Sunday, August 27, 2017

August 25, 2017

Yay!!  We have finally got the chicken plucker together and it works!  We used about $76 worth of materials including a used washing machine, chicken plucker fingers and parts such as two pulleys, bearings, washer, collar, and drive shaft.  We are hoping that it will work next weekend when processing chickens, but cross your fingers for us!  Here's a video of it working:

Stay tuned for full instructions in a tab if it works for us next weekend!

So glad my husband is good with electrical stuff!  I am so proud of him.

Friday, August 25, 2017

August 25, 2017

Remember those basil plants and cayenne peppers that I was drying in the greenhouse?  They were done in record time.  After crunching off the dried basil leaves into a large pot and putting them through the blender, I have enough basil for the next year or two.  Additionally, since we cut the plants down to about 8" tall, we expect another crop before frost!  It is the best basil you will ever taste.  Same for the cayenne peppers that were dried in the dental floss wreaths.  Just separate the caps from the rest of the plant, run it through the blender and let it settle before you open it, then pour it into a container.  Oila!  These are my two staple spices.

Just for fun, I had a young guest over and one of our tasks was to show her how to cook fried okra.  I wanted to start with the picking of the okra.  If you have ever picked okra, you know how much it can itch your arms.  So we started with some old long athletic socks of my husbands, cut out finger holes and put that on our arms, then we added some gloves, collected our pruning shears and our buckets and we were ready to go.

My husband is a science teacher and thankfully, he teaches Environmental Science, Earth Science and Physical Science which happens to fit right in to what we are trying to do here on the farm.  Sometimes, that means we are able to pass on some of the things we have learned that are near and dear to our hearts.  I do an annual bulletin board for him, and this one fits right in with our farm.  "Help Yourself and the Earth - Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle."

Finally, we are getting one step further toward our goal of sustainability, and we just got our new wood stove and finished tiling the hearth and back wall.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 9, 2017

Homesteading does take a lot of time.  Some people claim they make too much money at work to spend their time doing this, but do they really know their hourly rate?  Even if they made $150 per hour, they would have to take into consideration what they are doing in their off time.  Many hours they would be in the negative due to spending and not making.  Try calculating your hourly rate.  Take into account everything you spend in a day, as well as what you make.  You might be depressed.  I learned from Amy Dacyzyn's Tightwad Gazette (yes, it seems like the dark ages) that you should make sure to develop hobbies that actually save you money, not cost you money.  Everything having to do with homesteading falls into that category.

For example, to increase the value of our homestead and last us for the next 50 years, we put in our own wood floors this summer.  What else would we do with our "spare" time?  Watch TV?  Spend our money at a gym?  We also painted our own pictures.

While we were doing this, we also
managed to put up 90 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 5 quarts of beets, 54 quarts of corn in the freezer, nine pints of corn relish, 11 quarts and one pint of pumpkin, and are now working on okra.  As my husband says, "Waste not, want not."  Even when the only time you have to pick okra is at night with your headlamp.  Don't worry, we are still having fun!