Becky's Farm Life

The simple life, living off God's land, one day at a time.

Answering Your Questions :) & Updates

Most of these have to do with Canning Potatoes post. This post is the most read/looked up/searched for post on this blog. Which to me is a little funny as I have canned potatoes for 10 plus years. Now more and more people are canning more than just jellies and  vegs.

 

Tanya: love your web site…I too am into canning and have gotten a friend of mine into it but she came across a problem that I have never had so wondering if you have…She canned potatoes and at least half of them the lid actually popped up..later when they cooled off they went back down but left wrinkles in the lid..do you think they are safe and has this ever happened to you…thanks for any help are suggestions///

Tanya,

Sometimes this happens to me too, at least one time a canning season. I think it’s the lids (weak). If the jars have sealed, they are still good. But I do use those with the wrinkled tops first. If they didn’t seal put in the icebox and use as soon as you can.

 

 

Katye Birdsong:  Becky, Do you have a recipe for canning peppers? chili and banana peppers?

Katye,

No, I don’t. I usually freeze mine.

 

Oscar:  Good afternoon Ms. Becky I hope you and your family are well. I would like to can the makings of a potato soup/stew. Can potatoes be canned along with other vegetables such as onions and carrots….or beef?
Take care. O.W.

Oscar:

Yes, you can can potatoes with all you listed above. But I have found it easier here at our home to can them all by them selves, as you can do more with them not mixed. When I make Beef stew- in a pot put a jar of: potatoes, carrots, beef(meat), and any thing else you like in there, cook to warm up and eat. But if you want to mix them look in a canning book and see which takes the longest and can for that time for mixed things. This goes for all things you mix to can, use the longest time. Hope this helps, if not let me know and I’ll try again. ok

 

Yvon:  Becky, I just got a pressure canner and was very eager to try it. Mom has done her veggies all her life in a water bath but thought I would do the safer thing and get a pressure canner. I just tried to can to qts of potato for my first try. One didn’t seal so I thought I would taste them. I’m a potato lover and I have to say I have never tasted worse potatoes in my life. They almost had a burnt taste without being burnt or over cooked. What did I do wrong. I followed the Bernadin book. It’s early June and used old potatoes, could that be the problem? Thanks   Yvon, a newbie at canning.

Yvon:

It is best to pressure can most vegs, some are safe to hot water bath, but not many. Old potatoes are your problem for sure.  I have at times used store bought potatoes on sale but they must be hard still, with no eye growth. Most times I can the potatoes out of the garden, dig up one day and can them the next. Good luck and let me know how it goes canning this year please.

 

Katye Birdsong:  Becky, Have you ever thought of writing a book? Your website is so interesting! I’m sure it would sell! My husband came up with that idea.

Katye:

Ok Lord, I get the hint. Katye you see, you and your husband are not the first to say that. My late husband being the first( 2 1/2 years ago.) and then other readers here.  But that would be stepping out of my comfort zone. And second, I have not the faintest clue were to start, or how to put it in a book form.  So for now you all get it free here. 🙂 But as this writing a book thing keeps come up all around me, I will look more into. But please pray for me in this area, that the Lord’s will be done, as this is why I started the blog here.

 

Updates:

  Tasha’s baby, Gabby, is now about 6 1/2 lbs as of today, and is due in under 3 weeks. We are ready and trying hard to wait on her. Tasha had an ultra sound today, the last one. Little Miss Gabby is head up and feet down. Please pray that she will turn the right way soon. Thank you for all your prayers for me and my family.

    I’m doing good most days, more so than a month ago. Thank you Lord. I really miss my better half, a lot. And I’m learning to live again, one day at a time. I’m finding me. (Only moms and wives will understand this.) Some how we lose ourselves over the years. The girls are doing great. We are waiting for our blessing from above, Miss Gabby.

