Friday, February 2, 2018

Getting Off The Grid - Learning And Organizing

Its February 2nd. and it seems that the old groundhog "Phil" seen his shadow so more Winter for the USA. But from an entire life of experience its always cold here in central Alabama in February, as a matter of fact its always the coldest month.

When I think about Spring I usually think April in terms of getting ready to plant in the garden. But let me tell you something, maybe I can plant some things earlier! 

I am learning to organize the plants. YES you read right. I am organizing how I can plant and I gained this knowledge from others and their books.

On The Homestead :

starting a fence

We have had warm weather for a week with the cold coming back in today, but not so bitter for the days but colder for a few nights.

I did not do anything outside that pertains to gardening but I have been clearing and cleaning out another 20 x 15 foot area for the dogs. While I am just removing the smaller brush and leaving the medium and large size hedge bushes so that the dogs will have a nice cool area to lounge for the Summer. I am also cleaning up some of the human mess, seems a homestead can get pretty piled up if you are not careful, got to learn what to keep and what not to keep.

I worked out there for a few hours last week and I must say I got more accomplished than I expected in such a short time.

In one area I want a block, something to block the wind and nosy people, it also will double as part of the dogs fence.

first section of fence.

I looked around in the " I will use later" pile of lumber and I began to build the fence, I am sure I will have enough to finish my small but effective project. 

For The Garden :

Baby eggplant

Today I was especially happy to see the new babies! I have baby eggplants. These will stay inside with me till probably May and since I have started seed inside I am hoping to begin to get eggplants earlier than the fall of the year. I know I will sow more in around a month so that I can have fresh eggplant all the way till the first freeze.
Baby cabbage

The cabbage babies are getting very leggy. I will have to learn when to get them hardened off and into the garden.

Tomato plant

The tomato plants are thriving. Soon I will have to tie them to sticks to keep them from falling over. The bell peppers and basil are also growing so good.

The Stockpile :

Last week I cleaned out the pantry and its a shame but a couple boxes of home canned foods got pushed in the back. I went ahead and emptied the jars, washed them and put them with the other empty jars. All of this was old, as in I would not feel safe eating, because the date was from 2010 and 2012. 

I have not home canned anything but I did buy turkey smoked sausage to make my pickled sausages. I made a case for Tony but his is with real pork smoked sausages, I am not fond of pork so I will sooner than later make my own with the turkey. Not that healthy but sometimes we all like to be bad, or at least eat bad.

I am enjoying the food that I have home canned and I have been buying less from the grocery store.

The Learning :

my new book

Over the past year I have been really digging into what I want to know, I am seeking knowledge about how I want to run my homestead and what foods I want to grow, what goods I want to make and sell, so how do I get what I need? 

Books. I learn from others. Is that not what we also do in school?

So far I have books on herbal medicine, Maple syrup, Greenhouses and more. 

But the best information I have learned this past week is to learn to organize the seed packs. Not just vegetables, flowers and herbs but  to place them into categories of what months to plant each. This is what I have been needing, I often want to plant something but only to find out its time has already passed so I wait for another year.

I also invested a little in another book, year round vegetable garden. While I know how to grow food in the Spring and Summer I want to know how to keep fresh foods going year round. I think I made a good choice with this book, I have not hardly been able to put it down.

By getting my planing organized I can reap the benefits year round.

I am so glad I ma open minded and willing to learn from others accomplishments and their failures. 

What is going on at your homestead?

By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry

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  1. I like the idea of gardening year around. It's no wonder you can't put the book down. Good-luck in all that you do.

  2. Your seedlings are doing great, mine are 8 inches now as I bought a grow light this year. I really did not want 6 more weeks of winter, can hardly wait for outdoor planting in May.

    1. I do not plant outside in the ground till April anyways.

  3. Nice! Keep on pushing forward. Success comes to those that don't let setbacks get them down!