Welcome to our garden...... where dreams grow and memories bloom.

I am not a professional anything. I'm not a master gardener, I am not a chef, I am not a horticultralist or naturalist. I am not trying to live off the grid, or prepare for the acololypse, or go totally organic. What I am is a 40 something single mom who works full time and attends graduate school full time and is trying to build a life that teaches some values, and skills to her children while giving them some memories to carry into their adulthood.

We are starting from scratch. We have virgin land that needs a lot of work. We have plenty of time and imagination, but a shoestring budget. We may not do everything right, in fact we probably won't do much right. But we are going to do it together, and that is what matters.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Challenge

We got a late start this year, so most of this summer/fall will be spent preparing for next year.  The goal is to harvest and preserve enough food to eat from our own freezer next year.  The target is 300 quarts of vegetables, 100 quarts of fruits, and (maybe) 300 pounds of meat.

Rules?  We don't need no stinkin' rules.  Ok, maybe we need a few ground rules.  Buying from the local farm market is ok for things we cannot/ don't want to grow ourselves.  For example dear son #2 is a huge (and I mean huge) blueberry fan.  Blueberries are notoriously difficult to grow, but are very popular as a commercial crop in our area.  There are numerous U-pick/ ready pick opportunities in our community.  I don't mind buying from local growers and contributing to the local economy.  The cost is still much less than if we purchased from the grocery store and we can plan ahead to get the freshest harvest possible to bring home.  We also luck into some terrific sweet corn from a dear friend of the family.  We do the labor to preserve the corn, but do not have to input the labor to grow it.  Free food is good in my book - and we make sure to payback the family in other ways.  Buying from the local little ole man who sits at his roadside stand every day is also a-ok in my book too.  He has yummy melons and there is another roadside stand by the lake that has some terrific sweet onions, so we might just continue to pick some of those up.

Hmm....I can't think of any other rules right now.  Maybe that means I am a nonconformist, or maybe it just means that we have not thought this whole thing through yet.  *shrug* Just like so many other things in my life, I guess we will figure it out as we go.

An online friend pointed out that we are going to need a bigger freezer.  That is on the wish list.  The house we bought needed some work, including an addition of family room, mud room and garage (and to hear the kids tell it - a pool and party deck).  The freezer purchase is pending the completion of the addition because there is just no where to put it right now.

Personally I think we did pretty good filling the freezer this year, considering that we started on July 1st.  OF course the boys cannot wait for it to be winter because they want to dig into that yummy sweet corn.

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