Wednesday, June 18, 2014

You Can Get That Here

This is a place where you can get things and that fills me with no end of pride. I'm sure many of you out there with chickens in the backyard, a thriving garden, or a freezer full of pork chops know what I am talking about. Friends who stop by this scrappy homestead get their fill of farm life but, but they also can "get things" here. You out there with the muddy jeans, electric fence testers, and oyster shell in bulk know this is a brag we all excuse. We work pretty hard to turn our homes into grocery stores.

Why run to the store for milk? I have it right here in the fridge! Need a dozen eggs? I have that, too. Want some fresh salad greens? How about some cucumbers we can turn into pickles? Or maybe some berries we can turn into jam? Fancy a pound of bacon? Maybe some assorted sundries like wool, honey, or a big fat 5-week old broiler you could raise up on kitchen scraps and turn into a meal amazing enough to write sagas about and then MORE kitchen scraps someday?! HOOOO! This, my dear friends, is a place you can GET THINGS!

To begin to homestead turns you into a producer instead of just a consumer. However humble, it matters. Three eggs a day and a salad garden on your windowsill means there are two groceries you no longer need to buy, and sometimes you may even have a little extra to give, trade, or sell. This changes a person. Providing for yourself is an ancient part of the human animal. We still feel joy in our bones digging into a meal our hands once knew.

I'm curious to know what the readers of this blog are producing? I bet some of you have a steer in the backyard or maybe some goat tacos on the grill? Are you a baker with a wood-fired oven you made or a gardener who wins the salsa prize at the county fair? Maybe you are brand new to this world of backyard supermarkets and just started with a potted tomato plant in the window and dreams of chickens and Nigerian Dwarfs….. Share that! I want to hear about what can people get at your place?


Blogger Unknown said...

Three different types of potatoes, a few letuce varieties, carrots tomatoes, cucumbers , zucchini, yellow squash, butternut and spaghetti squash, onions, green beans, peppers and a few other things mostly all in pots

June 18, 2014 at 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last year we got 6 chicks, then a few rabbits, now we have eggs, a freezer full of rabbit and roosters and just added 4 Alpine dairy goats, one of which is providing us with fresh yummy milk! Garden is kind of sad looking this year but hopefully it will turn around. You are an inspiration! Thank you for all that you do! Love the blog!

June 18, 2014 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Katlyn said...

Right now people can get eggs here. Hopefully, in a couple more weeks we should be able to start having assorted veggies out of the garden. Eventually I want to produce my own milk, honey, grain, fiber, and fruit along with the eggs and veggies. Every now and then we fire up the outdoor earth oven and bake some pizzas (with homemade sauce and veggies), cookies and bread. Best. Pizza. Ever!

June 18, 2014 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger kwdiving said...

Right now, you can get a work out here! But by the end of summer, the list will be much longer, we hope! We may just end up with fat and sassy deer, woodchucks and rabbits. At least 2 out of 3 of those I am willing to eat!

June 18, 2014 at 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may have (literally) just planted the first things in our new vegetable garden yesterday (peas in case you were curious). But if you come to me I'll make sure there are preserves and good home cooked meals. I may not be able to grow it all myself, but dammit, I make sure it's the very best I can afford from our local small producers :)

June 18, 2014 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Bex said...

Right now, people can get sad little cherry tomatoes and hand crocheted/knit things from store bought yarn. We're working on getting a house with acreage, but haven't made it there yet. Hoping for a good garden patch and chickens at the very least.

June 18, 2014 at 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the moment, we are rich in lettuce, strawberries, raspberries, peas, and eggs.

Sure, I'd like it if the other parts of my spring garden would also take off (since it's about to head into summer), but, really, that's enough to keep a girl going strong....

June 18, 2014 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger ebwhite said...

Since I am way South, my trees produce satsuma, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines, and limes. My herb bed has parsley, basil and another 10 or 12 herbs. The cilantro was a bust. The garden allottment (about one mile away) produces tomatoes (but those are almost gone), chard, peppers, eggplant, and tomatillos. All in all a bit short on protein, but enough to fill the dinner plate most nights.

June 18, 2014 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger ebwhite said...

