10 Lessons From the Local Food Experiment

In June, I began an experiment where I had the goal of eating only foods purchased from area farms or that which I could grow myself in our small space. In these months, I have learned some valuable lessons.

#1 – Beginning this challenge in June was a horrible idea. Had I asked real people instead of looking online, I would have realised that nothing is ready in June. Even the grow houses looked at me like I was stupid when I asked about it. Seems that even the sun is shining brightly, really the only thing growing in our climate in the month of June is butter flowers and rhubarb…

#2 – You cannot eat rhubarb every day. Rhubarb contains a certain chemical which can be bad for the kidneys. As rhubarb can be very tart, it is always best eaten with some kind of cream or custard (which can also work to balance out this bad chemical).

#3 – While it’s a freeing feeling to forage butter flowers for food, they can also be quite bitter. Do not take the largest leaves. Those are the worst tasting and it doesn’t matter how much spice you put on it, it will not improve the taste. I learned that those small leaves, the beginning ones in the spring are the best tasting. Also, the flowers can be fried. Those first flowers in the spring are the best ones though.

#4 – If I had to trust my own grown food to feed myself, I would starve. I was excited to put lots of seeds to pots and watch them grow. They grew. And grew. And grew more. But nothing came beyond being a flower. We got about 2 small cucumber and a few mint-sized tomato. The squashes and aubergine made many flowers only. Kale is growing, for the first time. I have been able to take a few leafs for mixing with salads. It makes me happy 🙂 Chilis are the one plant that grow nicely. I have heard that the weather has been unpredictable all over the world, so I am trying to not dislike myself too much about it.

#5 – Farmers need sales this year. Something I had not considered, is the affect that the Covid-19 pandemic would have on small farms. I quickly learnt that many small farms have contracts with restaurants or their distribution. I always had in my mind that it would only be the large corporate agriculture which would carry these types of contracts, but I was mistaken. A side issue of the pandemic restrictions and closings of restaurants worldwide is that these farms do not have the sales they had planned for when planting. What this means is that farmers find themselves with an excess amount of food items ready for harvesting with nowhere to go and no pay for them + limited access to workers to help in harvesting. In this circumstance, many farmers are happy to sell their harvested items to customers visiting the farm.

#6 – In the middle of a global health crises, is the worst time to restrict one’s food sourcing ability. I re-launched the experiment this year because I wanted to stay out of the food shops as much as was possible. I did and purchasing larger amounts from farms in surrounding areas helped me to eat healthier and to stay away from the food shops for longer. However…. when I did visit the food shops I did not restrict myself. I tried, the first few times. But then I realised how stupid it was to not take home affordable food items like pastas, rice and porridge. Okei…. and maybe a few snickers bars for mental happiness 😉 (I have a snickers addiction. If anyone works with the Snickers business, please remember my appetite for the treats) So I purchased those.

#7 – Learn foraging from a person who has spent their life foraging foods. Going into the forest for searching berries, mushrooms and other wild edibles is really nice in theory until you realise that you aren’t certain if that plant is poisonous or no and then the whole thing goes to compost. Berries look very similar and if one is not well educated in natures plants, the result of eating these toxic beasts can really give you a night to remember. Best to learn from someone who knows it, and to doubt yourself until you are certain.

#8 – People will remember you. Visit a farm many times for purchasing food items and explain that you are trying to eat more sustainably – and people will remember it. Some looked at me as a crazy person But others began to try to help me. Example; one farm began to offer me possibility to purchase the second or third class vegetables. Those are which cannot be sold in the shops because … its that ugly fruit thing. That nobody wants to just buy ugly looking foods. So, I got them for discount and they taste just as nice. + I got to give myself a sustainable award (in my mind) for reducing food waste and for saving money.

#9 – Fresh food is seasonal. We all know this. But I more like mean very short season because no refrigerated trucks or those things. Want fresh strawberries? Okei, but you have 2 weeks when can take those. All berries seem to be the same. Some foods have longer times of constant harvest, others do not. So have plan with what you want to do with those and purchase them while it is possible.

