Friday, April 13, 2012

IDC: Week 10

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!

After a record warm March (some days got up to 90), the temperatures dipped to freezing this week 3 days in a row. I had to cover my zucchini, summer squash, pattypan and celery plants to protect them and brought my houseplants back in. We are headed back into warmer weather now and hopefully that was winter's last hurrah as we march onward to summer!

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: echinacea angustifolia, licorice, gotu kola
-direct sow: carrot, beet, strawberry (had a pack of seeds and threw them in the newly started patch to see if they'd grow), black millet, passionflower, more calendula (chickens destroyed the previously sown patch)

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: 
Wild greens: chickweed, nettles, cleavers, dandelion, chicory
violet and dandelion flowers
honeysuckle flowers

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:

-honeysuckle flowers (drying for medicinal use)
-nettles (drying for infusions)
-mugwort (drying for medicinal use)
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
-free range grazing the sheep and tethering the goats (about 6 weeks earlier than usual, i completely forgot this one...we have an entire round bale of hay left)
-brought home food scraps from my parent's house to feed the animals
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:

-bought a sewing machine and serger from my aunt 
-bought a 2nd deep freeze from my aunt
-picked up our baby turkeys from rural king (ended up with 15 instead of 10, they gave us 5 extra)
-added misc. supplies to our kits: fingernail clippers, contact solution
-stocked up on wasa crackers since we can tolerate the rye varieties (sourdough, light, whole grain). Dierberg's sells them for $3.99/package but Big Lots cuts that price down to $2/package. 

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: 
-eating lots of eggs and milk
-hard boiled eggs, deviled eggs
-made yogurt from our milk
-making butter with cream
-lots of wild greens: chickweed, nettles, cleavers, violets, dandelions, chicory
-dandelion fritters, nettles in stir fry
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
-did coop's milk run (drive to potosi, mo to pick up milk and cream)
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
-signed up to be re-certified for cpr (legally only needs to be done once every 2 years but i want to refresh my memory since it's been years since i've worked in the medical establishment)
-learning how to make bouillon cubes

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