We had some setbacks this week, but we’re hanging in there with our Grocery Store Rebellion.
At the end of Week 2, we ran out of milk. After choking down coffee without fresh cream, I finally broke down and went to our local co-op and purchased milk. Yuck. I really hope that our dairy farmer gets another cow soon, because this pasteurized stuff is for the birds. According to the sign at the co-op, it’s from a dairy that is not a factory farm type of place, so I went with the best option I could find.
In other news, a sudden heat wave one afternoon may have wiped out my fall garden. My transplanted seedlings were looking awesome, but now they are sad, wilted, and limp. I’m hoping to revive them, but it doesn’t look good. I might be back to square one with my garden, so I’m sprouting new seedlings in my utility room.
Aside from these two episodes, all systems are still “go”. This is the time of year when fresh produce is at its most abundant. I’m spending a lot of hours each day preserving food so that we can maintain this Rebellion throughout the cold months. So when you see what I’m spending, it’s important to remember that this is not all food to be consumed right now.
The chicken area is nearly ready for its new occupants. I have to pee- and poo-proof the bottom of the coop and grab some hay. I have a feeder and waterer on order. Tomorrow, we are attending a foraging class, then hitting the feed store. This is so exciting!
This week, I traded some of my home-canned vanilla peaches and a jar of jam for 15 pounds of fresh organic pears. (I love the barter system, and as I get to know local farmers, more opportunities for this are arising.) As well, I made the rounds to my favorite farms and orchards, and made a stop at the co-op.
Here’s what we ate this week.
Local items, including stuff from my garden, are marked with a star *. Freezer items are marked with an (F). Pantry items are marked with a (P). We went out to dinner one night, and some meals were repeated because we ate leftovers.
You know how a break-up goes sometimes. You split, you get back together, you split, and then get back together again.
I don’t want to get back together with the grocery store. I want this to be a permanent break-up. A divorce.
So, I am preserving lots of goodies right now, while they are inexpensive and plentiful, and this way we can enjoy them in the winter.
Here’s what I preserved this week:
Here’s what we learned.
This week, we started getting local meat. It’s pricier but a kabillion times better than storebought. One of the biggest differences, preparation-wise, is that you may not be able to get the cuts that you get from the grocery stores. Sometimes farmers don’t just slice off the chicken breast and hand it to you – you get the whole chicken.
I also had to really hustle to get some stuff canned before it spoiled. I keep reminding myself that it’s a fair bit of work now, but meals later will be as easy as popping the lids off of jars. (If you are new to canning, start here for water bath canning and here for pressure canning.)
I’m saving up for my next purchase: a chest freezer. We are planning to buy a quarter of a cow and possibly half a pig.
We are also networking with some people locally, and we’ll be bartering our home-canned goods for other things. So, I have lots of access to peaches, and someone else has meat rabbits – then we trade. It’s win-win for everyone.
Because I am processing so much food, I’m splurging and getting a really nice blender/food processor combo. I just ordered this beautiful creation:
With next week being marinara sauce week, I’ll be thrilled to have that huge 8 cup food processor!
As I mentioned above, we are attending a foraging class tomorrow. I’m hoping that this will be a good way to supplement our food without increasing the bill. I’ll be sure to let you know!
How was your week?
Even if you aren’t jumping into the rebellion with both feet, did you use some things you harvested from your garden this week? If you ARE participating in the rebellion, how did it go? Share the details in the comments below.
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