#10 – Many people are planting this year! This is something I am very happy about, although it did frustrate my own plans. I am happy because I think quite often that if each of us – every person that has the capability to do so – could have at least one food producing plant on their terraces or windows, then it would increase our individual possibility for food sourcing by at least that much, that it could help with the current global food security issues. This is not a ‘let them cake’ moment, so don’t be angry. I do understand that in many places, growing anything is an impossibility. I am more meaning those of us who have the possibility to have some herbs growing or a tomato or child plant, even a salad plant, that overall it would help to lessen our dependence on food shops and online food orders – as well as the money spent on those. If there is any one lessen that I have learned in 2020, it is that disruptions happen and the way we usually do things in our lives may not always be that way.

Have you been planting? Do you have any wisdom for sharing? Please share with us in the comments!

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae

Back To Basics: Local Food / Own Grown Food Experiment Starts Now!

I am doing this experiment…again. I tried this 2 years ago, and did not last long with it.  I have been thinking it often due to the coronavirus restrictions, that we should try to have some food plants here for eating if there is another wave of cases and businesses close again, that we have something here. Then I thought that well, I am thinking foolishly, just do the experiment and look that can I even manage 2 days on the few things I am able to grow.

My goal in this experiment, is to reconnect with the source of my food. 100 years ago, people lived in a way that they knew how to grow and produce, preserve their own foods. There was a basic connection to food, a respect for it and a need to master the process oneself. In our current society, we have everything we could possibly want. We can access summer harvested foods from the other side of the globe, in winter, in the food shops. Not only is this very unnatural, but the fragility of logistics and supply chains in order to make such luxury possible is something that must be considered. As the coronavirus restrictions have exhibited; manufacturing, logistics and supply is not always reliable. This is when I had my ‘eureka!’ moment and that knew if I am ever going to make this local food and growing food work, I needed to do this experiment again. I want to share with you the possibilities for someone who is quite helpless with growing, cooking, baking – basically all things food-related (I’m quite nightmarish) – to learn and see that is it even possible to do. I have 2 goals in this experiment. Goal #1 is for me to learn & to be able in the future to not be so dependent on the shops for my food. Goal #2 is to motivate you to think about these things. For you to hopefully, even with small changes, to also feel a sense of independent ability and a closeness to your food as well.

So here we are, launching this experiment…again. If this is the first you have read about this, I will share the basic things:

  • If I can grow it, forage it or purchase it from local farms, I can eat it.
  • If it is produced locally by small producers/individuals, I can eat it.
  • If it is gifted to me, I can eat it. 

Aside from these, I have 2 circumstances which could be variable.  #1 – Although I am trying to avoid visiting the food shops, I will have to go. Some of the things I will need to purchase are items for food preservation such as: sugar, jam sugar, oils, vinegars, spices and salt.  I will also purchase dog food (of course. For the dog, not I) and I am allowing myself purchases of both fish and cheeses, wheat powder & eggs (for baking) and salad sauce – as my luxury purchases.  But that is when I do go to the food shops, which I am trying to avoid. So probably not making those purchases for some time.  Circumstance #2 – food & my husband. Doing an experiment like this can be complicated when the person doing it, does not live alone. Last time I did this, meal times were difficult. We adjusted to eating seperate foods, which was not difficult. The problem came when my husband wanted to surprise me with a nice meal and I was unable to accept. It was not a regular happening, but it did happen. As my goal is to make use of what we have, I do not wish to waste a good meal or a thoughtful gift from my husband. So I have decided that this time, if he makes a nice meal for the both of us, I will eat it. Before you get the idea that he will be cooking for me every evening, he will not. I am quite certain that he will make good use of the opportunity to eat all the delicious foods that I don’t like.

