Thursday, July 28, 2011
I wanted to answer a few questions real quick before I moved on to chores tonight.
Beth asked what the brand of the food slicer is that I have. It is a WaringPro brand. It is definitely one for home use-- not of professional quality but it is perfect for our family. Like I said, we slice meat and bread on it a lot and it's definitely something I am used to having now. We were fortunate in finding ours for just half price at Sam's Club.
Dana asked about our gardening practices:
Dana, we grow a garden pretty much year round. If we skip a season it is pretty much winter garden. We have been married for 21 years and may have skipped 3 summer gardens in those years. We gardened through many babies and through many circumstances! We try to grow as much as we can out of the garden. I would say that we grow about....just guessing... 60% of our vegetables out of our garden. My goal is to be at 90% or more. I'd like to be as self sufficient as possible. What helps with us are two things.
First, we live down south and our growing seasons are very extended. We can get in two summer gardens here and have two fall/winter gardens as well. Also, we have plans to have a greenhouse very soon.
Secondly, while we enjoy many kinds of vegetables, we do not feel tied down in having to have any one type of vegetable....okay, okay truth be told if we "had" to have any type of vegetables, I'd choose potatoes and onion. We like tomato paste as well. You can do a whole lot with tomato paste! Really, though, besides a few if the harvest of certain types aren't doing so well, we learn to adapt and eat what we do have. We may have a good green bean year one year so we will put up many quarts of green beans. Another year we may have many tomatoes. So in having the good years of certain vegetables, we can focus on the other vegetables. So being willing to adapt to eating certain vegetables versus others, helps.
With fruit, we get what we can. We have some blueberries to put in the ground before long and we have blackberries. We have muscadines also. Our plum tree has died and so has the peach tree so those need replacing this fall. I'd also like a crab apple tree too. James has gleaned many peaches this year from local farmers who were letting them drop to the ground and not using them. They allowed him to get as much as he liked. We have also been blessed in that some work buddies would share their produce that they had "too much" of. Normally I don't grown zucchini but James brought some home. So I shredded it to make zucchini bread. I've never made it before but we are willing to adapt and try something new as it's free food. We are about to try gooseberries as they grow wild on the side of the road. If we like them, we may grow some of those as well. We try growing watermelon and sometimes we get some that's edible. As a "thank you" to the local gas workers, some large farmers will give them boxes of peppers and melons. My husband has also been given jams, jellies, pickles and peppers as a thank you for his hard work.
For nuts, we have grown peanuts before and we have a pecan tree. So anytime we want nuts in a recipes we usually use one of those two. I'd like to grow sunflowers next year to harvest those seeds as we use a lot of sunflower kernals in granola.
I guess the main idea is becoming familiar with what you can grow and when in your region. How much you can grow on whatever land you have and what other ways you can grow food to extend your seasons, such as a greenhouse.
So in the end, after many years of starting small and growing more, we hope to grow or obtain by bartering as close to 100% as we can.
Posted by Susan at 3:46 PM