What I accomplished in June:
1. A whole lot of gardening. Gardening may be work, but it is so rewarding to reap the rewards from your efforts. We ate all of our radishes. Our lettuce and salad mix keeps producing and has yet to turn bitter. We've also been eating regular English peas and pod peas all month, though they are pretty much done. I made a few pickled beets from The Thinker's crop and they were d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! The Thinker also provided us with cabbage that I made into bierocks. Who knew homegrown cabbage was that much better than store-bought? It had such a delicate flavor and super-crisp texture.
|Time to make hay while the sun shines!|
2. Got a dehydrator and experimenting with drying garden produce and herbs. We bought an Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator and a ParaFlexx Non-Stick Drying Sheet (Yes, only one for now. I want to try it out on some fruit leather before I buy enough sheets for all my trays.) The only thing I have dried thus far is oregano, but I know I'll be giving it quite the workout over the next few months. I'll post more reviews as I try other applications.
3. Stocked up on canning supplies. I did go ahead and buy 6 dozen Tattler Reusable Canning Lids. I haven't needed to use them, so I can't really give an opinion about them yet. I did happen to buy some for my mom for Mother's Day (We're a practical family, can you tell?) and she seems to like them. I really need more jars, but they weren't in the budget this month.
|Tattler Reusable Canning Lids|
4. A bit more food storage, of course. I got some bottled lemon juice for canning purposes, a case of dry milk, and some spices.
5. First Aid. I picked up another box of nitrile gloves. I really was intending to buy more in this category, too, but you'll see that I spend the remainder of my budget on #6.
6. Added to our Survival Library. I love books, real books. You won't find me anywhere near a
- The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times
- Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens: 3rd Edition (Storey's Guide to Raising Series)
- Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables
Oh, and the book about chickens? Let's just say there's something called a chicken moat in our future...
7. Hubby Dear and I also did a massive de-cluttering and reorganization of our storage room. We dropped off the kids for a weekend of candy-fueled hyperactivity with Grandma and completely filled our van with items to donate.
|After: Glorious Floor Space!|
I forgot to take a "before" picture, but it was bad. The middle of the room was pretty much covered with stacks of buckets and pieces of disused furniture.
|Buckets tucked out of the way|
Now the buckets are tucked underneath the stairs with my water storage. The process of taking everything out of the storage room helped me to update our inventory spreadsheets. Now we have a very good idea just what we have and what we need to purchase.
8. I also learned how to make yogurt from dry milk and had waaaaaay too much fun doing it. I've become such a food storage dork! Click here to read how to do it. It's easy and it really works.
I have changed my prepping plan for July about five or six times already. Originally, I had intended to split my budget between several categories (defense, first aid, food storage, and miscellaneous). Then I started watching the Sun Oven videos posted by Crystal from EverydayFood Storage.Net and so I wanted to buy one of those. I still do want to buy a Sun Oven and everything else on my list, but I feel Spirit's whispering to me to finish our food storage. It's never a good idea to ignore the Holy Spirit (remember what happened to Jonah?), so I think July will be one of those mega-food storage months.
- Add to our long term food storage. We're getting much closer to having a year's supply!
- Try to find an aloe plant. Not really food storage (though some people drink aloe juice), but something good to have on hand.
- Keep up in the garden.
- Eat, can, freeze, or dehydrate our garden produce. Stock up on canning supplies.