Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Practicing and Preserving

Sorry to have left whilst in freak-out mode. Things are much calmer now. :) I really don't want to give the impression that I'm having a great deal of anxiety about the things I'm learning about concerning Peak Oil. I'm not really, but I do take the issue seriously. I guess I'm not one to want to put the "happy ending" on everything. I know that that is usually how its done when presenting a tough message, but I don't know that I always agree with it.

For example, shows about endangered species, environmental problems, etc. usually end with the progress that is being made and technologies that are helping, but "there is still a lot of work to be done." Honestly, I find that seems to make a lot of people sit back and sigh and then say to themselves, "Oh, well, thank goodness they're taking care of it," and then go back to living exactly as they have been living.

I just wonder what would happen if, instead of profiling the scientists in the field or the volunteer organizations, an educational show would end with: "The situation is serious. We have x amount of time to make these changes. Here are some of the things every person needs to be doing to secure a healthy environment for our future: ..." Then, give a practical list and links to further information and leave it at that.

At the same time, as a Christian, I am thankful that God is in His heaven and is working out His plan and purposes. I rest confidently in that. By rest, of course, I do not mean that I do nothing. He wants me to care for my family. One of the ways I am doing this, I believe, is to continue to be prepared for a future with less energy by practicing now. Yesterday was a good day of doing this.

I had my first pick-up from the CSA this past weekend and also made a stop at the farmers' market on the way home. My intention, like so many who can and put-up food, is to be using some of what I'm getting - hopefully each week - to set aside for the summer months when less grows here. I am learning, of course, that there are some things that can grow in FL in the summetime, but they are fewer than what is grown from November to May. So, like my northern friends who prepare for their winters, I am preparing for my summer. I am thankful to have a larger window of time in which to do this. At the same time, unlike summer harvesting, in which I would not be teaching, my canning time takes place during our school year and therefore has me juggling a few things. So, yesterday, math was pushed aside so that the girls could help with some preserving.

Preserving is a great lesson to teach children, so I wasn't concerned at all when substituting this into our curriculum. It is a skill that is helpful and fun today and may become more necessary in the future. The citrus season is upon us here in the Gulfcoast and we are practicing saving as much as we can. Maia zested limes and lemons for me yesterday, while Eve juiced them, and I prepared tomatoes for canning. I froze the jar of lime juice, as I already had one in the refrigerator. I put the one jar of lemon juice in the fridge, because it is my first of the season. To save room and energy, though, I believe I will be canning the citrus juices this year, instead of freezing them. Ultimately, canning requires one-time energy and can be done without electricity if that were necessary. When my mom's lemons and my tangelos and grapefruits really start to come in, I hope to be steadily filling up my shelves with juices.

In the meantime, I am also experimenting with a few new recipes, since our farm share this week included bok choy and kohlrabi. We had a good lunch with the bok choy today and will try something with the kohlrabi tomorrow. The internet makes this so easy with so many recipes available upon doing a simple search. Then on Thursday, we'll be at my mil's for Thanksgiving. I'm bringing a vegan pumpkin pie using the pumpkin I froze from Halloween, homemade stuffing, veggetarian gravy, and some of the freezer pickles I made a couple of weeks ago.

To all of my U.S. readers/friends, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
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