Sunday, May 30, 2010

No Vegetation: The Challenge

It's been 2 1/2 years since we moved here to the north land, and while I've diligently foraged, picked, frozen and canned, we still haven't quite adjusted our diets to the fact that we no longer have an apple tree.

I love apples. The kids love apples. Even hubby eats an occasional apple. Living down south, we had two well producing apple trees on our property, as well as three trees available at my parents, and an abundance of cheap apples available locally through out the fall. By now we should be missing our apples terribly. But we're not. We don't miss them at all. Why? Because I fell into this habit of buying apples. Not once in a while in season apples. No. That would be a treat. No. I started buying apples EVERY week. On average, 6 pounds of apples a week, but when on sale, as much as 20 pounds a week.

I know we should eat local. Fresher, more nutritious, fewer food miles, less oil used for production, storage and transportation, cheaper, sometimes free... I grow and preserve what I can. I forage in the woods. I make my family eat weeds. And yet, here we are in our second spring with a cold room still mostly full of blueberries & raspberries, and rhubarb still in the freezer. Meanwhile, all winter long I continued buying apples. (and green beans, and mangoes, bananas, and pineapples. and oranges. and broccoli.) Hmm. That just doesn't seem right.

So I decided at the end of April, that I would not buy any fruit or vegetables from May 1st until either the first snow or October 31st, whichever comes first. We will use what we have stored. We will garden, we will forage, we will eat locally, from our yard and woods. We will not buy apples. I am allowing two exceptions- potatoes and carrots. We simply can not grow enough potatoes to last through the winter, let alone keep them edible through spring and summer. Must buy carrots for critters. Our soil has not been very welcoming to the growth of carrots so far, although we do get some nice baby carrots, again no where near the amount needed to make it through our winters for us, let alone the critters. All of our critters- dogs included, except the cat- eat carrots. It's a treat and a training tool. I don't think it should be a hardship for anyone. A little strange maybe, but no fears of malnutrition.

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