Independence Days Challenge: August 31, 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: Spouse doesn't want to haul soil by hand cart for the raised Fall beds, so unless I want to do it all by myself, looks like I'll be renting a Bobcat for a day from one of the local hardware stores. One rental unit has a front loader in the front and a digger in the back, so maybe we can quickly load up the beds with soil and then get to work on digging more holes for Spring tree planting...

Harvest something: Eggs from our girls. Also foraged pears from an abandoned pear tree next to the nursery where I work. The pears, although ripe, are of the firm/crisp variety - perfect for canning. Thinking about using a Spiced Pears recipe.

Preserve something: not this week.

Reduce waste: Used old railroad ties (that a previous owner left on the property) to create a goose pool that butts against the side of the hill. Lined with a pond liner, so no worries about creosote tainting the water. One more goose pond to make, then no more plastic kiddie pools!
EDIT: completely forgot - the nursery is letting me take home any grass I weed for the geese, and any trimmings from their plants for my compost pile. YES!

Preparation and Storage: kinda sorta - reading Extreme Gardening - How to Grow Organic in the Hostile Deserts by Dave Owens. I don't live in the desert, but I do live in a semi-arid region where water conservation is a necessity. I've also contacted a local permaculturist to discuss a consultation for our property.

Build Community Food Systems: ordered local, humanely-raised beef products through the co-op. Also have enough eggs to sell through the co-op this week as well.

Eat the Food: I set aside the medium-sized eggs from our Cubalaya chickens for personal use, and they are very tasty :-). Munched on some of the foraged pears as well.

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

[pic: the free pears]


  1. Ummm -- work? Thought you would slip that in without me noticing -- not. Sounds like you got a dream job at a nursery. Awesome! And about the dirt and renting a bobcat -- ??. What's up with that, girl? Hee -- just kidding. I guess anything to make it all work cohesively. I need some more details on the job thingy, though. When you have time. :)

  2. You work at a nursery? Cool! King Feed, or something out of town? I worked at Buchanan's Native Plants in Houston for six years, and only quit so I could start living up here full-time. There are things about it I really miss, but I was supremely happy not to have been there during this killer summer!

  3. @S_Vandemore: email sent :-)

    @Hill Country Hippie: yep, working at King Feed now, and giving thanks every day for those big shady oaks they have!

  4. Leafing through PERFECT PRESERVES by Nora Carey thinking about your pears. It's an English book, but I've made some noteworthy preserves for top drawer gifts from it. Give me a call if you want to explore recipes, I'll type out the ones you want.


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