Wednesday, June 30, 2010

baby steps

Today at lunch I was thinking about the things I've done to be more eco, budget and nutrition-conscious since Leaf and I bought our house . While I was reflecting on the little changes we've implemented so far, and how much more we still want to do, I thought of the name "Life: Unplugged" as a potential contender for the future incarnation of this blog.

I read so many blogs of people who have already switched over to growing most of their own produce, lacto-fermenting food for storage and added nutritive value, soaking grains, etc. But I never see any blogs written by people who are still in the process. And I have no idea whether we'll ever be able to achieve that level of independence from commercial grocery stores, but I know we at the very LEAST want to save money while we save for our dream home (which is another blog post entirely) and be healthier.

Any thoughts? Is the title completely lame? It felt a little lame, albeit accurate. Holla at me, people.

Here are things we've done so far, which I'll hopefully be writing about in the future:
-Put shelves in the back yard for seedling trays and potted plants
-Built a raised-bed garden (full credit to Leaf for this one)
-Began baking our own bread (we haven't bought bread ONCE since we bought the house, except when we needed a ton of rolls all of a sudden)
-I made yogurt for the first time this past Sunday
-Joined a local CSA
-Started a compost heap (also credited to Leaf, although we've both been neglecting this one...)
-Reduced our refined sugar and caffeine intake(s)

I wouldn't want to write solely about those things, but I think it's a good start. I couldn't write without still having my random rants and personal anecdotes. I see it more of a "this is what we did to save money and improve our lives today. Recipes and how-tos and the like. Probably a lot of documentation of failure. Remember failure loaf? I sure do.

Sooooo...I guess I'll just start writing those sorts of entries and then we'll see how things go...


falnfenix said...

i guess i'll come out of lurk mode for this one.

i'm a friend of Leaf's...the name's Laura, and he and i met back in the days of the Corolla car clubs and meeting in parking lots, many moons ago.

anyway, my partner and i are a little father along than you are. two years ago, we did a container garden on the front porch. we had one tomato, one cucumber, one yellow squash, a couple of peppers, and some herbs. it was less than successful, but we learned. last year, we had one garden plot on the side of the house, and ran out of room. we had failed experiments: carrots, Brussels sprouts, red currant tomatoes, broccoli and squash. we learned from those mistakes (as well as the havoc the weather can wreak on a plant, with regards to the squash and zucchini). this year, we're working on our strengths: corn, peppers, tomatoes, and this summer appears to be a good one for squash. we're also rotating our crops, and started our composters this year. i'm attempting carrots again, but in purpose-built containers with the type of soil mix they need. this has been an overwhelming success, and i've been munching on carrots since they got big enough to munch. the best part of this experiment? the containers can and will be reused for winter root veg.

i'm sure we'll have some failures and many successes...and we'll learn.

regarding other stuff...we have a bread machine, but haven't really started using it all the time. we do sprouts in the kitchen with general success. we stick to the farmer's market for veggies or we go to Wegman's and get local organics. we HAVE started buying meat from Wagon Wheel farm out in Mt. Airy, which has worked out rather nicely for us. still, we're heavily reliant on the grocery store, but we've started buying smart.

it's a hard road to take, but once you get in the groove, it gets a lot easier. some stuff is overly difficult when both partners work - i can't make everything from scratch every night, and even with a home-cooking weekend i still can't keep up. i almost dread learning to can later this season, as i know it'll take awhile to get through all the surplus produce i intend to have. deities help me, for i know not what i intend to tackle. ;)

hope you don't mind me reading, as i'd like to peek in from time to time.

(deleted and reposted due to ridiculous comma abuse and missing words. need to avoid typing things when my brain's half asleep.)

ceejus said...

Do you have ANY idea how excited I am that I have a lurker?! Seriously? The only way this could be better is if I somehow got chips and salsa. Which, yeah, that doesn't even make sense. But chips and salsa pretty much invariably make things better. I think, anyway.

So excited to hear about your carrot success! I had some good-lucking seedlings going, but then I tried to move them to bigger pots and I'm pretty sure I did something wrong because...I have no carrots at home.

Start using your breadmaker. Seriously. You will be so.glad. you did. Oh, goodness.

I'm sorry it took so long to respond. I saw the email that you'd commented, but then my computer straight up DIED and then I was on vacation with crappy internet access.

Just as soon as I bleach my house from top to bottom I will totes be back on the green train. Unless there's an eco-friendly equivalent for chlorine bleach. Today I really need things to die. Really. Green really doesn't fit in with that plan...