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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture

My grocery store!

One thing I love about having a full pantry is that I don’t often have to go to a grocery store! I’ve always hated it. Enjoyed farmers markets where I’ve always felt some community connection and you could have conversations and get to know the producers. The supermarket on the other hand was not quite the same. I would write up my list and once a week get in and out of there as quickly as I could. Now it’s a matter of wandering down the hallway and do my ‘shopping’ there. The community connection is now with my lovely neighbours.

I also have a few freezers which I don’t mind running at this point because my solar panels cover more than I need in electricity generation. Over time however I’d like to learn how to preserve food so that it is stable at room temperature. So dehydrating and canning will be important. I have a lot to learn in the actual preserving stage and the using of these ingredients that have been stored. I’m finding there’s lots of habits that have formed over a lifetime that need to change. I‘m also finding that my way of thinking is slowly changing and using what I have, rather than purchasing old habits, is becoming the norm. I hope to create a cold storage cellar somewhere to store ferments that keep better in cold temperatures as this is an amazing way of preserving foods.

Zucchini’s were again on my list of food to preserve today. Dehydrating slices of zucchini, or in grated form, is a good shelf stable way to store it. I’m learning to use that in soups, stews, and casseroles, or reconstituted for use in zucchini slices or bread. Also made a yummy batch of zucchini soup with coconut milk. I’ll make sure I include the recipe when I write up my X ways with Zucchini! I’m finding my zucchini is also great for bartering within the neighbourhood. Six of my zucchini’s ‘bought’ me a basketful of mandarins and lemons. Thanks Jodie!!

I’m really loving having ducks. Here they are enjoying their bath which I have to top up daily. Not sure if I’ll leave these guys with the chickens in the front yard or treat them to life on the dam with my Muscovy ducks. The plan was to have them wandering through the front veggie garden to eat all the slugs and snails - just a bit nervous how Ruby would go with that! Anyway that’s yet to be decided but I think a bath in the dam would be a lot more satisfying for them!

My front garden from a south facing view. It really has grown amazingly given it was only constructed in winter. The middle photo above is one of my apple trees growing my one and only apple on the property. Last year it also gave me one apple but it was the most delicious apple you could imagine. Luckily there’s no shortage of apples around these parts with so many roadside trees just loaded with fruit and happy to give them up to anyone who passes by. Hadn’t planned it but my day was mostly another day in the kitchen to keep that hallway pantry brimming with healthy food.

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