Independence Days, Week 7

Plant. Due to a miscalculation of the weather on my part – or the weatherman’s part? – I didn’t get to transplant the seedlings and sow more winter veggies today. Tomorrow, I hope. I did get to clean up the garden beds. Moved the pepper plants inside – but I will not call them houseplants, though, since houseplants invariably die on me.

Harvest. Swiss chard, kale, radishes (though maggots had already munched through most of them), green beans, carrots, peas, lima beans, last scallions, all the potatoes from the towers (Bintje) (made fries, not exactly the most ecological use of oil and electricity, I admit) and the last celery.

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garlic for honey garlic pickles, Caribbean peach salsa and beloved canner in back

Preserve. Started honey garlic pickles: garlic cloves, apple cider vinegar, honey and 12 weeks of waiting (simplest of recipes here). Processed 1/2 bushel (25 lbs) of Farmers Market Cort apples into 9 quarts and 3 pints of unsweetened apple sauce (unsweetened because I want to use it as a replacement for oil and butter in cakes). Canned 12 half-pint jars of apple peel jelly. Froze 90 cubes of vegetable stock made from veg scraps. Made and froze more mirepoix with carrots and celery from the garden.

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wood stash on porch

Waste Not. We pick up every stick that falls on our property for kindling,  and we learned, with the help of Roz and www.woodheat.org (here and here – the acting is hilarious) how to most efficiently build and maintain a fire (our neighbor’s chimney constantly bellows thick, gray smoke, and we are determined not to do the same).

Want not. Bought 25 lbs of sugar and 20 lbs of all-purpose flour – time to fire up that little chest freezer – the over-the-fridge freezer was getting a bit too full anyway. Reorganized all my seed packets.

Build community food systems. Again not so much “built” as “supported”. I gave my last egg cartons to the egg guy at the Farmers Market and signed up for his raw milk and farm-fresh eggs club. It was the last Market in my town, but there is a bigger one in the next town over that will be going on for a couple more weeks: I might go check it out.

Eat the food. Minced meat out of the freezer with fresh mirepoix, fresh homemade veg stock, homegrown scallions and parsley and (store-bought) tomatoes that were going bad made a nice pasta sauce for a couple of days. Some of the frozen mirepoix went into our seafood stew feast for 10, and we opened the first jar of apple sauce and the first jar of blueberry jam, both of which Amie loved and we’re still alive.

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Karl!

    My guy can sell the eggs without a problem at the Farmers Market, but not the raw milk. It is illegal (somehow) here in Mass. to sell that to people directly. So that’s why he started this club.

    I don’t exactly know how it works – will ask him next Wednesday, but it seems to be a middleman thing. Here’s a part of an article from Salon which I think is how it works:

    “While such clubs may be reminiscent of Prohibition-era speakeasies, what their patrons are doing is not technically illegal. Each state has the right to regulate its own raw milk — though the FDA banned the sale of raw milk across state lines in 1987 — and in New York state, on-farm purchases of raw milk are legal. The difference is that, rather than commute to the country fields for their weekly fix, milk club members place their orders over the phone with the dairy and mail their checks. The club then hires a middleman to deliver the prepaid orders to the city.”

    So he is merely a “delivery man”…?

    I’ll ask him and let you know. In the meantime you should check your state’s laws.

    Happy milking!

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