Since I am way South, my trees produce satsuma, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines, and limes. My herb bed has parsley, basil and another 10 or 12 herbs. The cilantro was a bust. The garden allottment (about one mile away) produces tomatoes (but those are almost gone), chard, peppers, eggplant, and tomatillos. All in all a bit short on protein, but enough to fill the dinner plate most nights.

June 18, 2014 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger SouthernHeart said...

Well done, Jenna - you deserve to brag! My daughter and her family just purchased six acres complete with an apple orchard, stand of walnut trees, great garden spot and an established asparagus bed! She is beyond excited and can't wait to start building her home. She has been "homesteading" in a Des Moines suburb for quite some she's looking forward to chickens and dairy goats! I enjoy your blog!


June 18, 2014 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger ~Bettie said...

We have all sorts of heirloom veggies growing in the garden, various herbs, plum, apple & pear trees, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, 2 little hazelnut trees & a young fig tree (too young to produce yet), just bought 2 elderberry bushes.
Should have chickens before summer ends and hoping to get honey bees in the spring.
If anyone is interested, I've been blogging about our homesteading journey here:

June 18, 2014 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

This is our first time gardening and we started small. We planted 2 cucumber plants, 2 zuchini plants, 2 tomato plants and 5 different types of peppers in 2 raised beds. We call it our salsa garden. It is amazing and I am so glad you wrote this post because it is exactly how I am feeling. I bring a sliced cucumber to work everyday and I am now able to proudly show off to my co-workers that I GREW this cucumber and now I am eating it. Our 1st zuchini is about ready and I can't wait to prepare it as a side for dinner this week!

June 18, 2014 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Sonya said...

I've got eggs to share,freshly baked breads,rolls,buns,muffins,and cookies are all here and waiting. I've got cucumbers,rainbow carrots,potatoes,raspberries,yellow zucchini,baby corn,blue corn,celery,tomatoes,egg plant,and banana shallots..wellll all of that will be ready in a few months ;)

I've got time teach the basics of bread making :)

June 18, 2014 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Meadowridge said...

Herbs!! Lots of herbs, and eggs. Just starting my dairy farm with jersey heifer calves- we have two - and Nigerian Dwarf goats. So this time next year we should have plenty of goat milk and the year ater cow's milk! Then hopefully plenty of cheese and butter as well. Soon our wild blackberries will be ready to pick and then alot of those will turn into compotes and jams. That's all for now - hopefully a big vegetable garden next year - will work on it this fall and get it ready with lots of composted manure I have been saving up for quite some time! Happy homesteading to everyone - love this blog, Jenna! Just finished your latest book and loved it! Keep up the good work that you do.

June 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This very morning I picked the first two squash from plants I started under grow lights, then transferred to my first garden! I stopped by the coop on the way in, so now i can make fried squash for lunch :) In a month or so, my first watermelons might be ready, but hopefully the tomatoes come first. just my little backyard urban garden in Austin :D

June 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger sarah e blog said...

we process 25 meat birds annually..hoping soon to double any given time we keep 12 to 20 layers, bunnies for meat, a dozen large raised beds..perrenial gardens and an acre of veg spring there will be hooves on the farm such as goats and pigs..and honestly most of my inspiration came from reading your blog jenna! i thank family thamks you..and our bellies thank you! one day id love to have you over to our scrappy homestead in maine.its dirty messy and beautiful..and as you once said..i dont see a mess i see it as edible! again thankyou for all you post and the books :)

June 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger farm foreman said...

Potatoes, peas, rhubarb, kale, raspberries, tomatoes, maple syrup, basil, beans (fresh eating and dry), cucumbers, watermelon. So far. On a 100' x 150' city lot.

June 18, 2014 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger live pura vida said...

I live in a small apartment building, so sadly no animals for me yet, but there's a great big backyard and I convinced my landlord to allow me to have a really large garden. Every inch of it is packed! There are flowering perennials, patches of sunflowers and an entire bed of wildflowers for our pollinator friends. There are blueberries, strawberries, pickling and salad cucs, many varieties of tomatoes and lettuce, peas, beans, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, a few varieties of melons, squash, zucchini, a pumpkin plant or two, hops (we brew beer!), spinach, herbs and probably a few more things I'm forgetting at the moment. I love to bake and have been researching the submission of baked goods into county/grange fairs in the area. Unfortunately, Philly doesn't have one, so if I made something good enough to qualify, I don't think I'd be able to get into the state level at the Farm Show in Harrisburg.

