Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

As of yesterday, it's been a month since we moved to our 3 acre homestead, which we've dubbed "Lil Raisin Acres", so named for the tributary running out front called "Little Raisin River" (hardly a river, more like a ditch...). We've been EXTREMELY busy.

Firstly, we had to paint the kitchen in order to have our cabinets and appliances installed. The former owners, who'd been foreclosed on, had removed every stitch of anything other than floor from the kitchen, including the plumbing from the floor up! (We roughed it by using a camp stove, an electric griddle and a crock pot for the first 2 weeks.) It was well worth the final result!

I've already posted some photos, but we got our chickens 2 weeks ago today, and they were 5 days old when we got them. As soon as Tractor Supply received their first shipment, we were down there LOL We purchased 6 hen chicks (2 White Leghorn, 2 Brown ISA, 2 Black Jersey Giant). One of the Leghorns was breathing heavily when we got her home and she died a few days later. The other 5 are growing like weeds! They don't really care for being picked up all that much, but they are very friendly otherwise. All of their waste is being collected for the compost pile along with kitchen scraps.

I started my seeds indoors on March 11, 8 weeks before our last frost of May 10 here in Zone 5. Tomatoes, Peppers, Melons, Broccoli, Herbs, etc etc etc. I purchased 30 different varieties of fruit and vegetables from Baker Creek, as well as 3 onion varieties, garlic, seed potatoes and asparagus from local vendors. Fruit trees/bushes/vines are in the nurseries, but it's been far too cold to even think about planting any yet. I also purchased a variety of flower bulbs and seeds for our front landscaping.

I've been experimenting with the dehydrator I got for Christmas from my brother. I've had very good results, all save the potatoes, which I had forgotten to add lemon juice to. We especially love "Apple Cinnamon Chips" (see below for recipe). I expect to be using it continuously this fall along with my canner!

Next projects include: tilling the 1/2 acre garden area, planning and planting the orchard, painting the Master Bedroom, scraping and painting all the exterior window sills, painting the deck railings, staining the deck floor, scraping and painting the barn, replacing 2 entry doors on the barn and repairing a sliding door on the barn. Obviously, we need to build a chicken coop relatively soon as well! 

I created a YouTube channel to be used as sort of a personal journal of our progress. I'll share the link when we upload content! Thanks for reading :)


4-5 Granny Smith Apples

2 c. Water

2 tbsp. Lemon Juice

1/3 c. Brown Sugar

1 tbsp. Cinnamon

Combine water, lemon, sugar and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Core and slice apples about 1/16" thick, leaving skins on. Place sliced apples in sugar water mixture and soak 8-12 hours in fridge. Place apples in dehydrator for 12-14 hours, til crisp. Makes about 4 trays.


Views: 68

Comment by Jennifer on March 25, 2013 at 10:31am

This sounds like a lot of work: "tilling the 1/2 acre garden," but how awesome is it that you have half an acre to till? I'm just so thrilled for you that it's all coming together, and I'm so thrilled for the rest of HOMEGROWN (me included) that we get to follow along. Thanks so much, Carrie, for sharing these updates—not to mention the recipe for apple cinnamon chips. Can't wait to hear more about everything: the seeds, the chicks, the orchard, the scraping and the painting. And especially can't wait to see videos!

Comment by Carrie Seal-Stahl on March 26, 2013 at 7:58pm

I'm working on videos :) I've been working on an opening theme/slideshow for the channel!

We have A LOT of work to do, but the weather has been less than co-operative. Cold and very windy. This weekend we're supposed to go get fruit trees and plant those along with working on the scraping/painting!


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