And it’s on!  

Yesterday we officially started the tires. We tried our hand at the first tire to get a hang of what we are doing. It took about 6 buckets of dirt but the tire looks great. In order to finish in the time we need to we have to do 12 tires a day. At this point in time it seems a bit ominous but…  If we can get a few people to come out to help we should be able to do it. We also plan on having a 2 day event in October where people can come and camp out, we will get as many tires done as we can, and afterwards we will have a big cookout with music and fun!  I call it the “barn raising” party. In the meantime we invite anyone who wants to come and help to hit me up for days and times we will be out!  Help is always welcome!!  

Are you ready?  We might be…

We got the backhoe today and got everything done that we wanted to do!  We leveled the area around the concrete, dug the very large hike where the septic will be, and dug the grey water area. All in all it took us about 12 hours of hard labor to get it done. We cleaned up and treated the kids to pizza afterwards because they were… Mildly good. They didn’t kill eachother, which we were happy about. 


So now for the HUGE news!! 

We are starting the tires!!  Which means that we need as much help As we can get!! So now is the time to hit me up, pick a date, grab a tent, Shovel, wheelbarrow, sledgehammer, whatever you got and come on down!!  C and I are hoping to plan at least one “barn raising” event to try and get as much done in one weekend as we can. 

See you soon!! 

Because it’s taking too long 

We ordered a backhoe. It will hopefully be here Wednesday. After almost 2 weeks of me going out and digging an hour a day C came out. We dug for about 30 minutes before we both realized it would take us way too long to dig everything ourselves. As much as we want to save money we have to weigh money vs time and chose what is best for both. Right now we need to get The ground level so we can start the tires. We agreed though that if we are spending grow money form backhoe then we are also digging the lagoon and septic and also the grey water. If we have time we will add the battery house too. Hopefully I will have more to update after Wednesday!  

The importance of local farms 

I’ve been in quite a few heated discussions lately about the importance of local farms not only in educating people how to eat healthier, but also (and especially) about the difference between mass produced farming and local farming. 


Let’s start with the mass production first. I am not opposed to GMOs, although using that term is about as confusing as the term global warming so let’s break down what I mean. Genetically modified organisms are actually a really good thing. My husband wouldn’t be able to afford insulin if it weren’t for the genetically modified bacteria that now makes it. What MOST people are talking about when they talk about GMOs are the round-up resistant strains. The ones that are made to have high yields and not be damaged by massive doses of herbicides. While I am not a fan of the prospect of ingesting these massive amounts of herbicides the thing that I am most concerned about is something completely different. These products are generally made without the concern for nutrient content. They are produced to be a filler. Most of these products that actually make it into human consumption are actually being used as some product in packaged foods. Packaged foods that have already been shown to hold little nutritional value. How do local farms come in?  Local farms tend to grow smaller quantities of food but with more variety. They also tend to grow plants that are naturally hardier with more nutritional value and flavor. If we were to focus on bringing more local produce to people we could increase the nutritional health of those who need it most. 

The second thing: educating people to eat better. There is a niche that is currently not being filler, or at least is slowely being filled. That is helping people realize the importance of eating better while also making these foods more readily available to the consumers who are unable to utilize them. This is a tricky subject that will involve much trial and error in our part. As I have observed in the past few years local farms tend to wait for people to come to them, visit a farmers market, etc.  which is great for consumers who have the time, energy, money, etc to invest in these thing. What about the families that don’t?  I would like to see more local farms coming together to bring their goods to a wider audience. Teaching people to eat better, teaching people the value of good nutrition, offering some kind of meal prep/ planning to help families who don’t have the time to eat better. I don’t understand why this can’t be a thing, and not only a thing but one that is spearheaded by the local farm industry. 

I honestly believe in the coming years we should, and hopefully will, see local farms become a major part of the food industry again. 

Did I mention…

Did I mention we bought a tractor?  Do you remember the tractor we borrowed from our friend that we bought all the parts for?  He needed to sell it so we spent the money we were going to use to put in our well to buy the tractor. We have a really good plan for saving that money back up so we can still get it out in this year, it will just have to be a bit later than we had planned. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy it. It was a really good price and something we HAD to have in order to meet next years farm goals. I’m a bit giddy that we actually have a tractor of our very own. 

Becoming more self sufficient 

Last year we were able to bring down our grocery bill to $100 a week. That is feeding 5-6 people 3 meals a day plus snacks. Last week I reached our next milestone of $80. It’s in part to growing more food and a more diverse assortment of food this year. This is our meal list for the week:

Breakfast:

Pancakes, oatmeal, eggs, buttermilk biscuits, and bacon.

Lunch: 

Zucchini fritters, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese, veggies with hummus, grilled veggie sandwiches, leftovers, pasta

Snacks:

Popcorn, sweet breads (pumpkin, zucchini, banana), Granola bars, macaroni and cheese

Dinners: 

Chicken pot pie (made with leftover chicken from the week before), spinach and mushroom white pizza, spaghetti squash marinara with roasted squash and garlic bread, veggie lasagna, tacos (we have tacos every Tuesday), tofu Tikka Masala, squash stuffed with Italian sausage. 


My grocery list:

Eggs ($1.09×2), flour ($3), butter ($3×2), mozerella ($5), buttermilk ($3), tofu ($1.69), milk ($4), Popcorn ($2.5), linguine ($1.25), tomatoes (2 cans x $.99), Annie’s Mac and cheese (on sale 3 X $1), .25 lbs chorizo sausage ($.98), bacon ($7.39), Simply lemonde (on sale 3x$2), organic lemon juice ($7.29), sour cream ($1), cocoa ($3.19), natural sugar ($1.99), cheddar cheese ($2.77), granola bars ($3.67, $3.29), bananas ($1.13). 

Total: $72.30. I also bought lunch for $5 and toilet paper which takes it up to just under $80. 

What I don’t need to buy and what it would cost to buy it from the farm or the store (*denotes something I already had bought) 

Spinach* ($1), spaghetti squash ($4), 3 yellow squash ($3), 3 zuchinni ($3), black beans* ($2), peanut butter* ($2.5), jelly ($2), hummus* ($2). That would bring it up to $100 for the week!  

Getting there!

Almost half of the outside where the tires go is level and ready. We have about another week of this before we start pounding dirt into tires!  I have to admit I’m a bit nervous. This is one of those “close you eyes and just jump in” moments. Once we start the tires we really have a goal of being complete in 3 months. I have a strong feeling that won’t happen but I am really hoping it does. I think if we work diligently on our days off and I lost people’s help we can do it. 

This past week we have focused on getting dirt moved around and leveled on that first like 1/3 of the house section. We also bought a thing that pounds dirt so that we won’t have as much of the sinking issue that we did with the concrete. I also made drainage ditches for the standing water that was around the other side of the house. That portion should actually dry out some now. 

I have also started collecting tires. So far we have almost 50. Another 850 to go!  

We haven’t pinned down a date but it looks like probably by the 15th of August we will have started in on this next round of the house.