Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
We moved our starts out and they enjoyed the nice warmth of the 100 degree greenhouse. This weekend we will make tons of soil blocks and get to getting on our planting in earnest.
Our special delivery arrived early Thursday morning. We received our long-awaited call around 7:15 am. Terry hurried down to the Post Office and picked up this wonderful little package all the way from Nebraska.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Here's to hoping you can find some spring where-ever you are.......
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I also made a basket of dinosaur treats (chocolate peanut butter covered rice chex cereal) yum.....It should be a big hit. Headed over for the party soon. I'll try to catch a pic of Tully and his cake!!!!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
- 3 buckets brown peat (standard peat moss)
- 1/2 cup lime. mix ingredients together thoroughly and add
- 2 buckets coarse sand or perlite
- 3 cups base fertilizer (equal parts mix blood meal, colloidal phosphate and greensand. Mix thoroughly and add
- 1 bucket garden soil
- 2 buckets well decomposed composg. Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
I plan to mix the soil together in a large storage tub. Stay tuned to see our progress here on Bent Tree Farm. If anyone has some tips, please let them for me in the comments.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
These are our three lovely ladies. All three are bred and should kid around the first couple of weeks of April. They reportedly are easy lambers and with twins. The white is a suffock and romanov cross and comes bearing the name Lamb Lamb. The other two are suffock and southdown crosses and don't really have names so we will be open to all suggestions.
This brings the animal tally as follows:
- 4 horses (Lena, Tanner, Hoss, and Pearl)
- 3 cows (Gertie, Betty, and Mr. Freezer)
- 3 pigs (Patrick, Petunia, and Spam)
- 2 goats (Rosie and Peanut)
- 3 sheep (Lamb Lamb, ? and ?)
- 16 chickens
Other animals that will be coming to live on Bent Tree Farm this spring, include: pastured meat birds. I would love to have a dairy cow but that's still in the discussion stage. In order for these animals to provide for our self-sufficiency, we must grow a majority of their food. We ordered mangel seeds that we will sow in the pasture. Growing mangels is a new venture for us but through our studies looks to be a very good source of sustenance through the winter months. It has also been suggested that we plant amaranth and comfry. What are you all planting to feed your animals? Please share your successes and failures so that we can learn from each other!!
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Coach Jasmine and Emily after the final buzzer of the season
Monday, February 16, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
The order from Presto arrived today!! I anxiously awaited the arrival all week. Terry assembled the new parts and I fired it up and HOUSTON......we have pressure.
Works like a charm and I will now be able to pressure two canner-fulls at once. That will be invaluable this summer when the garden is in full production allowing us to put away enough food to keep us in "free food" all winter long. That's our goal at least.
Is your canner ready to go? Now is a great time for canning up some beans of all kinds for easy and convenient use. (Check out my post a while back on canning beans and if you have any questions, just ask) Also a great way to get comfortable with your canner and the process if all this is new and intimidating. Just last year was my first year of canning and boy have I come along way. I highly recommend Ball's Blue Book of Canning. It is a must have and serves as a good guide as well as the internet. There are also many fellow bloggers who are a wealth of knowledge....I sure leaned on Kathie from TwoFrogHome to get me started. I hope I can pass on some of the knowledge she shared with me......
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
With all this planning, I am really getting ready to rip into all these projects. The most pressing for me is a new home for my girls. See in December we lost our chicken coop and straw-bale livestock house. We were sub-zero in temps and had practically 3 foot of snow on the ground and were trying to keep everything alive. Best laid intentions....well you know the rest. Evidently the big cow knocked over the heat-lamp into the straw catching it on fire which also ended up catching the chicken coop on fire. Thanks to our wonderful neighbors and their quick action we only lost chickens and not goats or cows. This year has been ripe with lessons...many of them things that we won't do again but also a few of those that worked out quite well. So anyhow, my girls have been living in an old chicken coop at my father-n-laws. It isn't electrified and has lots of natural ventilation if you know what I mean...so we aren't getting any eggs. We do count our blessings thou that we still have hens and they will be able to lay again when the living conditions improve. Terry and I have also been thinking chicken tractor and meat birds. Our dear friends, Mike and Kimmie, have ventured into this arena with great success. He even built a whizbang to help with all the plucking. I received my Murray McMurray Hatchery catalog this week. It takes me back to drooling over the Sears Wishbook as a kid......I want one of them all. There is a great post on meat birds today at Simple Green Frugal Co-op.Check it out. I leave you with a video of a whizbang.....