   The farm is doing good. I have made bigger chicken pens. I need to make 2 more different pens. We are chicken sitting for about 8 weeks. Now that’s a true farm, chicken sitting (watching for a out of town friend). Really starting to miss the fresh cows milk. I have a few gallons in the freezer for when I get the withdraw shakes for fresh raw cow’s milk.  🙂 🙂

   I have not found any new tips, hints, money savers lately. I only planted tomatoes and strawberries this year. Our food barn is full ( only 3 girls eating and no men, should last us way longer than a year), and it’s been a long time since I/we have enjoyed a summer, more than 10 years. So the girls and I are going to see what we can do besides hoe and weed all summer. I think Tommy knew this too, when he had me start stocking foods 3 years ago. But next year will be garden time again. This will be a easy summer for us because of Tommy’s insight.

   Well I better go for now. Thank you all very much for reading my blog. May God bless you all. Have a great day.

Becky

Advertisements

June 10, 2009 Posted by | Canning, chickens, family, farm life, freezing, garden, self sufficiency, Stocking up, update | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Ok, Let’s Try It Again

   First off, thank you all for your prayers. I am still kicking, just had a few bad days. (almost a pity party) Funny how easy it can sneak up on you.  For a few days, I felt like I was in a black hole and could not get out, and at times did not want out. You all know how your mind can play games with you. But the sun has come back out and the black hole is gone.  Thank you Lord. So I am going to try  again and get this blog going with more posts.

   I dropped my power bill by: turning off lights and use them only at night when it’s dark or work is being done, using the small night lights in hallway and bathrooms ( no need turning on all those lights when the night light works fine), now I do turn the bathroom light on to take a shower, the cow fence charger was taken down( it used power), unplugged the extra ice box, turned off the water heater during the day and off after showers, TV-VCR-computers etc are plugged into a power strip that turned off when not in use, no dryer (not using it to dry wash cloths like before about once a week, now I use homemade wash cloths and napkins so we are talking about almost 50 cloths to hang up.), do one load of dish in the dishwasher a day (no more- different glass every time you get a drink).

   My gas stove is getting fixed this Thursday, no more store bread. It went out months ago, and I have been using the small toaster oven. But it’s not big enough for bread. And the bread prices keep going up and up along with everything else. It’s a bit of money to get it fix. But I also see it as saving more money as I will be able to cook more at home. Boy we sure do miss my oatmeal cookies.  🙂 I have saved up to get it fixed. And can’t wait to get it back in working order. 

   TommieLynn’s male hamster got got last week. For three days he had freedom. Then this morning the female hamster was not in her cage when I woke up. Her and her 7 babies gone. I don’t mind telling you think twice and then think again before getting hamsters. Well her freedom did not last as long as his, only a few hours. Thank you Lord. And the kittens keep coming, now we are up to 14 kittens, 1 more cat due any day. Anyone need a great mouse cat, they are free. My cows were so much easier than these hamsters.  LOL

   It’s going on it’s second week of rain every day. Today it only rained this morning. My grass is almost knee high but it’s still to wet to mow and it’s supports to rain the rest of this week. So I have not even been able to do any garden work. My garden does not need to be that big this year as my food barn and freezers are still full. But we do need a few things. I am so thankful I started stocking up when Tommy told too, almost 2 years ago now.

   The jobs are still very few in this area. More and more people losing jobs and homes. And more are having their power turned off. More are growing gardens, and more are trying new ways of doing things to stretch their money. At times it’s overwhelming to see the way this world is going. But I’m ready for home.

   I have been making homemade popsicles out of kool-aid and juice, an quick snack.  I have the cream in the freezer for homemade  ice cream when it gets a little hotter. I am still stretching my meats at dinner, and having eggs at dinner as we have so many eggs. Sometimes just sandwiches. Trying very hard to buy less and less from the store, most of the time I do great. There are times when I do buy what I call extras/just because things. So far we are doing good. When KFC chicken sends out great deals with coupons on buckets of chickens, I get them and pack in meal size freezer bags. It a fast meal and better than the frozen box chicken. Does not happen often, but it’s a treat too. When we do go out to eat, we use coupons or no go. Have you all seen more then usual  coupons coming out in the mail? Some are great deals. Right now here, KFC has a 2 piece meal deal out for $2.00. I know fast food is not good for you, but sometimes you just need to get out, a night off.

