Sunday, July 4, 2010

4Th of July

Today is the fourth of July and we have successfuly compleated our annual blueberry picking excursion. We ended up with 16lbs of berries and have already made about 12 pints of jam using about 7 of those lbs. The rest we are planning on freezing or making into pies. I love blueberry pie. This has become a traditon for us and we look forward to it every year. This is all part of my plan to get my wife to become a country girl and love the out of doors as much as I do, but I may just have to be happy with how she is. This year we figure that I picked about 11lbs the kids picked about 1lbs together and Mimi picked 4lbs, they all did a great job and I am glad that they had fun picking berries with me. Did I mention that I love picking berries.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fishing at the river

I have not been on this for quite a while, and allot has happened sence the last time I posted anything. The big thing is that we are now living back in Virginia, after I lost my job we decided to make the big move and come back to the promised land where we could start over again. The job searching has been slow, but I am still looking and I feal that things are moving in the right direction. I wanted to post some stuff about what we have been doing over the past few months so catch on my posts.

This photo is of Ben and I donwn at the river fishing. I love going to the river and being out of doors, we are having a great time in Virginia and love having so many trees around combined with the wild life that is found in abundance.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Planting

We have started our spring planting. This time of year is always a good time for me, I love the smells and all of the new growth that the Earth puts forth. We have planted bush beans, beets, onions, green peppers, and jalapenos. We will be putting in some melons, cucumbers, squash and okra in a few more weeks. The thick mulching that we put down this last fall has left a layer of worm castings under the straw and has helped to improve the soil. I am looking forward to having a great garden this year. I have also picked up some grape vines this season in hopes that I will get some grapes this season. I will keep you updated on how things "grow."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our new grain mill

One of the things that my wife got for me was the Country Living Grain Mill, this is one of the best on the market and is capable of making fine pastry flour by hand. I put allot of research into this grain mill and am very happy with it, but the one thing that I have found is that when a review tells you that grinding fine pastry flour is easy compared to other brand, they are referring to relative ease. I have never used another hand crank grain mill, but I would be surprised if I get more caloric value from the flour that I grind than the caloric energy I expend grinding it. The one thing I am looking foreword to is hooking a motor up to my mill and using some good old fashioned electricity to grind my flour.

We have been baking bread in the new Terra cotta bread pans that I got for Mimi and it has been wonderful. The bread is so good that we have stopped buying bread at the store and have converted entirely to home baked bread.

Other things that we got this Christmas include an All American brand pressure canner and cooker. My parents are to thank for that, but it has been a welcome addition to our self sufficiency plan.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chris Tagged me

3 Favorite Shows
The Office
30 Rock

3 Favorite Restaurants
I don't eat out much, but I have to put something.
P.F. Chang's
Any good steak place
I also like BBQ ribs

3 Things that Happened Yesterday
Stepped in cow crap
Made a post in my Stafford web group
Read in my scriptures

3 Things to Which I am Looking Forward
More rain
Moving back to Virginia some day
Growing old with my wife

3 Things on my Wish list
Live long enough to see the second coming of Christ
Be with my family forever
Finding a more secure job

3 Things I Love
Chocolate chip cookies
Growing and canning my own food
My family

3 Things I can’t Stand
Stupid people (liberals)
Those who complain but do nothing to fix what they are complaining about
People to Tag
I am not a fan of doing things like this, so I will not pass it on.

Friday, January 16, 2009

How much sacrifice is too much?

Our new President has said that every American is going to have to sacrifice for our country to get out of this Depression we are in. He has also said that Government is the answer and can solve all of our problems.

For those of you who know me personally you may know that I do not agree with the Government being the answer to all of our problems, but I do believe that it will be the people and not government that will bring our nation out of this depression. This nation is now made up of individuals who have never known great want. I am including my self in this group, because I know that I have never had to make real sacrifice for my family or my country. Most of people who live in this nation are just like me and have never been asked to sacrifice anything for there nation. The question that I have for my self and for all the members of my generation is; "how much sacrifice is too much?"

Are we only willing to do what is comfortable or convenient? Are we willing to go a little farther and get involved in our community and make a difference? When the time comes will we be willing to stand up for our family and our nation and defend our freedoms with our lives if we are asked?

I have been asking my self these questions and have not yet made up my mind, but I know that I will be working to defend my family and my nation. I have decided that I will serve, now the new question is where I will be serving; in a domestic position like the Police or in the active Military? I have been exploring both and have not ruled out any options, but when I do make my decision I will let all of you know. If you have an opinion let me know what you think.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Reflections on the Harvest

On one of the blogs that I follow I read about an 88 year old woman who is still gardening and canning. This year she preserved 285 quarts of 27 different items. To me this is the perfect example of living ones life for sustainability and self reliance. I do not know much about this woman, but you can read more about her at,

When Mimi and I were talking about this, we started to think of all the things that we have canned this past year and put into our food storage. This is the list we came up with.

Tomatoes -50 pints
Okra - 54 pints
Green beans - 8 pints
Pumpkin - 48 pints
Anasazi beans - 12 pints
Grape juice 24 quarts
Elder berry juice - 36 quarts
Pomegranate juice - 3 pints
Tuna - 46 pints
Blackberry jam - 30 pints

During this summer we also put up allot of frozen produce.

Cherries - 10 Gallons
Peas - 1 Gallon
Okra - 3 Gallons
Zucchini - 3 Gallons
Strawberries - 3 Gallons
Blueberries - 1 Gallon
Green beans - 3 Gallons

This brings our total to about 251 pints and 60 quarts of 10 different products. We also have 24 gallons of 7 different products preserved in our freezer. For our small family to produce and preserve that much food from a 400 square foot garden is a large step in the direction of sustainable living.

I think that next year we will work harder to diversify our garden so that we have more products we can preserve and put in our storage. We have been doing well with using fresh vegetables to off set food costs, but we need more produce we can preserve.