Diary of a Transplant: My Other Grocery Store

  |  June 7, 2012

I blogged earlier this week about the challenges of grocery shopping in my area.

What I neglected to mention is the food shed we have created in our own backyard. This really, really amazing food shed of the freshest, most delicious foods. All organic, and usually picked within the hour, and in such abundance that we must work to use it, freeze it, cook it or can it.

As Megan said last summer, “Our lives are so amazing that whenever we’re hungry we can just come down to the garden and get food.”

I suspect one reason there aren’t better grocery stores around here is because people who are interested in food just make or grow their own. We have only been here two years, but are picking up speed, planting and growing and harvesting more and more all the time.

This is what we have on hand now, that has been grown and harvested by us:

In the fridge:

– 2 gallons fresh goat milk

– 1 pint g0at-ricotta cheese

-1 lb purple asparagus (I didn’t think it was possible; but we have more asparagus than we can eat. I keep giving them away and sneaking them into omelets, but they just keep coming. I may have to freeze them.)

– 1 pint strawberries

In the freezer:

– 3 bags chopped frozen spinach

– 1 pint vanilla-sucanat-strawberry goat milk ice cream (we purchased the sucanat and vanilla; everything else from our farm). (Sucanat stands for SugarCaneNatural, and is a minimally-processed sugar, with a great caramel flavor.)

– 1 frozen chicken

On the counter: 

– 2 quiches: arugula (it was going to seed, and getting too tough for salads, and needed to be harvested), bacon, cheddar.

– Never fewer than two dozen eggs. We are under pressure to come up with uses for eggs: lemon meringue pies, quiches, ice cream, etc.

In the garden, ready for picking: kale, chard, peas, strawberries, radishes, dandelion, arugula, various lettuces, asparagus, basil. That is just the spring harvest. Fennel, lentils, beets, beans, onions, cucumbers, peppers, garlic, and about 65 tomato plants are working hard on growing.

In the yard, awaiting our courage: about seven roosters, who unfortunately have names and are thus harder to slaughter. Plus, four adolescent Bourbon Red turkeys, awaiting you-know-which holiday.

In the stable: Ruby, our lovely Nubian goat, who shares about a half-gallon of sweet milk with us every morning.

This time of year it is a stupendous array of food. It is something close to a miracle to have such bounty at our disposal.  Between my old city life, in which I could get anything I wanted, from anywhere in the world, any time of day or night, or this life, in which I can eat the freshest food I’ve ever had, in abundance… well, you know which one I’d choose.

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