Friday, July 31, 2009
It poured rain all day yesterday. Of course, it's filling my root cellar hole with water. I guess I should have consulted the Farmers Almanac ahead of time and I would have known this wasn't a good time to dig a hole! It's gonna rain Tuesday thru Saturday of next week! LOL, oh well, we'll deal with it.
Every day a new sunflower blooms. Now that the orchard is completely wiped out and all the trees removed, it's kind of bare out there. I look forward to planting new trees in the spring and getting them done correctly.
I took the seeds from my jam making out and spread them out along the front fence line. Hopefully I'll get a stand of blackberry growing out there. It'll be a double duty stand of blackberries, food for our family and home protection for the farm. Won't be anybody coming thru that fence line, I'm still picking thorns from my arms just from berry picking!
Going to bake some fresh bread today plus 2 more pound cakes for the freezer, gotta use up those eggs a little quicker. Maybe I should hang a sign out and pick up a couple egg customers?
Once again, dp from New Kentucky Homestead is my hero for the day. He posted a link in comments everyone should read. It's an ingredient list of how manufacturers hide MSG in food. You're going to be amazed... this is the link-Truth in Labeling.
I see that the MSM is tying to pull more wool over our eyes by saying the Recession Eases, even if the economy contracts less that predicted, it still contracted! Duh, how does that calculate into the end of a Recession???? Smoke and mirrors, frankly it's all bullshit just like the unemployment figures. The continuing unemployment numbers are going down because people are exhausting their benefits! It's not a good indicator of real employment across the country. How many people still are out of work now without government benefit checks? The government isn't counting those people.... I wonder why????
Well, once again I'm going to tell you all to work on becoming more self sustained. I know, you must be getting tired of hearing me say that but it's really a geat thing. Not only is the food awesome but the feeling of freedom it gives you is almost overwhelming. The time it frees up from not having to go to the store and the money you save from not going to that store....... well, you know the rest!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
"The study focused on 750 Chinese men and women, ages 40-59, living in 3 rural villages in north and south China. Most of the study subjects prepared their meals at home without commercially processed foods and roughly 82 percent used MSG. Those participants who used the highest amounts of MSG had nearly 3 times the incidence of overweight as those who did not use MSG, even when physical activity, total caloric intake, and other possible explanations for body mass differences were accounted for. The positive correlation between MSG and higher weight confirmed what animal studies have been suggesting for years."
Wanna know why Americans are the most obese people in the world? It's the crap we eat! Commercially produced food filled with chemicals and we consume millions of tonnes of it a year. It's in everything you buy from the store, everything.
Want to lose some weight? Stop drinking soda and start preparing your own food at home instead of eating out every day. You'll not only have more money in your pocket, you'll feel better, look better, have more energy and not be sick from every little bug that blows by.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Yep, you guessed it, I'm talking about growing coffee! I'm a coffee drinker, every day and multiple pots. When I was younger, I did like most people, bought coffee in a tin can or now they come in plastic tubs. I never knew that the coffee inside was such poor quality until I had a cup of fresh ground real coffee. That hooked me. I was forever on the hunt for good quality coffee beans. Then I learned I could grow my own. Oh, Heaven now! Life just became so much better! I planted my beans and tried to wait patiently for them to sprout(it takes a looooong time compared to garden vege seeds) pampered them, primped over them, meticulously fertilized them and then the miracle happened... the plant flowered! Then the beans started to form and I've got home grown coffee! Year after year, pampering them, gently cleaning the leaves, more meticulous fertilizing and more beans. I'm a very happy camper. Of course, learning to roast had it's good and bad batches until I got it mastered and had consistent results to my satisfaction. It's a learning curve like any new skill. I'm glad I went on the adventure.
As I talked about before, I had to start new coffee plants this year due to a couple of bad(very bad) kittens dirty little misdeeds. The plants are doing well and are just about ready to be seperated into their buckets to continue growing into coffee producers. I may even start another round of seed.
