I was watching a channel that is going into homesteading with a vigor. They moved out to some land and are plowing up huge fields, raising all sorts of animals and stocking the pantry.
I have no desire at this time to go so big, however, I’m feeling rich and blessed to have a quarter acre. For some they need many acres but for a family of four there is so much we can do on this lot. We are fortunate to have a huge back yard that gets plenty of sun all day. Our front yard is shady for a good part of the day but will be perfect for melons and greens. If we wanted to have chickens, ducks, rabbits, even a goat or two, we have the space.
I’m comforted by the knowing that if times got really tough we could farm up a storm. We even have friends that would sell us hens and goats. Rabbits are not hard to come by.
Alas, we are not ready for any of that. We love to plant food. We plant fruit trees, berries, vegetable gardens, herbs, and there is a huge walnut that graces part of our backyard. A couple buckets of walnuts and you can be set for years.
I did order the book Jamerill mentioned, A Year Without The Grocery Store: A Step by Step guide to Acquiring, Organizing, and Cooking Food Storage. https://amzn.to/2YpSJPx
In the meantime, watching someone stock their pantry lite a flame under my progress to get that pantry up and stocked and running.
I ordered a big shipment from Azure Standard and a couple items from Nuts.com. Surprisingly Azure was far cheaper, by even half, than Nuts.com, even being that Azure is mostly organic.
I’ve been making a pantry list for some time, adding to it daily as I think of items. It isn’t just about buckets of beans and rice, there are condiments and canned goods. Being that I cook mostly from scratch I need seasonings and powders to make sauces and such.
As for canned vegetables, I have found a few local and not so local farms to pick a huge abundance of foods to can for the winter. I am on a new mission. I want to get food right off the land, be it mine or a farmers, and I want it as local as possible. To support your local farm is one of the best things you can do for your area.
I’ll have to get to know my pressure canner which causes me some anxiety but it’s time. It will be time to can corn and green beans soon. And tomatoes! I’ll can and can…
We put in our garden so late but are being blessed with a huge abundance of greens and squash already. Almost every evening I saute a huge pan of greens in olive oil, butter and salt. I never liked greens and now I devour plates of them. Still not a squash fan and not sure how we wound up with so many plants. I was so careful to only plant a few seedlings and thought I was putting in a bounty of melons. I have counted one or two watermelon among 20 squash.
We will be getting lots of green beans and tomatoes soon and daikon radish. It’s a strange little crop. I’ll put in carrots and potatoes in the fall. Maybe garlic and onions. I googled a planting calendar and have marked in my scheduler what to start when and as seedlings and in the ground. It is a hobby I grow more fond of yearly and Bali and I love nothing more than eating piles of fresh, organic foods from our yard and not paying but a fraction of a penny and some healthy exercise that goes with planting and shoveling compost and manure.
What we can’t grow this year we will find on farms in our area and foraging. This forest is abundant with wild cherries, plums, berries. We have a couple plum trees and old pears on our property that will produce some. The other fruits and berries will take years.
Today is hot so I had the children play outside early. I harvested a mass of greens, worked in the yard for a short period and spent the rest of the day ordering 5 lb to 50 lb bags of foods to stock the pantry, setting up pick up days, looking up farms and CSA programs, dates the U Picks start for various produce, penciling in dates, and doing some research on storing products.
I cooked up a pan of greens, saute yellow squash with onions, baked homemade french fries, and in the rice cooker steamed some brown rice with a Knorr packet of creamy pesto to liven it up.
I live in the kitchen these days. Baking, making tortillas, bean soups, grilling, sauteing, and then feeding everyone. There are dishes to be washed at least 3 times a day, the floor to be swept daily now with kids playing at the kitchen table often with playdough and doing art. The kids like being at the table because this is were I can be found.
I may be listening to a lecture or class on writing, maybe a fellow urban farmer detailing gardening ideas. Sometimes just music. But I find that the less I answer that phone or try to make videos, the more I’m present and in the moment.
My focus is on the homemaking and with that is caring for children and working with our budget.
I’ll get into that more later. Right now I need to rest these eyes while everyone is quiet and before the old man gets home.