Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, Permaculture, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting and more...
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Jul 19, 2012

Garden Thrifting, Independence Days, Homemade Laundry Soap Results

Amen Ralph

Garden Thrifting-
It was HOT today, 102. Ugh. I had errands to run and decided to call a local feed store that has a nice garden area. I knew their veggies were probably on sale, if they had any left, and they did! 75% off! I picked up 2 BIG paste tomatoes, 2 tarragons, and 3 perennials. What a deal! I love tarragon in chicken salad. I also got some row cover on sale for next spring for the raised bed to help with starting seeds early. Their fruit trees were 1/2 off and I'm eyeing a pear tree :)  Need to find a spot though... Dave loves pears!

Out tonite Dave and I passed a junked fence pile. When I spotted the "free" sign I asked Dave to go back fast! :)  We got enough decent cedar fence boards to make a needed gate behind the coop. There's a 3' - 4' gap between the back of the coop and the main fence. We have plastic garden fencing in the gap, but it's a pain climbing over it. We can make a nice little gate there now, all free! I'll post pics.

Independence Days-
1. Plant Something- Bought the tomatoes and herbs, will plant shortly. Still thinking about a pear tree :)

2. Harvest Something- Eggs, compost, a few berries and a tomato for tomorrow night, our first! About another week for the blackberry deluge! Peppers are almost ripe.

3. Preserve/Store Something- Last week canned dill pickles, pickled green beans (they're wonderful!) and peach jam. I'm freezing more rhubarb in a few days from our neighbor, it's almost ripe. Will freeze berries soon. Next week will make my home-grown organic choke cherry jelly. Re-organizing the pantry, for better use of space. Got some Costco rosemary bread in the freezer.

4. Manage Reserves- Get A Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Bought some basics at Costco today- 20 lbs. sugar, 25 lbs. flour, 20 lbs. rolled oats, canned white chicken, canned smoked pork (sounds like a good dinner on buns with homemade spicy barbecue sauce!), a big bag wild black rice (only $5.00!), cat food, HUGE bag organic tortilla chips, and potato chips. After reading more about the drought nationally, etc., I' m getting more basics for everyday storage. I'm buying a bunch of chicken parts to freeze for the next several months. They're pretty cheap this time of year. Will check out the various peppers too.

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipes- Made some homemade pizza with dough from the local pizza place, covered with my home grown basil, it was to die for!!! Bought some wild black rice at Costco, turns purple when cooked. Used leftover pasta sauce on leftover french bread for pizzas. I really use up my leftovers better now that I'm home and am more focused.

6. Build Community Food Systems- Talked to neighbor about getting more rhubarb next week, will give her some of my tomatoes when they ripen :)  Will hit a farmer's market next week. I want to can some pepper relish.

7. Recycle/Re-Use- Picked up wood mentioned above. I'm still deep cleaning our closets, and the garage. Sorting camping stuff in the shed. We' going camping for the first time in years! Since we have too much, we're giving the extras to our one daughter who also camps. She's going with us this weekend, I'm excited!  I have 4 items for sale on eBay- 3 purses and a blouse. Will use the funds for other projects. Thrifting I got a like-new blouse for work (Ralph Lauren), and a scarf for winter. I found a place to get free crate wood (very clean) to build a canning cabinet. That will be my next big project with Dave. I'll post pics.

8. Skill Up- Learning more new recipes for canning, quite a variety out there! I'm printing out quite a few for future use.

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- Garden fencing project, and crate wood for cabinet.

Not to confuse anyone, but I combined #3 and #4 (store and preserve) since that worked better for me.

Homemade Laundry Soap Results-
I posted my recipe recently and tried it after letting it sit a couple of days. I shook it several times a day as well. Clothes seem clean, soft, no odor! So far, so good! We do have hard water here, so that's a concern. A little blob of soap is there still. Next time I will use more boiling water to mix the shredded soap. I saw a big container of soap at Costco- $14.00 almost choked, then laughed!


Kristina said...

There are still people who think that we (the one's who make the detergent homemade) are crazy. I've never regretted. Even the dry mix I make for the dishwasher. I do have to add vinegar, but that one step is worth living without chemicals. Great deal on the freebies.

nancy said...

I'd like to find a liquid recipe for the dishwasher, I'll work on that. And that's why I posted the top photo :) We're a little different!

Candy C. said...

What a score on the cedar fence boards! Love the old Victory Garden poster! :)

nancy said...

Thanks, I like it too!

Anonymous said...

Great post! Glad that your soap is working out for you. I have a few recipes for homemade laundry soap, but haven't attempted to make it yet. My friends that do make it, all love it and can't believe that they ever paid the high prices for the store bought stuff. Also, can't wait to see the canning cabinet you are making! Hope you have a wonderful day. :-)

nancy said...


Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

You always just inspire me so with your lists. It really helps to keep you on track I bet. I need to start something like this for things I need to get accomplished. You know when I first started making the soap I made the liquid too but then I just left it in the powder form one month and just use it that way now. You can add an extra dash of the borax powder for hard water too.Thanks so much for sharing with us this week.

nancy said...

Thanks! I use the liquid since we have a front loader...