Tuesday, 21 January 2014
Eating what we produce
It's pretty amazing to eat a meal made from ingredients grown or produced within 100 meters of your table. Now that's local food! We hope to can less and less of our harvest in future, which might be the opposite of what the general homestead thinking model is. Canning/bottling of any kind requires a lot of energy (largely of the fossil fuel variety) and I'd like to rely far less on energy inputs to preserve my food (and store it for that matter). We are looking at building a large solar dehydrator in addition to improving our long term cold storage options. Variety is the end goal (as in not having all our "eggs" in one basket). If we have say, berries both frozen AND dehydrated, chances are, if we incur major loss of some kind (due to long term power outage or a flood for example), at least ONE method of storage will hopefully remain viable. As with anything, diversity is the key to success, right?
Every day, we strive to eat as locally as possible. Over the last 4 years, we've grown quite a lot of food for our table. The rest we source from local producers. Every bite of it is valuable because of the effort and energy extended to grow it, harvest it, preserve it or source it. It is our hope to produce much more of our future caloric intake through the development of our land using permaculture principles. Aside from taking an incredibly informative Permaculture Design Course through Rob Avis of Verge Permaculture, I've been researching how other people apply permaculture design strategies to their own land in colder climates (and to what end).
Ben Falk is a brilliant man who has learned a great deal through 10 years of trial and error on his Vermont farm. I'm smart enough to learn from those who have trail blazed before me and I humbly bow down to those who possess the courage to try new things (and make mistakes along the way). Ben's work is very inspiring to me and I highly recommend that you get a hold of his new book The Resilient Farm and Homestead. It's FULL of information and experience regarding the practical application of permaculture principles in a climate with a cold winter (gained through the ever effective teachings of "trial and error"). This book is of immense value to me having successfully broken down considerable mystery and uncertainty on several topics.
Do check out Ben's site as it's eye candy of my very favourite kind :)