Food Inventory List

I started doing this years ago when I started canning. What is a food inventory list?? Well as the name suggests its a running tally of what you have on hand in your house as far as food, but also goes beyond that. It also counts your non food items and water.

Getting started is super easy. They way I start is what do you eat all the time?? Are you big rice fans? Do you eat potatoes like they are going out of style?  I always start my list with what we eat the most of as far as vegetables and non perishable items. Way back it started as my canning list and now has expanded. Didnt know I kept a list did ya?! Right now all my friends reading this are like..well no but I could see you doing that. I do mine on the computer first and then print it out. This way I can add things if I want to but I have a print out list in case something happens and I cant access my template.

So here is my old canning chart. It’s as easy as starting like this. Back then I only did an inventory every year before winter then I started doing it twice a year. By doing it twice a year you can see how much your family is eating. If you ran out in December you need to stock more. Its a yearly learning curve really.

Canning Guide 2009 2010 Total as of 10/2/10 left over Dehydrated
Greens 10 pt 12 Jj 12 jelly 3 pints Mushrooms 1 qt
Carrots 9 Pt 17 Pt 17 pints Onions part of qt
Peas 8 Pt 3 Pints Blackberries 1 jelly
Green Beans 23 Qt 25 qt & 1 pt 25 qts 1 pt Corn 4qt+2qt to teri
Corn 12 qt & 8 pt 12 qt 8 pt Zucchini 3 qt
Turnips 2 Qt & 4 P 0 2 qt 4 pt Pumpkin 8 pumkins=1 qt
Tomatoes ? 11 pt 9 qts 21 pints 23pt given to dad,3qt 3pt to teri Cucumbers 2 qt
Pears 6 pt 0 18 pts Green Beans 1 qt
Cabbage in tomato soup 0 8 qt 8 qt Green Peppers start 1 qt
Tomato Juice 3 qt 3 qts Tomatoes 1 qt+ applesauce jar
pears 1 qt
Other Stuff Other Stuff
Pickles- Sweet 4 Qt 5 qt 7 qts Instant potatoes
            -Dill 9 Qt 2 pj& 2 hg 2 big jars 6 qt spears 4 qt slices 2 jars slices oatmeal
            -Bread and Butter 6 Qt 4 qts 1 pt 7 qts 1 pt Wheat flour
Relish-Sweet 6 Jj 0 1 jelly Bread mixed flour
Relish- Zucchini 12 jj 12 jelly Jiffy corn mix
Grape Juice 3 Qt 0 0 long cook rice
Spagetti Sauce 8 qt 9 qt 32 qts 1 pt- 1qt given to dad white/wheat minute rice
Blackberry Jelly 6 Pt & 1 Jj 21 pt 21 pts
Strawberry Jelly 2 Pt 4 pt 0 had to throw out bad- water bath all jelly Acorn squash 10
Rhubarb 0 4 jj 4 jelly
Rhubarb w/ Strawberry jello 0 3 pt 3 pts
Rhubarb w/ Raspberry jello 0 4 pt 4 pts
Rhubarb Strawberry jam(real) 0 6 Jj 6 jelly
Mock Pinapple 6 Pt 0 gave to neighbors 0
Broth- Chicken 5 Qt 6 qt 6 qts
Chicken 12 pt 12 qt 12 qt 1 pt
Deer Broth ? 0 2 qts
Deer ? 0 2 qts 5 pts
Turkey Broth ? 0 2 qts
Turkey ? 0 0
pt=pint    qt=quart  jj=jelly jar
pj= pickle jar    hg= half gallon jar

As you can see it was basic but I made notes as I went..like the strawberry jelly. It all went bad so I needed to hot water bath all jelly for 20 minutes. The last two columns really dont go with the left hand side. Its just hard to put excel on here.

When you can items they can last at least 5 years. I dont go beyond that and every spring/summer when I do my first canning batc,h I pull out everything that is 5 years and bring it upstairs to the main kitchen, then put the old to ones side so I”m not constantly digging in the back to put the newest jars.

What I do now is split everything into catagories. Food: Dehydrated, Canned, Staples. Water: , Non perishable: Toilet paper, paper towel. toothbrushes, shampoos, etc.

