Tag Archives: Gardening

Unemployment is capitalism’s way of getting you to plant a garden. ~Orson Scott Card

My dear friends please excuse my long absence. It was a long hot summer in which we faced many challenges and changes at (what a dear friend of mine has dubbed) Fungus Ranch, and I am long overdue on a “catching up with MsGrubbyFungus” post, it will come I promise.

One of the changes is that I am now officially unemployed but allow me to allay any concerns. We are very blessed, privileged, lucky, fortunate, however you interpret it in that MrGF makes an excellent living that keeps us safe and secure (especially given our mutual squirrel like nature). That said, I have a number of friends who have struggled with job loss and underemployment over the years, including my now former boss. So with that in mind I wanted to share this post from The Morris Tribe.

Until we meet again, I wish you health, happiness and success.

The Homesteader’s Guide to Unemployment: 11 Steps to Take Control

Unemployment is capitalism’s way of getting you to plant a garden. ~Orson Scott Card

Being unemployed, underemployed or laid off is no joking matter.

Millions of Americans are out of work today, many with few prospects for work without moving their family or retraining for another career.

While we are blessed to be not only employed, but also an employer, I never get too far in my thinking about how we could make it without an income.

The worldwide economy is suffering right now.  When and if we’ll see a recovery is anyone’s guess.

Yet, there’s another economy out there.  It’s the economy of the homesteader and there’s no recession going on there.  That’s because we play by a different set of rules.

The homesteader’s employer (besides God) is the soil and the weather.  While these two can be harsh employers at times, much of the time they can be modified and adapted to.

The soil and the weather do not lay people off, nor do they require much in the way of credentials.  Further, once you get the hang of how things work, you’ll be on your way to providing your family with nutritious food and cheap energy!  

If I can do this, so can you.

Plant a Victory garden:  Regardless of where you live, there is something that you can grow and put in the ground now.  A few packs of seeds and you can at least grow some greens for salads.  Get a little more organized and you can start growing your own food!  I cannot tell you how fulfilling this is!  Fall is a great time to plant perennials as well, for free!

Learn how to pressure can:  Canning is a skill that will enable you to preserve the food that you come across, without using the freezer.  Look on Craigslist, thift stores, garage sales, etc. and find a decent water canner, pressure canner and jars.  They will pay for themselves in no time.

Call your local deer processing plant:  Many times, you can put your name in for venison that hunters don’t want.  I scored two deer last year, enough to feed our family much of the year.  For just the processing fee, I got the venison for free.

Start hunting:  This is how our forefathers did it.  You want meat, you go hunt for it.  Check your local laws and ordinances, but think of all the fresh meat you could bring home.

Get rabbits and a hutch:  This is easily done by looking on Craigslist, for little or nothing.  Rabbits can serve as meat for your family as well as give you excellent fertilizer for your garden!  Learn how to raise your own meat here!

Barter your skills:  Skills are just as valuable as product these days.  Use your skills in exchange for goods and services.

Get chickens:  Urban chicken keepers are cropping up all over!  Check here for your local ordinances.  While many counties won’t allow roosters, to have a few laying hens could be perfectly acceptable.

BIG cities, like San Fransisco, are allowing chickens in town, with limitations.  How can a city deny a family’s right to grow some of its own food?  We’ve done it for centuries, even encouraged to do so by our own leaders during WWII in terms of a Victory garden!

Consider wood heat:  Do your homework, but if there’s anyway you can make good use of your fireplace or get a woodstove on the cheap, you should consider it.  I see free firewood all the time.  Save the money from your electric/gas bill for something else.

Get Your Goat:  Goats are cheap (even free!) and hardy animals.  Buy a dairy goat, who is currently milking, and you now have your own milk source.  Learn all about goats, A-Z, right here!

Glean:  I love gleaning.  It’s a skill that all homesteaders love!  We thoroughly enjoy bragging about what we got for free. Read here for tips.

Forage:  Once again, homesteaders relish in the joy of foraging food that we didn’t even plant.  Free, organic, nutrient packed food.

Oh, clever!

I was reading a recent post from cyber friends at Milkwood Farm and this handy little diy gadget caught my eye; I thought it was just so clever (definitely came as one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments) that I just had to share.

“Nifty aid of a piece of cutoff re-bar has squares of precisely 10x10cm, which makes planting without a seeder possible while ensuring the rows don’t wiggle or the space between pea plants truncate.”

See the full post at the Milkwood Permaculture Blog

Lest you think I’ve fallen off the face of the Earth, here’s another great DIY project (a nice way to add some water to the landscape as well).

Hip House Girl

We made this:

Well okay, we didn’t throw that pot. I just mean that we made this pot into a fountain. It’s a little subtle and hard to tell from pictures, but the water bubbles up in the middle and runs down the sides. It makes quite a pleasant noise. I’ll show you how to make one too, if you want.

