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Archive for July, 2015
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My cousin's daughter died today. She was not much older than my daughter. I can't stop crying. Her life was just starting. I wish I could stop thinking about it. They are so far away from most of the family. I know she is with the Lord now and that helps my head, but it doesn't do much for my heart right now.
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Less than $1000 to go. Feels good to finally hit the $3000 mark. $946.37 to come up with before the end of the year.
Things are going well in the food preserving department. I am canning green beans and dehydrating many herbs daily. I have several prepared for making teas, some in oil infusions, and some just dried and ready for making medicines.
The tomatoes are filling up with green fruit. I am anxious to see it turn red or yellow. The peppers are putting on good fruit as well. I hope when it is all ripe we will be able to provide all our tomato needs for the year, between diced, sauces, and salsas.
Even more zucchini is coming on, as are cucumbers, and summer squash. In another day or two I will have enough cucumbers to make a batch of bread and butter pickles for DH. I don't care for them, but I have enough dills on the shelves to make a few jars of what he likes for him.
I don't think I'm going to can corn again this year. I think I will cut it off the cob and either freeze or dehydrate it. Maybe both. Neither of the kids seem to like the home canned corn. It's okay, but not as good as TJ's canned corn. I may end up just feeding it to the birds.
I am looking forward to when the winter squash start to bloom as well. I love watching how fast they grow. Actually the watermelon has been growing at that rate. I can't believe we will actually have watermelon this year.
I still want to purchase a side of beef this fall. Just don't know how practical that will be. We'll see in a couple of months.
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It's a slow build, but I am getting there. I still haven't gotten new tires, even though I have the money in the tire fund. We were going to get them last week while DH was home and then he was only home for one week instead of two and it just didn't happen.
I am not driving much, though, with school out, just to the grocery store or the library, PT and the chiropractor. I am maybe driving 10 miles a week right now. And it's not like the tires are bald or anything, just getting to the needing to be replaced point.
My green beans are getting ripe. I harvested a couple quarts this morning. I've picked 5 zucchini this week, only one of which was a monster, and two large bunches of radishes. My biggest watermelon is now bigger than a tennis ball. Yesterday it was about half that size so you have an idea of how fast it is growing. The snap peas are winding down but I am still getting a handful every other day or so. Lettuce, chard, and kale are still going crazy.
I am harvesting and drying sage, yarrow, dandelion leaves, dandelion roots, basil, calendula, thyme, lemon balm, and marjoram. I bought the book (well, with a gift card I got for Christmas) Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide and I am really learning a lot so far. It took me forever to find any herb books. There were 14 different books on growing pot in the local B&N (cause it's legal here, though I recall seeing a few in the garden section a few years ago before it was) and only 3 on herbs and one was on cooking with them and the other was far too technical for where I'm at. I am saving herbs for culinary and medical uses, some for medical use in the rabbits, like blackberry and raspberry leaves, dandelion, and comfrey.
In reading this book and seeing these remedies I am kind of starting to understand why that little old lady who lived in the woods in the 1700's and had all these healing things at her fingertips might have been considered magical or even a witch. Traditional medicine was nowhere near "there" yet at the time. It must have seemed like something very "other" to those without the knowledge of how to use it.
I'll just be happy if I can do something to clear up some of my colds, allergies, and skin issues, because traditional doesn't work for me. I still need to learn more about essential oils as well and maybe even learn how to make them myself from herbs, though that is a long way down the road as I don't have the space to grow that amount of herbs here.
CCF (I think) had asked what I am doing with essential oils and the only thing I have done so far is to make flu bombs, 5 drops of melalucca oil, 5 drops of oregano oil, 3 drops of lemon oil, and 3 drops of On Guard in a size 00 capsule taken at the onset of flu symptoms or colds, 3 x per day with meals (otherwise you will burp it up all day long) for 48 to 72 hours. It does shorten the duration. It doesn't prevent them, unfortunately, but shorter is better.
