One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One mother making ends meet and surviving today's recession by writing. One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Self-Suffieciency Lifestyle Paying Off

I'm posting early today.  Hubby brought home another 10 lb. box of blueberries and a box of peaches.  I'll be busy for sure.

Here's an update on our journey to being self-sufficient.  Each year it gets better.
In the last 3 1/2 years we have really gained progress with self-sufficiency.  It does require some investments, but those pay off. 

So far this year, with making our own soap with our goat's milk, have not had to buy any bars of soap (and have used it to make homemade laundry detergent also).

We have not purchased dishwasher detergent either, and I am proud that we have reduced those chemicals and costs.

We have not had to buy any onions or potatoes this year.  Last year we did.  

We went all winter using green peppers we froze versus buying them from the store.

When we are low on eggs, we do without.  

We have cut down the cost of buying organic milk by having the goat's, and have drastically cut down the trips to the recycling center (cost of time and gasoline) to take milk jugs in.  It's been nice to recycle our canning jars for milk. 

I have not had to buy ricotta cheese this year also.  Making it is so easy with the goat's milk, but it takes 4 1/2 quarts. 

As for making ice cream out of goat's milk, we need another goat for more milk.  We need cream to add to the milk, otherwise it will freeze rock hard.  My daughter already has her eye on one she wants to add to her herd. 

We have not had to buy any jelly or jams for the last two years.  Every year I learn more recipes to make and stock up on.

I have cut back on the cost of annual flowers, and used seeds from other farmgirls (lovely zinnia's).  We also get the joy of watching butterflies.

We have not had to buy pickles or relish for two years now.  We had a bumper crop of cucumbers last year, and have not cut back the cost of carrots.

Our homemade deodorant is lasting so much longer, and had drastically cut back the cost and cut out the chemicals.

Last year, from butcher time to this spring, I never had to buy chicken.  Our meat chickens were worth the time to raise and we know they are chemical/antibiotic free. 

After last fall, and three rounds of yucky antibiotics, I am really working hard to use natural remedies.  Since then, and my awful sickness with allergies, we have been successful.  With the purchase of Allergy Easer Oil, I have not had to buy any allergy pills whatsoever (since last fall).  I have only had to take ibuprofen one time since then as well.  And my 10 year-old, who also suffers horribly, has not had to take one pill either.  She uses the roll-on Allergy Easer, and it has eliminated buying over the counter drugs, and we feel much better.  We've been successful at reducing our costs, and staying chemical free.

I've learned foraging skills, and have researched the health benefits of eating dandelion greens, and tops.  I've been making jelly from dandelions, and using the roots for dandelion "coffee."  I've learned that clovers are edible, and I can make jelly from white and red clover.  I've been making jelly from the flower of Queen Anne's Lace and studying the uses for the black walnuts on my property.  Even foxtail grass is edible.  We have wild chickweed on the property (not road side plants) and they can be used to make coffee, natural salves, and such as well.  Every year we pick the wild growing black raspberries.  It just gets more interesting as we learn.

I've learned skills for natural dyes, including the wild pokeweed growing on our property.  I hope to experiment more with plants like the goldenrod that grow here as well.

Over the past two years, I have taught my self to knit and to do needle tatting.  My goals are to learn quilting, blacksmithing, foraging for mushrooms, go hunting for deer myself, fish more often, and to learn the art of spinning wool.  The list gets longer each year, but our hand crocheted afghans are warmer than any blanket you can buy in the store, and last longer.  

This is our first year to plant again for a fall harvest.  Thankfully the August rains are helping.

It's all hard work, but in the end, worth it.  Our next goals are to make and use homemade toothpaste, grow enough corn to grind down ourselves for cornmeal, raise beef and dairy cows and much more.

Our wish list keeps growing, and every year we gain a few steps forward.


Sam I Am...... said...

That is all so wonderful! You are doing exactly what I always wanted to do but my family wasn't on board. Now, they've all gone their own ways but I'm not as young as I was back then either! LOL! I do what I can and I am still working towards my acreage in the country. I too taught myself to knit this year and I make my own detergent and can some stuff. I would like to learn more about foraging too. Are there any books you found helpful in any of this? You're doing wonderfully....keep up the great work! You're very inspiring!

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

How wonderful that you've found all those skills and uses for goat's milk. You have been doing so well, with all these things. I love watching and reading about all your doing. Me? I'm not making as much progress in the homesteading area. I should probably sit down and make a list--it is probably longer than I think.
Do you have a post on your meat chickens? On how you go about putting the up?
We have our chickens and while they've done an excellent job of pest control, and are now laying. We stalled out on putting them up.
I want to and The Honey doesn't.
(for one, he hasn't read up on it and we are both inexperienced)
All your jellies sound delicious and some of them I'm sure have helped to build an immunity to some of the local pollens in your area. That is great.
Cheese and soap...I'd love to give it a try. Every little bit helps.
Kudos to you and your family in all you've learned and are doing! to read about the deoderant, Pat

Kristina said...

I'm not sure if I posted on those, but remember taking them to the butcher. We missed out on them this year, due to other things going on. We used a large dog kennel, but will free range them next time.

Candy C. said...

Blueberries and peaches, how wonderful!
I'm glad you have finally gotten a handle on your allergies and sinus troubles, you suffered so badly with it last year.
You guys are doing great with your self sufficiency and are truly an inspiration!! :)

Laurie said...

You hard work is really paying off! You are truly inspiring, and I congratulate you on your self sufficiency success...way to go!
Farmgirl Sister#1403

nancy said...

Good for you! I think it's good to keep those long-term goals in mind, then it's not so overwhelming...

simplicityinthemaking said...

Congratulations on your progress. Just to let you know needle tatting is easy and fun. You will enjoy it.

Nancy Jo said...

OK, after reading that I need to lay down. You did great!
Nancy Jo

Karen Fincher said...

Wow you stay busy, but in a good way. Congrats on all your homesteading efforts. One day I would like to start on doing all these things as well. Have a great Sunday.