What got me on this kick to talk about coffee was because of dp over at the New Kentucky Homestead. dp posted about roasting and brewing whole "green" coffee beans. He's also posted a couple great links to buy coffee beans. The post is awesome, he takes you step by step thru his process along with how he brews in his Aeropress. I use a french press quite a bit, very similar to what he's got. Check it out, you'll like it and maybe it will make you want to buy some beans and try roasting yourself some! You'll be hooked if you do, you'll never go back to coffee in a can.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Look at the eggs! Fresh laid this morning, great big'uns! There is no grocery store on earth that has eggs this fresh. Just one of the perks of the lifestyle.
We often will eat a dozen eggs for breakfast along with sausage or bacon, fresh bread with fresh home made butter or jam. Making breakfast often takes longer than tending all the livestock on the farm and collecting the eggs does. This part of living self sustained isn't that tough.
For supper today, it will be a mixture of what's left from the cow butcher and fresh from the garden items. Some new potatoes, onion, garlic, various fresh cut herbs, tomato, green and red peppers. The meal consists of food I grew right here. No cost to me other than my time. The true definition of a free meal as in absolutely no monetary cost.
I often try to explain to the people I talk to how much money they can save by growing their own food. How small spaces can produce more than enough food for their families. I often get the reply of " I don't have the time to garden". Of course you do! Tun off the TV and you've got plenty of time. You can do this, you can eat good, healthy, chemical free and cost free food.
Even in a suburban backyard, fresh eggs are something you can have. Hens are quiet, roosters are noisy. You do not need a rooster to have fresh eggs. A few hens and you have fresh eggs every day. Of course, living in a suburban area would eliminate your opportunity to have fresh sausage, I don't think you neighbors would go for a hog in the back yard! They are kind of smelly! But, you aren't defeated, rabbits are quiet and easy to handle. They produce wonderful high protein, low fat meat quickly and make a wonderful meal.
Think about the vegetables you buy from the store. Canned or fresh, doesn't matter because you can grow all of it for yourself. If you need it canned, you can easily do that for yourself in your own kitchen. Jams, jellies, fruit cocktails, corn, mixed veges, whatever you purchase and consume. How much garlic and onion do you buy thru the year? Both are easily grown, even in containers and keep well in storage.
Once you get growing food for yourself, you can put the money you would normally spend on groceries into a jar or some other form of savings and use that money to get out of debt. Don't use the money to eat out or buy a bigger TV, get completely out of debt. No credit card bills, no mortgage, no car payment.... once you get there you'll start feeling truly free. Then we'll start working on getting off the grid and really start the money savings!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Today was the "next on the list" day. Working on finishing up little odds and ends around the place that benefit our lifestyle. The day started out with some nasty, stormy weather and cleared up to be party sunny and sticky humid. I've never minded the heat at all but the 85% humidity is horrible. Did some rearranging in the pantry and an inventory, ground up the corn for the week, cleaned up the mess in the barn from the boy and his friends playing and butchered the 6 young rabbits. The remainder of the day I loafed in the coolness of the house and read some on cheese making and gardening. I'm fond of the Hobby Farms and Grit magazines. I like reading about what other homesteaders do. Sometimes I get ideas for things I'd like to try, sometimes I learn about things that don't work too. Always a good read tho.
The kittens still in the house are getting big enough to cause trouble. They can now climb on the planter shelves and have knocked a few plants off. They're leaving me packages on the floor too. They're just like babies, they just can't make it to the box every time. How sweet, not. They pulled my digital camera off the computer desk, the strap was hanging over, and it broke when it hit the floor. My number one helper( my son) managed to put it back together and it appears to be working for now. Just what I needed as I sure can't afford to replace it. It's an 8 yr old Kodak but it's still a nice camera.
Scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast for the next few days along with more hot and humid weather. I'm trying to talk myself into getting after the repairs needed on that haybine, I've got all the parts I think I need now sitting there, waiting on me. Ah, maybe tomorrow!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Whew, the comp check came in! Talk about relief, all the dang bills are paid! Geez, I hate that feeling, unpaid bills. We live beholden to no one and to have something hanging over your head unpaid, well frankly, it's nerve frazzling to me.
I spent part of the morning out on my blackberry route and picked another 2 gallons. I think I'm going to try to make a recipe I read over at Herbal Mommas blog. Herbal Momma used raspberries, I hope it works with blackberries too! The rest will go to make more jam.
