Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, food preservation, thrifting, cookery,
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Oct 19, 2014

Fall Fermenting Veggies

Fall Fermenting Veggies-
I made my Curtido a while back, and was wanting to make something else that wasn't spicy. After reading this I thought I'd giver it a try. Lots of great vitamins and minerals, perfect for winter! I used one large bunch of Swiss chard, one bunch of kale, 1 thin sliced carrot, 1 large red onion, water and salt. That made two batches- one 1/2 gallon jar and one fermenting jar size, about 1 1/2 Qts. Just chop, alternate layers of veggies, smash down a bit. Very fast and easy! Now everything is fermenting away! Looks good! The hens really attacked the left over chard, and kale.

Some Anya fall cats naps-

And a fall breakfast- homemade banana bread w/pecans and Earl Grey tea

Love the chicken mug!

Winter is Closing In, What is Real Poverty?

Herbs drying

Winter is Closing In-
With freeze warnings to the west and east of us, it's easy to see winter is on it's way! This is the time of year I watch the weather forecasts closely. I'm a weather geek, I'm always worry about my last tomatoes freezing and losing them! While it's been in the mild 60's-70's (with more next week) during the day we're slipping into high 30's/40's at night. I saw the first frost at work 2 days ago. Leaves are changing color and falling, grass growth slowing/less watering, turning on the heater in the car. Time to prep! Here's the kinds of things we've been doing- took off the front screen door and put up the storm door, replaced the furnace filter, caulked some windows, I whacked back tomatoes for faster ripening, ripped out the rest of the veggies, cleaned up the veggie beds, harvested all my herbs. I'll be making pesto to freeze this week, yummy! Stocked up on teas! I spent some time yesterday pulling out the hot weather clothes out of my closet and replaced them with most of the winter clothes. When I do that I also pull out some of those for donations, off they go! Dave did the same. I also think about if we need to mini-winterize the cars at all? I always put an ice scraper, blanket and extra gloves/hat for the back seat of both cars. Since we keep our cars pretty well maintained it's not really a big deal. We'll be getting the coop set up soon. We built into the design, with recycled materials, a glass bottom "storm window" on the coop. In the warm weather it's hardware cloth, in the cold it's glass. We just slide the one out and the new in! Lets in light, but not wind, less cold. We provide good ventilation in the winter (and monitor that), but cover some openings. We've already added more pine shavings to warm things up a bit. The waterer heater has been moved in and is ready, the extra waterers put away. We use a 1 gallon in the winter, a 3 gallon (plus 2 more in the garden) in the hot weather. Anya has taken to laying on top of the heating vents, a nice warm kitty spot! Soon we'll add the "sun room", of the far left, a nice sheltered spot during the really cold/wet/snowy weather! All made from recycled materials...

pov·er·ty noun
  1. the state of being extremely poor.
    "thousands of families are living in abject poverty"
    synonyms:penurydestitution, pauperism, pauperdom, beggaryindigence, pennilessness, impoverishment, neediness, needhardship,impecuniousness
    "abject poverty"

What Is Real Poverty?
I read this article which is pretty thought-provoking How Not To Be Poor Here is my response with more added-

Good post. The whole rent to own thing, I think, is a lack of education and the need for instant gratification. Most Americans are good at that. The media applauds it. My husband and I really taught our kids about finances while they were still in high school, and really warned them about credit card debt in college. I wish someone had taught me at that age! While, on the surface, people might very us as very middle class I buy most of my clothes, home decor, mics. stuff at thrift stores. I buy a lot of groceries at the "grocery outlet", can, dry, and raise as much produce as we can squeeze in. We'll expand to the front yard next spring. We paid cash for big ticket items like our couch and bed and bought quality so they will last (and protect our backs). We also sell things on Craigslist and eBay that we don't use. We refurbish/repair items rather than replace them. We just live differently than the "average American". And happy to do so.

I think there really can be a poverty "attitude", with helplessness and victimization about it. I grew up poor, not enough to eat, was made fun of, blah blah blah. It was pretty much my Mom's fault as far as her mismanagement, addiction, whatever. I used to think of myself as a victim of that, but I know see it's what's gotten me where I am. I am a survivor and so what if things were tough? I have moved on. While there's still a certain amount of inner damage life's too short. But I digress... I think one of the problems is the concept of "keeping up with the Joneses"- I can't wait, it needs to be new mentality.

Quote from Americas Real Problem is With Spiritual Poverty - "For one, material well-being isn't enough for human beings to be happy. People require a sense of belonging, a sense of community, and a sense of their own value. They want to know their life has meaning and purpose, that the future will better, that their lives have dignity and worth. For many in society's lowest quintile, their material needs are taken care of, but these other needs are not." Good point.

I did something rare yesterday- I went into  regular retail store to buy 2 sweaters (half off) and a pair of slacks for work. I do this about once a year, unlike most. It was really interesting to see everyone else in their normal "shopping" mode! Screaming kids, snappy parents, people texting. At the register I was asked- "do you want to apply for a credit card, get 20% off!". Then- "do you want a rewards card?". I said "I'd just like to pay for my purchase and go". I was polite but firm. Get me outta here! It's a real racket- buy more, save more, use more plastic and even more emails! No thanks. I left...

I wish there was an easy answer to some peoples view of poverty and what that even means? On a spiritual level it's a different story from my perspective. Maybe people feel cut off from their source or whatever you want to call it? Maybe people feel less than emotionally, so buying something makes them feel more "normal"? Maybe we are just brainwashed by the media to be consumers, and not producers? Buy more stuff, don't reduce/build/grow/sell/preserve/eat it. Just buy. Maybe the best thing we can do is do what we can, where we are...

Oct 15, 2014

Great Little Woodstove!

Great Little Woodstove!-
 I've been looking for a small wood stove for our small living room, and the only marine stoves I found are way too high price wise. I love the fact these woodstoves are small. All American made and at a great price!!! $970.00 shipped. Nice article and video here and looks like a well-made item. What do you think? 

I like the wood rack underneath, nice touch.

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