Sunday, February 27, 2011

planting time!

We've decided to rework our garden beds some in order to make room for a 6 X 8 greenhouse. We love growing our own organic potatoes so Gabe dismantled one long bed to construct a two tiered potato bed (in the distance).

Gabe attended a permaculture workshop in OKC about a month ago where he learned the 'lasagna method' of gardening. We've read about it before, but have yet to put it in to practice...until now.

start with a solid layer of plain cardboard and wet it down. add greens, then browns, alternating and topping with soil.

We did the same method using straw-bales for the sides of our strawberry and lettuce bed.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

the results

Things have been super busy so I haven't had a lot of time to write this post. We ended the challenge last Sunday, February 6th. While we did save money on our groceries (22% compared to the same period of time last year), we spent more on eating out (64%). Ack! The last week of the challenge was particularly busy for us, and we ended up eating out WAY more than we expected. The Earth Cafe and Deli and Pepe Delgados we love you and your wonderful vegetarian meals! Both the hubby and I lost weight, he more than I (7 pounds to my 2) - though proportionally it's about the same (2 and 3%). Throughout the experiment I did feel as though I had more energy. And while there were a couple of fun family colds (yay, cold and flu season!), I felt like I recovered quicker and didn't feel as bad.

From here on out we've decided to only eat meat once a week, including all meals. So if we have sausage for breakfast on Sunday morning that's it for the week. Yesterday, we enjoyed wonderful burgers from Kaiser's, so that's it until next week. We've also decided to take one day a month and make ahead some convenience foods (pizza dough, veggie taquitos, casseroles, etc) for those 'emergency' nights so we don't end up eating out as much.

Our next adventure is (sub)urban chickens! We'll be posting more about that soon.

Friday, February 4, 2011

food miles and costs

We are stuck in snowzilla, snowmageddon, snowpocalypse, whatever you want to call it...we're buried under almost a foot of snow. And more is falling. Our fridge was well stocked on Monday before the snow started falling, but this morning we realized we're out of milk, really low on butter, eggs and peanut butter. This morning we made the decision to go to the nearest store, located off of a snow route instead of going to a specialty, local store further away on more treacherous roads. This means we've effectively broken our diet of locally sourced dairy.

It's a bummer, but at least we have food and a warm house. We're sticking to the no meat for the duration of the experiment, only 3 more days. I have to admit I would love to have a nice beef stew or homemade chicken noodle soup in this cold, cold weather. I came across this interesting study on food miles. Admittedly, I have not made it all the way through the article but it was of some comfort to read that a diet of reduced red meat and dairy generates less greenhouse gases than buying all locally sourced foods.

Throughout this experiment we've found ourselves shopping at local (or regional) grocery stores as opposed to big-box, mega stores (with the exception of today's shopping trip). I've noticed we tend to make more expensive impulse purchases at big-box stores than at smaller grocery stores. I'm sure this is how 'they' like it, but our budget doesn't agree. I plan on doing some calculations at the end of our experiment to tally up just how much we've spent and compare it to our average non-local, non-veggie expenditures.