Monday, September 20, 2010

Mondays with Marcia Lowry-How Much Food Do You Eat in a Year?


We try to live a sustainable lifestyle, relying on renewable energy, home-grown food and being gentle to Mother Earth. One thing, among many, that has amazed us in this journey is the amount of food it takes to get us through a year. I have tried to keep accurate records in the past and have finally arrived at what we need to feed us from season to season. Here is an approximate tally:

Half a beef – locally grown and traded in part for pork and lamb, 1 pig – home-grown and fed mostly garden produce and milk, 1 -2 lambs – home-grown, grassfed, 12-15 meat chickens – home-grown, free-range, 50 dozen eggs – from home-grown free-range chickens, 300 gallons of milk from pasture-fed Molly cow –some going to the pigs and chickens and barn cats , 25 gallons of cream-to be made into butter, sour cream, cream cheese, and for cooking, 50 lbs. of various kinds of cheese, 30 quarts of green beans, 15 quarts of peas, 15 quarts of broccoli, 15 quarts of cauliflower, 50 quarts of corn, 20 quarts of tomatoes, 5 quarts of tomato sauce, 10 quarts of peppers, 10 pints of salsa, 16 quarts of peaches, 10-15 pints of various relishes and jams, 10 quarts of dill pickles, 300 lbs. of potatoes, 150 lbs. of onions, 25 acorn squash, 100 + pounds of carrots. 50 lbs. of parsnips, 25 lbs. of red beets, 25 lbs. of cabbage, 6 quarts applesauce, 3 gallons sliced apples, 150 pumpkins – most go to pigs and chickens, 350 lbs. of mangles (fodder beets) for cows, pigs, sheep and chickens.

In spring and summer gardens we grow various veggies such as asparagus, lettuce, radishes, summer squash, etc. In the passive solar greenhouse we have lettuce, kale, chard, beets, tomatoes and peppers all winter. We are fortunate to get several shipments of citrus fruit from Rob’s folks when they winter in Arizona. We try to keep food items we have to buy at a minimum as we only go to “town” every 2 or 3 weeks – flour, olive oil, coffee, tea, condiments, seasonings, spices and alcohol. We try to eat seasonally….by March we are really tired of carrots and are craving asparagus

There have been lots of lessons learned here - the most important being just how much product, time, energy and planning it takes to feed us…and we are just two humans! How much food do you eat in a year?


Mel said...

Excellent post Marcia. When you grow and put up your own food, and raise your own meat, eggs, milk, matters doesn't it?

It should be that way for all of us.

I admire you so much. Thanks for this educational and thought-provoking post.

Michaele said...

A real awakening to how much food can be consumed in a year! Thanks for the post and I agree with Mel, very thought-provoking.

TaraDharma said...

makes me realize once more how relatively cheap it is to shop farmer's markets and buy organic. That's very little time and energy to expend to eat over the course of a year.