We got prawns! Our buddy let down a few traps and pulled them up for us yesterday. Then he handed us the results. A major bucket o’ prawns! We de-headed them, cleaned them, packaged them and put away 15 pounds of tails in the freezers. We go through maybe twenty pounds a year and give some away as well to family. Guests love ’em, too. Our annual ‘haul’ is somewhere around 25 pounds. We are one day into the annual harvest and we are practically there! Very satisfying.
Another buddy has managed to ‘harvest’ a deer. He’s away right now but we may trade a few prawns for some of his venison. Maybe. That, too, is satisfying.
Of course, we have oysters and clams and mussels, as well, but we include fewer of them in our diet as a rule. Maybe once a month. Plus they do not need to be harvested, they can just sit and wait their turn. Sal’s seafood chowder is absolutely fabulous so maybe this year we will ‘do some more’!
And soon there will be wild nettles. They are delicious if picked at the right time and all…which we never seem to be able to do. And blackberries, of course, but with the same problem – they ripen and disappear before we ever seem to get to them. The garden – when planted and attended to – is a wonderful source of fresh produce. Every plant that comes from the garden seems to taste so much better than their identical cousins from the store. A really good garden is a wealth of wellness and good taste.
Volunteers are plants that somehow plant and grow themselves….and we usually have a few random potato clumps from volunteers. They are the best! Who knew potatoes could taste so good!
Our other buddy, S, is always good for a crab or three. That’s always great. And everyone seems to get a Ling cod now and then. Eating off the front porch and the back forty is not a full menu by any means but it does make for fresh seafood whenever the fancy strikes and plenty of variety to boot.
All this ‘food’ thinking is based on the ‘new reality’. C-19 will be altering patterns. Yours. Ours. Even the stores are going to change. We will not likely be shopping in town as often as we did for quite awhile. Mind you, we shopped less than most people. Once a month would be overstating it. More like once every six weeks and mostly for minor things and three times a year (at most) at Costco for a major ‘BULK UP’.
Food is a big deal living off the grid but it is not a big ORdeal. It’s just that old people, who work less and drink more wine, put a bit more emphasis on ‘good meals’ than say, those who race with the rats and rely on convenience to keep it all together. That used to be me…not so much anymore. Now I can look forward to a good plate of nettles. Weird, eh?
And yes, we are already starting to look at logs. Soon it will be time to start on the ‘wood-pile’ again. We likely used almost two full cords this year and it may take a bit more to get through April. We will need to bring in, chop up and haul up the highline as many as 60 lengths of floating bounty by the end of the summer. That’s is approximately 600 lineal feet of 10-inch logs required to replenish the winter wood-pile. Maybe a bit more if we are to build something. That is a chore of some magnitude and we had taken to using W’Fers during that annual task. But the W’fer community has also been changed by C-19 so we may just have to get on that chore sooner to make up for their absence.
The propane is full. I have liquid fuel. Enough for a few months, anyway. And, so far, the sun has been out enough that the genset has not been turned on in a month. We have electricity. We have our systems and they are working. We can even use Everything Wine to deliver case lots of cheap swill every now and then. If we had to, we could stay on the ‘rock’ for six months quite easily. We could likely stay for one year but it wouldn’t be easy those last three months.
I’d likely also be sick of Ling Cod by then.
Here we are getting prepared for an extended C-19 disruption and so far, it seems, that we are already doing rather well. A few more months of preparation and we’ll be good-to-go. Or, better put: we’ll be ‘good-to-stay-in-place’.