Friday, February 3, 2012

On the Putting Up Bandwagon and other ramblings

If my husband were to turn to me on our wedding day and said, "7 years from now we'll have 3 boys whom we homeschool, chickens, a rooster and we'll be farming land so we have enough crops to put up for the winter" I'd have laughed in his face. 

Here we are.  Homeschooling 3 boys, chicken farmers with a harmless and skittish rooster, and clearing out another plot of land so we can fill it with enough veggie seeds so we can hopefully live through the non-growing seasons without spending a fortune in the grocery store.  Huh.

We've been having crazy weather in New England.  Today was about 40 degrees, but two days ago it hit 60 degrees.  In February.  In NEW ENGLAND.  I had that itch to start doing yard work.  I started clearing out another plot of land for gardening.  We're going to turn this into our community garden of sorts.  There are two other families that don't have the space to garden who will help keep the garden and in turn will reap it's benefits. 

Eli and I began clearing it out.  Cutting down saplings and thorny vines.  Mowing over dead leaves and finding sprigs of green underneath...waiting for Spring.  My daffodils are starting to come up.  There's about 2 inches of daffodil shoots showing.  Upon mowing over one area, however, we came across something very disheartening - rubbish.  Our house is in the woodsier part of town.  Our home is old.  They buried their trash.  Sunbeam bread bags.  Nissen bread bags.  Chip bags.  Foam meat trays.  Leather shoes.  Plastic and glass medicine bottles.  It's disgusting.  I can't even use a shovel to dig it out because there's no give: just layers of rubbish.  In twenty minutes, the boy and I filled a tall kitchen bag full of trash.  It didn't even come close to being all that's there.  I'm going to have to put in a barrier separating that part of the area from the others, I think.  I have to do some research.  I'm sure all the chemicals leeched out of the plastics 20 years ago.  This stuff was clearly at least 25 years old. 

I'd like to move towards no shopping for 2-3 months, aside from milk and the occasional dinner party necessities.  I thought I canned and froze a lot this past Summer.  It's almost gone.  We ate our last chicken last month.  Our berries and tomatoes were gone in November.  I have one bag of frozen peaches I keep saving for who knows what.  I have another small bag of frozen wax beans.  I do have plenty of peppers though.  We don't eat a lot of peppers. 

My Garden Goals:
1.  Grow broccoli.  It never seems to work out very well.  I'm starting my seedlings tomorrow. 
2.  Increase tomato plants to 60.  We only had 4 this year, and we had tomatoes from the csa.
3.  Buy 2 apple trees.
4.  Build an arbor for the grape vines growing wildly everywhere.
5.  Build a chicken wire cage of sorts and plant 4 blueberry bushes in it.
6.  Go to Bee school.  I want bees and honey.

Meat Goals:

1.  Increase meat birds to 75.  We had 31 when it was all said and done last year.  Clearly, we need more.
2.  Get 1/4 cow.
3.  Find out more about 1/2 a hog.
4.  Hmmm...we'll need a new freezer.
5.  We'll also need our electrician to come and update the electrical box to hold 220. 

House Goals:  (may as well throw those in)

1.  Mudroom addition. 
2.  Think about fixing the bulkhead.

I don't have any related pictures so I'll leave you with these because every blog post needs pictures:
My yummy green smoothie

The tiniest egg...not sure why...our chickens have been laying for months.  My kids think there's something different a tiny chicken or something.  I'm a little afraid to crack it open, I have to admit.

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