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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

To the Grocery Store



Monday I felt well enough to go into town to do a little grocery shopping. My lovely wife is in the middle of suffering from whatever it is I had. I'm still feeling pretty weak. Instead of heading into town right after lunch, I found myself exhausted and took a nap first.

We have enough food in the house to last quite a while, but variety starts to suffer. Also, when not well, some comfort food really hits the spot. So what does my lovely wife do while I'm shopping? She's on the Internet researching all the foods that we should avoid. That info might have been more useful to me before I went to town, but whatever.

I actually did fairly well, mostly because I avoid most prepared foods. The closer is is to being pulled from the ground or cut from the animal, the better. It's also a lot cheaper. True, food prep takes time, but there are some pretty good cheats along the way.

One often overlooked kitchen tool is the humble crock pot, or slow cooker, depending where you come from. It turns some of the cheapest ingredients into some of the best food. Cuts of meat one step above shoe leather, dried beans, peas, and root vegetables are great in a crock pot Add some spices and time and you've got a good hearty and cheap meal. Sometimes I get even more primitive than that by using a cast iron dutch oven on the woodstove.

Food supply is one of those big things that concerns my lovely wife. Our garden space is small and the growing season is short. It's one of the persistent problems in our quest to be more self-reliant. We can heat with wood, use the sun for electricity, get our water from a well, but we don't grow much food.

Personally, I'm not all that big into farming. My ancestors disliked it enough to embrace the rigors of 19th century factory life. However, I'm going to have to figure something out. One thing I've learned is that our native wild plants do pretty well here, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, pin cherries, and a whole bunch of edible greens.

My filbert trees that I planted some years ago are getting productive. We've just got to remember to use netting to keep the squirrels out of them. I like sun-chokes, as they seem to thrive well on poor soil and neglect.

One of these days I'm going to have to throw up a green house and maybe some vertical gardening. Whatever I decide on, you can bet it'll be low maintenance. For now, the grocery store isn't all that far away.

-Sixbears

14 comments:

  1. Have you considered raising rabbits for meat ? I've heard they are fairly easy to raise and don't take up much room. I've read they eat many native grasses and their manure good gardening material.

    They are cute and furry though - might become more of a pet than a source of food.

    Foraging your location might also be worth a shot. Good way to get some exercise and knowledge - always good to have some extra options if and when things go sideways.

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    1. I've avoided taking on animals like rabbits or chickens because we like to travel. Someone has to take care of them.

      I hunt wild rabbits, so the cute factor doesn't stop me. Rather fond of my rabbit and wild rice dish.

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    2. Very true about the animal care and traveling lifestyles clashing - I hadn't considered that.

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    3. It puts a damper on things.

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  2. As well as a green house you might look into wheat straw bale gardening. You don't have to bend over and no weeds!

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    1. I grew potatoes in straw bales one year, but I no longer have easy access to the bales. The ones I got were free. It was nice to not have to knock the dirt off them.

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  3. Nothing like a gardening challenge.

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    1. Gardening is more my lovely wife's thing. I just do the heavy lifting.

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  4. Kudos to your wife for searching for the most nutritious, clean food. It is almost as rare as rocking horse manure.

    You are much closer to an incredible source of seaweed in Maine. He is so in touch with the gifts from the sea. I've ordered from Larch Hanson for years. He sells the ideal solution for your deficient soil. It is a type of seaweed which, unfortunately, is quite expensive for us to ship to Oklahoma even though a little goes a long way. His site is fascinating:

    https://theseaweedman.com/about-us/

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    1. Hey Jane! Thanks for the link. I heard stories that the local natives used to haul seaweed from the coast to work into their gardens. Makes sense.

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  5. That is interesting to know about the native people hauling in seaweed. So many of the "old" ways have been forgotten.

    The kelp, digitata, etc. would add even more nutrition to those tasty soups and stews of yours.

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  6. Here's a couple links that may interest you:

    https://richsoil.com/hugelkultur/

    https://wildplantculture.com/home/2015/11/native-permaculture-plants.html

    And then there are native fruit and nut trees.

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