I do have some things I am uncertain about. I am hoping that you will share your thoughts about it, so that we can together decide that are these acceptable or no:

  • Navigating costs
  • ! Food items, example; late season grown food items that I purchased from farms outside the city, but still locally and had frozen or preserved in some way. myself for it to last longer. These are the foods I can purchase when they are available, so it does fit the experiment. These were purchased months prior to this experiment though, so I am unsure that is it ‘breaking the rules’  or not if I eat these vegetables?
  • Ice-cream auto: small local business, but not grown or locally produced food. How does it fit into the experiment, or does it?

I have little doubt that I will lose some weight during this experiment. My weight at the beginning of  this experiment, 31 May 2020: 74,4 kg / 164 pounds.

I am nervous and feel ill prepared. Local food experiment a go-go!

Luck needed!

-Mliae

What I Learned This Week: Week 1, November

This is my week 1 update of the new experiment I set for myself to use the internet for learning in these 4 weeks. No online shopping, no wasting time on the pc to just be. I said that I would learn the things. To try to learn the things from a good source.

 

I learned that 650 million years ago, glaciers existed on the equator.

 

I learned that Mayflies live for 5 minutes, and the oldest living land animal is a 183 years tortoise. A sponge has been recorded as living 11 000 years, a clam 405 years, and a bowhead whale at over 200 years! Found on the National Geographic website.

I learned that people have interesting ideas of what animal evolution will show us in the future. BBC.

As for animals of the past, I’ve been reading much about dinosaurs. Caught in the vortex, as it were. So much information, and most of it being very complicated scientific wordings to tell us what we already know. I was surprised to read this article from National Geographicwhich reads in a much easier to understand wording, that birds are dinosaurs. 🙂

I also learned how to make a cold weather shelter in the woods. Speaking the truth, I did not learn this. I would not be able to do this myself. I did watch it though. And that made me feel that I knew something.

Want to know what other I learned? I learned that when I shut the pc, my things needing done list, gets smaller! I spent more of my time doing and less of my time sitting. Day 1 I did quite a bit of walking in circles, like a cat with hot porridge. After that though, it felt really good to not feel that I must be always looking something on the pc. I think this was the most important that I learned the whole week!

Next week, advances in IT.

-Mliae

My Year Long Shopping Ban Is Over! :)

I made it through the entire year, I cannot believe I was actually able to do it!

Last summer, I placed myself on a 1 year shopping ban. A shopping ban on un-necessary items like clothing, accessories, pretty things. I broke the ban in once occasion, about 6 months into the challenge. I purchased a dress for myself to wear to a friends birthday happening. (And I have worn it a lot afterwards) Otherwise, I have been very good!

When I began this challenge, I did not think I would be able to make it an entire year. I also imagined that I would find myself with a bit of extra pocket money that I could instead use towards my debts. I was surprised to find that I was incorrect about both.

I discovered that not purchasing did not leave me with the extra money I hoped would be there. This leads to me to question how I was able to shop before the ban. As many of you know, I do not have a wardrobe of many items. About 30 items.  So its not a situation where I am out shopping all the time. So that I can see, that there would not be so much money spent, to be saved during the ban. I was still not expecting to not have any money to show that I had not been spending.

Even I don’t shop so much, I wanted to so badly. Odd. I think maybe because I was telling myself that I couldn’t shop, that I felt like I was missing something and wanted to shop that much more.

I also realised something else, something I think is important. I got quite bored with my clothing. Sometimes because I was wearing the same items very frequently and most of them show the wear via holes, faded colours and just starting to look blaaahhhh. This made me want to shop. But then something strange happened. I found myself looking at new clothing that looked comfortable and heavily worn. Why? Wasn’t this what I was trying to get away from? I have been thinking about this for months. The only theory that seems logical is that I don’t actually hate my clothing, I hate the way I feel in them. I am still a bit overweight and for some reason, the self negativity comes out strongest when I see myself in the mirror. Even if I am wearing a beautiful dress, all I manage to see are the things I don’t like about my own image. I think many women have this same problem. So this is my lesson from this: I need to work on myself. I need to accept myself, be happy with myself. And maybe then, I can stop hoping that new clothes will make me feel better about myself and instead feel better about myself and that will make my worn and comfortable clothing look better!

