State of the Homestead July 23-29 : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

Hey Everyone, hope you had a great weekend. I went blueberry picking at a pal's brand new U-Pick yesterday. Only got 3 gallons, as I took my niece, Maria (6 years old). She got bored after about a half hour! I'm gonna make jam and pie-filling tonight when I get home from work. I had a nice little ego boost, when the handsome batchelor shepherd/blueberry farmer asked me out to dinner. I'm crazy about my couch potato, Kevin, so it was an easy decision, but still felt good, as I'm slightly over-the-hill!! Kevin is going to be a great homesteading partner-I see little glimmers of change every day. He's hung his clothes out on the line to dry for the past 2 weeks! I got rid of the TV a few months ago, and he's stopped fidgeting when he's here! Tomatoes finally look great, potato vines are starting to die back, life is good! How are y'all??

-- Cathy in NY (, July 23, 2001


Since you asked...and I have more time for this than I figured I would...Didn't garden as usual cause of moving. Picked the early corn this morning. Way too much rain but will be blessed with some corn to freeze as long as I keep after the Japanese beetles. What doesn't make will be used as baby corn. No great loss without some small gain. Dug more potatoes, excellent crop where the shrews weren't. Tomatoes will be ready at the end of Aug or Sept. I hope. Picked a bunch of jalapenos this morning. Gaarlic has been harvested onions are ready. Picked black raspberries and blueberries early this summer. Broccoli was good so was cabbage. Few misc. crops harvested. Got a few squash before the bugs took over.

Gonna be in the 90's and hot and humid.

We closed on our "farm" this last Sat., planning on moving in Sept. The contractor should be starting work in a couple of weeks. Gary's making progress with what he can do, which is quite a bit. Got lots of stuff packed.

Gonna try that soap recipe that Mandy put on the Christian forum. Still haven't made a broom, though.

Ouch!, new kitty cat tried climbing up my back. Cute, her name is stormy, she looks like clouds gathering before a storm.

Been doing lots of planning for next years garden. It's be nice not renting. Kinda strange thinking about a permanent place, nothing in boxes and being able to paint the walls how we like. God Bless.

-- Cindy (S.E.IN) (, July 23, 2001.

Hi, hope everyone is doing good! Our corn is picked and went straight to the freezer. We were blessed with a very nice crop of it this year. Still picking blueberries and butterpeas. I see them in my sleep! Just got our first squash. Husband went out to check on the garden just a bit ago (we were gone overnight) and it seems the deer enjoyed our night away. They are most of the stawberry plants, all but two okra and one or two of the green pepper plants. I can't believe the dogs let them get away with that! Does anyone know if you can get away without blanching squash to freeze? We put our corn and butterpeas straight in from the garden but have not tried it with squash. Our tomatoes are finally starting to produce, at least we have some green ones. We need more rain though. We went 21 days with no rain, then the other day had one good shower but that's been it. I wish some of you who have had too much could send it this way. Wouldn't it be nice if we could do that?

-- Deena in GA` (, July 23, 2001.

Something I forgot to mention.....I recently bought a grain mill attachment for my Champion juicer. All I'd ever used for bread was hard red wheat. I got a bag of Prairie Gold wheat berries, and the difference is like night and day! The bread raises almost twice as fast, and makes wonderful light soft bread, great for sandwices. Just thought I'd pass that along. I envy you Deena, your garden sounds awesome, deer and all!

-- Cathy in NY (, July 23, 2001.

we are conducting garden "experiments" how well do plants survive in really disgustingly lousy "soil"....answer; tomato plants are actually producing fruit..we figure they are from Mars and got mixed up in the seed bins..the cukes which are growing like wildfire actually may be zuchinni because I forgot to label the seed containers when I first planted them on the any rate, something that grows on a vine with neato yellow flowers is thriving in the lousy soil. Giant Sunflowers actually look like something out of a gardening magazine..this is good stuff to know if you move to a new place, take out a swimming pool and fill the hole with "topsoil"..the topsoil turned out to be 99% clay. Not bad if I wanted to take up pottery..bad for gardening..oh I forgot the peppers..they are looking really good! How good is this garden? Well, the free-ranging hens shun it like the interest at all. With the other 20 feet we have been throwing sawdust, chicken- manure-filled straw, lawn debris, etc. all over it....I watched the rain pour down on it two days ago and pictured all those wonderful earthworms digging away..perhaps in 2 more seasons, we will have some actual dirt! DH is building a little 16X16 building in the NE corner under a huge oak tree for our little country store which we will open in September...I need to get busy making a zillion jars of jam etc. Been painting the birdhouses and feeders that he makes, so we have 20 of them to sell....have not seen anymore snakes or lizards either to think of it..perhaps the hens took care of them under the porch? I am also going to try to learn how to make baskets..why not???? Busy enough, looking forward to the Fall when I really come alive! God bless.

-- lesley (, July 23, 2001.

Blanching squash: Yes, we do. We slice in 1/3 inch slices, boil in microwave for three minutes. Put in colander, cover with ice. When cool, bag and freeze.

Woohoo Cathy--nice ego boost. Do a friend a favor and turn the batchelor shepherd over to her.

-- Ann Markson (, July 29, 2001.

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