Dinner Menu ~ Weeks 1 & 2

What do you eat in January?

Day 1:
Sausage, bean and cabbage stew

Day 2:
Pizza w/homemade mozzarella ← crosses fingers.

Day 3:
Spaghetti squash and meat sauce

Day 4:
Chicken and dumplings (I’ll make a double batch of dinner on Sunday, so we’ll have lunch for our homeschool co-op each Tuesday).

Day 5:
Squash and bean tacos

Day 6:
Chicken and collard stuffed sweet potatoes

Day 7:

Day 8:
Steak and sweet potato fries

Day 9:
Pizza (I hope the mozzarella worked!)

Day 10:
Sausage, sweet potato and kale pie

Day 11:
Beef, squash and collard lasagna.

Day 12:
Beans and cornbread

Day 13:
Sweet potato soup and french bread

Day 14:
Chicken stew with turnips


This isn’t a far stretch from how we normally eat on a weekly basis, although I don’t have the convenience of many items like bread, pasta and the hardest yet…..cheese. I love cheese you guys….like go on dates to the Whole Foods stinky cheese section kinda love. I’m on the search for local cheese artisans…I’ll keep you posted on that!

We’ll also pick up at least 2 additional gallons of milk this week compared to normal. This will serve as butter, yogurt, mozzarella and to add creaminess to winter soups and stews. Preparation will be key! I swing back into a full homeschool schedule next week along with church and ballet activities.

Here’s to a promising new year!



How prepared are we to conquer this challenge?
What do we have stocked?
And the most frequent question thus far..
Will this be more expensive than shopping at a grocery store?

Our goal is to be completely transparent about the victories and challenges over the duration of this upcoming year. Here is what we are starting with…

50 quarts of diced tomatoes from our summer harvest
13 quarts of applesauce processed from Bulk Natural Foods
1.5 bushels of apples from Bulk Natural Foods ($0.90/lb)
3.5 bushels of sweet potatoes from our harvest and from Bulk Natural Foods ($60)
40 winter squash from our fall harvest
50 lb of organic soft red wheat from Windy Acre Farms ($0.50/lb)
50 lb of organic dried corn from Windy Acre Farms ($0.50/lb)
50 lb of pinto beans from Sauder’s Market (Local Mennonite) ($48)
10 lb of organic rye from Windy Acre Farms ($0.50/lb)


This is our pantry. Those two baskets are our only dry food items. There is no secret walk-in pantry filled with macaroni and cheese, boxes of cereal and chocolate to last us through the long winter months. 😉

Winter Harvest

Monthly chicken, pork and egg CSA from Giving Thanks Farm. ($162/month)
Quarter cow from Tennessee GrassFed ($795 which equals about $7/lb)
5 rabbits from Cliffy’s Rabbitry.
We also own a milk share through a local Mennonite farmer. ($3.50 per gallon)

We made our last trip to the grocery store today to grab some ingredients for our church’s life group social on New Year’s Eve….and maybe some pita chips and store-bought bread. There was definitely a sense of apprehension…..an urge to buy ALL the Thai coconut milk, bananas and avocados!

Last Grocery Run!

Last Grocery Run!

 Our current monthly grocery bill typically stands around….(gulp) $1200

We’ll include a monthly snapshot to show how this has changed over the course of the seasons.

Sweet Potato Harvest ~ Fall 2014

Sweet Potato Harvest ~ Fall 2014

 Please check the Community Resource Guide for contact information for the farms mentioned above!





A Year Unchained


  • For one year grow, hunt, forage, or purchase from local farmers or artisans…ALL FOOD.
  • Share in a meal at a restaurant, as a break at the end of each month.


“Our Year Without Groceries” by Clare Adams inspired this journey. Our commitment to agriculture was challenged and reinvigorated by this family’s story:


Starting Line:

Sure, we already grow and preserve a large variety of vegetables and have been blessed with plentiful harvests in years past. However, the supermarket is still a weekly trip….okay, twice a week. We value what it means to support local farmers, but we were never ALL in.

Summer 2014

This year will undoubtedly change how we view food and its value. We want to instill in our children the joy of tasting the first sweet strawberry of the season and savor it, knowing its fleeting nature. We also hope to build lasting relationships with other local farmers who will provide the means for local sustainability and share those sources with our community.

There is an excitement, an adventurous spirit, in the air at our home leading up to this journey.

December Pasture

Please follow our blog for updates throughout the year!