Now that the bills are all caught up, maybe I can get the back side of the chicken house finished and the haybine fixed! The lawn mower is broke, it needs 2 hubs for the blades and by the time I get it fixed, I'll be able to bale the front yard! So, haybine first, just in case!
All the animals are doing fine, one of the rabbits has the ear canker but a good dose of mineral oil today and it should clear right up. I got 6 ready to butcher, maybe this weekend if the weather holds nice.
Garden is doing great, I should have my first batch of tomatoes ready to make spagetti sauce this weekend as well. I am looking forward to that.
So, it's business as usual here with a little less stress.......
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
It's raining here on the hay field I've been sweating in for the last 3 days. It belongs to a neighbor of mine who asked for help and in turn for helping, I got IMO taken advantage of. So, my back is pretty sore and I'm kind of cranky.
I've been thinking about all the bills that haven't gotten paid this month and it's bothering me quite a bit. I have right now, over $1000.00 in bills that need paid and not a dime to my name. Zip, zero, nadda. We've been more than 30 days waiting on workmans comp. Isn't that just crazy? Every day when the mail comes and there's no check, WC gets called and they tell us they mailed it, blah blah blah. Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about was when you end up like this with absolutely no money, you could very well find yourself with nothing to eat. Now, if you've been tending your garden like you're supposed to and tending that small flock of chickens, you've got food. Throw in a little flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water and you have bread to go with your eggs and veges. If you're really lucky and have access to an animal that gives milk, you are really eating well.
Having a small spot all your own that you make self sustaining is hard work but when times like what's happening to us come your way, you've got one major important part of your life covered. You can eat. You can also eat every meal and not skimp because you don't have.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Still waiting on the tomato crop to be ripe in bulk for the sauce canning day. 10 or 12 at a time isn't cutting it. Another week or so and I should be good to go there. I checked the cantalopes today and there's several out there and all the plants are flowering. The sunflowers are making heads and the beans look great. I've also got cucumbers everywhere. That's a good thing tho, I love my cucumbers!
Friday, July 17, 2009
It's breakfast in style this morning. Yesterday I sweated my hind end off and got in a waist deep patch of poison ivy to pick more blackberries. It's worth the effort, to me anyway. Another gallon of berries to add to the 2 already in the fridge. All washed and run thru the food mill so I can have seedless jam. Simple process, 9 cups of mashed berries with 6 cups of sugar, bring slowly to a boil then cook rapidly to gel point and I've got 8, 1/2 pint jars of jam plus another half jar to eat right away. Which, of course, I munched on with breakfast this morning!
Breakfast here is always worth eating. Fresh, home baked bread every day with farm fresh laid eggs, fresh butter or if you prefer, apple butter or now blackberry jam, fresh milk, home grown coffee. Also, if you'd like, this can all be cooked over an open fire in the quiet of the morning. This morning I made a tomato, basil and onion egg dish, all fresh from the garden.
How good is that? Now this is living!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Well, it's raining again. Not that we couldn't use some rain for the garden, nothing better than rain water anyway. It just gives me some time in the kitchen. I made a stew for supper with stuff from the garden along with the last of the stew meat from the cow. While that was in the crock pot, I baked 3 loaves of bread and made a wheel of Colby cheese. On top of all that, I whipped up some cookie dough for the sweet stuff. My hubby found a few yummies I missed in the garden too. Don't know how I missed em but I did ;) The ham is what's for supper tonite, home butchered and being hickory smoked right now. Hubby is personally tending it, fussing over it so it finishes perfect.
The garden is finally producing enough for us to eat fresh every day plus food storage for the winter. Exciting time for me, even if it keeps me constantly in the kitchen.
I've been reading the news again, it appears that Congress is at it again. The FOXnews story on the Health Bill and a link at opencongress.org where you can read the 1018 page pdf file outlining what our government intends to force on us. The introduction scares me. It says "To provide affordable, quality healthcare for all Americans and reduce the growth in healthcare
spending, and for other purposes."
What other purposes????