Food I also break down into further categories for example if I have Dehydrated Beans..I have green beans, pinto beans, kidney beans..and amount for each of those. As far as animals go, most are either in the freezer or are grassfed. I always make sure I have hay, but if I run out which is what happened this last winter plus our move…I have the option of turning my animals outside on longer grass to fend for themselves if need be because they arent used to only eating commercial feeds. I supplement with alfalfa pellets or grain mixes(only when I have to). Chickens free range all winter also. I do try to keep 200 lbs of feed on hand. I mix my own so usually my chicken feed can also feed my rabbits or my calf if I need it to. Plus well us I guess lol. I have a wondermill hand grinder so I can make flour out of any grain   ;) We now have a continual non electric water source in our barn which is nice. I save water year round in rain barrels. We also have a pond now on the property so my water storage is pretty non existent. I also keep bottles of water in the freezer during the summer months to take up freezer space so it doesnt work as hard and that doubles as water should the power go out for a time.

Some other things I have are two stoves: one electric and one gas stove. We are working on a non electric heat source for the new house this year but that has not stopped us from gathering wood this year. First aid kits for animals in the barn, first aid kits in the house and each vehicle for us. Guns with ammo. Live traps we use all winter. Deep cycle batteries that we can hook up to a power invertor to run something. We have a solar charger for those as well.

It’s not about having everything all at once. It’s about having a little of everything first, then building up what you use the most over a period of time. If you cant can food, go buy cans of stuff. If you dont hunt, go buy bulk of meat products and either put them in a deep freezer or have someone can them for you. You just find ways. You can also buy dehydrated meats and stuff, MRE’s but honestly..I”m only going to eat those if the SHTF. I focus on growing a renewable source of meat like rabbits that can be put outside if I have to and they multiply without much help   ;) Chickens, turkeys all can be kept year round and will forage for food. Grassfed cows and sheep or goats. You start needing land for those animals though if you dont have feed.

Resources for help include Youtube, Online forums, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon…your local library!! People in “the know” survive such catastrophes as a power outage for more than 24 hours. They survive a week where you cant travel because of the blizzard of 78! Make it a point to gain knowledge of how to garden, how to save seeds, how to raise rabbits, chickens, turkeys at the very least. Study and look up Prepping, Preppers, Food Storage without refridgeration, Organic Gardening, Seed Saving, Long term water storage, Trapping, fishing, Raising grassfed animals, Rabbit tractors, chicken tractors, growing tilapia, Building your own solar oven, building your own solar water heater, building your own solar panels, Rocket stoves, and if you want to get really “crazy” you could look up alternative vehicle fuels, how to make your own ammo, security cameras, and the list goes on and on including underground bunkers but we wont go there.

It may seem overwhelming but the food inventory list and stocking that one simple thing, I promise, will stop you from going absolutely crazy if you cant make your weekly shopping trip or your husband gets laid off.

I am here if you need to or want to ask questions and as always…

Happy Homesteading!!   :D

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Farming by Months

Last January I wrote a post about Being Prepared. You can read that here: Being Prepared  It is now the next year and it’s October. So again the hype about the winter storms coming…it’s going to be the coldest most bitter winter we’ve seen in a long time….. really? Ok well are you prepared???  You’d think that after the horrid winter we had last year that people would be a little more prepared, but they are not. Yes most are buying propane now while it’s not $6 a gallon, but as far as other preps..non existent.

It’s mainly the time of  year that gets me thinking about this. On our homestead you have months pretty much mapped out. So in case you don’t have a map..here is what you should or could be doing for each month based on what we do. I’m sure we are not listing everything, but its a nice general list.

