homemade and homegrown

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Kristina, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. Kristina

    Kristina Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    South Louisiana
    OK so we're thinking of going the way of urban homesteading. I've been doing some research...I know we can't do everything! But we can do some things. We already have our birds for meat and eggs...etc. But what all do YOU do? I'm interested in finding out about others who do this kinda thing. Thanks!~
  2. NewGuineaChooks

    NewGuineaChooks Songster

    Aug 24, 2007
    San Antonio, Texas
    Our pole beans have been a wonder to us. They've been producing for 5 months now, and don't take up that much space either. We have gallons of frozen beans in the freezer and 2 dozen canned 'green bean pickles', and they are still producing. Its great!

    Edit: That is, 2 dozen quart jars, not 2 dozen individual beans. ha !
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2007
  3. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    We grow tomatoes and can them or make catsup or BBQ sauce and pasta sauce. I have a pasta maker, but so far it is possessed.
    We grow cukes for bread and butter pickles. Our neighbor has 2 apple trees, so I can applesauce every fall.He grows beets and we trade stuff. I make soap for our use and try to make our own bread. (Though sometimes I just get a hankering for gummy cheap white bread [​IMG] )

    I shred and freeze zucchini for bread and muffins.
    Someday we want to grow our own meat birds, but have not gotten to it yet.
    We grow onions and garlic. We froze garlic and it is ok for stews and such, but not for fresh. Onions we have frozen all chopped and we have dehydrated.
    Actually dehydrating is great. We got some plums from the neighbors and I dehydrated them sprinkled with a bit of sugar and then froze them. They are great for snacks. Same with tomatoes. We sliced them, sprinkled with salt and dried. They are like leather, all chewy with fresh tomato flavor (almost)

    We grow and freeze ears of corn.

    There are lots of things you can do. It gives you a good feeling to be self sufficient and it does stretch the food dollar.
  4. Kristina

    Kristina Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    South Louisiana
    OK so following those posts I have some questions...is canning very hard to do? Its something I want to start doing but not quite sure how complicated it actually is. Like today I made some homeade pepper jelly but I just put the jar upside down then when I flipped the top was sealed. I would want to do alot of things just not quite sure what I need.

    I would like to make soap for home use also. Again how hard is that actually? In particular I would like to make goats milk soap and put our girl Fiona to work. LOL!

    And bread...would love to make it myself!!!

    I guess what I'm saying is can someone break it down for me. The things I have found online seem very complicated.

    Like terrielacy said I would like to have that good feeling of being somewhat self sufficient!

    Anybody else? [​IMG]
  5. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    For canning, I highly recommend "Balls' Blue Book of Canning and Preserving"

    http://www.paulnoll.com/Oregon/Canning/canning-book.html this is a very interesting site.

    Everything else just comes with time. You can't learn it all at once.
    I found great info on soapmaking here
    http://www.thesage.com/. It is time intensive, so you might start out purchasing hand crafted soaps to see if youlike them.
    I did get a breadmachine as a gift, so I just cheat and use that.
  6. valmom

    valmom Songster

    Sep 23, 2007
    I love my bread machine! I got a pasta machine (you know, to use up all the excess eggs:)) and read the directions. It sounds so finicky and complicated I haven't dared try yet. I sort of wanted a hand crank one like I remember my father having, but got this electric all in one machine free- my MIL was giving it away. (that should have told me something was up)

    I made blueberry jelly this year for the first time, and will make apple before the season is over. It came out really well. I put in lots of tomatoes this year to can. So of course, it is a terrible year for tomatoes- none of my co-workers got many, either. And it is almost time for our first frost. We tried corn this year for the first time- the neighbor's pony that gets loose got most of it. (my SO hates that pony.)

    I would love to try my own soap making, but it sounds too much like chemistry lab. One day I may try it, though. I LOVE hand made soap.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    My family doesn't really homestead and rely heavily on the system but I grow a few months worth of veggies to eat. It helps reduce the cost of buying greens at the store. Mainly beans, tomatoes, and zucchini, but also some corn, pumpkins, Japanese squash, potatoes, peas, strawberries and rhubarb.

    Looking at my record book, I got 6 lbs of peas (pathetic I know).
    64lbs of green beans
    178lbs of zucchini
    so far 160 lbs of tomatoes
    about 70 short tiny ears of corn
    35 lbs of Japanese squash
    15 measly lbs of red potatoes, and three pumpkins.

    I don't cultivate that much area either, three different plots, less than 800 sq feet total I would guess. It's a small area because I have to fence it all in so the chickens don't gobble everything up. Plus, I usually end up having to hand turn all the soil I grow in... If I had a tractor, could clear land, fence it in, and till it over, I'd be able to cultivate a few acres AND get more chickens!!!
  8. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    Re: Soap making - I make our own soaps, but I do the "melt & pour" glycerin method, not the labor and material intensive types that Southern28Chick makes. I'm too intimidated by the materials to make that kind of soap. Southern Chick is brave and intelligent.

    With simple glycerin soap, you just melt it in the microwave, color it with food colors, scent it with fragrance oils (from many online sources) and pour it into plastic molds (also available online). You can even add texture to it by adding loofah powder (from online of course) or seeds, etc. So simple, even a Geico caveman could do it.

    Re: Breadmaking - I make dough in my bread machine, then interrupt the cycle and put the dough in a regular loaf pan so it looks better. I have an old machine that makes loaves look like square bricks.

    Re: Canning - my mom never did it so I am clueless. The Ball book someone recommended sounds perfect.
  9. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    I suggest gardening....and fruit trees. We will be planting more apple trees this spring..and a few peach trees as well. We have a 1 yr old grape harbor...not really any grapes yet, Elderberries all over the place here, Mulberry trees..and will be planting blackberries in the spring...and we garden..makeing it bigger next year. I can or freeze my veggies...make jams and jellies...and next year...looking into makeing soap. We of course raise our chickens for meat and eggs. Oh, and next spring...we are getting a few pigs to raise, ( for the freezer) I also wanted to look into a few pecan trees. Or Filberts! We love nuts.!
  10. Kristina

    Kristina Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    South Louisiana
    Wow I'm so glad to se so many responses! The canning I would like to do mainly for fruits. We have tons of blackberries growing wild around where I live and we just go pick 'em. Right now I've just been freezing them and the strawberries. I'd like to make some kinds of jellies. I'll look into that book and check out the other site you gave. Can most veggies be frozen? Because I would probably go that route for them. We usually use our vegetables to cook WITH, not just on their own. With the exception of corn and peas.

    Buffhooligans. Do you know if the melt and pour method (which I've kinda looked into) is cheaper than buying your regular soap? and if it is equal to your homemade soaps?

    I know I like the homemade soaps [​IMG] Hubby used to buy them For me when he would go on roadtrips to Texas for work. I'm on my last one [​IMG] May have to just support Southern and see if anyone around the area makes it.

    I would like to support the local growers and crafters around the area for things I can't make or grow.

    So is their no easy way to make bread without a bread machine?

    I'm cutting back costs as much as possible since the hubby took an office position and a cut in pay to be home more. I stay home with the kids so I want to try to do as much as I can to help out.

    Also does anyone know what can be used for house cleaning instead of all the chemical junk from the store? I hate to use the stuff to clean!

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