Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Becoming an Urban Homesteader #9 - This Month's Happenings

This month's happenings at my little urban homestead in the suburbs:

We desperately need rain !!
  1. Drought is happening where we live, the rain barrels are dry, the grass is brown and very crunchy, my perennials are drying up very fast and leaving bare patches in the beds.  I'm only watering my small vegetable garden now and having to supplement with tap water.  Crop failures are beginning and I've heard some local farmers are starting to slaughter their herds because they won't be able to feed them this fall/winter.   In the news we hear suggestions of higher food prices come fall for produce and meat, because of the crop failures.   Unusual times we're going through.   Another reason to have a good pantry supply, emergency supplies and preparedness plan at home.
  2. There are many ways I have learned to conserve water - see my post for some ideas.  
  3. Made strawberry jam from fresh locally grown strawberries a few weeks ago - enough for 16 jars.  The rest of the berries were frozen.
  4. Kale, swiss chard, peas are ready for picking from my raised vegetable garden
  5. Knitting/crocheting for babies.  Learned another grand baby is on the way (that makes 3 for us this year).  I can't share my work yet, until after they're born.
  6. Picked all my garlic and have planted some other vegetable seeds to see if I can get another crop before the fall frost.   Frost seems so far away as we go through one heat/humidity wave after another.
  7. Tomatoes are already starting to ripen, which is early for us.   They usually don't ripen until mid August.
  8. There has been great garage sales this month !  I was thrilled to get a crib/mattress in good condition along with fitted sheets, bumper pads and bed skirt (for our visiting grand babies) - all free !
  9. We were given a few empty large water cooler bottles.  We're using them to collect the water from the humidifier off our furnace fan.   On a humid day (which we're getting quite a few these days) we can fill one of these large water bottles, which holds about 20L (5 gal).  Water is used on the vegetables outside.
  10. Starting to collect free firewood as we see it for winter heating.
  11. Rhubarb has done well this year after I moved some of the plants to a new location a couple of years ago.  So far have made a few pies, fruit crisp, muffins and chopped up some for the freezer.


  1. First congratulations on a new grandbaby, Janet! Isn't this drought horrible? But it looks like you are still harvesting from your garden. We always gather the fallen branches from nearby trees for free firewood. There's always plenty. One of the advantages of living in such a windy place!

  2. Congratulations Janet on your new grandbaby that is coming soon...Like you, I am also keeping the vegetables watered, everything else can just withered away for now. Water is very expensive here in the mountains, so I am really utilizing everything I can - we have a windowless a/c, so I use the water from that to water the annuals in the porch.

    Thank you for sharing...


    1. I get free pails from the grocery store bakery department. Then I put all grey water from wash, dishes,de-humidifier etc into these pails on the porch. Every second day I water the garden and the opposite days the trees. Takes a lot of time. Chickens are drinking about 25L of water a day these days.

  3. I agree, we really need rain. At least today it is overcast and not humid, so that's a blessing.



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