  • Jan- Start your cold weather seedlings such as celery,broccoli, peas, lettuces and other greens. RELAX!!
  • Feb- Start your beginning summer seedlings like cucumbers, green beans if you want, corn if you want, onions, leeks, whatever else cold weather you didnt start, start working on  your chicken, turkey, rabbit tractors- Start Un-Relaxing   :(
  • March- Start your warm weather vegetables like tomatoes, green peppers – start barn repairs and maintenance -Till part of the garden and Start planting cold weather crops late march (the jan seedlings), purchase live animals to raise for your freezer, finish your animal tractors
  • April- finish planting your cold weather vegetables( your feb seedlings and any other you seed straight into the garden)  and finish tilling the rest of the garden.- start pasturing your rabbits and chicks(on warm days)-deep clean out the barn and start compost piles mixed with grass clippings – do a food inventory and see what you have that you will be saving for the coming winter (start buying extras of stuff all summer)
  • May- Plant the remaining vegetables, weed, pasture animals, finish all other barn projects and start all your summer projects, start gathering wood for winter
  • June, July, August- farming is in full swing, harvest, weed, dehydrate food for winter, can food for winter, all the scraps from canning and regular eating dehydrate into winter food for the rabbits and chickens- dont waste anything!! Whatever you cant use should be in compost piles breaking down all summer. plant cover crops of buckwheat on places that are done harvesting, go on family fishing trips to gather more food for the freezer!
  • September- Do a food inventory and see how much you have on hand for winter-. finish buying remaining products and start putting compost onto the parts of the garden that is done.- Plant cover crops like oats and radishes for over winter on all late harvest areas. Start preparing the barn for winter. Start organizing the freezer to fit the animals you bought.
  • October- Butcher all animals and fill your freezer. Make sure you have your inventory list full or mostly full. Finish garden areas for winter, finish barn projects and get things ready for your year round animals to be overwintered. start hunting for more winter storage(if you cant hunt, find someone that does, if you dont like guns-learn to trap), finish yard clean ups, finish your wood harvest and if you havent already-move seasoned wood into a close area for easy winter reach.
  • November- Brace for that horrid winter coming lol. Finish your minor purchases for winter, finish anything you forgot about..RELAX!!
  • December- Continue to brace for the winter coming that has not yet come… Relax when you hear its still on the way because you have enough!!  RELAX!!

Recently we have been watching Extreme Preppers. Some people call them crazy, but if you watch you get many good ideas! Yes I agree some are just plain nuts, but honestly they all are doing things we should be doing..storing food, water, finding alternatives for when our power is out, and making sure they are safe. Those basic principles are what everyone should be doing. It doesnt matter if you live in an apartment or not. Find a location in the country of a friends house..your “bug out location” as they call it. Plant a garden with them so you can prepare for winter in your apartment. Grow vine foods in your windows, use your fish tank to grow some lettuce. Youtube is filled with prepping secrets and alternative ways of growing food. The only reason that anyone cant be prepared, in my opinion, is you are lazy and dont want to. Well dont be coming to my house! I’ve told you all here what do to!!

Check out my next post on making a food inventory list!

 

Happy Homesteading!!!   :D

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The Do Nothing Farmer

This post comes as a rant really. I have some die hard customers who are awesome. Lately I’ve had a few new ones try to come around. It seems that everyone thinks that farmers do absolutely nothing all day and that they are always home. In today’s culture of the busy city folks, two family incomes, and working 12-14 hours a day, the farmer seems to somehow be exempt from all that.

Here is the reality. We are busier and work longer hours than you do. I mean all of you. Not only do we wake up at the butt crack of dawn to feed everything we have, but we continue till dusk. We feed, we water, we scoop poop, we harvest, we plant, we weed, we take care of injuries, fix things that are broken, chop wood, go to auctions, meet clients, we take care of not only the farm stuff but if your a woman farmer you are taking care of everything else in the house as well. We do dishes, vacuum, clean the entire house, can things, dehydrate things, bake things, make yogurt, make cheese, crochet or knit or spin yarn, we keep the household animals aka children alive. We fix their injuries and fix breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Oh to sit behind a desk all day or have actual conversations with grown adults.,,  To think your farmer has time any hour of the day you choose and whatever day you want for you to show up is just plain WRONG. In case you didn’t know, I’m giving you the heads up now. Farmers are extremely busy all day every day. We dont get snow days off, rainy weather off, or 90+ days off. We are outside working on something or feeding something at the very least.

If you are new to this whole homesteading thing, I’m sorry I’ve come off a bit irritated. You have to be extremely considerate of your farmers time or they will drop you as a client as fast as you can say Manure. When you call and say you are coming at a specific time be ON TIME. We have to drop what we are doing and rearrange our schedule a bit so that we have time to meet with you and talk. If you pick a specific day to come DON’T reschedule unless you absolutely have to. Most of us have our days planned a few in advance and have to again rearrange things so that we have that time. We dont want to be scooping poop while trying to chat with you because you needed to reschedule and the barn should have been cleaned out the last time you were suppose to meet, but we put it off because you were coming and then didn’t. If you have to reschedule DON’T WAIT TILL THE LAST MINUTE. That is the worst thing ever. That is rude and disrespectful. 

