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Thursday, May 07, 2009


I'm even boring myself lately.

Melissa came out yesterday. Surprised me. I actually like it when people come out in the middle of the day. Even though I have neighbors, most of them work away from home, and it can get a tad lonely out here. We chatted a bit about helping each other out. She needs a place to put a beef cow, I need. . . what do I need? Shall I get all existential on you all? Do you really want to get that personnel with me?

They are calling for rain later today. I am going to see if my good neighbor will come over with his tractor and dig up my garden. The tiller and tractor are still down. I have to get something, almost everything up, in. I need to plant some more stuff in doors. Why? Because I want to eliminate the chance of weeding them out, them getting flooded out, or never even sprouting. It is just something to make my gardening life easier.

Speaking of such, I have noticed that many of us are struggling. Our food preserves are dwindling, and money is scarce. I am right there with you all. I am lucky enough to still have a freezer full of pork. Last night we made home made pizza, the only ingredients that were store bought where the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda for the dough. We made farmers cheese for the topping, ground up pork and seasoned it with herbs, and opened a canned jar of pizza sauce. It is possible to do a lot with a little. It might be a subject I should write more about.

So if you want, which I know that one of you was very vocal in wanting this, in the up coming weeks, as produce starts coming in, I will write on the various ways of using and preserving. And not just the typical items or food stuff. But the more odd and desperate. Since we all live in different climates, feel free to let me know what you have started bringing in that you need help with. It's why I am here.


David said...

I read, with a great deal of admiration, the blogs from people growing and raising their own food knowing that I could never get my cityfied wife to go along with that degree of self-sufficiency.
I grew up in neighborhoods where chickens and pigs and vegetable gardens were the norm whereas my wife comes from supermarket folk.
Having said this, I almost have her convinced to let me get a goat. I don't drink milk and I don't know if I could ever kill it for food but who knows? Of course, I still will have to get past any city codes and neighborhood association rules.

Melissa ~ Mom to 6 said...

Maybe I should type up a list of the odd/non-food items (IMHO) that are growing in my yard and you tell me what I've got and just have no clue. Like the jelly made out of Roses. Foraging is an art form and I didn't even get the recessive gene on that one. Jerry is seriously considering rabbits for meat. Do they really taste like chicken? How do you get past the "they're so cuddly" into "it's MEAT". I mean the ugly meat birds are nothing like my lovely hen pets so hopefully that'd happen with rabbits. And, what do I grow that's high in vitamin C? All I can think of is citrus. You are a walking encyclopedia, you know. And, yes I will check out the archives. It's just that when I do, I should pack a lunch (and dinner) because I end up spending hours there, soaking it all in.

Melissa ~ Mom to 6 said...

OH, and to David - you'd be surprised at what people will do. Just give her baby steps. :D Try raising chickens first - once you get her hooked on the eggs, it's all downhill from there!

Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife said...

I'm always up for hearing about frugal meals. If you have any non-obvious ideas for what to do with lots of early herbs (chives, oregano, sage) before everything else gets going, I'd love to hear about them. I'm already well versed in the herb omlet, and can garnish with the best of them. I'm trying to figure out how to *build a meal* around these things, when nothing much else has come up yet.

Phelan said...

David, I came from Supermarket folk. Like Melissa said, baby steps.

Melissa, that you can (a list). I will do my best to help you out. As for vitamin C;

Raw parsley 739 mg
Irish moss, raw 12 mg
Chrysanthemum garland, boiled 239 mg
Borage 333 mg
raw spinach 224 mg
pumpkin leaves boiled 10 mg
Jute 218 mg
raw beet greens 273 mg
swiss chard cooked 180 mg
amaranth leaves cooked 391 mg
canned turnip greens 221 mg
asparagus canned 194 mg
canned tomato products 52 mg
raw poke 1183 mg
skunk cabbage 579 mg
raw broccoli 184 mg
mustard greens 1182 mg
pok choi 433 mg
butterhead lettuce 57 mg
kale 619 mg
raw cilantro 235 mg
green onions 365 mg
chives 424 mg
raw dandylion leaves 164 mg
green chili peppers 326 mg
sweet red peppers 1210 mg
white radishes 412 mg
romaine lettuce 222 mg
leafy green lettuce 240 mg

Just a few ;)

Rabbits are sweeter tasting than chicken. And it will be hard to get passed the cuddly part, but you know what you have to do to eat. We will have rabbits, both domestic and wild at the farmstead.

Phelan said...

Kate, I would dry or freeze many of them. Just cause that's how I am. Do you make sauces with your chives? or breads? Vinaigrette with your oregano? Sage tea?

Anonymous said...

Phelan, I am always up for help with any of the above. I plant herbs yet am not sure what I can do with them other than throwing into the pot with soup.

ANYTHING along these lines you want to share, I will copy down religiously!

HermitJim said...

Boy, I sure do like having all kinds of dried herbs around, even in jars. So many uses in teas and in cooking, like sausage!

Many of them can help the freshness of the air during that time when the air inside becomes stale...or in spots like the bathroom.

I like the herb vinegars a lot too!

Pam said...

I would love to hear more about what to do with what I grow! Sometimes I am just at a loss! This year I am trying the American Ground Nut (apios tuberosa), it should be quite the experience!

Anonymous said...

There are two trees at work loaded with kumquats. If I can get permission to pick them, I'll need recipes for them before they all spoil.

Caroline in NH said...

Can you elaborate on Farmer's Cheese? I have goats (they just freshened [kidded] May 1st) and one thing on my list is to learn to make more cheeses this year.

Ma said...

I've been thinking alot lately about how the food storage is depleting for our family too, except for freshly butchered meat. A simple meal we enjoyed last night was blackberry soup. Homemade bread, with frozen blacberries, a bit of raw sugar, and our own milk. We bought the wheat and sugar, and picked the berries from a patch elsewhere last summer. It's almost berry picking time, so I want to get the few we have left used up.
Thanks for a great blog, and this post was not Boring!
-Ma, from

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