Stocking the pantry. Buying local.

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.

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 Surprisingly Azure was far cheaper, by even half, than, 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.

24 thoughts on “Stocking the pantry. Buying local.

  1. I bought a giant presto canner about 9 years ago and really wanted to learn to pressure can. I waterbathed a ton of stuff over the years but was always afraid to use the pressure part. I did it for the first time yesterday and it was way easier and less intimidating than I imagined. I did need my husband’s help to figure out the diagrams in the user manual but other than that it was very easy. I say “just do it”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your garden is really flourishing! I also watch Jamerill’s YouTube and I also got that book “A Year Without Groceries.” You are both doing great with your homesteading/Ubansteading. I always look forward to both your videos. I subscribe to Prepper Princess too who has also done a lot with her new place too. The 3 of you are very inspiring. My Three Muskateers!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Plus 1 to lisa’s comment about azure standard. I will google when done here. I have done a bit of stocking up but it has been hap hazard. Your comment reminded me to make a list and go through the pantry…this spring I ran out of baking powder!!! Me, who always buys an extra one ended up with zero. Don’t want that to happen with flour or sugar.

    Thanks again, great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Can you share your list of stock up pantry items you purchased or need to purchase? I am wondering what I should buy. I cannot order from Azure Standard where I am.


  5. Kate, I wanted to share what a huge difference you are making in my life.
    I am 65 years old, and the first 50 years of my life I was so happy that I felt guilty that everyone was not as happy as I was.

    I crashed into a 15 YEAR SEVERE DEPRESSION, and only in the past month and a half have starting remembering how awesome it is to be happy. I never thought that would happen again.

    A few weeks ago, I found you. I now watch 3 hours of your vlogs a day while I cook, clean, garden,etcetera. You are making it easy for me to stay on track so that I will never be “staying alive only because it is my responsibility” ever again.

    You are playing such a big part in this. I can never thank you enough.


  6. ooh what a gorgeous life it is, gardening, baking, cooking and being at home with your family – drink it all in Kate, it’s your dreams coming true. Have fun and then I hope you get lots of lovely sleep too xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post! I used to think that I needed a whole lot more land than in fact need. I had 80acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s then my daughter was born, and I thought I needed more! Now I rent a property on less than an acres, and I know that when it is time for me to purchase my own property there is definitely not a need to buy a huge chunk of land. I’m going to order that book. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your garden looks amazing! It is true we can do a lot with a small piece of land. If you’re creative there’s no end to what you can do on any size piece of land!
    We have almost a half an acre, of course our house and a few other buildings take up a good part of it but I know over time we can put in a lot of gardens. Unfortunately David has to have a second back surgery this year and so there probably won’t be a big garden going in until next maybe next year. We are both frustrated but unfortunately there’s nothing we can do but at least I know it’s gonna happen in the next year! For now it’s pots of plants !
    Sounds like you are in a really good stage in your life and just enjoying every minute and that is wonderful!


  9. Your garden looks great! Here in the Midwest I’m still waiting for the garden to start producing in abundance. As for all your summer squash, have you tried dehydrating slices? Crumbled up, they make a good addition to winter soups. Some people also use dried slices as a snack or to dip in ranch, although they can be bland and need some seasoning. You can also use the young squash as pickles. Better Homes and Gardens has a good mustard pickle recipe.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. HI Kate. Love your blog. Just a note, as I found this out myself from Tawra (Living ON A Dime). Brown rice only lasts for 6 months before it goes rancid. I had no idea as my husband loves brown rice. We could store it in a freezer but I have no room there. White rice, OTOH (and I love Jasmine white rice) can last in a pantry for up to 30 years!!! Wow.
    So I only buy 6 months supply of brown rice for hubby and big bags of Jasmine for me, which should last forever and ever!
    Take care.


  11. I went to see how much that book was you recommended and found that I own the Kindle version and didn’t even know it 😂. I got it for free last year. Time to go read it.

    I wanted to do our garden when we moved here but our neighbor (whose patio is about 15 feet away).. smokes several times a day and it blows on my patio area. I did some research and found that yes, the nicotine would land on my crops. 🤦🏻‍♀️


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