Today I had a guy text me and tell me he wasn’t coming tonight. Why am I so upset. Well we were suppose to meet last week around wed. We set up a time for him to come, 6:30. He canceled at 6 because he wanted to bring his wife and she couldnt make it. That is fine. I totally understand. He is a new client and wants to see the farm together. So we set up a time for saturday at 6:30. He texts me again at 6 and tells me he cant make it because he would like to bring his parents out also and they have previous engagements. Sigh..ok…so we reschedule for Monday at 6:30. He texts me again around 5 ish to tell me that he is unable to make the appointment because a client of his needed something. So being the nice person I am I reschedule again for today at 6:30. So far each time he has picked the time and the day. He also had pre-ordered 25 meat birds. I really needed to talk to him about the size he wanted them and if he cared if some were a bit smaller because I would like to give them to him all at once. Today we text a few times and of course it had rained a ton all day today so at 5 he says its still a bit rainy. I text back saying there are no more storms in the forcast and tonight is still fine to come out. He text me at 6:24 saying he will not be out because his wife doesnt feel like coming out.

ARE YOU SERIOUS?? I’m sorry but I have been more than nice. I put off projects today because I knew I wouldnt get them done before his arrival. One project that got put on hold was putting in a new window into my rabbit barn because it broke out the other day and I dont have one!! The rain has been pouring into my rabbitry for the last few days because he was suppose to come and I didnt have time between the rain and his arrival to start the process of putting it in. I sent him a polite text that I was hoping to talk to him about the chickens. I will just get them butchered and he will have to accept the size they are. If he decides he doesnt want them to let me know so I can resell them. I also told him that the next day he schedules he needs to come and not reschedule because it has been stressful trying to be home.

I will give you a little tip. If you are constantly late and rescheduling times, please dont bother to contact me at all. It’s normally a 3 strikes you’re out rule for me. I will let you in on another secret. I dont NEED you to be a client. I have people who would gladly show up and meet with me. They will buy my stuff the same as you, but they wont inconvenience me. I try really hard to be available but just imagine if all my clients were constantly rearranging and rescheduling. I would never get anything done. Please dont be one of those people. Make your farmer your best friend and treat him like you would a king. Remember he’s the source of your dinner   ;)

 

Happy Homesteading!!   :D

 

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Pictures of Mary Moo

Well after a very hard couple of days, Mary Moo is now finally eating steadily. Just FYI make sure your calf is being weaned when you tell them you are coming to get her… grr… Not only did she miss momma something terrible, but she hadnt been on her own until the afternoon we picked her up. It was not the best transition. Anyway, it’s in the past and I’m really trying hard to let it go, but it was just mean how they did it and they made us take part.

So we have been working with her on halter training, leading, and today she got a lunge line tie out session. She is doing very well. She is probably..maybe 2 months old. I’m going to go with that for my own sanity. She is a Jersey calf. She will be sweet one day, I know it. Right now she’s just not understanding what is going on. She does however have a small bond with me..come on over and try to walk towards her..lol.

ok without further ado..here she is.

Happy Homesteading!!   :D

Keeping a close eye on us.

Keeping a close eye on us.

She's not really that skinny..she was a LOT freaked out, but she is underweight.

She’s not really that skinny..she was a LOT freaked out, but she is underweight.

First picture home

First picture home

Tie out trial run, with me having a watchful eye

Tie out trial run, with me having a watchful eye

Resting in the field.

Resting in the field.

Irritated I snuck up and took this picture.

Irritated I snuck up and took this picture.

 

Categories: Homesteading, Livestock | 1 Comment

Mary Moo

Hi guys! I know it’s been forever right?! How are all you doing? How’s the homesteading going? I hope well. Here is a very strange year. I don’t like moving to a new place. I’ll just say that right now. Glad it’s not going to happen anymore in my life. It’s been 3 months of chaos really. I think we have everything done with the house that needs fixed quickly. Now more projects are on the back burner.

I’m one of those people that seems to have to have everything done now and God has shown me that is so not what he is like. Lack of money is really hindering my homestead. My garden has been the worst its ever been yet somehow I”m still surviving with the garden shares..even if I have none left for me really. There are things that I didnt tell them I was growing like onions and potatoes. The corn didnt grow, the green beans grew but I still wasnt happy. The leaves were yellowish green instead of green. I dont know how those beans made it to maturity. My cabbage piddled out. My carrots never grew…two plantings at a friends garden and one at mine..no carrots..what is up with that?? Not all the same seed or the same company so I guess no carrots for us this winter unless I buy a bunch of organic at the store and can those. I might. Despite all that I seem to be selling things.

