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heliman 01-17-2010 02:29 PM

Self Sufficient - Ingredients
Just wondering how many people have become self sufficient in ingredients - either partly or wholly.

So far I produce the following at home:

1. Tomatoes (partially self sufficient - use for toppings, but not sauce)

2. Chllies - 7 varieties (wholly self sufficient)

3. Sweet Basil (wholly self sufficient)

4. Chives (wholly self sufficient)

5. Lemons (wholly self sufficient)

6. Thyme (wholly self sufficient)

7. Rosemary (wholly self sufficient)

8. Oregano (wholly self sufficient)

9. Bay tree (wholly self sufficient)

Look forward to hearing what others have got going in the garden.


egalecki 01-18-2010 06:43 PM

Re: Self Sufficient - Ingredients
Italian sausage
mozzarella (ok, I have to buy milk)
basil and other spices
lots of different veggies

I will have lots of things when it's time to garden here- but that's a couple of months away... :(

heliman 01-18-2010 08:59 PM

Re: Self Sufficient - Ingredients
Sounds good - I find it particularly rewarding using produce from the garden but tend to only plant and tend items that are "useful".

Weather is definitely a factor here at the moment - when I got home after a 43 C day yesterday I found some of my San Marzano had burned leaves so hopefully they will survive OK. I have to hand water at 6:00 a.m. and again in the evening just to keep things alive. Others seem to have the opposite problem - too cold!!


texassourdough 01-20-2010 07:39 AM

Re: Self Sufficient - Ingredients
Depends on the season, but...


Wine Grapes
Beans of multiple varieties
Melons of multiple varieties (inclding Boule d'Or and Charentais)
Tomatoes (five or six varieties)
Winter Squash
Yellow Squash

And almost everything has found itself on a pizza!

BrianShaw 01-20-2010 09:44 AM

Re: Self Sufficient - Ingredients
I'm jealous. "Self-sufficient" for me means that I drive to Trader Joe's (a US-based discount gourmet market) myself rather than asking my wife to go get ingredients.

But I do have lemons (meyer), oranges, rosemary, thyme, oregeno, lavender, dill, garlic, snails, and crabgrass if I want to go native.

Wiley 01-20-2010 11:11 AM

Re: Self Sufficient - Ingredients
Self sufficient really means alot of different things to different people. Like Jay our fresh ingredients are season dependent. We usually put in a good sized garden (actually have two one steps away from the back door and one a couple hundred feet away thru the woods and orchard). We have scaled way back from canning although have maintained the wherewithal to can as well as dry food stuffs.

But self sufficiency on a larger scale:

It is not unknown for power to go out so many where I live also have back up generators. In my case it is diesel. We are on wells or collection systems although city water was recently brought on island. I can grind my own wheat berries and at present have over 250 lbs at hand and properly stored (Wheat Montana products). I have yet to create a completely whole wheat pizza that I can give a thumbs up to but have done so for bread. Once upon a time they grew winter wheat locally and several farmers are once again doing so for the local artisan bakers.

I live on a small island and within walking distance is a small home business goat creamery, as well as a start up winery (this is only 1000ft away from my back door). A neighbor also produces for cattle and keeps cows as usual for rural areas many keep ducks or chickens and have fresh eggs for sale. We have kept ducks and geese in the past. Most of us presently or in the past have made home brew. One friend actually did the whole deal, grew hops barley (which he malted etc.) and literally made his own brew from scratch just to prove he could do so.

I used to commercial fish and although retired I kept both the nets and a small rowable boat for setting them from a "terminal fishery" I used to fish. We have reasonable salmon runs both in the spring and fall by the island. No license at present but should the need warrant such would probably not be checked. I am putting in a pond and plan on raising the blue gill/bass combination common during the US Depression of the 30's both for fun and for the fish.

Of course we grow enough wood for both heating our home as well as the WFO. We collect rainwater and have storage for over 5000 gallons of potable water at hand. This was originally for fire protection but when water came on island I paid to have a hydrant installed at the corner of my property.

Several homes have solar arrays in order to be off the grid, ours is rudamentary but could supply lights and basic entertainment for much of the year.

Cooking oil is long term problematic but so is diesel but other than those and a few other things the island as a whole is fairly self sufficient. We also have a couple/three doctors and two dentists. Should there be major calamity or civilization changing event we would be reduced to live closer to the way people lived in the mid to late 1800's.

So I guess we are somewhat self-sufficient. The only store on island sells tee shirts calling us "A small Island Nation located off the coast of Western North America".


Jay, I'm jealous of the Charentais, we had them when we visited friends in the Charente and loved them. We brought back seeds and tried them but they prefer basic soil and ours is acidic so they did not do well. However, on the flip side our blueberries love our acidic soil:-)

texassourdough 01-20-2010 11:28 AM

Re: Self Sufficient - Ingredients
Well, Wiley!

I like blueberries too and I would have to create the soil to grow them in. The Charentais melon is simply one of the most divine cantalopes that exist. We don't get a lot of them - our weather seems to be too dry, and the critters LOVE them so we have a bit of premature competition. But the ones we do get are heavenly!

Sounds like you are in pretty good shape up there! I assume you are in Western Washington?


Wiley 01-20-2010 11:56 AM

Re: Self Sufficient - Ingredients
Right you are, Jay.
We live in "the upper left hand corner" as Sandy Bradley used to say on NPR when she had her show in Seattle.

egalecki 01-20-2010 03:53 PM

Re: Self Sufficient - Ingredients
I love me some bluegill. Lots of little bones, but they taste so good! I used to catch them using niblets and bread balls off the dock where we kept the sailboat. Mom would fry them up with a cornmeal coating and we'd all sort of pick them up and work our way through them with our fingers.... (saves choking on the bones, you see)
Brings back memories for me-

heliman 01-20-2010 04:49 PM

Re: Self Sufficient - Ingredients
Looks like most people have got quite a lot of home grown stuff - Jay, I had to dive online to check what some of your items were!!!

Interesting take on the definition Wiley - you have taken the notion of self sufficiency to a whole new level with generators etc!!


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