Okay friends, time for the weekly list of accomplishments! This is my way of staying motivated and accountable about my homestead progress.
If you want to list your own weekly achievements in the comments or on your own blog, please do. We can give each other virtual fist bumps for doing what we can, where we are, with what we have.
Planting & Maintenance
- Basic watering and weeding.
- Cleaned out the greenhouse.
- Continued to train tomatoes – I’ve got green ‘maters!
- Harvested compost from my compost tumbler.
- Lettuce, chard, kale – greens of all kinds.
- Strawberries are ripening nicely now.
- A few red currants are ripe.
- First round of cherries is over, but second round is not far off.
- Baby summer squash!
- Cherry rhubarb jam. So good!
- Another huge batch of yogurt. The kids are all about yogurt with chocolate chips for breakfast right now.
Mostly eat-down-the-pantry foods lately. Food seems really expensive to me right now, which I think is more about where my head is than anything else.
- Lots of Chicken Noodle Soup. Takes about 20 minutes. Chop up some celery and carrots, put them in a pot with quart or two of canned chicken broth and a jar of canned chicken thigh. Toss in a bay leaf. Salt, pepper. When the veg are tender, add in a jar of garbanzo beans and a handful of orzo. Cook until orzo is tender. Top with lots more cracked black pepper. Fresh parsley, too, if you have it.
- Cream of broccoli soup. Another “use it up” creation. But OMG cream of broccoli soup is really good!
- Zucchini black bean fry-up. This is my current favorite way to eat zucchini. Remember it for August! Cube up some zucchini. Fry it hot, so it gets nice and brown. Add in some drained black beans, and season with salt and lots of cumin. Top with cheddar.
- Basic daily flock maintenance.
- Coop clean-out.
- Re-plumed portions of the duck tub filter to increase (roughly double) the flow rate for cleaner water with shorter pump run times.
- Wired up a “load center” to clean up the feed for various garden electrical loads (shed lights, duck tub pump timer, greenhouse fan, etc).
- Plumbed in a system to use basement sump-pump water to irrigate the food forest.
- Built a backyard fire pit with Oliver, mostly using cinderblocks we had lying around.
- Ordered firewood for backyard fires, camping, and preparedness.
Business, Finances and Frugality
- Very close to $350 per month of direct funding on my Patreon page. Put out my first monthly long-form garden tour video – it ended up at a bit over 40 minutes. Also scheduled Live Q&A and Video Chat sessions with my Patrons.
- Ravaged the library’s audiobook selection.
- Caught up in logging our expenditures in GoodBudget.
Energy Use & Solar Panel Production
- Total electricity used: 189 kWh (Death by a thousand cuts this past week – everything from running the vent fan in the kitty’s room to a hot glue gun that was plugged in and forgotten bumped us up.)
- Total solar energy produced: 168 kWh (= $90.27 in production incentive)
- Energy “sold back”: – 21 kWh ($2.20 in net consumption)
- Total earned through our solar panels this week: $88.07
- Visited the Terracotta Warriors exhibit at the Seattle Science Center to wrap up our study of Ancient China.
- Finalized class selection for the kids, and assigned my oldest her summer research project – we are on to Ancient Greece.
- Lots of just enjoying the summer.
- PS: if you missed it, here is why we homeschool.
Planned & Researched
- Quack-a-ponics! Debating the safety of using duck manure-water in an aquaponics type system. I’m leaning towards thinking the risk of salmonella bacteria contamination is too great, given the ready-to-eat nature of most aquaponics type foods.
• • •
Kristina M says
That fire pit looks great! Is the floor of the pit just more of the flat pieces you have on top of the cinder blocks?
Arugula, peas, parsley
Picked 7 pounds of strawberries at a nearby u-pick farm
The container zucchini is huge and flowering, while the zucchini in the bed is sad, tiny, and yellow. I planted another zucchini seed nearby; we’ll see if either of them catch up.
Cleared out some blackberry brambles.
Made and froze arugula pesto
Made and ate pound cake and whipped cream with fresh strawberries
7 pounds of strawberries: ate our fill of fresh berries, made strawberry mojito (mint and lime) jam and strawberry shrub. Going to make strawberry vanilla jam tomorrow.