How do you control your spending?

-Mliae

dresses, custom clothing, womens dresses,fashion, retro, fall, spring, fit and flare dresses, knit dresses

The Blog Following Experiment is Complete!

Well, my people, I’ve done it! I have completed the year long blog following experiment! Can you believe that a year has already passed? Where does the time go so quickly?! For those of you that are unfamiliar with this experiment of mine, allow me to explain. As many of us do, I got really frustrated following blogs that would suddenly stop, or disappear.  I started to do some online researching (because, well, that’s what I do!) and some of the articles I found were… eye-opening. Like this post from Hellbound Bloggers which states that ‘…out of every 100 newbie bloggers, around 90 hang up their boots even before enjoying a trivial amount of success’. (Singhal, Harshit, 23 April 2017) or this beauty from the New York Times which cites a 2008 survey by Technorati and says ‘only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs that the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to roughly 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned…’ ( Quenquay, Douglas,5 June 2009) I kept telling myself, that this can’t just be true! So, I decide to do a little test for myself. You can find the full blogpost here explaining this whole process.

Results:

  • I followed 1000 blogs at random for 12 months:
  • Sites remaining after 1 year: 480 = 48% of total
    • Of those 480 sites, 346 had been updated within 7 days.
  • Month 1: 80 sites removed in February, which hadn’t updated the site in 2 months,  8% of total
  • Month 2: 95 sites removed in March, which hadn’t update in 2 months. 9,5% of total
  • Month 3: 0 sites removed in April. 0% of total. This has my attention. What’s happening in April?
  • Month 4: 25 sites removed in Maj, which hadn’t update in 2 months. 2,5% of total
  • Month 5: 23 sites removed in June, which hadn’t updated in 2 months. 2,3% of total.
  • Month 6: 35 sites removed in July, which hadn’t updated in 2 months. 3,5% of total
  • Month 7: 29 sites removed in August, which hadn’t updated in 2 months. 2,9% of total
  • Month 8: 23 sites removed in September, which hadn’t updated in 2 months. 2,3% of total
  • Month 9: 33 sites removed in October, which hadn’t been updated in 2 month. 3,3% of total
  • Month 10: 26 sites removed in November, which hadn’t been updated in 2 months. 2,6% of total
  • Month 11: 50 sites removed in December, which hadn’t been updated in 2 months. 5% of total
  • Month 12: 83 sites removed in January, 2019, which hadn’t been updated in 1 month or more. 8,3% of total
  • 18 sites were formatted where the posting dates were unavailable/hidden. 1,8% of total

Analysis: 

Although my small, unprofessional experiment shows that 52% of the blogs I followed were left abandoned within the year. This is a large difference to the 75%-95% of failing blogs that I read about.

It does seem to my mind that the reports were accurate in that the larger percentile of blogs left abandoned were within the time frame of the first 3-6 months of the blog’s creation.

Surprisingly, there seems to be an interesting pattern regarding the time of year. This may be entirely coincidence, but it seems that a higher percentage of blogs are ‘abandoned’ during the winter months. I very much want to know why April seems to be a magical month for blogging! Not even 1 blog was left unattended for the 2 month limit during the month of April. Which tells me that something is happening during March/April that is affecting blogging motivation. This may warrant further study, as I am unable to stop thinking about it.

34,6% of the total blogs studied had updated within 7 days of the end of the experiment. Many (but not all) of these blogs have an excess of 1000 followers. This could be approached from the view that more followers, leads to more blogging focus. OR that higher blogging focus leads to more followers. Either or neither could be true.

