Thursday, December 31, 2009
We have the herb garden done. Working on a few more raised beds for the spring. going to bring in a calf for some meat. We are still eating on the pantry goodies we froze, canned, or dehydrated this summer. Carrots are still in the ground and we pick them as we need them.
Planning - greenhouse will have heat from a gas Coleman heater which we recycled.Its brand new and was thrown in the garbage. Jan. is a busy time for me around here with getting everything ready to plant. I also have tons of things to mail, orders to make and compost to gather.
we also are looking into buying an outdoor wood burner for our house to cut the cost of the electric we use.
everyone have a great New Year!!!
Monday, October 19, 2009
I am happy to report that i am feeling better with some 'ME" time taken. the garden is almost done. Still have carrots in the ground, Still drying walnuts and peanuts. Now we are in the middle of hunting seasons which provides our family with 95% of our yearly meat consumption.
I went to a court days recently ( which is a really big yard sale) and found a juicer like my moms that I borrowed for $5, yes just $5. My mom paid over $50 for hers. I am one happy girl.
With the upcoming holidays arriving rather quickly I am also trying to find ideas for presents. If you all have any please let me know.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I found all the things I needed (eggs, cheeses, butter, baking supplies) and things I really didn't need( like chocolate) for a really reasonable price. And just for the icing on the cake is that the ladies that were working there were so nice and helpful, that is worth alot. The amount of canning supplies is awesome also. We have plans to go again next week and get more things.
I hope you find a great store that meets all your needs and is not too far from home. saving money while saving gas.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
OUTSIDE - The main garden has been cleared and prepped for a winter cover crop, which will give the soil some much needed nutrients it may have lost through the summer plants. With the cover crop along with a layer of compost that was made throughout last year next years garden will have an extra bit of help. Also on the agenda this fall is to cover a area for a new bed which will be used to grow something edible in the front yard next year. this new bed is part of my five year plan ( more on that later). Tomatoes in the raised beds are still providing enough tomatoes to keep them piling up and keeping me trying to find new ways to preserve them. Drying them has been the best way for me since I have what I need canned in the pantry. Peanuts are the last long crop I have in the ground which they will not be harvested until the first fall frost. We still have plenty of fresh carrots in the ground and with any luck will keep us through the winter with a cover over them.
INSIDE - We have been busy trying to organize the master bedroom and going through things that we no longer need. With any luck we can get rid of some things that others can benefit from. We are trying to keep our flour, sugar, and other baking supplies full for the pending holiday baking that we do here.
PREPARING - We are also taking time to get things for our emergency bags that we may or may not need. But just having them around I feel better knowing the family will be okay if something should ever happen because of natural or man made disasters. We still need a few things just to be sure. One thing we recently scratched off our list is another kerosene heater. We received it for $50 which is a great value and of course it is used. Used but in great shape and only used one year for a few days. Also today I am making my way to the new Amish store close to here to see what they have for our pantry. I will update you when I get back.
So with everything going on our lists of things to do and our lists of already done are still both growing. But hubby says as long as the "done" list is growing its okay that the "to do" list continues to grow. So with that I will end this post to letting all things grow, weither is be the garden, the garden plots, the pantry, or the lists.
Have a great homesteading day!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Well with my amazed face I looked at him and said " well that's weird" I mean what else do I say. So from there I said " what does these potatoes taste like?" Pointing at the potatoes I fixed for supper out of one of our organic gardens. And without skipping a beat he said " like potatoes".
Now this is not the first time this year that I have heard someone say something tastes like dirt, whether it be potatoes, tomatoes, peppers. Which got me to thinking about how others are growing there gardens and with what sprays or fertilizers they use. I then offer them to try our tomatoes and they say they taste wonderful. Like a warm juicy tomato should taste like.
So with this it can only mean one thing, we will never use un-natural fertilizers on our garden. If un-natural sprays are covering up the great taste of a vegetable, what else is it doing?
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The gardens are starting to wind down and we were blessed with a lot of veggies for our pantry. The pantry is full and the pears are just now ripening. We have had some rather cool weather here, feeling more like October then Sept.
Now for August our garden totals are awesome, 424 pounds and 12 oz for the month!!! With 311 pounds just in tomatoes. Of course they are not all done yet but We have surpassed our goal of 600 pounds for the year.
