Saturday, July 15, 2017

Getting Off The Grid - Life On The Homestead

July 15, 2017

The good and the bad, no one said life was easy.

The Bad :

Things change and they can change in a blink of the eye. Sure we make plans to live the best life we know how but then when life throws you a curve ball and it was totally unexpected, things change and sometimes never go back to the way they were.

That is kind of what has happened here. Things happened.

First a mild winter and a rainy Spring and Summer and that means bugs, bugs and more bugs. 

I lost crops that was going to be food for the winter.

The grass and/or weeds took over the bottom field, so much rain I could not keep up with it. 

Next the riding mower broke down and I just did like I always have, push mowed, but never made it to the bottom field so its four feet tall. I worked so hard in the garden and mowing I totally exhausted myself, so much so I stayed in bed a whole day and slept 16 hours. 

I am completely defeated, tired to the bone.

What is funny is people were shocked to hear me admit defeat, they said " I have never heard you give up on anything!" Well there is a first time for everything. I just cannot do everything with nothing. I refuse to mow anything but around the house until I get a new mower, and I plan to this week. 

The Good :

While I gave up the upkeep of the property I never gave up on providing for myself, even with cost.

I bought more peaches and I made more peach products  and I hope they will last for a good long time. 

I made a different Peach jelly/jam, sliced peaches in light syrup and a few more jars of whole pickled peaches.

And I made three pints and one half pint of tomato sauce. As I get the tomatoes I process ( home can) what we do not eat, I try not to waste any.

Another wonderful thing is the tomato seed Tony had sowed in a flower pot outside got big enough to be planted in the garden on Monday and the bell pepper plants I had sowed from seed got put into the ground on Wednesday. 

What I did was I took up the wire cages from the tomatoes that were dead or already had all the tomatoes it could bare and was no longer flowering, I mowed them down. In those spaces Tony planted more tomatoes and I replaced the wire cages for each plant.

I am beginning to get okra and I made a meal of fried okra and green tomatoes one evening. I am also getting cucumbers, not many but enough to feed us a couple daily. 

For how to home can peaches click here :  Pickled peaches and Jelly  

After thoughts :

Although I had planned things so well, that I would be off the grid with solar power, well water, a root cellar and a large greenhouse things just are not happening, I am in limbo and I cannot make these decisions at all because of the unknown, that little curve ball is still in motion. I do know one thing about me and that is without proper tools I cannot and will not be able to handle this place alone.

So I must invest to reap the benefits. We`ll see how thing are in one month and maybe then I will know what will take place and what will not. 

By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry


  1. It is hard to do things alone when things keep happening. Know you and Tony are in my prayers. I can relate about wanting to give up. My dryer died. I have a few months to find a new but used one and some way to get here otherwise it will cost me I don't have at the laundromat this winter. I am looking for a new used vehicle because the one I have is breaking down faster than I can fix it. For some reason both couches are broken down and the dogs think they can chew on it. On a limit income it is very hard to do with only one income taking care of four people. I say four because I took my nephew in. Sometimes my niece and her boyfriend stays too. That is not to mention everything else.

    1. I just do not know how you manage. You are one amazing woman!Reading this I would look for the car first, hen the others should fall into place. Prayer for you too.

  2. I just took advantage of the sale on Ball jars online. Should get me through this summer's garden. Such a late start this year.

    1. I have $2 coupons so I am getting a case for $5.

  3. Hey lady...we all can have a wallow now and again when things don't go to plan...But you are one amazing lady and look at what you do manage to do....You are a fantastic role model for anyone who wants to get off the grid and don't forget that...And I get my xmas dinner today there house is finished and they can move in my little baby Turkeys :) You take care and keep that chin up ...have a nice bubblebath and light some candles and wallow :) Hugs :)

    1. I know I KNOW! This is real life and my life in a blog. Thanks for the compliment, you do damn good yourself! Way to go on the Turkey House.

    2. You will see them soon blog in progress :)

  4. Sometimes when we take stock - we just have to stop and make more stock!!! (My grandmother always said that while smiling). Keep plugging things will turn around!

  5. The situation you're having with bugs is what we went through a couple of years ago. Last year, our winter was exceptionally harsh, so only in the last week or so have bugs started becoming a problem; mostly aphids, grasshoppers, and wasps.

    For really tall grass, I usually use the weedeater, but we've never had a riding mower, so the rest (and when the grass is whacked down) is done with the push mower.

    Our bigger problem in the past two weeks that we've had is the heat. We went almost 2 weeks straight with daily temps above 100 and another week of temps in the 90's. Yesterday and today are cooler, in the high 80's, which is a substantial relief. I just can't do much of anything when it gets really hot...I dehydrate faster than I can hydrate.

    Right now, our forests are tender dry. The garden is doing great because of the heat, but it gets water. I sprayed with Neem last night, to knock down the aphid and grasshopper population, but we will go right back to the upper nineties tomorrow.

    1. In Alabama the temps are always 90 to 100 in July and August with high humidity but that is not the problem because I am used to the heat. I am working two jobs AND trying to take care of everything at home. It was not a problem till I either clean house or mow grass daily for 2 -3 hours each evening, if its not raining. I just cannot handle everything alone with no dependable tools. So I quit. I have to clean the house and work, the garden and fields will have to wait till I can get a mower.

      I will buy Neem oil and try it for the bugs but mosquitoes are eating us alive!

  6. I know what you are going through. When you live in the country, things can get out of hand quickly. There is so much more I thought I would have done now that we have lived here a year. It is just overwhelming, so I have been teaching myself to stop expecting things on a schedule. Do the best you can do in the present and don't beat yourself up if you did not get done all that you expected to. Things take time to set up. You are farther along than I am, we had a late spring and I have not been able to harvest anything yet but some banana peppers. I have a feeling it is all going to mature at once and when that happens, you won't see me around the computer much!

    1. Yes that is what will happen, you will get it all at one time.

      I have been here 7 years, this stuff should have been done by now.