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Old 06-08-2011, 05:11 PM   #41
Io Zeno
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heh, in the Sudan they still boil meats in honey to preserve it. You google, you learn.

Well, honey is a fascinating subject, historically speaking.
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:41 PM   #42
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Well


They didn't actually preserve their organs and entomb themselves...

Other Egyptians did it for them, since they were incapacitated by a complete lack of metabolism at the time.
I was gonna say- that's taking the whole "do-it-yerself" thing a bit far, imo...
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:49 PM   #43
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You could try a food dehydrator - no sugar required. I processed a whole season's worth of figs in one and it was easy-peasy!
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:55 PM   #44
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You could try a food dehydrator - no sugar required. I processed a whole season's worth of figs in one and it was easy-peasy!
You can build a largish homegrown version of those- you just need some old window screens, a wooden drawer-type frame [also enclosed with screens] that they can fit in, and [if you want] a small fan. The old organic gardening magazines used to have little schematics for them, but all they really are is a fly-free air-box, and if you make it big enough, you can do a whole crop in it.

[one of the projects i'd like to get after sometime this summer/fall][after everything else ]
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:30 PM   #45
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We've got a dehydrator. I like it - plus, you can make jerky in it. There is only so much dried stuff I can handle. The veggies go really well in soups and stews, and the fruit is...well...dried fruit. Unless I want to live on trail mix, we're still going to need some other alternates.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:36 PM   #46
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We've got a dehydrator. I like it - plus, you can make jerky in it. There is only so much dried stuff I can handle. The veggies go really well in soups and stews, and the fruit is...well...dried fruit. Unless I want to live on trail mix, we're still going to need some other alternates.
You rehydrate the fruit before eating it.. or put it in meals that will hydrate it. Pies, tarts, etc...

Although it can make good ammo for hunting as well..
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:45 PM   #47
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You rehydrate the fruit before eating it.. or put it in meals that will hydrate it. Pies, tarts, etc...

Although it can make good ammo for hunting as well..
I've never actually tried that. Does it work? Don't you just get goo?
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:49 PM   #48
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http://ceplacer.ucdavis.edu/files/81.PDF
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:51 PM   #49
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I've never actually tried that. Does it work? Don't you just get goo?
Well, it does tend to goo a bit if you hit something in the head, but torso shots are better.

As far as rehydration, no.. they all pretty much keep their shape, especially when used in things like oatmeal, or pies. If you put them in something and boil it alot, they will tend to goo somewhat.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:39 PM   #50
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heh, in the Sudan they still boil meats in honey to preserve it. You google, you learn.

Well, honey is a fascinating subject, historically speaking.
Medically speaking too. Honey is a very complex substance. There is honey from New Zealand that is approved by the FDA for treatment of MRSA. Very cool stuff.

As for the sugar = doooooo eeeeeeeetttt
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:42 PM   #51
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Dehydration can also be done in a very low oven, or some anyway. The one I just purchased came with instructions for doing it. Microwaves also for that matter if I'm not mistaken. But I'm pretty sure that pioneers didn't have microwaves so that could be considered cheating
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:12 PM   #52
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Where is the Sun?
Posted on June 14, 2011

Total food dollars spent since May 31: $307.21. This includes large purchases of flour, beans, sugar, etc., and should definitely increase at a smaller rate over the year. We’re curious to see if our sustainability year will be cheaper in the long run than the average American couple’s food expenditures. According to the USDA, the average American couple between the ages of 19 and 50 spends anywhere from $448 to $697 per month on food. Where are you on this scale? Information for families is included in that page. We didn’t count seed costs in our total, because these are seeds leftover from last year.

So yesterday, we were talking about brussel sprouts. I asked Dear Husband how many he had planted, and he replied “I didn’t plant any, how many did you plant?” When I also said that I hadn’t planned any, we looked at eachother and said, “So who planted that last bed?” We had forgotten to plant one of our garden beds! Thank goodness most of those plants are winter veggies anyway. I ran outside and jammed a bunch of seeds in the dirt. Here’s a picture of our garden plan:



If you want to view the whole page, here’s the link: Garden Plan. We used the Mother Earth News garden planner which is only $25/year. It’s very handy.

In the corn bed, we’re going to try the Native American method using the “Three Sisters” of corn, which grows tall and strong, beans, which will climb the corn stalks, and squash, which will shade the ground and prevent moisture loss. We threw in some flowers throughout the garden to attract pollinators and to look pretty.

Just for fun, here is a picture of our garden on June 13, 2011. I’m going to take a picture every week from the same window to compare.



You can barely see the small bed to the upper left: it’s got asparagus, wildflowers, cucumbers and sunflowers. This view is a 180 degree rotation from the garden plan; the corn bed is on the right here, while on the plan it’s on the left. The big black cube is a commercially made composter and I love it. The yellow and green tubs are full of potato plants. The camera is facing west.

So far, we’ve visited the local farmers’ market once, and mostly they had radishes for sale, but we picked up some early asparagus and lettuce from cold frames. We’ve bought one local chicken from the butcher, and milk from the co-op, which sells very local milk. Mostly, we’re still eating out of our pantry. We made tortillas from scratch yesterday to make enchiladas with the chicken. So far, so good. No hardships yet, though I would kill for a Diet Coke. See you next week!
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:39 PM   #53
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Wow, seeing the numbers of what the average couple spends makes me feel a LOT better about how much we spend on food!

While I was stocking up for summer, I was spending around 500-600 a month, for about 2 months. Wow, but thinking about it, I always count toiletries, paper goods, etc in that number too. I buy it all at the same time, so in my head, it all goes to the same place, you know?

If I counted *just* food, now that we are stocked up... maybe 200 or so a month. I pretty much buy fresh ingredients for a recipe, or replenish something we ran out of.

