I build the time into my lifeIs there anyone out there who can tell me that they aren't busy with their lives? Who have so little to do that they are actually bored most of the time? Maybe. But chances are that most of you (which are probably homesteaders and fiber artists), are like I am, with to-do lists bigger than the day is long.
Sharon Astyk on "The Food Preserver's Year," Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation
Building the time into my life makes sense. The concept fits well with goal setting, priority setting, and time management. Even so, there are many aspects of homesteading that require flexibility. Weather for example. This morning I was going to harvest the last of my fall garden root crops: carrots, beets, and garlic. After that I was going to help DH work on the goat fence. But we awoke to rain. A gentle rain, a welcome rain, a rain necessary for all the seeds on my "plant something" list below. But also a change of plans rain.
Of course another project had to be substituted, but that also meant a change of mental gears, if you will. And with that a sense of urgency regarding the outdoor projects which had to be put off. That is something else I contemplate. Urgency versus importance. Are urgent projects the same as important projects? If for example, I have a pile of library books due today, and a garden full of bursting ripe tomatoes needing to be picked and canned, what do I do? I may have a sense of urgency about those library books, because they will start accruing overdue fines if I don't get them back to the library pronto. On the other hand, when my tomatoes are ready to pick and process, I risk losing them if I procrastinate. Sometimes the urgent thing isn't the most important thing. I often have to remind myself of that.
In many ways, building the time into my life is part of the seasonal lifestyle rhythm that I lamented not having in this post. But also, I tend to get fixed on my daily plans so that I sometimes forget that I need flexibility as well as structure. I admit that's something of a challenge for me, but a necessary one.
That said, here's the update I on what I accomplished this past week:
1. Plant something –
- Rutgers tomato seedlings
- melon seedlings
- rhubarb plants
- Echinacea purpurea seed
- calendula seed
- yarrow seed
- anise hyssop seed
- petunia plants
- cabbage leaves from spring garden plants
- romaine lettuce from fall garden
- broccoli from fall garden
4. Waste Not–
- I didn't think about it earlier, but these are some things I do personally to conserve water.I got into these habits when we were under severe drought conditions for a couple of years.
- Since there are only two of us, I wash dishes by hand. When filling the sink, I used to turn on the hot water until the cold water was out of the line, then turn on the cold water to adjust the temperature, and lastly stop up and fill the sink. It finally occurred to me just to stop the sink first and turn on the hot water. It would take 3/4 of a gallon to warm up, and I didn't need to turn on the cold water. I simply let the running hot water mix with the cold already in the sink.
- If I am going for straight hot water, such as when I make yogurt, I let the water run into a pitcher while waiting for it to warm up. I use this to fill one of the bird baths, water a potted plant, or dump it into the washing machine for the next wash.
- After the yogurt is done and the water has cooled, I dump it from the cooler into the washing machine, or use it for plants.
- I often save and freeze cooking waters as a soup base, but if not, I let it cool and use it to water plants.
- Tried to make a soaker hose from an old, discarded garden hose. I punched holes in it with a nail and hammer. It worked, but not all that well. I'll continue to use it until either it proves itself worthless, or I manage to conquer it.
- Continuing working on goat fencing
- Dried leaves for chicken litter
- Dried leaves for mulch
- Bought 10 pack of soap for storage
- Started working on the back room for an enlarged pantry/food storage (details soon)
- We use our outdoor grill a lot, in fact it is part of my summer kitchen. One day we were out of charcoal, so DH collected sticks and grilled our hamburgers over a small wood fire. Tasty! We've been doing that for hamburgers ever since.
- Found a local feed store which sells a western Carolinas livestock feed. The feed is milled about 95 miles away, from locally grown grains. Perhaps the mill isn't part of my community, but the feed store is. And at least it's grown and milled closer than the national brand I was buying.
- Wild onions in scrambled eggs
- sourdough starter in cakes, bread, and muffins
- fresh lettuce on those fire roasted hamburgers