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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum. Completing this BB is part of getting the straw badge in Gardening.

The average bite of food in the US travels 1500 miles to get to your pie hole.  Growing substantial amounts of food yourself contributes greatly to making the world a better place.  Let's do some serious growing!  For straw level badges, no inputs from more than 500 feet away are allowed except for seeds.









To put it in perspective, there are 10,000 calories is in:  
         o 35 pounds of potatoes
         o 10 pounds of prunes
         o 40 quarts of salsa
         o 6 pounds of dried strawberries
         o 55 pounds of onions
         o 50 pounds of winter squash
         o 30 pounds of sunchokes
         o 7 pounds of field corn or rye or most grains
         o 7 pounds of dried black beans
         o 4 pounds of sunflower seeds

To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
 - grow, harvest and store 12 or more species (except in cases where species are quite different as in the brassica family) totaling 100,000 calories
 - minimum of 2,000 calories from each of the 12 species
 - perennials, biennials and annuals are fine but foraging is not
 - storage techniques can include drying, canning, root cellaring, freezing, fermenting or other traditional storage methods.
 - no inputs from more than 500 feet away (tomato starts from the big box store aren't allowed) except for seeds
 - this can be completed over a series of growing seasons (please just one submission when you are complete)

To document your completion of the BB, provide proof of the following as pics or video (less than two minutes):
 - each of the 12+ species of food stored or at harvest (whichever is most applicable to prove you did it).  
 - detail the weight of each species, how it was stored and how many calories it represented

Clarifications:
 - "seed" potatoes do not count as seeds so they need to come from within 500' of your property
 - tubers you bought to start slips from don't count for the same reason
 - potatoes/sweet potatoes/etc that you imported at one time and are now growing yourself each year do count after their first year
 - sprouts from collected compost that you let grow don't count
 - regrown parts from store bought produce (celery, etc) also don't count

COMMENTS:
 
steward
Posts: 7183
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
2044
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Here's my submission.  The squash was grown two years ago, the rest was this year.  We did grow squash this year but not as much.  We did grow many more calories that were canned, eaten, sold or contaminated with outside inputs in the form of salsa or pickles.

Carrots - 45 lbs.  Stored in the root cellar in five 5 gallon buckets with damp planer shavings = 8,370 calories
Potatoes - 160 lbs.  Stored in the root cellar in wire baskets after curing in the dark for a couple weeks = 45,714 calories
Sweet potatoes - 35 lbs.  Stored in wire baskets in the basement where it's closer to 60 degrees and dry (they won't keep in the root cellar) after curing in a warmer area for a couple weeks = 13,650 calories
Garlic - 7 lbs. Stored in wire baskets in the basement where it's drier (they won't keep in the root cellar) = 4,704 calories
Lofthouse landrace dry beans - 8 lbs.  Stored in mason jars = 11,428 calories
Sunflower seeds - 8 lbs.  Stored in chicken food sack = 20,000
Beets - 32.5 lbs.  Stored in the root cellar in three 5 gallon buckets with damp planer shavings = 6,337 calories
Apples - 120 lbs.  Stored in the root cellar in many 5 gallon buckets with dry planer shavings = 28,320 calories
Onions - 43 lbs.  Stored in the root cellar in wire baskets = 8,213 calories
Squash (14 acorn, 74 pumpkin, 22 buttercup, 54 butternut) - 400-500 lbs.  Stored loose on wooden shelves in the basement where it's closer to 50 degrees and dry. = 80,000
Raspberries - 11.75 lbs.  Frozen on a cookie sheet and then put in cellophane bags in ziplock bags in the freezer = 2,632 calories
Aronia berries - 8.5 lbs.  Frozen on a cookie sheet and then put in cellophane bags in ziplock bags in the freezer = 1,810 calories
Green peppers - 4.5 lbs.  Frozen on a cookie sheet and then put in cellophane bags in ziplock bags in the freezer = 409 calories
Total of 231,587 calories