June 18, 2014 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Controlled Jibe said...

We now we have spinach, chard and radishes from the garden and fresh free range eggs from our chickens. In a few weeks we'll have fresh goat milk from our Nigerian Dwarf does and a few months some pork from our pasture raised piglets. Life is good!
- Katie and Mark

June 18, 2014 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Eggs, though right now it's mostly fruit and vegetables, until I have room for more than a tiny chicken coop. Blueberry bushes (fruiting now), strawberries, raspberries and currants. Tomatoes (6 varieties, plus the volunteers from last year), 3 varieties of pepper, kale, spinach, string beans (lots), many potatoes, cucumbers, fennel, lettuces, carrots. Herbs: basil, sage, rosemary, lavender, lemon balm, thyme.

I freeze or preserve a lot of what comes in from my garden and pick up more fresh produce from the farmer's market, that way I know I'll have enough come cold weather.

I haven't learned to knit yet, but I sew almost all my clothes and all my husband's shirts.

June 18, 2014 at 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have five hens. They are getting older, and not laying as much. I think that the next stage of their careers should involve the stew pot, but my husband is having none of it. We are currently arguing our "pets vs. livestock" positions, and things are not going well for me. It looks like the hens' retirement plan is going to be more generous than I envisioned.
I wonder if I can negotiate a couple of goats out of this?

June 18, 2014 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

veggies of all kinds, culinary & medicinal herbs (I love having my friends stick their face in a lemon balm plant or pet the rosemary ;), enough apples to fill every room of our house to the brim (and cider, and butter, and chutney, and anyone have any other good apple recipes? yeesh), duck eggs, goose eggs (but you must out-smart a dragon for them), jams of all kinds, cordials, teas,dried fruit, candles. I'm hoping to add meat rabbits & chickens to the farm in the next couple years :). One thing I love about where I live is our "farmer's black market" facebook group where we can all barter with our excess.

June 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger kwalk said...

Ooooh I love this homestead roll call! I am in my second season of gardening this year. On the way from my backyard are zucchini, peas, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, beans, and(LOTS of) tomatoes. I have basil, dill, lemon verbena, spearmint, and oregano out there too. I had chickens last year which provided so many eggs over the summer, but we had an extremely unfortunate run in with the very wild life here in the Sierra Nevada foothills that ended all of that quite abruptly. Hoping to try again soon with the lessons learned. I dream of bees and goats in the near future also!

June 18, 2014 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

We just moved in in February... So far I've planted red currants and blueberries, a tomato plant and zucchini. Most of the yard will get torn up next year when we tackle the leaky basement, but there are plans for raised beds next year. There is jam in the freezer, cookies in the jar, muffins in hubby's lunch box. Not bad for now. I want to convince hubby to let me get quail and rabbits, but he worries that with our new baby in the house, he will end up being the one who looks after them. I've knit and crocheted hats, sweaters and blankets for our son, and am working on a quilt.

June 18, 2014 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger DarcC said...

Meat chickens, egg-laying chickens, thanksgiving turkeys, wild berries and grapes, peaches, and a right proper kitchen garden.

June 18, 2014 at 3:54 PM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

Lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, 3 kinds of squash, beans, corn, tomatoes, blackberries, and long pie pumpkins are comimg along. Eggs and you pick fruit is available at the neighbor' s farm.

June 18, 2014 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

At the moment.... English Peas! That's about it at the moment, but more tomato plants just went in the ground this week. (Plus plenty of yarn and knitted goods, but the sheep don't live here.)

June 18, 2014 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger Debby Flowers said...

I like how Shadawyn said "we are rich in..." because that is how I feel... not much money, but rich! All the goat milk and eggs we could want and then some, freezer full of venison, lettuce, rhubarb, strawberries from the garden, and wheat flour ground from last year's wheat crop. It varies by the season, but there is always something homegrown to be had!

June 18, 2014 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Karen Rickers said...