   I need your help, ok. I have some many black ant hills in my yard it’s no long funny. Every other step, is a step into a ant hill and they are in my raised bed garden too. I have never seen so many. How can I get rid of them as they are now trying to come into the house??? They are breeding faster than rabbits and rats.  HELP !!

   I am still feeling my way through this new life, one day at a time, by God’s grace I/we will make it.

 

 

 

 

May 5, 2009 Posted by | economic situation, family, farm life, Food prices, freezing, ideas, low income, making do, saving money, self sufficiency | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Getting Things Ready

Well I’m still here. With spring in the air, and it calling me to come outside and enjoy it, I have. I got the yard mowed yesterday with the push mower, and my poor unused muscles are crying this morning. Hopefully after a few more times, I’ll be in shape again and not hurt. Winter muscles are slowly waking up and becoming summer muscles.  I really need to learn to use the riding mower. It took all day to mow and that’s just the yard. I did not mow the pasture. All the fence lines are down from there, now just an opened field. Which TommieLynn loves, even if I am not going to mow it.  The sunshine felt good and the yard looks nice.  We really have a big yard, with hills, it’s not a nice flat yard.

I mulched a few things so as not to have to weed eat around them. I need to check into more mulch. Boy, does it look nice around plants and trees.  I am itching to plant but know I need to wait until the end of April, first of May. So I am getting beds ready to plant. The first things to plant will be potatoes ( which I am trying  in big planter tub) and green beans.  I have offered my neighbors the big  field to plant their crops, as I don’t need the big field for us three. They said ok , so hopefully they will use it.  They have been out of work and have kids. And grew a small garden in their yard last year.

I finally got my power bill down by $50.00, I almost cried yesterday when bill came in. I did the happy dance and the girls thought I fell off my rocker. Oh,well. That’s a big drop for us, usually it’s only been $10 – $20 drop.  I need to get the box fans out and cleaned. The house vents opened up and the fan put in the kitchen ceiling. But this can wait until the end of April. We can still get snow. But hopefully not.

One of my chickens is sitting, first one this year. Baby chicks on the way. I need to get the baby chicken pens ready, move some pens, and make some pens bigger. We are having a problem with stray dogs after my chickens.  They have gotten two, and that’s two too many. So I have to run more fence around the pens. There is always something needing to be done  here on the farm. (Even if it’s now a small farm).  I can run fence but it’s still hard for me to get the T-posts in the ground with the T-post slammer(it weighs about 20lbs, and you have to pick it up over your head and slam it down many times on the T-post to get it in the ground, Tommy always did this.) Maybe I can find some muscle to help me. One good thing about living on a farm, you don’t have to pay to go to a gym for a work out. LOL

The girls are doing good. Tasha’s belly is getting better. TommieLynn is growing. We are trying to get ready for they baby. Moving things from one room to another, and thankfully throwing things away.  TommieLynn can’t make up her mind: one minute she wants to be a tomboy and the next a young lady. Which at times bring a smile to my face. My youngest is growing up fast. One minute boys are yucky and the next she’s asking when she can date.

I really need to clean the food barn out. So I know what I really need to plant this year.  I know I will not be canning potatoes this year, unless we are blessed with a lot of them. I’m only planting about 10 lbs as I can’t run the tractor. I know I should plant more, but this first year without Tommy, I need to find out what I can do. And potatoes take the most work, and with everything else, well we’ll see.  It feels so funny, strange not having Tommy here to work with me. It was our favorite time of year, us working together outside to feed our family. I am so glad he taught me all he did. I know I can do almost everything he did, almost. But he never taught me to run the tractor, which is really ok. I don’t think I’d use it if I knew how.