Not only have my garden share people been happy enough, but I am selling these dark cornish hens like crazy. I actually have a 3rd batch hatching right now!! I cant have enough it seems. Some person bought 25 and didnt bat an eye at my price..which made me think I should have charged more! I have bunnies up the wazzoo right now, 38 babies to be exact. Luckily those are destined for my freezer minus a few to a guy who is trading meat for a beehive set up for me   ;)

Anyway..so with no money, a part time job and not everything done…hey what’s one more thing right?? Well I’ve decided I now hate driving 40 minutes every friday for my meat and milk. I still buy burger and milk where I used to. I still will for at least 3 years..but we are getting a calf!!!  I contacted my beef guy and he has a little jersey heifer available.  We plan on getting a little boy of some sort of breed for meat this year also so my new calf wont spend the winter alone. We pick her up next weekend. I’ve been paying on her here and there when I go buy my meat from him. He is a super nice guy. I will have pictures up as soon as we get her! I’ve decided to name her Mary Moo.  It’s just hard to build a stall when you are so busy babysitting and working that you dont have a spare minute. What minutes I do find I am either in the garden or in with animals. I still have 6 hides to flesh out and tan, plus now to build this stall. Oh did I mention we have no grass lol. Stupid lack of rain around here has me a beautiful brown lawn. Luckily when it was raining in june I was able to get some of my grass baled. I’m still hoping for one more cutting before winter but we are already feeding the lambs hay and have been for about 3 weeks. THAT is why we are getting a calf and not a cow. I could get a cow and make payments on her. She is ready to have her baby in two months..but I cannot feed that big of a girl plus a baby right now. I’d rather work my way up with Mary Moo and get to know her for a few years before I go to milk.

Well there you have it.. a chaotic post about my chaotic farm and our new addition coming Sat the 16th   :)

 

Happy Homesteading!!   :D

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Failure is the only option

It amazes me sometimes how God will use the same lesson for multiple people in my life at the same time. This weeks lesson Failure. My life is a complete and utter failure. No this isn’t a pity party. I am glad.

Sunday our pastor gave a sermon about failure. He said that people are more likely to regret the things they never tried than those they did. This is so true. At the end of your life there are a lot of wishes.  I wish I would have… you fill in the blank.

To be faithful followers of Christ, we must be risk takers.  To take risks means you are inevitably going to fail. So instead of dwelling in failure and trying not to fail, we need to do the opposite. Fail Fast, Fail frequently, and Fail forward. That is the definition of being successful I feel, Failing forward.

The past few months have been extremely hard on us. My husband is on salary so no matter what he works (sometimes 50+ hours a week) he gets paid for 40. My husband gets up at 3:30 to leave our house at 4. He works from 5-5 and then drives the hour home. Some days it’s worse and he doesnt come home till 7. This makes it hard on me. I’m going for honesty here. I pretty much run this family and farm on my own. When we moved here we knew it would be tough but you never really know a situation until you get into it. It is hard, exhausting, and all we have doesnt seem to be enough.

When we moved our house payment quadrupled. The other bills stayed the same. We had added expenses of turning on utilites and buying more fencing, plus still trying to do all that we had done before…you know like eat, buy some clothes, buy animal feed. Every week I feel like a failure because I dont have a job. I mean I do but not one that brings in money. I certainly cannot ask my husband to get a second job..when?? I also feel I am still suppose to homeschool the children. They help me so much on the farm that I cant imagine a whole day without them. I also cant imagine spending a whole day in the workforce not doing what God has called me to do. So here I sit..a complete failure..I”m doing everything horribly and nothing well.

So there I sat last week in a pity party state. I went to church and asked my sunday school class for prayer over finances. I was able to get a one day a week job and babysit over summer so some money is coming in, but that is just for food and there are so many other needs. I asked them to pray for the right door to be open and for God’s help in this situation.

This past week then was the sermon on failure..go figure. But what the pastor said got me thinking…. My whole life has always been a failure and that I needed to look at it from another angle. I again entered sunday school thinking about this. One lady said she thought of me all week and prayed for me. She said she was worried for me.  This is what I told her and the rest of the class.

Thank you for your prayers but as I was sitting today in church thinking of failure, I realized I fail daily. My whole life is constant failure, but also tons of growth. I am constantly trying something only to have it fail like 4 times before I get it to be what I want. I realized that even financially I am failing, but growing. Yes its hard having this house payment and bills to accompany the new house but as I’m failing to provide, it is making me strive to find a better way and eventually I will be a success in it.

