Well… asparagus season is upon us! Today I drove up to the CSA farm to pick asparagus! Yum! I picked two rows, not sure what that equates to in pounds of asparagus, but I will find out as I put most of it up for storage tonight (and I’ll probably report back as well). But, oh! The sweet green shoots just called my name as I picked! And I happily munched as I went along filling my big bags. Henry enjoyed munching behind me as we went too! Thanks to the Monroe’s who can sell their spears for $8/pound at the market for letting us take all we wanted!
I read a couple of cool blogs today and wanted to share quickly: the first was found on Hen & Harvest, called Convenience Store(d) Food. Wendy shared some great recipes for pudding mixes. I had done a Thrifty Thursday post about making your own mixes a couple months back, and thought this would be a great addition to it.
Then I followed the link to Wendy’s blog, Home Is, and saw she was doing something called the Independence Days Challenge. This led me to another blog, where it seems the challenge (at least on the web) started. Check it out: Sharon’s Independence Days Challenge. I really like the idea, and I’m going to try my hand at participating. I hope you all find this interesting, and that I do as well.
The basic idea of the challenge is to do something each day or week or weekend that gets you closer to your goals (for example #91 on my 101 in 1001 list). Basically, that big change can come from little things. I like how Sharon put it:
It is easy to forget how important this “little stuff” is – easy to think that your little garden doesn’t matter very much, or that your preparations won’t be enough. But we should also remember the exponential power of saying “no” and doing for ourselves. The corrollary of the fact that every calorie of food takes 10 of fossil fuels is that every stir fry or salad you eat from your garden saves 10 times the oil as the calories contained within it. The fact that almost every packaged ingredient uses 7 times as much energy to create that packaging means that your choice to buy bulk oatmeal just saved 7 times as much energy as the package contains.
In 1944, American Victory Gardens grew as much produce as did every vegetable farm in the country – fully half US produce came from home gardens. And while no one was sufficient, all together were something big. Every bite of food you grow, every bite you preserve, every bit of waste you reduce is a contribution to a larger project – keeping everyone fed. Every bit of compost you add to your soil, every bit of organic matter, every tree you plant is a contributor to a larger project – storing some of our emissions in soil, so we can have a future. Small things are the roots of vast and powerful ones.
Every kid who tastes a cherry tomato or a strawberry from your garden comes away with something that they take back to their homes and forward to the future. Every neighbor who stops to chat as grow on your lawn or water the peppers in containers on your stoop is a new connection in your community, and a potential future gardener. Every seed you plant multiplies and produces a hundred, or a thousand more seeds for next year (not to mention the food). Every dollar you save you save on groceries that goes to the food pantry means your plot feeds not just you, but others. Every time you point out that you are storing food and preparing for a different future, even if people don’t get it, a seed is planted somewhere in the back of their heads, where they realize…people kind of like me think about this stuff. The future depends on a whole lot of little things.
I’m excited about it, though I’m starting the challenge a bit late. :) But here goes! There are seven categories in the challenge, and you are supposed to do something in each one. The categories are:
- Plant Something
- Harvest Something
- Preserve Something
- Reduce Waste
- Preparation and Storage
- Build Community Food Systems
- Eat the Food
Make sure to read the challenge for details on each category if you’re curious or you decide to join the challenge too. I’ll report in weekly… Wish me luck!