Methodology:

  • Follow 1000 blogs directly from the reader in a range of topics at varying times of day. I didn’t read them, I just hit the follow button on the top few posts under each topic. Wait several hours and repeat so as to gain a variety of nationalities. This lasted several days.
  • Once monthly, I would remove the blogs that had not been updated in 2 months. I would collect data and record it in experiment excel file. (colour-coded by month unfollowed)
  • On January of 2019 (the final month of the experiment) I removed all blogs which had not been updated in 1 month or more. Data was collected, recorded & coded in excel file.
  • On January of 2019, I recorded data as well on all remaining blogs that had been updated within 7 days.
  • Recorded data counted and recorded in above ‘results’ section

Methodological issues that could result in false data:

  • I was unable to give accurate monthly updates, as I first thought I would be able to. This is due to the fact that 1000 blogs is ALOT and when you go ‘manage blogs’, I noticed that only part of them would display. Even when I waited patiently, changed the order…It still could not display the entire list. This also needs to be taken into account when considering the things that could have affected the outcome of my experiment.
  • Blogs followed were followed directly from the reader > discover > tags section. As it would distort data to include some languages, but not others, I used only english language in the tags search (as it seems to be the most widely used language on this platform). This has limited the control group to blogs written in the english language.
  • 1,8% of total blogs followed did not show (on my reader or their sites) the date of last update. So there is a 1,8% unknown variable

So this is what I have found, people. I did invest much time into this experiment and I hope that I was able to offer some data that you find interesting. There are some surprises in this which I think may warrant further investigation.

Thank you for reading and you are welcome to share this if you wish.

-Mliae

*Sources:

Pixabay, Feature photo

Quenquay, Douglas, ‘Blogs Falling in an Empty Forest’ New York Times, 5 June 2009

Singhal, Harshit, ‘5 Reasons Why Most Bloggers Quit Blogging Within 6 Months’ Hellbound Bloggers, 23 April 2017


*This blog experiment was a small-scale, personal experiment for blogging/entertainment purposes which should in no way be considered as professional, publishable data.

7 Months In On My Shopping Ban and I’m Not OK.

This summer, I lost my mind. I decided I would challenge myself to live as sustainably as possible. To only grow my own food or purchase locally produced food items. To learn how to bake. And to embark on a 1 year shopping ban. No trial runs, just go do it! The food thing didn’t last long. The shopping ban, however, has lasted 7 months. (Probably because, well… I got goodies for Birthdays & Holidays)

Why am I not Ok, you ask? I’ll tell you. I’m not OK because I want to shop. Very badly! There are a few things happening at the moment:

  • My pants are starting to wear out. Those little holes you see & think to yourself, nah, it still works. Well they eventually turn into huge rips. Usually at the most inconvenient of times! (See the day I accidentally ripped the ‘back’ of my favourite pants and found myself being taped back together at a strangers desk!)
  • It’s really cold and I just don’t feel pretty when its cold. Too many layers, not enough warmth. And when your eyes/nose are watering and your eyelashes freeze, bothering to put on makeup, only to have it dissipate after a few minutes in the elements just doesn’t happen.
  • I’m (too) selective. Because of my %100 natural fibre neurosis, I have to spend a crazy amount of time researching items before I buy them. So many stores don’t even have products that fall into this category! So sometimes I make myself feel better by walking into a store that I know has nothing I’ll buy, then I can leave having purchased nothing and feel good about myself. This usually works. Until, that is, the store surprises me and has something that fits both my fibre needs & my size. That turns into a challenge quickly.
  • As an affiliate, I get the opportunity to browse a lot of dream products. And that I do (see fibre neurosis) as I refuse to promote anything I don’t want myself! And that’s the magic phrase right there. I want it myself. I want so much of it myself! Hand-crafted stilettos? Oh yes, those will be mine! Cruelty-free alpaca? You know it!  But I have to wait. Stalk. Save… In the meanwhile, I’m like a trapped monkey here.
  • And, speaking the truth, I just love the occasional new goodie. Does that make me a terrible person?

