Friday, April 6, 2012

IDC: Week 9

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: direct sowed: balloon flower, teasel, calendula, echinacea pallida, vitex, pleurisy root, boneset, elecampane, sage, lettuce, caster beans, safflower
-transplanted kale, broccoli, eggplant in larger containers
-transplanted calamus
-transplanted more onions, in fact, got the last 3 rows in
-transplanted out 5 zucchini, 5 summer squash, 5 pattypan squash
-transplanted out 4 celery plants
-suckered the 14yo into transplanting sunchokes

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

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:

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:

-purchased 10# split peas
-added to our maple syrup stash
-ordered 10 khaki campbell ducks, 10 bronze turkeys
-purchased 5 cattle panels to use for bean and tomato supports and gates
-continued weeding and cleaning out run down herb beds
-added 12 packs of wasa crackers to our stash. they are made with rye flour and we can tolerate the level of gluten in them.
-more books: Gaia's Garden (been wanting it for years, finally broke down and got it), First Aid Manual by American College of Emergency Physicians, The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm

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
-made yogurt from our milk
-making butter with cream
-split pea soup with bacon
-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
-gave nettles plant to a friend with arthritis
-searching for locally raised bison
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
-studying medical techniques/diagnosis: strains, sprains, fractures and dislocations

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