The Home Grown September Challenge is going splendidly. Though when you get really down to it there is not enough food out there so I am not sure how Long the challenge will last.
It is very dry now and I am going to have to do some serious watering lest my greens give up on me. Not being able to reach for a bag of frozen peas as an easy green addition to a meal makes life interesting.
Though this is an excellent way to ensure that the list for next years gardens is thorough. I am already running out of potatoes and onions. So MORE is a recurrent word in the list.
I have plenty of tomatoes, aubergine, sweet capsicums, beets, celery, zuchinni and jalapenos. There are two cabbages left and a stand of swiss chard that is taking a beating as I eat it every day. But is there enough of all that to last over three weeks? We will see. No eating out of cans. No eating packaged frozen vegetables. No eating the foods I am processing for the winter.
The late summer vegetables will not be ready for a month or so and the beans are suddenly infected with a leaf eating bug. Hmm.
One entire planting of tomatoes has gone brown and is dying but I still have plenty in another garden and scattered through the flower beds as snacks for when I am gardening.
It is possible that I may lose weight after all! Oops. However I do have a little beef and a reasonable amount of lamb in the freezer. No chicken or pork.
I chose September on purpose for the challenge because it is kind of a middle month, the first flush is over and the garden is puddling along now. I knew I would be short of some things. And hoping that the challenge would point out the weaknesses in the month. The first weakness seems to be that my staggered plantings are not staggered close enough. The second weakness is that there is not ENOUGH of everything to put down for the winter Plus eat all summer.
The hens are still laying extravagantly (even though I just caught 6 fat hens yesterday to give to Red Hat Matt as a house warming present) so I can always eat eggs. But using no store bought cheese at all is tedious.
I will make more fresh cheese next week. Today I am going to focus on the gardens, weeding and watering my new crops. And getting more worm fertiliser into their roots.
Now I know this sounds a little grim however I am excited by all these revelations. Sometimes the only way to actually see something clearly is to DO it. It is all very well to say Oh I eat out of the gardens but when I made myself eat ONLY out of the gardens for a good length of time I see immediately where I am topping up from outside the farm. Plus I am now counting my crops as I work considering how long each will feed us for. This is good, very good. Already I am out there more often with seeds for autumn food. I am taking more careful note of what I have ahead of me and what needs special care. I am eating less so that the food lasts longer.
In fact the ‘eating less to make the food last’ is probably a very old fashioned thing. And a BIG lesson. On a normal day we are able to go to the supermarket or farmers market and yank huge bundles of cheap food off the shelves or tables. We stuff our cars full to the brim and drive cheerfully home. There is no thought of conserving our resources, or buying or eating less so that there is enough to go around. We cannot raise our hands to shield our eyes and peer to the end of the row, we have no knowledge in fact of how much food there is out here or even where the farms actually are and if they also have crops failing. So we take and eat as much as we can afford. We gaily trust that in the cool mornings and hot afternoons out in some field somewhere a little man and his wife will pick more for us, another little man will drive more produce in a truck through the dawn to our purchasing point and some one will restock the shelves or lay out her produce so all we have to do is drive back and Buy More. Do you think this is one of the reasons people are eating more, piling up their plates and having second helpings and getting fatter at each meal? Because they cannot see to the end of the row?
I remember saying to my kids: There is no point in me making a cake – all you do is eat it. Do you know how long it took to make that cake? I would say to them as they stuffed the last crumbs into their mouths ten minutes after I took it out of the oven. Now that they are all grown and pretty good cooks themselves, they savor their food more and think about the tastes and discuss how to make it better. I have never thought of it this way before. So the Challenge is teaching me to eat slower and less.
I have read that in any given city, there is a three day supply of food in the supermarkets. So if there is a major disaster and that truck cannot get through the food and drink will run out in three days. I think I can last longer than that.
Today I am making an aubergine and tomato, cheese free, lasagne, with the home made pasta. Thank goodness you suggested I allow myself flour and olive oil.
Have a lovely day.
I will be disappearing into the gardens again today. (yes, some of the weeds are that tall!)
your friend on the farm, celi