You see I had the wrong approach. I am worried still about bills and such, but worrying wont add anymore hours to my day or years to my life, it only adds stress. Instead I am embracing my failure as a homeschool mom, as a farmer, as a gardener, and as the financial keeper, and I’m going to keep failing until I get it right. It’s not about giving up and grabbing the first thing that pops up. It’s about humbling yourself before God and asking What do you want for me? How do I get there? Then doing what you think it is until you get it right. Yes I could send my kids to public school, get a 40+ hour a week job, but when it comes to God’s plan how is that going to work? It wont. I cannot run the farm, garden, and homeschool which are my passions, if I am chasing after financial security in a way that wasnt meant to happen. God has a plan for us to be financially secure in the farm, in gardening…how is that possible when I am not failing daily at making that happen? If I am too busy doing things to help myself, how can I have time to let God help me?

God this year has done wonders here, and I’ve been to worried to see it! Looking back, since the move, I see how God has given me a garden when I had no house. He has provided rain so I didnt have to go there but once a week. He provided a bounty to take care of my CSA even though I think it’s not enough, they are happy with it. He has blessed us with fence being given to house animals, enough extra money after buying the house to build a nice big frame-in chicken coop. He has allowed us to buy sheep again this year to fill our freezer. He has had friends come out of the woodwork to help on the farm by tilling and giving us raspberries, blackberries, peach trees, apple trees, asparagus, kale, rhubarb..the list is endless and will produce for years to come. He has taken a plot of land that I cannot afford to fertilize, that is mostly sand and brought forth a bounty so great I am amazed everyday just looking at it. It’s so freakin AWESOME! Why on earth am I having a  stressful pity party when God is taking all my trial and errors..my failures and turning them into something good?

There will be food to eat, bills will be paid, it just wont be my plan. It will be God’s plan that I must fail daily at until I succeed.

 

Happy Homesteading!!   :D

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It’s not about EVERY weed

Lately as garden season has started underway in Indiana, I’ve been getting a lot of people who are very overwhelmed by gardening. The conversation usually goes like this:

Me- So did you plant a garden this year?

Them- No.

Me-Why? I plant one every year. I love it.

Them- Well its just so hard. I mean I till and plant and I try to weed, but I get busy and cant. Then a month goes by and my garden looks like a jungle. Then I dont even want to go out there because it will take forever to weed. If I do try I dont even make a dent in it! So I’m just not planting one this year.

WOW. Is this you?? I was talking with a lady just yesterday who said she doesn’t plant a garden because she was slave labor in her childhood and she hated it.  I’m pretty sure we all did as kids, but life taught me that just because you didn’t like something when you were young, doesn’t mean you wont like it now as an adult.

My love for gardening came from being forced to. I was a child slave in the garden. I snapped my fair share of beans instead of riding my bike. I weeded so slow I was out there all day, but when I decided to be a stay at home mom and finances didn’t include much food because of diapers, I had to do something. I had my mom help me grow my first garden. Then I tried my own with minimal help the second year. I had to learn to can. I bought a dehydrator as to not waste anything we could possibly eat. Yes I had kids and yes I still gardened. It’s amazing what you can do when you are hungry   ;)

The main thing I learned in my years of gardening is you dont have to weed everything all the time. Last year I took on way too much in the way of gardening. It was my first CSA year and I was raising animals plus homeschooling in the summer because we didn’t get all the way done. I was working for Farmer Joe and by August my garden looked worse than a jungle. Weeds so thick you would would have thought no food what so ever was in there, yet each time I’d walk in with my milk crate, I’d come out with it full.

The trick is knowing when you have to weed and when you dont. The biggest best example I can give you is corn.  I weed my corn twice. Yup..thats right. I have a 35×50 foot plot of corn..about 400 plants and have weeded twice. You till, weed when the corn is about a couple inches high and you can make sure you dont pull any out, then when it looks really weedy do it again about 2-4 weeks later. That’s it. Just let those silly weeds grow. Your corn really wont care. If they get too tall take the weed-eater in there and go between your rows. If you have chickens you can do what I do. Fence in your area with temporary fencing when your corn is knee tall, then let them in for a few days.  My corn has never suffered.. How did I learn this? Failure lol.  I failed to weed because I just didn’t have time.

Many plants hate weeds but some dont really seem to care. Trial and error is the best method as I have yet to find a book that is called Garden Weeds- Let them Grow!   So here is what I try to keep weeded and what I dont.

