Sunday, June 21, 2009

Independence Day Challenge 2009: Week 8

Plant something:

Nothing new this week. I'd like to plant more comfrey, because my animals like to eat it, but I haven't taken the time to find any, yet.

Harvest something:

We had a great week in this category. Peas, spinach, lettuce and beet greens.

I heard today that one of our favorite strawberry fields has already been picking and they are almost done! Oh, no!

But I've been calling one of the others, and they aren't picking, yet. So, phew! The difference is location. The one that's picking is further south and further inland. The other one is northeast of us and on the coast, where it's a wee bit cooler this time of year. They plan to open this week, and I plan to be there!

Preserve something:

The above mentioned spinach was dehydrated.

In addition with one of our broilers, I made one quart of chicken broth, four quarts of chicken soup with nothing but chicken (we can add potatoes or pasta later), and three quarts of chicken and rice soup. Right now, the jars are cooling in the pressure canner :).

Reduce Waste:

Nothing new.

Build Community Food Systems:

We gave the four chickens we'd raised for family members to them today.

Eat the Food:

See *harvested* for some of the things we've been eating from our garden.

Preparation and Storage:

Each week there is one category where a lot seems to have been done. I don't consciously set out to be super productive in any one category, and really, my goal is to do a little in each category each week. Mostly I'm successful, but this week, for whatever reason, I feel like most of my progress was in this category.

Okay, so while I'm in the kitchen making chicken soup, Deus Ex Machina was working with his bow-drill from which he managed to make a fire. He's a pretty incredible guy ;).

We went to a family picnic this afternoon, and while we were there, Aunt Tammy came over and sat next to me. Next thing I know, she's pulling things out of a plastic bag and handing them to me. It took me a minute to figure out what was happening (sometimes I'm slow), but she had found all of these great things for us. One of the things was this book, Where There Is No Doctor: Village Healthcare Handbook. She said she saw the book and thought of me (*grin*). The most incredible part was that it was one of the books on my wish list - she didn't know that, though. She just figured I'd be interested :).

First, thank you, Aunt Tammy - what a wonderful, unexpected surprise! I so appreciate it, and second ... thanks for thinking of me :). I was reading through it this evening, and there really is a lot of fantastic information in it.

I also found this book at the grocery store for $5.99.

SnitchMom has the book, and we used their recipe for our dill pickles last year, which my girls couldn't get enough of. It has a lot of other really great recipes, too, and in fact, I used the directions for chicken soup that were in the book for the batch that's on my stovetop right now.

If you're not participating, but you're interested, feel free to jump in. It's not one of those things where you have to start from the beginning. The real goal is that everyone start where he/she is, and that we just all move in the same direction. We don't even have to go the same speed. The challenge is Sharon's baby, and I've found it to be incredibly helpful in keeping me organized.

Oh, and it's a lot of fun, too ;).

Updated: Per Ingrid's suggestion I changed the link to the Hesperian Publisher's site. Personally, if I can buy the book from the publisher or the author rather than a "chain" store, I will. I like to cut out as many middle men as possible so that those who actually do the work get the most out of the sale. Which is why I prefer the Farmer's Market to buying the same product at Hannaford.

I did want to add, though, about the book, that in reading a little more of it, I've found it is even better than I had thought it great before! I love the section about the importance of water. As the book says, just rest and lots of fluids can be more curative than the most expensive drugs available. The book also emphasizes the direct link between good food and good health. So, true!


  1. You're so very welcomed. I enjoyed seeing you all on Sunday. The girls are blooming and growing so quickly. I love them soo much. Let me know when you decide to pick strawberries. I would love to help. I look forward to having a nice chicken dinner with my boys, with your boiler.

  2. I've heard the Blue Book is worth it. I see it quoted all over the internets!

  3. I think I will have to find that chicken soup recipe ( and the book) we have some birds in the freezer that should be used up. I would be nice to havea quick meal on hand like when times get crazy-busy.

  4. Hi! My name is Ingrid, and I work at Hesperian, the nonprofit publisher of Where There Is No Doctor. Thank you for recommending our book! I hope this isn't intrusive, by the way . . . But I'm writing because when people buy the book at Amazon, Amazon keeps the bulk of the profits, but if people buy it from our online store, the profits go to us, which means we have more money to send free books to communities who can't afford them, and to update Where There Is No Doctor with the latest low-cost health information. Here's a link to buy the book at our online store:

    Again, thank you SO MUCH for recommending, and I hope you get lots of strawberries.