Okay, here's a simple question...... last job change we got the madatory letter from the company insurance to extend coverage at a cost of $1100 a month for our family of 4. So, how does this new Universal Health Care reimbursment work? I pay the $1100 every month and the government is going to send me a check for the entire amount every month? First off, where am I going to get the money... Second, where's the government going to get the money??? Here's where they're going to get it! Read this......
The House Democrats released their long-awaited draft health care reform bill today, and every rumor about what tax hikes would be included was true--and then some. My friend Ryan Ellis over at Americans for Tax Reform posted the details.
The big shocker is that the surtax on high-income earners, including small businesses, is much steeper than the rumored 3 percent that I talked about in my podcast yesterday. Instead it's 5.4 percent. Not of taxable income, mind you, but of adjusted gross income. That means the tax applies to income that was spent on home mortgage interest, medical expenses, property taxes, charitable contributions, and nearly everything else currently deducted from taxable income.
Hmmm, do you feel threatened yet? I do........
Monday, July 13, 2009
Aw, yummie blackberries! This is just about my single most favorite time of year here in southern Illinois. The blackberries are coming ripe! I gladly endure the chiggers, the ticks, the skeeters, the tall grass and the sticker bushes to harvest blackberries. I have a hard time getting the first 4 or 5 dozen berries in the bucket, they just keep falling in my mouth! Now that I have a puple tounge and purple fingers, I got myself 2 gallon pails full this afternoon. Got home just in time to help with the milking so I could keep some back to make cheese. Yah, I know I said I wasn't going to make any cheese until around September, but I'm out so make some I must.
I am a dingleberry big time today. I did not put the rain barrel back corectly and missed out on the rain off the house roof from yesterday and last night. What a dummie I am. I did get 150 gallons off the barn roof tho so not a total loss. The house barrel is now in place for the next round of rain coming in.
Oh, I didn't tells ya's, I got the chicken pen almost done. Everything but the top wie and the door. I've got 2 bales of straw in the pen doorway and it's working for mow but sooner or later the chicks will learn to jump or fly up over them. Hopefully next week I can get the door done and I'll take pictures.
Oh, also, a member of the US Sentate visited my blog to read the Private Farm-Self Sustained Living post. They found my site from Open Congress.org where it seems a link to my post has been picked up. Welcome members of the US Senate, I hope you've learned some perspective from your visit here.
|ISP||United States Senate|
|Visit Length||4 mins 49 secs|
Saturday, July 11, 2009
You guys remember my farm cat, Yoda? One of the 2 I bottle fed thru last winter, one of the coffee plant killers? He's now around 9 months old and quite an attention hound. He's a real companion cat, loves attention and often lounges on the couch, usually wallowed half on you. Today has been filled with thunderstorms so it's been kind of a lazy day. Yoda came in around 5:30 while I was making pizza. Our evening entertainment is the animated film, Ice Age along with Ice Age 2. Yoda slept thru the first one on the couch. When we put the second movie in, e had to watch the animated short with Scrat the squirrel. Yoda suddenly came alive, dashed to the TV and sat down staring intently. He made a few attempts to catch Scrat and even tried to catch the acorns during the credits. No I'm sue he isn't the first cat to do this but it's the first time one of our cats has done this and it's very entertaining. He was actually watching TV.
BTW, the pizza was all home grown, dough, onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, bacon, sausage and the cheese......
Friday, July 10, 2009
One of the major things I do to keep my gardens going is to catch rain water. The rain water is free and it's so much better for the garden than "treated and chlorinated" water you have to pay for.
I grow my food without pesticides and without chemical fertilizers. My animals are antibiotic and steroid free. How much healthier and ecologically friendly can you get?
Nothing gets in my craw more than my own government telling me I am incapable of handling nature properly. Incapable of providing myself healthy, disease free food. So, people we've voted into office that have never owned a single cow or any other livestock, never grown a garden or eaten anything that didn't come from a store, think they know better than I do what's "good for me". So, you say "Kat, what are you talking about?" Read this little tidbit and it will become more clear....
For example, the Clean Water Restoration Act (S.787) now before congress would give the feds control of all water (including rainwater) in the United States; its purpose being to skirt two solid Supreme Court rulings that told the feds they had regulatory jurisdictional only over the navigable waters of the U.S.--the way congress intended the initial Clean Water Act to work, and through which the U.S. agriculture and environmental communities have worked comfortably over the last 30 years.
