Saturday, May 23, 2009

Busy season is in full swing

As I'm learning to live my life again more in tune with natural cycles spring and summer and fall are the busiest time of year, though right now there is a natural lag in things. The seeds are all in the ground, and they are all producing small plants. My tomatoes even have some tiny little green tomatoes on them! It is truly awesome to go out in the morning to look at my garden and see a whole row of new plants, new leaves on the squash, new blossoms on the tomatoes. The strawberries were all killed in Oklahoma due to a very late frost, so no strawberry jam this year :( I might buy a few bags of frozen and make some from that. Blackberries are next to ripen and they won't be ripe for about three more weeks.

But I'm trying to prepare for the beginnings of busy season which is coming up.

My cow is going to be slaughtered in about two weeks. I'm getting bones and organ meats also, which is very exciting. It will actually get here in about five or six weeks and that should line up perfectly with my final spring carrot harvest and perhaps a few onions. It will be exciting to make pot roast with stuff from my own garden. I don't have potatoes this year, so next year we'll add potatoes of our own! But I also plan on taking bones and making lots and lots of beef stock! I'll also be canning some stew, stew meat and ground meat. Canned meat is great, shelf stable, and easy to use. If we lose our power for an extended period of time, which is very possible in Oklahoma with the tornadoes and ice storms, we won't lose all our meat!

I also expect to be going blackberry picking in the next few weeks. I'll put up about twenty half pints of blackberry jam. Freeze some whole blackberries, and freeze blackberry pie. I'll probably spend the next week making pie crust dough and freezing it. I use whole grain wheat, freshly milled of course, and make a yogurt cheese crust with fresh butter and a slight touch of raw apple cider vinegar. It is actually a pie crust that is GOOD for you. I use soft white wheat, commonly known as pastry wheat.

When I make pie crust I make several batches at once and freeze them. That way I have pie crust on hand if I need it. But it is so easy to freeze pies and bake them later. I roll out my pie crust and line the pie plate with parchment paper and make sure it is VERY well greased with coconut oil. Fruit pies are the only pies that freeze successfully though. You make the pie according to whatever directions you are using, and freeze it in your super greased parchment lined pie plate. At this point slip it out of the plate and vacuum seal and stick back in the freezer. When you want a fresh pie you put it in the pie plate, and bake according to the directions and add fifteen to twenty minutes! It is wonderful to have fresh delicious berry pie in the winter.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


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Spring is a busy season in our house this year! I've got a fairly large garden and am planting, watering, weeding, and doing all those fun things. Usually by this time of year I would also be canning strawberry jam, but this year it isn't happening because of a very late frost here in Oklahoma that destroyed the strawberry crop. The few places that have strawberries are selling them for three dollars a pound and that is just insanity! Next year my own strawberries will be growing and I'll be able to get at least a small amount of jam out of them! I have a feeling though that as they ripen we'll just eat them out of hand. My strawberry patch isn't huge, 2 feet by 15 feet.

I have everything in the ground now, except my second planting of beans which will go in today. I'm only growing one crop of snap beans, and four crops of dry beans. I'm really excited about them and hope they all do well! Everybody in our house loves snap beans, and the bee is really loving going out every day and looking at the progress of our tomatoes, of our beans and now that corn is coming up she is thrilled!

I've got 40 tomato plants exclusive for canning this fall. I use canned tomatoes a LOT and in lots of various forms. I'll probably make 20 quarts of maranara sauce and the rest will go to juice, bbq sauce, ketchup, and just plain canned tomatoes. I'm hoping to put up a very large amount of all of those things!

I'm also growing a pretty large winter squash crop, hopefully next year I'll double it. Sugar pumpkins and butternut squash are staples in our home in the winter.

There is something wonderful about moving toward a seasonal life, more nature driven. I can't do laundry on days that it is rainy (which has been a LOT lately) because I hang my clothes outside and they won't dry. I'm paying closer attention to what foods are in season. Honestly who wants to eat a crappy tomato in January, or a hard strawberry in October. They just aren't good.

There is something wonderful about living a life that is more unplugged, pulled away from the life that is focused on the glow of the television, or of the lights in the supermarket. I'm excited for this transition. I think it is better for my kids.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

This is not a political blog, but....

Sometimes politics really have a profound affect on all aspects of my life. I've been down the political blog path, and I can't do it, for many reasons.

However, due to many things happening in the world, and especially in our country today I want to encourage anybody who is reading this, to build up a food supply of at least three months. Our freedoms are being lost very very quickly in our nation today. Free speech is under attack, personal liberty, and many other freedoms are under attack. I believe firmly that while the government is telling us that the economy is on the mend, it hasn't even hit bottom yet. The new deal didn't work if you study history beyond the junk that one is fed in schools. And the current administration is going so far beyond what was done in the new deal it isn't even funny.

We have been building a food supply for several months, and hopefully will have a one year supply by the end of summer. Not only do I want to get a full year supply, but I want to have a longer supply of such staples as sugar, salt, and wheat.

The economy is built on a house of cards right now. I believe we are in a temporary upswing, it might last as long as a year, but it will crash hard, very very hard I believe after the 2010 election cycle. I think that God is giving people who are willing to listen a time of preparation. I'm not screaming total collapse or tyranny, or holocaust, or apocalypse. I'm saying that our nation, no our world, needs to reset its economy onto something real. We can't continue to exist on virtual and theoretical currency. Economics don't work that way.

I think we need to erase as much of our debt in the next year as possible. And store enough food to feed our family. The church of latter day saints has some amazing literature and guides for this, but I'm hesitant to link to it without the disclaimer that I believe Mormonism is a false religion and their teaching does not lead to the true Messiah, but a Jesus that they twisted and crafted. However, they have excellent guides to food storage for your family, just read at your own risk. I'm hoping to step up my blogging here again after the spring rush of planting slows a bit. And hopefully I can encourage many of you to build your stores as Joseph did in Egypt. For indeed, I believe dark clouds are gathering.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

This sunday morning

I'm sitting here listening to my big two year old singing "Mmmmm and wide" She doesn't like the part where they sing the actual words to Deep and Wide, so she just sings the MMM part for deep. Now she is singing wonderpets.

I think we might have worked out the church issue. I think. We visited a church last weekend that had great fellowship, nice people, kinda lousy pastor. I feel bad saying that, but he preached the exact same tired recycled sermon that every other pastor of non denominational churches that want to become mega churches preaches. I feel like so often those pastors are preaching textured vegetable protein, not meat. They are giving you something that looks like meat, kinda tastes like meat, but isn't actual meat.

However, we went to a homegroup associated with this church on Wednesday night, and it was awesome! Mature Godly families who really wanted to dig into scripture and grow. I was blown away by this group. It was the first time since we have lived in Oakland that we found this. I cried as we were leaving, looking forward to the following wednesday night.

However we aren't planning on making the church our church home. We'll go, on a semi-regular basis probably, but not full time. We ARE planning on making the messianic Jewish church here in town our home. We loved that church, but our only hold up was they didn't have small groups, which for us is really important.

I'm thankful, I think it is solved!