Tuesday, September 9, 2008

August 17th 2008

Well....busy as usual here at home. The canning has gone into full-boar lately and that seems to be all we're doing. Aside from the usual green beans and corn, we've been working on applesauce, grape jelly, and peach jam & preserves. The grapes across the field have been hanging full, so thursday afternoon I picked four 5 gallon buckets full, which are now so far 16 jars of jelly with more to go tomorrow. We went to Ben's (Phoebus) yesterday and picked peaches, and came home with eight 5 gallon buckets full, 6 for us, 1 for mom, and 1 for tammie. There is still another tree to ripen that's hanging full, so we may make another trip in a few weeks. There are some cooking down on the stove as I type for jam, and still 4 bucketloads to go. Last weekend I picked through the apple orchard next door, and came back with 6 buckets full. We peeled, sliced, and cooked down half of that, and managed to get 14 quarts of applesauce. More than likely, we'll do more next weekend since the trees are producing even more. There are pear tree's back there that I am watching too, so hopefully we'll be able to get some of those as well.
With all of this canning going on, we're starting to buy more in bulk, especially sugar since we are using so much of it, but also wheat, oats, and flour.Starting this weekend, we're going to start buying 1 or 2 packages of canning lids per week. Canning supplies are short all over here, and from what I read on my normal online forums, are all over the country. I'll start gettting all the reasonably priced jars I see at Goodwill from now on, rather than pass them up. With the addition of the pressure canner, we can do more, so it just makes sense to have these things ready.
The chickens are laying on a really good basis now, 2-3 a day. Kind of a pain in the ass though since they've decided to be late layers, and lay eggs after we're both gone for work. But either way, fresh free eggs are fresh free eggs, regardless of the time they lay! The rabbits obviously arent ready to breed yet. I've put them together twice in the last week, and they just sniff around, play a bit, and nap together, lol. Silly rabbits, live up to that "f**k like rabbits" story we've all heard!!!
We decided next year to get more chickens, and put them behind the garage. This will require privacy fence, a decent coop, and more supplies, but we'll gather all of that slowly over the winter. We want maybe 2 more layers, but probably about a dozen meat birds. The neighbor behind me doesn't care, it's just the other nosey ones I want them hidden from. I'm already drawing enough attention to myself without adding 12-15 more chickens!
I gotta say, I'm really loving the way things go here now. Up at 5am, start coffee, get dressed, pack lunch, and go feed the animals. I have this wierd idea of how I'm going to love doing that in the fall at 6am, in the dark with an old railroad lantern, LOL.....I know, I'm wierd. But I do love the fact that we are taking care of more and more of our own food. Our grocery bill has gone down to close to $60 a month now, and will just get lower soon. It looks like Holly has bought her first house (one hell of an accomplishment at 22 in my book!!!!) and she's taking her brother with her. Our unility bills should drop to almost nothing then. We'll start getting rid of more things here, starting with the tv (other than dvd's-byebye cable), and probably give her the washer and get a wringer one. I'm always on the lookout for one, just havent had any luck YET. We're seriously considering an outdoor wood burning furnace, but have to check with local zoning nazis on that one, grrr.
All for now, off to bed......those chickens get up early ya know lol

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