Thursday, December 15, 2016

Getting Off The Grid - Time For Sharing From The Homestead

When you are trying your best to live on what you grow and raise it can be hard to buy gifts for people during Christmastime so I do things a little different.

I share what I canned all year, the jams and jellies, and I bake! Fresh cookies, pies and Cakes.

So far I have been extra nice and giving. One guy, the electrician, left with a case of jams, jellies and pickled tomatoes. Tony`s sister left with a little more than a case of jams, jellies and pickled vegetables and pickled eggs. The angels from Birmingham that loaned me a car left with a sack filled with jelly and sugar free jams.

I baked a batch of cookies, that means five different kinds, and I gave my favorite Alfa agent a plate full, next was the preacher and his wife they are in their late 70`s but helped me when I needed them and I always give them cookies at Christmas, another delivery is for this elderly lady that is the greeter at walmart, she is 85 years old and her husband is 86 years old. I went to the door and I seen her arm in a sling, she had fallen and broke her arm. 

I have a few more elderly people to visit this coming week to leave them a gift of cookies and a few more to leave pies.

I love homemade anything as a gift, not just food. Once I got a painting of two red birds for my birthday gift. Another time my step mom made me a quilt and Tony`s mom crocheted me this big beautiful dolie. I have to say I loved all of those so much I still have them. Another time someone planted a tree in my name through the Arbor day foundation. 

Are you sharing your homemade gifts?

If you would like to know how to make all these wonderful cookies and the best coconut pie ever! Check out the recipes :

Sinful coconut pie

Orange sugar cookies

Chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies

Peanut butter no bake cookies


Peanut butter crispy cookies


By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry

Friday, December 9, 2016

Getting Off The Grid - Wintertime

December 9,2016

This is the first weekend of extremely cold temperatures in my area, Anniston, Alabama. A couple days down into the 40`s and nights around 25 degrees but being Alabama we will recover and have the normal temps back in a couple days, those would be in the 50`s and 60`s for daytime highs and 30`s to 40`s for nighttime lows. Actually its not uncommon to see the 70`s around Christmas and of coarse the rare snow flake is also possible.

After not having rain for so many days the rain finally came when December arrived. With that rain I now have the greens coming up, only to get killed back by the deep freeze. I am hoping that some of them make it and I can have a good mess of greens grown on my land.

With the rain the sweet gum trees dropped their leaves, leaving behind the pods.

The hickory tree also dropped its leaves and a few nuts, they are not huge but to a hungry nut eating animal its food. I love them but they are so hard to break and pick, I have not learned an easy way to remove the nut, yet. I am thinking about collecting all the nuts I can and taking them into the woods and planting them, make for some really good lumber one day.

Back in the fall I had to chose my job over the homestead, something I did not want to do, because of the drought I needed to stock a few things for wintertime and I had sickness to hit the family hard. I did not get the greenhouse up as planned.

What should I do this winter to help myself for the coming spring? 

I will plan the food plots. I am almost 100% sure I will be doing the planting alone the upcoming year and I can adjust the growing to my needs. There is no sense in growing only tomatoes when I need green beans and other vegetables, plus I am not in need of hot peppers so a couple of plants will be enough.

I am learning how to grow just the right amount of plants for my needs, I am used to growing a lot and giving plants away, I need to think wiser and not be so wasteful. 

As far as getting the solar power bought and installed I have not done either. I have to make sure I will live here for a long period of time before I make that huge leap and investment. I am still thinking I need to down size my space.

Many things to think about because life throws in many curve balls.

Have you accomplished anything on your homestead this December 2016?

By Andria Perry
Photos By Andria Perry