I have kale, chard, eggplant, carrots, tomatoes and pepper, as well as basil and parsley, in the garden in various stages of development (none ready to eat yet). Luckily, I forage in my back yard! I've made a ton of garlic mustard hummus, dehydrated dandelion to use in soups, and just recently harvested the garlic scapes for a tasty stir fry. Then, of course, there's the rhubarb which comes up year after year without me doing a single thing. Can't beat that. Hoping to make the move to a more rural location next year, where chickens will be my first project, followed soon after by a goat or two. :-D

June 18, 2014 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

We have a garden that will hopefully produce: tomatoes, kale, chard, dill,cilantro (and more cilantro), peas, cukes, zukes, squash (hubbard, acorn, butternut, carnival and 3 varieties of pumpkin, leeks, corn, blueberries, lettuce, beets, califlour, broccoli, eggplants, 5 varieties of hot peppers and bell peppers, dairy goats, meat and wool rabbits, chickens for eggs and meat, and bee's for our liquid gold.

June 18, 2014 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Vegetable garden in a small raised bed and 3 sassy chickens...all on 1/4 acre of paradise! Bees will join the mix one day...and my angora rabbit will be here by August! Small scale works for me but I daydream about much, much more.

June 18, 2014 at 11:12 PM  
Blogger sandalfoot said...

It is wonderful to read from all if these farmers! Thank you, Jenna, for your inspiration. Much older than you, I kook back and wish I had your determination. we have turnips, kale, swiss chard. Cukes, snow peas (done), peppers (starting), eggplant, onions, most herbs. Gardening and animals keep me wanting to go on....

June 18, 2014 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Meanwhile in SW Western Australia, we have just added 12 Wiltshire Horn and polled wiltipoll sheep for meat when they lamb next year. We have 4 snubian dairy goats, 6 chickens averaging 4 eggs a day. This year we have sown oats to make hay for the goats and horses, next year we will also plant some wheat for the flour mill. The vege garden is still producing tomatoes, zucchini, fennel, peas, beans, potatoes, basil, chillies,spinach and of course lemons, limes and pomegranates. Life is good.

June 19, 2014 at 1:15 AM  
Blogger aart said...

I got eggs, started that endeavor last fall after years of wanting to keep chickens. I sell eggs and they pay for all the chicken feed and there are enough small and funky ones for me to eat for 'free'. Sometimes I barter eggs for other food, cooked meals or raw ingredients. I hatched some eggs this year, so will have replacement layers and cockerels to grill me up some BBQ. Retired 3yo layers will make some nice stew and broth this fall. Still haven't figured out the best way to use/barter the manure.

In August I'll have German White garlic, which will provide the seed for next years crop and I sell the rest by the pound as seed or for the kitchen-which puts a bit of cash in my pocket to buy other things at the local growers. I've had the garlic going for 4 years starting from a gift of seed from my brother.

That's it for now. Would really like a couple goats for dairy, but multiple physical and financial limitations make that improbable in the near future...and my future is shorter than many.

I like the idea of 'providing your own', been aware of this for 35 years. I *love* that the latest 'homesteading' and 'self sufficiency' movements are making more of the general public aware of our production and consumption habits, moving it beyond the 'hippie contingent' of the 60's-70's...they hate to say we told you so, but they think it, with a sad shake of the head.

Would like to learn to pressure can everything, because I just can't bear the waste, or financially afford, to lose another freezer full of food due to power outages. Am learning more about the soil food web, vital and fascinating.

Oops, rambled on too long and slightly off topic again. There are so many factors, and every little bit helps directly, awareness being key.

June 19, 2014 at 5:58 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Currently eggs, jams, pickled beets from last years harvest and about five varieties of (currently) teeny tiny lettuce-gives a whole new meaning to "micro-greens" ha! BUT in a few weeks/harvest time add: two types of beans, peas, carrots, beets, squash, cucumbers (one for pickling), tomatoes, peppers (one jalapeño), and single types of corn and zucchini. Much like Noah I like my stuff in pairs lol-all heritage/heirloom so I'm hoping to collect seeds this harvest too. Oh! And meat chickens :)

June 19, 2014 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

After years of foisting cherry tomatoes on the neighbors, I finally found a nonprofit to donate surplus harvest, and so I planted extra this year. So far I've brought in radishes, lettuce, herbs, onions and carrots. (I kept all the broccoli and peas for myself!) I hope to be donating garlic, beans, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes soon.