Materials:

  • Ceramic pot of your liking (base of pot must be smaller than the diameter of a 5-gallon bucket)
  • 5-gallon bucket (we used plastic but are now thinking a metal one would be better)
  • Aluminum L-brackets
  • Screen material cut about 4-5 inches bigger than a 5-gallon bucket, and with a hole in the middle
  • Submersible pump
  • The kind of hose that goes with a submersible pump (technical term). It’s sold right next to the submersible pumps.

Step one: find an ugly spot in your yard that needs some beautification…

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Canada has given us John Candy and Martin Short and Bill Shatner…

and some really cool garden gadgets. (borrowing from Jamie Farr)

So I was wondering the web, as I do, and I had the serendipity to stumble across Canadian Gardening. I came across some really clever ideas that I hadn’t seen before. I particularly liked the The GARDENA Spiral Hose Box.

Now if you, like me, find yourself drooling over this little number you’ll be very happy to know that I found it available on Amazon.

Canadian Gardening also pointed me in the direction of aHa! Modern Living where I found these great bird houses:

They also directed me to Alice Supply Co., which has far too many drool worthy garden gadgets than I can do justice to.

Now I just need to find a Molson to properly toast our Canadian gardening friends. Cheers!

One Misty, Moisty Morning…

One misty, moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment, and I began to grin,
How do you do, and how do you do?
And how do you do again?

It’s been a misty, moisty day here, (though the sun has just broken through) so this old tune my dad used to hum to me has been going through my head all morning.

Yes it’s been raining again, and I’m very happy for that. I “should” be cleaning the house, but… well, I’d rather chat with you, dear friends.

As promised a couple of weeks back, I’ve updated the Cast of Characters page with some better pictures –I love the new camera. In addition to the regular motley crew we have a canine house guest at the moment. This is my dad’s new dog Alex. Isn’t he just the prettiest thing? And such a sweet-heart too.

Alex

I’ve been in love with Alex for over a year now but I can hardly keep up with the pack I have right now. So I’m very happy that dad adopted him; I think they will be fast friends and hope they have many happy years of fishing together.

Dad is heading back up north for the summer, so we have a few months to catch up in the remodeling projects he’s started for us. I’m really pleased with how it’s all turning out; it’s nice when you see your vision come to reality. I have a functional laundry room once again, yippee! There is still a lot to do though – onward and upward.

On the gardening front, spring planting season is fast coming to a close in this part of the world and (as usual) I haven’t got all the plants I wanted to in the ground; so time to plan for “over summering”.

On the blogging front, I have a number of draft topics simmering away in my brain; I just need to find some quiet time to put them to paper. In the meantime I have run across a number of items that I wanted to share with you. My cyber-friend Deborah at Romancing the Bee wrote an excellent post on the nitrogen cycle (sigh, another post someone else beat me to). She’s also posting some excellent recipes (but I’m trying to ignore them so that I can continue to fit into my new smaller clothes).

For those of you who have/are considering chickens I also have a couple of “for the birds” items you.  First, I found another article on feeding your flock – how to make your own chicken feed; and I found this interesting post on Nesting Box Herbs – Chicken Aromatherapy. If you need housing for your feathered friends I may have found the perfect coop for you. Isn’t this the cutest thing? (I know you’ve been racking your brain on what to do with that old playhouse!)

Little Tikes Chicken Coop from: cluckingaround.blogspot.com

If this isn’t quite up your alley I have some other interesting ideas posted on my Pinterest; and if you just have to experience real coop envy then you’ll have to visit BackYard Chickens.

Ok, the house isn’t cleaning itself.

I hope you have a great weekend!

How to Make a Birdbath – Outdoor Projects | Fresh Home

Another great DIY project for the garden to share with you.
How to Make a Birdbath – Outdoor Projects | Fresh Home.

How to Make a Birdbath - Outdoor Projects | Fresh Home

 

Poetry, Prose and Primrose… (please note: no primroses were used in the crafting of this post)

“Good weather all the week, but come the weekend the weather stinks.
Springtime for birth, Summertime for growth; and all Seasons for dying.
Ripening grapes in the summer sun – reason enough to plod ahead.
Springtime flows in our veins.
Beauty is the Mistress, the gardener Her salve.
A soul is colored Spring green.
Complexity is closer to the truth.
All metaphors aside – only living beings rise up in the Springtime; dead beings stay quite lie down dead.
Winter does not turn into Summer; ash does not turn into firewood – on the chopping block of time.
Fresh fruit from the tree – sweet summertime!
Gardens are demanding pets.
Shade was the first shelter.
When the Divine knocks, don’t send a prophet to the door.
One spring and one summer to know life’s hope; one autumn and one winter to know life’s fate.
Somehow, someway, everything gets eaten up, someday.
Relax and be still around the bees.
Paradise and shade are close relatives on a summer day.
Absolutes squirm beneath realities.
The spiders, grasshoppers, mantis, and moth larva are all back:  the summer crowd has returned!
To garden is to open your heart to the sky.
Dirty fingernails and a calloused palm precede a Green Thumb.”
–  Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions