WHAT IS BEING ADDED TO STORAGE WHAT IS BEING PRESERVED
1. 50 lbs Oats (untreated from feed store) Cherry Pie Filling
2. 25 lbs Dried Milk Raspberry Jam
3. 10 bottles of Ketchup Drying Vidalia Onions
4. 5 bottles of BBQ Sauce Canning Tomatoes (as they ripen)
5. 12 jars of Mayonnaise Canning Cubanelle Peppers (as they ripen)
6. 3 jars of Mustard Dehydrating Green peppers (as they ripen)
Canning Pickles (as the cukes ripen)
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE GARDEN
1. Lima Beans Planted
2. Sweet Potato Slips Planted
3. Chickens are Ranging the Main Garden (preparation for the fall crops)
I decide what to put in our food storage according to what is producing in this area and what the store specials will be. Towards the end of the month, the stores will put on sales related to picnics and cook outs for the Fourth of July. I only feel secure if I have a one year provision of food on my shelves, and a little bit extra to share. I find that the most inexpensive way to feed my family. Having my own little store in the back pantry is more frugal than all those coupon frenzies that are currently the fad. Have you noticed that most of the food the coupon queens buy is junk food? I am all for coupons if you buy real food, that you can’t grow yourself or perhaps cleaning supply.
How is food storage economical? Well, food prices constantly go up. There are exceptions, but for the most part, you can plan on paying more in the future. That means that the food you already have on the shelf was less expensive than what you can purchase now. That translates into quite a savings because I am getting a jump on the cost of living expenses. I am eating food at last year’s price. If that has not convinced you, consider this…our food supply becomes tainted. E-coli, salmonella outbreaks and factory mishaps are in the news. The store purchased food on my shelves has been there just long enough to be proven.
Some of this may seem overwhelming. Canners, dehydrators, and pressure cookers need to be understood and mastered. There is an expense at first in canning jars and equipment. But remember, you are buying cans now and throwing them away. We recycle canning jars and lids, rings, after all, canning was the original “fast food”. Too bad that people didn’t just stick with it. The landfills and our health would have been better off
Sometime this month, our pullets will start laying. Our 7 hens have almost quit producing, giving us about 2 eggs a day. They are old now, and will be culled this month. We have about 12 rabbits and probably that many cockerals to butcher as well. That will no doubt keep us in meat until the fall. We will be getting in a new set of chicks to raise for winter dinners, any day now. The nice thing about ordering chicks this time of year, is that they are less of a worry. It is warm enough that we will have no problem raising them in the greenhouse.
I wanted to tell you about Rogers. He is the new generations’ buck bunny, thus the name Buck Rogers. His father’s name is Buck, of course. Well, my dear husband has tamed him as a pet, bringing him in to sit on his lap to watch TV at night. Hubby lets him run about while evening chores are done and the rabbit follows him just like the dogs do, occasionally kicking up his heels and running zig-zags and visiting his future wives from the top of the cages. He comes when called, (the rabbit, not dear husband) and has made himself the king of the backyard. He teases the dogs who have been taught not to chase the animals.
The pool-greenhouse is doing very well. I get enough lettuce from the aquaponics to serve a salad every other day or so. A friend was leaving for the cooler north and offered us a beautiful green pepper plant, just loaded with blossoms and babies. This friend has a setup using a river water hydroponics system. That pepper has been happy in water all it’s life. We have a huge habenaro pepper tree but none of us can eat those pretty little red firecrackers. I have had many pepper plants winter over and become trees. The habenaro is 3 years old and stands about 5 feet tall, branching out like a tree should. I use the peppers in a spray as a deterrent to bugs and other pests.
I know it seems that you may be just getting your garden going but here in Florida, not much grows in July or August because of the heat, the daily rain, and the pests. July and August are much like winter for us, it is the time to prepare. I am preparing beds for September plantings and will be starting cold weather vegetables next month. And working on getting rid of the gold fish and preparing for tilapia.