I have to admit that my urban homestead boot camp has been a bit of a blogging boot camp for me as well. I’ve written more in the last two months than I have pretty much ever, and it’s been a great outlet that I’ve really enjoyed. And my readership is up as well, which is always fun for me and also amazing, since I am always surprised that people want to read what I’m saying. So welcome to all of you new readers! Also, I plan on doing a bit of blog maintenance this week, so if you see anything weird, mid change, please bear with me.
I wanted to do an update on my progress with the Independence Days challenge. I’ve kept pretty good track on my sidebar, but sometimes I forget a few things here or there. So for the last month, this is where we’re at:
Plant Something: Planting is on the horizon here for us. We have seeds and I’m planning on starting some inside (perhaps this week?) but now we’re just waiting on the weather.
Harvest Something: One whole egg. I’m pretty sure we have more than one egg eater, and I know one hen is in full molt right now. And one is five years old. So the lack of eggs, while not totally surprising, is completely frustrating. I’ve heard from a few people on Facebook that we’re not the only ones in Colorado experiencing this, that it has something to do with our whacked out weather, but in five years of raising chickens, this is the first time we’ve been completely dry. Especially this late in the winter. So we have some culling to do in the near future and some replacements waiting in the wings:
Preserve Something: While we were all sick a couple weeks back, Rick dug the Thanksgiving turkey carcass out of the freezer and made up some stock (and some soup). 8 cups went into the freezer. Other than that though, we’ve mainly been depleting it, and not adding to it. ;)
Waste Not: Scraps given to the chickens and compost pile. Also, a few months back I salvaged a small nightstand /dresser thingy and a book shelf that was going into the local preschool’s dumpster (why???). Rick has been refinishing them. The nightstand is solid wood and is cleaning up beautifully. I wish I had done before/after pictures. The book-case is both wood and wood-veneer. It’ll probably end up getting painted.
Want Not: I bought a couple of pairs of pants from the thrift shop, as well as a hurricane for my oil lamp. We have a case of pasta on order that I should be getting this week or next. Also, some angel friends dropped by some clothes for C last night, unexpectedly. I’m so grateful for gifts like that, out of thin air. I’m glad we found out that other friends of ours are having a baby girl, so we can pay that blessing forward.
Eat the Food: Due to some payroll mix ups, we got to take full advantage of our freezer and pantry this month. Rick got what we thought was some extra bonus money at the beginning of the month. It turns out that payroll had made a mistake and then just took the difference out of his check two weeks later… after we had already used it to pay off some debt. So we had two very lean weeks, income wise. Thankfully we really didn’t feel much of a pinch, since we had the food stored. We ate a bit more meat than we usually do, and a few less fresh vegetables. But we by no means suffered through it. From the pantry we had spaghetti squash, pickles, strawberry jam, peach-plum ginger jam, white pumpkin, dried tomatoes, peach preserves, plum noir jam, red beans and chick peas, rice, more pickles, pasta, popcorn, nuts…. and from the freezer, we enjoyed elk chili, elk steak, green chiles, elk stew meat, asparagus, the turkey bones for soup, elk for stir fry, green peppers, elk chili again, ground elk, elk steaks, more tomatoes, lots of peaches for tarts and cobblers and smoothies, frozen corn… and I’m sure more.
Build Community Food Systems: At the beginning of the month we hosted our first monthly potluck. My hope in doing this monthly is to, number one, build community, and number two, share resources. The first one had a small crowd, but we enjoyed it a lot and are looking forward to the next one on the 9th with, hopefully, more people. ;)
Skill Up: We’ve been chomping at the bit for spring to get here. In the mean time, I’ve read up on fan training fruit trees, and I bought a grow light, since I’ve determined that the natural light we get in the house has been insufficient for starting seeds. Now I have to figure out how to build some adjustable height stand thingy for the light. Heh. And, Rick has been doing the aforementioned refinishing, which is new to him.
So that is the summary for the month. If you’ve been doing the Independence Days challenge this year, what have you been accomplishing?