Friday, May 16, 2008
Independence Days #2
The second week of Independence days has been active given the influx of money for Economic Stimulus. I don't agree that this is the way to get our economy out of trouble but neither am I refusing the money. I just find it ironic that I am putting it to use to bring personal sustainability and independence.
Goal #1 Plant Something: It's still too early to put much into the ground - we had a good freeze this week. I do have little plants in pots that I keep moving out to the porch each day, and I picked up a couple of tomatoes and peppers this week.
Goal #2 Harvest Something: We're just getting started so there isn't much to harvest and we haven't gotten out fishing due to home projects.
Goal #3 Preserve something: Here's where it gets interesting. I had to go to Walmart as daughter had ripped her skirt and needed another. Anyway friend had said that Walmart had a new shipment of gamma lids and buckets [remember this is a rural Utah thing]. Sure enough, this shipment had different colored gamma lids. While I was looking around something caught my eye, could it be....looks like bags of wheat. Yup, sure enough there were two pallets of wheat of the exact kind I'd been thinking of ordering except these were $11.00 for 25 lbs:
I had been reading about wheat this week that the hard red wheat stores better and the golden white wheat makes better bread. There were other women there pondering the wheat and picking up bags and they said that they had heard that the golden wheat was better for people with allergies. They loaded two grocery carts of 25# bags but when we both left there was a 1/2 pallet left. Ni-chan teased me about picking up the heaviest item first and then pushing it around the store but when we were standing in line to check out and I was figuring money I told her to go and get another bag of golden wheat. She came back and said that pallet was empty!!! We were not there very long either.
While I was there I got Borax in preparation for making laundry detergent. It is interesting to me that the box is half the size and twice the price it was when I was washing diapers.
This week I ordered the Gountry Grain Mill with corn/bean attachment and bin and extension handle. They are on back order from the manufacture, but it will be coming along. Seems a lot of folks are preparing to grind wheat.
Mr. Greenjeans has been building a chicken coop with every spare minute. This is part of spending the G.W. check. I will blog separately about the coop. Mr. Greenjeans works every daylight hour and many dark hours as well. He is a different man than I married over 20 years ago and butted heads with for the first 7.
Goal #5 Manage reserves: We moved here just before a very harsh winter. Basically we moved into the house, made a home, and hunkered down for a long winter's nap. Now that the weater is nice, it is apparent that the garage and workshop are disaster areas needing further unpacking and organizing. That's what I've been slowly working on. The one area I succeded in organizing is a little alcove in the garage with shelves and work bench that I laid claim to early for garden equipment and potting.
This morning oldest daughter asked about a suit I have that is too small for me. She tried it on and looks beautiful in it.
I bought a glass (reusable) milk jug - no more disposable - from the udder to glass.
I got my bicycle tuned and fixed and it is realistic for me to get around on it.
Took plastic bag collection to the food bank and managed to use all cloth bags.
Goal #6 Cook something (new): I blog pretty regularly about cooking so it's there for this last week: skimming the cream off the milk and made butter, make yogurt twice a week, made breakfasts and dinners all week (full time employment). However I also ordered and watched a DVD on cheese making at home in prep for a venture in that.
Goal #7 work on local food systems: I've been having neighbor conversations across the fence (dog kennel) with a neighbor. She'd been thinking of cementing in a garden spot so it wasn't as messy. I think she has changed her mind as we talked about the joy of a kitchen garden. I had brought up maybe growing beans up her fence on my side and she reacted kind of negatively about that and I let it drop. Later in the week I came home to she and her husband were burying sticks in trenches in the as yet unplanted garden. She had gotten two varieties of juice (wine) grape starts and had been told how to root them by burying them for two weeks before digging them up and planting. She decided we'd have a grape arbor on that fence and be able to harvest grapes in 3 or 4 years. Yea! They have a giant back yard of lawn and are now thinking of planting corn in part.
Those neighbors showed up at the door last evening while we were collapsed in front of the boob tube. They came in and sat down to chat for the next 2 1/2 hours with toddler in tow (even the teens went to bed after a while). My very compartmentalized life was a little wigged out, but the part of me that wants to build community and return to the beauty of life before TV was thrilled.
Goal #8 Learn something new: I've been learning about cheese making, and researching about building a good cheese press. The books I ordered last week still haven't arrived. I also learned a lot about grain mills and how to properly store grain before making my selection.