No day 7 – but a week in review.

I didn’t write a day 7, but thought instead I would look back at the week and see what I actually did that I planned and what I added that I didn’t plan…

I canned Dilly Beans, and froze lots of greens, and green beans, I made refrigerator pickles, (lots of them) and a cucumber and onion relish that hubby loves. I dried Dill, and Basil and finally rendered Lard for the first time. I didn’t eat dinner at dinner time and I didn’t eat food that would qualify as dinner to hubby or most men. I ate fruits and veggies till I thought I might pop and I did read part of my Hunter Safety PDF. Oh and I canned Peach Jam which I didn’t expect to do that week, but MIL gave me some wonderful looking peaches. What I didn’t do but wanted to do was to play guitar, clarinet or piano, or knit or get out my 35mm camera that I love. I guess my list is set for my next window of spare time..

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This is something I have wanted to do for a while. I’ve haphazardly thrown herbs into bags before but I always wanted to have them in labeled jars. While I could have collected much more so far this year, I am still going to try to add to these. The labels when I saw them seemed a little frilly and unnecessary but these labels, unlike stickers, actually wash off, and so I decided it would be nice to have them done. Ok I have to admit, they look pretty cute;)

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We are getting ready for Chicken day. We experimented with 10 birds free ranging this year, and only lost one after weeks of having them out. Now we have them in, since butchering is so soon, I don’t want to lose another. There is a lot of feed $ that goes into a full size bird, so I can’t take any chances at this point. This weekend we will process the 9 free rangers and then we will thin out the “mega roo” coop by 16 birds. The next week we will process another 24 birds and then will be done with processing till our new hens start laying and we process our current layers. That would be in about late October/early November. Tomorrow I will plan out the line so we have a good set up for working. I will also gather fans for us to have near by since it will unfortunately be 90 degrees! It will be nice to have the meat birds in the freezer. They were frankly a lot of work this year, and we are trying to figure out a lower maintenance way of raising birds next year. I am going to look into the Freedom Ranger, (a heritage breed) for next year but I will need convincing. They grow out in 8 weeks instead of 12-14 weeks like ours, but I am concerned about that rapid growth. It will be Winter reading for me. It would be nice to be done raising them by July instead of August.

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Although this looks like we are drowning in tomatoes, we really are not. They have been extremely slow this year. This was gathered over a few days. Last year at this time, I had a counters worth! I am not complaining though, they are delicious! I will soon take out the large piece of Jowl Bacon from last Fall’s pigs and we will have BLT’s. We have saved it since Fall just for Summer Tomatoes! Since there are not enough to sauce at this point, but too many to eat, I have been making salads with many of them with lots of cucumbers and onions.

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I also cooked them with garlic and olive oil with Basil and this can be used on a toasted slice of bread, or over pasta or…

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…just out of the jar. They are delicious.

Now this is exciting!

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I had to thin a few of our carrots, and quite honestly I have never grown a carrot successfully, but this year my daughter did! Maybe she has broken the carrot curse. If these look like this just when thinning them early, I think in the Fall we will have beautiful big carrots!!! Yay!

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No it is not Apple season here yet, although I am really excited for the season. We have our new cider press to use this year, so that is going to be really fun to try. These apples were given to me the other day. Talk about windfall apples! I was given a 40 pound case for free! I have 7 shelves like these in the dehydrator and…

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…a crockpot full of Applesauce. I still have about 25 apples left and I will probably dry all those. I want to increase our dried fruits and veggies this year.

I’ve decided that it’s time to add some new incremental steps this year. I have definitely learned more and done more each year since we started this almost 3 years ago. It is time to take more steps. I am going to learn how to make Laundry Soap. I have seen many recipes, but I have a FB group who I will check in with and ask them all to post their favorite recipes. Other things I want to add include learning to do more fermenting. I’ve loved the Kimchi so far, but there are so many things that can be fermented, and it is so, so healthy to eat fermented foods. Yesterday I took a try at making fermented pickles and fermented beets as opposed to Vinegar pickles. I’m excited to see how they will turn out. I also want to try making Sauerkraut. Hold on to your hat, I might even try making Kombucha?! I never thought I would say that!

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Pickled Beets the old fashioned way. I hope they turn out good!

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These last two weeks have been very, very dry! This is the first rain we had in weeks. What you see is what there was, it didn’t even get the whole deck wet. It looks like next week we may finally get some rain, keeping fingers crossed!

It was a fantastic week. It was also great to have Hubby back home again.

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