What other words besides regulatory enslavement describe NAIS-imposed controls on ranchers, farmers, and livestock owners that define work they must perform and computer entries they must record daily under threat of penalties as high as $500,000 and ten years in prison for mere infractions?
USDA lists 33 NAIS ‘species’ for possible disease communication like TB (of which people are major carriers) that must be tracked under a WTO NAIS system. If the original NAIS program is killed by congress, then the tracking of these livestock can easily be folded into the “food safety” bills now working their way through congress.
American ranchers and farmers have heard the ‘white-shirted’ USDA posturings on “. . .safe food, traceability, world trade, and pandemic fears. . ."--flawed issues all in desperate need of factual debate, promised transparency, and rejection; that reek of regulatory enslavement for every independent family farm, ranch, and livestock operation in America.
NAIS wording and other stringent regulatory proposals are also camouflaged in H.R. 875--Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, H.R.759 --Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2009, H.R.. 814 --Tracing and Recalling Contamination Act of 2009, H.R. 1332-- Safe FEAST Act of 2009, S.425-- Food Safety and Tracking Improvement Act, and S. 510--Food Safety and Modernization Act.
Of these bills, H.R. 814 with broad government code words like “non-specific” “all foods” “transport of all foods” holds the most potential for a like-it-or-not revival of NAIS.
If passed, these bills will straight-jacket America’s farmers, ranchers, and livestock owners; threatening their lives and all they hold dear with fines and imprisonment if they do not obey; forcing them to become 21st century sharecroppers on their own land.
So, while the rest of the country is wrapped up with the "cap & trade","national health care" and "mandatory swine flu vaccinations" stupidity, the evil that is congress is end running your food supply.
It seems to me that the Dept of Homeland Security needs to re-evaluate their definition of "domestic terrorist". It is apparent to me that Congress is full of the only terrorists I'm worried about..........
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
10 Enemies of Freedom
Independence Day evokes thoughts of patriotism, liberty, and courage, but these virtues are not exclusive to the American Revolution. They can be found in cities like Prague and Budapest, in a square called Tiananmen, and at a crumbling wall in Berlin. The virtues of which I speak do not belong to one political party or candidate. They are as old as the scriptures from which comes the declaration etched upon the Liberty Bell, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." As the world watches recent events in Iran we expose ten enemies of freedom.
1. Religious suppression.
2. Censorship of the press.
3. Excessive force on peaceful protestors.
4. Imprisonment for challenging the government.
5. Oppression on the basis of gender, class, or race.
6. Corruption and influence peddling.
7. Elections that lack genuine accountability
8. Violations of civil and human rights.
9. The silencing of a voice and a vote.
10. Apathy and fear.
The American colonists dared to believe in a day when oppression would end and the will of the people would reign. As citizens of the United States we must join with those brave individuals around the globe who call for freedom and liberty in their home countries. We must raise our voices in moral outrage each time one is imprisoned or killed simply because that person wants to be granted human rights. To do otherwise is to betray the devotion and sacrifice of those who made our freedom possible.
Bill Shuler is Senior Pastor at Capital Life Church in Arlington, Virginia.
Thanks Mr Shuler, very inspirational.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Time to get back at it. Even tho the weather front has passed, I'm still suffering from some hip troubles. This has been by far, the worst year since the surgery. I just gotta keep at it tho, nobody is going to do it for me.
I've about given up trying to keep ahead of the weeds and grass growing in my garlic/onion patch. I weeded about 1/3 of it last night, got ate up from skeeters, again, and harvested 22 lbs of garlic, 12 lbs of red onion and 38 lbs of yellow onions. Plenty more is ready but I need a break to make more blood! Those skeeters about sucked me dry last night.
A pal told me to try Listerine to repel skeeters. I'm going to give it a try tonight. According to the directions I got, take a baby wipe, pour a little Listerine on it and wipe your arms, legs, any exposed skin with it. It dries quickly and isn't sticky. Sounds like a plan to me.... I don't have baby wipes, hope it isn't part of the trick....
