Friday, July 1, 2011
And So It Begins
This is our fridge on the day we start not buying any food for three months. To be honest, it freaks me out a little. As you can probably tell, we didn't really stock up on fresh food beforehand. What's the point? It doesn't usually keep much longer than a week or two so we're just going to have to wing it.
For those that are new to the blog, we've been going without buying food from grocery stores, convenience stores, box stores and restaurants since October 1st, 2010. We've only been buying food from farmers' markets, direct from the farmer, through real butchers that only sell local, sustainably and humanely raised meat, real fish mongers, spice merchants, produce stands, a CSA that delivers locally produced, organic dairy, and a buying club/co-op for our dry goods. Besides that, we've been subsisting off of our quarter acre urban farm.
When we reached our 6 month mark we were cruisin'. It was pretty easy so we decided two things. The first thing was that we were going to continue with our project indefinitely with one caveat - we get one restaurant visit per month. I just don't want to give up sushi for the rest of my life and homemade sushi just isn't the same.
The second thing we decided was that we were going to attempt to go without buying food for the final three months - July 1st through October 1st. We wanted to force ourselves to try and live off of what we produce and raise. We also wanted to see how successfully prepared we are in terms of emergencies. How much food do we really need in case of an emergency? We live in earthquake territory, and while it's unlikely we'll ever need to go 3 months without any services if there is an earthquake, we do face uncertain economic times. If one of us loses our jobs, can we reduce our spending on food?
Our garden isn't as far along as we'd like, but it's starting to ramp up. We'll have to limit our fresh produce for a bit. However, I expect to get zucchini, cucumbers and beans this coming week or two.
Fruit is going to be the hardest thing for us. The weather really didn't cooperate this year. While our stone fruit trees were blooming it rained and rained and rained. The bees couldn't get to them. We got a very small amount of fruit only to be ruined by very late rains (completely abnormal here) causing all of it to split before it ripened. We'll have to salvage what we can, but I fear it won't be much.
We will be bartering - trading eggs, bread, labor and knowledge - for food we need. Unfortunately, most of our friends in the area have the same problem with their fruit trees. We'll have to figure something out, but for now we'll just have to go with the flow.