Friday, March 9, 2012

IDC: Week 5

By popular demand, the Independence Days Challenge is back! Every Friday from February - September we are challenged to work on our skill set. Anyone can join in!

The categories and my responses:

Plant something: A lot of us were trained to think of planting as done once a year, but if you start seeds, do season extension and succession plant, you’ll get much, much more out of your garden, so I try and plant something every day from February into September.
Plant something:

-started more seeds: 6 types of tomatoes: rose, yellow pear, amish paste, homestead, gypsy, rev. morrow's long keeper; purple tomatillo; ground cherry;
-potted up 2 celery plants that I started from cuttings. After several attempts at doing this I think I've finally figured out how to get it to grow. When I cut off the stalks, I leave 1-2 inner stalks intact, they usually still have leaves on them and are very pale. I place the base in a bowl of water and sit it in the window sill. After about 3 weeks weeks of keeping it watered, the old cut off stalk ends shriveled and turned dark as they died back but a few rootlets started appearing from the base. The intact stalks turned dark green and new stalks started sprouting up. It's at this point that I took it out to the green house and potted it up. Hopefully by the time it's ready to plant out, I'll be harvesting from it.

Harvest something: Everything counts – from the milk and eggs you get from your animals to the first dandelions from your yard to 50 bushels of tomatoes – it all counts.
Harvest something: 

Preserve something: Again, I find preserving is most productive if I try and do a little every day that there is anything, from the first dried raspberry leaves and jarred rhubarb to the last squashes at the end of the season.
Preserve something:

-made butter from cream
-made ghee from butter
Waste not: Reducing food waste, composting everything or feeding it to animals, reducing your use of disposables and creation of garbage, reusing things that would otherwise go to waste, making sure your preserved and stored foods are kept in good shape – all of these count.
Waste Not: 
-Fed chickens, dog and cats scraps; composted unfeedable scraps
-cleared out old herbs and added to compost heap to make room for more bulk food storage
-growing new celery from old celery stalks
-growing onions from my stored onions that sprouted. This is another experiment, I separated the sprouts and when our garden is ready I'll plant them out. I got about 60 plants from 20 or so old bulbs.
Want Not: Adding to your food storage or stash of goods for emergencies, building up resources that will be useful in the long term.
Want Not:

-purchased 25 pullet chicks to increase our flock
-sorted 72 hour bags and food supply and made list of missing foods. the kids helped me assemble our personal hygiene packs and we talked about different reasons to have an "overnight bag" ready
-added 1 pair beeswax ear candles to our first aid kit. i've been meaning to do this for awhile and remembered today when i saw them at the health food store.
-ordered a case of brown rice elbow noodles. Although I usually make our own pasta, I'm not crazy about using gluten free flour, it's hard to work with. Plus, I can't make elbow pasta and my boy loves mac and cheese.

Eat the Food: Making full and good use of what you have, making sure that you are getting everything you can from your food, trying new recipes and new cooking ideas, eating out of your storage!
Eat the Food: 
-trying out a new pasta that is made from brown rice. sage is ecstatic to have his beloved mac and cheese again.
-eating lots of eggs and milk
-hard boiled eggs, deviled eggs (another favorite of the boy)
Build community food systems: What have you done to help other people have better food access or to make your local food system more resilient?
Build Community Food Systems: 
-offering milk and eggs to my community
-offering herbal medicines to friends
And a new one: Skill up:  What did you learn this week that will help you in the future – could be as simple as fixing the faucet or as hard as building a shed, as simple as a new way of keeping records or as complicated as making shoes.  Whatever you are learning, you get a merit badge for it – this is important stuff.
Skill Up: 
-still studying up on common and uncommon, infectious and non-infectious diseases and what herbal medicines would best be suited for them
-learned how to make ear candles (much cheaper than buying them at $5.25/pair)

1 comment:

Gina said...

Productive as always! :)

Thanks for the info on the celery. I've been wanting to do this for some time. I have horrible luck growing it from seed.

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