Do Weed (pretty much as soon as you see weeds):

  • Lettuce and greens- spinach, romaine, iceburg, leaf lettuce, arugula etc. It sucks to pick grass out of a salad!
  • Green beans- too much green and its hard to find the beans!
  • Cabbage- they just dont like weeds

Weed if you can(every month):

  • Cucumbers- put these on a trellis to save space, makes weeding easy, they dont care about weeds
  • Green Peppers-place grass clippings around the base fairly thick but not too thick as to create a lot of “heat”
  • Tomatoes- place grass clippings around the base fairly thick but not too thick as to create a lot of “heat”
  • Peas- put these on a trellis to save space, makes weeding easy, they dont care about weeds

Don’t Weed much(1-2 times in a garden season):

  • Crops that Vine on the ground- watermelon, pumpkins, muskmelon-mulch heavy with straw instead
  • Corn-weed twice or so and use a weed-eater between rows
  • Bulb onions-weed enough that the roots get a good start
  • rhubarb-as you harvest take the leaves and lay them out flat around the area, it acts like a mulch
  • asparagus- I weed until the shoots start coming up and then I leave it and pick, when the season is done, I mulch heavily with grass clippings
  • Carrots- weed when they are 2-3 inches tall, again when they are about 6 inches tall. after that the tops will keep most out-plant them close! (my rows are about 6 inches apart)
  • potatoes- weed when they first come out of the ground, weed again when they are about 4 inches tall. shovel dirt around the leaves to increase potato yield, leave about 2 inches showing and this will automatically make it weed free. use straw to build up mounds too
  • radishes- twice is about all you would use anyway before they would be ready to eat!
  • turnips- weed when they are about 3-4 inches tall and again at 5-6. the leaves will keep out the rest

Some other garden tips would be:

  • plant your stuff in a 3 foot bed, pack it with as many rows as you can, and make a walkway on each side. It allows the soil to stay loose around the plants in the middle and you can weed-eat the walking rows.
  • Remember not to let your weeds go to seed!
  • When you get done at the end of the season and you’ve harvested, till and plant buckwheat. Just throw it on the top of the soil and rake it in. It grows in about a month, chokes out weeds, and is bee friendly! It dies with snow.
  • if you are waiting to plant a second crop in late summer also till and throw in buckwheat until then.
  • use grass clippings as much as you can because its a green manure and will break down over winter
  • use other forms of weed barriers you buy at the store but dont drain your pocket each year, your doing this to save money…
  • relax! weeds happen!!

Remember gardening isnt about having absolutely no weeds in your garden, it’s about growing your own food! Who cares if it doesnt look like the fields of corn and soybeans sprayed with roundup. It’s not suppose to. It’s suppose to be enjoyable and fun. The next time someone looks at your garden and says, “Man that is full of weeds!” Just say, “That’s ok, weeds happen, they will all be tilled under in the fall, break down during winter, and I will have even better soil next year!”

 

Happy Homesteading!!   :D

 

Categories: Gardening, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inside Pictures

So in the last post I gave you some outside pictures, now its time I give you the inside pictures. There will be a few changes to the house once we get in it because it needs updated or needs minor repair but all in all it is a nice house.

I don’t have a picture of the downstairs bathroom, but its mega small and basically one one person can walk one way at one time lol.

Upstairs kitchen- small, needs help

Upstairs kitchen- small, needs help

Dining room into the living room

Dining room into the living room

Partial living room/hallway to the bedrooms

Partial living room/hallway to the bedrooms

Upstairs bathroom. Needs updated

Upstairs bathroom. Needs updated

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 1

Bedroom #2. Needs a closet put in, a wall, and a door to make it separate and a hallway to the garage

Bedroom #2. Needs a closet put in, a wall, and a door to make it separate and a hallway to the garage

stairs coming down to the basement

stairs coming down to the basement

View of the basement from the stairs

View of the basement from the stairs

Living room going back to the back of the basement towards the laundry room and other bedroom.

Living room going back to the back of the basement towards the laundry room and other bedroom.

Downstairs canning kitchen :)

Downstairs canning kitchen :)

Bedroom #3

Bedroom #3

laundry room

laundry room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry again about the pictures..sigh..oh well at least you can see it! Now lets all say a prayer together that we close before Good Friday..so that Good Friday will be good for two reasons ;)

Happy Homesteading!! :D

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is the Wait over yet?

This has been a horrible wait for this house. I guess I’ll appreciate it more right?… something like that. The temps dipped down below freezing…the house is already de-winterized, there is no heat on, there is no propane to turn the heat on…I’m a little worried.

