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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

You've got to be ready to strike when the iron is hot

This weekend, my wonderful hubby and I stopped in at our local grocery store on the way to the homestead to pick up some lunch for later that day.  Immediately inside the door, I spotted half pints of blackberries on sale for 67 cents.  I thought the $1 I paid two weeks ago was a spectacular deal!  The more we booted it around, we decided that this is part of what being self-sustainable is about.  We may not be able to grow our own berries yet, but when you find something like that on a super good deal, you have to be prepared to take advantage and stock up.   So we bought five flats!  We saved $2.30 per half pint.  Now that's some power bargain shopping.  They're really good, ripe, tasty berries too.

I wish we had time this past weekend to just make them all into jam.  But alas, the last weekend before Christmas, that just wasn't going to happen.  And I think we're low on jelly jars too. So I washed them all up and got them into the freezer in 6 cups portions.  But first I froze them spread out on trays so that they're individually frozen and not just a big blob.  Now they're ready to be turned into jam or syrup or a cobbler whenever we want.  It helps that we have an extra freezer.  But I really like having things canned, because they won't ruin in the event of a power outage.  And if our previous attempts at making jam are any indication, the blackberry should be pretty darn tootin good too.

We've had tons of rain at the homestead.  I have some pictures, but they're still on the camera.  Our old faithful camera died a month or so ago and we finally replaced it.  But I haven't loaded the driver onto our computer for accessing the pictures off this new one yet. 

We spent the whole day Saturday cleaning up more of the trees we cut down.  Now instead cutting them all up for firewood, we've been cutting them up to be milled (somehow) into boards for projects. Those cedar elms are really beautiful inside and the wood is hard as rocks.  My wonderful woodworking hubby can see all kinds of cool wood projects floating before his eyes, especially when we get to a particularly straight section of tree trunk.  :)  The area where we had the most dead trees was originally where we were considering putting our future house.  Now we think that area will become the orchard.

I guess it had been a while since we've been able to put in a full day of work on the homestead, with the holidays and the rain we've been getting.  We were tired Saturday night and Sunday and had some sore and tight muscles again.  But we've also noticed that we don't get nearly as sore as we used to.  I can only hope that means we're getting stronger. I read that working a chainsaw for an hour burns at about 400 calories...I told hubby I need to work the chainsaw every day!

I'm so excited - I'm going to start  blogging to GRIT magazine.  If you're to the rural and/or self-sufficient lifestyle at all, you've probably heard of it.  Much of this blog will be my first installment with them.  Come take a look sometime. And on another blogging note, I'm going to change the name and URL of this blog just slightly.  It will be wannabepioneer (taking off the word woman at the end).  I've decided it's just too close to the name of that "famous" blogger.  Anywho, I do not know how that will affect any subscibers, so please bear with me.

Oh, and on one last note, the worms overfloweth...well almost.  They have completely maxed out their three-decker worm condo.  We're going to have to sort out some black gold compost and/or put another bin into operation.  Wow we're good worm parents.  :)   And...we've decided to add a second hive of bees in the Spring. 

Until next time, bees rock and worm rule.

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1 comment:

  1. That's a great deal on blackberries! Our berries often come in at inconvenient times for us - or sporadically over a few weeks. We often collect and freeze them, and then thaw and have a big canning day when we have time. They freeze wonderfully and the jams/jellies are just as good as fresh picked.

    I'll be sure you look you up on Grit! That's wonderful news!