Friday, August 4, 2017

Getting Off The Grid - The Homestead and Banana Jam

August 4, 2017

I have to say that I am not making much progress this year as far as getting what I want most, solar power. And, although I have looked up people about getting a well drilled I have no talked to anyone about price and a well would be welcome because this water is terrible at this place. With not knowing if I will stay here or go is another problem I am facing, I wont give up this house but I may downsize and use this place as a vacation house.


For now I will continue to work on the food stockpile, I am still maintaining the food for now and Winter stock plus beyond that. Sometimes I think about how much fruit, jams and jellies I am home canning, is to many? to much and I need to get back to vegetables only?  Then I remember the years that the fruit blooms got froze with a Springtime freak storm and we had no fruit or jams that year, and most everyone knows that the canned foods last for years so I continue making the jam, jelly and plain fruits since I am getting 90% of them free. 

The vegetable garden is sort of at a stand still except the cucumbers, I am beginning to get a basket full every other day. What okra plants I have left are making but I have to collect twice before I get two servings for a meal. I still get a few bell peppers. The new tomatoes are blooming as well as the new bell peppers. 

My fig bush, to me its a tree since I have to get on a ladder to get them, is doing great this year. I am canning figs about once a week. Plus Tony`s uncle gave us a basket full and told him to come get the rest if he wants them. This time I canned the last batch in light syrup  so that I can enjoy the figs because the preserves are just to sweet for me.

Click here for : How to make fig preserves 

I also put a couple racks of split figs into the dehydrator, this is the first time I have dried figs. After drying I got 1 pint of dried figs. I put them into a ziploc freezer bag and then into a quart mason jar for extra protection.

What about banana? Well.... when I mentioned watermelon jelly Tony asked " how about banana jelly I bet that would be good!" I never thought about using bananas so I looked it up and sure enough there was a recipe so I made a batch. However I did alter the recipe a little by cutting the amount of sugar and I must say the cloves are strong so next time I will cut back on those as well, its not pretty in the jar because its a grayish color but the taste is fantastic! Recipe for Banana jam coming soon!

Click here for Recipe :  Watermelon jelly  

As far as me getting the fields cleared I have not. I manage to keep the walking track me and the dogs use mowed and that is it. I do push mow the area around the house and my dogs area. Since both riding mowers quit and I began push mowing all of it again I nearly killed myself working 12 to 14 hours a day working, so I have up the fields when I had to chose. The past few weeks each time I go to buy a new riding mower either they do not have what I want or they try to push one on me I cannot afford, something always happens right there at the store and I end up not getting what I need.

Now that its a new month, usually our hottest of the year, we will see what mother nature has in store for us here in central Alabama, the way this year has been so far we may have an early Fall. 

What is happening at your homestead? 

By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry


  1. Before undertaking the huge expense of digging a well, talk to your neighbors that have one and ask to taste their water. Well water may not the be all and end all that you think it is. With what we pay for water softener salt and a RO filtration system, we may as well have city water. I dream of city water! With all we do, our water still does not taste good enough to drink. I would willingly pay double for city water. I never realized it was a luxury to turn on a faucet and get a glass of good tasting water till I moved here.

    1. When I lived in the city the of Anniston the water was good, out here its filled with something that leaves white spots on everything and the water molds in the toilets and even in the coffee maker. I complain and then it smells like bleach and the clothes smell like bleach. Maybe I should just move.

  2. Well you might not be making progress on your solar power but you sure have made a huge progress on your food stock pile. Everything looks delicious!

  3. Angie, there must be a farmer nearby that would be happy to cut your field for the grass for his animals. Ask on CL.

    1. This year grass is plenty so that is doubtful. I got a mower today

  4. Intrigued w the banana jam recipe! Keep up the planning for solar :)

    1. I can plan but I reckon I need to do a smaller plan as well as the big plan, money wise.