My first canning adventure

One task I have always wanted to tackle is canning. I am afraid it is a skill that maybe dieing. It helps us be more self reliant people, when we grow and preserve our own food.
A few years ago my sister gave me this book.

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I never got around to using it. It has been just sitting on my shelf.
This past weekend, I wanted to work on my tater tot casserole so I packed up the kids and walked to the store. We checked out the discount bin and found tons of apples. This is what we got.

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All this was under $18. The most expensive things were the tater tots and the hot dogs, my back up plan if dinner went south.
There are more than 13 pounds of apples in that picture, totaling $8.
The whole process of canning applesauce was easier than I thought.

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Aren’t they beautiful? All jars sealed. Yay! My total for this project was, about, $2 a jar. Not the cheapest but nothing in the jar but apples and lemon juice.

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Oct 5th Backyard Garden Tour

 

Welcome to my first garden tour. I think it is fun to see the set up before the growing season. So, here we go!
The first is right outside the back door. Amazingly enough my strawberries, in the pallet garden, are still blooming. I am certain there won’t be much more of that, though. The shepherds hook will hang what ever I feel like later. I plan on putting another rose plant below it. There is one rose and three blueberry plant in the bed.
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This is my Back to Eden plot for next year. Not much to look at yet. Around January garlic and onion will go in it.
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Here you can see the chickens. Mister got into with the dog so he is separated right now. I hear chickens heal fast, so I hope he will be back with the girls soon.WP_20131005_006
This is, also, right outside my back door. That is celery growing in the bed that I started from kitchen scrap. I should think about harvesting it but I am waiting for the next time I make soup. Would be wonderful.WP_20131005_005

 

Eggs!!!!

Today the kids and I went over to my old neighbors and picked up some eggs. Only one of my chickens is laying so I still have to buy eggs. We go through about 3 dozen eggs a week when we have them. He sells his eggs at $3 a dozen, for pastured eggs that is a great price. I have seen them as high as $8.

I love being able to give my money to a neighbor other then the grocery store. Grocery store eggs are cheaper but there are wider implications that go beyond money for me.

First, there is the whole mistreatment of chickens. They are not meant to be kept in little boxes with their beaks and claws cut off, only being aloud to eat and lay. Even “free range” doesn’t mean much. Usually the chickens are kept in a small barn, at a huge density, with only a window for fresh air. While that may be better, it isn’t ideal.

Next, is how that money is divided up. My price point for a dozen eggs from the grocery store is one dollar a dozen. Now that dollar is divided up between the grocery store upkeep, the employees, the managers, the CEOs, and lastly the farmer (who then has to divide that up for his farm).

When I give my neighbor three dollars, he gets most of it. Yes, a little is used for chicken feed and flock upkeep but most of it is used on things he was going to spend money on anyways.

Now, who would you rather have your money, CEOs and broken into tiny pieces for employees and no name farmer (who is only getting pennies off the dollar anyway), or a neighbor you know? I pick my neighbor.

What do you think? What would you do? How do you feel about what I said?

Giveaways

I thought, since I had a minute while the baby is sleeping, I would put together a blog post of my favorite blog giveaways. So here you go.

A Hundred Dollars a Month – Seed giveaway

Mama Natural – Water bottle giveaway

The Prairie Homestead – Pressure cooker giveaway

Common Sense Homestead – Cutting board giveaway

I will try to update this as the day goes on, but here you go. Who doesn’t love free stuff?

Back to Eden Film

Sorry for my absences today. As I posted earlier, I spent the day helping a friend get ready for a garage sale. I really enjoy that sort of thing and had a lot of fun.

This evening I wanted to share with you a movie that really captures the idea of reclaiming but applied to gardening, the Back to Eden film.

Now, I don’t follow everything this movie says, mostly because I haven’t done the work to go get wood chips.

I do use my chickens as “soil makers.” I am amazed at what chickens are willing to turn into soil. 😉

I use grass clippings from the lawn as mulch, instead of the wood chips. When I watched the movie, I really agonized over what to do. I didn’t feel like I was in a position to try and get wood chips. I prayed about it and I feel God distinctly told me to use what we had already. What we had and have is grass clippings.

It is amazing the difference the grass clippings have made in the garden. Most of my plants are HUGE and producing a ton. I love it and it was FREE!!!!!

You can buy the movie from the link if you want. Better yet, watch it for free online. The movie is, about, a hour and a half, but if your a gardener at any level it is totally worth watching.

Is there something in your life, book, movie, piece of advice, that really made a huge difference in your garden? What is it and, giving credit where credit is due, where did you get it or hear about it?