|One of three bags of cooked, ground beef/venison that I put up in the freezer.|
It's been a doozy of a month around here! I haven't been able to get much of anything done in the way of emergency preparedness, but I have done quite a bit in the food storage, sustainable living and self reliance fronts. Through the blessings of friends and family, I have learned so much about food preservation and received some items to achieve my self reliance and culinary goals.
- For my birthday my Mom gave me a food dehydrator. So far I have dried some zucchini discs, and as I write this I have sage, catnip and sweet mint drying.
- I canned 7 quarts of green beans. I plan on buying more from a local farm stand. Actually, I'm thinking of asking to trade some of our eggs for the beans.
- A friend from church hosted a class on soaking and using whole grains and lacto-fermentation. Not only did I learn these techniques, but I also learned that I actually like hot oatmeal! I've made quinoa twice now and have 1 quart of sauerkraut fermenting now.
- Another friend from church invited me to her house to show me how to can tomatoes. I'm so thankful to her for this knowledge. In watching someone actually process and can, I was able to make a plan on how to set up my kitchen while I process my tomatoes. She also gave me a shopping bag full of tomatoes!
- Using my above knowledge (and gift of tomatoes!), Princess and I skinned, cut and seeded tomatoes for sauce which is simmering down right now.
- My DH and Wheels have set out 5 gallon buckets and some plastic totes outside under the eaves to collect rain water. This isn't as practical as a rain barrel, but this "system" has come in handy many times of the past few dry weeks. The garden has been watered without fear of draining the well.
- I processed 2 more large zucchini to freeze for zucchini bread. The zucchini can also be successfully hidden in meat sauce when it has bee shredded and sauteed before being added.
- We have been blessed by a friend that gave me a box of quart jars. We will also be getting another chest freezer from my tomato canning friend and her husband. My DH just has to have some time to clean up the cellar a bit!
- Though the garden is still yielding it's bounty, I have learned many lessons and started planning for next year! I had the boys lay down some old feed bags to prepare the ground for some new raspberry bushes next spring. They also weeded a patch of the garden so that I can plant some lettuce and spinach. Our pumpkin and zucchini yields were heartbreaking, so I will be clearing those plants to make room for carrots.
Hope you all have a wonderful day!
*I'm linking up to Homestead Revival's Preparedness Challenge