Friday, September 1, 2017

APPLE HARVEST TIME IN HOOTERVILLE

I have wanted to dehydrate and do fruit leather since we planted our trees 10 years ago and today I dehydrated .......I am one happy urban homesteader!!!!

Boy did we have lots of apples this year… we had 5 trees produce - 2 Winesap, 2 Golden Delicious and 1 Macintosh. (we live on just an acre)


We also had HORNETs this year - the European kind... I want to send them back.. GOSH they were awful, sound like a 747 in my trees...ate a good deal of our fruit... we picked the Winesap's a wee early because of this.

Our Golden Delicious trees we plan to cut down this fall, along with the cherry trees.. as they don't do well, and we plan to move and I will not reinvest the money or time.

As a newbie in this dehydration thing I read up and studied - I choose the following..

I used two methods - The first, I washed, cored, pealed and sliced the apples and put in a lemon bath and put them in the excalibur, I did not rinse... I want a crunchy texture, and as I write this they are still cooking away….they are almost there....


They are THERE:::::: not real sweet - but the texture I was looking for... 14 1/2 hours...
Lemon Juice bath


The second I washed, cored and sliced... I used a sugar bath, simple syrup with honey… the apples took a bath in this sugary goodness… I learned that commercial dehydration productions use this method.. so I am excited about this… I used my Nesco for this batch.  
Simple syrup with honey

Used some crystalized sugar!



Dipped in Sugar - The way to go!!!!! Yummy











As for dehydrators, I have no real preference - the new excalibur can hold more, the Nesco I have had for over 20 years and has not ever failed me.

We love the apple picken' apron.... thank you Dolly from Hibiscus house for making this for us!  This helps hubby in the picking process,,,, yes Hubby wears it!  At first, he said I'm not wearing an apron.. NOW, it is do you have that apron?


Our new pup Boo.... thought all the apples that fell were her chew toys....


Fall is fast approaching one of my favorite times of year! 

Good Bless you all!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Back to basics - you are NEVER TOO old to practice homesteading ways!

I am 57 today, and I really don’t want to focus on my obstacles, rather the blessings I have… My husband purchased a new upright Freezer for my birthday, this way.. I can freeze more meals, freeze my berries, tomatoes, beans etc…… I was so limited…..cause he is a mad-deer hunter and venison usually fills the small freezer we had.



I don’t have a gas or a traditional electric stove.,,,(I have a flat top)  so after I prepare any canning foods… I have to move them outside to complete the canning process.. - A pain, and most canners would agree….. Or at least I think.


This year I froze my tomatoes. Sliced and diced!! …. I did not cook down or anything…. I did make spaghetti sauce which I did have to cook… and I froze this too…. I’ll have to remember to post on how they worked out taste wise... I have green beans, peppers, onions, blueberries, bananas and strawberries - all in the new freezer…. I grew carrots and onions this year and I plan to freeze these as well.   My garlic, well… I don’t know what I did wrong..



Now for the apples, I will dehydrate them.. I wanted a crispy dried apple, I learned this texture is a ‘freeze dried’ process… So I will do some experimenting.   Looks like a freeze dryer is in my future… I don’t know?



We have a plan to move out of Virginia within 5 years... this was only a temporary residence anyhow!. Our new homestead we plan to use solar, and wind power.. So I am trying to perfect food preservation that requires limited or no refrigeration……

Saturday, August 26, 2017

FAIRS, FALL and BIRTHDAYS

As we approach the end of Summer and the County Fairs wind down, the smell of fall is in the air… blankets get put back on the bed…. Leaves are starting to fall…..and Birthdays...mine to be specific, I love them..I do a good job of ‘spoiling’ myself… this year, I took myself to the county fair…for some small town...down home goodness.

We ate the best ribs and smoked chicken EVER! Shaffer's BBQ & Market - they have a few restaurants in the area.. But something about fair BBQ just tastes better…
I gave them a 2 thumbs up, if you come through this area… stop and eat there! OH, we had local ice cream too! - well, it was my birthday.



We watched the tractor trailer pull, how fun! This old man about 75+ on a 1945 tractor won both weight classes…the young kids were bringing in their produce, animals and art to get judged… …..it made us both (hubby and me) long for a simpler life - and our dream of owning a larger plot of land and building our homestead is coming on quickly… we are looking for land now - we have decided on a state… (it is a secret) - but I can say it is not in the Mid-Atlantic, West or the East Coast.

