the peaches and pears we picked.