Sunday, April 18, 2010

New Post

Yep--that's all I could think of to call it since I seem to have completely faded away from this sight lately. Life has this silly way of not slowing down...

So here is what has been happening: I went back to school to work on an art degree, hubby is graduating with an engineering masters degree in May, kids are busy in every sport and school activity known to man, and I have been the taxi...How's that in a nutshell? LOL.

Plus, the chickens have morphed into super big girls seemingly overnight and the outside coop is still not built. I am starting to get a little aggressive about that since they really need to be outside eating bugs in my yard and enjoying being chickens! Word of advice: no matter how tiny and cute they are, DO NOT bring chicks home until the coop is built and ready to function! That said, chickens are probably the most entertaining creatures you will run across! I love my chickens. And the eggs a wonderful too!

We have been really busy putting in raised beds in the backyard since we have such uneven and poor soil. Raised beds allow us to level out the soil and not have to till. We did have them come out and mark the underground power lines, and were really surprised at the odd layout of criss-crossing lines across the yard. Raised beds will alleviate that too. We have 4' by 8' bed already filled with rhubarb, strawberries, asparagus, and tomatoes. Another one is waiting to be filled. We used cinder blocks and made some smaller raised beds along the fences that hold 4 boysenberries, 4 fall gold raspberry, 2 loganberry and 3 regular blackberry bushes. It is my goal to be able to grow enough produce that we do not have to buy it at the store, plus grow it organically. I am also hoping to have enough at the end of the summer to be able to can quite a bit for the winter months. It would be great if the only thing we have to buy is meat, dairy and some of the fruits, veggies and mushrooms that we can't grow. Wish us luck. This will hopefully bring the food bills more in line with my goals of cutting them in half or more. The initial outlay of the gardens is a little bit more than I had hoped (wood and cinder blocks for the beds, topsoil and bags of peat...etc), but I am confident it will even out over the next season or two and pay for itself. Especially with the berries. The price per pound at the store is usually pretty darned expensive.

In keeping with the hopes of lowering food costs, I am happy to say we have been really good at eating meals cooked at home. I am learning to make ravioli lately. Sometime this week I will try my hand at making fresh pasta, then move on to the ravioli. One of the twins and I are going to take a sushi class this summer. I had the opportunity to learn to make homemade crescent rolls recently at a cooking class and the boys absolutely love them. The premise behind the class is that you make them and can freeze them for later. I'll post the recipe later. It makes a huge amount and the recipe can easily be cut in half. However, these freeze beautifully and taste wonderful!! Well worth the effort of making them homemade and with the bonus of being able to stash some away in the freezer for later. It's a win/win situation!

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