Tuesday, August 3, 2010

No Vegetation Challenge: Midsummer Night's Dream

The No Vegetation Challenge has taken a bit of a back seat. While I'm still not buying apples, and we do miss them, and we are learning to live without them... There are some flaws to the No Vegetation Challenge.

First off- how do you make a salad? I like a big bowl of lettuce (ready in June), a nice cuke (which are barely plants in the garden, haven't flowered yet), a nice tomato (got the first two off the greenhouse tomatoes this week) some green pepper (just tiny little peppers on the greenhouse plants right now, lots of flowers) and some celery (which I don't grow). I tried eating just the lettuce for awhile, then broke down and bought some salad fixins.

Second- there was the whole Strawberry Fiasco - which I ended up not buying, but had really planned to, to make jam and freeze, and save us money throughout the year.

Third- Bananas. Bananas are never in season here. But they were shipped worldwide before oil, so I still consider them sustainable. One of the few things you can pick green, allow to ripen on the way, and not end up tasting like sawdust. They are, however, generally very expensive, currently at about 79¢/pound. When I walk through the produce section at the grocery store, I make a bee line for the cheap rack. The wilted, the rotting, the not best looking section, reduced to clear. I buy bananas when I see them. It could be a while before I see them again. Sometimes I get lucky and get a whole case for $5. The kids eat their hearts out, and I freeze lots for banana bread and smoothies.

Fourth- Watermelon. I am Canadian. Not to mention, a northerner. I grow watermelon every year, and on a good year I'm lucky to get 4 or 5 baseball sized watermelons. Most years, nothing. What would summer be without a watermelon? And since I started preserving the rind last year, it doubles as winter fruit as well.

Finally- The challenge was supposed to go through the end of October or first snow, whichever came first. But then there is a possibility that I might miss apple season, and why would I do that? It wouldn't make sense to not buy apples when they are in season. So apple shopping I will go.

The challenge has been a good learning experience, and one that I will continue with through the winter. Which is much more logical. Use what we have while it's freshly preserved, and then buy produce once the freezer and cold room are empty.

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