June 5, 2013

How We Homestead - Part 4: Our Daily Life

This is Part 4 in a 5 weeks series called "How We Homestead" hosted by Staci at Life at Cobble Hill Farm.  You can find the other parts of the series here. Be sure to visit the other lovely women, linked to at the bottom of this post.  

Pruning and staking and babying has given me a decent tomato outcome so far! Now if only they would ripen...

This week's topic is Our Daily Life - a look at how our days work related to homesteading and how we keep everything balanced.

My homestead related chores really change depending on the season. If I had posted this a month ago, I would have said something along the lines of "Well... I did laundry, and made some bread..."

But now that summer is here and the produce is starting to flow, and the canning jars have come out of the pantry, my life just got a lot more hectic. But I'll try to give you the general idea of how our little homestead works.

We don't have animals (yet, I'm working on convincing Ben to get ducks, since chickens are out while we're in suburbia....), so I don't have the chores associated with that. But there is still plenty to do!

Most of my chores are food related, but I still have the cleaning of the house as well (which is a constant battle with 4 very messy little boys).

Typically our day consists of getting up and doing our morning routine. Then one of the boys empties the dishwasher while I make dinner (or shortly after breakfast). This is one of the very important facts about homesteading to me - if you have children I firmly believe they need be participating and helping in the chores. Actually, they should be doing that regardless of homesteading, and I think the severe lack of making children do chores is a huge contributing factor the degradation of our society and a nation that would rather be on welfare than get up off their butts and work for their food... But I digress.

Anyhoo, we do our chores and eat breakfast (hot food, not sugary cold cereals!), and then we will do school. After that it is on to whatever is on the list for the week.

For this week, and I'm sure a lot of the weeks during the summer my lists looks like this:

Make Strawberry and Boysenberry Jam
Make Firestarters (I'm trying them out with lint. I'll let you know how it goes)
Make dryer balls
Scrub kitchen floor
Make bread
Pickle cherries
Dry apricots
Dry Zucchini
Put away winter cothes
Freezer inventory

The food items will be more in number as the summer goes on.

I also go around my garden every other day or so and pull weeds, tie up the vining things that need to be tied up (cut up pantyhose from the dollar store work great!), harvest what's ready, reseed what hasn't come up or has been munched, etc.  During the spring a lot of my work includes digging and prepping beds, mixing in compost, starting seeds, setting up trellises....

During the winter/spring the list consists of things such as planning the garden, purging things we don't use/need, stocking up on the holiday sales (like hams and turkeys), and making things like mittens and blankets. Our winters are actually very quiet as far as homesteading goes, since we are still in civilization sans land and animals to take care of.

I try to stick to the "Monday is for..." list, mine being Mondays are for washing, Tuesday is for folding, Wednesday is usually some sort of scrubbing activity, and then I try to get our baking done on Fridays before the weekend so we have bread for sandwiches and dinners. I will usually need to make bread again on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on how much we're eating it. I also make snacks like muffins and cookies and granola whenever there is a request for it, or I've run out of things to feed the natives.

Gosh, I wish I could tell you I get up and feed the goats and collect the eggs every morning, but I don't and I kind of feel like a poser homesteader with my sad little list. But it is what it is, and hopefully we can add more as the years go on.

~ * ~
 Visit the other women of the How We Homestead series:
Daisy from Maple Hill 101
Tammy from Our Neck Of The Woods
Amber from Making A Home 


Farm Girl said...

All in good time. As long as you are in the nurturing and mothering stage of life, your job is the little chicks that you have under your own wings. You will be where I am some day with the chicks leaving the nest and you will have wished you had spent more time instilling the things you are now. Life is a series of stages. In your little garden now, God is preparing you for bigger places and more to manage. You do an incredible job now where you are. You just don't see it from my fence post. You are quite the Proverbs 31 woman. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying reading the posts in this series! It's nice to see how other Moms are balancing the children and homestead act! Sometimes I think goats would be easier!!

Kessie said...

Aww, you have quite a busy life! And having four boys is no picnic, either. My two tomato plants are dying and I don't know why. I don't think they get enough sunlight. Storebought tomatoes for me ...

Kim said...

It doesn't sound like a sad little list to me. I think you are amazing with all that you do PLUS 4 active little boys!!

Amber said...

Hi Meg. I think it's cool that you're dreaming and planning. That's how it goes. I remember dreaming about having chickens and thinking it would probably never happen. And it did. Now I dream of having sheep and honeybees, and we're saving and planning for that for next spring. It's all part of the process. I can't believe that you're already doing all of that canning and preserving. Mine doesn't start until our berries start which is towards the end of June.

daisy said...

I don't have chickens yet either, but I'm still workin' the homestead. You do plenty and hopefully, someday you'll be able to have as many critters as you want.
Your tomatoes look great! Our tomatoes had trouble ripening too. Wonder why?

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

On the chore subject, in my previous profession we used to hire staff to work in our group homes and it was amazing to me how many people in their 20's have no idea how to do laundry, dust or cook a simple meal. Scary, really!

You don't have to have animals to homestead....just sayin'. :) I think that's what's so great about it and about sharing our lives - to inspire people, no matter where they are in life, to adopt some of the homesteading ways.

As for that jam....what time will it be ready? I'll be right over! :)

no spring chicken said...

There is nothing sad about your list. You are beyond homemaking with the production of your small venue. Never despise meager beginnings. And I've said it before Meg, you are an inspiration. You are diligent and you do each thing you take on thoroughly and well. I do believe that there is much to be learned by watching your process! Your ever-growing and expanding wealth of skills and knowledge. You're teaching this old lady a thing or two. :)

Blessings, Debbie

Our Neck of the Woods said...

You're not a poser homesteader! You do so much with what you have. I haven't canned a thing on my own before so I feel like a poser sometimes! I hope you can live somewhere that will allow animals like chickens because it sounds like that's something you'd really love. I really like how you get your boys involved in the chores - I think that is very important!

MarmePurl said...

You are growing children. That is the greatest form of homesteading there is.

The Desert Echo said...

Thanks for sharing. I love all the how we ho.esreaf bkigs and find it fascinsting how everyone dies things a little differently. Yhere isnothinf like the smell of fresh bread! Yum!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

What an impressive list. I have always admired your organizational skills.

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