A place I will document our journey in living off the land

Progress! May 21, 2013

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The trip definitely took time from getting the garden more ready, but I have been working on it the past 2 days. I cannot wait to be done with row building!


But I am ready for peppers, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and one row of cucumbers. Should be picking plants up this weekend and hopefully get my starts out there.


Back from our trip! May 20, 2013

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We had a GREAT time in California for my sisters wedding and our little vacation on the coast on the way home. I was honored to stand by my sister as she was married and I am so excited for her on this new journey! We took a detour on our way home and stopped multiple times on the California and Oregon coasts. We took the kids to Ocean World in Crescent City and Wild Game Safari in Bandon, OR, where we pet a baby bear! I took so many pictures and we saw a lot of sea life. The kids had a blast and we cannot wait until we can get back!

Now that I am home, its time to get this garden whipped into shape! I am also planning on when I will be ordering a new batch of meat chickens, probably mid June. I have 5 rows in the garden and a short wide one for the carrots. The rototiller we were using died half way through, so it looks like shoveling the rest will be in the works. Thank goodness we were able to plow it with the tractor first! I also started putting up fencing, I plan on using hot wire and chicken wire, and other natural repellent methods to keep the rabbits, deer, antelope and birds out! Lets hope I am successful and do not lose much to them.

I cannot wait to get back into this blog and get to growing food! I hope everyone has had a great May so far! We are finally enjoying SUN and RAIN! The rain is desperately needed for the farmers crops all around us.


Dirt and rakes and straw, oh my! May 3, 2013

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The weather was so nice yesterday, that I started getting the garden rows done! I wanted to put down how I am making my rows this year, so if it works out well, I will remember what I did 😉 I have read quite a bit about using mulch in the garden, and one of the blogs I had read (I found it! Old World Garden Farms) talked about how they mulched the garden and brought dirt in to put on top to make rows. I didn’t want to have to bring in dirt, so we plowed the ground and I am just going to really mulch it. The blog talked about how having straw in the rows is really beneficial to the plants, as it helps contain moisture, gives the roots room to move and it breaks down over time, so it adds nutrients. This sounds great to me! I am also hoping that next year, I will not need to till, since we are doing all of this now! So here is what I am doing:

First, I take my hoe, and make a long trench where my row will be placed. I take handfuls of straw, and fill that trench in.


You can see it filled in here:


I take my rake, and pull dirt from side of the trench to cover the straw


And then I pull dirt from the other side to make the mounded row


Here are two rows done, and I will be putting straw on the paths in between. I am using my rake width as the guide on my row spacing. Its approximately 14″ wide, so I think I will be good. I should be able to easily walk down each row, except maybe in the tomatoes.


And around here, we garden in our PJ’s! My youngest loves to help and so he was getting me straw with the pitchfork.


I cannot wait to see how this helps my garden grow this year! I did not mulch last year and I regretted it. We had SO many weeds that they overtook everything and I spent more time weeding and my plants suffered some. So far, the tilled area isnt really growing any weeds, so I am hopeful that I will not have the same problem, especially since I am going to mulch it heavily. I think I have enough straw haha

ETA: The blog I linked to has a LOT of great gardening information, as well as canning/freezing info! I have enjoyed spending time reading it for sure 🙂


a day of SPRING!! May 2, 2013

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Our weather has been SO up and down the past week! We have had warm and sun, rain, wind, snow, snow, wind, sun UGH! But today, it was just plain gorgeous outside. 63 degrees, no wind, sunny. So, of course, we spent a lot of time out in it, soaking up those glorious rays! Here are a few pictures from our day 🙂

I got myself a hair cut this morning. He used a diffuser on my hair when drying it and WOW look at the curls! My hair has decided it wants to be curly, so if I work it a little, I can make it super cute. Love it!


We live where the antelope play, and I am really excited we have some near our house. I cannot wait until the babies start arriving 🙂


While taking pictures of the antelope, I apparently spooked a pair of these birds. I am not sure what they are? Any ideas, leave me a comment! I am guessing a type of quail or grouse?


I was in the corrals near our house, with my camera luckily! I caught one of the young bulls getting himself a drink of fresh cold water.


And I really think these two pictures of my youngest really show how our day was today 🙂



p.s He got a hair cut too!

I also have gotten the first row in the garden done! We finally got the rototiller back up and running, so hoping by the time we head off to California next week, I will have it fully rowed and ready to be planted when I get home!


Busy! April 24, 2013

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I have been fairly busy the past few weeks and have totally neglected my blog! I am sorry 🙂 I went and visited my sister in CA for a few days, and that was a much needed break and fun! I hadn’t seen her in a year, so it was definitely past time! During that time, the butcher came out and got my pigs. I now have a freezer full of meat and I am so thankful they have provided our family with food. I miss them, for sure though, and look forward to getting another batch this fall.

My seedlings are doing awesome! So awesome, that they really are ready to go outside. Unfortunately, I keep waking up to snow :/ I thought it was almost the end of April?! I know here in Montana though, the weather is very unpredictable, and who knows when it will be time to plant! So I may be setting containers up for this stuff until they can go out full time.


Beans in a pot! I am really excited about getting beans early and so far, they are doing well!


My freezer! This makes me SO happy and I am very proud of what I have accomplished so far. 90% of this freezer contains things I have grown or raised. There are vegetables from my garden last year, chicken that I raised last summer and pork! I am picking up another freezer this week, and hoping I can get this one defrosted. I need to paint it as well, since it is now a “in the house” freezer and not a garage freezer! Thinking chalkboard or dry erase paint. Then we can write notes, keep a record of what is IN the freezer, ect.


Blah! I know we need the moisture, but I am really over snow. I love the stuff.. in the winter. I saw a meme on Facebook the other day, that said we are currently celebrating “Sprinter” How accurate! Most of this snow is now gone though, but more is in the forecast.



Food Preservation April 5, 2013

Last year, I taught myself how to can. I did not do any pressure canning, but will be venturing into that this year. I did tomatoes, along with spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce. I also pickled peppers, green beans and made lots of pickles, that did not last as long as I had hoped! I was able to get fruit from local orchards, so had some apricots, peaches and apples as well. I had a great time, and learned a lot! These are a few of the websites I referred to, and the pickle recipe I used, that everyone LOVED! I hope these are helpful!

Simply Canning:

Food In Jars:
the beloved pickle recipe:

This one is awesome not only for canning, but freezing as well.
Pick Your Own:

And of course, the USDA site:

There are a lot of others that I have saved on Pinterest, and will be going through them this year, as I need to put up probably 2-3x what I did last year. Here is my Pinterest board:



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I know I am early with some of these, but I wanted to get a head start in case some didnt make it! There are some that have not come up, so I will need to get more seeds.


See my seedling guardian? Silly cat.