I am loving not working and am managing to keep VERY busy lol. There’s so much to do, however the preserving for the winter months has slowed down – there is very little left in the garden and once the fiejoas stop I think I’ll be done. Roger keeps saying he’ll bring home pears and quinces but I haven’t seen them yet.
He has a week off work coming up and is hoping to make the glasshouse he wants, out of recycled windows he’s been collecting for a long time. We need to get more seaweed from the beach to lay over the wintering garden. It’s just too cold here to grow much of anything in winter so the raised garden out in the front yard, in full sunlight, is all we’ll be using.
My kitchen is becoming quieter and more relaxed. We’re hoping we have managed to grow and store enough to see us through. This is our first year of doing this on quite this scale so it will be a learning curve for us.
In the freezer there is a whole lot of: carrots, berries, beans, leeks, peppers, field mushrooms sauteed in oil and butter, beetroot, zucchini, tomatoes (chopped, pureed and concentrated) apple sauce, soups, around 9 different herbs for cooking and teas (in ice cubes) frozen kale and spinach in cubes for juices which I like, and fruit juices. The freezer is bursting…really hoping no power cuts!! This does make me me aware if we were doing it for survival means this would not do, freezing has been the easiest way to store this year with me working and also not really knowing my way around dehydrating properly but next year things will be done alot differently.
Bottled are: lots of different chutneys and sauces, pickled onions, spiced beetroot, pickles, heaps of fruit and tomato products.
Dried are: figs, feijoa, apple, mushrooms, leeks, sundried tomatoes in oil, beans, masses of herbs and leaves for cooking and teas, onions and garlic.
Stored are pumpkins, potatoes, walnuts, onions and garlic.
In the garden there will still be plenty of winter growing greens….brussell sprouts, silverbeet, broccoli, leeks, broad beans etc.
And we have wine and cider vinegar doing their thing without much assistance at present, am really hoping they both work out ok!
Most of our grocery money is going on just the staples – milk, flour, decent bread, coffee, sugar (been buying heaps for preserving) hard cheese, oats, brown rice….and alot of dog food! We have 3 dogs here at present – Bob, Syd and my son’s dog as he is away for 5 weeks. We are spending more on them than ourselves 🙂 I also buy dates, raisins, peanuts and seeds because they are nutritious and help with a bit of variety in our diet (but using alot more sparingly). I wanted to dry some grapes but all we had access to this year were seeded ones. We have one seedless variety in the garden but a young vine with little on this year. I do baking when we feel like something sweet and make puddings. There are some things I am missing though – nice cheese for one! I absolutely refuse to pay those prices now but have heard of a local couple who sell fresh milk at $2 a litre so I will try making my own very soon, and yogurt (really missing that). I also will do more bread making as I get more time, I want to learn how to make decent pumpernickel 🙂 And good crackers we need, mine never turn out quite good enough – the dogs usually get them lol.
We have heaps of firewood, this is important!
And, as mentioned in the past I want to try soap making…there will certainly be no lack of things to do over the winter months to keep me occupied. I have one paper left to do for my Dip. Psychology, just tossing up whether to do this over winter or not., can I be bothered right now!? Hubby is interested in making outdoor rustic furniture to sell. He has access to heaps of old fencing and gates that will get burned otherwise (sooner or later) and also manuka (tea tree) He has a workshop which is presently so messy he can’t even get in it! because the past 6 months has been taken up with gardening, but he is planning big things for it over winter. And I have been making and selling homemade herbal tobacco, which I just found out is actually ILLEGAL here. Ooops! How fortunate I am to have grown children who can steer me in the right directions in life!!! But, there are ways and means of making a bit more money from home, we just need to think out of our original square a little. I just love this: 🙂
Another poster this week was talking about time, how not living by the clock has enriched her life. I am also finding the same thing. From someone who has just finished a community job of many daily appointments, rushing here there and everywhere – then never having enough time at home to get things done, I am just feeling absolutely perfect pottering through the day without even looking at the clock. I am achieving everything I need to, and more, without feeling harried or rushed, not having to answer to anyone or be anywhere. I certainly can feel my high blood pressure has just calmed right back down to normal, I am so much more relaxed….it’s just got to be so much better for you!