I never guessed that 7 months without buying myself a new outfit or shoes would result in shaking and sweating. How is this even possible? I don’t actually shop that much when I allow myself to because, well, I have to save for those purchases that I really desire. So it is quite the surprise to me that I am getting bored with my clothing. There was a year when I couldn’t afford to purchase myself anything. I saved and saved and was finally able to buy a cute dress with little red apple print on it. I loved that dress and wore it far beyond the 50€ I paid for it. I was so happy about it! So this is where I am questioning what is happening. Of course, I would love to go out and buy every piece of sustainable luxury that I like. Wouldn’t we all? But what has me stumped, is that those very few pieces I have fallen in love with, well, I find myself obsessing over them. Like somehow my life will be better if I own them. And that isn’t true, is it? What good is a pair of stilettos to me when I’m knee deep in snow? (Granted, the alpaca would actually keep me warm.) But yet I really feel like somehow if I have these items, my life will change for the better. And that just doesn’t seem healthy. Or true.

Now, I have actually been doing good things too. I have a daily system that reminds me that I absolutely should NOT be purchasing any clothing or accessories right now. But that is its own blog post, so more on that later.

I have also discovered that I don’t actually own that much. Thank you, for all the comments! It really helped me to put things in perspective. I really had no idea the number of contents of my wardrobe are comparatively small.

Any advice on how to calm the shopping anxiety?
-Mliae

I Am Ending The Extreme Lifestyle Experiment; Food Diet

It’s been over 2 months now since I initially launched my most challenging experiment thus far and I am at the point now where I have to end the experiment as it is now.

For those of you who have not been following, this experiment was based around the premise of only eating the food that we could grow here, and what is grown/made locally. Beyond those items, I allowed myself the ability to purchase oil, butter, eggs, wheat powder, vinegar and sugar from the market so that I could make and preserve our own food. The reason I did this was to see 1) if I could live locally and sustainably, to 2) put my money into our community and 3) try to stop myself buying some of everything a the market and force myself to learn how to cook real food and by doing that 4) pay off some debt.

It was challenging at first, and then I kind of got into the groove.  However, it’s been quite difficult to maintain this challenge in a household with more than just me. It’s been incredibly expensive too. I did not think things through thoroughly before setting the ‘rules’ for myself on this challenge. What that resulted in was me spending 4€ on a can of local salmon pate instead of 27 cents for a bag of macaroni. This is no way is helping my debt issue. It has been an amazing feeling knowing that I’m eating sustainably and locally, but I just cannot keep up the momentum. I need food items to eat with the vegetables and I need to be able to purchase items that I can afford. I need to be able to buy fruit for my family. And if there is a bowl of fruit on the table, why am I not allowing myself to eat it?  This is why I am ending the experiment.

I am ending the experiment as it is now, anyway.  My plan is to thoroughly integrate this challenge for myself in my day to day life. I will continue to buy locally and purchase as much produce as possible from local farms. But I will also make smart purchasing decisions in the market. I will allow myself that cheap bag of macaroni, and a can of tuna with the occasional avocado. I will still try to make bread and muffins instead of buying them, but I will not feel conflicted about buying food items for my family that are affordable options.

The great thing about this experiment is that I learned so much! I met many local farmers and am looking forward to returning for big orders to last us the winter. (Fingers crossed) I have learned how to cook a variety of items from just a few options, not to mention varying preserving methods.

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I have learned that I don’t need to waste my money on piles of unfulfilling foods. A few potatoes fills my stomach for longer that 2 plates of pasta.

I have learned how to forage for mushrooms and berries (though I still don’t trust myself to do it on my own).

IMG_8506

I have learned that having a small portion of locally caught fish is just as filling as a huge plate of pasta with sauce. I have also learned that if I just eat right, I don’t need all the extra stuff I was loading into my shopping cart.

So, what do you think?

-Mliae

Feeling Defeated – Did The Challenge Get The Best of Me?

I’m not quitting, I don’t think. But I am having one of those discouraging days when I just don’t think I can carry on with this challenge anymore. It’s difficult. I knew it would be when I started it. But it’s also…expensive. I can no longer go to my fave ‘cheap stores’ to buy affordable food. Instead, I’m paying €5 for a jar of mayonnaise.

