Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dreaming about food self-sufficiency ...

Here's the dream: Eating food that I have grown all year round. Maybe this means a winter garden. Maybe it means a vicious summer garden, learning to can and store in a root cellar.

It is a dream, as opposed to a lofty goal, because I seem to be terrible at gardening, don't know how to can a damn thing, and don't own my own house. I rent one in a co-op neighborhood (no structures without approval) which means no green house, tunnels, or root cellars. I work full time and while my husband is supportive of my obsessive green impulses, he by no means suffers from the same affliction and I need to work up the motivation to do most of these things on my own. Not to mention my obsessive motherhood impulses. I'm strapped for time and money.

I'm not going to beat myself up though because I do a lot more than most people (what a standard!). I try to start something new every month or so. I would love to have a year round garden and store my food or, at least, I would take pride in doing those things. I'm going to say that it's in my five year plan. A big obstacle in my mind is owning a house. I use that excuse a lot because we were so close to buying one that I am unable to let it go. So, for now, I will do what I do best - look into things. Starting with:

Four Season Harvest will be the information and Ladle, Leaf, & Loaf will be the motivation. I just bought the second book for under $2 from Amazon. It is a beautiful book with unsual recipes. The first is on hold at the library. It gets great reviews.


  1. I have the first book! My landlord has it now, but I will get it back from him. You can borrow it! A lot of the winter gardening is done in low tunnels and cold frames, which I think if you made your cold frame right there on your back porch no one would say anything about it. They look just like flower boxes and if you decorated it, or let Aiden decorate it..what could they say. Greens are the main things that you can grow over winter. But the fall crops that store well are the best things to get you though...potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, you can even force endive inside in a bucket of sand. (something I want to try this year). Last year I bought a huge box of sweet potatoes and stored them in the basement and made it all the way till Febuary. I plan on doing the same this year with a couple different things. I really want to train myself to eat a more seasonal diet. Meaning NO peaches in Decemeber. But that ok cause now I am really looking foward to fall apples...yum!

    This is an adventrue I want to look into...

  2. You brought up another obstacle for me - getting my family to eat a seasonal diet. I'm pretty sure Chris and Aiden will give me the out-of-your-mind look if I cooked a bunch of greens. It's sad, but true. I should get that book from the library so we won't have to worry about exchanging it. If its really good I'll buy it so I can mark it up.

    That looks like a book about raising your own grains. You're killing me man! Baby steps! Do you know how labor intensive that is? I feel pretty safe saying that I will never raise my own grains. That's just way out there in never-going-to-happen-land. I'll buy some from you if you ever accomplish that. I'll give you money and grovel at the same time. That should be pretty good motivation for you!