Monday, April 23, 2018

Getting Off The Grid - The Waiting

The Winter and Spring are times to wait. I have to wait till the ground is a certain temp before I plant the tomatoes. I have to make sure that most of the cold fronts that send down icy temps have passed. 

I have been playing the waiting game.

Its April the 23rd and I began to "think" I can get this moving along a bit more.

The flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. 

The Homestead :

For a couple of weeks I have been taming the grass around the house as well as the fields, cutting out paths to the blackberry bushes and cleaning up the dogs area as well. The new growth of poison oak is out and I have to destroy that before I go any further with the new section for the dogs.

The blackberries are in full bloom and so the olden folks call this time of the year blackberry winter since it can get very cold at night.

Since the wind destroyed the greenhouse, well not destroyed but blew the plastic off, I did manage to get out before the rain came and remove the plastic altogether, roll it up for the next try at it. But no time soon I am afraid, time and energy are sparse. 

The Garden :

I have  been tending to the baby plants I have inside the house, I have three stages and the first was planted in the flower beds around the deck, they have tomatoes and are looking good, I have had to cover them more than once to keep them warm. 

The next tomato plants are just about at the stage to re-pot.

I finally got the eggplants separated and into their own pot. I did the next level of bell peppers as well.

The cabbage are very leggy but I hope to try and get a few heads before summer.

I am hardening all the vegetable plants off this week, since its supposed to be light rain and cloudy I think its the best time. After all I will be planting the fields in May.

The stockpile :

I have not done anything as far as stockpiling, just the opposite, I have been eating the stockpile. I ran out of homemade veggie soup this past weekend. Time to get busy!

The Learning :

I have learned to use the solar power, a little, so I am not totally freaked out. I have checked out more things to add to this one, so I can add panels as I buy them. I am not good at remembering the names of these things, I must write them down but I know what they look like :)

I will have to find another place to put the panels so I can have a dry place for the things that need to stay dry, maybe on top of the shed? I am not sure at this point, its just the beginning. 

By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry

Get ready for any situation! from having a fire starter to clean water. Storing up seeds for a hard time to having food year round. Prepare now, be happy about this later.

 Getting started is not that hard and how life is nowadays its so easy to order what you want online and have it delivered at your front door. Why wait? Even if its just night lighting for the summer, its free power! Solar lanterns  are the way to go!

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Getting Off The Grid - Yay! Time For Me and Solar Power

Its not often I take out a little time for me, I have to make sure that the people are happy in the rentals and I have to make sure Tony gets taken care of, the animals, the homestead and that leaves me last.

But what some people think of as me time and how I think of me time are totally different.

Some say go spoil myself with nail polish, new clothes and hair styles but to me its about not doing anything for anyone else but what I want. Today I wanted to open the solar power kit I bought a while back.

So I did.

The Homestead :

On Monday I was not sure what the last of the week would be like so I mowed all the grass here, two full acres, in one evening. I should not have because it beat this old body to hell and back.

Tuesday I worked at the old home place cutting up downed trees with the small electric chainsaw and stacking the wood, I am mentioning that here because that will be wood to burn in the future, no live trees taken just what wind already took down. When it gets close to winter I will load it up and bring it home.

Now ...... Its Friday and I did plan to mow the grass round the edges of the house, around trees etc. but I wanted to do something else more, the solar panels.

So I took them outside and set them up on the deck, I do not have long cords so this is perfect for running a couple small things or one major thing.

Each panel connect to the next with a metal bar with a screw and a wing nut to hold it together, easy to do.

I opened the back legs and sat them facing the south. 

I knew they were working when I seen that little blue light shining on each.

Next I hooked up each to a main line that goes into the regulator box. 

Last was setting the battery up, easy as pie! clip the cable onto it and then into the slot for the battery on the regulator. 

I am charging that battery up free with sun/light!

I do need a few more items so to be able to hook the fridge/ t.v.. Tony talked about doing the t.v. since its on a lot just to see how much it would save on the power bill each month, the fridge would be in case of power loss.

I am doing the happy dance! I got it started. Free power.

The Garden :

This week I chopped down most of the greens that was left, since I did not have any time to pick most were going to seed, I did leave one small section because the kale is huge, it`ll make one small meal.

And my favorite time of the year, Blackberry time! As I walked the dogs around the field I seen they are about to bust open into full bloom, a few are already open.

Inside the Basil is doing awesome and I have a wire rack filled with the first picking of this year or drying.

The sage has began to grow once again.

The tomatoes are doing great, but there were a few nights I had to cover them with sheets due to a cold snap, we have one more to go and I hope that is over.

The stockpile :

Since I have not grown anything this year, yet, I have not home canned much but last week I did dry beans and pickled sausages. I was down to one jar of red beans, no pintos and no green baby Lima beans. Although the dry beans keep I home can them for meals on the days I have to work both jobs and I am not able to cook, I open a jar, warm it and I have healthy food waiting. I also cook a large skillet of cornbread and freeze it for those times.

The Learning :

I cant say that I have learned anything much, except how to set the solar panels up, That was a big deal. I was scared and excited but I took my time and got it done right the first time.

By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry

Getting started is not that hard and how life is nowadays its so easy to order what you want online and have it delivered at your front door. Why wait? Even if its just night lighting for the summer, its free power!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Getting Off The Grid - Its Tomato Time

Back in December I started seed in the house using the southern windows sun and now that its March they had began to bloom, with no bees inside I had to pollinate each flower to make the tomatoes.

I looked at the calendar and it was the perfect day to plant, sow or whatever. So I ditched housework and went outside with the extra tall tomato plants and a shovel.

The Homestead :

Seems like the homestead knew that March 20th. came and when it did the place took off, its green and getting greener.

March winds have decided to show up as well, I opened the greenhouse to vent and in no time flat the wind had blown the plastic off! So that will be a problem that I will have to deal with, find a solution or maybe move it all together.

The grass was mowed, I even got caught up from last years over grown mess when I was down to only a push mower, the fields are clean. 

From the Garden :

Well, I cannot say that the tomatoes made it into the garden but they did get planted. I do not have the garden plowed yet so I did the next best thing, I planted the tomatoes in the flower beds around the deck. After all its full sun and one year I has a bumper crop of tomatoes from that area. I planted eight around the deck and replanted two and brought those back inside because they are smaller and not blooming yet.

The bell pepper plants are ready to be put outside but I will have to till a spot for those.

The eggplants are still a ways from being big enough to transplant.

The apple tree is finally blooming and I have to say the blooms are so pretty, first pink and then they turn into white.

The spearmint is back! Yes its already up and ready for kitchen use.

The sage wintered over well, I do not think that it died back at all.

And I am now getting more kale. I will pick it this time and then mow down the patch, it will put back out and I wont have to fight weeds to get to it. I should be able to harvest till May. 

The stockpile :

I have not picked anything to home can or freeze. But... I did cook up a huge pot of pinto beans and I home canned seven pints. As for the large Lima beans (butter beans) I froze those and I got four quart bags and that equals pints because I fill them half way and then flattened them.

The Learning :

The biggest part of learning is when you have enough. I do have enough, actually I have to much and I need to down size.

When you learn you do not need much and that things are just things that will not last forever, you are on your game.

What is important in life is food and shelter, a few clothes and that is about it, oh and coffee! Love too, everyone needs love.

By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry

Time, time is passing so do not forget to check out this gardening stuff. Its easy to shop online and have it delivered right to your door.

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