Independence Days VII


Planted:  Corn!  I broke down and got a short maturity variety (hybrid, shame on me) after we bought some sweet corn from the farm stand near our house.  Violets, I had hoped they would work as a cover/mulch plant for all the bare dirt around the eggplants.  Scarlet runner beans.

Harvested:  Garlic, lettuce, carrots, mint, cilantro, nasturtiums and cherry tomatoes for our salads.  Yum!

Preserved:  Nothing

Reduce waste/Manage stores:  Holy crap, our electric bill was DOUBLE what it was the same time last year, and it was hotter last year!  DH and I were initially blaming the fans (at least one in every room but bathrooms) but then I remembered the new freezer.  It took two days to cool to the lowest setting, and then we turned it up a couple of notches after we filled it.  So I’m guessing that’s our energy sucker.  I know our bill is going to go up a little, after all the freezer is four times the size of the old one, but hopefully we will stabilize at a lesser increased rate for next month.  Still, $124 for this time of year (and it would be about $80 if we didn’t pay extra to get 45% of our power from solar) isn’t bad, I compare our usage to others’ on the APS website and we still are in the lowest 15%.

In the reduce waste category also I guess, I purchased a heavy duty camp stove to set up in the back yard so we can do our cooking out there.  I am planning to try the rocket stove with a stew or something or a small batch of preserves so I can see if it will work for canning; if not I will use the camp stove.  I also looked online and Coleman makes a folding oven that sits on top of a campstove burner so I’ll be in business for baking bread all summer without heating up the house, as soon as I order one.

I bought a metal storage shelving unit for all my canning stuff; it’s not big enough but now I have about 80% of the canning stuff — lids and jars, and preserves, in one place.  I am going to buy another heavier duty shelving unit and get the rest of it organized.

Eat the food:  eggs, lettuce, carrots, pak choi for the chickens, preserves, rice and pasta from stores.  I have begun making a double recipe whenever I cook so that I can put the rest into serving sized portions and take it to work.  I really prefer our cooking to the stuff they serve at the cafeteria; I also don’t get the runs from what I make either 😉  I really have no idea what it is about the cooking there, because they got an A+ rating from the county health department, but it’s not just me — most of my coworkers say they get sick at least once a week when they eat there too.

Build community food systems:  nope, been working too much.

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2 responses

  1. Is the freezer in a hot garage or laundry room or something? We moved ours to the cool basement and noticed some savings. At any rate, that sounds like a lot for just a freezer.

    • Yeah, the freezer is in our laundry room but we’re hitting 90 during the day and have been for the past month or so; since we don’t use the a/c and it’s brand new, I think a lot of that was simply cooling the freezer down. I just turned it back up a little this morning, I realized when I pulled a frozen chicken carcass out of it for dinner that it really didn’t need to be quite THAT cold.

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