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Feeding ourselves

I’ve liked most of Barbara Kingsolver’s books (unfortunately I just couldn’t get into The Poisonwood Bible — I know I’ll have to give it another shot at some point), but most particularly I’ve enjoyed her essays. Her new book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, is thus a treat on many levels: Kingsolver on some of my favorite topics — eating local and the associated politics, energy consciousness, and community interaction. Granted, a lot of it is info I already know, but Kingsolver presents everything is such an eloquent, moral manner that it’s a pleasure to read, as well as inspiration for furthering our own efforts.

On that note, when I checked my own tiny plot of vegetables last night (that I planted in the side ‘yard’ — the 25’x2′ long strip between our house and our neighbor’s driveway — this past weekend), I was pleased to find that everything has actually grown — the zucchini had a pair of new leaves already. We planted one of each zucchina, patty pan squash, basil, and brandywine, green zebra and Cherokee purple tomatoes.

The veggies (and maybe fruit trees) are the only plants for which we’ll need compost.

We have a large rotary type composter but I was looking for a backup composter because, at some point, to end up with usable compost, you have to stop adding stuff to the composter– but kitchen waste keeps building up, and I hate to just throw it away when of course it can become COMPOST. We simply don’t have room for a three-composter system (one finished, one that’s cooking, one that’s currently being added to).

So, I found and purchased a worm bin from some really nice people off of Craig’s List. (They also have a native plant frontyard!)

Anyway, we’ll continue adding coffee grounds and espresso pucks (apparently too acidic for the worms) and excess compostable waste to the large composter but will feed an adequate amount to the worms (which I still have to order).

I think I’ve already mentioned how much I like Craig’s List. We’ve been able to find homes for some of our stuff that we no longer wanted or needed, and found some fantastic items in turn (our antique barley twist chairs, antique dining table, antique bookcase, Wedgewood stove) for really great prices.

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