Saturday, March 08, 2014

Let's Talk #Poop - #Manure as #Fertilizer in Your #Garden

Bet that title made you look twice :-)

Last year I attempted to plant several items to see how it would go. I've heard I don't live in the best area for the best soil. I figured, that by using plastic containers, I could keep my plants away from whatever was unpure in my own dirt.

I planted an apple tree, some red and green peppers, some cherry tomatoes, and jalapenos.

Absolutely nothing survived.

We have heavy rains at certain times of the year as well as really high winds a good part of the year. Add to it the icky soil...and well, I probably should have chosen a different place to relocate to.

I was talking to the man that owns the small feed store in a town close-by. He was a barrel of knowledge on the area and the soil. Don't be afraid to ask. I hate looking like I'm clueless. But I didn't want to fail like last season with the garden and I'd like to expand to more than 5 items that I waste money on because I've done them incorrectly.

What I've found, for this area, I need to mix one bag of manure (1 cu. ft bag) to one bag of composted mulch (3 cu. ft bag). Then till it in with the soil. For some reason this is supposedly the magic fix for the soil here.

Also, it seems to have a higher sand content and I'm told the "old ways" of water once in the morning and once at night simply don't work. You need to water 3 to 4 times per day.

However, I am still researching this as someone else told me they simply flood their garden once a day and it does well. Although, they're not in the same area I am. Same town, slightly different soil concentration.

How do you prepare your garden?

Friday, March 07, 2014

#Investing in Your #Grocery & #Household #Budget

Some of us have a very strict budget for grocery store products (not just food, but all other supplies we need to clean and so on with). I'm going to be documenting the next few months of expenses and my expenses as I put my property together. I'm also going to document the amount I save as my veggies and animals begin to do their job. I'm also going to document how long it takes to break even (since there are start up costs in everything). Those interested, it'll be up on my blog bit by bit 

#Homesteading #Livestock and #Gardens - #Grocery #Budget

The plan for this move was to stop the homesteading idea.

You see, for those newer to the blog, the move to this area a year and a half ago was to start being more self sufficient. The kids are growing and, with that, so is my food bill - to astronomical proportions. I thought if we could live more off the land, we'd save money.

Example - if I make a roast with veggies in the crock pot, I have to have at least two roasts with veggies and fill two crock pots. If I want left overs, I need to do three roasts and veggies in three crock pots. Last Thanksgiving, was two almost 30 pound turkeys and they were all but 1/4 of one gone. That is with sides, deserts, etc.

However, the initial location I selected (mind, I didn't come out to view it, I took the pictures and listed description as what it would be) was not the best idea. While there were acres of land, the house had issues as did the land it was on. The soil was awful, and even worse was the rockiness of the land itself. There wasn't a whole lot to do with it.

In this move, I went to a larger home with less land. I figured the dogs would be enough to have on property.

Over the months I've been moving in, I've thought of this and I've thought of that. A couple weeks ago I was looking at my grocery bill again and wanting to cry. Living in a small area, the prices are always marked up. I pay double or triple what friends do for the same product because they don't live in the mountains and they're in higher populated areas.

While my yard is small, and with the dog areas even smaller - where there's a will, there's a way.

The idea of where I could put poultry pens came to me and wouldn't get out of my brain. While I dislike the concept of killing an animal for food (I was a vegetarian for a large number of years), I know there's no way around it. Buying it from the grocer isn't sparing any lives. What it is doing, is putting some rather harmful products into what should be just healthy meat, fruit, and vegetables.

So, I went back to my initial plan with a lot less land. Also with a lot less rocks.

It'll be a tight fit, but it'l work. The goats won't be back and I'll never own pigs or cows (which you can get at most auctions at a decent price and get your butcher to handle it. The cost is still 1/2 price or less than what you pay in the grocery store).

There will be a garden area, maybe eventually two. An area for butchering poultry. The dog areas. Around the fencing I will be planting fruit trees and berry bushes so they act like a privacy area as well as provide some great treats. There will also be several areas made for the poultry to live in. I'm back to considering ducks, turkeys, chickens and geese.

And needing to buy numerous freezers and perhaps a small shed or barn with electric in it to store them in.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Misplaced #Faith

Has anyone misplaced their faith? I hate to say lost, because I don't know that it's ever truly gone. If you believe, I feel, even in moments of "non-belief", your faith is still deep down pushing you on.

Although I could be wrong.

This year seems never-ending. The beginning has been a blur of one issue or problem after another. It's been struggles with one of my children and I feel my choices are pushing her farther from me. But at the same time, I feel I'm failing as a parent to allow her to continue the path she's been on.

On top of everything, I've been tired. A lot. I guess I'm just getting older and I can't manage like I did.

The move? Well the kids love the new home, but we're not settled yet. And even a brand new home is turning into one unexpected expense after another. I really thought they weren't supposed to do that.

2013 was a rough year. I had told myself over and over 2014 would be so much better.

So far? No dice.

I gave up my faith years ago. For a very long time. The last few years, it's been close, even when I had tried to act like it wasn't there.

Now, I'm wondering just what to think. Is it leaving me again? Am I on the wrong path?

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

#RealLife ~ #Teens ~ #Family ~ #Changes ~ #Homesteading

I know I've needed to make this post for quite a while. I've sort of left the blog on auto-pilot, which was never my intention. To say it's been rough since December is an understatement.

I'm still, 3 months later, between two houses. My mail, for months, wasn't going to the new house, they were returning it. Instead of holding my mail, they were under the assumption that it was a move with no forwarding address. Why? I'm not certain since I filled out the packet. So, I've missed a lot of review opportunities.

My oldest daughter has been having the teen drama that I thought we'd been avoiding. I guess nothing lasts forever.

The fencing, the one I was messing with 2 months ago, still isn't done. Scratch that. It's not even started, although I do have the materials.

Evidently the best made plans...

In addition, looking at my grocery bill each month, I've decided to try to continue with partial homesteading at the new location, even though I'm short quite a number of acres.

I hope everyone will still stop in while I try to regroup. :-)

Wordless Wednesday 10 ( #WordlessWednesday )

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