I made it through two of the hardest days without Tommy. Easter Sunday and the next day, Monday, which we would have been married 12 years.  It was rough, but by God’s grace and mercy I made. Yesterday I got the book back that I had made from the entries from the Caring Bridge site for TommieLynn. It had  great photos of Tommy in it. So she and I let some tears fall and enjoyed looking and remembering. Her favorite photo was of her with her daddy showing her how to shoot a gun.  I have good days along with bad ones.  The hardest thing on me is making decisions without him. We always talked thing out before doing anything.  We have been to the grave site a few times, this is where TommieLynn really lets the tears fall. But she’s also the one who asks to go there.

How are you all doing?

What are you doing this year that you did not do last year?

Anyone planting a garden for the first time this year?

Anyone found a great money saving tips lately?

Well I had better start this day. Thank you all for your prayers and comments. They all help me get through my days and bring a smile to my face. God bless you all. Have a great day.

Becky

April 19, 2009 Posted by | family, farm life, farming, garden, making do, saving money, self sufficiency, update | , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Learning New Things

Thank you all for your comments. I’m staying here until the Lord leads me some where else.

Yes, Amanda: It was your post. I not know how I found it but I did, and it really blessed me. Thank you very much. Mrs. Olson: TommieLynn and I will both get Social Security. And I am very thankful to get it. Pam , Linda, Sheila, Marlys: Thank you for your prayers.

My hands have been full here. We have had snow this week. And tomorrow will be in the 70’s. I have not done much in the garden, due to the weather. So I have been trying to get the house, spring cleaned. Tasha’s boyfriend, Carl, came and mowed the yard for me. I can’t drive the small tractor mower. So I used the push mower to get were he could not. ( just like Tommy and I use to do.) We got done fast, and the yard looked great. A man is taking down the fence lines for me for half the posts. This will give Tommielynn a lot more room to play, which she is looking forward too very much. The chickens are doing great. I need to make a few more pens and houses, hopefully soon. My gas oven has stopped working. So I am using a small toaster oven I had stuck back. Tommy always got on to me about put things back that we did not use, until he needed it. I just smiled as I used the toaster oven. Someone had given it to me last year. Tommy asked why I was keeping it/ wanted it. I just told him you never know. Thank you Lord. I am trying to live now on a smaller income. TommieLynn gets mad at times when I tell her to turn a light off. But she is getting so much better at helping cut back. She won second place prize at the Easter egg hunt last Saturday. And with her $10 prize, bought her friends hamster, she has been wanting for weeks. She was so happy, She could buy it with her money. Carl showed me how to use the air compressor to pump up the wagon and wheel barrow tires. And how to change the tires on my yard wagon. And who said you stopped learning after 40? Or your to old to learn new things? Next he’s going to show me how to use the skill saw, so I can make chicken houses and pens. Now that ought to be a funny sight.

I did go and get bullets for the guns I have. Yes, I can shot, but better with a 22. But I need to get better. Carl is going to show me how to clean them, and break them down. Tommy always did this, now I need to learn. Why do I need to learn more? I might need to put meat on the table. And well look around, more and more people are doing things ( both good and bad) that they did not use to do, due to the economy. I pray I don’t need to use them. But like I’ve said before, I prepare for the worse and pray for the best. I am having to learn a lot of new things now, things Tommy always took care of. I am so glad that Tommy taught TommieLynn to shot. That is something she will carry with her always.

My garden will be smaller this year. And I can’t wait to get out there in the dirt and sunshine. I will be trying my hand at growing potatoes in buckets/ big planters above ground. I will keep you updated on this. I am praying it will work well for us. I am picking out seeds to plant now. Tommielynn wants watermelons this year. We have not done those in years, but we’ll try. The man I get apples from every year called and said the snow and cold has not got to his apple trees. Thank you Lord. We’ll have apples again this year.

