Monday, March 30, 2020

March Produce (What real food looks like)

Here's a glimpse at what we are still eating farm fresh and what March (practically April) food looks like. Fresh storage produce is still abundant; although, we are getting down to the bottom of our bins.

Real food is imperfectly perfect.

Carrots are a little hairy and sprouty, drying out some. These have simply been stored in plastic bags in the refrigerator. A little colder could have keep them a little better.

Onions are still nice and firm, some are starting to sprout a bit on the inside, no biggie. We simply keep these in baskets in our basement. It's not the ideal condition, but it's what we have. If my onions to start to get real sprouty, and I have a lot left, I'll slice and dehydrate them (you can also chop and freeze).

I've got potato aliens taking over the basement! These are on their last legs. As you can see they have lost a lot of moisture and are starting to get wrinkly and softer. We store these in our basement, along with the onions; they would prefer it cooler and more humid, but this is what we have. I'll make mashed potatoes to freeze when I have many extra like this, but we only have about 7 lbs left.

Thelma sanders acorn squash looking pretty as the day she came off the vine. Some get wrinkly, just cook 'em up, or bake and freeze the puree. While they are past their prime for flavor, I have had these last a year in the pantry - winter squash is your easy preserving friends. Again, just stored in the basement, only stacking 1-2 layers high.

Butternut squash stores just as grand, there are always wrinkly ones too. I try to bake and freeze these guys...if they go too far they just end up going to the chickens or pigs (one reason why animals are essential on the homestead!).

Beets are stored like carrots. Harder to tell, but they are getting a little soft - lost moisture.

Apples, still munching away on these daily. Some are firmer than others, all are still delicious. Many are wrinkly, some a little brown at the center, but quite usable. Last rounds of applesauce, apple butter, and fresh cider, are getting made to use these "beauties" up.

March produce doesn't always look picture perfect, but this is what REAL food looks like. I'd rather be eating this food - grown by us, or someone we know - than have perfect looking food. 

Grocery bills are lowered during fresh garden season, and all winter, by eating fresh, growing our own, and preserving the harvest. We're healthier for it and more connected to our land, as well as our own bodies. When you eat fresh and healthy like this you feel good - it feeds you body and soul.

Still eating fresh from the freezer - shell peas, peppers, chard, kale, tomatoes, venison, beef, chicken/chicken stock, pork, frozen soup, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, celery, garlic, lard.

Still eating dehydrated items from the pantry - herbs (basil, sage, oregano, parsley, nettles and more), onions, celery leaf, mushrooms.

Still eating canned items from the pantry - tomatoes, broth, green beans, jams, applesauce...and whatever else I'm forgetting.

Take stock at this time! What have you run out of? What are you missing? What do you need to grow/preserve more of this season?

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