Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 2008 Independence Summery

Inspired by Carla Emery’s version of Independence Days, Sharon at Causabon's Book has challenged others to be more food independent.

I agree with Carla Emery when she said, "People have to choose what they are going to struggle for. Life is always a struggle, whether or not you’re struggling for anything worthwhile, so it might as well be for something worthwhile."

Sharon says in an article from May of last year found here that, "Americans tend to believe that hunger could never come their way. They forget that just two generations ago, during the depression, as many as 25% of urban school children were malnourished, and people stood in bread lines. They forget that the experience of privelege we've known in these wealthy nations is very odd - a historical anomaly. That pretty much all human beings starting with our grandparents and going back knew periods of food insecurity - and that the majority of people in the world know hunger at some point in their lives. Should we bet the farm on the notion that this magical immunity to the plague of hunger will go on forever?"

Although Sharon suggests keeping a weekly update, I've decided to blog about it in a monthly format from time to time, since I already keep a handwritten journal on my growing, preserving an harvesting efforts.

Planting, Harvesting & Preserving Heirloom gardens planted with a variety of tomatoes, peppers, peas, beets, green beans, zucchini, spinach, midget melons, a variety of winter squash and pickles, basil, onions. Planted dill patch and lettuce patch. Potted 11 citronella plants for the patio, 3 small cherry trees on old barn bank. Planted zinnias, lily bulbs, transplanted a sedum as well as several volunteer sunflowers.

Harvested & dried herbs, strawberries

Preparedness & Planning Purchased additional green beans for late summer crop. Bought pinto beans in bulk, divided and packaged for storage. Added storage containers to and organized reserve food storage area. Purchased additional toilet paper for reserve as well. Bought used sheets at Goodwill to use as garden covers during frost warnings. Made 2 gallon of liquid soap for laundry and dishes, made cloth napkins from materials on hand and purchased some used at thrift store to eliminate the need for paper towels. Discussed the details and likely purchase of a Rhoades Car with husband to lessen our dependence of petroleum.

Managing household & reserves Inventoried freezer, used up items nearing the end of freezer life, made croutons from old bread, used last of the winter squash from 2007 garden, donated unnecessary household goods and clothing to freecycle.

Keeping it Local Purchased butter, eggs, milk from local Amish, put in order for 20 quarts of strawberries for jam making from another Amish acquaintance. Purchased flour, sugar and additional staples from neighborhood bulk food markets.


  1. HH - You are so far ahead of me on food, and knowledge about canning, and planning and the whole thing ... it's not even funny. I just wanted to drop you a comment to say that I appreciate the food self-reliance posts. It keeps it in my head. Keeps me thinking. Next year this time, I want to be growing.

  2. An excellent post!! Ironic, isn't it, that the article is from last year, and now we have rationing here in the U.S. ? Every time I see a news update, I feel the need to run out and plant something extra in my garden. I usually succumb to the urge, and it looks like this year's garden will be huge.

    Did you make it to Kingwood Center's herb sale this year?

  3. CM - Well, I'm guessing I may have a few years on you in age and experience. Plus, this is just what I do on a daily basis. I have few other priorities and obligations. That's what makes it possible. I'm glad you find my posts beneficial. The fact that you do and that you say so means a lot. :)

  4. CW - Thanks. Yes, it is ironic...there's a lot of that going round. :) I know what you mean, my garden is about 40% larger this year than last.

    No, I didn't get to Kingwood's sale this year. Darn, I let it slip my mind. Did you? So, I take it we're not terribly far away from each other?

  5. I did make it to the sale this year. There were lots of herbs, but I was disappointed when I went into the regular plant sale area (greenhouse) and found many of the same herbs at a better price.

    I'm probably not too far away from you. I'm just south of Mansfield.


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