Back 2 Basics and Other Challenges

I’ve decided to start the Back 2 Basics Harvest Keeper Challenge for 2009. Chicken eggs will be the only thing on the list for now but I am excited to see things rack up once spring arrives. This will be very good for me because I kept no records from all of the farming and canning I did last year. Check out my sidebar if you’re interested, and go visit Farm Mom for a better example.

Other challenge updates:

We haven’t been using our corn burner at all due to it malfunctioning and refusing to keep a fire going. Brian is trying to track down the problem but in the meantime we’re blowing our budget with all the fuel oil we’re burning. So much for keeping track of the corn we use! We do keep the thermostat set low (58-62 F) and I finally found the controls for our dual heated blanket so we use that every night to take the edge off. I covered most of our windows with the clear plastics kits in the fall and although I don’t how much that is helping I do like that I can’t feel a breeze when I walk by the windows! I’d like to make some insulated curtains with my new sewing machine. I hope to make them this year because fall is a busy time for us and I’m sure I won’t do much sewing over the summer.

1. Plant something: not much of that going on here. Check out the next update for more info.
2. Harvest something: while there is nothing left outside to harvest I got a thrill out of using some of the carrots I stored away in the fall.
3. Preserve something: We reorganized our freezer and Brian filled it with venison from his hunting trip back in December.
4. Prep something: I have been spending all my free time researching poultry breeds and other topics in preparation to order chicks and expand our flock. I’d like to include some day range broilers this year and have enough eggs to sell. Right now we have plenty of extra eggs but not enough to market them.
5. Cook something: I have been trying a lot of new recipes and Brian is grateful, I think. First I made Parmesan Chicken then Buttermilk Baked Chicken, both of which I really like and can’t wait to make again. Today I made Beef Stew, plus I’ve been using that great new bread recipe. I tried to make homemade potato chips too but still have some work to do there.
6. Manage your reserves: Our pantry is overflowing, we are definitely going to need more shelving! I’ve been making homemade garlic shells a lot with dinner so I scarfed up a 5 or 6 month supply of shells on sale last week. It is going to take a lot of finagling to get those to fit in the pantry. 🙂
7. Work on local food systems: for those who remember my post about the food co-op presentation I went to, I have an update. I did communicate with Dr. Schilling again and apparently there has been no further interest in a local co-op. I was hoping to hold a planning meeting and am a little disappointed that no contact information was collected at the presentation. I’ll continue to seek out interest and may pursue a co-op more in the future. If anyone in the Michigan Tri-Cities or Thumb area is interested in a food co-op (as a producer or consumer) please let me know!

My seeds from Baker Creek have arrived! I also purchased a grow light and two bulbs in preparation for starting seeds. The next step is to check out my old ingredients for soiless potting mix and see if I need to buy fresh for this year. I think of have plenty of peat pots left to use initially but I may get some of a larger size (4″ or so) for when the seedlings get bigger. How exciting!


3 thoughts on “Back 2 Basics and Other Challenges

  1. Farmer's Daughter

    I’m so glad you like my recipes 🙂 That chicken is a good one.Would you be willing to post your garlic shells recipe? I’d love to try them!

  2. Jena

    I had always tried to coat the chicken and fry it, which of course never turned out right and was so unhealthy. I think I was remembering soggy shake-and-bake pork chops in the oven from my childhood and was scared baked chicken would turn out like that. Boy was I wrong, and I’m glad!Sure, I’ll put the garlic shells recipe up tonight or tomorrow. They are a lot like the Lipton garlic shells in the bag but homemade and a little sweeter.

  3. Farmer's Daughter

    We used to love those garlic shells in the bag… But when I cut out processed food, they went! Thanks for offering to share!


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