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...

Sep 11, 2020

Independence Days Challenge

Independence Days Challenge-
It's been cooling off a little bit here, but a few hot days once in a while. Generally the days are getting so much shorter that it's cooling off at night really nicely. Trees locally are getting some color, as is our huge maple tree-

We're getting a little bit of smoke again from California, not much we can do about that. There's also terrible fires now over in the Oregon areas we love. One is nearing an urban area where Dave's nephew lives, he may have to evacuate. I can't believe there are stupid people doing stupid things, like gender reveals involving explosives! Yeah that's a great idea to do in a drought stricken area! My one daughter was smart enough to do a pie reveal. One was supposed to be pink or blue, easy and safe! So anyway, here's what we've been up to lately-

1. Plant Something- 
Not this time of year, too hot/cold. I don't do fall plantings here. Might do some flower bulbs for spring.

2. Harvest Something- 
We just had a really nice harvest of tomatoes! They were late but prolific!!!

Many of these are heading for the freezer. We've also been getting Basil, several kinds of peppers, Kale, Collard greens, lemon cukes (almost done), the last of the blackberries and yellow squash. I'll be the drying some yellow squash for this winter. My BIG Italian peppers haven't turned red yet, but should soon. They're worth the wait! 

Collard greens

Green cabbage coming along slowly, red cabbage never got heads for some reason-

We have our mini-pumpkin patch too, I planted a mixed-seed varieties-

3. Preserve/Store Something-
I finished up the jams, chutneys, from the peaches that we had-

We let the pears ripen inside since they were pretty green over Labor Day weekend, which is when I had hoped to can them. I'll be canning these this weekend-

Will be harvesting our apples next weekend. Didn't have a great crop this year, but I'll decide what to do with those.  I still have plenty of apples in the freezer and canned previously. I may dry some. I have a small, nice food dryer. It's been challenging finding canning supplies and I guess that seem to be a national issue since it's been on the news Washingtonpost Canning Shortage  I was able to find some pint size jars on Amazon, so I did order one box today. Wasn't much more than I would usually pay in the grocery store, although haven't bought jars in a few years. I have tons of Basil and will make pesto to freeze soon. 

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep-
I went out to the Eddie Bauer Outlet on a whim. It's on the outskirts of Boise and found some great deals. I found women's flannel lined jeans, polar fleece lined wind pants (water resistant) and a regular pair of jeans. The warm ones will be handy in winter! They were all $17 each, a real steal,  very expensive (overpriced) originally-

Nice pockets!

So soft and warm 

Cheery flannel!

I got a new HEPA air filter replacement as my previous one died.  It turns out Amazon does not honor the warranties after a certain point, so I contacted the manufacturer directly. Took about 3 weeks, then I got a new one in the mail a few days ago. The other ones have lasted for years and years so I was really shocked it died after 4 months!

I ordered some pasta bowls from Ikea online that were delivered. Even with the shipping I can't find good ones for their prices. My old ones were in bad shape, but they lasted lots of years! 

When I ordered canning jars on Amazon I also bought a Vidalia Chopper/ Dicer-

I like making things like corn relish, but it is so much dicing for big batches! I've decided to make another big batch, for the fridge. I'm running out of canning jars and it should last quite a few months chilled in my 2 Qt. jars.  

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe-
Will be using some of my homemade Chutney that I now that I have some. I posted recently about the BLT sandwich with catfish although I did substitute tilapia for that. Was great with our fresh tomatoes! Also tried the new Mexican dish that I posted about last week-

Cooked down the last of the frozen Rhubarb and made sauce for Dave.

6. Build Community Food Systems-
We supported our local Orchard and farmstead stand by buying our peaches, corn, apples and a few other things. We may go back next weekend to see if we can get some more apples and corn. The local Gala apples were the best I've ever had in my entire life. To say they were crispy was putting it mildly, really juicy and amazing-

7. Recycle/Re-Use-
I did some mending of some clothes, donated some bedding, towels, toys & decor to our local thrift store. I realized I had stashed some new bath towels from last time we went to Ikea, last year. The ones we were using we're getting pretty beat up, so it's nice to be able to get into the hall closet and bring out new ones! Sadly Ikea discontinued their apple green bath towels which I love, sigh. 

8. Skill Up-
I checked out Jamie Oliver's cookbook Ultimate Veg since I've been seeing some of the episodes on PBS. I love his recipes! I'm happy we can still get things from the Library, just can't go in. He has a really great use of spices and different cooking techniques I'm getting familiar with. Will be posting some reviews later as I try some of them-

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something-
Last year we added some new fence boards in our backyard after a small dog got in and killed two of our hens.  Dave didn't like the way the new boards stood out from the old.  He borrowed one of  relatives electric pressure washer. We are both pretty shocked about how fast a lot of dirt just came right off the boards. Electric pressure washers don't have the same high pressure as the gas powered ones do, but it did a great job! Clean part of the board on the right- 

Before photo last fall-

River saying high to neighbor kitty Posey

After shot- 

After shot, was really dark before! 

Not perfect but it will weather out anyway. 

After working in my home office/bedroom I realized how dirty our blinds were. When we bought the house the 2 front bedrooms had heavy, wood grain, plastic white blinds. Great for light control, so we added curtains and kept them-

I realized how dirty they were, so I asked Dave to take them down and I could wash them. Turns out they were too long for the tub! So Dave took them out washed them down and rinsed well, let dry. So white now!!!


So much cleaner! That's it for now! 


Mama Pea said...

So jealous of those pants you got at Eddie Bauer! I could use a pair of each of them. We used to have an Eddie Bauer outlet in our nearest big city, but they closed years ago. I always made plans to stop in there when we made a trip to the city.

I just this morning noticed how dusty the blinds in our bedroom are. They're just cheap plastic ones but I should take them down and give them a good clean-up job while the weather is still nice outside.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Yes it's great deals there, but I don't know how long they'll survive. The outlet mall they're in is almost completely empty. Amazon is using a lot of the area as a staging area for their trucks/drivers. I went on labor day weekend, and in the old days the place would have been very busy, 5 + employees. There were 2, and 3 customers. Internet killed that mall, sad. Yes dust goes everywhere, nice to dry them outside when it's hot! It's uber smoky here today, sucks...

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