Sunday, June 28, 2009

Independence Day Challenge 2009: Week 9

I've been distracted. The month started out with the dance recital and all of the whirlwind of activity associated with it.

The media hasn't helped, either. One article is about how we're going through an economic recovery, and the very next article is about how bad it still is, and getting worse. It's hard to know what to believe any more.

Of course, recently, there hasn't been any news about the economy at all. It's all been about things that have nothing to do with anything that we should be reading about for days and days. A simple line in the Obit column would've been as much as was deserved in my opinion.

Or worse, the articles about the reality show couple who are headed to see Judge Lynn Toler. I don't read the articles, but it's enough that the headlines of such things dominate, and so I stop reading the news, and quickly lose touch.

So, when I read the article entitled, "Bank Failure List Tops Forty-five", I was surprised. I'd forgotten, for a moment, that the economy was in the toilet, that we're facing some really big changes in our lives.

The whole summer has been like that, though. A forgetting. July 4 is in a week. One week. It's hard to believe, as it feels like the summer has just barely started.

It's summer, but looking outside, it certainly doesn't seem like it. We've had so many days of rain, sometimes we wonder if we'll have any sun this year. While it doesn't directly affect my family, it does affect my seasonal community. A poor summer season will certainly affect town revenues. It will be interesting to see the budget meetings this coming year. I wonder about road maintenance. I wonder about our taxes, which are already going up to pay for the consolidated school budget. I wonder what things the town will chose to cut first, and I'm sure it will be the one thing or two things that my family uses - like the library or the curbside recycling program.

Maybe it's the rain that's getting me down.

But even as down as the mood seems, I still managed to get a few things accomplished.

Plant something:

Well, nothing in this category :), but I certainly have some plans for mid-summer seed planting for a fall crop.

Harvest something:

Lettuce. Peas. Beet greens. Garlic scapes. Various edible "weeds" for the rabbits and chickens. And, of course, eggs, which appear on a lot of other people's lists, but which I have neglected to include in mine :).

Preserve something:

Twelve pints of strawberry jam and three quarts of strawberries frozen.

I cooked up a pot of baked beans - half of which we ate, and the other half was canned using my pressure cooker.

So far, we have strawberry jam and frozen strawberries, canned baked beans and chicken soup preserved for winter use.

Reduce Waste:

We reused our quart containers at the strawberry fields.

Build Community Food Systems:

Little Fire Faery delivered eggs to the neighbors this week. It's not that we have an excess of eggs. With only five laying hens, and a couple of them not laying regularly, we don't have more than we can use. We keep delivering eggs to the neighbors for this - building community food systems. We've ordered two more pullets for July 10 delivery, and hopefully, our four ducks will be laying soon.

We missed the Farmer's Market - for the past two weekends in a row -, but we made it to the strawberry fields. They've had it pretty hard, what with all the rain and not very summer-like temperatures (today it's more rain and in the 60's). We picked nineteen quarts, and picking's were terribly slim. One of my favorite fields opened on Saturday, and we didn't get over there, but we'll have to go this week - Tuesday, if it's not raining ... or even maybe if it is. If the other fields are any indicaion, they won't be open for long, and we don't even have half what we'll need to do us until next June.

Eat the Food:

Ah! Roast chicken, twice, because one chicken is big enough for two meals. We've been eating salad from our garden.

Preparation and Storage:

More canning lids.

We visited this store this weekend. I had a coupon in the Sunrise Guide I purchased in a fundraiser last year. We bought a wind-up/solar powered iPod speaker/charger. It also has an AM/FM and weatherband radio. My thinking was that last time we had a power outage, we would have liked to have been able to listen to our audiobook, but couldn't. Next time, we'll be able to :).

What was funny was that when we walked into the store, and the owner found out what we wanted, he quipped that he'd been selling a lot of them this time of year, because people wanted to take them to the beach.

I'd never considered the speaker for that particular use.

Guess I really am out of touch.


  1. We've made plans and changed them several times because of the weather but I will be picking strawberries this week. We like to dehydrate them. I find that once the canning season is in full swing it is flexibility that I have the hardest time with. I want to put up the same quantity of one item that I had the year before. However,nature and time are not always so exacting.So I will pick more blueberries or apples instead.

  2. Last summer we had a cool wet summer like you are describing, however this year it's been hot and dry only breaking into some rain the last couple of days. No strawberries yet, it will be a couple of weeks yet I hear.