Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Around the Homestead

Some photos from around the homestead!  We have been busy :)  The garden continues to grow and thrive and we are super excited for the day we can begin harvesting the bounty and eating from the land.  I also have my work cut out for me, as I need to educate myself on canning and storing up all of this delicious food for the winter!


Green Beans - There is a whole row of this growing!

Romaine Lettuce - apparently lettuce is not my gift...I only have three heads growing!

Okra - can't wait to dry some in my dehydrator.  MMMM!

Squash - Delicious!

This is the kids soon-to-bee sunflower house.  We planted all of the seeds in a large rectangle so when they grow up big and tall, the kids can play inside like a playhouse!  So far so good :)

Cantaloupe peeking through!

In other news, we have been cleaning out the back of the chicken yard, where trees and vines were taking over.  It is dangerous work for sure, and here is why:

Why yes, that is a Copperhead snake.  We actually killed two of these venomous creatures in our clean-out.  Where there are two, I am sure there are more.  Alert eyes becomes the name of the game when you are out and about around the farm.

Natalie thinks life is sweet because she got to help mow the yard for the first time on the RIDING mower!  Talk about feeling big!  She loved every second.

In our quest for low-carb and sugar-less eating, we have found a delicious little treat!  They are called indian food and they have less than 2 grams of carbs each.  That is LOW.  Straight from the package, they almost look like a circle of cardstock, but 3-4 seconds in the pan with a little coconut oil, and they puff up like a tostada.  We really enjoyed eating them that way, topped with lots of yumminess like seasoned beef, lettuce, tomato, grilled bell peppers, sour cream, and avocado.  A tasty low-carb treat for sure!

I stumbled upon a fantastic deal at one of my favorite secret grocery spots!  I purchased this entire crate of sweet potatoes (around 40 pounds) for $5...including the crate.  Awesome!  We have enjoyed baked sweet potato fries, and will also be using some on the garden, as well as the flowerbed hoping for some sweet potato vines.  We will see how it goes!

 For those of you from Texas (which is I am sure all 3 of you who read here!) I am sure you heard about the terrible explosion tragedy in West, Texas.  So very, very sad.  While we do not live in West, we do live close enough that we heard the explosion, and it really shook our home, leaving pictures hanging crooked on the walls.  We are all fine, as we are far enough away that there was no damage, but it was certainly alarming as we did not know what had happened for about an hour.  It wasn't until they began showing it on TV that we realized what had really happened.  Our hearts are broken for the community of West, and we know that it will be a long road of recovery as they grieve and heal and rebuild.  Lives were lost that day, families forever changed.  We pray for the community there, and for those ministering to them.

That tragedy, along with the B0ston tragedy, really spurred me on to begin working on a project that I have LONG wanted to take on.  I have done quite a bit of research about emergency preparedness, and have finally started on 72-hour kits for our family.  Should something happen that would cause us to need to evacuate, like terrible weather or some other tragic event, we can grab our backpacks and have everything we need to self-sustain for 72 hours.  Our kits are not complete yet, as it can be a bit expensive to put them all together at once, but they are started!  Once complete, they will include food, water, shelter, communication tools, first aid supplies, and other items we might need.  Yes, somehow it will fit mostly in our four little backpacks.  It was amazing to me how many of the items I already had around the house, but they were not useful in an emergency because they were so scattered and there might not be time to gather in the moment.  Now they are gathered together and we can grab them easily.  The beauty is, we could even use these packs if we needed to stay here in our home, yet had no electricity or water.  Over the coming weeks and months I will continue to add to our packs until they are complete.  We have even put together a pack for Nathaniel to keep with him on his commute.  Since he is an hour away from us, in an emergency he could grab his pack and walk home.

It may seem silly to others for us to think about preparedness, but we feel like it is a wise move for our family.  We believe and have no doubts that God is in control, but we also believe that preparedness is something God would have us do.

Here is a picture of our bags in progress:

So that's a brief recap of the happenings around the homestead.  Check back soon for more fun pictures!


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