Thursday, August 27, 2009

Picture post

Above - Peanuts

Pumpkins that ripened too soon

Horse shed that was made out of recycled materials.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A bit of pantry

So as much work as I have been doing I have alot of pictures that I need to get onto this blog. I figured I would start with the pantry that seems to be filling so very fast I am having a hard time finding shelves for all the goodies that are getting canned up. I also have the freezers full. ANd the top of the freezer with canned goods. The dehydrater has been running non stop with tomaotes, onions, pumpkin, and potatoes. We are really pleased with the vegetable pantry and now on to the fruit.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Homestead happenings - August

With everything growing like crazy my family has really seen how much a mom can juggle at one given time. It gets really hectic and confusing at times but its really amazing how much you can get done in a 24 hour period.
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

Ways we homestead in the 21st century

I have been thinking for some time about how our life is different from most others that we know. I have been lucky enough to not have to work but it doesn't mean i sit around the house watching soap operas, waiting for the mail to run , or turning on the Internet to get a taste of whats going on in the world. No way. My life is really really different. When I say I don't work I mean I don't have a job away from our land. And my day is so full some days the TV doesn't get turned on until late in the day or if its raining. Also I have been known ( actually last week) to not have checked the mail for days. I do get on the Internet when the rain is falling outside and I can update the blog or do a bit of research on new homesteading ways.
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

Tomatoes in abundance

We are pleased that the tomatoes are coming on strong. We are averaging about 10 pounds a day. That's alot of tomatoes. With that many we have been making juice, sauce, and next up some salsa. I borrowed my moms juicer which made my job less and much easier. I love that thing. I would recommend it to anyone. It makes the juice go one way and the seeds and skins in a different direction. Shaving alot of time off the whole process. Also there are other attachments you can get for jams and pumpkin. A great buy if you process alot of tomatoes.


Yup its time to celebrate here on "our bit of soil" with a few of our family members turning a new age this month we are having a fish fry! And a little cake. We try to have a grand party for everyone. We play games and enjoy each others company.
Just another way a homesteader saves money. Make your own cake. Saves us about $60 a year here. I know $60 dollars is that all. Well yeah but $60 is alot of money to spend on just cakes. So here is our cakes I made yesterday. I blurred out the names for privacy.

The garden cupcakes is the cake I made for my moms birthday 2 years ago.
Its fun to put a little extra time into a celebration! Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

July was wonderful

for harvest. Still have yet to find out where the heat went to but the produce is really growing. As in the recent post explaining we harvested 258 pounds of harvest from our gardens. Also I wanted to give you a run down on our harvest for dollars total expense for the year so far.
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.