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...

Mar 17, 2024

Independence Days Challenge, Happy St. Patricks' Day!


Independence Days Challenge-

We have finally been getting some spring weather the last week or two. We had some snow off and on the last month but finally broke into the 60s. Supposed to be was pushing 70 today! We've been getting some rain off and on which we definitely need since we're high desert here. Grass is greening up and bulbs are up. The chickens are really enjoying getting out more with a nice weather. Debbie is still hanging in there, I have no idea how. The Vet said almost a year ago that she didn't have much time left. She's still eating and moving around, just slowly. I think because animals don't have belief systems like we do that they can hang on a lot longer. I'm thinking about getting two or three chicks early in the summer. Debbie hasn't laid for a year and the other two don't lay much between October and April. I'm always fearful of having just one chicken in the end. They don't do well alone from what I've read. With times being the way they are not bad to have extra eggs to sell/barter. I learned the hard way not to get chicks too early in the year, then you have to keep them inside in the cold weather until they feather out. The hatchery we use locally sells chicks until almost June. Works much better for us and the chicks!

1. Plant Something- 

 Will be starting some herb/flower seeds soon.


2. Harvest Something-  

Eggs, one to two every day! So great to have the two girls back in production. Chives are up, collard greens wintered over. 


3. Preserve/Store Something- 

I will be making some South American fermented Curtido soon. Bought 3 extra Irish Soda bread loaves from Trader Joe's, freezes great! Bought Dave some extra socks/shirts on sale.


4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep-  

I have been buying and freezing extra meats and cheeses. We just had to buy a new washer and dryer but got a really good deal. I did have to remind the salesperson we were on a budget. We recently got new batteries for both cars. My husband won a gift certificate that paid for our overnight anniversary Hotel in McCall, that was great! Found some great Eddie Bauer percale sheets marked way down, love the blue ticking stripes!

I bought a plain wood box for some storage, used the water based wood stain I have used before, still drying, but nice! $10.99 at the craft store. Easy cleanup with the water base-

$2.99 a bottle, have one bottle leftover

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe-  

I am embracing my newfound Scandinavian DNA with exploring more Scandinavian foods I'm not familiar with. I had found out about a famous American Scandinavian Chef I had never heard about Beatrice Ojakangas. She has some great YouTube videos with a lot of different types of food. I found three of her cookbooks used on eBay and bought some. One is on baking with tons of really unique whole grain bread recipes. I'm looking forward to trying some! The other book is on it's way-


6. Build Community Food Systems-  

Too early for the farmers market.


7. Recycle/Re-Use-  

We are looking at removing the rest of the turf in the front yard. We may move some of our plants from the backyard to the front as well as start some from seed. We'd really like to eliminate mowing and I've been pushing Dave to do this for sometime. He has been re-inspired when he saw a family members yard in Portland. I'd like to have some nice raised beds and more shrubs/pollinators.


8. Skill Up-  

Been wanting to expand the types of breads that I make and I think the new cookbook will help. I'm learning new Physical Therapy exercises with my physical therapist for helping my back strength post surgery. Going really well so far!


9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something-  

Had all our carpets steam cleaned, looks much better! Also doing my physical therapy. My back is stabilizing and I'm starting to get some endurance back. When you're in a lot of chronic pain you don't move around much and really affected my strength/endurance walking. But I'm doing much better lately. Hope to be on my bicycle and riding with Dave by summer. I decided to redo a little bit of my kitchen decor and I removed my aqua colored antique jars and a little sign I had. I decided to go with something a little bit more Scandinavian. I bought a nice print for $5 on Etsy and printed it myself it's a famous Finnish concept, Sisu, artist on Etsy is BellissiCasa -


I already had the frame so I just printed it out, cleaned up the frame and it's perfect on the kitchen counter. Then I also have another smaller frame and I found a free Dala Horse folk art print that I printed and fit in. I added my little Shamrock wreath for St Patrick's Day. It's nice to freshen things up a bit! And only cost me $5.00-


I stored all my other items, but for now it's a nice refresh!  I bought a cute Dala Horse garden flag, going out soon-



Happy St. Patricks' Day! 

I made my corned beef last weekend since Dave was out of town this weekend. Made carrots and cabbage to go with it and bought some of Trader Joe's Irish soda bread, which is so delicious! Moist and has Caraway seeds. It was nice to have a weekend to myself to do some little projects here.

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