Independence Days Challenge - July 28, 2009

Independence Days Challenge is an ongoing experiment in learning to live in a less wasteful, more self-sufficient manner. Here's last week's progress:

Plant something: Nope. And didn't get around to ordering seeds yet, either. Need to get my backside in gear.

Harvest something: Nada, just eggs.

Preserve something: made first ever batch of kombucha. It was a vinegary, undrinkable mess. According to this article, one needs to taste test every few days. I let mine ferment for too long, thus the vinegar taste. Next batch on its way!

Reduce waste: Spouse is experimenting with Gorilla Tape to patch cracks/tears in the kiddie pools we use for the geese. So far, the test patch has held for three days now. We go through about a half-dozen kiddie pools within the course of a year. We do plan to re-use unfixable pools for raised beds, but it would be nice not to have to constantly shell out for new ones. Purchased a used propane turkey fryer stand from Craigslist. This will allow me to can outdoors, keeping the house much cooler during the Summer. EDIT: Forgot - still receiving leftover greens from local restaurant for our geese.

Preparation & Storage: bought extra canning jars, and a batch of beef bones for stock. Will experiment with roasting the bones on the grill when we smoke/barbecue outdoors next. The purchased propane fryer (see Reduce Waste) will allow me to can outdoors, as well as being used as a scalding station for newly butchered roosters (a quick dunk in hot water helps with feather removal).

Build Community Food Systems: the girls are now laying enough (and in one place) that I can start selling eggs to the co-op once more. I could get more money selling to a group of bodybuilders in "the big town", but am thinking that I'd rather keep the eggs locally accessible. EDIT: forgot! I bought a few items at the Farmer's Market when I picked up the weekly CSA subscription.

Eat the Food: Didn't eat much of the CSA produce this last week, which is a shame. Chickens and the compost pile, however, had a feast!

Interested in joining the Independence Days Challenge? You can start anytime! Check it out.

[Pic: Specklebutt's chick.]


  1. Specklebutt's chick is so cute! Is it still an only chick?

  2. @Chance - yep, only one of her eggs made it. Spouse was tempted to get a couple of peafowl chicks to stick under Specklebutt's wing, but our neighbor has given me enough peacock horror stories to put the kibosh on the deal.