September 28, 2009

Independence Days Challenge

We participate in Sharon Astyk’s Independence Days Challenge.   This is our weekly update. 

Plant Something—Red Onions (I plan to use them as scallions more than bulb onions).  I bought a few daffodil bulbs to plant later in the season.  I tried to find some seeds, but I haven’t found any yet.  I was disappointed that I had not bought enough lettuce, spinach, and turnip green seeds this year. 

Harvest Something—Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green beans, Muscatine grapes, shitake mushrooms (we have a mushroom log), okra, bell peppers, jalapeños, our potato harvest, and a few shelling beans.    Flowers, berries, and herbs for flower arrangements.

Preserve—Dehydrated pears (I’m very happy I finished preserving the last of the pears!!), butternut squash soup for the freezer, put the potatoes out on the counter to finish drying and will store in baskets once that is complete, saved marigold and butternut squash seeds.  I thought I was worn out with food preservation this year, but the preparation for the class tonight has reenergized me a bit. 

Prep/Storage—Added some heat wraps and cheese to storage.  “Bought” a few activity books for Halloween prizes, free after coupons.  We took down the potato boxes and will store them for the winter.  They were a breeding ground for ants, and we put some diatomaceous earth around the area to prevent ants getting into the house. 

Reduce Waste—We continue our energy conservation and compost, recycle and use a rain barrel.  My cousin brought over a large box of puzzles, books, ballet outfits, clothes, and toys for our daughter. She has been enjoying exploring the new treasures more than she ever would have a new toy.  There is something so special about it coming from her cousins.  We made a few more donations to the church rummage sale.  I shared some old books and magazines with a friend who is a counselor.  She will use them both for her office and for making therapeutic collages with the clients.  Bartered jewelry repair for banana bread with a church member and brought her the bread yesterday morning.  Since I won’t be seeing our egg farmer again until November, I’m passing the egg cartons I forgot to give her on to a friend who has chickens.

Building Community Food Systems—The canning class takes place this evening, and I’ve been busy getting ready for it.  I have approval from the church to host a mozzarella/yogurt making class in early October and a couponing class later in the year.  I ordered a local lamb to split with a friend.  I made up a few more boxes for easy distribution at the food pantry, and I’m planning some fundraisers for the pantry later this year. 

Eat the food—The shitake mushrooms were probably the highlight of the food this week for me.  I sautéed them in a little olive oil and Worcestershire sauce to go along with a salad we had prepared.  Our daughter was delighted to arrive home from school and see the Honey Whole Wheat Cookies cooling on racks.  “Yummy, Momma!”   

1 comment:

  1. Gabrielle,
    Just a thought regarding another way to recycle! When you clean out your rain gutters save all the debris and place it into your compost bin or around your plants, flower beds, or trees for an extra layer of mulch and conserve your potable water usage.
    This can easily and very cleanly be done when you use the Gutter Clutter Buster to vacuum out all rain gutter debris, wet or dry. Take your wet/dry vac canister and dump it into your compost pile or use as mulch. No getting your hands dirty or waste time with any additional "clean-up" that you would have when cleaning gutters by hand! And, stay safely on the ground.

    Visit and watch the videos. See for yourself how you can save time, money, energy, use no water and recycle at the same time. God Bless You and God Bless America.