Monday, February 2, 2009
So this weekend we cleaned out the attic. Boy it sucked. We emptied it completely out, threw away a ton of garbage, made a huge pile to donate to the local thrift store, and re-organized the items that were returned to the attic. We did this so that we may blow in additional insulation in our attic. It currently has some insulation but not enough....we had ice on the roof sheathing...not a good sign. It will also help us in the summers. Most homes in our neck of the woods, have metal roofs to help the snow slide but they can sure heat up in the summer. We plan to blow in more insulation before June.
Last weekend we cleaned Terry's shop and the weekend before that we cleaned out the garden shed. Are you seeing a pattern here? Less is more and it is even better to know what you have and where it is kept. A perfect example was brake fluid. Terry replaced the brake booster on the suburban after it burned out going down the Continental Divide this summer on our way to Texas. He needed to replace all the brake fluid and there was no brake fluid here at home or so we thought. When we cleaned out the garden shed seems we actually had three bottles of the stuff....but of course we didn't know it. Knowing what you have will certainly keep you from spending money needlessly.
Made a "Dave Ramsey" account balance sheet of all our debts. Doesn't look great but also not horrible. We plan to be completely out of credit card debt by year end. Certainly reasonable and attainable.
Growing more of our own food will enable us to pay down more on our debts as opposed to having to spend it at the grocery store to feed us. There is a plan and now we just have to stick to it.
This is a pic of our kitchen table. You will notice the basket of napkins. This is another change we made a few months ago. I stopped buying papertowels and napkins. Cloth napkins are so much nicer and are reusable and are free. Just another part of the bigger plan.
Post your ideas in the comment section of the post and share your ideas, working goals, or your thoughts on frugality, saving money, etc. Can't wait to hear from you....don't be holding out on me now!!!!
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Even though it is still winter with lots of snow on the ground in beautiful North Idaho, Terry and I have been scouring over the seed catalogs, gardening books, etc. and making a plan. I always tell the kids, "Fail to plan, Plan to fail". So we are modeling that lesson by planning out this year's garden. I am sure we aren't alone in this endeavor as grocery prices skyrocket. We were gifted a wonderful gardening book for Christmas by our dear friend Ligeia. It is an awesome read and has lots of really good direction and info for those gardening in the northern climates. The book recommended several seed companies who specialize in colder climate and short growing season seeds. We have made our list and drawn a schmatic and are dreaming away of fresh grown and harvested fruits and vegetables.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Usually on Friday mornings, I make a big family breakfast that we share around our kitchen table. There is where we share the highs and lows of the week, plans for the weekend, do-to lists, etc. After breakfast, we generally get busy on our chores and housework so that it can be done and the weekend officially started. This may sound strange, Friday,??? We have four day school weeks and so every one of our weekends are three day weekends because I also have Friday off as well Saturday and Sunday.
I start off my chores with making bread. Do any of you make your own bread? This has been a recent accomplishment for me. I was also afraid to try and fail. I told myself it was so hard. My mom didn't make homemade yeast bread very often and it wasn' t anything I learned as a child, so that also compounded my belief that I couldn't do it. My colleague from work, Sally, also raised a large family and she encouraged and taught me how to do bread. I am not nearly as good as Sally but I also haven't been doing it as long. I guess the true sign that I have mastered it, is will the kids eat it? A resounding yes. Almost as soon as it comes out of the oven. Not only is it so tastey but also saves money. I am sure you guys have priced good bread at the store so you know how much could be saved by making your own.
Another chore for our family is wood and heating with wood. We have heated our large home with only wood this year. This was the first year that we cut down trees, split wood, made kindling, and made our own fire-starters. We previously would purchase duraflame logs or fire-starters and that was such an expense but when we were burning energy logs you had to have a fire-starter to get them going. I found on one of my daily blog reads, a great home-made firstarter that utilizes waste materials that we have an abundance of around our home - dryer lint, empty toilet paper rolls, and leftover bits of candle wax.
We also have added an Alladin oil lamp. We have two other lamps (not Alladin) that I picked up at an estate sale but they are very low candle-power and make doing homework practically impossible. The Alladin has candle-power equal to a lamp with a 75 watt bulb. Much better. They are pricey, but we were able to get our economically from Ebay. If we ever find ourselves without power like friends on the east coast, we will be able to continue hopefully without a hitch.
Doing things on purpose to achieve the things for which you plan. I hope everyone will consider if what they are spending their time and energy doing is getting them what they want and/or need.