May 30, 2010

Independence Day Challenge Update



Totally devoid of energy today. I think my front yard project and five loads of laundry almost killed me yesterday. Not much accomplished today so I thought it would be a good time to catch up on The Independence Day Challenge. Here's what is going on at our house:

1. Plant Something:
Planted oregano, Kentucky Colonial mint, rain Lily's, more heirloom tomato seedlings, a banana shrub, rescued impatiences from my neighbor, rescued pentas and string beans
2. Harvest Something: lettuce, rosemary, basil, oregano
3. Preserve Something:
Here's where I am stumped but am working on it. I have always desperately wanted to learn canning but have a glass top stove which I now hear is a no no as the process may crack the glass. I am mildly interested in dehydrating food but not with an electric dehydrator so am researching using my solar oven that i just brought out of storage. My 90 year old dad walked past this morning mumbling something about how we are in for it this hurricane season because of the "wind patterns" he does not like. Having gone 10 plus days in the neighborhood without electricity after one that didn't even hit us I am trying to steer away from anything requiring electricity as a means of "survival." I truly am Amish at heart.
4. Waste Not: Am composting all kitchen scraps and really reducing water usage. Since I've been doing this I've been amazed at how much water is wasted on a daily basis. Half consumed glasses or bottles of water are now used in the garden to water plants instead of pouring them down the drain. Been trying to collect rain water as well for garden use. This will pick up come hurricane season! Did an Excel spread sheet and am tracking every penny spent in an attempt to adhere to a strict budget. Frightening. It's a wonder anyone survives in this economy.
5. Want Not: Picked up two wonderful books. One is a solar cooking manual and the other is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes. Baked an orange cake in my solar oven yesterday. Delicious! When I shared this accomplishment with a friend she asked me if I had completely lost my mind. I can only smile. Sweetie when you are without electricity and out of propane I'll be eating cake, casseroles and freshly baked artisan bread compliments of el sol. Even my 90 year old dad went from, "what the hell is that?" (while watching me set up the solar panels) to confessing that he couldn't believe when he checked the temperatures (obviously when I wasn't looking) that the oven was up a high as 250 degrees. He couldn't wait this morning to ask how the cake was and was tickled pink when I showed it to him. My dad is rarely tickled pink.
6. Build Community Food Systems: I called a local organic farmer today and we are hoping to go to his farm and pick blueberries and tomatoes next week. He said he also had some black eyed peas. Not a fan of black eyed peas but will check them out.

So now it's time to kick back and eat cake. Feeling good that I'm making a dent in the IDC!

4 comments:

Shabbyfufu said...

Thank you for popping over and visiting my blog today, so nice to "meet" you and I will have to scroll down your posts!

Kim said...

Great post! You have been very busy! Did you use a special recipe for the cake or were you able to use a regular cake mix? How do you collect your rain water?

SECRET PEPPER PERSON: said...

Kim I just used a pre-mix. I just got my Artisan bread book in the mail. Let the solar experiments begin!

Annie said...

I have a worm composter in my kitchen. Love it. Only once in a year has it smelled even a little funky. That was when we recently started eating 60% unprocessed food. Took them a while to breed up to deal with it, now, it's back to smelling like dirt. Love it. Will be quizzing you about solar cooking one day, ya know, when I have time. haahahahahaha