Friday, January 28, 2022

Recap No Grocery Shopping January

My take always from our no grocery shopping January…

To review, the last minute decision goal was to avoid grocery shopping during the month of January, with the exception of picking up milk/dairy locally.

With this last minute decision. I was a little sad that we only had two graham crackers left and no maple syrup, but we made do just fine.

I actually feel that we maybe were not challenged as much as we’d expected, or liked. Perhaps the better way to look at it is that we have made ourselves very well resourced. Hard work pays off.

The canning and freezing done last year (and years before), along side fresh/refrigerated produce and meat in the freezer provide. The pantry staples - oats, flour and more - are important to to keep.

We had enough chocolate, coffee and cheese to get by, or we maybe would have had more exceptions.

The major benefits we felt were feeling healthier, reaping the reward of our hard work, menu planning successes and creativity. This is the first time we have actually meal planned four weeks in a row, so really instilling a habit (which is great to establish at our less busy time of year).

We’ve decided to go again for February! With a once a month grocery shopping. We stocked some pantry staples, snacks and a couple produce items. Dried fruit, bananas, frozen blueberries and, yes, local maple syrup.

So, that’s the NEW goal that emerged - once a month grocery shopping! Love this. Of course during farmers market season - and when we grab our @cedarcratefarm CSA - we’ll be getting fresh produce weekly.

So that’s the take aways. This will definitely be annual and we’re excited to see how it evolves!!

I did post more ramblings and our monthly azure order to stories, so maybe you caught that too. I’ve got a couple canning projects to do this month to compliment. Thanks for following this adventure! Holler if you have questions, or share your challenges with the community! Cheers.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Storage Apples & Apple Fritters

When storing local, organic apples is part of your preservation plan it makes you one happy camper in January!! Time for some apple fritters!

Quality late season storage apples keep for months in the coldest spot (without freezing) in your pantry/house or in an extra fridge. We store ours at 36°. A closed container helps retain moisture.

The Fireside and Stark we are eating are still crisp! Remember, the apples in the store now are also from fall, some are coated with wax to lengthen storage.
We have customers each year who buy bushels for storage in late fall, and I’ve been getting many reports lately of Apple Share members using their last (or still continuing to enjoy the last) of their ARF apples. These things being us such joy!

These were our first apple fritters and they certainly won’t be our last - delicious!!

Apple Fritters

2 C flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 C brown sugar
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
2 eggs
3/4 C water
1 t vanilla
2-3 apples, thin chopped (or spiralized & chopped)
Mix batter & apples. Fry in coconut oil. Sprinkle with powdered sugar & enjoy!

Recipe from Three Rivers Homestead (on Instagram & you tube).

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Garlic Processing Tips

Garlic processed!

Usually I don’t get to this, or need to, til February, but with how dry the fall was I noticed my garlic (specifically one variety) wasn’t holding up as well.
When my garlic starts to dry down, or sprout, I finish processing it for the season three ways:
1 - cloves that are still nice and solid get left to use fresh (no need for extra work).
2 - freeze the rest of the peeled cloves on cookie trays, then transfer to jars in the freezer. I want a minimum of 2 quarts jars for our use.
3 - throw garlic in a food processor, add olive oil until it’s a nice consistency to stick together. Throw tablespoon sized plops onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze. Transfer frozen plops to a jar. I will use these mostly for salad dressings.

Garlic is an easy Minnesota Grown
item you can get away with eating all year long - never buying CA garlic from the store. MN garlic keeps longer and tastes better. Plus, you can get nerdy and try different varieties. Garlic is easy to find locally, it is also easy to grow and store.
This doesn’t feel like enough for me to have on hand, but John thinks we go through about 1.5 quart jars. We shall see!
Glad I planted more than I planned last fall. In June we can harvest green garlic and full garlic harvest happens mid-late July.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Greens Well Stocked this Week!

Store is well stocked & it's winter market week!

Greens in stock  - zesty micros, mizuna micros, radish micro, pea shoots, salad mix. (Regular harvest updates posted to IG/FB.

Also available in the farm store: radishes, carrots, red onions, apple butter, elderberry syrup kits, herbal tinctures, eggs (limited).

Saturdays Winter Farmers Market will be held 10-12 at Drummers Garden and Floral, Mankato. Last time there was still 22 vendors! It's a fantastic market to shop.

Monday, January 3, 2022

My Happy Place: in the greenhouse

 My happy place.

Sun is shining and it’s 80 in the greenhouse, I get to play in the dirt and grow healthy, organic food for my community.
I don’t have to pull any weeds in here.

These coldest of cold days in
Minnesota winter we need to find our happy places. I’m learning to love the kitchen as one of my happy places to create - an extension of my pantry I adore. Books and puzzles are a happy place of mine. Lol, and rearranging in the house.

I’m a little spoiled to have the greenhouse as one. This feels really, really good after working many 50 degree mornings last week.


If you are new around here we grow organic winter greens September-March in our passive solar winter greenhouse. Salad mixes, pea shoots and microgreens! As well as organic garden transplants in the springtime!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Our January Challenge: No Grocery Shopping

Trying something new this January. No grocery shopping.

John mentioned this, which I had been meaning to propose to him. I had seen the #threeriverschallenge (on Instagram) and thought it would be fun to try!
Your rules can be whatever you want - grocery shop 1x instead of 3xweek. Only bananas and coffee. Cut your budget in half. Shop your cupboards first. Whatever works for you!
For us this is going to look like no grocery shopping at the store. I’ll still be heading to Nature's Pantry Farm for raw milk and cream. I'll post some updates on IG/Facebook, mostly in our stories.
We have meats, preserved produce and grains stocked in the pantry. Have a small stockpile of chocolate and coffee 😎.
The goal is to save money on groceries, use the bounty we have put up all year rotate through some of our pantry stores, and use up some items we use less often.
Today’s lunch/dinner is spicy sausage-kale soup (think Zuppa toscana), with potatoes, onions and garlic from the pantry, kale from the freezer and our homegrown pork sausage. This is one of my fav recipes for our sausage.
What do you think about this idea?