Thursday, July 12, 2018

Getting Off The Grid - A Season For Everything

 Wow time is flying by, its been almost a month since I have sat down to  look at my progress on the homestead.  So much has happened so let me just get to it.

The storm:

I am trying my best to get into another type of work but I am still doing what God chose me to do and that is rental houses, I had trees down on each of those properties, some laying across the houses. I thank God, none were damaged and I had a lot of work ahead of me, another reason I have not had time to write.

The Homestead :

A few weeks ago a storm came by, a sudden unpredicted summer thunderstorm with high wind. The only thing damaged on the homestead was one of the solar panels got cracked :( and of coarse we lost power.

Still being on the grid sucks when the storms mess with the power lines, the first day it was okay because the storm brought cold air with it and took the temps down from 100° Fahrenheit to 70° Fahrenheit, I had 2 batteries full, so I could give Tony his breathing treatments and made coffee and charged phones and laptops. 

By the second day the heat came back and it was impossible to breath in the house and when someone in the house has problems breathing already it could be a death sentence. I went to the power company when I could not get an answer about when it would be restored at my home by phone, I was told that I would be whenever? since bigger communities came first. I was told to buy a gas power generator for back up!  But me being me told her that I have been thinking about a backup plan called solar power, maybe I can feed the grid for them, she hushed up, and within hours we had power back on.

This is another reason to home can as much food as possible and not rely on the deep freezer. I did have a lost of some meats and dairy that was in the fridge and its small freezer.

As for cooking, I have a grill and I do have enough sense to build a fire and cook food in the front yard if I did not have a grill. 

I have convinced people that solar can be a replacement, especially when I sat him down and gave him a breathing treatment from a battery and I made my coffee.

One more reason to get off the power grid, storms. 

The only good that came from this is free firewood, it will be dried for wintertime.

The Garden and Homestead:

Since the storm the weather has moved into the daily evening rain showers, meaning I need to switch around how I work around the homestead. Do outside first, early morning and noon, and the evenings to inside work like canning.

I am battling the grass and it has won, so now instead of killing ourselves tilling around the plants we now mow the grass down each row and pick the veggies.
Tomatoes in fill bloom

cucumbers blooming 

bell pepper 

I have tomatoes, though they are not as big as I am used to, and I have plenty of bell peppers coming in. I am now getting yellow squash and cucumbers, the okra is blooming but we all know its a late summer producer. I have not got another of anything to home can but I am enjoying the fresh food that I don`t have to buy.

I am in basil over load! I have picking and cooking with it and I am drying to bottle up for later.

The parsley and oregano are up and making plants, the cactus is thriving as well.

The stockpile :

I have home canned 111 half pint jars of jelly, jam and preserves. Honeysuckle, Rose Petal, blackberry are all the free to pick and grown on the homestead, I have 84 half pints.

Aldi, a grocery store chain, had strawberries on sale for .99 so I started with 8 pound clam shells and later went back for 5 more so for 13 pounds I made 27 half pints of jam, jelly and preserves. I also chopped 3 quart bags for the deep freezer to make smoothies for a cold treat and I also got 1 pint of strawberry extract making. Plus we did munch on a few :) that is not to bad 31 products made from 13 pound. That equals around .5 cents per ounce.

I have put 3 quarts of bell peppers in the deep freezer.

I have on the drying racks sage and basil. 

Want to make Honeysuckle jelly? Click here : How to make honeysuckle jelly and for rose petal jelly  

The Learning :

Its amazing what one can do in one months time. Its amazing to me that I can do this!

After months of research, me trying and failing and then accomplishing. I am now making so many of my own products, no not from the homestead, yet, but by purchasing things online. However it is doable to make most of this from scratch and not having to buy any of it.

homemade soap before smoothing out

I am making soap, I have maybe 60 bars, or more, of soap. Most are scent and dye free.

I have made twelve 1/2 ounce tins of healing salve.

Soon I intend to have a line of my own homemade products to sell, all made at the homestead, most came from the land of this homestead. 

Most are vegan and most have no preservatives which in my opinion is what the world needs. 

Soon I will have photos of the products, the oops! I made that to small to the Ahh, I got it right!

How has life been on your homestead? I want to know. 

By Andria Perry 

Photos by Andria Perry


  1. For some reason, seeds are not germinating in my raised bed. So I had to start over germinating inside first.Tomatoes are forming. Sugar pumpkins started blooming today. Zucchini has formed buds. Been harvesting blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and rhubarb. Also enjoying some asparagus tips and radishes.

    1. So far its been okay with the seeds inside and out but we do live in different worlds.

  2. I am glad, you are alright. You have been really busy. I have made soaps and scrubs before when my son was younger. It took some time to get it just right. It's has been so dry here, I am lucky to still have my plants. But, thanks to you and Rex, I do have a few that are growing this year.

    1. I am so glad to hear this! I have not seen Rex around I need to read his blogs.

    2. Thank-you. Rex's blog has some great tips for growing box gardens.

    3. I am hoping to start growing in raised beds soon, the grass is killing me.

  3. Your industriousness (is that a word?) is an inspiration to all of us :) Regarding your plans for making a line of homemade products, make sure to check into the liability issues. If someone uses one of your products and becomes ill, a lawsuit could take everything that you have worked so hard to have.

    1. Yes that thought has came to mind and there will be a warning label.

  4. Wow that storm looks scary, glad there was no major damage. I can smell your strawberry jam just looking at your pictures .looks like you are doing great on working on getting off the grid .

    1. Yes it was. Oh the house smelled so good!

  5. Wow! you have been busy! way to go!

    1. Me busy? This seems to be normal life for me.

  6. Lots of raspberries. Lots of chortles at the expense of neighbors who displayed phobic reaction to wineberries (invasive, but YUM!).

    My power went out too...luckily I had something to do 20 miles away, so went out, called from that site, and came home to restored electricity. But it reminds me that nobody should be trapped in a "grid" any more!

  7. I think of a 1997 snowstorm when an old lady bribed me to stay with her in hopes that I could get her to the hospital if her respirator went off at night. Her lights stayed on, but meanwhile a friend's quadriplegic child had to be "heroically" transported through deep falling snow and kept in a hospital, at huge physical risk and financial expense. AND meanwhile, geriatric wards of the State living in horrible little housing projects were safe because THEY had generators.

    1. We really do need another way to make do in the summertime.