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Summer before Summer

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Boy it’s hot here, or at least it seems to be hot.  As of when I am writing this it is 90 degrees and gods know what the heat index is.  Not even “official” summer and we are sweltering, though considering where I live it is to be expected really.  We picked up an air conditioner back on Friday evening at a garage sale for $40.  Silver put it in as soon as we got home with it.  We are sleeping very nicely at night now with how cool it gets in here.

We lost one of our young hens the other night:

This one to be exact, in the one corner of the yard it seems something (Silver thinks it’s a fox) dug under the fence and killed her and ate the butt end.  What I think happened is that this girl was protecting everyone else as it was one of the more aggressive of the young hens, and the fact that all my smaller chickens are still there.  So today we finished the chicken coop off (no pictures sorry my batteries are dead), we are hoping to later on build a better one; this was more a “we need it done” chicken coop.  We actually just finished it at 2:45 pm and the chickens had just started coming inside when we went back into the house.  Seems we worked on it for about 4 hours, which was not expected.  The plan was to go out there after breakfast and work on it then go in and eat lunch.

So things did not go as planned, but as with all other aspects of life sometimes that just happens.  We did work on the root cellar this morning before breakfast it is now; 7X7X2.  We need to make it a tad wider and longer and a lot deeper.  My son wound up discovering today how much fun shoveling out the dirt is.  He decided to jump in and help me, and could not manage to get a full shovelful of dirt every time he went to dump his shovel.  He did about 6 half shovelfuls of dirt before he gave up, he had then decided that pushing the wheel barrow taking turns with his sister was much easier.  It’s amazing when a child discovers that yes the parent gave them the easy chore, even if they had not thought it was at first.

We had a repeat dinner Saturday of my home made spaghetti sauce, as the kids missed out when it was fresh due to the VBS here.  The kids got to watch some movies during dinner, which we spent yesterday doing as we were spent from doing our “payday runs” all over the place.  So now we are back into the swing of things, and my stomach is growling due to the smell of a beef base that’s been simmering since yesterday, it’s becoming beef stew tonight.

I did manage to get some pictures of my berry plants before my batteries died:

This is one my my three raspberry  plants they seem to be doing well without any additional watering.  I had taken a picture of my single blueberry, but when I looked at the picture later I discovered that it did not come out in a way for anyone to tell where the plant was.  My Lavender is flowering, my bleeding hearts are looking lush and I hope they produce more flowers.  My potatoes that I am only growing in straw seem to be getting ready to put out flowers now (one at least), I had noticed it this morning.  I have bitter melon plants finally coming up, and I think my beans will start climbing in a day or so.

My 6 different bean plants are in a 9X6 ft bed, and the standard pole beans are doing better than the long beans are.  I only wound up with 2 plants out of my rice beans so far.  I am not giving up on those just yet, they might still pop out of the ground.  All of my tomatoes are doing very well, however i have something odd going on with one.  It seems to have very large “leaflets” instead of long ones, if you can understand that; when I get my batteries replaced i plan on snapping a picture of it.

This is one of the 2 black currents we bought, they seems to be doing well.  However, when I went out to weed them over the weekend I discovered that one of them was broken in the middle.  I hope we can replace it, they like the raspberries are not getting additional water.  They seem to be doing just fine, just on what rain water they get.

I’m not sure if I will get any peppers this year as I found out at a later time that peppers take for ever to grow.  Next year I will be starting them in February not in March, it might give them a better chance.

As this summer progresses and we start bringing things in from our garden I am planning to be able to stock up well on our staples.  Why?  Well last winter we had a “blizzard” (that wasn’t) and due to the fact it hit right when Silver got paid there was next to nothing in the stores due to people buy out everything they thought they’d need if the power was off for a few days.  I want to prepare for bad weather, and for those times when our money winds up running short.

I have learned a few things about food storage, based on what I have seen people doing.  I thought I’d share what I have learned with you:

#1 Store only what you know you will use.

If your family does not eat dry beans at all there is no point in you storing 20 pounds of it.

#2 Stock up on your most used items first.

If you eat a lot of rice or like to bake, make sure your rice and flour stores stay high.

#3  Use some common sense.

Those 30 TV dinners will do you any good if the power goes out.

#4 Water

This does also apply to city people, you never know when you might not have access to water so keep some on hand.

#5 If you have pets remember they eat too.

Unless you plan on feeding Fido from your store of your food make sure you have extra pet food.

These are really just a couple of the things that I have seen over the years when it comes to stocking items.  A bit of thought will go a long way in doing this, I have seen way to many times when people worry about a crisis of some kind and hit stores they grab things that require some form of electricity.  Well if you are stocking up just in case there is no power… well then the foods you stock better not need power.  I have also seen way to many times people stocking things they do not use, do not store things “just because” everyone says to.  If you don’t/won’t eat something then what is the point in wasting space and money on it?  Also when planning on water plan on more than you drink, you’d be amazed at how much water you actually use in a day one you have to worry about where it comes from.

We spent about 5 months having to rely on water from other people, so we know how to conserve water.   It might sound a silly amount but, a normal family of 5 will use 40 gallons of water a day; if everyone shares bath water.  That is a lot of water.  So like I said, a little thought and I’m sure you can store some things away that will be of use.

 

Be Well and Blessed Be…

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About rivenfae

A homesteading mom with 2 teens,12 cats, 4 dogs, a flock of chickens. small goat flock and a piggie. Also a dream of a sustainable homestead out in the woods of Missouri.

One response

  1. WOW It seems that you all are having a lot of adventures doing this. I’m glad the kiddos are able to help. That poor chicken, but hey, thank the gods all of them didn’t get killed. I’m glad your plants are going so well, and your root cellar sounds like it is coming along quite well. Good luck and stay as cool as you can in this heat.

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