With Tommy now watching from above, the men who come to buy the things in the yard, I no longer need, are not giving me a hard time for being a woman. Which I am so thankful for. I stand my ground. But at times they try to get me to go lower on the price. One guy said, would you be upset if I made an offer? I said, Yes! He just smiled and said ok. I am learning more every day. Some days it puts my mind on overload, but I making it one day at a time.

Last Sunday was a wonderfully great day. Tasha and Carl went to church with us, what a blessing. The service was just what I needed, Thank you Lord. Then we all went to dinner. Were we laughed until we all had tears in our eyes, a wonderful feeling. Over all the best day I have had in a long time. Thank you Lord. Thank you Lord for Carl too, as he has been so much help to me. Which has really lightened my load.

Well I had better get something done toady. I was trying to wait for it to warm up just a bit. More house cleaning, washing clothes, and hopefully I can get out side today. Thank you all for everything and all your prayers.

Becky

 

 

 

April 8, 2009 Posted by | economic situation, farm life, garden, making do, saving money, self sufficiency | , , , , , | 3 Comments

What a Day? Mad Bull

   The man came and tried to get the bull yesterday morning, he had brought an other man with him. Two hours of chasing the bull and almost getting him in the trailer but bull broke through them. The bull ran around the yard then broke the gate to get back into his field. Tommy always went out and helped load cows, while I stayed in the house. Boy, I sure wish he was here again. The men left without the bull and said they’d be back last night.

   The man came back by his self. The bull went into the stall and we used a rope to hold the gate closed so he could not get out. The man had me hold the rope to keep a 500lb  mad bull in there. I had no gloves on and no where to wrap the rope around but my hands. Well the bull didn’t want to stay in there, and he pushed and rammed the gate. I kept losing my grip on the rope, which allowed the gate to open some. After 10 minutes of fighting with this mad bull, some thing popped in my chest and by now I have rope burn and now a big deep cut on my finger where the rope was. My nerves are shot now, and I’m shaking all over. I told the man I could not hold any longer and let go. He was not happy but he was also smart enough not to open his mouth. He did say he would be back today with a gun that would put the bull to sleep while they loaded it. I said good and walked away.

   I had wondered if my decision was right to get rid of the bull was right, NOW I have no doubts, none! The sooner that bull leaves the happier I’ll be.

   The guy brought my truck back last night. He said that with the big trucks, it had extra oil lines for pulling large loads. And since I would no longer be pulling loads, he did away with the lines and plugged the holes. Total cost $2.00. Thank you Lord. The guy has worked on Tommy’s and my trucks for years.  So I know he has blessed me when he fixed my truck the last two times. Please pray the Lord would bless this guy.

   My farm will now just be chickens and gardens.   That decision has been made very very clear. No more cows, I can’t handle them by my self.

   It has rained here on and off now for more than two weeks. So getting into the garden to work has not happened.

   Yesterday was an eye opening day, and I’m so glad it’s over. I know the Lord walked closely with me yesterday. And for that I’m thankful.

   Life was so much easier when there was two of us making decisions.  Now every time I make one, I wondered if it’s right.

 

   Becky

 

“Forgive always, and show unconditional love to everyone you meet.”

 

April 1, 2009 Posted by | beef cow, blessings, farming, garden, self sufficiency | , , , , | 3 Comments

Just Tommy and I this Weekend & Farm Update

Shawn and Cindy came and got  TommieLynn for the weekend, Friday night.  TommieLynn was overly happy to spend the weekend with her brother. Thank you Shawn and Cindy.  Tasha went to Carl’s for most of the weekend. So it was just Tommy and I. Oh, what a treat. It has been many years since we have had a weekend alone together.

I took him out to eat Saturday night to his favorite restaurant to get his favorite meal.  The restaurant had 4 men walking around singing to those of us eating. The restaurant had candles and flowers on the table.  It was a wonderful evening, which we both really enjoyed. Thank you Lord, for blessing our evening and time together.  I did have to give Tommy a dose of morphine while we were there but he said he had a great time with a smile.  When we got home he did put on his oxygen and rested with a full belly and a smile in his face.  His smile on his  face so very much blessed me.  I have found that the smaller things bless my heart so much more now than ever before.  Thank you Lord again for a wonderful evening.

