Monthly Archives: May 2009

Independence Days Update #2

Plant something:  Peppers (g), tomatoes (h & g), tomatillos (g), sweet potatoes (g), peanuts (g), painted pony beans (g), lazy housewife beans (h), bush green beans (h), cowpeas (h & g), watermelon (h), canteloupe (h), strawberries (h), herb garden (you name it, it’s in there), 3 or 4 types of squash (h & g), zucchini (g), sunflowers (g).  I think that’s all. And it will be for a while as most of my space is full.  At least until I start pulling cool weather crops in a month or two.

Harvest something: Eggs, lettuce, spinach.

Preserve something: I preserved my sanity when I stayed home 4 days last week with my kids.  Ha!

Reduce waste: I have started adding the cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towels to the compost pile.  I used them as holders for plants (which seems to be working out great) but when I had enough I was just recycling them.  I think composting is a better use for them.

Preparation and Storage: Nothing.  Cleaned up the storage shelves so they are ready to start accepting new food stores.

Build local food systems: Continued with previous efforts.  Received this great new book to read called A Nation of Farmers.  I’m looking forward to it!

Eat the food: About the same.  With Cub Scouts and baseball we are eating less meals at the table and more sandwiches (well, not me, I’m not eating bread right now) so we aren’t really eating our stores up like I would like.  But, it’s a trade off between doing activities and doing this.

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Independence Days Update

Sharon has once again challenged her readers to do an Independence Days challenge this summer.  This past winter was perhaps our best winter in using home preserved foods, and I think this challenge had a lot to do with this.  So I’m participating again in the hopes that we’ll have another good winter.  We ate almost all home preserved food this winter (except carrots and celery), until I ran out of potatoes in March. But other than potatoes we had enough of everything else, and actually I’m trying to get items in the freezer eaten before more needs to be put away next month.

I do have a huge block of time in late June-July that will be dead as I’m traveling to Canada for my brother’s wedding, which makes it even more important that I stay organized and keep things rolling.

In the interest of catching up what I’ve done so far I’ll be including all plantings to date in this post.

Plant something: So far I’ve planted 4 apple trees (small), 3 cranberry bushes, 3 blueberry bushes, 1 cherry tree (replaced a deceased tree), a bunch of broccoli, herbs (didn’t label my starts so I’ll be surprised when I see what grows), carrots (h& g), parsnips, cabbage, lettuces, tons of onions, kale, swiss chard, garlic last fall, spinach, scallions, potatoes (tons)(h & g), oats (g), and peas (h& g).  (Items labeled with a ‘g’ are planted at my garden plot, which hasn’t flooded so far this year)  I also planted a lot more flowers this year than in year’s past.  The flower beds are finally starting to take on some good permaculture organization.

Harvest something: Nothing to harvest yet.  Rhubarb should be ready next week it appears.  Oh, harvesting eggs.  Usually 2 a day.  The chickens have been enjoying the fresh green grass, as well as some lettuce when they snuck into the cold frame.  Who knew they could get through such a small window opening?

Preserve something: Nothing

Reduce waste: I got nothing.  I had a lot of onions go bad this year, so I need to either buy less, use them faster or pay attention enough that I can get them chopped and frozen before they go bad.  Same with the squash.

Preparation and Storage: Nothing comes to mind right now.

Build local food systems: I’m working on a few things but I’m not ready to spill the beans on them yet.

Eat the food: We seen to be doing good on this besides the aforementioned onions and squash.  In baseball this year so our spring is busier than usual, not to mention some of my activities.

This coming week should be a busy one as I plant out the rest of the garden here and at the plot.

If you’re wondering about the oats, I’ll explain.  I’m trying to grow some of my own food for the chickens heading into this winter.  (I’m also going to try to grow field peas and sunflower seeds)  On top of that, the soil at the garden plot is awful.  I’ve planted 40% or so of it and I’ve come across one worm.  At home I’ll dig up a dozen or more a handful of soil.  My plan is to use massive amounts of compost on it through the summer (it’s free) as well as round up some manure to apply in the fall.  Growing items with a lot of plant matter should help as will as plants with a lot of roots.  We’ll see how it turns out.  In the fall I’ll spread a fall manure crop and then let the city till it and all the leftover plant matter into the soil when they do their tilling in the fall.