Thursday, July 31, 2008

We have been keeping Mrs. Curley pretty busy these days. As reported in this space earlier, we had high hopes for the garden this year-not just for a summer crop, but an abundance to blanch, freeze, or can for the winter. Of course this bumper crop didn't materialize.

So each week when I go into the city to work, I have been stopping at the Farmer's Market. Most of the local farmer's markets are primarily retail markets, but not the one in Columbia. It is open every day year round. Some of the produce comes from out of state, but there is a large pavilion of SC-grown produce. Restaurants and stores buy in bulk here.

So do I. This week I came home with a case each of beans, eggplant, peppers (red and green), , tomatoesand 50 lbs. of red potatoes. Some we eat right away, but most Mrs. Curley preserves for later. This week she also went to a local peach farm (for peaches) and went blueberry picking with a few of the kids in Elgin, SC.

All this means a busy next few days in the kitchen.

Mrs. Curley is now buying grain in bulk and milling our own flour (and baking our own bread.) I can't tell you how much better the bread and muffins we have taste now.

Our basic plan is to grow all our meat here (chicken, pork, and goat) and to grow (not working too well) or in this case buy our produce in bulk. This way the only trips we need to make to the grocery store are for other items-making those trips less often.

If the goat milk (or cheese) works out, then this is another savings.

Of course all this takes a lot of work. But we are working together and learning much.

I know I can successfully grow radishes and turnips on our land. In the fall I plan to dedicate almost everything to these crops-not so much for our consumption, but for the animals. The goats will absolutely devour the turnip and radish greens. The pigs and chickens will take care of the root.

Oremus pro invicem!

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