Friday: Independence Days Challenge

by Angela aka Farmer Jane on February 17, 2012 · 9 comments

The week seemed to fly by! I don’t have too much to report back for this week’s challenge since I’ve been pretty incapacitated with allergies. So here are the things that got done this week:

Plant something: I don’t know if this counts, but I separated all our garlic cloves and put them into the fridge for 10 days. We’ll be ready to plant the garlic this Wednesday. Garlic needs a 10 day cold snap to break its dormancy.

Harvest Something: 55 eggs

Preserve Something: This week we made kefir. When we first got our kefir grains a few weeks ago, we thought we had been cheated. LOL We opened the kefir grains and there was about a teaspoon in that little package! We also thought we would to have to make a major investment into getting more, but as we’ve learned all week, kefir grains actually grow. They will double in size each week.

Waste Not: All our kitchen scraps continue to go to the chickens and to the compost pile. I haven’t gotten into the habit yet of weighing our compost.

Want Not: Dom brought home two packs of candles for emergencies. Also all our seeds (pictured above) came yesterday. When the box was opened, we laughed at how the seed packets were overflowing out of the box. I spent the majority of the day yesterday getting them inventoried, putting them into their correct zip lock plots and then grouping them according to their companion. I’ll be finishing the grouping process today. Also I saved seeds from three organic squashes that we ate this week.

Eat the Food: Another large stock pot of bone broth was made, kefir was consumed, and for the most part it has been a fend for yourself week. We had some amazing aged Italian black truffle cheese, lots of salads and homemade salad dressings. I’ll be posting a few recipes for our kick ass salad dressings sometime in the next few weeks.

Build Community Food Systems: I’ve started to compile seeds for my daughters to plant at their homes. Gina has a house in Albuquerque that has a few fruit trees and a backyard, so I’ll be putting together a special package for her to grow her own stuff from the abundance of seeds we have here. Hannah also has a house in Albuquerque, but she doesn’t have a backyard. Instead she has lots of patio space. Its amazing how much can grow in a very small area if its planned right. I’ll be putting a special package along with all the containers we have stored here so that she can also have her own patio garden.

Skill Up:

  • We made Kefir
  • We made our own mayonnaise
  • Discovered the need to only use organic ginger when making lacto fermented beverages. The last batch was attempted and the culture failed due to something being on the skin of the ginger.
  • I continue to sharpen my knowledge of companion planting
  • Learning the correct time to plant according to our unique area
  • I learned that we could buy a few dairy cows and receive their raw milk. We would buy the shares of the cows and pay a small fee per month for boarding, and we get a gallon or more of raw milk each week. :)

Organization: The open pantry shelves are now complete and all the jars we had stored in our main pantry were brought out. The shelves were capped with a finishing molding and they are now complete. I’m still getting used to looking for things on the shelves and Noah is still washing and putting the jars away in the cabinets, but we’ll get there! The other little organizational thing done this week was to hang our measuring spoons out on hooks near the baking area.

Here are a few photos I took this week:


Measuring spoons were hung on hooks

Work continues on the greenhouse.

Our apricot trees are starting to form their buds. Actually all our trees already have started forming their buds. My “skill up” for this week will be pruning them for the first time. They grew over three feet during the summer and there are a few branches that need to be nipped.

The photo above is of our smallest little tiny peach tree. It was planted during the summer and seems to want burst out of winter. LOL

The above photo is of the tree we just planted not too long ago. Its our Jonathan apple tree. Can you believe the buds forming on this tree? It just looks magical.

Independence Days Challenge is hosted by Sharon of  The Chatelaine’s Keys


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah February 17, 2012 at 11:26 am

I have been inspired to join the challenge, here is a link to my blog post


Angela aka Farmer Jane February 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Hi Sarah,
I’m on my way to pop over to your site right now!
Thanks for joining the challenge! :)


Bee Girl (AKA Melissa) February 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I am inspired by your seed organization! Also…raw milk?! We’ve been on the fence about this…where are you getting your milk from???


Angela aka Farmer Jane February 17, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Hi Melissa,

Thanks, I feel very overwhelmed by the sheer volume of seeds we have this year, and organizing them has really helped me focus.

I’m still waiting for a reply from the dairy farmer, but from the site I’ve been too, I think its going to be great. I had one question about how much it costs to have the raw milk delivered. I’ll give him a few days to get back to me and I’ll have Dom call them. (I HATE talking on the phone. LOL) Here’s the website that I found from the Weston A. Price Foundation:


Bee Girl (AKA Melissa) February 18, 2012 at 11:50 am

Thanks for the link! That is the same place my brother has been getting his raw milk from for the last few months. He’s been very happy with it. I guess they have a guy who drives to NM each week and sets up in a designated place for pick-up. I’m thinking that we’ll go with them when we decide to take the plunge but I’d love to hear your feedback about your experiences with them, too (when you hear back from them, of course) :-)


Angela aka Farmer Jane February 18, 2012 at 11:57 am

They haven’t gotten back to me yet. did your brother say how much they charge to drive the milk over? In the feedback on the website there was a woman from Rio Rancho that also gets the milk, I’m thinking of contacting her too. Where does your brother have to go to pick up the milk?


Bee Girl (AKA Melissa) February 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm

He didn’t say there was an extra charge for delivery, but I will ask him specifically next time I talk to him :-) He picks it up off of West Alameda.

Angela aka Farmer Jane February 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm

That’s awesome, Dom passes Alameda (I assume its the one in ABQ) everyday for work.


Bee Girl (AKA Melissa) February 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Oy…sorry for the confusion…sometimes I get lost in my own little bubble! I meant West Alameda here in Santa Fe :-( I’m wondering though, if they’re driving all the way here, if they don’t already have a stop established closer to you??? I would think so…


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