My diet is extremely restricted – as I can only eat what’s seasonal and grown locally (with the exception of wheat powder, sugar, rice, eggs, butter, oil and dried beans that I’ve allowed myself) so that basically leaves me with red currants, cucumber, kale, summer squash, turnips and potato at the moment. In a few weeks we can add onion and carrots. Now this sounds like a lot. And it is, because its summer. That’s what scares me. If, during the time of plenty, I’m hungry and bored….what will happen in a month? Will I still be eating salads? Or will cold food be a thing of the past and I’ll be going the potato, cabbage and rice path. What am I supposed to do? And why can’t I buy a 20 penny bag of macaroni to save money and use as a filling in my salads to make them last longer? Why do I find myself spending more and eating less?

I keep telling myself that this is good for the local economy. Small farms that work hard to bring in any profit and that I would much rather give them my hard earned money instead of just throwing into the machine which manufactures our food as a multi-billion dollar industry. I mean, the machine doesn’t notice but the local farmer definitely does – and they are thankful. This one thought is what is keeping me on this challenge at the moment. Well ok, that and the hope that I will eventually find myself a bit healthier since I’m not eating a diet full of processed foods.

However, now that I mentioned that – I feel as though I’m actually eating a ton more processed sugars. You see, I have to preserve most of the food I have so that it will last me past next week. Since the harvest times are short and the crops do not last forever, I find I must buy when it is available (and more than I will be just eating for a couple days) and preserve, freeze, dry the rest so that I have at least a bit of something different to break up the monotony in the coming months. (Am I really planning to last that long. No. No way I can do it. But I do plan to at least incorporate this local buying strategy into our lives in the long-term. So in a way, yes, I guess…but nooooo.) But do you realize that 1/4 kg (about ½ lb) of sugar goes into each bottle of juice? I averaged it out. I use 2 kgs sugar per 10 liter pot of currant or rhubarb juice. Each pot makes between 8-12 bottles of concentrated juice. We then pour a bit of the concentrate and then mix with water. But that’s still ALOT and that’s only the juice! Jam, again –like 2 kgs sugar. Even pickling requires a bit of sugar in the mix. I assume this is why I’ve lost basically no weight.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at today. Any words of encouragement would be thoroughly appreciated at this point.

Thanks for reading

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

I Am So Tempted….

I follow a lot of blogs. A LOT. It’s part of being an active part of the blogging community. This is not a problem, as I never have a lack of blog reading material. I also learn a lot. However, I’ve noticed that I have to purge my followed blogs on a very regular basis or else it just becomes all clogged up. I haven’t purged my reader in quite a few months, so last week, when I embarked on the purge, I was shocked by what I saw. WP now shows how long its been since each blog has updated last. OMG. Do you know that I found blogs who hadn’t updated in 2 years?! Now, when I follow a blog its because I’m interested. They seem to be updated regularly before I hit the subscribe button. But this…THIS! I purged more than 65% of the blogs I was following because they hadn’t updated in MONTHS!

Those of you who have been reading here for awhile probably remember that one of my biggest pet peeves is when a blogger disappears for months and then writes a post apologizing – and – returning. Now, I understand some people are sick, or are dealing with loss & transition. That is not the problem. If I know that you are dealing with things, then of course I’ll wait. But if you just up and vanish, then come back 5 months later apologizing – that life has been hectic – I’m out. I want to follow bloggers who are dedicated. Bloggers who care that their readers are looking for them. If your blog isn’t a priority to you, it surely isn’t going to be a priority to me. Know what I’m saying?

So, anyway. After many hours of deleting blogs who are no longer in existence, I find myself wondering ‘is this a regular thing?’. Am I going to have to continue cleaning out my reader every month. Am I really investing this much time … into this? Why do so many blogs just … stop?

So, I am so tempted to follow like 1,000 new blogs for 1 year, just to see how many are left that update more than once a month. No, really. Why? Because life is an experiment. That’s why.

The only tricky part to this is that I follow many blogs that I love to read and that update regularly & I don’t want to get them mixed in with my experiment group.

What do you think?

-Mliae

*Royalty free photo sourced from Pixabay