Thursday, January 31, 2008

Haiti’s poor resort to eating mud as prices rise

This story breaks my heart :(

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - It was lunchtime in one of Haiti's worst slums and Charlene Dumas was eating mud.
With food prices rising, Haiti's poorest can't afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies.
Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country's central plateau....
read more

Monday, January 28, 2008

100 Foot Challenge: What I hope to grow this year...

The amazing
Dervaes family has put together a challenge I can't refuse. It's called the 100 Foot Diet Challenge.

According to their web site:

"The challenge is simple. Beginning as soon as you can, prepare a meal at least once a week with only homegrown vegetables, fruit, herbs, eggs, dairy products or meat, using as few store bought ingredients as possible. "

What an awesome idea. I am getting ready to plant some cold weather plants and trying to come up with a plan for future harvests. I made a list of what I would love to grow and eat out of my own garden.

Anise, Apples, Asparagus, Basil, Bay, Beets, Blackberries,
Broccoli, Cabbage, Cat, Mint, Cauliflower, Chamomile, Chard,
Cherries, Chicken- Broilers, Chickens- Layers, Chives, Corn,
Cucumbers, Eggplant, Fennel, Figs, Garlic, Grapes, Green Beans,
Honey Bees, Kale, Lavender, Lemon, Lettuce, Lime Mint,
Nectarines, Oca, Olives, Onion, Oranges, Oregano, Peaches,
Pears, Peas, Peppers, Persimmons, Plums, Potatoes, Pumpkin /Pumpkin Seeds
Rabbits - Eating, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Rosemary, Sage,
Stevia, Strawberries, Summer, Squash, Sunchokes, Sunflower
Seeds, Tarragon, Thyme, Tomato, Winter Squash, Yacon

I've ordered my seeds and will be buying a fig, orange and persimmon tree this year. My other fruit trees were planted only last year so they are all really small still. I will be getting my Yacon and Oca orders in March or April and I am excited to try growing them.

New Years Resolutions 2008

While growing my own organic food is a wonderful way to become more self sufficient, there are some additional steps that I plan to take in the next couple years.
· Install an outdoor, solar heated shower and tub for summertime use in the garden.
· Install a clothesline for drying all of my laundry
June –September.
· Stop using plastic grocery bags. Make cloth bags out of my excess fabric supply.
· Compost and Recycle everything possible.
· Build a root cellar for storing veggies.
· Stop shopping at giant superstores. Support local farmers for all of the items I cannot grow myself. Buy local grass fed meats and local cheeses, butter and milk (organic). Switch to all organic beauty and health products.
· Shop for groceries only once per week and limit driving to conserve fuel.
· Clean out all excess clutter and stuff I don’t need out of my home and garage.
· Build a fire pit and a solar cooker in2008 and add a cob oven 2009.
· Can, freeze and preserve as much of the excess harvest for winter time consumption. Make homemade wine and vinegar.
· Use my dried gourds to build bird houses. Feed the birds year round.
· Install bat houses and an owl house
· Raise honey bees
· Build a water catchment system to harvest rain water from my garage and greenhouse. Use this water in the summer to cut down on the well use. I am hoping to harvest 500-750 gallons of water in 2009.
· Install Grey water system for bathroom sinks/shower and washer water conservation 2009.
· Install solar power panels, beginning with my water heater and by 2010 become completely solar powered.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Chicken Moves

What an exciting weekend here on Ward Road. Friday night brought an intense downpour. The road was completely covered in water. We got a visit from our neighbor around 8pm with news that her kitchen was under water. Their pump was not sufficient to move water out of the yard fast enough and it was seeping into the house. Since it was pouring, we borrowed anther pump from our neighbor and got the water moving again. By Saturday morning the water level had gone down enough that the kitchen was no longer under water. Saturday was rain free so we moved the chicken coop to dryer ground. Our chickens were extremely confused by the new location and we spent about 2 hours chasing them down. The tried to roost in the bay tree but we managed to catch them all and put them back in the coop. We got the coop covered in plastic so the rain won't get in anymore. We added some dry rice straw for bedding and they are as happy as can be.