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Life Off the Grid

September 16th, 2008

We’re living off the grid here at Chiot’s Run, we didn’t leave the grid – the grid left us.  We lost power on Sunday night around 8pm (while canning pears, photos will be posted when we’re back on-line), the electric company says we’ll have electric again, “Possibly by the 21st”.  Good thing my sister & brother-in-law had a generator they loaned us to help keep all those berries in the freezer in tip top shape.  So we’re busying ourselves with canning (good thing I have a gas stove) and working outside (we have tons of sticks to pick up). See you sooner than later I hope.

Thanks to Panera Bread for providing internet service for this posting (and a delicious lunch).

Donating the Harvest

September 16th, 2008

I came across this post on the Gardeners Supply Blog about how they donate all their extra produce to a food shelter. I’ve considered starting a community garden here in our town and encourage people to donate some of their produce to the local food shelter. I don’t have much produce to speak of this year, but maybe next year I’ll be able to take some in for them.

Have you ever donated any of your harvests to a local food bank? Or do you think you would grow a few things just to donate?

Early Run to the Farmer’s Market

September 15th, 2008

I know, I know, I’m always writing about the farmer’s market, so just don’t read on if you’re sick of it. One reason I started this blog was to have a sort of journal of things that go on around here. I write about what I get at the farmer’s market so that next summer I can check back and know what will appear at what time so I can plan my canning & preservation efforts.

I got up early Saturday morning to head off to the market. Mr Chiots and I had a wedding to film (that’s our profession check it out at 2nd Mile Productions), so I couldn’t take my normal leisurely trip. The alarm rang at 7:30 and by 8:15 I was out the door with coffee in hand. I ran to the market first and found fewer vendors that normal since it was raining.

But I was greeted with friendly smiling faces and a few, “Where were you last week, we didn’t see you?”. You never hear that at the grocery store.

I was delighted by all the winter squash that are appearing. I’ve been waiting to stock up so that we can continue eating locally this winter.

I picked up 3 butternuts and one HUGE* squash (I forget the name if anyone knows feel free to let me know, it’s that big pale orange one right behind the bag of corn). The lady at the booth said it was the best for pumpkin pie, and if you know me you know much I love pumpkin pie so I immediately said, “I’ll take it”. *when I got home I weighed it and it’s 20lbs.

A dozen ears of the last sweet corn of the season also made it into my shopping bags. I would have bought more, but since we had a wedding to film that day and I only had an hour to get ready to leave after I got home, I figured I wouldn’t have time to cook and cut it all.

I was also able to score a bushel of romas for canning and 5 quarts of poblano peppers for grilling & freezing, MMMMMM I can taste the smoky chili now, 2 quarts of fire roasted tomatoes, 3 grilled poblanos, 2 grilled onions, some pastured beef and spices, that’ll be warming on a cold winter day!

Mr Chiots is super excited that it’s finally apple season here in Ohio. Every week at the market they have new varieties. This week I picked up a peck of Gala apples for eating. I’m also hoping to make a batch of apple butter from all the varieties of cooking apples I’ve been buying at the market all summer (they’re all waiting in the crisper). I like to buy 4-5 different varieties of apples for making applesauce & apple butter, makes for more depth in flavor than if you have all one variety.

I also picked up bunch of organic carrots, a bunch of beets, and some green peppers. I haven’t decided what to do with these yet, maybe roasted root veggies (I’ll add some of those potatoes I bought last time). The green peppers will be grilled & frozen for winter pizzas & soups.

So what are you doing to continue eating locally this winter? We’re buying long-keeping squashes and doing some canning, trying to do our part for the Harvest Keepers Challenge.

The Green Fair

September 14th, 2008

We try to be pretty environmentally friendly here at Chiot’s Run. Our gardens are all organic, no chemicals, no pesticides, only all natural products are used. We have a rain water collection system and we save some gray water for our watering needs. We recycle what we can and try to reuse products as well. I’m always thrilled when I find other doing the same. I was pleasantly surprised by all the green I found at the Wayne County Fair last Sunday. In the school art barns some of the projects were about recycling and being more environmentally friendly.

There were little sprinkles of green throughout the fair (though no recyclables trash cans were to be found, we’ll have to work on that).

As we were leaving we noticed the Sustainable Energy Network Booth, so I stopped to pick up some literature. They had a small solar panel and a wind turbine powering their booth.

Hopefully this will raise awareness in Wayne County on the importance of being environmentally friendly. Now, I wonder when they’ll have an organic produce barn?

Here are 2 of the handouts I picked up at the fair. If you live in NE Ohio, you might be interested in attending a few of the events listed in the Greening Your Home Series. The Ohio Solar Tour is October 4-5, I may be touring a few of the homes.

SEN Directory of Resources, Incentives and Support

Greening Your Home Series

This concludes our Wayne County Fair coverage, tomorrow we will resume regular posting.

The Grand Fair Finale: Lerch’s Donuts

September 13th, 2008

If you’ve never been to the Wayne County Fair you’ve probably never had Lerch’s Donuts. They are famous at the fair (the box even says “Wayne County Fair Style”).

Lerch’s Donuts was founded in 1932 by John Lerch, Sr., when he developed a method of frying soft cake donuts that are not greasy at his downtown Wooster bakery. In 1934, he began producing Lerch’s Donuts at the Wayne County fair, soon becoming the #1 food vendor at the fair. Many things have changed since the 1930s; the bakery has closed, but not the recipe or popularity of Lerch’s Donuts.

Ever since I was a little girl, I remember going to the fair and eating Lerch’s Donuts as soon as we arrived, there’s a booth right inside the front door and we always bought a few boxes before we left. This year was no different. Now Mr. Chiots is a big donut connoisseur, I remember when I first introduced him to Wayne County Fair style donuts so many years ago and he’s been hooked ever since. (did I mention Mr Chiots really likes donutes?)

This year we waited until we were ready to leave to pick up our donuts (didn’t want to carry them around all day). So I got out my money and stood in line-the LOOOOOOOONG line.

I ordered 2 dozen donuts: 1 regular sugar, 1 cinnamon sugar. You can even walk around the side of the building and watch them make the donuts, boy they sure can crank out those donuts.

As soon as we got our donuts we cracked open the box and each enjoyed one. MMMMM, tastes like we’re at the Wayne County Fair!

Now if you want to try a Lerch’s Donut you’ll have to go the Wayne County Fair or spot one of the 3 trailers that they move around to various events in Wayne County (it’s rumored that they’re branching out and have a stand a several other local county fairs). So what’s your favorite fair food?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.