Independence Days Challenge: August 25, 2009

For those new to the blog, welcome! A brief review: Independence Days Challenge is an ongoing experiment in learning to live in a less wasteful, more self-sufficient manner, started by my favorite "doomer", Sharon Astyk. Here's last week's progress:

Plant something:
Nope, still too darned hot. Browsed through the Seed Savers Exchange catalog, writing down what I'd like to get for the season. The local nursery also has veggie starts available for Fall planting, so may get lazy and just go that route.

Harvest something: Eggs from the girls, and basil from the garden. Girls are still laying all over the place, but found the latest spot: a box that holds rope & bungee cords in a shelving unit on the side porch. Despite taking the eggs, two of the Ameraucanas are still laying in that box. Tempted to line the with an old towel, but I don't want to cause them to lay elsewhere once more.

Preserve something: Not this week. I don't consider kombucha as a long term"preserve something", but will say that the last batch turned out quite tasty. Used a combination of green tea and ginger tea for the base (inspired by Elisa's brews), and started taste testing after four days of fermenting. Bottled on fifth day - didn't need to wait seven to ten days. Think that keeping the house temps at 80+F during the day led to the faster fermentation.

Reduce waste: Took in several weeks worth of recyclables to the transfer station. Was able to salvage some of the goods for re-use at home. First reduce, then reuse, THEN recycle!

Preparation & Storage: Installed more shelves in clothes closet, and transferred canning equipment and supplies out of the pantry and onto the new shelves. Pantry was reorganized, and now has a paper pad & pen waiting for me to do an inventory (ahem). Holy smokes I sure have a lot of brown rice pasta!

Build Community Food Systems: Bought produce at the local Farmer's Market, and saved quite a bit of grocery money. Not much there - other than real food - for impulse buying. And speaking of community food systems: as of tomorrow, I'll be working at the local nursery & feed store, woo-hoo! They sell a goodly amount of seeds and starts, and the owner writes a monthly newsletter on good planting practices for the season. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.

Eat the Food: I did indeed :-). Currently nomming on a friend's peach/plum preserves.

You can play too! See Sharon Astyk's Independence Days Challenge.

[Pic: one of the Sicilian Buttercup hens]


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