Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day work

That's right, while everyone around me was having a party or a BBQ, I was working a 10 hour day in the hay field. My back, butt and knee are killing me. But, I got a bunch done so it's all good. I hope everything goes smooth for tomorrow and I will get a couple days break. I am so ready to get to baking some bread!

Look what I've got! Are they cute or what? My cat Mozart has 3 calico and one smoke grey kitten. They were under the porch getting the eye ick so I had to scoop them up and bring them in. They are already looking better. Kittens haven't fared too well around here this year. Out of 5 batches, only 2 kittens previous to this batch have survived. All have been sickly this year.

I was having a discussion this evening with a friend, Hey Scifi, about real life old timey pioneer living. The concept is pretty popular lately along with what I'm doing with the self sufficient, self sustaining life. There's plenty of things I do here that would qualify as pioneer living. I grow all my own food and don't buy any prepackaged food from the grocery, I garden for the most part without power equipment and harvest all but my wheat by hand. It's all done the old fashioned way, in the ground in rows and plots. I also use containers and the new tire sets for the potatoes but with no special gadgets or specialty growing helpers. I grind my own grains for animal feed and flour, live without air conditioning, cook quite a bit with a wood fire and make all our meals from scratch. I even butcher for myself. These are all qualities I would consider as skills contributing to a pioneer way of living. So, would I be considered at least partly living a pioneer lifestyle? What about those people out there that just claim to be living like that, buying their food from the grocery while growing food in the garden to sell to others? Coating their wares with pesticides while claiming it's all grown the old fashioned way. Or, people out there trying to sell something, using the "pioneer living" as a sales hook?

What counts as self sustained then? Anything you can produce for yourself, more than once. Growing a crop and seed saving to produce a future crop. That is making that item self sustained. Planting fruit trees or berry bushes is another way to self sustain. Those items produce for you without having to make a monetary input each crop. Growing corn to feed to a chicken is self sustaining. You get eggs and meat and new chickens by feeding the corn you grew from the seed you saved and planted. Cool, huh?


  1. I like your way of thinking, look after ourselves as best as possible. I slaughtered a lamb for the first time last week and did a rooster on sonday. All new skills for me. Veggie Garden is planted up for summer too.

  2. Hey, Kat,

    I would be interested to know how you harvest your grain, if you care to write a post about it. We have been considering putting in some winter wheat, if/when the neighbors plant, and wondered how you do it.
    All the best,

  3. You are my hero! hehehehe. I could set and talk to you for hours just to pick your

  4. Yeah i second Miltons request, i too have been toying with the idea of planting a small amount of wheat for bread..I bought a book about it but much prefer to read your experiences. Lana

  5. Hi Kat,

    Love your blog and check daily for updates.

    Wondering what type of green beans you would reccommend for beginner gardner like myself. Our soil is mainly timber clay, and really poor for growing much. The small garden I had this years was so-so, but I plan to amend it with sand, manure and peat, which will hopefully help.
    Hubby is fencing in a 24 x 24 garden for me for next spring...let's hope I've not asked for more than I can handle!! :-D

  6. Hi Rina! Woohoo! Is there anything in the whole world that tastes better than fresh lamb? I am addicted to greek food so I am right with the lamb butchering! You go for it with the garden, you'll love it!

    Hey Kelly! Try Blue lake out and don't be stingy with the manures, they really make a huge difference. Be sure to stick your garden spot for the pH level to ensure a good crop! 24x24 is a great size! Be sure to utilize the vertical growth habits where you can, it helps you pack more in your space.

    Hey SFG! Good to see ya! LOL, you see me alot in chat tho, no fair! thanks for stopping in, see ya soon...

    Hey Milton and Lana! I actually worked on a wheat post last spring, got busy and never finished it. The large plot of wheat I plant gets combined by the neighbor/friend when he goes by to get to one of his fields. The wheat I plant in the garden as an over winter soil helper gets harvested by hand, into a bucket. I just strip the wheat heads off the stalk like you would pull grass seed heads off. The threshing part is a little more complicated ;)

  7. If we all managed to do HALF of what you do in the way of self-sufficiency, the good ol' U.S. of A. might stand a chance. Your creativeness, abilities, and hard work are much admired.

  8. First of all - I LOVE kitten photos.

    And second - you are a hard working woman!

    Reading your blog has been motivational to say the least :-) Friend, you are definitely one of the virtuous women I was talking about in my blog yesterday. Thanks for sharing your life.

  9. Hey mamPea! good to see you! Thanks too, LOL

    Thank you Sue, I appreciate the kind words!

    LOL Scifi, you rock too!


Comments always welcome