The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

State of the larder report

Carrots and a turnipAs we dug and ate the last of our blighted potatoes, peeled our last onions, and ate all five of our turnips this week, I figured it was time to take a good hard look at the food we'd managed to stock up for the winter.  Clearly, if we run short it's not the end of the world, with the grocery store fifteen minutes away.  Still, I feel much more nourished eating our own vegetables, and I'd hate to run out halfway through the winter.

On the surface, our haul of 17 gallons of frozen produce this year looks measly compared to last year when we froze about 44 gallons.  On the other hand, about a third of last year's produce was excess, so I doled it out to my family over the spring and early summer months.

Last year I froze things like carrots and winter squash that do quite well storing on the shelf.  I figure our carrots add up to another 4 gallons, our sweet potatoes to maybe 8 gallons, our (undug as yet) parsnips to another gallon or two, and our butternuts the same.  We still have an inspiring four pounds of garlic and we're eating greens, oyster mushrooms, broccoli, and lettuce out of the garden every week.

Clearly, we'll be eating many more roots this winter.  That was actually my goal --- to grow more food that could be stored unfrozen so that we keep getting fresh food throughout the winter.  We'll see if I'm heartily sick of orange things by spring....

Check out our homemade chicken waterer.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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