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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor

April

The Architect

Clay

Barter for Broccoli

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Remember when I told you about the real chicken farmers, Tim and Diane?  In that post you can see a photo of one of their gardens.  Tim and Diane sell fresh eggs and garden produce.  Every spring and summer they send out an email for people to sign up to be a garden pal.  You can pay for the produce or you can barter with them.  They have a list of services and items that they are willing to barter for their produce and eggs.  I love this way of exchanging things people need.  Tim and Diane were wanting organic pork and guess who has a whole bunch of that growing in her back yard?  Me!

Since I grow my own garden I made arrangements with Tim and Dian to receive some of their produce and large batches of things like broccoli, peas and beans that I can ‘put up’.

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I gave up on growing broccoli last year after I served a lovely pasta dish to my family complete with lots of little worms.  We had all eaten several heaping mouth fulls of the stuff when my daughter held up her fork and calmly asked,
“Um, Mom?  What is this?”  It was a worm.  I thought I had washed all of them out of the broccoli, but apparently they were hiding deep in the florets.  That was the end of dinner…..and my broccoli growing.

Tim and Diane start their broccoli very early, before it should be planted and force it up by using thermal insulation better known as black plastic.  Their broccoli is ready to harvest before the cabbage worms have time to take over and therefore they avoid Pasta Con Wormy.

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Putting up broccoli is so easy, but it does make the house stink like, um, well broccoli which if you’ve ever made broccoli cheddar soup and stuck the leftovers in the fridge you know that after a day it smells a bit like someone crawled in there and took a crap.

Directions for Puttin’ Up Some Dat Broccoli

Take your broccoli and cut it down the stalk or into small florets, it’s up to you.  I did some small florets in one bag and longer spears in another.

Set a large pot of water on to boil.

Fill a large bowl with ice water.

Have good freezer bags available and a sharpie to label them, do a couple before you start (I always forget to do this or I don’t label at all and then regret it later.  Don’t be like me.)

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Place the broccoli in the boiling water just long enough to blanch it.  Like 30 seconds to a minute, you want to keep it bright green.  Spoon out the broccoli and place immediatley into the ice bath, this stops the cooking and makes it easier to freeze.

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Did I forget to tell you to have a colander handy?  You’ll need one, stick it in the sink.

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Dump the iced broccoli into the colander and let the water drain off.

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Here’s the hard part, listen carefully…..place the broccoli in a freezer bag.  Put the bag of broccoli in the freezer.  Did you label it?  Please label it, and when you are done come over to my house and label mine.  Thank you.

Are there any questions?  I know this was really hard.  Study your notes there will be a test next week.

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