I think I am a food hoarder. It’s March and my pantry is still full. I have been miserly about opening my canned goods, saving them for a rainy day. It finally occurred to me that now is the rainy day. The time to use up all my preserves is in the winter because I’ll be canning again soon.
This also means I have to change some of my habits. Now that we are seasonally employed, I am trying to stretch my winter dollar. I am limiting my grocery selection to fresh produce and dairy products. The rest has to come from my pantry and freezer. Our hens have been laying superstars, and we have a glut of beans that Jess grew last summer. Hence, we have been eating a lot of beans and eggs which has resulted in some killer bean recipes. I wasn’t sure they even existed until now.
I have also started making my own granola. In Toronto, I had a lovely neighbour who would make me homemade granola about once a month. We would gobble it up in a day or two and then wait patiently until our next instalment. All other granola would pale in comparison to Lisa’s Granola. I think my granola may be a close second. We will have to do a taste test the next time she visits. I just used up the last of our maple syrup to make a batch of granola. It’s a good thing that we have our trees tapped and the sap is flowing. Ruby has been honoured with the title of Chief Sap Technician. She checks the sap several times a day, and ensures the taps are functioning properly. We are hoping to make a least 2 gallons of syrup this season to get us through to next spring.
Sowing has begun, and I see a lot of kale in my future. I have been experimenting with cheesy kale chip recipes and have finally found one that is consistently tasty. Aside from kale, Jess and the girls have started an assortment of flowers (chrysanthemums, poppies, malva zebrinas) plus thai peppers, yellow peppers, green peppers, tomatillos, pimentos, and tomatoes.
We are trying to be more strategic about what we plant and how we are going to cope with the overload this summer. I’m pouring over canning recipes, and will have all my canning supplies at the ready. We are also going to have a a farm stand this year. We have close to 300 strawberry plants and I am certain we won’t be able to can, eat or freeze our way through that lot. We planted over a 100 corn last year and gladly ate through every delicious cob. We will be planting much more this year so we can have some through the winter. Instead of a tree fort, Jess has promised the girls a secret cabin in the middle of the corn field. They will have to eat their way out if they get lost in there.
We are trying to grow and preserve as much as we can to feed ourselves throughout the year. We will be ordering 24 meat chickens next month, we are researching the best grain to grow, Jess is building a Kenyan Top Bar bee hive, and we have started a batch of hard cider.
Now all we have to do is wait for summer to arrive.