When you are a homesteader, what do you have to eat in March?
In our journey to grow and gather most of our food, we must learn to eat with the seasons. Not what grows around the country and is fresh at the grocery store, but what we are able to grow or have preserved from our own yard. It is March and after a cold, dry winter we finally have snow and LOTS of it. I had hopes of getting some greens or lettuces started in the greenhouse this month, but I don’t see that happening soon! We have a few starts going indoors under lights so they will be ready to go outside once the snow melts.
Here is what we are planning our meals around this month:
- Eggs (1 or 2 per day)
- Sprouts (grown on windowsill)
- Green Onions (grown on windowsill)
- Baby Lettuce (grown inside under lights)
Home Canned Foods
- Chicken Broth
- Tomato Sauce
- Green Beans
- Beet Greens
- Jalapeno Salsa
- Salsa Verde
- Mixed Veggies
- Deer Sausage
- Deer Steak
We also have canned rhubarb, blueberries, pears, apples, chutney, mincemeat and apple sauce, oh and apple butter, peach butter and tons of jam. All these can make great snacks and desserts.
Stored Potatoes and Carrots
Last month, we decided to move our potatoes and carrots from the shop where they were kept cool to the hallway in the house. It had been in the single digits and the heater in the shop really burns through the oil. We decided it wasn’t worth keeping the heat on just to keep our veggies from freezing. The warmer temperature has triggered the potatoes to begin sprouting. We ate all the Yukon Golds, and now have Desiree (red potato) and Kennebec left, maybe around 10 pounds each. The Kennebec haven’t sprouted much yet, so they have proven to be great keepers as advertised. The carrots we had packed in layers with shredded paper – many of them began to grow greens. I sorted through and saved out 20 or so to replant for seed in the spring. The rest went into gallon Ziploc bags in the refrigerator. Some are good, some are getting quite dehydrated so are ugly, but still taste pretty good. We are trying to use those up as quickly as possible. I’ve come to realize we are growing WAY too many carrots for what we seem to eat in a year’s time. I still have canned ones on the shelf from last year! This year I have adjusted the plan down to half a bed of carrots instead of an entire bed.
Note to Self: Grow More Onions!
We grew 44 pounds of onions last summer and we just ate the last one. We are substituting sprouted green onions or onion powder in recipes. We love onions, so this is a hard adjustment…sure we could go to the store and get some, but that would just be too easy! We have plenty of garlic remaining, so we should just be using more of that. Do you ever think about going without something like onions by choice? Usually we would run out of an ingredient and just put that on the list to buy at the store. I like to imagine if I wasn’t able to buy more at the store, is there something else I could use instead? Could I just go without it? I really just want to grow more next year so they last us through the winter!