Friday, February 17, 2012

Independence Days challenge week 2

I’ll post this here until it gets transferred to Sharon Astyk’s blog at

Plant something – Sugar snap peas and early lettuces are in. I’ve been clearing out in the garden during our nearly annual early-February warm spell, aka the “sucker season” since it lures us into thinking it’s time to start the warm weather crops. The peas and lettuces should be fine, just slower, even if we do get more snow and hard freezes. Next up is potatoes in tubs. 

Harvest something – Mixed greens—kale, chard, radicchio, and corn salad. Not much of any of them, but it added up to the greens for one dinner. 

Preserve something—Roasted red peppers; winter squash purée. 

Waste not: I’ve logged another week of cooking with the produce that the Food Bank can’t distribute: It’s Food Bank Fresh 2 at 
My neighbors also let me glean from their winter garden; they have surplus leeks that soon will be heading to seed. 
I’m going to try a hot bed this spring to jump start some tomatoes and peppers, so I’ve been stockpiling coffee grounds from the local stand. Probably I’ll get some of my neighbor’s surplus chicken manure too. I’ll be using the instructions from my classic 1914 guide, Garden Work for Every Day. 

Want not—I finally made it to Cash and Carry to get my baking yeast by the ½ pound instead of those little glass jars. Now that I’ve begun baking bread again, this saves money and keeps a supply on hand. 

Eat the food –I put applesauce from last fall into some baked goods and made fruit salad from odds and ends that no longer looked so enticing as snacks. 

Build community food systems –Bought cheese, and had a nice chat, at Pleasant Valley Farm, which has been supplying artisan raw milk gouda and farmstead cheeses in Whatcom County for decades, and got eggs from Twisted S Ranch, which, sadly, no longer supplies buffalo. They sold the herd and closed down in December after a dispute over environmental requirements. It’s ironic that it seems to have been a conflict between buffalo and salmon habitat—two once essential native food supplies that people are trying to preserve. 

Skill up (learn to do something new)—Nothing this week, although I’m soon to see if I remember how to darn socks. My best pair of Smartwool hiking socks have weirdly developed holes on top of both toes—worth a try to see if I can keep them going.

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