Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rice Paddy

I think I need to change my garden plans. Since Mother Nature is determined to turn the garden into a paddy, I guess I should just give in and plant rice ☻

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

More Soap Making

I'm gonna admit to how dumb I am☻I always just assumed that lard was animal fat. Now I am educated and know that Lard is Hog and Tallow is Beef. In class this week they went over soap making. And I soon figured out why my cleaning soap didn't smell like my grandma's used to. I can remember when I was a kid and every summer I spent at my Aunt and Uncle's Farm and my grandma's house. I would always leave for home with a few cherished bars of my Grandma and Great Aunts Homemade Soap. Boy we sure loved that soap. It was too harsh to use as body soap, but grate some of that soap in the washer and add Grandma's homemade quilts and that night you were sleeping under the smells of a fresh country summer on the farm. My homemade lard soap just didn't have that smell I love. Then my teacher passed around a few bars of her soap and I found that smell again. I also learned how they rendered tallow to make their soap. That's what I've been missing.  So the Butcher is going to have 25lbs of beef fat for us the 1st of May with which my daughter and I will be rendering into.
Even though they thoroughly went over the instructions in my Urban Farmsteading class, I still like watching the process visually. So here's a video I found . 

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Too Much Grandpa In Her

Last night I got a call from my DD. It seems that my DGD (who just turned 7 last week) takes after her Grandpa a little to much in the "little devil" department. DD told the kids she was going to take a shower and the she would call for DGS (2years old) to give him his bath. She left them on the couch watching Worlds Funniest Videos. After her shower she stood in the bathroom doorway and called DGS. He proceeded to toddle down the hall towards her yelling "I coming" with a big smile. That is until he suddenly ran face first into an invisible barrier and landed, with a startled look, on his bum. Apparently while Mom was in the shower his big sis, my sweet adorable little granddaughter, strung a sheet of Saran wrap across the hallway, just at face level. She says she got the idea from the Worlds Funniest Videos, which, her mother states, will no longer be watched in her house. I can see her point. The sweet little darling can come up with her own evil ideas without the help from a TV show☻She did get out of bed later and go apologize to her mother for "taking out" her baby brother.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Growing Sweet Potatoes in a Bag

Available at this link
The 1st thing I'm trying from the Extension Center's class on Urban Farmsteading, is going to be growing sweet potatoes in a bag. With our iffy spring weather and the sweet potatoes long growing season, I'm hopeing I can just bring the bags into our warm house and plop them under grow lights if this fall turns cool to early.
Gayla Trail from has a wonderful article on how to grow sweet potatoes in a bag over at The Globe and Mail click here to read . She explains how she re-purposes over-sized green shopping tote bags for her grow bags. This is just perfect for me. I have so many of those black reusable shopping bags that I have not been using since I replaced them with my home-sewed bags. If this works well I plan to try carrots in grow bags. We've never had much luck growing carrots in our clay soil.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

A Hetic Spring

Well things have been hopping crazy around here. Between the weather, my family and the garden, I've been running on empty. We're gonna be having another grandchild so I have lots of baby things to start making. The weather is slowly letting us get into the garden and I did get 50 lbs of potatoes planted. This is our 1st year that we are planning to grow enough to store all winter. But I still planted more than my new garden plan allotted for so I had to revamp the design again. I have over 300 hundred plants to start inside, There won't be a flat surface in my dining room that's not stuffed with newspaper cups with lights hanging over. Each year I have a unique (Well unigue to me) plant to grow in the garden, last year was Sorghum, this year is Luffa Gourds and Paprika Peppers. I didn't end up making any sorghum molasses but the animals sure loved eating it. I hope to do better drying the peppers and making our own smoked paprika. And I can't wait to have some homegrown luffa sponges to use.
After plowing and tilling the garden, not to mention planting 50lbs of potatoes I am proud to report that the homemade deodorant works fantastic. Though my hubby was a little surprised when I asked him to smell my armpit and tell me if my deodorant was working☺ That idea was a no go, but I can't smell any unwanted odor and no one is complaining, so I can only assume it'd working. Since I last posted I've made another batch of soap.
Tonight I start an 18 hour workshop at our Extension Center. It's all about Urban Home-steading Farmsteading  (they changed the name because of the now infamous trademarking of  Urban-Home-steading(s)) . It's supposed to teach us the skills, tools and strategies to live a simpler, self-sufficient life. So hopefully I'll have lots of new ideas to post in the coming weeks. Well we have 3 Birthdays this week, and I'm still not finished with making their presents so I had better get busy.

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