The first planting of corn is about ready. If you recall, the crop didn't go so well and is seriously stunted. The ears are pitiful. I may just let them fully mature and dry on the stalks and use them for seed corn next year rather than try to harvest those tiny ears for eating or food storage. The second crop looks great tho, it's due the end of the month.
A small tragedy today, the Californian doe (rabbit) kindled and killed every one of the kits. Never even pulled fur and had them out of the box. Strike 2 for her...
The chickens are all doing well and the ducklings are growing like crazy! I have one more nest being set on, hopefully I can get another 6 or 7 ducklings. I've cleaned out all the old nests so the chickens and ducks will go back to laying eggs for me.
I've been working on my food storage and my disaster preps too. Reorganizing and making lists of things the kids and hubby have liberated out of it. They've wiped out every single piece of candy in it and all the chocolate! If that doesn't qualify as SHTF, I don't know what does, LOL. How dare them eat all my chocolate stash!
I noticed I'm down to the last dozen quart jars of tomatoes, good thing this years crop is coming on! We eat lots of tomatoes throughout the year and since tomatoes are so easy to grow, there's no reason to even be out of them. I'll be setting up to can tomatoes this week.
More farming updates soon........
Monday, July 6, 2009
Hahahaha, had to share this. Our farm has lots of animals, the cats have to be close to the top of the list as favorite animals. Each one here has a distinct personality and individual likes and dislikes. This one is Tardo. He was this teeny, pitiful kitten I didn't have the heart to put out of it's misery. The dog often carried Tard around like a bone and slobbered him soaking wet several times a day. Now, 2 years later, he's the farm pet, the biggest cat on the place and the highlight of my day. Here he is, flopped on the couch right in the middle of where I happened to be folding laundry today. He snuck up there while I was putting towels away. Now I can't say for sure if he was really asleep or if he was faking it so he could keep the spot.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I hope everyone had a pleasant Independence Day? Mine was.... well, never mind, I'm still angry about it. Anyway, it rained this morning adding some much needed moisture to the gardens. As funky as this year has been, I'm pleased with what's still going strong and the rest that is now coming on.
The pump for the milking machine is tore up so I'm helping milk one cow at a time with the fair milker. It's working out just fine but it takes much longer of course. My farming pal has lent me the use of her wash machine while we're milking. So at least the laundry is getting done whilst I work on getting my washer repaired, again. Things just aren't made like they used to be. I hate paying so much money for an appliance that is designed to be a throw away after a few years. That's not good for the consumer at all.
A little happiness tho, the beans and cantalopes are flowering out nicely. The added fertilizer should help as well. I got it laid out there just in time and I have another pile of it ready to be spread.
Since it's been overcast and sprinkling rain today, I did some cooking and used up the last of the home butchered beef. Time to think about another steer....
Friday, July 3, 2009
Now to what I did today after all my running around... I've been weeding a little at a time out in the front patch and my cantalopes are working on flowering. Some plants are still very small but that's okay, they'll catch up. Anyhooo, I raked out some bunny poo, some chicken poo and mixed it with the straw chaff and spread it out on the cantalope patch. I wanted to go all the way down into the beans and sunflowers but the skeeters were munching me! Dang things are like mini vultures! Tomorrow before the rain comes in, I'll take a picture of it and finish it up. Too dark now for a picture.
Cucumbers are producing! I finally have cucumbers! I also have green peppers, tomatoes are just now looking like they're starting to change.
The fat sheep is outside today. He needs some sunshine so I got the pen up and kicked him out into it. So far, so good, he's still in it! That's more than I can say for the goats. I gave up trying to keep them in a pen. They are a pair of Houdinis. So, I've been altenating tying one or the other, staking them out in the shade and so far that's working good. The one that's free runs around a little bit but they both stay close enough to each other to not get into any trouble.
The ducklings and banty chicks went outside to the chicken coop. Waaaa! My house brooder is empty. I miss the little chirps already. Empty nest syndrome! hahahahaha
The coffee plants are doing well, a picture of them for tomorrow as well.....
Oh, I'm attending a Tea Party tomorrow to support my fellow patriots and to voice my displeasure with what Congress and President Obama are doing to this country. I am angry over the health care plan they have and the cap and trade bill currently in the Senate, all the new taxes on everything the can tax......