Friday, February 8, 2008

Itty Bitty Homestead

I think I'm about to the point of calling us homesteaders. Pretty soon we will have reached the point of replacing our entire lawn with an "edible landscape" (much more useful, frugal and "green" than the ideal suburbanite lawn). Josh assembled the basic frame for the chicken coop today. Turns out he was just a step ahead of me....I realized today that we've gone through 2.5 dozen eggs this week :-o I am now fully on board with the chicken idea. Anyways, here's pictures:

The little decorative scallop on top is because this was the salvaged wood from the remodel site. He was going to take it off, but as I looked at it, it reminded me of the comb on top of chicken's heads and I think I might paint it and stencil on chicken silhouettes or something.

The weather continues to be completely bizarre and unpredictable. If we're going to bypass winter this year, we need to just bypass it and knock off this cold/hot, let's have a 30 degree differential between night and day nonsense. My plants don't know what to do!!!! I discovered two snow peas in the garden today. We have never been successful at growing snow peas, so I was excited, but not sure they'll stay or continue to produce. Here's a pic:

Some of the carrots are looking almost done based on the size of their shoulders as well, so I imagine we'll start harvesting those very very soon. It's also time to plant more for harvesting later on. I loved having dehydrated carrots this year that I could throw into soups, so I'll take as many as I have space for. I couldn't resist lifting the hay to peek at our potatoes and they're doing well--definite roots have sprouted on the bottom. Our seedlings are also doing well. We'll probably be planting more this weekend so we have plants of different ages (instead of one huge crop, we'll get two or three huge crops LOL). Hopefully this will counteract our tendency to plant two weeks before the last frost. I swear, whenever we plant, there's a freak hard freeze two weeks later and then we just have to go buy seedlings after all our hard work of starting our own. Not this year!! Here's a pic of the tomatoes we've started so far:

Pay no attention to the sad, sad looking rosemary plants. Not quite sure what happened there. Out of the frame are lots of pepper plants, okra, and artichokes. The artichokes will go in the front yard under the bedroom windows. They will be food as well as security measure. Last year we had more artichokes than we knew what to do with, so we'll probably be able to sell them. Or, we could just let them flower. Have you seen an artichoke flower? The color is so bright, it literally hurts your eyes to look at it.

(I found that picture here because I seem not to have taken a picture of ours last year for some reason)

In other news....I was a bad mommy. We all went to Gatti-Town this week (that's a story in itself...) and Sierra played a few games and traded her tickets for one of those little wooden planes you put together. Well, I convince her to set the plane on the diaper bag and she keeps asking about her plane and I keep telling her we'll get it out when we get home. So we get home, and best mommy in the world has dropped the plane somewhere. grrrrrrrr. I search everywhere, no plane. Sierra asks if we can go back and get it and I explain that I must have dropped it in the parking lot and someone probably picked it up. She thinks a while and says, "well, we can go knock on their door and say, 'can I have my plane, please?' and that be real nice and then they'll give it back". Let me tell ya, I felt like a real winner. We narrowly avoided a major temper tantrum by having a lesson in how to fold paper airplanes. I may have learned more than Sierra--I am always all concerned about being precise and getting a perfect point at the front of the plane. Sierra, of course, was not so precise. I tried to show her that the edges should meet when she folded it, but she ended up with a big open hold in the nose of her plane. I pointed it out to her and she looked at me like I was a big moron and said, "I know, that's how the people get on the plane". LOL Never considered how people would get on my paper airplane! Better yet, when we flew the planes, hers did the best by far--the gap seemed to help catch the air and float the plane longer!

And the frugal tip of the day--use powdered milk. Seriously. Keep a big box in the pantry and use it for anything you cook. You'll buy less fresh milk (you still need fresh milk to drink, if you drink milk), but no one will ever notice you've switched to powdered milk in pancakes, muffins, etc...If the regular stuff in the store doesn't appeal, you can order powdered organic milk and even powdered buttermilk. Depending on how much you buy, it's gonna be cheaper than fresh organic milk (especially if you ever let the fresh stuff expire and throw it out without using it in anything!)

1 comment:

Brandy said...

Haven't started our spring garden yet....I'm still too scared of the weather (freezing on Easter?). But I've been thinking on it....
Great tip on the powdered milk too! I'll have to steal that idea!

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