Bonus species that I didn't weigh would be frozen zucchini, frozen green beans, cabbage, brussels sprouts and leeks that are still in the garden
Bucket-of-carrots.jpg
Bucket of carrots
Bucket of carrots
Potato-haul.jpg
Potato haul
Potato haul
Sweet-potatoes-and-apples.jpg
Sweet potatoes and apples
Sweet potatoes and apples
Garlic.jpg
Garlic
Garlic
Sunflower-seeds.jpg
Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds
Beets.jpg
Beets
Beets
More-apples.jpg
More apples
More apples
More-apples.jpg
More apples
More apples
Onions.jpg
Onions
Onions
2017-squash.jpg
2017 squash
2017 squash
Raspberries.jpg
Raspberries
Raspberries
Aronia-berries.jpg
Aronia berries
Aronia berries
Green-peppers.jpg
Green peppers
Green peppers
Lofthouse-beans.jpg
Lofthouse beans
Lofthouse beans
Staff note (Dave Burton):

I hereby certify this BB as complete! I think this is just amazing to see!

 
Posts: 51
Location: PNW zone 8b
49
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Is anyone else going to skip the hugelkulture requirement in the sand badge and continue on with the straw badge requirement to grow, harvest and preserve 100,000 cals? This BB will take all summer and it would help keep me on track if someone else was also working towards this goal. I am amazed at what Mike was able to do.
 
Mike Haasl
steward
Posts: 7183
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
2044
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I hope so.  It did take me more than one year to do the stuff in the photos, but I think I grow more than that per year.  It's just that I didn't have pictures of every zucchini and tomato that I picked.  I'm pretty sure many experienced homesteaders are cranking out this amount of food each year so I hope they post about it.  

And you never know when the opportunity may arise to knock out a hugel (that opportunity happened for me at Wheaton Labs).
 
pollinator
Posts: 1334
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, suburban, nearish coast, 50x50, full sun, 40" year-round even distribution
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Just thought of a loophole you may want to plug--require "at least 3% or __% of the calories from each of the 12 species."  (So you can't  for example grow 99,990 calories of sunchokes and then 1 tomato, 1 garlic,1 mint plant, etc...).  Yes, always thinking of a way to game the system.

Also, urban question here: I have been planting things I find in compost down the block from me when I steal their compost.  If it's already sprouting, I want to give it a chance.  A turnip here, an onion there.  The initial weight is approximately nil.   I think this is good permaculture.  And I would love for it to count toward my badge.  What do you think, is that an "import"?  

I also cut the tops off all our bag of carrots and am going to regrow those.  They would have gone in my compost otherwise.  (Or my mouth--sometimes I must think I'm Ianto Evans.  My partner doesn't.  She never thinks she's Ianto Evans.
And I don't think she thinks I am either, if only because she doesn't know who that is).   So I'm thinking the part of the carrot that grows in the sunlight here is this carrot, whereas the part that's from the store would fit the definition of a "seed" and I would need to deduct that portion of the carrot from my declared income.  To me, it's more about the spirit of things than the letter, but I figure it's worth making the rules clear to people ahead of time.  I'm aware of farmers who do this kind of thing, get the thrown away food from a grocery store for their goats (or even their farmers...).  I also feel that growing starts you bought would be cheating, and growing starts that you salvaged would be cheating as well, though I would still do it (outside the BB) rather than just let them die if I had enough space.  Or give them to someone.  

I guess I want there to be a salvaging badge, is there?

That food looks delicious, Mike!

 
Mike Haasl
steward
Posts: 7183
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
2044
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Good catch Joshua!  We thought of that for some other badges but this one snuck thru.  I'll change it to fix that loophole.

I think that Paul wouldn't go for the compost sprouts or the regrown grocery food.  Since he's not good with seed potatoes I think those would count as imports.  In an urban PEX though, that could be a neat part of gardening or foraging.  No salvaging badge but foraging is probably the closest...
 
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