Friday, August 7, 2009

Salt and Pepper and a Dash of Self-Reliance

Dinner was quick and easy tonight. We had a small pork roast, cooked in the crock pot while I was at work and fresh swiss chard from the garden steamed with garlic, lemon pepper, a little chicken bouillon and about a cup of juice from the pork roast. We shared a baked potato with butter and a little cheese and called it supper.

When we decided last fall that we would put in a garden this year, my only requests were that we plant a raised bed (I've done it both ways and find raised beds to be very efficient and therefore less labor intensive) and that we only plant what we like to eat. Bartering is a great concept but it's not an exact science so I didn't want to spend time, money, energy and water on producing more than we ourselves could or would eat.

It took YOF and me most of a weekend to put together the framework for the raised bed and another day and a half to haul the dirt to fill it. YOF posted some pictures of our handiwork on his blogsite back in June but it sure looks different now. The corn is as tall as it's going to get in this triple-digit heat and will be ready to harvest in a week or two. The pole beans aren't producing yet, but I have high hopes for them. Tonight is our second meal of fresh-picked swiss chard and the cantaloupe is about to over-run its designated section. The tomatoes and bell peppers are probably going to be compost. We planted them too late and it was too hot and I'm just not sure it's worth watering them anymore. But we will plant more in September and have tomatoes to can this fall.

Our neighbor gave us a flat of tomatoes from his garden a couple of weeks ago and I made fresh salsa. I may put up a few jars of salsa this fall too. Carrots, pumpkins, potatoes, lettuce, more swiss chard, onions and garlic on the short list for the fall garden too. I hope to have my canner soon but will be to concentrating my canning efforts on complete meals like stews and soups versus individual fruits and vegetables. If we get to the point of living off what we produce and preserve, I have a feeling that the emphasis will have shifted hard and fast to simple abatement of hunger versus a lot of colorful variety on our plates. Of course, basic nutrition will be more important than ever. But soups and stews made from a variety of our own home-grown, fresh ingredients will likely be more nutritious than the fast food we've all indulged in over the past few decades anyway. Fast food and four and five course meals will quickly become a faded memory. For now, I'll just plan and prepare and occasionally sample the bounty of our efforts.

Even though the chard is the only thing we've harvested so far, it feels really good to be eating out of our garden less than 90 days after we poked the first seeds into the ground. Self-reliance is a wonderful seasoning.



Blogger Felinae said...

I think your dinner sounds pretty darn good for being quick and easy :D


August 7, 2009 at 11:35 PM  
Blogger erniesjourney said...

I am anxiously awaiting our garden to be ready - planted late but it look good for a first time attempt - at least I haven't killed it all yet!
Nice to meet u on the chat!
God Bless!

August 8, 2009 at 12:32 AM  
Blogger WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

Nice to have met you in chat too, ernie. The room was bustling last night! I think our Wildblue Satellite connection had technical difficulties last night. All of a sudden we were off line and could not get back on or email or anywhere. It happens...

August 8, 2009 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger SciFiChick said...

Hey HB... The Natural Gardener suggests getting your fall tomato's in by Aug 15th! My chard didn't do well this time around but am going to try again for the fall garden. I've never tried it.... so experiment I must!

August 8, 2009 at 4:04 PM  

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