Enjoy each and every moment of each day… Love Ya’ll!! just sharing a day in the life of Hooterville Homestead.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Inclement Weather - you NEVER know.....Prepare to Prepare

There were areas of Severe Flooding this year....Hurricanes are looming, and fall/winter is approaching - What better time to get your supplies, plan and kits ready.  


MAIN GO KIT: 

This is what I do: keep it simple - what you eat, what you need.... My main “Go Kit TUB/s” (I have this ALWAYS ready)  the BIG evacuation TUB is filled with the following:

This year - 2017, I purchased Wise Food Storage enough for 2 people to last 7 days (this includes water) - in addition to this, I add a small mixture of the following: nuts, meal bars, juice boxes, peanut butter, graham crackers, dried venison jerky. (I circulate, use and replace)


PET FOOD - we have Dogs so we buy an extra bag for our GO KIT TUB, it is kept in airtight container. (circulate)

WATER I have a 5 Gallon JUG next the to GO KIT TUB
COLLARS and LEASHES and a WATER BOWL - we keep a set in the GO KIT TUB
IDENTIFICATION ON US and PETS (I update accordingly)


I add games, like cribbage (I have a mini board), playing cards, Yahtzee
Flashlights and batteries. (circulate batteries)
Personal Hygiene items, to include wipes


I have a change of clothes (sweatpants) for Hubby and me, along with socks and sturdy shoes

Prepare your kits accordingly - Have babies? toddlers? an elderly parent?

*the Red Cross and The Wise Company have excellent sources to help you plan and prepare.


FOR MY HOME

I replace and refill all of the following about every three months:

4 stackable water containers (14 Gallons) (purchased from The Wise Company) (pictured)

3 refillable 5- gallon water jugs (mainly for pups)
10 - 1 gallon refillable waters jugs (mainly for pups)
Water purifier tablets

I determined between the freezer and other food I don't store too much food - I have LONG Term MREs and Food from the WISE Company.


ANY TYPE OF STORM IS CERTAIN to PASS THROUGH HOOTERVILLE

We have a landline, but I do charge all our laptops and devices. - my new lantern has a USB charger.


*  I make sure laundry is done!  - who else does this?
* I also fill my bathtub up so we can use to dump water in the toilet in case power goes out.
* Meds go in waterproof bag along with our identification for us in animals and ready to be put in (MAIN GO KIT)* I get cash out of the bank.
* Buy any animal food I may need (HENS)

I make sure all vehicles have fuel - never know if we have to leave.

We sold our generator, but when I had one... it is checked every 30 days and I make sure I have fuel - we have a permanent one planned.

CHECK WATER SUPPLY - Make sure all is ready.

I am obsessed, I have 7 days ALWAYS for two humans and three dogs and hens - I need more... this plan is in the works. This is separate from my GO KITs
I have in my chest freezer 10-20 jugs of water -  It helps to keep your food when power goes out if you don't have a generator.
Plan to use your outside GRILL - weather permitting! I always have camping propane bottles so cooking  rice and oatmeal is a snap on a camp stove, and of course - I can rely on my go kit. (cook outside)


I have a wind up radio
Candles
And backup flashlights


In a separate mini ‘go kit’ each commuter car has a sleeping bag, blanket and a backpack for 3 days (water, personal items, food and a change of clothes) sweatpants are cheap!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A FARM DREAM A DREAM OF A FARM!!!

I was in my front yard this past week, when it was warm, and I said to myself, Gee, my yard smells ): Smells like a farm - I have chickens that poop in the front yard - and I smiled - because I would not even think that I would EVER have a hen in my front yard… stinking the place up & messing up my flowers….except this year - I plan veggies…. Thank you girls for preparing all my beds for me.

I like the ‘farm’ smell!



Which brings me to - why dreams are important, having that small farm, a quieter life, living off our land (well, to an extent) I  am no youngin!  It could be that my dream will never be realized, but I do so love to dream it -  Being encouraged having a plan....Dreams are important.

I am a homestead blog junkie,,,I sit in envy of fresh milk, cheese and butter - homegrown meat chickens.

What I can do now is work with what I have - Take my front yard and make it work for me - expanding my garden beds, growing my own food to freeze, can my own jelly and fruits, will be dehydrating more too.

We plan to add bees this coming year, working on their space and planning ahead for their arrival.

As we are approaching the years close to retirement (3 years), we have narrowed down a bit where we want to settle… Kentucky, Tennessee - not against northern South Carolina…

Simple things like a flat yard to garden, having a cow, a sheep, chickens of course a duck or too.

I plan to keep Dreaming!