Honestly, it's been a cockeyed roller coaster of weather this year. Marked with late freezes, a cooler than normal summer, rainy spring and summer (not that I'm complaining), and a tropical storm blowing through our mountains. I keep saying that next year will be better. Or, I hope it will be.
BECAUSE of our strange weather patterns, the orchard wasn't planted, but it is cleared now with a thick layer of cardboard, wood chips (thank you TS Irma), and straw so it will be ready in the spring for the trees and bushes. We did expand our garden area. It now has a blanket of cardboard, wood chips, and straw too. My goal for the garden this year was to produce six months worth of vegetables. We fell short. I only managed a few months worth. Vegetables that grew well for several years didn't this year. In part I blame the chickens...they ate the seeds, and decided my garden was the ideal place to sunbathe and dust bathe. Once again, I had no idea what would come up, or even if the plants would survive the chicken claws and beaks.
Most of what I canned was chemical-free, non-GMO, and locally sourced produce. Although it seemed like I canned a whole lot, it isn't when you look at how many meals and sides it will be. But then again, I did manage six months worth. I'm still working on Mel's attitude of not having too much food around. She just has a hard time understanding the quantity of food that is necessary to feed us for that amount of time. It's the city girl in her. It's so much easier to go to the grocery store every couple of weeks and buy what you need without thinking what the total amount needed for months. Sure we could still do that, but it goes against a healthier, self-sufficient lifestyle. It's hard to find good, whole foods in the grocery stores.
When I canned two bushels of green bean, her favorite. It was the same thing. I tried logic. "How many cans of green beans do you want to eat a week?" That didn't work. So finally I told her, "Shut up! It's my money." She stopped fighting me about food stuff. She's also got a part-time job now too so she's out of the house more.
While our 5 cu ft freezer is filled to capacity with beef, chicken, pork, and shrimp, I keep hearing her say that there's no more room but yet, I find room. Mel has a giant love of animal protein. I can take it or leave it. Five pounds of organic soybeans and dry beans will supply the amino acids I need without the animal based meat products for quite a while. Not that I don't like a well cooked steak, or chicken and dumplings from time to time. I really do! I love my veggies. I made a video of making Lo Mein. Mel's complaint, "It has too many vegetables." When I made chicken Lo Mein the other night I made hers with mushrooms, onions, and garlic for vegetables. Mine was loaded with about six ounces of vegetables. I try to get her to eat healthier, but sometimes it's a losing battle.
|Moira and Mel|
Y'all have a blessed day!