Saturday, November 10, 2012

Frugal Farmin' ~ Storin' The Harvest on *Depression* Shelves

One of our longtime goals is to learn to grow more of what we eat and to eat more of what we grow.  
We have much to learn, and learning takes time, but we are greatly encouraged each time we realize that something else has been crossed off our grocery list.
And while we can't do everything, we hoped to do something.
Which led to one of the *somethings* we've had on our list of late...
to add some shelves to the laundry room which is located conveniently near our kitchen.
The laundry room seemed fairly large for just a washing machine (used a lot) and a dryer (not hooked up).
And since we *shop* from our pantry shelves, having items conveniently located and within easy reach would be helpful.  Not essential - but very helpful.
So while we all worked this summer and fall on canning and preserving the harvest, my seventeen year old went to work on the building of pantry shelves in order to get all the *stuff* off the tabletops, counter tops, refrigerator top, get the idea!
And I, for one, am so VERY pleased with the results.:)  The canning jars of food will be (mostly) stored here, the emptied jars will be washed and placed on the screened porch, and every time a dozen jars have filled a box, they will be moved to the barn until next seasons canning.
Once again, wood which had been acquired and collected, prior to the storm, was used for this project.  We were blessed to be able to bring it with us when we moved here this year.  The boards are rough sewn and 2 x 6 in size.  Braces were placed every so many inches apart and screwed into the studs.  The studs were found using a stud finder type gadget.  And why do we call the shelves *depression* wood shelves?  Well, several years ago, Tom found a large quantity of rough sewn wood for sale on Craigslist and for an incredibly good price.  He thought that perhaps one of our children might use it for the building of a future home or maybe a barn.  The wood was from trees which had been planted during the Great Depression as part of some work program.  They, of course, grew very large over the passing of time, and people in the state (Illinois) could get permits for cutting them down for their use.  The man we purchased them from had a brother in Illinois who would cut some every year and bring the wood to his  home in Alabama.  His intentions were to use the wood for building near the brother when he retired from his job in Illinois.  That never happened, we ended up with the *depression* wood, and now it is in yet another state.  We're now using it for various projects here on the farm, we're very thankful to have it, and we continue to think through the best way to organize in order to have a workable system.  Do you have any tried and true pantry ideas?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Baker's Dozen on Leegacy Farm - An Update

It's been quite a while since we've posted here on A Baker's Dozen, so we thought we'd give a bit of an update as to what we've been up to.
Our first year on the farm has been a productive one, and we were blessed with an abundance of beans, meat and vegetables to store up for the winter months.
Purple Hull Peas are a favorite around here, and although we were late planting them, we're thankful for the amount we have.
They are members of the black-eyed pea family and a favorite in the south.
We very much enjoyed having my mom here with us recently as we canned a variety of foods from the garden and planted shrub clippings she brought from her home.
Josh purchased a wagon frame and worked very hard to complete the new *Chicken Concern* before visiting friends painted it.  He'd just made one right before the tornado last year.  This one is very similar and also was made frugally and from wood which had already been collected.

My little chicken farmer.  The chicks he received for his birthday are now laying.  He keeps me furnished with eggs.:)  I give him feed.:)

This is Cam.  He's the newest addition and this is an unusual picture.  He's clean!
The Large Blacks are also new to Leegacy Farm.  They are growing nicely and will hopefully be ready to have piglets before to long.
Rhett, a gift from sweet friends, gets along really well with Billy (below).
But they do NOT like being separated. 
This first year on the farm has been very busy as we've enjoyed and been encouraged by visits from the dearest of friends and relatives and as we've gotten to know the WONDERFUL people in our new community.
Lots of fence repair has been done and there's still much to do.  But work is good for us, and I don't think we'll run out of projects any time soon.:)
Jordan (son), Jim and Jack put in long hours as they plow and disc the fields.  I love watching them as they head for the barn at night.  And I say an extra prayer of thanks as I watch them labor for the good of us all.
We've traveled some and had a wonderful time visiting with friends in our former state.  They've since rebuilt their home  and we enjoyed time re-connecting with their family and others.  We also enjoyed attending a family reunion and visiting a little with Tom's side of our family as we stopped by to get a piano from the church they attended when growing up.:)
My brother was able to visit with us for the first time.  He is a pilot and realized that he frequently flies almost directly over where we've settled when flying from his state to another.  What a joy to find a landing strip in a field and only a short drive from us! 
We've celebrated three birthdays since our last post, and I'm so thankful for the gift of my children. 
Which is one reason we haven't been able to post much lately...we've been doing a lot more of the above (reading together, learning together).  Now that we're *home*, finding things and getting settled, we've just felt the need to relax a little, ponder, pray, and enjoy simple pleasures with loved ones.  Like reading books together while sharing the warmth of a blanket...
Like watching young men and women who pour themselves into a project and bring beauty from a simple piece of wood.  Just as their father did.
Like being on the road we attend a conference and are reminded of the need to love our neighbor more than ourselves...of the need to reach out to those who are hurting...of the need to share the truth of the gospel...
Like watching as little girls delight in opportunities to hold a sweet baby girl and daughter of dear sweet friends who've recently moved to our area...
Like watching as my sons and daughters find opportunities to learn new skills on the farm...
Like watching the youngest ones as they enjoy playing in the cold cold water with a cousin who's visiting for the first time...
Like finding time to notice the beauty of God's creation and the softness of one of Hannah Joy's bunnies...
Like listening to the sounds of the hens contentedly clucking and noticing the wonder and beauty of an egg offered daily...
Like watching bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh as they grow up...and it happens so fast...
And finally, like rejoicing over the harvest  - corn and fat butternut squashes, purple hull peas and green beans and onions, tomatoes and peppers, greens and fresh herbs. Milk and cheese, maple syrup and meat.  And even zucchini.  And love. Especially love. And rejoicing in and giving thanks to the Giver of the harvest and all good gifts.  And that's what we've been up to.  And we are refreshed.  And we are grateful.