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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Living off the land

I was recently telling someone about how we've been eating this winter.

I began with... "well, I don't really go to a grocery store much anymore, only once in a while to get something for the kids like bananas or oats, whole wheat flour...".   Also, we don't eat out much (maybe once every month or two as a special treat at our friends' Mexican restaurant).

I stopped to dwell on how we really have been eating, especially this winter because it's our first winter living on the farm... basically, we've been eating all the foods that we grew here last spring, summer, and fall!  Most of the fresh vegetable crops are gone, with the exception of some winter spinach & green onions outside in our unheated greenhouse tunnels (and you bet we're still eating those, whenever it's warm enough to open the greenhouse plastic!).  So, what are we eating?

From our root cellar: onions, garlic, beets, winter squash, rutabaga, turnips, carrots, potatoes, and black walnuts.  From our pantry: our farm-grown and farm-canned jars of tomatoes, salsas (red and green!), pickles, pickled jalapenos, apple & pear butters, and grape juice canned from our grape vines is a special treat when an illness strikes.  From our freezers: our own farm-raised and farm-butchered stewing chickens, awesome beef raised on a nearby organic farm (they are one of our CSA customers - we try to support back!  :-), raw milk from the same farm, raw honey (my latest batch was purchased from one of our egg customers :-), kefir (similar to yogurt) made from the raw milk, maple syrup from another friend's farm, and of course all of our farm-raised fruits & vegetables pulled from the deep freezers: sweet corn cut fresh off the cob last August, green beans and sugar snap peas, chopped & frozen sweet bell peppers, and fruit from our fruit trees & vines: bags of frozen mulberries, peaches, and black raspberries.  Plus tiny strawberries picked on my cousin's organic farm 2 summers ago (awesome).  I even bought a 50 pound bag of red winter wheat from a farmer down the road, borrowed a friend's hand mill, and we ground some fresh whole wheat flour!  That was fun - my oldest son especially enjoyed it, but I will admit we're mostly using purchased whole wheat flour.

We still do buy quite a bit, especially things like dried & canned beans, cheese, and treats like tortilla chips, but as I'm writing this I'm realizing that we're mostly eating off our own land.  Guess this is what "the fruits of our labor" is all about!

And, to be honest, we're eating so well.  It's all so delicious, all the winter soups, stews, casseroles.... we can't buy vegetables & meat this good in a store.  Or in a restaurant.  It's just not the same.

Although I will admit I am missing lettuce....our farm's lettuce, that is...  but not enough to buy lettuce from the store - store lettuce doesn't taste good!  I'll be content to wait about 2 more months until our first crop is ready.  :-)



  1. I can't wait until I reach the level you and your family has! Enjoy the good eating!

  2. We are growing lettuce inside (in Canada!) now by a sunny window. It seems to be working. We boiled seaweed and used the water to feed/water the plants and it seems to have gave them a good start.