Friday, February 17, 2012

Independence Day Challenge 2/17

Independence Day Challenge

From Sharon Astyk's page:

We haven't had much of a winter this season, until the last few days.   It has snowed on and off this whole week.  The nice thing about these late season snows is that they melt pretty quick.  Still can't do anything in the outside garden, but I am working a few things indoors now.

Plant something:  I had this sweet potato that I have been saving for its slips.  They were growing slowly all winter and then when the days started getting longer, boom the thing took off like crazy.  I was going to wait and plant them in the greenhouse but they were starting to wither on the potato.  

So I had these peat pots that someone gave me awhile ago and I planted the slips and put them in the south window.  I've never planted sweet potatoes indoors with the intent of planting them outside later so we'll see how this works.  If it works well, I'll be doing it every year.

Harvest something
Besides the normal eggs, milk, sprouts and porch greens, I have tapped 722 maple trees and we have boiled down just short of 11 gallons of syrup so far.  It is early in the season, so we'll see how good of a run we get.

Preserve something:  
I guess I would have to fall back on my maple syrup.  While most of the early runs are sold because they are the highest grades, I do keep a few pints back to give as gifts or to put up at the fair for prizes.   I did dry some squash leather from squash that were starting to soften up in the basement cellar.  The outlying cellars are still good though.

Waste not:
I was given an old recycling bin that a friend was going to throw away.  I scrubbed it up, drilled some hole in it, and now it is a potato bin down in the cellar.  I hand made my old potato bin of woven grape vine and it last many years, but it is slowly giving up the ghost.  Tine for a spiffy new plastic one.  Can I be a redneck witch if I store my potatoes in a plastic bin?

Want Not: 
Not the easiest category for me because I HATE shopping.  I did order a oil expeller off of Amazon.  My friend has one and she is making her own pumpkin seed oil.  I loved it so I ordered myself one.  Other than that, I am not going near a store just to say I bought something for my list.  lol

Eat the Food: 
Big apple and squash eating time right now.  They last well in the basement root cellar until the end of February and right on time they are starting to go soft.  I made applesauce and have been eating it with every meal.  We also made squash leather and I can't eat enough of that.  My stomach is telling me "no more" but my hand just shovels it into my hungry mouth.  lol.  It's great for carrying with on long hikes like the one tomorrow when we go and harvest our skunk cabbage.

Build community food systems
This time of year we have our community garden meetings every OTHER week.  This was an off week for it.  But I did go in a clean up the community cannery, if that counts.  I don't think so because I was really upset that it had been left in such a mess.  But I guess it needed to be cleaned so others in the community could use it so maybe I can count that...maybe?

Skill up
Still taking my First Responder course.  I usually take it every two to four years but I pushed just a bit past it this time to four and a half years.  Time kinda got away from me.  I still think that chest compressions make the best workout for your butt and thighs.   My butt burned for days after we had to do chest compression drills.  I keep thinking if I have to keep someone alive, am I strong enough to keep going at it?  So I've been doing my StairMaster coat rack again.
I'm also learning about alternative energy, albeit I am doing this for ulterior motives.  I am dating the instructor and I enjoy listening to the man talk.   I don't know if I am hearing everything he is saying though.  I have to listen closer and stop staring at his....well, that's another topic.  LOL  .  

This time of the year w are just starting to get into many of these categories but it's good to keep a tab of what we do so that we feel that we are moving ahead.  For me it makes me know that I am not spinning my wheels and it gives me a push to get out and do more.


  1. I'm so envious of your syrup making. The only thing I would have to tap here is boxelder trees. I know they're related to maple and that you can make syrup of them but, in my opinion- they are just nasty. I've never had the syrup but the sap smells something awful.

    Can't wait to hear more about the alternative energy instructor... er,,, class. yeah...
    Hope you are learning a lot.

  2. What a busy week! I really need to get going on my seed starting. I think it's going to be an early spring. At least I hope so!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog. :)