Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Homesteading on the Homefront
This blog is more for me, personally... a place to record my trials and errors and successes and failures as I seek to become more self-sufficient. However, I also believe that sharing ideas, sources, and experiences is important so that's why I've decided to use a public, modern blog instead of a private, old-fashioned notebook.
After almost 10 years as a Navy wife living in a variety of homes (from a 400 sq. ft apartment to a 2000 sq ft house and everything in between), I finally have a place to call my own. Six weeks ago, we moved into a beautiful house on a half an acre in the Hampton Roads area. It came with a fenced, raised-bed garden (complete with established herbs and 4 pepper plants that are still blessing us with more peppers than we'll ever use) and a gorgeous back yard.
Unfortunately, like every other home in the area, it did not come with a basement. It's been quite a challenge trying to pare down and weed out and find room for everything. It also came with an electric flat-top range, which I cannot wait to replace with a gas stove. However, I am not one to spend money replacing a major appliance that is still functioning, so I am making due. I'm not supposed to cook with cast-iron on it, but I do. I FINALLY found a canner that will fit on the large burner (which, incidentally, was just delivered this morning), so I am itching to try it out. I want to make rose-petal jelly with all of the Knock-Out roses we have. And herb jelly, too, to serve over cream cheese with crackers. Because it's a pressure canner, I also want to make things like beef stew and canned chicken so that I can store foods without relying on my freezers.
In fact, there's a ton of stuff I want to do. There's not enough time in the day. I want to learn how to make cheese, plant fruit trees and bushes, get back into soap-making, continue to make yogurt and ice cream and bread and jellies and experiment more with dehydrating and making my own mixes. I want a clothesline. I want chickens, too, but that's not going to happen. (We need 3 acres here to be legal, and even then we could only have 6 hens.) I want to continue to get to know this area I now call home, and all the local farms and produce they have to offer. I keep telling myself it can't all be done today... but one thing at a time, one day at a time, one blog-post at a time. Our mobile military life makes it a challenge, but I am bound and determined to do what I can. Please join me on the adventure I call Homesteading on the Homefront...