The above poundage came from watermelon, cantaloupe, petris squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, peppers, acorn squash, sweet dumpling squash, app;es, and tomatillos.
So far our grand total is 794 pounds.
Our tomatoes per pound selling at the farmers market for 99 cents per pound has saved us $307.89
Our watermelons have saved us $5.99.
our peppers have saved us $4. 78
Saving our family well over $300 dollars just this month. Of course the whole year is not done and I am working on totals for the year to see how much has been saved. But with everything I have ever grown it was always worth the effort instead of buying it. It's always better for you and tastes 100 times better then processed foods.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Keeping- Tomato soup ( thanks A for the recipe), hot juice, and tomato juice are the things being processed at this time. With the occasional bushel of green beans thrown in just for good measure. But really With 50+ pounds of tomatoes coming out of the garden in a day the juicer has been working over time! The pantry is full with an added 4 shelves put up which are all full also. The freezer also full. Its a good feeling when you know how well your family will be fed this winter.
Outside - We built a shed for the horses and also a much larger pasture for them to room and eat. It feeds them plus we now have about 40 minutes of mowing gone!! And as if cutting out the grass wasn't a big enough plus we also have no money out of our pocket for all the materials used. The shed was recycled from a bigger shed we took down for someone. We also got a kids playhouse which was recycled. the posts we had from when we first moved here and never got around to building the fence. The fence was given to us by a neighbor, he took it down to put up new, the fence is in great shape. He said it was going to the landfill - NOooooo. Okay he brought it to us. Yippee!!
Inside - still going through things to have a yard sale. this will take some time with the garden flourishing like it is. Our electric company sent us a letter about a program to help the environment and save energy. So we are signing up for that.
Well that's about all for now. I am trying to get the fall planting in the ground and the raised beds ready for the winter months with new horse manure on them for next years planting. You know you are a homesteader when you are thinking and planning for 6 months from the month you are actually in. HAve a great weekend!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I tend to our children and gardens everyday and the children have learned so much from our homesteading adventures. Everyone has there own special part of the garden that they wait patiently for. Son 1 loves the corn, Son 2 loves the potatoes, from planting to digging, Darling daughter loves the cucumbers.
But the food and gardens are only a small part of this way of life. We have never owned a credit card and if we don't have the money for it then we don't get it. There has been so many times that it has taken us so long to save money for something we thought we just had to have and when we go to the store to get it we decide together that we don't really need it at all. We buy alot ( about 90%) of items in our home from thrift stores, or yard sales. We never pay full price for much of anything. We save items for later use. We buy the things we can not grow on our land in bulk. Saves money, time and trips.
I take great pride in that we are not dependent on material things. I feel honored that my kids don't know the difference between name brands and whats "in style". Our style is our own. Our style is living within our means and standing beside one another. We have grown into a close family and our idea of a Saturday night out means fishing or finding a free event to attend. Also when we go out to eat it usually means eating outside. We have fun and enjoy each others company and we help our neighbors any way we can.
While making our laundry detergent yesterday I read the quote on the package of soap and it read " If you want to live free, learn to live simply." As I read it to my hubby his first remark was " that's us and I wouldn't have it any other way" Its truly a blessing to be able to live our life the way we do and we wouldn't have it any other way.
What things are you doing to make life simple? Are you living free?
Friday, August 7, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Growing our own corn has saved us $80.00 on an average of 3.50 per dozen
Blackberries saved us $5.00 on average of 2.50 for and 8 oz package
Potatoes saved us 22.90 on average 2.99 per 5 pounds at the store
green beans saved us $18.00 on average of the store price of 2.00 per pound
carrots saved us 9.03
cabbage saved us 1.45
pickles saved us 30.69 minus the vinegar I had to buy so the total saved was 26.69
onions saved us $5.97
Zucchini saved us $21.78 from an average of $1.00 per pound
Brussel sprouts saved us 1.29
With a total saving of $196.11 for one month
With $196.11 subtracted from our garden start expenses of 175.78 that means we have MADE $20.33. Woohoo we are no longer in the red!!! With more then 3 more months still yet to harvest I can breathe easy!! Gardening is easy, healthier, and profitable even if its just for your own family.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Also with a rouge estimate saving us $187.38. Still calculating the rest of the produce so I am sure that amount will continue to grow.
