Friday, October 23, 2009

Independence Days #24

What a lovely little bit of sunshine and warmth we had this week! Of course, we're now back to chilly light rain and falling leaves, but, well, that's what you get this time of year.

The seasons are shifting again, and this time it's welcome, despite the cooler temperatures. This time it means that the major food preservation work in my household is done. Huzzah! Hooray! Yippee!

Not that I mind food preservation, of course, but there's so much going on now with the final push to open Local Roots that I am ready for the break. My focus is definitely needed elsewhere!

But I'm still practicing my Independence wherever I can...

1. Plant something: Inchillium Red garlic at the Southern Belle's garden.

2. Harvest something: Carrots, beets, green onions, pac choi, stinging nettles at the Southern Belle's garden.

3. Preserve something: Dried parsley, thyme, nettles, apple peel; started thyme oil; ran parsley salt through grinder and tucked into a jar; set up potato box (with straw) and sweet potato crate for cold storage; filled last box with carrots and sand in cellar; taught My Adorable Nephews how to make applesauce.

4. Reduce waste (Waste not): Threw parsley stems, turnip leaves into stock; managed to use up the sour milk in crackers, oatmeal; checked onions and pulled out softest ones for immediate use; saved apple peels to dry for tea.

5. Preparation and storage (Want not): Bought several boxes of canning lids to store for next year; stocked up on pecans, walnuts, baking soda, tea, rice, unbleached flour, cane sugar; made vegetable stock; pulled five-gallon buckets out of the cellar for grain storage.

6. Build local food systems: Talked about Local Roots at hair salon and left some applications for interested people; got a contact for a local community garden; showed My Adorable Nephews how to make applesauce; got help from Scooter in planting garlic and cleaning up garden beds; reviewed student projects for Local Roots; organized the Street Team to blanket the area with flyers for Local Roots; gave an interview to Farm and Dairy about Local Roots; baked more goodies for the Farmgirl Wannabe's wedding.

7. Eat the food: Easy curry with potatoes, green beans, and cabbage; oatmeal with apple; roasted roots and potatoes over steamed greens; broccoli-walnut pasta; salads with salsa and shredded local Cheddar; fabulous artisan cheeses shared at this week's Local Roots meeting.

In addition, my article about Ohio apples and the joys of picking (with My Adorable Nephews) and eating them was posted over at The Ethicurean. Take a look!

It's time to shift gears. The garden, while still producing greens and other good things, is winding down, and unless I get some pots started for inside, my planting is soon to taper off. The farmers' market has two weeks left, and though I will still be able to buy local produce at Local Roots over the winter (it makes me so happy to say that!), the urge to stock up is wearing off.

The busy season is wrapping up -- in good time, as I've been doing this Independence Days challenge for nearly half a year. But that doesn't mean the challenge is done -- there's still work to be done in food storage and managing those stores, and gradually getting ready for next year.

And around we go...

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