Sunday, June 16, 2013

Growing Pains

Ok, not really growing pains, but it sounded good and this post is about growing things.
Oh well, at least I got your attention.

This year I figured that I'd try different mediums (not sure if that's the correct term) to plant our garden in.  Not necessarily different soils, but different containers.

This way if you don't have much land, you can still plant a garden.

Like ya'll know I've started with the raised beds.

But then I started looking around me and I found that Dave had left two old tires kicking around.
So I thought, hmmm...that might work.
They're black, so they'd hold in the heat and moisture and keep weeds at bay.
Can you tell I hate weeds?!

I decided to plant my cabbage in these tires, but I only had two tires and six cabbage. So our friendly neighbourhood garage was more than happy to give us whatever we needed. So not only am I growing something, I'm saving the earth while I'm growing dinner.

Dave keeps complaining that you can't find big cabbage in Nova Scotia like you could in Ontario (which is where he's originally from). So I've made it my life's passion to try and grow giganteus cabbage in Nova Scotia.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Then at work we got a shipment of large buckets? Baskets? Hampers? Whatever you want to call them. They were inexpensive so I brought one home, drilled some holes in the bottom, and Voilá! a container for Jamie's Sweet one million tomato plant!

I also added a few marigolds for extra colour.

My raised beds are coming along nicely but slowly since it's been an extremely cold and wet spring here. It rains for 4 days, sunny for a few hours, rains for 6 days, sunny for a few hours...

You get the point.

Here's some lettuce from our very own gardens. That and the spinach is going nuts and will probably bolt before we get to eat it all. Oh well, the rabbits will like it.

We went to a livestock  sale a few weeks ago and there was two turkeys, a hen and a tom in a tiny little cage. I told Dave to bid on them. We'll save their lives and set them free.

But my generosity had a price tag of only $20!!!!

Dave has a hard time listening. (Selective hearing) and bid $50!!!!!

Well we brought them home. Stupid us, let them loose before we could clip their feathers.
The female is gone. I figured she became coyote lunch, but I heard through the grapevine she was seen yesterday.

The tom we found and brought back home. We clipped his feathers and he's now living in our goat pasture. We've called him Phineas. 

Phineas doesn't like Jamie. But Jamie is afraid of Phineas and will run from him. Bad move!
Never show fear!

Oh well. I like him.  He's looking kinda rough, but when he moults and feathers out again, he'll be a handsome boy. |Hopefully we'll be able to find Philomene and bring her home.

Have a Blessed Evening.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Being Self Sufficient

In the last few months I've had to step back and look at what we've accomplished towards our dream of being self-sufficient.

I keep wondering if we're not going behind instead of ahead and closer to our goals.

I know that we'll never be completely self-sufficient. For one thing we don't have the land for complete self-sufficiency and if we did, that would mean that one of us would have to farm full-time.

So far we no longer need milk or eggs from the store. We also haven't bought beef from the store either. We tried raising pork, but it was too time consuming and expensive. The meat was incredible but we don't eat enough pork to warrant keeping pigs. So every once in a while we buy pork from the store. 

We try and raise enough chickens to last us through the year. Sometimes we have to buy chicken from the store (esp. chicken wings. we need to raise 4 winged chickens!) but most of the time we have enough chicken for the year.

I also found that we were spending to much money on bread. So I started making my own bread, in the breadmachine. But I'm technically still making my own bread. It's a lot cheaper. It's also stopping us from eating a lot of bread. We only go through one loaf a week now, instead of one a day.

We started with the rabbits for another source of meat, but I'm thinking it's just a bit too time consuming. Jamie is not taking care of them like he should. I think it's just a bit too overwhelming for him. We started with 3 rabbits and we now have 28 counting the babies! I believe we have to downsize.
My garlic/onion and lettuce bed.

The raised beds seem to be going well this year and if all goes well we'll have lots of tomatoes and I'll be canning some salsa! I used to make a mean salsa, but we stopped making it a while ago since we couldn't find a cheap source for the tomatoes.

We usually buy a boer goat from our friend and keep it till the fall. This year we got two. We also bought a boer/Lamancha  doeling. My plans for her are to breed next years meat goats! We probably won't milk her since we get plenty of milk from Maggie and Azelle. But if the cheese making grows more, then her milk would be richer than the other girls.

The new doeling is cute as a button with her elf ears.

So last week I was reading The Book of Negroes (which is an excellent book. A must read!) and one of the slaves was called Glory. I really liked the name so that's what I named her.

Glory and her half brother Pappadum
Now the only thing left for my realistic dream to self sufficiency is bees!
Can you imagine! No more buying sugar!

At the moment that's not going to happen. 

Two reasons. 

I have to work on Dave. He hates bees!
and the second reason is I have no time left in my life.
Maybe in a couple of years. But that is going to have to go on the back burner for a while.

Have a Blessed Evening

Glory's half brother Kabob.