Independence Days: Weeks 36-37

Plant something: nothing

Harvest something: the last leeks

Preserve something: sweet peppers (diced and frozen)

Waste Not: my neighbor and I did a little-girl shoe swap that saved me 20 dollars.  Hooray.

Want Not: We put more apples and 50 lbs of potatoes in the basement.  (50 lbs sounded like a lot, but I’m wondering now if it will get us through till Feburary.)

Build Community Food Systems: I showed up at our farm for one of the last days of their season and asked for 50 lbs of potatoes.  They actually trade their produce for potatoes from another farm, so they bought me 50 lbs of blue and Yukon golds.  They also have connected with a local wool farm, and I bought myself a few skeins.  I’m not doing the work here, but it makes me happy to be a part of this local network.

Eat the Food: Peasant Vegetable Soup (from the Silver Palate Cookbook)- think leeks, carrots, parnsips, garlic, beans, and ham.  Thanks, Tamarin!

Independence Days: Weeks 34-35

I realized suddenly two days ago that the birds are gone.  The snow should have been a clue to me, but counting the weeks since I began keeping this record really brings it home to me: the year is flying.  Anyone else wondering where their parachute is?

Plant Something/Harvest Something: Nothing

Preserve Something: pumpkin.  I’ve heard you can microwave them, but the question of whether you remove the seeds and stringy stuff before or after you do it has me baffled.  So I halve them, clean them, and bake them.

I did two larger (i.e. NOT sugar pumpkins) as well as the little ones, so they required pureeing with a little water to get the consistency right.

Waste Not: the aforesaid pumpkins were the autumnal decoration on my porch for several weeks, until the weather changed and it was time to bring them in (to the freezer).  Also, as I was putting my winter beans in containers, I realized that I still have some foods I bought bagged from the store (small quantity beans, jasmine rice, sesame seeds, nuts) that are languishing in a  bin where I can’t see them and thus never use them.  I transfered them to jars and put them up high so I’ll see them.

Want Not:  Although we had snow clothes for everyone, the boot department was lacking.  But I had  a Lands End gift card, and there was a sale… now we can play outside.  Also, our local farm is closing next week for the winter, so I stocked up on apples, onions, potatoes, shallots, garlic, dried beans (cannelini and black), carrots, and leeks.  Soup, anyone?

Build Community Food Systems: I had a chance to introduce more people to our little local farm. 

Eat the Food: I’m linking here to my favorite pumpkin recipe, Kendra’s Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.  This recipe makes 3 dozen, which sounded completely ridiculous to me until I ate one nine.

And instead of a million words:

(Blue Potato Oven Fries)

Independence Days: Weeks 32-33

Plant Something: nothing.  In fact, with our trip and illness, I barely could keep the spinach watered.

Harvest Something: more tomatoes that didn’t freeze, zinnias, and another watermelon that had been hiding under the sailboat

Preserve Something: 10 cups of pumpkin puree, and frozen tomatoes

Waste Not: I’ve been using the Diva Cup (thumbs up, if you were curious).  And hanging wash out to dry.  And composting and recycling.

Want Not/Build Community Food Systems: nothing

Eat the Food: Again, travel and illness interfered with this some.  But we’ve been eating squash, carrots, pumpkin, watermelon (ours needed another 1-2 weeks in the garden to get sweeter, but we’re eating them anyway), potatoes, tomatoes, and apples.

Independence Days: Week 31

Plant Nothing

Harvest: More tomatoes (the promised freeze didn’t happen) and raspberries

Preserve: froze the tomatoes as they turn ripe, and made applesauce

Waste Not: more hand-me-downs for SweetP (thanks, Nina!)

Want Not: Stocked up on our local staples found at Costco: butter, spaghetti sauce, potatoes (who knew?)– as well as non-local fare like nuts

Did Not Build Community Foor Systems

Eat the Food: A yummy treat were sauteed leeks, peppers and zucchini (all local) on baked potatoes– yum!

Independence Days: Weeks 29-30

Plant something: my mom brought me a trumpet plant and a mum which went in the back yard.

Harvest Something: the garden went to bed this week, so we picked the end of the raspberries, watermelons, tomatoes, zucchini, and the second pumpkin.

Preserve Something: another 20 lbs of tomatoes went into the freezer, along with 8 cups of pumpkin puree, (I’m not sure how many) bags of apple pie filling, and another batch of roasted tomato puree.

Waste Not: our friends passed along some popsicle forms, which will be full all next summer, I’m sure.  A batch of compost went under the maple tree.

Want Not: I froze some bread and rolls, as well as breakfast burritos.

Build Community Food Systems: nothing

Eat the food: I made Jane Brody’s yummy Applesauce Muffins with the applesauce in the fridge that was about to go.

