Our main purchase this past week in terms of storage was laundry soap to put away. Yes, we will be using it just like normal, but it's a larger quantity that will hopefully last a really long time. We use a type that has little/no additives because we worry about skin sensitivities for our children. If used correctly, it will do like 224 loads (too lazy to go check the box, but I'm reasonably certain that I have that number right... :) and it's a brand that you can't just pick up in the store, so a last-minute rush to the store in an emergency--which I am trying to avoid at all costs anyway--wouldn't do any good. So, set on that for awhile, but have to save up for other stuff now....always more to do!
Visited my parents this weekend, and came back with various plants, but for the intents and purposes of this post, let's talk-- wait for it.....drumroll.....strawberries!! We actually have some strawberry plants already in our front yard, but now we have some in the back under our raspberry bushes, (why waste space?) and hopefully they will flourish. They certainly flourish for my mother, but since she has one of the greenest thumbs I know of, we will just hope for the best. It just got me thinking about how many sources of fruit we have in terms of storage/home production. We have raspberry bushes, and some strawberry plants, and that's about it at this point. In our climate, it would not be productive to grow melons, and we could (and probably will) grow tomatoes, which are technically a fruit, but the fresh variety are not popular with everyone in the household. Well, I have left off one plant that sits in the corner of our garden, but which my husband has continuously given away because I don't know what to do with it--a rhubarb plant---which must really like our yard, given the fact that it just gives and gives and gives. So it hasn't gone to waste, at least not very much, but it hasn't helped our food stores in any appreciable way. I only mention that in the interest of full disclosure, but it's amazing how many times full disclosure ends up making me look bad.... I know the leaves are poisonous, and you should only use the stalks. I just haven't used the stalks, so maybe I should look into that.
So we could always invest in lots and lots and lots of canned fruit, (as you can imagine, already in the plan) but fresh fruit is better, and what's more, if conditions are right, fruit bearing plants can be the gift that keeps on giving if they're properly tended. (For example, my husband is quite the expert at thinning out and properly maintaining the raspberry bushes, which can get quite exuberant in their growing habits.) My mom suggested fruit- bearing trees, but we are a little hesitant to make that investment at the moment, since we had to cut down the tree in our backyard after it died last year, and now it appears that some of the trees in neighboring yards are heading for the same fate. It also takes time for the fruit-bearing trees to actually produce fruit, but the sooner you start, the sooner you reap the benefits...
Anyway, I have decided to make fruit the subject of my poll this week. When I think about gardens, I usually think vegetables, vegetables, and more vegetables. I could always use more ideas on fruits that do well in colder climates and of course, high yield never hurts.... :)