Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

Well stocked pantry

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I was trying to make a cake this week but when I opened the pantry there was no icing sugar. Once you have a cake on your mind, its hard to let it go. Normally, I would just make something different to take out for dinner but this time I persevered. I called around the island, luckily my friend came through… Cake disaster was averted.

Looking in the pantry there may not have been any icing sugar but there are rows and rows of veggies canned from last summer’s garden. Now that we are deeply into the winter months and have yet to be stranded, I feel it’s safe to crack  into my emergency food supply… We will feast tonight.

Dinner tonight will be Pork Tenderloin with roasted veggies (squash, potatoes, beets, carrots, onions, garlic and parsnips) served with French beans (green beans with tomatoes, garlic and onions)… All from my garden..DSCN9006 It will be a feast of vegetables grown here on the island with the gorgeous soil the R’s left us and the limited water we had available to us during our summer drought.

With all of the rain we have had this winter, (much more than previously experienced) our tanks are filling nicely. We have 4000 of our 5000 capacity filled and the last 1000 will be pumped in no time… We will start the summer with 5000 in reserve and will still be able to pump once or twice a week as we go along. Our first summer here when our pump failed we began June with nothing.Our second year here in May we accidentally lost 500 of our 2000 capacity down our neighbours sink.   Last  year we started with 2000.  1000 in the old tanks moved down to the garden and the original 1000 filled up top…

This year we have our additional two new 1500 gallon tanks hooked into our system. I do not intend to lose any plants this summer!!!  My vision of the stocked pantry brought thoughts of this summer’s vegetable garden and what I want to grow… I have used the seeds from West Coast Seed Catalogue the last two years. I wasn’t really as happy with them as those I bought from Saltspring Island our first summer.  I got online today and ordered this summer’s seeds.

In my order there is a strong emphasis on veggies I can “put up” for winter consumption. I have given up on Spinach it goes to seed too fast… I grew a lot of squash last year only to discover that E doesn’t really like it. I could have used the space for tomatoes!

I have ordered seven different types of tomatoes.. Most, I have never grown before.. One is called a Pollock tomato and one is called Berkeley Tie-Dye Heart.. (Four colours).. I have ordered tomatoes that are yellow and pink and red and black… It should be quite the variety in my salads and sauces!! I have also ordered peas, carrots, beans, pumpkin, cucumber, pepper, salad mix, leeks and beets. A few flowers and  herbs too…. As you can imagine.. I probably ordered a bit too much… But it’s like Chinese food… You need to order a lot to get the variety!!!

E was working up at the studio building a new compost bin. The original three part compost attached to the garden disintegrated last summer. It was also located where we are hoping to put the greenhouse so it went on the fall burn pile. The new one will be two compartments and made from wood he has found around the property for the project.DSCN8990

Until now we have only tried the jams, jellies and tomato sauces from the pantry. We are trying to empty the fridge before our trip to the big city this week so there is nothing remotely green or healthy in the fridge. If I ignore this weeks icing sugar crisis, generally I have been quite pleased with our

well stocked pantry

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Author: Off Grid Islanders

We are a retired couple living on an off grid island on the West Coast

2 thoughts on “Well stocked pantry

  1. Us, too. What you said. Water. Garden. Seed catalogue. Greenhouse on the go. Like my wife, you see a garden as a palette. E and I just see dinner, I am sure. Compost, eh? Who knew?

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