|Photo from Homestead Revival|
This month, I have been really working hard to meet a few preparedness goals. I have been focusing on food storage and sustainability. To meet those goals I want to increase my pantry storage, add some animals to my property for protein, and increase my garden space. I believe I have a good start toward meeting these goals and here's how.
This month I took an old television cabinet and refinished it. My handy husband Jerry drilled a few holes for shelves and here it is... my new pantry for storage.
Today, I picked up my first co-op order to start filling it up with pantry staples.
I am really looking forward to the improved quality of these GMO free, organic items. I have been working toward eliminating all processed foods from our diet for a while and this helps.
This month we also purchased food grade 5 gallon buckets for food storage and we bought a 250 gallon food grade water storage tank.
Jerry plans to install the tank inside a storage area for garden water storage.
On the sustainable living front, my favorite chore this month has been taking care of the adorable baby chicks we brought home for future egg production.
To save money we are re-purposing an old shed/lean to for the hen house and night time chicken run.
They grow so fast, they seem to grow every time I blink my eyes...
A kind local homesteader showed me how to slaughter and butcher poultry, just in case I need to know that sometime in the future for meat production. It looks like I may have a few too many roosters, so that lesson will probably come in handy soon. Thank you Debbie. The white cornish cross chickens above are hers. They were eight weeks old and about ten pounds each. Wow! That's ten pounds at eight weeks... amazing.
My garden is growing. These sweet peas are laying in apple wood mulch that I mulched myself after fruit tree pruning in January.
It's warming up around here so I have begun directly planting seeds in my new garden areas.
My potatoes somehow managed to keep hanging in there through some cold and snowy storms. I am hoping for a big harvest to dehydrate and can.
I am testing the micro-climate on my new garden terrace. It seems warmer than the front yard, so I started planting a few tender summer crops like zucchini and yellow squash. So far, so good.
I have tomato plants coming out of my ears in the greenhouse and they're quickly outgrowing their pots, but I dare not plant them yet. If I do, it will freeze again. It happens every year. Lol.
There are herbs, flowers and more summer crop seedlings waking up in the house. Poor Jerry. His "parking lot" has been shrinking as I grab up more and more of our land for plantings... My next BIG garden project will be gardens for the chickens and honey bees.
I almost forgot to mention that I now have honey bees.
I am hoping that they will impact my vegetable crops in a good way. According to a professor of mine, honey bees on site can increase vegetable yields by up to 50%. I'll be happy with any noticeable improvement, and I am really looking forward to raw local honey in my front yard someday.
I want to point out too that we buy everything we can, used. We are not wealthy. The way we get so many things done is by either making it ourselves, finding good things at yard sales or used through commercial sources.
The tv cabinet came from a yard sale for $20 a few years ago. The water storage tank and 5 gallon food grade buckets were used, they came from a boy scout group that buys them full of product for a regional fair booth. They use the syrup, clean and disinfect the buckets, and resell them. We still have to buy some of those pricey gamma lids eventually to top them with. If you have a good priced source, please share.
Beyond that, we grow everything we can ourselves and we make a huge investment of sweat equity in all of our projects. Like many of you in this online community, we work hard to stretch our dollars without creating debt. It can be done, it just takes time and creativity.So, that's what we have been working on this month. It feels good to see some progress. What are you working on now?