Independence Days: Week 26-28

Plant Something: spinach and lettuce.  I’m not sure if there will be enough time for much before a freeze, but I’m hopeful.  This is the first time I actually remembered to plant something in the fall.

Harvest Something: raspberries, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, basil, red pepper (singular), cucumbers, scarlet runner beans, carrots, watermelon, potatoes, leeks, and one whiffleball.

Preserve Something: I pureed basil in olive oil (5 ice cube trays full) and froze 2 gallons of Tomato-Sweet Pepper soup, a gallon of raspberries, roasted peppers, roasted chilis, and I canned tomatoes and applesauce.  After I’d peeled the tomatoes, I remembered that it’s so much easier to freeze tomatoes.  Next year…

Waste Not: our friends gave us two AMAZING tree stumps… more on these later.

Want Not: we used a batch of (almost) finished compost to mulch the maple tree.

Build Community Food Systems:

Eat the food: I caught the broccoli and sausage before they went bad and made a really good quiche.  Otherwise, we’ve been eating lots and lots of sliced fresh vegetables, grilled vegetables, fried vegetables and roasted vegetables.

Independence Days: Weeks 24 & 25

Turns out I had a lot to say in the Independence Days thread when there was no food coming out of the garden, and very little to say now that the garden is bursting.  Onions, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil.

Plant Something: forgot again

Harvest Something: raspberries.  We’re getting some every day now. Tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, zucchini.

Waste Not: Hang-dry laundry, use scrap cloth for sewing projects (more on this later).  Also, I have a whole bunch (two large bouquets) of lavender I bought on a lavender farm in Washington several years ago.  I love how it looks and smells, but it’s so dry now that it sheds everywhere.  It smells great when I vacuum it up, but…  So I put it in a bag and shook as many of the seeds off the stems.  I’m have all sorts of fragrant plans for it!

Want Not: Took stock of the freezer so we’d know what we have (and don’t).

Build Community Food Systems: nothing

Eat the Food: we’re using up last summer’s basil (I puree it with oil and freeze it in ice cube trays, then store it in bags) in lots of pasta salads and soups.  More plum cake, peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and Roast Tomato Soup.

Independence Days: Week 23

Plant something: nothing

Harvest something: basil, strawberries, plums, tomatoes, onions, raspberries (3, maybe?), zucchini

Preserve something: strawberries (frozen for smoothies), peaches (canned), pears (in pear sauce– yum!)

Waste not: lots of laundry dried in the sunshine

Want not: nothing

Build Community Food Systems:

Eat the food: Hurrah!  Tomatoes, basil (with fresh mozarella), wax and green beans, corn, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, carrots, squash, zucchini… and our favorite cake, Plum Upside Down Cake (for our anniversary)

Independence Days: Week 22

This was a busy week.

Plant Something: nothing

Harvest something: strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, onions, basil, zucchini

Preserve something: peaches (peeled and frozen), strawberry jam, and wax beans (blanched and frozen)

Waste Not: We went through all our winter clothes last weekend to figure out what we needed.  We needed less than I thought– new things for SweetP, pants for O.  Otherwise I think we’re good (unless we have a boot issue.)

Want Not: restocked all our non-perishables: dried fruit, nuts, crackers, pasta sauce (local Blue Parrot Sauce purchased at Costco)

Build Community Food Systems: introduced more folks to our local farm.  Had a good conversation this week with someone about the plight of agriculture in this country.  Talked to my local supermarket about how much I appreciate the local food they offer.

Eat the food: beans, cucumbers (3-4 per meal), carrots, onions, beats, watermelon, corn, eggs, peaches, melons, pesto

Independence Days: Week 21

Plant Something: nothing

Harvest something: onions, basil, peppers, oregano, a batch of compost, and strawberries

Preserve Something: jam!

Waste Not: I’m starting to use my produce bags (you know, those fenestrated bags that onions, cherries or grapes come in at the grocery store) for my other produce when I buy it.  It throws the checker, but we’re all learning as we go!  We’re also clearing out things (i.e. baby clothes) that we’re not using any more– they could be put to much better use on other babies!

Want Not: ?

Build Community Food Systems: ?

Eat the food: Fresh corn!!  Also, I hadn’t made “stromboli” for awhile.  (I have no idea what real stromboli is, but we use the word to describe a pizza crust that has been rolled around the filling and cooked in a log.)  So I made stromboli with fresh pesto, salami, and swiss cheese.  Yum!  Next week I think I’ll fill it will all my sauteed vegetables– squash, zucchini, onions, garlic…  Also, I made Whole Beet Skillet from Simply in Season— yum!  We’re having three bean salad and broccoli/bacon/sunflower seed salad, and cucumbers at (almost) every meal.