Since the kickoff of the present project, (energy saving in the house) earlier this week, I’ve found myself reflecting on the past projects that our family has undertaken. While it may seem as though these projects undergo a great deal of skill and thought, the reality of things almost couldn’t be further from the truth.

So how do they start? Ideas. Usually someone will come home and have an idea that they want to try, and by making it into a family project, we’re able to help each other out while all participating in it and seeing if we like it. While some of the projects haven’t been instant hits, we’ve made it through as a family, and in the process discovered that maybe we liked the new way better.

So what were the past projects?

The first one that we undertook was to have a family garden. My husband and I were fortunate to have parents growing up that had various sizes of gardens, both big and small, and we were even more fortunate that they passed along their knowledge to us. However, given the limited amount of space that we have available to us (1/3 of an acre), our garden would turn out to need planning, diligence, and perseverance as we built beds to hold it and cultivated vegetables. For more information about the evolution of our home garden, I have created a page called The Garden Chronicles. While I can’t remember specifics about 2009 (which is when it was first started), I’ll do my best to compile a history alongside the chronicles of the daily harvest.

The second project, borne of a desire to spend more time inside the house (and less in the backyard) was to stop eating processed food. In this day and age, where it seems that markets are stuffing the aisles of canned and boxed goods, alongside quick-mixes and ‘ready-in-minutes’ meals, we set out to stop eating that way and try eating more like grandma used to cook – from scratch. To read more about that past project, go to its brand-new page on this blog, entitled Home Cooking – Out of the Box. In this section you will learn more about our Out of the Box journey, including how we manage to feed ourselves without opening too many cans, and some of the recipes that we have discovered along the way.

Sometimes the most amazing part of these projects for me, aside from seeing how it can bring out both the likes and dislikes of our personalities, is the side projects that have sprung from them. For instance, by having the garden, we learned that shopping locally was often the best measure to supplement things. We also learned about canning, freezing, and preserving a harvest (such as it was) to get us through the winter until the next one. By giving up boxed mixes and boxed foods, we learned how to create not only whole meals but breads, cakes, and other things from scratch. Though I’m sorry to say that some canned goods still find their way into the pantry (tomatoes taste awful when you put too much lemon juice in them), we’ve almost entirely given up any mix whatsoever for a from-scratch version of the same thing.

So, look around, enjoy the pages – I know there isn’t too much on them yet, but stay tuned!