Dear Munchkin and Peanut,
1. Thin out and organize the basement in order to make room for an organized stockpile.
This is proving to be a huge challenge, as I knew it would. The biggest problem is finding a block of time to make a major dent. I have managed to clean out a few things here and there, but I’m nowhere near where I hoped to be by now. I don’t even have a solid plan, which is the most frustrating aspect. It seems this will remain a goal for a while yet.
2. Find a CSA or co-op where we can get organic or at least pesticide-free produce and possibly organic-fed, antibiotic-free and hormone-free animal products.
I did some research in November and found the only co-op in our area only offers conventionally-grown products. There do appear to be some local CSA’s that offer organic produce and animal products, but the sign-up deadline had already passed for the fall/winter season. I think having to wait was beneficial, though, because it gave me more time to get organized and start figuring out how to store and use everything before it spoils.
3. Create a system to plan weekly menus based on the fresh items we get from the CSA or co-op, and make an attempt at doing at least some of the prep work ahead of time.
This is an area where I have actually made progress! A few days ago, I purchased new software designed to organize recipes and aid in menu planning. I used it yesterday to plan make-ahead freezer meals using twelve pounds of pork chops I bought in bulk. I did the grocery shopping, then got busy in the kitchen. We ate one pork chop meal for dinner and I prepped another for the freezer. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t have time to prepare all the freezer meals, but the planning took longer than I expected. I’m still learning how to use the software, too, but I am encouraged that I CAN do this!