And Mulch and I eat very well in the sense that we aren't eating ramen and potato chips and bologna sandwiches. We eat whole grains, lots of fresh foods, mostly vegan or vegetarian (we both have a weakness for cheese), and everything is high quality. I am proud of how stocked our kitchen is... but, unfortunately, the kitchen really is too small for it >.< While I can prepare a ton of things from scratch with what we have on hand and just a couple of fresh ingredients (if that), there is very little prep room. We need to whittle down our supplies and go more basic. I went a bit crazy with the stocking up >.< I have been making amazing vegan dinners almost every night for months, and we still havent even dented the supplies!

If we had a garden, we could easily do what you guys are doing with just a bit more of the basics (some more flour, a bit more rice, beans, etc.) I really want to go sustainable one day! When I am in a position to buy a house, solar panels will be part of the budget for the house, so I can be off the grid too. My dream location is so secluded, it would be somewhere where I am not on municipal water either. But I know that getting that picky is starting to get silly I am going to go all in on this no matter how I end up
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:02 PM   #54
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Kita - I'm with you. I'm usually horrified when I go to the store and see how high the bill is but when I saw that average, it did make me feel a bit better. Ghosty and I usually spend at least $125 a week. Some weeks, it goes as high as $200 if I'm splurging on specialty items.

In between, every few months we stock up on essentials like paper goods, which probably comes out to about $100 or so, maybe a bit more and lasts us about 3 - 4 months. I'd say about every 4-5 weeks we can get away with spending less from what has accumulated in the freezer, get it down to less than $100 but not much less.

We also eat really well. I don't buy crap, no junk food (or hardly any, sometimes Ghosty gets cravings so I'll give into him, but rarely - like there's never candy in the house, EVER, If there is a craving, I'd rather go get one piece of something, eat that and get rid of the craving than buy a box of it and have it tempting us for a week). We tend to buy organic in produce and meats/seafood/poultry. We do not eat much red meat at all any more other than an occasional craving for a burger and even at that, we'll usually go for the turkey burger before it which are much less expensive and we're just as happy with them. A lot of pasta, grains, and trying hard lately to eat much more veggies (fruit, we always did). I nearly always cook from scratch although I usually have a couple of emergency meal type of things in the freezer as I suffer from migraines and bad neck/shoulder issues and there are just some nights I can't function to make a meal (G can make do but honestly he freaks me out in the kitchen - he's too willy nilly in his approach and I'm terrified he's going to burn the place down - sorry hunny, it's the truth).

We have lots of supplies, my pantry is always very well stocked with essentials, and I grow my own herbs in the summer to that saves a lot. This year, I wasn't able to grow any tomatoes because we're in the midst of going through landscaping (we eat A LOT of them) but next year, we'll get back to that. Being able to do that would save a ton of money alone for us.

We also don't drink soda usually (me none, Ghosty only rarely) which saves a lot too. It always amazes me how much of that people drink. Blech.

We don't eat out much either any more. With G being out of work, it's just too much of a luxury these days, so lots of money saved there.

So, the $450, give or take that we spend doesn't sound too awful now. I'd prefer to be able to whittle it down somewhat, maybe we can in the future but for now, I think I'll stop stressing over it.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:17 PM   #55
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Well, according to one website,



which means that we'll need sugar anyway. So I guess we'll buy sugar!
Better canesugar

And it is easy to have your own vinegar, one half bottle of red wine,and put some white vinegar in it ,and wait ,and everytime you are drinking wine pour a little in your vinegar bottle.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:47 PM   #56
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Very much enjoyed the report and the graph. Looking forward to future pictures of the garden as well.

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Old 06-15-2011, 12:33 AM   #57
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Here's what ye do...



First, ye tell Trout to hitch up the horse to the buckboard. Then ye mosey on down to town and go in the general store... the one that looks like this'un:



You buy a big bag of sugar and can to your heart's content.

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Old 08-23-2011, 01:59 PM   #58
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It's canning time.

The day before yesterday, we chopped up zucchini, carrots, kohlrabi, green beans, and peas, and mixed them all together, then packaged and froze them as stir-fry veggies.

Yesterday we pickled peppers and canned tomatoes.

Today is pickled cucumbers day.

We will have another round of green beans and peas from the garden, as the plants are still blooming and producing. More carrots, too. Our broccoli either produced small florets or bolted - I think we'll try a different varietal next year. We've got loads of zucchini still growing, and the corn tassels are just starting. The pole beans are just starting to produce as well; we've got some baby beans, but nothing harvestable yet.

Next week should see canning peaches arriving at the farmer's markets, and plums and apricots. I keep meaning to pick up flats of berries but for whatever reason, I never have cash when I drive past the stands. I must make an effort, because we both adore marionberry pie! And berries are so good in smoothies and such.

The sheep are settling in; we're trying to get them used to idea that they'll have to be around people on a regular basis. The chickens are still producing loads of eggs.

I haven't weighed our food in a while; that will be next week. I'm really rather relieved that our garden has started producing. It was looking like a grim summer, but now that stuff is coming in well, I'm happy to be preserving it!

One question for you all: would you consider corn to be a starch or a vegetable? When it's fresh? When it's dried?
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:33 PM   #59
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Zucchini count as of today: 23.18 pounds. More to come.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:50 PM   #60
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Corn is a veggie to me, unless it's corn flour - then it's a starch. Like for making polenta, grits, etc.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:20 PM   #61
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It's starch to your waist, no matter what form Just like potatoes! I always like to couple corn with beans to balance them, and avoid coupling them with potatoes and rice. If you have corn, you dont need a potato, that sort of thing. It is like a healthy starch, so you can at least feel good about it!
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