I got a call from my loan broker and he said that underwriting is finally done and has given the ok to proceed to close! woohoo right? Now there is just this small matter of the interest rate, down payment amount, what our monthly payments will be….. sure would be nice to know some numbers. Apparently I must be patient today as the bank decides if the interest rate the broker offered is accepted or not. I don’t even know what it is but he’s already disclosed a rate we can live with and he said it will be lower than that..lets hope so.

So since it is looking hopeful that we will get this house closed sometime this week (praying constantly that it does), I thought I’d show you our “dream” home.  It better be because we did everything wrong and are going into some mega debt compared to what we are at now!

Let me just say that first..I hate the layout of the inside, but I will get over it because at least half the year I will be either outside in the garden or out in the barn..and I can design those the way I want. I just have to have a comfy chair to crochet in and do jewelry making in the winter   ;)

Ok now for Picture overload:

The front of the house

The front of the house

East Side- Deck and walk out basement

East Side- Deck and walk out basement

Looking out to the east at the barn

Looking out to the east at the barn

Off Deck looking North East. There is 15 more acres of a lower lying area off to the north that is ours as well.

Off Deck looking North East. There is 15 more acres of a lower lying area off to the north that is ours as well.

View of the barn from the driveway

View of the barn from the driveway

close to the walkout basement

close to the walkout basement

Trying to decide if I should remove the bushes..

Trying to decide if I should remove the bushes..

Walkway to the front door that will be changed to concrete

Walkway to the front door that will be changed to concrete

Trying to decide a way to partially cover the "eyesore" that is the well and electric area

Trying to decide a way to partially cover the “eyesore” that is the well and electric area

Lean-to off of the back of the barn that hubby wants me to make the rabbit/chicken area. I'm thinking winter cow area.

Lean-to off of the back of the barn that hubby wants me to make the rabbit/chicken area. I’m thinking winter cow area.

Pond that is on our property. Hopefully it can support fish right now! The land to the left of that picture is ours as well.

Pond that is on our property. Hopefully it can support fish right now! The land to the left of that picture is ours as well.

Here is a better picture of what land there is..its not much..the fence is hidden in the tree line but it's at least two acres behind the pond.

Here is a better picture of what land there is..its not much..the fence is hidden in the tree line but it’s at least two acres behind the pond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry things did not line up correctly. I guess its time I learn to live with things not going as planned.  Inside pics to come in the next post.

Happy Homesteading!!   :D

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Long Wait

You know it would be nice to share with you all the news of our new house…however it still has not happened! Look back when I wrote those posts..you’d think it would be done already!! It’s been a rough ride. First, we were approved for a conventional loan. Then when my hubby sent in his employment verification it was not what the guy had used to approve us. He used our taxes instead of hubby’s paycheck stubs.

So after that fiasco we had to try to run this thing FHA. In Indiana they hate acreage. I don’t know why but apparently FHA will only count the first 10 acres with your house in the appraisal amount. So if your property is 25 like ours, they counted the best 10 with the house and said ok its worth what your loan is.

Well long story..long, cause there is no short story here, the underwriter said no to the loan. Why? well 21 acres of the land we want to buy is in a Wildlife Habitat program. Even though the appraiser didn’t count that land in the appraisal, even though FHA was ok with financing 25 acres, the underwriter said that, should the bank foreclose, they would have a hard time selling the property. Really..um..we are buying it..why? Well it can be pulled out anytime for minimal back taxes plus it is a HUGE tax break right now. And hello Mr. Underwriter, anyone can put their property into the program so how do you know that half your loans aren’t already in one??!!

Needless to say our broker went to the bank president himself to override the underwriter. So of course all this up to this point has taken well over a month. This going over the underwriters head was just last wed. So this Monday we got the call that the bank president had a brain on his shoulders and ok’d the loan, but he wanted to make sure FHA didn’t have a problem with it. Well yesterday we got called stating that FHA didn’t care.. Hello, why would the government care that the land is in a government program?! Duh…

Right now we are still in a holding pattern. We are approved with conditions again. This time the list is shorter. When the appraiser went to the house the water heater wasn’t on and he couldn’t get into the barn, so those two things have to be looked at. Plus there was a piece of exposed wiring on the ceiling in the kitchen, so we are having someone put in a light. Hopefully once that stuff is done, then all will be great. The problem is our sales contract for this property ended Monday. So even if we get to the closing date the owner can pull out and say no.

This trusting God thing is harder than I thought……… I’ll keep you updated.    :roll:

 

Happy Homesteading!!!   :D

Categories: Homesteading | Leave a comment

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