Mid-Summer Aspirations

It is mostly in the summer when I have moments where I think that I would love to learn or do X, Y, or Z. Then the ducks are out of water, the dogs need dinner, and the garden weeded. Inspired by EcoFeminst, I thought I ought to start recording my homesteading goals so I can remember them. And perhaps one day accomplish them.

–> Perfect bread making. I can make basic bread, but I’d like to expand and get quick at it so we can stop buying store bought bread.

–> Learn how to mill our own flour.

–> Make our own vinegars.

–> Make vegetable, duck, and chicken stock from our garden and birds.

–> Get over my fear of the pressure canner so I can stock and beans. I may need to con my mom in helping me since she has done more of it then I have.

–> Dry my own herbs.

–> Grow herbs and greens year-round inside in Alaska! I’m going to even drag in a few of my tomato plants inside this fall to see how long I can keep them.

–> Overwinter our bees. Not an easy feat when you have -40F winters. Our current plan is to drive our bees 5 hours south of Fairbanks and put them in my parent’s old trappers cabin. The look on my mom’s face when I told her our plan was priceless. It was that or in her crawlspace at her home. 😉

–> Expand the garden, so we have enough to can and put away for winter. We pretty much eat as we harvest. I plant more, and we simply eat more. I need enough where we cannot out eat it.

–> Save seeds. This year I planted everything from seed. I’d like to eventually not even need to buy seeds but baby steps.

I’m sure I’ll think of more as I go. As for now, I have some rhubarb that I harvested that needs to be made into jam! Blueberry rhubarb jam, peach rhubarb jam, and salmonberry rhubarb jam, plus watermelon rind pickles are on the agenda today.

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3 thoughts on “Mid-Summer Aspirations

  1. The book “How to Make Bread” is frickin awesome. Seems a bit intimidating as he breaks down a basic loaf in about 25 steps, but afterwards you’ll be soooo grateful. The bagel recipe is dope as well.

    For stock, I just keep a gallon size ziploc bag in the freezer and dump veggie scraps into it and as soon as it’s full I make a ton of broth. But with the chickens you’ll have broth a’plenty!

    I have an irrational fear of pressure cooking, not sure why. My electric canner is so damn easy.

    Love that bee comment, heh.

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    1. Bagels, pita bread, and more exotic breads are what I need to master so that might be up my alley! I got the basic loaf down and pizza dough but need more diversity. I’ll have to check out that book.

      How do you store your broth after you make it? Do you can it in the electric canner?

      I don’t think our fear of pressure canner is irrational. They can EXPLODE! And if you don’t do it perfectly but manage not to blow up your kitchen, you get botulism and die. Granted, I work with shit that can explode, but I’m more comfortable about that. Can you can meats and such in your electric canner? I was sold on the word EASY.

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      1. The book has recipes for pita bread and bagels and croissants and much more 🙂

        I just put the broth into canning jars and throw them into the fridge – I just do about 6 quarts at a time, which works great.

        My electric canner is just like a stovetop one except it’s all contained, and doesn’t get the kitchen as stinkin’ hot 🙂 it’s this: https://m.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=63643206&KPID=21265939&ved=0ahUKEwjKlpz-l4_VAhXlq1QKHa29Bi4Qwg8IHQ&cid=CAPLA:G:Shopping_-Canning_Supplies-_Mobile&pla=pla_21265939&k_clickid=e5ff1592-8669-4684-baf2-2637c8e090a6. So, no pressure canning… But I use freezer for meat anyways 🙂

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