Monday, January 11, 2010

New year, same wants

Things being what they are, I have been too busy to post. But now that the holidays are over, hopefully, I can get caught back up.

I have been looking at seed catalogs again. This is always torturous for me. I want to have a big garden, a couple of fruit tress, some grapes, berries, etc., but we just don't have the space without tearing up the whole back yard. That idea was very firmly nixed. lol Go figure?

So, I will probably just do what I always do, plant high yielding food like beans and tomatoes, and buy what I can't raise. It makes me sad though. We have less than 3 years until the boy graduates, and if my husband doesn't get laid off before then, we will almost have the house paid off. Then we can buy something out in the middle of nowhere with a few acres (and pay cash for it) and I can have my little homestead.

I really don't need much, just about 5 acres or so, with a decent house and preferably a barn already in place. A few chickens and maybe a milk cow (yes, I am dreaming) and a big garden to raise our food. Is it too much to ask for an asparagus bed, onion bed, some berry vines, a grape arbor, a few fruit trees, and about 1/2 an acre tilled onto garden? It would be nice if this is on the highway so that I can set up a produce stand to sell the extras or have a neighbor who is willing to let us set up on his.

All of this take money though. I would like to be able to be set up to be self-sufficient, or at least as close to it as possible. If things really start getting tight, at least we can eat.

I have learned a lot of skills that will be useful towards that end. Home canning is probably the most useful one. That, along with the dehydrator, have pretty much cut our grocery bills in half. We don't have to buy canned foods and the food I put up tastes much much better and is healthier for us than commercially processed food. It involves actually cooking, but I enjoy that anyway.

I can make bread, and do on a regular basis. It tastes different than the bread you get in the store, but at least it is really food with real nutrition instead of just empty calories. And it makes a mean grilled cheese.

I can make soap, and therefore, laundry detergent. I haven't bought bath soap or laundry detergent in over two years now. That is a BIG money saver. Who wants to spend 5-7 dollars every couple of weeks just on laundry soap? I can make 3 gallons (about 4 months worth) of laundry detergent for about 80 cents. Granted, it isn't a major boost to the budget, but it is kinda nice to not have to go down that aisle at the store.

I can sew our own clothes if necessary. Granted, there are some things it is still cheaper to buy, like socks and underwear, but for just daily clothing, I can do that. Especially if things get bad, this will be a useful skill.

I would like to have a wood stove to use for heat. That does involve cutting wood, but that shouldn't really be too big of a problem. And if it is done right, I can also use the top of the stove to cook on in the winter or if the power goes out. It wouldn't be the first time I have cooked over a fire or on top of a wood stove. It is actually kinda fun, in a strange way. Wouldn't want to have to do it in the summer, but in the winter it would be sort of nice to have a big pot of soup bubbling on the stove all day.

Maybe I am just strange, but I can do without a big house, fancy cars, and expensive clothes. I never really needed those things anyway. I am just a country girl at heart.

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