It is now time to cut down my chickens. We have 25+ chickens. And their feed bill is getting to high. People are no longer buying eggs. So I am giving away 2-3 flats of eggs a week. Don’t get me wrong, I do not mind giving eggs away, but their feed bill is about $30 a week. We  no longer eat a lot of eggs a week, maybe 1-2 dozen.  So we are down sizing the chickens. More than like, we will give the extra chickens away, to those who need them for food. Tommy is no longer able to butcher them,   and I just can’t bring myself to do it. Now I could if I had too, but right now I don’t have too.  Thank you Lord . So we will get the chickens down to 8-12 hens and a rooster, that way we will still be able to bless others with some eggs without over spending on feed.  The beef cow is getting fatter, and will go into the freezer hopeful by late spring/ early summer. And then all the pasture fences will come down.

Looking to spring:  We will not have the big garden down in the field this year. The strawberry & tomato patch (were I have many raised beds and is fenced in) will be used again this year. And I have to fence in an area for potatoes and some corn, up closer to the house but away from the strawberry patch. So I have been scouting the yard for the right place to put it. It will not be real big as there is only 4 of us now.  I will only plant 50 lbs. of potatoes instead of 200 lbs. We love potatoes.  Our potatoes did  not do very well last year, maybe  a new spot will help.  I have really missed our potatoes this winter.  And just enough corn to eat fresh and  a little to freeze, not 8 rows 150 ft. long.   All other veg’s will go into the raised beds. So this will be our first year with a small garden. 

The only seeds/plants  I have to buy this spring  are: potatoes, tomatoes, onions sets. I have enough seeds for the other things we grow for about 3 years. Which is a great blessing. We were blessed last year with a really big box of  seed packets: veg’s. , flowers, herbs seeds. Yes, not all of them will come up due to being last years seeds, but more than 80% will. So I just replant seeds that don’t come up, and have done so for years. Every fall when our feed store marks that years seeds to half price, I buy the seeds I  need to   plant the following  spring.  I save money on seeds.  As the seeds get older the percentage of the ones that will come up goes down some. I have planted some seeds that were over 3 years old, and had a good crop.

As the girls and I will be doing all the yard work this year, I am looking for ways to cut back on as much as I can. One things I am going to do to cut down on weed eating is: put straw/mulch/hay around things and places that usually need to be weed eat-ed. I can get all the straw and hay from our feed store  for free:  I pick up the broken bales off the ground, there is always a lot.  TommieLynn has been begging to use the push mower, oh little does she know what she’s asking for.  She starts this year, we’ll see now long she’ll want to mow. 

We have friends coming in this coming weekend, Scott and Ann. Then the following week, Tommy’s sister, Linda, is coming for a visit. He has not seen her in 6+ years. They both are really looking forward to this visit.

Well I am going to finish enjoying my quiet weekend. Hope you all have a great week.

Becky

February 15, 2009 Posted by | blessings, creativity, eggs, family, farm life, farming, garden, ideas, making do, saving money, update | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Changes in the Mist – Ready Or Not

I have been looking ahead and trying to make a plan before Spring and Summer gets here. There has been a lot of changes in my life this year – some good and some not so good – little and big. I am not very good at change.  Some changes are good for us, some hurt really bad, some don’t last to long. My family is smaller in size now, needs are changing from a few years ago, and I’m getting older. We loved are full farm and all it gave us. But now there are not as many hands as before working the farm. And it’s finally hit me, I can’t run the farm by myself. Don’t get me wrong the girls help all they can. But a farm is a  lot of work year round.  And I really would like to spend more time with my family.