Oh, and I just came inside from trading some of our lemon balm for a second blackberry plant. So maybe next year you can come over for some blackberry cobbler. I won't be donating any of that harvest.

June 19, 2014 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Su Ba said...

We've been working to create our homestead for ten years now, but there were dozens of years of prep, of taking baby steps, of learning and experimenting. And it all started because of a volunteer tomato plant. Once I ate my first homegrown food, I was hooked. So here I sit, producing just about all our own food.....or using what we produce to trade with others in order to get what we don't produce ourselves. I figure we buy way less than 10% of what we eat and that figure includes our weekly restaurant outing and a weekend meal at a friend's home.

Everyone here should be pleased that you are producing food, even if it is just herbs growing on a windowsill.....or tomatoes from a volunteer plant.

...Su Ba,

June 19, 2014 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Eggs, goat milk for cheese & soap & drinking. Goat, chicken, turkey and pork for eating. Honey, kefir water, blueberries, raspberries, apples. Every vegetable you can grow. Homemade beer & soda. We have 4 large freezers :)

June 19, 2014 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Lone Pine Farm said...

We still have chicken in the freezer from last fall's harvest, and we just hatched three new chicks so far this week which will be in the freezer by November (with hopefully more to hatch in the next few days!). We have 5 hens and a roo, and we love their eggs and sell the extras. I'm almost done putting in the garden and filling the greenhouse - looking forward to this fall's tasty meals!

June 19, 2014 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger EZ said...

Not much yet, but I do have three bantam hens that give me those gorgeous little eggs!

June 19, 2014 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Although they are residing at my husband's parents house for now, I do have some chickens that produce eggs for us and them. My garden is there too and has all kinds of lettuce and a small sprinkling of peas. It's really empowering eating a meal that you completely produced yourself!

June 20, 2014 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger elsie said...

I have duck eggs, goat milk/cheese/yogurt/ice cream from our two Nigerian Dwarf goats, lots of veggies and herbs, honey and some fruit trees that never do a darned thing. Love my grocery shopping in the back yard. I have met so many cool people over the fence talking farming. Also we have been selling our baby goats and I have met a ton of cool people that way. We are building our community of urban farmers/homesteaders which is so rewarding and fun!

June 20, 2014 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

For now, the only thing people can get at my place is mint, but they can get three varieties and they can all be turned into the best mint tea you've ever drunk.
Later this year, I'm hoping for honey.

June 21, 2014 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Francesca said...

You can get blue eggs, green eggs, brown eggs, and tiny little white eggs from my chicken coop. And you can get peas, corn, fennel, and other yummy veggies in my garden. You can also get bread fresh out of the solar oven. I'm working on being able to get some honey. I also wish I had the guts to raise a broiler chicken, but I doubt I have it in me.

June 21, 2014 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger The Hodgepodge Darling said...

This post stirs up excitement in me. I cannot wait to be able to say "You can get that here."

Right now I have a few raised garden beds and some young pullets but soon, my friend, I will have a veritable grocery store!

June 22, 2014 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Right now - Fresh brown eggs, salad greens, strawberries and a little bit of attitude from a broody hen.

June 23, 2014 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ooooooh my, I love how you put that.
I want to be a producer and am on my way to becoming one :)
My adventure started when I decided that I was by golly going to grow SOMETHING in the early spring of 2012.
Since the ground around my mother house was a very thick clay mix 'rolls eyes in despair' I decided that a garden bed was needed. Dragged a old plastic truck bed liner out of the forest 'and up a hill' filled it with a mix of 1/3 clay 1/3 forest dirt 1/3 'blushes' store bought dirt, bought seeds/fertilizer/irrigation tubes, mixed the dirt planted the seeds and ... Lost all seedlings to poor shade planing.
Emptied liner, dragged it over to the sunshine 'with help from whining brothers lol' and started over.
The bounty I received from this garden was worth all the huffing/swearing/early morning watering/constance battles with ants and raccoons.
Have since moved and am gaining capital to buy my own land where I can UNLEASH all my dreams to be 'like you said' a producer instead of just a consumer.
I am surviving this period of lack of garden by reading wonderful blogs like yours/gathering all the knowledge I can/and plotting out my home.
Bless you and others like you for giving me hope and a glimpse into what my future might look like.

June 27, 2014 at 9:23 PM  

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