When we designed our home, we put an emphasis on work spaces. Downstairs, our kitchen has big counters that take up almost half of the living area. The other half has our dining table, a piano, and our woodstove. The idea was that we spend a lot of time in the kitchen area; cooking, canning, brewing, etc, and we spent a lot less time hanging out in a living room-type area. Outside we built large overhanging porches to protect our strawbale walls, that also provide covered outdoor work spaces. Right now I have several lengths of clothesline under one porch, and Brian has stacked dry wall sheets and bags of organic fertilizer.
We also have numerous projects constantly going on; I have my knitting projects, sauerkraut fermenting in crocks, beer brewing, fruit to be canned, herbs to be dried, Brian's tools, musical instruments and sheet music, bread rising, kid's toys and homeschool materials, tile to be laid, etc. Add to this all the equipment we use to do all this stuff: grain grinders, cream separator, cider press, canners, etc and things can get pretty busy in the house.
When we prepare for market day, every inch of space downstairs seems to be covered with veggies to be washed, bagged and refrigerated, fruit to be boxed, honey to be put in jars and labeled, boxes of soap and all the crates and baskets to hold it all. I definitely start dreaming about a barn with food washing sink and walk-in fridge, but this way I can watch the kids and make dinner while we get ready.
Today is the first of our monthly Saturday markets inside Wellspring. We will be there the first Saturday of November and December. We should get our first frost this month, which will end the tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash and other non-hardy vegetables, but we should have a good amount of hardy greens like kale, mache and cabbage, some root crops, and lettuce and chard grown under cover.
We try to eat as seasonally as possible; so in the spring we eat lots of salads, in the summer we eat our fill of cucumber and tomato salad, and eat tons of steamed green beans and zucchini. By the fall we are ready to eat pounds of kale. I love it sauteed in olive oil with garlic and tamari sauce, or chopped up in soups.
The kids had colds this week so I made lots of soup. One of them was made with all our own crops; roma tomatoes, lots of onions and garlic, beets, carrots, kale, soup beans and herbs. The only thing in it not made by us was some sea salt!