So here is some of the ways we are going to down size some:

  • I am selling my milk cow as soon as I can. We love the milk but thinking ahead there is no way I can keep the fence lines weed eat or all the fields mowed and do a garden.  And come fall, the thought of loading and unloading a 100 bales of hay for winter use, is not a good picture. And we no longer drink 4-5 gallons of milk a week. So it’s time to say good bye to milking.
  • The Black Angus Bull now running in the field, will be fatten up and put in the freezer as fast as we can. And while we are eating his meat, I’ll put some money back every month to buy a half cow for meat. I know where I can do this cheaper than store prices and the cows are feed the way I feed mine. ( I’ll also be able to buy half a hog when needed). So we will still be able to get great meat without all the work. I worked the price out, it’s only 50 cents more a pound if someone else raises it.  Which is about $1.09 a pound, cut and wrap and fast froze. Still cheaper than the store meat, and better tasting too.
  • My husband is selling his big tractor. We will not be mowing the fields any more or having a great big garden. We are switching to raised beds for most, and making a fenced in area for potatoes. We no longer need a big garden to feed us. I still will be able to get apples and pears off the ground from friends.  So I think I have our food planned out.
  • We will keep our chickens for meat and eggs. And sell chickens and eggs.  They are very easy to care for. And I HATE STORE BROUGHT EGGS.
  • We have 3 freezers that I would like to get down to using just 1 or 2. Which means canning more meat. 

We  will be growing a few more vegetable and I’ll can every thing I can get my hands on.  This new life is going to be really different, as we have lived this way for 10 + years. And it has kept us feed well. But changes are here like it or not. The Word says there is a season for  everything, I guess my season is changing again. Time to learn new things, new and different ways.

 

Tommy and I are not looking forward to selling the milk cow or his tractor, we worked long and hard for both, Tommy and I together broke the milk cow to hand milking and  she was  born here on the farm, and Tommy has wait years to be able to buy the tractor: but now it’s time.

 

This blog will still be about farm life, now just a mini farm life. And I will still share all I have learned and will be learning here. 

 

Well for now we will be down sizing to fit our needs better. Will I ever have a full farm again, only the good Lord knows that and He’s not told me yet. So for now it’s one day at a time, going where the Lord leads us.

 

Change is in the air,

Becky

n572485845_634390_9202

Tommy’s Tractor

Picture 099

Peaches milk cow, bull meat

December 28, 2008 Posted by | family, farm life, farming, food storage, garden, making do, self sufficiency, update | , , , , | 6 Comments

Garlic braiding and Big box of seeds and saying good bye to friends

I have not harvested my garlic yet, but soon. I found Michelle’s Garden blog. She does a post about how to braid garlic with photos, which is great. Here’s the link: Braiding garlic with photos. I have always wanted to do this, but well I’m a show me person ( that’s why I post so many photos, photos just help). I can’t wait to braid my garlic.

Super friends of ours, Scott and Ann, came over last night. They bought me a really big box full of seeds. Seeds: vegs , herbs , and flowers. What a blessing, thank you Scott and Ann.  I’ll have the prettiest yard next year and loads of vegs. Getting that box made me want to plant them now but well I’ll have to wait till next year now. Oh what a great blessing.

Scott and Ann told us they will be moving for a while. You see this area has very,very little work. So they are going where there is work, about 5 hours away. They will come back, when they can. I wish them God speed, but boy they will be missed. Since Tommy has been sick they have been a blessing to us. They are good friends.

This was just a cute photo. Not often do you see cats and chickens getting a long or even sharing food.

IMG_0079

Hope you all have a great day.

Becky

 

 

September 5, 2008 Posted by | blessings, food storage, garden, ideas, self sufficiency | , , , , | Leave a comment

Canning Potatoes

You can use garden or store potatoes to can. Our potato plants died to soon, so we did not get the crop we usually get. So when potatoes go on sale, I will buy a bunch and can them.

IMG_0001

These are our new potatoes dug this year. The small ones, I wash really good and can. These are good when it’s cold outside.

IMG_0018

The above canned potatoes are from this year. The below are from last year. The starch (the white coating on potatoes below) is just washed off, and potatoes are good.  The chopped potatoes are used in : beef stew, put in a pan and fried with butter and onions, in a pan and eaten as boiled potatoes, drained over night and used in potato salad, and more.

