Right now it is so very hot and humid (for Idaho! I’m from Texas so do know what humidity is!) I am ready for summer to be over! Start the fall weather, fall clothes, fall food, and fall activities. But first must can the tomatoes!
Do people ever ask you what is your favorite season is? My favorite season is always the next one. I spent most of my life living in Hawaii and south Texas. Neither of them are known for their change in seasons! So now I relish the changes in the seasons. Watching the tulips coming up, green grass starts to grow, getting warm enough to plant things in the garden, watching tomatoes ripen, time to start canning, having a bonfire on a crisp evening, time to make pumpkin pie, watching the snow fall. They are all my favorites! I love that we live in a world that has been masterfully ordered so that even the seasons are predictable. Summer comes after spring, fall comes after summer and so on.
A friend lent me a CD called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I own a hard copy but loved being able to drive around listening to a book while running errands. Listening to the book made more of an impact then when I read the book 4 years ago. Maybe because I am in a different place myself?
The book follows the author as she and her family the decision to eat from her county for a full year!!! They started in the spring when the asparagus came up and showed how they survived each month for a full year. I loved learning form her and her husband as he shared the flaws of our american food supply system.
They had a garden, raised chickens and turkeys, shopped the farmers market and made everything else from scratch. She talked about how shopping like that saved them like $7000 that year! All that they bought went directly back into their local economy.
This is something I want to emulate. First, it is healthier – no additives have been added. Second, you know that it will help the families you buy from. This summer, I bought 60 butchered chickens from a local farmer. I paid him a down payment in the spring and told him I’d like 20 birds at a time so I could cut them into the cuts we use. It was a few hours of work 2 times a month but I learned a lot. First off, that I need sharper knives!!! Third, it’s more humane. Farmer John didn’t have a huge faculty farm. He had the chickens in a hut and they were able to run around and eat bugs out of their garden. (Well, that was the idea! The chicks ate some of their plants too.)
I have been going to the farmers market for the items I couldn’t grow. Like berries. I bought at least a 100 lbs of berries to freeze for our daily use. I have a handful of berries in my daily smoothie and usually bought the organic mix at Costco. I have frozen several packages of corn.
Grandpa butchered a cow for us! It was my first time to have a butchered cow so we’ll count it as a learning experience. Next time, I’ll request different cuts. Some cuts I have no idea how to use! But that animal came right from our backyard. I hope we can start our own herd. I’ll have to ask Grandpa how we can do that.
Last week, we headed to a local orchard and picked 200 pounds of peaches, pears and apples. The peaches have all been put in jam or canned. The pears are almost ripened and we just got a few apples that trip for eating. Canning apples come later.
Well, this all makes for an expensive SUMMER season! But I won’t have to buy most of these things til next summer! I need to be focusing on the YEAR’s budget and not just my summer budget.
Let’s see what the next season brings??