Friday, December 7, 2012

A Heritage of Local Eating...and a Surprise!!

Clara helping Daddy prepare to start seeds in March, 2012.
If you're a regular blog follower, you know Chris, Clara & I said goodbye to the garden we planted in the spring, and moved to a new community in June.  We're incredibly pleased with our new home (although, there is a TON of updating and work to do to make it ours, which will take YEARS!)  Friendly faces surround this community, and we already run into people we know regularly.  I felt a little as if we are local food failures this year, but then I began to take account of the winter pantry we built.  Smaller than previous years, but still plentiful.  This year we:

*Picked mulberries, froze.
*Picked June berries, froze.
*Picked apricots, froze.
*Picked apples, dried and froze.
*Picked pears, dried.
*Grew a ton of butternut squash that we are using consistently and squirreling away for the winter.
*Enjoyed a ton of homegrown watermelon.  Gpa's farm grows the best watermelon!

We also planted two grape vines, a pear tree, and a couple apricot trees on our new property.  And of course, we always have our stash of local, organic wheat berries to grind for fresh bread, crackers, pasta and other grain foods.

This summer, while watching Clara (now 20 months) help us harvest various items, I've pondered how there really is a heritage to local eating.  I want to share some pictures of the heritage we are building into her life and the lives of those around us this summer.

This is my little cousin, picking June berries and, according to his father, eating them "like candy."  His mom is an avid gardener and says she doesn't get any strawberries in her house in the summer because he is out there picking and eating the ripe red jewels. 

Here's Clara on one of our many harvesting adventures.  Even at 14 months she loved helping pick mulberries.  Now, anything that looks like a berry (Holly berries, etc.) she picks, so we have to be careful because some of those berries can be toxic if eaten.

Here's Clara helping her Daddy make apple cider to take to a local butchering party (note her shoving the apples into the juicer).  Yes, the butchering party is another blog post to come.  Building community over slaying chickens - gotta love that!

I hope you enjoyed your local foods season, and if you were able to store away like us, or plant a fall crop I hope you're still enjoying it!  If there are young ones in your life, I encourage you to begin building into their lives a heritage of local eating.  By doing that, they'll know potatoes don't come from a box, but from the rich ground.  We'll for sure continue to do this, and if you haven't heard, we'll be doing it with another new life beginning late January...



  1. Paula! Thanks very much for posting this update, and congratulations to you two once again. I hope we'll be able to see each other again one of these days; I'll be teaching a class on "Farming, Food, and Freedom" this spring, and it's people like you that have given me the kind of resources and inspiration to put it together. If we don't have a chance to talk before the holidays, have a merry Christmas and a great new year!

    1. Thanks for commenting Russell! Glad to hear you're continuing to teach these fun topics. I'm sure your students are learning a lot and seeing things from a new perspective. Have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Hi Paula. Its Andrea. Your blog is awesome. I have a winter garden and its going great. This is my first time doing one in the fall /winter.

    1. Thanks Andrea. How fun to have a winter garden! Chris and I got to do carrots in the garden one winter and it was so fun having the fresh veggies throughout that season. We'll do it again someday I am sure, but for now we'll be eating lots of preserved fruit!