Monday, June 04, 2012

What I "C" From the Urban Trench

My apologies for the length of time between posts. Life has a nasty habit of getting in the way when you make other plans.
So the letter of the day is "C". It's taken me a couple of days to list some things that applied to our little world here, and then narrow that list down, but the most important for us is country. As in, we're moving out to it. We're finally getting out of the city, and none too soon. Now, I know that's not news to you regular readers, but it's a huge change for the boys and the dog. Moving from the city to the country will allow us  more freedom, more options, more self-sustainability, and definitely more security. The recent rash of "bath-salts" drug using has me more convinced than ever that we need to get the hell out of Dodge, so to speak. Yes, I know you can find pot growing in the bush because someone figured it was safe there, but at least someone high on pot isn't going to try and eat my face off!

Also a change for us will be the raising of chickens. We'll be raising layers in the hopes that we can keep our mini-horde of egg lovers satisfied, and  any extras (ha!) will be sold to generate money for feed. This is just one way to provide a bit more food security, and eat healthier too!

Compost is a big part of eating healthier in a way. Feed the soil, and you feed the plants, and in turn, eat healthier yourself. So I've been devoting a lot of time to learning how to make compost quicker and better.

Cover crops also help feed and protect the soil. They feed the soil by replacing nutrients and carbon mass, thereby building more productive soil, and increasing crop yield each year.

Speaking of crops, there's dozens that start with our chosen letter of the day. I look forward to harvesting all kinds of carrots, celery and cucumbers. I've never grown collards before, but since someone in the family wants them, we'll give them a go. I've been told they are similar to a cross between turnip greens and spinach. Well, I guess I'll just have to see.

Conservation of water and food has been a big thing for us lately, and will continue to be. I've taken to figuring out how much water we'd need for a week and setting it aside in sanitized 2L pop bottles here. Up at the new homestead, we're already getting rain barrels and eavestrophes in place so that we can save water there. Part of food conservation is canning, which I also look forward to. I've not been able make jam or salsa here, and honestly there's nothing like bright and lively homemade fruit salsa or crunchy pickles.

There's a lot to be said for home cooking too. Eating out has become fraught with super sized portions even I can't finish, preservatives I can't pronounce and a general feeling of dissatisfaction. Making our meals at home allows us a little more control over portion size, favor, spices, sodium and best of all, taste.  Not mention that the amount of food one can buy for $30 eating out is nowhere near the amount of food one can cook for $30. I feel sorry for all those folks at McD's, but my family has to eat better than questionable mystery meat, fries white with salt and drinks I can't finish.

Candles are important to those who like to prepare for emergencies. During thunderstorms, we gather candles in one place and make sure we adults know where the lighter is. Much better than groping in the dark. yes, cell phones give off some light, but I'm not sure I'd want to find my candles by cellphone light! Even if there is an app for that.

Well, this wraps up today's installment. Be sure and let me know about any "C" items I may have missed, in the comments. I love hearing from my readers!

"C" you all next time!


Jacquelineand.... said...

I LOVE this series! Oh btw, ready for this Thursday? I'm almost finished putting my post together!

LindaM said...

I think you have it all covered:) it's a great series. Be wary f traveling meth labs in the country- set ups in cars or trucks- harder to track.

Lily Tequila said...

Compost is one of my favourite things- turning food scraps into good soil, I get ridiculously excited by it! Found you through Rubye Jack btw :-)

Practical Parsimony said...

Meth labs and dangerous people are in the country. But, the pot smokers I have seen have the munchies but not for faces or body parts. Plus, they just want to sleep.

I live in a rural county that has the highest number of meth labs in the whole state. Low levels of education and high unemployment have fueled the cooking of meth.

About chickens/layers--keep costs down by feeding their shells back to them for calcium. Learn what plants they like and gather them or plant them. Give them apple cider vinegar in their water but not in aluminum feeders. That leaves protein--Depending on what you leave on your plates, there may be enough protein to give hens. You can NOT buy feed and let them forage in the grass. boys can be the bringer of worms, slugs, and bugs to the hens.

Commercial feed has bad things for poultry. Feed hens as little corn as possible. Mine only eat fresh on the cob or from a can. Corn and overcrowding are the two main reasons chicks need vaccinating and continued antibiotics.

Candles--I keep a small box of matches and one tea candle in the kitchen window in a pretty ceramic container. That way, if I need light, and I cannot put my hand on a flashlight, I can find the kitchen sink since it is pretty large. That one candle in a half-pint fruit jar will get me started. Then, I can walk about and get the rest of the candles and flashlights that I have.

I have four flashlights for just me and a whole box of assorted candles and boxes of matches. But, as sure as the lights would go off, all my flashlights would be in the wrong place. Therefore, one candle is in the kitchen window.