Friday, April 20, 2012

IDC: Week 11

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: white cotton
-transplanted tomatoes into bigger pots. total tomato count is at 111.
-transplanted other herbs and plants to bigger spaces
-transplanted 3 different varieties of cotton plants outside; transplanted 2 varieties kale, purple cabbage, more onions that sprouted; parsley
-planted another celery end (i now have 5 celery plants growing)

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, dandelion, chicory

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:

-Drying nettles
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)
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:

-picked up our baby ducklings from rural king (omg! they are the most adorable things ever!)
-mulched potatoes, celery, zucchini, summer squash, pattypans with straw to keep back weeds (i want not weeds)

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
-taught monthly herbal study group class on catnip with a mini plant walk
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

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