Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 1: July 4th 2014

Yesterday was day one on my one year journey of urban homesteading. For those of you that do not read our family blog, Adventures of Irish Triplets , our income was just drastically reduced as Tim switched to a new job. He was hired on as full time, general labor, but the man he was supposed to replace wasn't approved for his disability. So we are now living on a part time job trying to make ends meet.

Boiling a whole chicken

Now that was an adventure. I did a little research online, pinterest & google, and a few websites had varying advice. I boiled the bird too long. By the time I went to go pull it out it crumbled under the tongs. I had a hell of a time trying to debone it with everything just floating around. I did however end up with 4 quarts of killer homemade frozen bone broth, also known as liquid gold, to add to my growing stock pile of home preserved food. I boiled the whole frozen chicken, minus the neck and organs, in a stock pot filled about 3 inches above the bird, with what fresh herbs and veggies I had from the garden; basil, rosemary, green beans, peas, and pearl onions with a little salt and pepper of course. We ended up using half of the chicken for salads today and had bbq chicken sandwiches for dinner. We got 3 meals ultimately out of a $5 bird!

Freezer Cooking

I also made 18 frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I try to buy bread in bulk when it is on sale for a really great price. I had three loaves of bread, which I would normally just throw in the freezer until we were ready to use it, and decided to make ahead some "uncrustables" for a 1/4 of the cost. I ended up spending $4 to make 18 sandwiches, when they retail at the grocery store $3 for 4 of them for an almost 80% savings!


I have a clothesline rigged up between two trees in our backyard. It is about 80 feet between the two and even with a line separator and tightener I have succumbed to the fact that I will have to rig up a T post line because even if I get the line as tight as I can it still has a pretty big sag.


I planted a new batch of corn in between the 10 in tall seedlings I planted a few weeks ago. I also went ahead and planted 4 bean seeds around the corn stalks in hopefully create a synergistic environment that will hopefully cut down on our weeds in the garden. I also pulled up the tomato plant in the front yard that had a virus and replaced it with a new Chive and Basil plant. The radishes were pulled up yesterday, the ones that never quit made it, and a burpee lettuce mix was planted in its place. We also sowed a few more sunflower seeds to hopefully have a succession of blooms through the end of July into August. Next week I have to start and plan where our broccoli, fall cucumbers, kale, spinach, peas, beets carrots, garlic, and lettuce for our fall garden.

Friday, July 4, 2014

365 Days to an Urban Homestead

Today I'm going to embark on a challenge, 365 days of urban homesteading. I already dabble in a little bit of everything self sufficient but today I really felt like I needed to motivate myself. With three under three and a 7 year old, plus Tim and I being newly married, it is easy to become over whelmed. 

Striving to become more self relient and living frugally is actually relaxing for me. Something about supplying food for my family with my own hands and spending as little of our minimal one income as I can is a joy. It helps us strive towards paying off our pretty big chunk of student loan debt and save up towards our dream of owning our own small working homestead. 

So far in an effort to be more frugal, earth friendly, self sufficient and relient, we have implemented a ton of changes. A few include: 

-breast feeding 
-cloth diapering 
-making our own cleaners 
-meal planning 
-line drying 95% of the time except for rainy days 
-meal planning 
-buying in bulk
-ordering our meat from a butcher 
-using a budget 
-not buying disposable paper products
-switching to a feminine cup 
-seed saving 
-freezer cooking 
-planning and budgeting our gas use 
-buying and selling things on craigslist and through consignment 
-cutting our hair at home 
-finding free or cheap entertainment 
-limiting tv time to about an hour a day max for myself and the children  (besides dad who plays adult video games kids free after we have all gone to bed)
-never buying full price 
-accepting help from friends and family 
-minimally using our air conditioning unless it's over 80 degrees in the house. (Our twins have cerebral palsy and being confined to equiptment at high temperatures is extremely uncomfortable for them.)
-using freebie sites and sometimes couponing. 

The next 365 days I am going to share little bits about our daily live and the ways we save. To educate and to give myself a little encouragement. There's nothing better then being able to actually see the fruits of your labor.