Picked up the first CSA box of the summer. Hoping this will help keep the grocery bill low.
Nice work on the fire pit, Oliver. Can I hire him to do mine, Erica?
Picking strawberries by the handfuls this week. Tomorrow morning will pick again to slice up and top the French toast!
Blueberries look to be a bust this year. Not sure what happened there. Maybe the blossoms blew off in one of those storms before they got pollinated, or maybe the bees were too cold and didn’t get to them in time. Looks like we’ll get a few Chandler s but I don’t think we’re getting any Rekas. So sad.
Harvested: more red currants! My goumi berries are just starting to ripen. I’m going to attempt to not eat all of them fresh, but freeze most of them as they ripen in the hopes of having enough for some kind of preserve. Peas. Finally access to fresh crunch.
Kitchen: Been eating out of my freezer this week to get my eating back on track after three or four weeks of work and travel-induced bad meals. Made yogurt yesterday BUT the seal on my instant pot has picked up enough flavors from making stock that my yogurt tastes like vegetables. So, I ordered a second seal, but the edibility of this batch…maybe not so much. But I am going to make and freeze from chile-corn-cheese muffins this evening. They make a great breakfast.
Household: Le sigh. I took an entire truckload of recyclables to the transfer station yesterday that had basically been scattered through my garage and I know I don’t have all of them yet. Amazing how much clutter is just waiting for proper disposal. But I am REALLY trying to make all the spaces in my house and garage and just exterior to my house more functional, call it Zone 0 and Zone 1, if you will. But it keeps RAAAAAIIIINNNING and the weeds keep GRRROOOOOWWWWIIIINNNGGGG….
planting and maintenance: basic watering and weeding, planted 2nd & 3rd rounds of a few things, planted the little flower that one of my work-kids gave me at the end of the school year, working at keeping the bird baths clean(ish), need to get the bird feeders next, acquired three large pieces of tree trunks to put in the yard – one for possibly sitting on and the other two to support small bird baths (all located to eventually become mulch/compost where they sit) – noticed just how much the tree trunk pieces I’d acquired about four years ago have decomposed and become mulch/compost.
harvested: more honeyberries! the last of the native and first of the commercial strawberries, the last of our greens, garlic and onion greens, garlic scapes, herbs, the odd bits of catnip for the feline family members
preserved: nothing this week, but gearing up for next week when I’m off work
cooked: several pints of beans in the pressure cooker, looking ahead to some meals and making bean dip for a birthday party we’re hosting next weekend, MIL made a cream of greens soup with the last of our greens, and I made my first-ever batch of altoid-style mints (no actual mint, instead they were champagne, tropical lemon and peach swirl flavored)
animals: basic feline maintenance, tending the catnip recently planted near the catio, put the now-ready pot of wheatgrass inside the catio, started a new pot of wheatgrass for when this one gets eaten down, see above for bird baths & feeders
projects, planning and research: in process with two year-long cooking projects (one well-underway, the other just beginning the making and researching), the roughly-quarterly closet cleanout, planning for acquiring or possibly making some stepping stones for two pathways in the garden, planning for harvesting and curing the garlic, prepping for 3-6 dyeing jobs – clothing I found at Goodwill that I like but want them to be colors other than what they are currently
enjoyed: having a new-to-me neighbor respond to my request on a neighborhood Facebook group for someone to help me weed the garden (it always gets away from me in June) – he did a great job, and we ended up teaching him about some new-to-him edible plants and how a few food plants grow. having another new-to-us neighbor from across the street stop by to ask a few questions about the neighborhood, and having it turn into an hour and a half of him discovering all sorts of things about edible plants. He came back the next day, feeling braver about trying to grow a few small things in his apartment, and we ended up chatting for a good ten minutes. Looking forward to getting to know this neighbor. Also realized that between these two encounters and several others with friends and passersby, we don’t just have a garden for us, we have a Tiny Teaching Farm.
We worked on our fire pit too! Yours looks awesome. Time to bust out the Dutch oven.
Homestead Log, the week in which we have baby turkeys but no water.
I remember how to camp cook, right?