Frustrations

12 05 2008

I don’t know about you, but my seed potatoes are still in a brown paper bag. Last year I planted them in April, the year before at the end of March. Today I can still see the snow level looming in the foothills. It’s going up and down like a set of faulty blinds. Faulty because it’s mid-May and I should be wearing shorts not lohnjohns and certainly not wondering if we’re going to have to start burning next year’s wood already. It’s going to be a short season Upriver this year.

Meanwhile, it’s a good time to sign up for a CSA share. Jericho Farm still has shares. Give Rebecca a call or visit her at the first Saturday Market (Concrete Senior Center) on May 24th. She has full shares, half shares and EBT payment options this year. We were her guinea pigs last year and we’re looking forward to another season of fresh vegetables.

It’s also a good time to go through the freezer and the pantry. Bring the Musgovians forward and finish off last year’s harvest stash! Our Farmer’s Markets are starting up, but they’ll be mostly vegetables starts, a few early greens and asparagus yet. Last month we inadvertantly emulated the fictional family profiled in The Ethicurean’s humorous January post – on April Fool’s Day we shopped for a party and on April 28th I picked up a small bunch of Washington asparagus and some rapini from Mother Flight Farm. This weekend’s bad weather kept the seed potatoes in their bags still, but I got the freezers organized with crates so we might just eat out of the pantry for another month.

Another motivation is the media flurry over the price of food (oil). One important aspect that doesn’t seem to get addressed, however, is the incredible amount of food that gets wasted in the US. This happens on all levels from harvest (~40%) to kitchen (15%-25%). The price of petroleum-based commodities are going up, but Americans don’t spend very much on food. If they did, so much possibly wouldn’t get wasted. While the national average is about 10%-15% and going up, our household spends probably about 20%-25% of gross income on food. That does include dining out, but mostly it’s going to our local farmers and ranchers. Trust me, I’m not about to waste a quarter of my small income! Fortunately, this issue is being addressed in the Wasted Food blog and eventually a book.

Anyway, according to the forecast, summer will be here full force on Thursday so it’s time to dig out the shorts and dig in the potatoes!

Chicken Update

They’re settling in well although still in somewhat temporary quarters. Hopefully by next week they’ll be big enough to fend off the cats and they can begin free-ranging around the yard. Keith is becoming quite the chicken whisperer and the birds are getting used to being handled.

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2 responses

12 05 2008
Nate

I try not to waste food, but it’s inevitable with picky kid eaters and large pantries. But at least I compost all my fruit and veggie scraps.

Thanks for the link to the Wasted Food blog!

14 05 2008
Saara

We lose some too, Nate. Between the chickens, the dog and the compost, I feel a little better about it though too.
You’re welcome for the link. I was excited to find it.

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