Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Great Expectations - The 2013 Garden

Or, trying my best to (somewhat)
replace the grocery store.
During the last few weeks I've become interested in an idea that I discovered on the Our Simple Farm blog. The concept is simple enough - replacing the grocery store with your own home-grown, homemade items.
As prices continue to go up on food, fuel, nearly everything, the idea of saving money on groceries has become extremely appealing. And, living on a gravel road outside of a prison town certainly has its good points, but the evil necessity of driving at least 20 minutes to do even the simplest things can become such a frustrating timewaster, not to mention gas.
So, I've been noting some of the ideas and plans posted on Our Simple Farm - up until The Math Part (cue scary music). For a couple of reasons, I can't really compute how much of each vegetable/fruit we would need to subsist without too many trips to the supermarket. First, much of our garden contains perishable produce like lettuce - not much I can do about preserving lettuce except for eating it in abundance in fresh salads, or sharing with others (if there's a way to use dehydrated lettuce in something, please post your ideas!). Plus, I have only really had experience with freezing and my only foray into canning has been making pickled things. Also, there is a bit of a time constraint as I own my own business, Lonesome Road Studio (and Lonesome Road West), and summers can be a little hectic with shows, markets, etc. Oh, and I decided that I was going to be making our own soap in my spare time. *wink* Did I mention the guitar that I'm going to learn how to play, too?
So, I will work on what I think is relatively feasible for us and our garden, which is usually freezing some vegetables to use throughout the winter when a taste of the summer garden is so nice. I also put up lots of my amazing homemade pizza sauce made with fresh tomatoes, peppers and herbs from our garden, and I plan to plant some new varieties of herbs this year to dehydrate to replace expensive store-bought jars of herbs with questionable shelf life, and for use in some of those soaps I've been dreaming of creating.
Stay tuned as I periodically update everyone on the garden's progress, and I promise to share more recipes and ideas with everyone, as I hope you will too!

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