Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fruits & Veggies on My Mind

Its astounding to calculate how much food a family of six will go through in a month (or any period of time for that matter). What looked like an overful freezer that would surely last until spring, is dwindling.

I was a little aggravated that we will only are making it partly into February with my freezer/canning stash. Looking back on last year's posts I discovered I was still trying to empty the freezer in March! So what went wrong? How could we have increased our CSA shares by two yet ended up with an inadequate supply of veggies for the winter?

After a lot of thought, I believe I've discovered the problem. Its my sons, they keep growing and earting more as a result of it. (Awfully rude of them, don't you think??) Its a simple mistake but one worth noting. Years ago it could have been a life or death mistake (and might be again with peak oil looming...)

I've heard about calculating how much food you need to get through a winter but I've never actually tried. For us, a full freezer and cupboard has been enough. If we are to become more self sufficient, this is a calculation worth taking the time to make. Good health and healthy food go hand in hand so this is not a place I want to scrimp.

To that end, and in keeping with my plan to be part of Path to Freedom's 100 foot garden challenge, I've pulled out my sprouting jars and am two days into my sprouting of broccoli, alfalfa and mung beans.

Notice the very high tech device I use for tipping the tray so any drips run into the sink. It's a spare sprouting lid!

Today's quest is to find more wide mouth canning jars so I can get more sprouts going. I'll also do a little thinking about meals that use beets, winter squash puree, parsley, figs, garlic scapes and whatever else I might find lurking in my freezer. I'm on a quest to try to make it to next Saturday's Winter Sun Farm pickup without buying veggies. That means finding creative ways to use the sprouts as well as growing them.

Its also time to start thinking about what to add to my edible landscape this year. So far we've got blueberries, lingonberries, strawberries, purslane and Jerusalem artichokes.

One final thought, a fellow ecycler brought this site to my attention. Sheds and fences made out of pallet wood? I thought it was a really great use of an abundant free resource. Note: You have to scroll down past the ads to see what he's done with the pallets.


Ruthie said...

Katie ~

I'm trying sprouting for the first time this year thanks to your suggestions. I'm using an old jam jar with cloth twist-tied to the rim. It's working well so far!

PS My pot holders came and I love them! *hugs!*


Chile said...

Katie, I just picked up a different sprouting book by the same guy. It's the "Kitchen Garden Cookbook". I haven't looked at it much yet, but I don't give a hoot how he says to do the sprouting. I bought the book (used, of course) strictly for the recipe ideas on using the sprouts. Some of the sunflower seed recipes looked really interesting.

Sheree' said...

I can't wait to see what recipes you come up with to use your sprouts. I always end up to too many sprouts and then they go bad. I really would love to sprout more and use them all!

Taradactyl in a Modern World said...


This one looks good for using your winter squash and looks easy to veganize. I saw it in an everyday food cookbook from the library and it really appeals to me but I haven't tried it yet. It does look filling for your boys though.