Monday, November 3, 2014

My Fairy Tale Weekend

It was a productive weekend on my little homestead. We survived a cold, windy Halloween night with a splash of snow mix. Saturday I turned on the oven at 11:00 a.m. and didn't turn it off until 6:30 in the evening. Sunday was kissed with our first frost and yet I was able to fill my day outside in the warmth of the day. 

Crisp autumn morning, so chilly the girls aren't out yet.

Flannel sheet now wrap each bed to help warm us in the night.

Making pumpkin puree for the freezer. (how to to follow in upcoming blog)

Pumpkin and squash seeds toasted to perfection. (How to in upcoming blog)

First frost of the year.

I love seeing the beauty mother nature does effortlessly.

Blanching and freezing broccoli with little bit in background.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Harvesting Garlic

 Garlic has been one of the easiest produce I decided to grow in my garden. During the first of October, I dedicate one raised bed to growing garlic. I place the cloves into the soil about three inches deep. Then I covered the raised bed with saw dust and straw. Then you forget it!!!!

In summer, wait until the once green plant has turned brown. It is the best guess to having wonderful garlic bulbs beneath the surface. Then carefully dig up the cloves, brushing off the excess dirt. Then place them some where dry and dark, like a basement or garage, to cure for about a month.

Then move everything to the kitchen. Using your hands to remove the outer skin.

Now you start to separate the gloves. Having a lovely beverage makes just about all homesteading process fun.

Here is what all the work was for, wonderful garlicky cloves. I love to stop and smell them, it's intoxicating.

I then count out the cloves I need to plant for the next year, those I'm storing in a mason jar. Then I keep all the rest in my large mason jar, kept in the freezer. And I'll have garlic to last me through the year. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Productive Homesteading Weekend

Urban homesteading - The act of transforming a suburban home into a property that produce some or all of its residents own food and other subsistence needs. Participation in home-based activities such as gardening, raising poultry or small livestock, minimizing consumer purchases and generally seeking ways to increase self-sufficiency in a city or suburban environment.

The creation of an urban homestead with the goal of reducing one's environmental impact and returning to a home-based, family-centered, self sufficient way of life. - as defined by

Every now and then, or at least once a month, I spend a good part of the weekend doing things that many would find odd. I juggled the oven and spent hours in the kitchen. So here is what I did this weekend:

Grinding saved egg shells. This will be used in my garden, mainly with my tomato plants, boosting the calcium.

Made my bi-monthly granola with the finishing perks of dried apples and pears.

Made my almost, whole week of morning green smoothies. Its been almost a year of having mainly green smoothies for breakfast. This batch is spinach, blueberries, peaches and bananas. Stored in mason jars in the fridge, a little shake and you are good to go.

My indoor lettuce seedlings are sprouting and growing towards the sun. Can't wait to enjoy my indoor salad bar. 

Painted my dining room part of the kitchen, below the chair rail. Soon we'll update the wall color above the chair rail and kitchen to do list will be complete.

Pancakes, breakfast during the week can be a lot easier with homemade frozen pancakes in the freezer. I made a batch of pancakes, from my homemade pancake mix, cinnamon pancakes.

Baked two loaves a sandwich white bread, which will last my family roughly two weeks, depending on my husband's appetite.

Not bad for a weekend trying to get things accomplished and ahead of the game. All this and I still got frozen yogurt with my family, went to swimming lessons, going to a consignment sale, cleaning and gardening, including reseeding tomato plants I killed in the greenhouse. This is a year of learning as I try to expand my gardening skills.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Love Affair

Currently, I’m involved with a three, each are different and knowledgable. One talks to me about baking, seasonal produced cooked up and surrounded by flaky pastry. Making several pies for each season when the produce is at its best. From fruit to veggies and even a shepard’s pie. How to dress it up with lattice work or tuck under a full top.

The second one tells me about growing, prepping from veggies to flowers. How to select the plants, prep the area and how to build structures to grow them upward. Creating a landscape based on color, theme, smell or herbal. From shady to full sun, from outdoor and indoor and from simple to complicated.

The third, wants to teach me about preserving and saving each season of produce. How to can nature’s bounty, so that I can enjoy it during any season. They are my current books from the library.

The library is my love affair, always there with endless books at my fingers, wants to know the books I’m interested in, gathers them for me and has them ready for me pickup. I get to tryout books to see if they are good before I commit to purchase. They let me copy the pages that I need, so I don’t need to purchase them. Read the ones that are one timer and never need to read again.

It provides a comfort during the winter months, when my garden is sleeping and the seed catalogs have not arrived. I catch the reading bug, wanting to read lots of things and different things. When the weather is cold, icy and snowy, I sit in the warmth of the fireplace in my living room. Snuggled in a blanket with the sound of crackling fire and my husband’s video games.

Motivation of the new growing season that seems so far away, aspiring me to try new recipes, and how to preserve my garden. It has this wealth of knowledge just sitting there for you to borrow. It is a way I inspire my daughter with the world that is around her. Testing out books to see if she is interested in them and taking her to see the “ahh” as she looks are all the books in her section. The library provides class and events for me and my family. There are monthly events for the children, with stories, crafts and characters. I’ve been to a few author book readings, a food justice event and soon my first “How To Festival”. A day, from 10-3, people give free lectures, workshops and how to’s for the public. The topics include everything from growing, dancing, bike maintence, cooking, health and organization.

All this and nothing is asked back of me, unless I don’t return my items on time. Then I must pay fees. Even with the growing technology, it to has grown, the library offers downloadable books for the kindle. But I enjoy the touch of a book, the smells of its’ pages and coping a page to take.

I leave with this, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Fairy Tale Weekends (Getting Caught Up)

A little garden science experiment 
Baking Cookies
Potato Head Fun 
Sonya's Potato Head Family
Sonya Shadow Dancing

Little Bit's Swimming Lessons
Splashing Fun
Humpty Dumpty Jump Off the Wall
 Getting back into the follow after brief absence. Baby stepping it back into a good practice.