Thursday, September 10, 2009

How much is enough?

When buying things for my pantry I always wonder if we have enough food in storage in case of an emergency. After looking for a list to tell me round about figures of what we would need I came across this calculator that helps you figure out how much food you should store right down to the water. This will give you an idea of what you should need for your family.

A great find

Well yesterday I headed out for a trip, well not really just a bit o f a ride. I went to the new Amish store we have close the our home. I went to see what they had and if was any more reasonable to shop at it or go on to the grocery store. Well the results are in and its a go. We will definitely be going back on a regular basis. they had a great deal of things on my pantry list ranging from powdered cheese to flour. From sugar to lunch meat. Although we buy our flour and sugar from the bulk store this is great store to grab if we can't make it to the bulk store right then.
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

Around the bit in September- letting things grow

Well the rain once again has brought me inside. Inside to catch up my blogging, housework, and laundry ( which I would rather do when the rain is over so I can hang them up outside). I was working out in the raised beds clearing the summer vegetable plants for some fall planting - better late then never - for some radishes and peas before winter sets in.

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

Tastes like dirt

the other night while sitting down at the dinner table my youngest son filled his plate with a bunch of food that came from our garden this year. As he started eating he looked at me and said " Mom, you know the potatoes at school, they taste like dirt."
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

August update

With everything going on on our bit of soil we are taking time and praying for all those that are in SoCal that are in danger of losing their homes due to the fires that are still burning.
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.