Sunday, October 18, 2020
Sunday, October 4, 2020
The Plum Patch
|The brown vines on the trees is the bryony|
Sunday, September 20, 2020
On the Farm
|It's a little hard to see but the bees love the water feature.|
We continue to be busy in the garden. The garlic, carrot and beet harvests was decent and the onion harvest was fantastic. The eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini are just starting to come on AND we are actually getting a nice harvest of cantaloupe and watermelon! I canned 11 pints of Rotel yesterday but I probably will not get any salsa canned unless I get some peppers.
|Garlic curing before going into storage|
I was able to ferment some salsa! I had to use some tomatoes that a friend gave me to make this batch. Fermented foods have increased digestibility and vitamins. Also, fermented foods promote growth of healthy bacterial flora (probiotics) in your intestines. I also made a good amount of sauerkraut (which is basically fermented cabbage) and some pickles.
|Scalder and plucker for processing meat chickens|
Sunday, September 6, 2020
On the Farm
Sunday, August 23, 2020
In the Home
Store what you eat
eat what you store!
This is a common Prepper phrase that I ran across several times in my research. The idea I had was to make up a list of simple meals for a week and then just buy enough to make that meal for 12 weeks. For example, one of my dinner meals is spaghetti. So, I bought 12 jars of spaghetti sauce and 12 boxes of pasta. We have ground beef and ground pork in the freezer so I could add some meat to the sauce for protein. I would maybe add some green beans as a side so I also stocked up on 12 cans of green beans.
Obviously, we are not eating the same meals every week right now. This is just for a true emergency. To keep the pantry items fresh, we will use items out of the pantry on a regular basis and then replenish them while always keeping a stockpile of 3 months worth of food. I hope that makes sense.
I am putting most of my emphasis on storing lunch and dinner items. Usually for breakfast, we have eggs (I hope that is not a big surprise to anyone) or muffins/pancakes. Muffins and pancakes are made with sugar and flour. Of course, we will have extra baking supplies (baking powder, baking soda, salt, etc.) in the Prepper pantry too.
You may say, "Wouldn't you get tired of eating the same 7 meals for 12 weeks?" Well, as I mentioned earlier, we often eat the same thing for breakfast most days and we have pizza EVERY Friday evening! Mark demands it! I guess I had better stock up on pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. Did you know you can freeze mozzarella cheese? I think we will need to get a larger freezer...
Speaking of freezers...we have meat stored in our freezers but I also purchased some canned meat. I also bought canned beans and we have dry beans too. It's good to have a back up for your back up. This makes me think of another common Prepper phrase:
Two is one
One is none!
Of course, I will keep working on freezing/canning items from the garden, dehydrating herbs, and storing items in our root cellar like I do each year. I am actually working on the root cellar and turning it into a cold room. I will have an update on this when it is completed.
Here is a pic of some green beans that I canned yesterday. Last year, I froze all our green beans but canning will make them more shelf stable. I have also tried dehydrating green beans in the past but I did not care for the texture when they were re-hydrated...
I am not suggesting that everyone go out and start stockpiling food but maybe now is a good time to look at your preparedness and grab an extra can of food next time you go to the grocery store. If you bought an extra can of food each week when you went to the store, you could also have an extra 3 months supply of food in 3 months.
Have an Eggcellent Day!
Sunday, August 9, 2020
In the Garden
We had a bumper crop of onions. I harvested them yesterday and laid them out to dry. Last year, I kind of layered them on top of each other for drying and then they started to mold while in storage. I think it is really important to keep them all separated so they can cure and dry out completely.
Sunday, July 26, 2020
So, I started to think of what else I could do to capture the swarm. First thing I did was to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond to get some lemongrass essential oil. Did you know that bees are attracted to the scent of lemongrass? It's true. I got back home and set up a swarm trap that I made out of an old nuc box. I put a bunch of lemongrass in the trap. Maybe, if I got lucky, the swarm would go into the trap...
The next morning, we tried one more time to catch the swarm but we were still unsuccessful. That afternoon, the swarm was gone...bummer...
I looked into the top bar hive and I saw more queen cells that were early in their development. I took a couple of these bars out of the top bar hive and put them into the Langstroth. My hope is that the few bees that I got off the swarm would take care of the developing queen and she would hatch and they would keep her as their leader. This is really unconventional so I would not suggest anyone follow this advice. The components of a top bar hive and a Langstroth hive are not interchangeable. The top bars are the ones with the numbers on them in this pic...
I will make sure to give a hive update in September when I do the summer review...to be continued...