Ramblings from the Ridge
It’s been a busy…um…six months on the Ridge. A lot has happened to prevent me from continuing my weekly column…first and foremost was the the source of my inspiration. We were informed in April that the little local paper where my articles were published was closing its doors. Without a deadline and with the approach of the spring planting season, I lost momentum and stopped writing…sorry 🙁
Our “local food” experiment continues as we head into the Fall season. We doubled our garden plots this year and produced an abundance of fresh food. We have kept busy the last couple of months preserving our harvest. Our last estimate was that we had over 400 quarts of produce in jars or freezer bags.
The flocks and herds have also flourished this year. Our goat herd is stable after last year’s disastrous start. We have expanded significantly with the addition of four dairy does and a Boer buck. We are hoping for further “expansion” in the Spring. We also successfully set several hens this year and increased our flock by 12 new chickens.
Our building projects included a new roof on the chicken coop, an extra row of chicken fence around the garden, a new canopy on the front porch and a goat milking stand. We made some modifications to the goat shed to accommodate the new arrivals and kept busy with minor repairs and adjustments.
We’ve had a few lapses in our local eating with all of the enticing treats at picnics and parties. We have also attended a few events that renewed our commitment to the local lifestyle. The most significant impetus has been a few trips to the store…as the price of consumer goods and gasoline rise, we are more and more convinced that the convenience of store bought goods is not worth the price we are paying in quality and loss of nutrition.
I know that many people look at this lifestyle and cannot imagine doing the amount of work it takes to produce your own food. I have to tell you that there is also an immense amount of satisfaction in knowing that the farthest your food travels is about 100 feet. I also relish the idea that my food is pesticide free and grown from local open-pollinated seed. And it just might be that I hate shopping so much that any amount of work in my garden and kitchen is better than driving to get groceries.
As we head into the cooler weather, we will experiment with our fall crops, finish stocking our larder and batten down the outbuildings for the winter. We’ll spend our winter reading, researching, learning to make hard cheese and dreaming about next year’s plans. Maybe I’ll even get a chance to write again soon.
Until next time,