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Growing your own - Feast or famine?

Here's an old post from July 2011 that I thought you might enjoy reading again :)

Since we have started producing our own veges, eggs, beef and chicken meat I have noticed that we get used to making our own and have been reluctant to buy these items when our own production levels are low.  This means we usually have either too much or not enough of some things, but its just become a way of life for us.  Sometimes if we don't have any of a particular food, we just go without, but we don't even think about it now.




When we are milking our cows, we usually have too much milk at first, which is lovely, because I get to try making cheese without worrying too much if the end result is a disaster!  The other week I made feta, too much feta, which neither of us particularly like (it was just an easy cheese to try) so I started looking for recipes to use it up.  I found this lovely recipe for chicken meatballs with feta in the middle.  This would use up feta, chicken mince from our own chickens, silverbeet from the garden (instead of spinach) and cream from Bella.  All I needed was one egg.  So I went to talk to the chickens, who have not been providing a very consistent supply lately (maybe 2-3 eggs a week).  They didn't look very interested.  I went to the supermarket for the weekly shopping and stopped in front of the eggs.  I picked up the only free range eggs option ($5 for half a dozen) and read everything on the carton.  But I couldn't be sure if the hens were happy or well-fed, like ours are, so I put it back.  I just couldn't bring myself to buy any eggs, I was prepared to make falling-apart meatballs rather than buy those unknown eggs.  When I got home, the chickens had laid ONE egg for me!  So my meatballs were a success and I was so glad that I didn't buy any!

For me and Pete, the animal welfare aspect of food production is the most important thing, so we don't like to buy chicken or eggs, knowing what meat and laying birds go through, and we know we shouldn't buy pork that's not free-range either (so hard to resist!).  Sometimes we seem to just live off our own beef for weeks, but its doesn't really worry us.  At the moment we have so many beans I can't give them away.  I've started feeding them to the steers and the roosters just to get rid of them!


Its funny how you get used to making do with what you have, going without, and using things up, when you make it/grow it yourself!  Do you do the same?

Note from 2017: we never seem to know what glut to expect next, currently its eggs and beans :)  You will see from my lunch recipes that I just use up whatever we have.


Comments

  1. Good looking haul from the garden.... see the girls did listen to you they just needed some time, beans at this time of year? mine all died in the flooding and it would have been a waste to try more.

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  2. I love eating what's available on any given day. One of my favorite ways to use feta cheese is on pizza (lightly). I use a pizza dough topped with garlic and olive oil, then add kalamata olives, spinach, and feta. OH so good. You can freeze it, too, though.

    Kris @ Attainable Sustainable

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  3. Looking at your lovely fresh produce from here in the UK makes me long for Summer!

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  4. I do without eggs if my one lone hen has not laid eggs. I bought cage free eggs and let them sit in the refrigerator for three months and could not bear to use them. I am getting more chicks in the next few weeks since this hen is not a prolific layer.
    Practical parsimony

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  5. We don't have chooks of our own here:( so I make sure I buy certified organic, free-range eggs as that is the only way I can feel confident the birds are treated well. They are more expensive so I am careful about what I use them for. I make meatballs without egg, I blitz up a combination of bread ends and a few mushrooms that makes a breadcrumbly/mushroomy paste that holds meatballs together and also makes them lovely and moist. Your garden veg looks great. This summer it was cucumbers and zucchinis galore here. Meg:)

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