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Winter me loves Summer me

I’ve recently been reading a few books regarding what could possibly happen to America should an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) be detonated over our country which would obviously bring our extremely technologically dependent society to it’s knees.

I’m sure this sounds laughable to you. It does to most. However I find it incredibly fascinating and thought provoking. Good books should am I right?

Tom and I are probably what one would consider modern day preppers just on a smaller scale compared to some.

Should we ever revert back to the Dark Ages knowledge and skills will be so powerful and useful if that’s all we have left at our disposal.

Moving out to the farm has given me the opportunity to learn many old fashioned traditional skills. Growing a productive garden, canning, preserving and butchering amongst many other things. This basic homesteading mindset has turned out to be so rewarding. There’s nothing more satisfying then getting things accomplished with your own two hands.

And of course my favorite part of the Winter is enjoying everything we have grown, raised and harvested during the warmer months.

Carrots, lettuce, and peas are all eaten strictly fresh from the garden during the summer.

We do eat some of our other produce fresh but most of the zucchini, sweetcorn, onions and peppers are preserved through freezing. Potatoes are covered and stored either in the basement or in the kitchen. And almost all of the tomatoes are turned into sauces, juices, chili’s, ketchup or salsa, then jarred and pressure canned.

Amish Paste tomatoes are my favorite to grow for these purposes.

Green beans, pears, homemade applesauce and pie fillings are also preserved in jars.

Neither of us really eat cucumbers so their sole purpose is strictly for pickles.

Many years ago Tom built heavy duty wooden shelves in the basement that work perfectly for food storage. And of course there’s jars stashed in every nook and empty space on shelves in the kitchen as well.

When we first started raising chickens it was just a handful and solely for a few fresh eggs. But over the years it has expanded to around 100 hens and a few roosters. (Or WAY too many roosters depending on the year, like 2019 was.) The flock has also expanded to include some ducks, turkeys and guineas. And if it lays an egg we’ll eat it around here.

We also raise a couple small flocks of Cornishcross chickens in the Summer strictly for meat. This past summer we added a chicken tractor so they can eat fresh grass and bugs and we can monitor their food intake easier to prevent loss. We also have a chicken plucker which makes the butchering process so much quicker. The addition of another farm raised meat to our homestead has been simply wonderful. Plus the bone broth tastes like gold.

I also enjoy growing watermelons and pumpkins for the flocks to feast on, as well as sunflower seeds for treats.

This past year I wanted to try growing our own luffas for bathing and dish scrubbing purposes. I also tried my hand at a few rows of glass gem corn. Both were much easier then expected and very abundant.

Winter me loves a freezer full of farm raised beef, chicken and pork and a belly full of sirloin tip roasts, corn, potatoes, eggs and bacon. And of course I still haven’t grown tired of chicken quesadillas!

But don’t get me wrong, Summer me is still in there also, dreaming of endless sunshine days, with steaks on the grill and fresh lettuce from the garden.

There are still so many skills I want to attempt or try and get better at on the homestead. Bread baking, jams & jellies, soap making, dehydrating and growing herbs to name a few.

This summer I plan to do very little vegetable gardening in order to continue focusing on our livestock operation, help with our hay business and do some much needed organization, up-keeping and maintenance on the land, buildings and house.

We are also going to bring bees back to the farm this Spring so I’m excited to plant all the flowers I can for their enjoyment.

And who knows what else will come my way?

Only The Lord truly knows I guess but I trust having Him in the lead.

After all, He’s the one who brought me here where I can so easily worship Him, trying to be a good steward of all He has entrusted in my care. While all the seasons and unknown in this world collide around me.

He has never led me astray yet.

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