Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year here in North America, and the official beginning of summer, the best day of the year for solar panels. This is also the time when those seeds you started indoors in March and put outside in May are starting to pay off with the fruits of your labor. And the local farmers’ markets are starting to bloom and will continue to do so until the fall.
Now, here’s the deal. You have a wonderful opportunity to make the best of this season.I’m sure you’ve either read the book or seen the movie “The Accidental Tourist”. Well, I’m kind of an Accidental Survivalist. I inadvertently fell into a lifestyle that I came to take a lot of pride in. I’ve learned a lot. I cannot praise self-sufficiency enough. My advice to city dwellers is not to drop everything and go off into the wilderness. My advice to you is to incorporate into your homes in suburbia a few things that will make your own life safer, more reliable, If you don’t want to invest in a good solar panel or two and few deep cycle batteries to run your bare essentials in emergencies, I suppose you can go with out electricity for awhile should the shit hit the fan. I mean, face it, a solar panel will not provide you with a/c. It will provide you with some lamps, your laptop, and a 12-volt fan during the day, and what your batteries will produce at night. And those $10 “brighter” solar garden lights at Walmart are worth their weight in gold, should you ever need light at night.
But today we’re talking about food. This summer you have an opportunity to buy as much LOCAL and organic food you can, some from your own back yard, the rest from farmers’ markets. Buy what you can every weekend, eat what you can, then do something with the rest.
Here are your choices: Canning. This is great if you have a great cellar to store a gazillion glass jars. Freezing: This is great until that time the electricity goes out and everything in your freezer suddenly falls into the “use or lose” category. My suggestion: dehydration. Dry as many fresh local fruits and veggies that you can this summer and store them anywhere the rest of the year. Not only is this practical and efficient but you’re ready to go hiking at a moment’s notice. Invest in a dehydrator, they are not expensive.
When winter comes you will not have to buy produce from some South American country that has been picked way too early so it can withstand the boat ride here. You’ll have dried produce with TASTE. Just soak or boil. You’ll have apple slices for winter pies. You’ll have a variety of veggies for winter soups and stews from onions, celery, to tomatoes and peppers, and everything green in between.
Instead of carpe diem … carpe season!