No, no kitchen photos yet. Sorry. I am waiting on the builder to do the last 10%.

I thought I’d update on my progress on the self-sufficiency experiment. I wanted to become 100% self-sufficient in vegetables this year, and about 40% in fruit. Inevitably, I was over-optimistic. ;)

I am doing well on the vegies. I will be self-sufficient in onions, garlic, shallots, potatoes, carrots, silverbeet (swiss chard), leeks, capsicums, chilli, zucchini, pumpkin and probably beetroot. I would have been self-sufficient in peas save for the Great Freezer Disaster. I still have to assess the celeriac crop (it doesn’t seem to be bulbing up). I will also have enough fennel seed to last me through the next 3 lifetimes (I will never ever plant fennel again!). I will have about 60% of the beans I need.

I should have been self sufficient in artichokes, but, God save me, I loved the flowers so much I just let them all flower!

As for fruit – I have had a reasonable apple crop – enough for a bit of fresh eating and enough to make the sauces I need (mostly tomato ketchup), but not enough for the dried fruit I need for the year. I have a young lemon tree and this year I should get about 10% of the lemons I need from it. But otherwise the fruit has been a bit of a disaster as the melons never got off the ground (literally) and I was depending on them for dried fruit throughout the year. So the fruit side of it is not doing well and it is too late now to expect anything.

I have got enough pickled onions and pickles to last the year. I will be able to make most of the sauces I need from the garden produce.

I would have had enough elderflowers to make myself wine for the entire year, too, save the frozen elderflowers also went in the Great Freezer Disaster. (I may not have mentioned the Great Freezer Disaster; in early January I turned off the sodding freezer for no apparent reason save that I must have just walked by and flipped off the switch. Lost all my pea crop and all the elderflower crop I had frozen. I was, literally, distraught at the loss.) I have managed to get some dried elderflowers but have not yet made any wine with them.

I am preserving as best I can. Onions and garlic and shallots keep well, but (as you know) I am freezing a large proportion of the onions and they are going into my chest freezer which is kept solely for vegetables. Today I made a start on mashing up great vats of potato to be frozen as well. (If freezing mashed potato do not add milk, just loads of butter, pepper, and, my particular vice, enormous quantities of grated cheese.) If I have any potatoes left once the pumpkins are ready, then I will do potato and pumpkin mash mix, otherwise I will freeze mashed pumpkin (no additives, just mash the steamed pumpkin). I don’t keep pumpkin on the shelf as the variety I grow (Galeux D’Eysines) loses flesh rapidly after picking, so it is best to freeze them up almost as soon as you pick them. Carrots are also being frozen but I will have fresh throughout most of the year as well. I will have enough potatoes left growing in garden and compost for my roasts throughout the year. :)

I am doing OK, I think. I also have loads of herbs in the garden, and for most of the, ahem, garden variety herbs I will be self-sufficient. I’ve managed to mostly remember to keep planting throughout the growing season. I will still need to buy in things like cauliflower and cabbage, which just haven’t managed to grow for me this year (mostly because I never planted out the seedlings!), and brussel sprouts as well, as my crop seems to be fatally attacked by pests.

I won’t meet my quota, but thus far I am pretty happy with what I have achieved.