Friday, March 1, 2013

My own food management

Speaking of food management (in the last blog), I've found that I truly enjoy canning food and it's become a hobby. Not that I can do it much because I'm limited by the number of jars that I have over here. But, when I have empty jars, I can whatever the Ik are bringing me.

This week, the Ik learned that they can barter with me for goods and services with their produce. I just happened to have a suitcase full of clothes, and as is my way, I made each person exchange something with me. If they know that they have something I want, it gives them some leverage in our little Timu economy and our transactions become reciprocating. This is all in an effort to decrease dependency and increase independency. 

Well, the first to find out that I had clothes to exchange were...the children. They came in droves with a handful of onions or a cup of tomatoes. They lined up at the door, dropped their produce in a basin and proudly walked into my clinic to choose their item of exchange. How could I deny children who appeared so hopeful to get a new shirt without holes in it? The closest shop that sells clothes is an 8-hour walk for them. 
They waited patiently for about 4 hours and eventually they were all seen. Sadly enough for everyone else, the clothes got finished on the very first day and I had to turn many other children away.
When the exchanging was all said and done, I walked away with 10 pumpkins, 14 lbs. of tomatoes, 20 lbs. of onions and 25 lbs. of beans. 
Not one to let produce spoil, I decided on salsa. It didn't use up all my onions and tomatoes...but it put a dent in my supplies. Two days later, I stewed the rest of the tomatoes and canned them as well.
There's nothing better than seeing jars filled with food that won't spoil. I know I may be over-the-top about how excited I get over canning...but hey...I can't help myself! A big thanks to Conrad & Leslie Weber & their kids for the clothing donations! You helped to clothe countless Ik children and you put salsa on our shelves.

8 comments:

The Reeds said...

Well done Amba!

rln said...

that's great! now the tortilla chips:-) -VElma

rln said...

O Friend of Children, Master of Bartering, and Guru of Canning, we do admire thee! -dad s

Jimmie D. said...

Do the Ik know how to can?

Notinthewild said...

What an incredibly beautiful story! And savory pictures to accompany. :)

Kate said...

I miss canning with you SO MUCH! But I've learned my lesson well -- I put a pressure cooker as first on my list of necessities to take with me when I leave later this year. :)

Jimmie said...

Good evening, Amber, Just wondering what other crops the Ik will plant this season?

Jimmie said...

And what kind of beans they raise? Are they learning to save their seed?