Friday, August 17, 2012

Personal Challenge; Spending to -0-

 For some reason I am always challenging myself to do things that pop into my head. Lately I have been going through major changes as my family sells most of our belongings in order to simplify and reconnect with who we are and who we are becoming. We are split up right now as I am living on the farm with those duties, and my husband is in Cheyenne finishing up some long bows he needs to get done ( and the older boys are getting things ready for a big yard sale along with putting the rest of our things in our shop for storage. We have rented/sold our house even though it was the best place we have ever lived and are moving forward in faith that the promptings to maked these changes will be blessed. Actually, the blessings have already been pouring in with amazing regularity.

The title of this post is Personal Challenge; Spending to -0-.  The lastest challenge I have given myself is to not spend money until September. I started this about a week ago and have not spent any money except for money that was given to me for the express purpose of spending it (gas money). I also had to spend $1 to change our address online. I was able to save the cost of a post office box by forwarding our mail to a friends house for a while until income from the bows, binders and produce gets going.

Not spending money for a month is being made easier because of the abundance of food coming from my garden right now. I took a black plastic bag to  Cheyenne last weekend in anticipation of a food shortage and came back to Fort Collins with 50 pounds of produce that I had gathered. That is so cool! The picture here  on the right is the plethora of food I didn't have to buy. It is only myself and my 2 littlest boys this week, so this amount will do us well.
 I planted my potatoes in June because I was still building my garden boxes late into the growing season. Look at these beautiful potatoes that have grown in that short time! This proves that short growing seasons can produce food too.

This kohlrabi is kind of too big for good mild flavor. The bigger it gets, the more pungent the flavor. Don't get me wrong, it is not bad, just strong. It's kind of like a turnip/radish/potato taste. Also the bigger it gets, the tougher it gets. I pulled the leaves off of this one and juiced them. I will be cutting the outside off of the main purple part and will either steam the inside, or put it in a soup. 

I have been juicing the beets and their greens. I cut the beet from the greens so they don't go bad as fast.

 I got 5 gallon bags stuffed full of different greens for this week. Turnip greens, beet greens, swiss chard, and Paris cos lettuce are waiting for me in the fridge.

Last but not least comes the summer squash. I planted these again this year because of how much I enjoyed them this year. I like zuchinni, but it seems I get higher yields from the yellow squash and they are easier to find on the plant! Sometimes those zuchinni will grow and grow before I ever spot them. :)
I planted zuchinni too, just so you know.

I steam these, juice them, cut them up and have them raw on sandwiches and in sandwich fillings, or dip them in hummus or other spreads.  There are so many uses for squash. I'm glad they are so prolific.

Paris cos Lettuce. This has been so delicious this year.
 Theses onions have grown for only 2 months. Usually they would grow from April or May until September or October. I am eating them early because I need them and because I can! :)

This picture is of my Swiss Chard. I have seen this plant thrive even through snow. It is very hardy and nutritious (and beautiful). It is fairly quick growing too.

I guess I'll have to let you know how my month of no spending money went.  So far, it is going well. There has been plenty to eat with new food sources popping up. On Monday we were invited to go pick corn for ourselves at the church farm. Last week we were invited to dinner at a friends house, a farmer in Fort Collins brought over bunches of cucumbers, a friend took pity on us and bought us treats :), and tonight we are going to a potluck picnic.  Even my other needs are being taken care of. Working with this clay soil has sucked the moisture out of my hands and I used up all of the lotion I had.  I prayed for some and the next day a friend of mine showed up with some goat lotion for me to try out. Not only did the Lord provide, but he chose a healthy option for me! :) I would have taken anything, but it was fun for it to be something I would choose anyways. I am not sure how appropriate it is for me to share that, but I thought it might be a faith builder for someone. It was for me.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing ALL of this... we all may need to live off what we can grow someday, and it's encouraging to see your example!

    Your produce is incredible! So is the experience you're having! And so are you!

  2. Elisa, that is so awesome! I have been wanting to cut my spending way back, as much as possible lately too. I am going through this urge to simplify everything, and live as independently as possible. I don't have anything left in my garden from the spring crop, (didn't have much to begin with), but we have been blessed by neighbors with plums, tomatoes and cucumber, and thankfully Mom and Dad, have been very generous to send us home with beets and carrots, tomatoes and cucumber. I love to follow your example, it is sooooo inspiring!! I love hearing about your family being blessed, you are all so faithful. You are allowing yourselves to be tried, and you are learning from it all, and growing and being blessed. It's really neat. :)

  3. You live what you preach and a good example to us all. Can't be any better food than what you have, fresh from the garden.

  4. Thank you for these words of praise. I don't deserve it. I hope that what I am doing will inspire others to faithfully move forward in things they are feeling prompted to do. I love my garden and the life I am leading, so it is nothing to praise. I am so inadequate most of the time that when things go well I want to share! :)