Anyway, that's a bit of what I've been up to. I've been making vlogs almost daily on my youtube channel, but not blogging as much as I should be, either here or on the farm blog. There is just so much to do it is easier to just talk into a camera for a few minutes a day than to find the time to sit down and write. But I miss it so I'll try to find the time to sit down and write a little more often.
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I have been saving up my Swagbucks for a while and finally had enough Amazon gift cards to pay for about half of the deluxe model of Excalibur Dehydrator, the one with both temperature settings and a 26 hour timer with automatic shut off. I was trying to go for the whole thing to be free, but then my piece of junk dehydrator quit working. I am in the middle of herb drying season and while I can borrow my mother's cheap piece of junk dehydrator, and did, to keep limping along, it was the push I needed to just go ahead and make the purchase.
I had $121.75 in gift cards and it cost $225. I also had to purchase the fruit leather trays because they don't come with any model of the machine. Well, maybe the $500 professional one, but no. I ended up paying a total of $156.63. Part of that was tax of $20.76 and then the trays were $32.62 (for 9) and the rest was the part of the dehydrator not covered by the gift cards.
With the fruit leather trays I can dehydrate tomato puree, mashed squash, even chicken stock all to be ground to make powders. Dehydrated chicken stock put through a spice grinder makes boullion powder without any of those nasty chemicals from store bought versions. As well as very tiny herb leaves like thyme or flower petals like calendula without having to worry about them falling through trays.
Right now I have 5 trays of basil dehydrating which will be followed tomorrow by more calendula, lemon balm, and yarrow. I am hoping that I won't have to buy many herbs this year at all and I will be able to make salves and other herbal remedies. I'm already on my way with the calendula:
I did dry all of my oregano in bundles up on the wall and not in the dehydrator. If you'd like to see how I process that I did a video of it, too.
Herbs are so expensive for such a tiny amount, especially if you want organic. I will really be saving a lot of money this year by growing so many myself.
I'm really getting into herbal healing, doing a lot of research and trying to figure out what works best for my needs. Heaven knows the store bought remedies are not working well for me. While I don't think herbs are going to be a miracle cure, so far from what I've done myself with essential oils, they do seem to work. I will approach it with healthy skepticism until I have first hand experience with all of it.
I went to Joe's Garden and bought some broccoli and cauliflower and green onion plugs and got those planted today to replace all the ones I've harvested. I also bought some more basil plants. I spent $25.38 there.
I haven't been updating much on the garden output as I've just been trying to keep up with it and getting it eaten and/or preserved. But I've been keeping a tally and so far I've harvested enough food to equal $602.50 if I bought the same thing in the organic section of the grocery store.
And the zucchini, summer squash, peppers, beans, corn and tomatoes are just starting to fruit and we still have potatoes and winter squash, cucumbers, watermelon, sunflower seeds, and cantaloupe to come. We have now paid back the amount we spent on building the raised beds and the money we spent on bringing in three cubic yards of good organic soil. I am beyond thrilled at this garden year.
We had two litters of rabbit kits born this weekend. There were five whites born on the 3rd and 7 reds born on the 4th. The red runt died, though. It had no sucking reflex and couldn't nurse. But we still have 11 healthy kits. One of the rabbits didn't deliver though. Sometimes when it is too hot the bucks will go temporarily sterile. This is the second time this has happened this year, though it was a different doe each time. I am glad I am breeding 3 pairs at a time.
I've got orders for fertile turkey eggs. The first one will be filled tomorrow. It's just two. Then I have an order for 12, then 2, then 12 again. It's only 50 cents an egg. I could charge more, these are heritage breed turkeys and rare, but I am in it more for breed preservation than for making money. It's nice having a waiting list. I just wish I had more than one female so I could fill orders faster, but we don't have the space for it so that will have to wait until we buy our farm and move.
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I am not sure what is going on with the blogs, but I can't get to my blog. When I click on the link it just takes me back to the home page. Or takes me to a page not found screen. If I try to click on anyone's blog it actually does that. It did let me open this posting page so hopefully it works and someone will see this. Am I the only one this one is happening to?