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Archive for April, 2014

Cookbooks for the frugalminded

April 30th, 2014 at 07:38 am

Free cookbooks from a genius in the kitchen and with money

http://www.leannebrown.ca/cookbooks/

Didn't get more beds in :(

April 26th, 2014 at 11:42 am

Well, I haven't been able to expand the garden as of yet. Between the dang finicky weather, my husband looking for another job, me working, and preparing for the next home school year...I got nothing in the garden done this week. My turnips look gorgeous though. I can not wait to sink my teeth into those babies. The potatoes are finally coming up as are my shallots and garlic.

My goats have been jumping the fence. She is so ornery. I have no idea how to keep this little lady in one spot!

My work has taken up a lot of my time. I usually work about 20 hours a week, but I have increased it to about 30 hours. I have certainly seen an increase in my income, from 65 dollars a week to 95 dollars, but it's still making about $3 an hour. (I work at home). I have tried adding incentives for customers to call, but so far the pay off isn't happening.

I did find some awesome printables for home schooling moms at 123homeschooling. I was looking at paying about $50 for a proper day planner, calender, lesson planner, and chore chart. Instead I used less than $5 in paper and ink to print out everything I needed. I also found some online curriculum, that might even save me a little more!

Planting Time!

April 23rd, 2014 at 07:51 am

Wow, what a rainy season we have had. I have already planted and started to grow my early spring crops. As you can imagine, some are doing better than others. I buy my seed from Baker Creek Seeds. I have planted turnips, arugula, potatoes, shallots, onions, basil, parsley, and dill. The turnips and arugula are coming up by the handfuls. My onions are doing very well. The herbs are not doing so well. It's the first time I have done these types of basil, parsley, and dill. My potatoes are doing poorly, but it is the first time I have tried the raised garden bed method for them. I still have time to throw a bunch in a field. The shallots are also growing poorly in the same raised bed set up. The author I got the idea from must have had some secret trick I know nothing about.

Tomorrow I will harvest some turnip greens for soup. I will also harvest a bit of arugula for salad. I intend to plant some more items tomorrow, though I'm not sure what just yet. I'll look through my seed packets in the morning. It's getting time to plant the tomatoes, egg plants, cucumbers, okra, squash, and melons.

The goats are doing fine. One is named Butter and the other Sugar. Sugar may have been bred. If she was, we should have a baby goat in May. She doesn't look big enough to be carrying though. They like to eat the grass in the yard, but one of them got into the onions! She only nibbled a little off the tops though. Butter is a nuisance goat, though I do like her. She has broken two collars, one of them made of metal! She is quite determined to NOT be chained up. I enjoy their company in the garden...far away from my onions. It can be a chore to chase them out of the garden though, so that is why we were chaining them.

I'm looking into getting a small late flock of chickens. I swore after I got ducks that I would never go back to chickens. However, there is nothing quite like the taste of a free range chicken egg. I may get a more "wild" type which will make it harder for wild animals to kill. Docile chickens are great for children to get to learn to grow, but horrible at self defense.

That's all for tonight. Awfully tired.

Still living in the Hinterlands an update

April 21st, 2014 at 09:27 am

Time has flown. Here it is 3 years later and the middle of another planting season. So much has happened. I want to share with all of you our struggles and good fortune, but it would be writing a book!

Our tiller broke again when a drunk driver ran it over almost killing me, my husband, and our then 4 year old son. The drunk also managed to destroy 50% of what we had planted last year.

We purchased two nanny goats. They are very young, but we should breed them this year. I enjoy their company as much as the idea of having milk form them.

We have a newer car that we got for a price I could not refuse and my husband had found work closer to home for about 9 months. He lost his job last month. I have a work at home job currently where I make 200-300 a month. He was making only 300 a month at the end of it.

I wrote two books and have started to make a few sales. Not enough to put food on the table, but some pocket change.

We took in a family of four in 2012 that I knew which was living on the street literally and gave them a home for 5 months until they got on their feet. 2012 gave me a very good garden and we fed everyone (All 12 of us) out of it until about November when the frost killed it. By December, it was truly horrific. The pantry was bare and our garden was dead. This was before my husband found work. So it was up to me to figure out something to feed everyone. It wasn't very easy. I got very creative on the recipes by adding chamomile to bread and Mullen, herbs usually reserved for teas. It made the bread sweeter when we had almost no sugar, honey, or molasses. By the end of December they found a home and work. I was so thankful. Most of the beginning of 2013 was devoted to recovering. By June, things were better, until the drunk driver showed up.

Last year was the first real Christmas from mom and dad my kids had in 5 years. My husband had good work at that time and we bought them toys for the first time in a long time. I even bought them new clothes. Now that he is out of work, I am kicking myself in the rear for spending the money. The kids did love it though.

I guess I will update on my planting later. I'm tired, it's late, and I just got off my shift.