Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Living a life of simplicity is not exactly an easy thing to accomplish in this day and age. I was not raised with chickens in my backyard and a milking cow in the barn. I was born and lived most of my childhood in a very large city. We did have a small garden most years, although it was more of a hobby to my parents than something to sustain life. We have always owned horses, but more for fun than anything else. In my teen years we moved to the "country". We did have chickens and ducks for a summer. We had a cow for another summer and now my parents keep 5 goats along with their 4 horses and 3 dogs. All of these are pets. My dad loved the idea of living on a "farm" but never really had the motivation to actually keep livestock. The animals only purposes were for the entertainment of us kids. Which was great until they got big or we got bored. But, at least I have a little knowledge to start with as I venture into a life of simpleness.

The new kids born this year (born in Feb. 2012)

Because of the economy and instability of the country (and well....world), we have decided to start keeping food storage and becoming more self sufficient. I also want my family to be greener and lessen our impact on the environment. My little family grows a garden every year. We get to eat wonderful fresh vegetables all summer/fall, but then it goes to waste. I've never canned/bottled anything. I have dehydrated a little fruit here and there for snacking, but nothing in such an amount that it would hold us over in an emergency. But for the most part, 70% of my home grown bounty goes bad before it is ever touched. This year I made a change. I planted things that we will eat and are able store. I will try my hand at canning and freezing. In fact, I've already frozen some summer squash and zucchini. A pretty good start if you ask me. My carrots didn't grow this year. I still haven't figured out why. I must have had a bad batch of seeds or something. My tomato plants look sickly, but we get about a handful of cherry tomatoes daily. My squash is growing like weeds! I have way more than I know what to do with. My green beans are kind of in the middle, have some growing and plants look great. We have quite a few jalepenos almost ready to pick (too bad we don't have any tomatoes to make fresh salsa with). I am growing cantaloupe like a mad woman! I hate cantaloupe, but I love growing it and my kids love eating it. We also planted 2 apple trees last year and a raspberry bush that tripled in size this year and gave us quite a good amount of perfect fresh berries. This year we planted 2 concord grape vines. They are doing well, but we won't know for another year or 2 how great the fruit will be.
This was our first pick of the year (5 squash, a handful of tomatos and peas, 3 peppers)

For now I will start this journey with learning to compost for next years garden,  growing and preserving our fruits and vegetables and stocking up my pantry. I hope to have a few hens next year for eggs. I also just started making my own laundry detergent (much much cheaper) and cleaning supplies (also much cheaper and family/environment friendly).

I am really excited to learn to live better and with less dependency on my local big box store and bank account.  Until next time...

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