Gonna Be Good
April 16, 2014 § 22 Comments
April is when this whole eating-off-our-land gig gets a little tiresome. This is particularly true this year, since we had some germination issues in the big greenhouse last fall, so our winter greens rations were especially skimpy. Furthermore, the crops that didn’t produce last fall aren’t regrowing now. If I have to choke down another lacto-fermented green bean or serving of kimchi, I’m gonna track down ole Sandor Katz and give him a good thumping. Which will be difficult, because Sandor’s a nice guy. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
I can’t tell you how long it’s been since we had fresh greens. I got a salad a while back when my mom took me out to dinner, and it was some good, let me tell you. But other than that… whoa. Oh, sure, we’ve had plenty of veggies – we have oodles of frozen green beans and broccoli, and all the aforementioned ferments and of course root crops galore – but a nice fresh salad, with maybe a little cheese crumbled up and enough dressing that when the kids aren’t looking (or maybe even when they are), you lick the plate clean? Oh, man.
The stuff we do have is holding up right nice. We still have good onions, firm potatoes, plenty of garlic. We still have beef (steaks, even!), pork (bacon, even!), venison, chickens, and lamb. We still have gobs of blueberries and strawberries. We could probably eat a quart of berries every day until fresh berries start popping and not run out. We’ve got new syrup and dried chanterelles and dried tomatoes and frozen pesto and I don’t even know what all. We have enough liver pate – beef, chicken, pork, and beaver – to last us until the early part of the next century. Lard. Lots of lard.
We’re out of butter, though, and we haven’t had milk for over a month. That’s a sad state of affairs, to be sure, but we’ve got three cows due in June, so we’ll make up for it then. I’m thinking there’s gonna be an awful lot of ice cream consumed this summer. You know what we put in ice cream? Cream, syrup, egg yolks and whatever berries are fresh. Or maybe a few chopped up sprigs of mint. That’s it. Makes a hell of a breakfast, lemme tell you. Makes a hell of a dinner, come to think of it.
Out of simple curiosity, we’ve been keeping track of what money we spend on food. Over the past two months, we’ve spent $120, which means $15 per week, or about $4/week per person. Of course, that doesn’t include the hay and minerals we feed the cows and sheeps. It doesn’t include the grain that goes to the layers (oh yeah: Eggs. We’re drowning). But still and all. Not bad. I suspect it’s even less come summer, though we’ve never tracked it in summer, so I can’t say for certain. If I think of it, and if we keep on keeping track, I’ll let you know.
We didn’t make a lot of money last year and actually would have qualified for food benefits, which struck us as pretty funny. I have to admit that for about a day, I was smitten by an image of myself in line at the local food co-op, arms laden with all the fancy cheeses and organic micro greens we could afford if we took the benefits. I also have to admit that I actually figured out what our benefit would be: $350-ish/month. Three hundred and fifty dollars per month. Can you imagine? I know that out there in the real world, where most folks are removed from the land and the skills necessary to fill their own freezers, $350/month for a family of four is hardly enough. It probably isn’t enough. But to us… whoa. We’d be eating cheese on our cheese. We’d have boughten butter coming out our ears.
Anyway. I don’t know what got me thinking about all this. Yet another breakfast of eggs, bacon, and kimchi, probably. Another lunch of venison and roots and frozen green bean stew. Dinner… who knows. Not salad, I know that much. Not cheese. Not ice cream. But all those things are coming. And when they get here, they’re gonna be good.