Saturday, May 03, 2008

Growing My Own Food Supply

I am getting emails about stocking up our food supplies. This is what I have been talking about for a long time now. This is what homesteading is all about.......growing all your own food, or at least as much as you can. Taking charge of your own life....independence from other sources. I still have about 15 pounds of potatoes left over from last year's crop sitting in my pantry. Some of them I may plant with my new seed potatoes. Some people just smile at you sweetly when you warn them about planning ahead and doing this. They think that the stores will always be overflowing with food for them. That money will always be available to purchase all the food they want. And most of them purchase process foods which cost more and don't taste that good. My husband is spoiled as he always eats good quality food at home....unprocessed.

I hope that most people will take notice of the store prices to plant their own gardens this year. I just cannot understand why all people do not do this. My own plan is eventually of mostly only eating the food I grow, supplemented with the addition grains and dried grains that I pick up at my local bulk food store. It will the way of our future I am sure. I love to cook and garden so they two go together so that we can live. It is the circle of life.

I am so fortunate here in upstate New York that we have been having such great weather. I have planted 50 strawberry plants in the last week, covering them up with the threat of frost the other night. I filled two stone raised beds that I built myself with all of them. Plus, I have a few assorted stone planters I built that hold 1 single plant each. Filled each of them also. My old dairy sink that I made into a waist high raised bed, every year I fill it with various types of salad greens. I planted that four days ago also. I have been on a roll here since spring really did arrive.

Last week I canned 13 pints of black beans and this week will can 13 more of another kind of bean.......maybe pinto. I seem to have run out of my pint jars, having mostly quarts now. But when I can beans or jams and preserves, I like to use the pint jars. So now I am trying to stock up on those. I bought a dozen yesterday at Dollar General for $7.00. Now I don't know if that is a good price or not as I have never bought jars new before. The girls that worked in the store were quite young, but seemed to really be interested in canning. The girl waiting on me said that her father was going to teach her as the last time she did it, it did not turn out very well. I like to see young girls wanting to learn this art! It gives me hope for the future.

Anyway, people ask me why I can dried beans. The reason is that they are easier to use. Plus the fact that I can just toss them into something at the last moment for a meal. Now I think we will be eating even more beans as they are way cheaper than meat. Plus they are an excellent source of fiber! I find they fill us up and nobody is looking for snacks later. There is such a huge variety between the beans, lentils and peas, though I only can the beans. We love southern food as I grew up in Florida and get to craving that southern style of cooking every now and then. So black-eyed peas is one of my favorites!

My husband has my raised beds all ready for me to plant. I am waiting on the weather for them, as that is where my tomatoes and green beans are going. Have to be sure all signs of cold weather is all gone before I take that chance. My tomato seedlings have been doing outstanding. I cannot wait till they are safely tucked into their own raised beds. I expect to have an awesome crop of vegetables this year to can, to dry and to just store in my root cellar.