Our tomatoes are having a rough go. With the rainy weather they have been introduced to a bout of blossom rot but are coming out of it. They are heavy and we have been having to tie them up over and over again. They are tall and I am pleased with the looks of them already, although I have one problem. I forgot where I planted the ripe green tomatoes. Hope to find them soon.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
puts it all in new light. I sometimes get tired and worn out. I sometimes think what life would be without canning, cooking, gardening, homesteading every day. That's why we thought it would be a great idea to get away for the weekend. Now we do not go many places. We travel very little but sometimes you just need to get away. The above pictures are from our trip.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
None the less we are taking what we can get and if we need more the farmers market is right down the road. Hopefully we won't need it much but its there if we need it. I sure hope they have organic.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Oh yeah sorry for rambling but Happy 4Th of July. this July our family is celebrating our freedom of grocery stores. Looks like we will have little or no grocery store time. Thus this is more time spent with the family having fun weather it be just chillin or maybe a free time like fishing.
Okay back to the vegetables, in 4 days we have harvested 38 pounds 11oz these pounds are coming from onions, cabbage, zucchini, cucumbers, potatoes, beans and herbs. This is also done completely organic. Absolutely no pesticides what so ever.
Today we planted some fall broccoli and some more tomatoes bringing the total of tomato plants to 156 give or take one or two. I'm still hoping to can 1500 jars of food for this year. Hoping that will get us through till the next harvest.
Happy 4 Th of July!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
After clearing out the row, I came in to the house to weigh our treasures, 13 pounds of wonderful potatoes. That with the potatoes we have already harvested pays for the seeds and some seeds to save for planting next year. With 5 rows of potatoes still in the ground it looks to be a wonderful potato year.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
This month we produced 87 pounds and 4 oz. of good wholesome food from our own land.
I also have 31 jars of pickles canned, 4 bags of fresh green beans in the freezer and zucchini bread in the freezer.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
With the produce we have harvested thus far from April until June this is how it reads
At the grocery yesterday, after butter and milk, I seen that "FRESH GREEN BEANS" maybe fresh but might not be organic, were $2.49 a pound that said we have harvested 3 pounds from our garden saving us $7.47
Also cabbage, again probably not organic seeing how no sign advised that of it was $0.49 per pound after cutting just a couple heads we managed to get 5 pounds thus far saving us $2.45
The onions were $1.99 per bag which looked like approx. 5-6 onions in each bag we have harvested 5 pounds so far as my onions have been equalling around 4-5 per pound by my calculations we have saved $7.96
Next come carrots with one pound package carrots at $1.99 and again not organic at the store , we have harvested 2 pounds of carrots thus far saving $3.98
New potatoes at the store for the red ones we have harvested are 3.99 per 4 pound bag. Again our potatoes have saved us $3.99 with many more plants in the garden still.
Leaf lettuce in a one pound BAG at the store are selling for $2.49, on sale!! But I got my organic lettuce in the back yard for free with 5 pounds harvested we have saved $12.45
I have no idea how to calculate the peas seeings how they don't sell them in the store fresh around here. Zukes are not being sold in the store yet either but I have 2 pounds ready to make into bread.
For a grand total these three months of saving are $38.30 bringing our total for supplies out of pocket down from $244 to $205.70
How much are you saving? I would love to know!! Happy gardening
EDIT: Cucumbers were priced for 0.68 cents a pound at a store we were at last night. As we have harvested 44 pounds it comes to a savings of $29.92
Bringing the new total of savings to - $68.22 thus bringing our out of pocket expence to $175.78 and its just July!!
Of course then they must be washed. So into the house we go to wash the jars I picked in hot soapy water. While those were soaking I was able to get the dishwasher unloaded and was thinking about storing the clean jars in it until I needed them.
I then went to the pantry to fetch my pressure canner out of the pantry. With eyes gleaming and heart pounding I was thrilled it was finally time to use my wonderful investment I made a few months ago. I sat down to read the instructions once again. I have never used a pressure canner before, shucks I have never seen anyone use one before. So reading the instructions a billion times hopefully will be enough for me to understand how to use it. I then, as illustrated in the book, proceeded to attach the gauge and regulator. Looks good. Last but not least I did the rest of the prep in the book for all first time Pressure canners.
Getting all that done I was excited to be ready to pick the green beans I have been longing to can. Every year we freeze them and this year is exciting for me. To get more freezer space and the green beans on the shelf. Anyways picking the green beans picked plenty for about 5 pint jars. Good enough for the first time , small batch, just in case I do something wrong and something should happen to them.