IMG_0019

To pressure can Potatoes:

 (are a low acid food and must be pressured canned  to destroy all bacteria and etc.) 

Small ones:  just wash well and pack loosely in jars.

Large ones: Peel and cut into a brine water ( 1 teaspoon salt to a quart of water) , then rinse and pack loosely in to jars.

Then add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart and fill with water.

Process 40 minutes for quarts at 15 lbs.

Happy Canning!

For those of you who do not have a pressure canned, the potatoes can be froze, put in the cool part of your refrigerator. But please do not use a hot water bath canner as it is not safe.

See comment #25 below on how to freeze potatoes.

( more answers can be found in the comments here)

Becky

August 23, 2008 Posted by | Canning, Food prices, food storage, garden, ideas, making do, recipes | , , , , | 253 Comments

What’s Stored, What’s else is needed for at least 1 year?

Ok, I have check on what and how much I have stored this far. So I will know just what else I really need to store to go at least a year. This is only for canned foods I’ve canned, not store brought goods.  This list and how many jars needed for a year is for 3 people and I figure for not being able to go to store at all , so my numbers are really a little high( so it might last more than a year).  Some of this is from last year. But due to time and strength, I did not want to can more than we really used from the garden.

GREEN BEANS:(use 3 qts. a week)  have 159 qts. ( might can more)

SWEET POTATOES: (only 1 person eats) have 25 pts.

POTATOES: ( use about 2 qts. a week)  have 13 qts. ( need about 91 more qts.)

SHARP CHEEDAR CHEESE:  have 6 pts. and 5 jelly jars ( want to can more, if they go on sale again)

CHEESE SAUCE: have 42 jelly jars ( want to can more, if they go on sale again) ( one jar makes mac and cheese for 4 people.)

MILK: ( use about 3 qts. a week) have 56 qts ( need about 100 qts. more)

CARROTS: have 30 qts. (only used it stew and soup, have enough)

TOMATOES: ( use about 1-2 qts. week) have 44 qts. ( will can more if tomatoes do good this year)

FRUITS(use about 2 qts. a week)

APPLE SAUCE:  have 48 qts.

APPLE SLICES: have 27 qts.

PEAR CHUCKS: have 45 qts.

JELLIES AND BUTTERS: ( use about one pint a week)

APPLE BUTTER :  have  9 pts.

APPLE JELLY: have 17 jelly jars

PEAR JAM:  have 40 jelly jars

MIXED JELLIES:  have 5 jelly jars

STRAWBERRY SYRUP: have 3 jelly jars

STRAWBERRY JAM: have 6 jelly jars and 2 pts. ( 7 gallon freezer bags in freezer to make more jam) 

I am so thankful for all my stores. I know I have stated before that I was going to can every thing I could get my hands on, but well this was really stressing me out. I know how to garden and have seed for next year already, so why stress myself out? And all this will last us more than a year.  And I’m slowly running out of shelf space in the food barn.  I do not want  3 years of apples and no potatoes or green beans, ect.

Our beefalo (bull cow) is going in the freezer within the next 2-3 weeks.  And 1 cow would last us a year with 5 people (2 adults, 2 teenagers, 1 child)eating. Now only 2 adults and one child, should last us much longer. We have about 26 young chicks that should be ready for the freezer by winter. If we need more, we’ll kill as needed. I can get 2-3 meals out of one chicken for us. We still have about 1 pig in freezer from last year, so we are good on meat.

My next post I’ll do store bought goods and how much I have and need for a year for 3 people. Hope this helps someone. If you need any help or have any questions, just let me know.  If you can figure out about how much your family eats a month, that’s the place to start, even a week is a good start.

Hope you all have a great day.

Becky

 

 

July 20, 2008 Posted by | Canning, food storage, garden, self sufficiency, Stocking up, stockpiling food | , , , , , | 15 Comments