Get back to the house and then, its time to start supper. Dun dun dunnnnnnn Hmmmmmm. I guess the canning will have to wait, the beans will be with supper, and the rest will go to the freezer. Bad news is I wasn't able to use the pressure canner yet, good news is I have 4 quart bags of green beans in the freezer.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
On the preservation side I have put up carrots, peas, onions and a few potatoes. We are very excited to see how close or maybe even over we will come to our harvest goal.
After weeks of tiring to tempt anyone to pluck the little non beneficial bugs for a penny a piece, i still have had no takers. I'm sure the only reason no one wants the job is because they have watched me sit there for hours plucking the little boogers off the plants. After spending much of my time trying to displace them I am hoping to find a earth friendly- non abrasive- gentle to other beneficial bugs remedy. Thus I found if you sprinkle flour on the cabbage the worms then eat it and POOF. We shall see....
As for the potato bugs it took more then a few minutes to find something that might repel the bugs from eating the leaves off the plants. Which brings me to the hot pepper spray. A few hot peppers in some water. Let cool. Mix more water with the hot pepper juice ( so to speak). Spray the plants when cool. Done... Does it work who knows. Its not supposed to kill them just repel them. I am hoping it works. It would be really nice if it did. Not to mention this is easier on the pocket book.
Friday, June 12, 2009
I collected 3 pounds of red new potatoes yesterday for our supper. Along with the very big and handsome onions in the picture also. The gardens are doing so very well this year. It must be the compost that I have been piling on the gardens throughout the year.
The harvest total for this month is drasticly rising which is good if we want to reach our goal weight!!
Monday, June 8, 2009
Okay well that's all I have for tonight so I think I am going to bed. Good night!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Also in 2 days we will have kids yelling at each other about who gets in the pool first, or bugging about going to the movies or when we might go camping. Then they might have a few fights amongst each other but want to try to drag me into it by saying "MOM so and so did this" which usually I settle by simply saying " Lets keep our hands to ourselves".But any ways summer vacation is wonderful no matter what. Summer vacation is a staycation.
Our staycation will consist of fishing, camping, hiking, and exploring. We usually take a trip to the local fish hatchery and swim in the lake. We are simple and the family really enjoys anything we do. Only thing is to agree on what to do first and to keep them just busy enough so they don't have time to pick at each other.
That said, if I happen to be not here posting at my regular time then its because I will be busy with the daily chores and the kids home. I will post when I am avalible, probably around 2 am. Have a great gardening day!!!
Monday, June 1, 2009
- Our brussle sprouts are more then my knee height.
-The carrot greens are lush and plenty. Hopefully the roots will be just as wonderful.
-All the radish's are done for the spring but we hope to get more planted before the winter. Yes I said winter.
-We managed to get about 113 tomato plants in the ground this year and still have around 30 in the greenhouse.
-Our pepper plants are having a rough go of it due to the rains flooding the garden and washing out the plants by the handfuls. We were lucky enough to get more planted and with any luck will produce plenty.
-The onions are doing well although we are having a time with them blooming. This is the first year that has ever happened to me.
- As for the potatoes, they are fixing to bloom. I have had to hand pick the potato beetles off the plants almost every day but they seem to be disappearing.
- The melons are all doing well as well as the squash and cucumbers.
- Peas are coming along well and all the kids love peas now. They can't get enough of the sweet green fresh peas.
We have managed to get over 4 pounds of veggies out of the garden already and we are happy to think we won't have a hard time in getting to our goal this year.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
In the photo on the top the veggies are 8 zucchini, 83 tomato plants, 10 rows of corn, then the potatoes. The picture to the right of the page is from the other side of the garden. First this way is the dreaded weeds that are growing everywhere in the garden, sunflowers the kids planted (heavy), 2 rows of onions ( 2 different kinds), melons, cucumbers, peppers, then the potatoes.
The potato box in the right is on its 3rd run. It is really growing well. I am excited to see how many spuds are In there. If they do well I am wanting to make an extended box to fit the garden better. A lot of people who have used the potato boxes say they grow a lot of potatoes in them so I am waiting to see how many more the box has then just the ones in the garden.
Monday, May 25, 2009
3 pds 4 oz. cherries bartered for cherry cobbler