Mini Homestead…In A Trailer Park

Learning to Live for the Future

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Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Clearing Spaces

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on May 31, 2011


A shot of Downtown Fort Kent

Image via Wikipedia

In preparation for a move, we have been clearing spaces. First, I have been going through things and deciding what is no longer necessary. It is not always easy to get rid of things, but it becomes necessary over time.

It took us two days to clear and clean the garage at my sisters, upstairs and down. There was a lot to be done, but we managed to finish everything as we all worked together: My sister and I, my daughter Zowie and Sheila’s two sons. All of the work has paid off, and I now have a place for the belongings that I will bring with me, as well as an office area to work in and a place for all of my gardening stuff.

The current project here at the trailer is going through all of Skye’s stuff, and packing what she will bring up to Fort Kent. She will be picking all of this stuff up this week. She will also be bringing her cat up there with her. I will miss Zander, but he will be fine with Skye.

So this means that I will be bringing just 5 cats with me when I move.

Shannon

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Posted in Cats/Kittens, cleaning, Gardening, Greening Our Lives | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Frugal Food Column

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on January 21, 2011


Vegetable garden

Image by Downing Street via Flickr

If you want to take the time to check out the left sidebar on this blog, you will see a number of categories of articles and whatnot. Notice the category Shannon L. Buck on Experts123. That is me! My very own food column, called Frugal Food. I am very excited over this column, as it is helping me to market the Frugal Recipes blog, which is also mine 🙂

I already have an accumulation of column articles, as well as a question on Experts123.com answered. Feel free to check each of them out. The current column article series is about growing your own food organically and frugally, perfect reads for the homesteader.

I hope that you enjoy the articles.

Shannon

 

Posted in Food Preservation, Gardening, Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pear Trees

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 19, 2010


Though the pears pictured do not have a textur...

Image via Wikipedia

I have decided that I would like to grow pears in an orchard when I finally have land to do so on. Not all pear trees provide fruit that is edible, from what I understand – this this may be incorrect. (And please, let me know if it is 🙂 )

This is the minimal information that I have had time to research thus far:

Pear trees can be grown in an orchard, a field or a backyard. The fruit provides many nutrients, including potassium and vitamin C.

The Callery pear is native to China and is a deciduous tree that can reach a height of up to 45 feet tall. It grows in fields and along roadsides. The callery pear tree shows its white flowers early in the spring and provides fruit for small animals to eat.

The Siberian pear is considered hardy and will survive in zone 1 as a wind break. This is an inedible pear that is grown with other varieties and used as a pollinator. It is used in landscaping as a shrub.

The Bartlett pear is edible and found in grocery stores across the country. It requires rich soil and warm environments. It will produce fruit for up to 75 years, on average, once it is established.

 

If you have experience growing pear trees, please share in the comments. Inquiring minds want to know. I, for one, live in Maine, and plan to homestead on land that I purchase here.

Shannon

Posted in Gardening | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are You a Survivor? Tips for Setting up Survival Food Storage… and a Garden.

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 12, 2010


A contemporary kitchen pantry in a U.S. house.

Image via Wikipedia

There was a time when I had a good store of food in the pantry. Whenever Skye would come home for a quick visit from Fort Kent, I would send her home with bags of groceries. If anyone was in need, I could fill a box with food.

Unfortunately, with all of the being ill and the surgery, my stores have dwindled down to nothing. That is what happens when you are unable to replenish.

It is now time to begin this process again. I do not like the feeling that, in an emergency, I will not have plenty of food and other items available. While I am getting back on my feet, I will be purchasing items to restock the pantry with.

Here are the guidelines I plan to use:

  • Store food that I like. Don’t base my purchases on what the girls like. Skye lives away from home, and Zowie is in college and rarely here.
  • Purchase items on sale, with a coupon, whenever possible. Or by using whatever method gives me the best price.
  • Rotate foods. New foods go to the back. Use the older foods first.
  • Garden next year, to help to fill the pantry with minimal cost.
  • Learn how to can and dry foods.
  • Purchase a few of at least 1 food item each week for the pantry.
  • Reevaluate how much food I will eat (by myself) for a year and purchase accordingly, plus 10% to 20% more for visits from the girls and others, and helping people when they are in need.

 

If you have any tips that will help others to create their survival pantries, please share them in the comments below.

Here are a couple of articles that may interest you:

Survival Gardening Foods

Food Storage Guidelines for Survival

I hope you enjoy the articles.

Shannon

 

Posted in Food Preservation, Gardening, Stock Up on Foods and More | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Composting and Organic Gardening

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 11, 2010


The finished compost bin

Image by London Permaculture via Flickr

As part of my Mini Homestead activities, I am gardening organically. I want the foods that I prepare for myself, my cats, my family and friends to be as healthy as possible. I have been experimenting with things and doing much research. I feel that I have a pretty good grasp on what I am doing. My two latest articles reflect this:

A Composting System for Frugal Eating

Frugal Meals by Gardening Organically

I have written other gardening articles as well, that will help you with the plans for gardening on your own homestead, mini or otherwise:

Container Gardening Questions

Different Levels of Green Gardening

Foods for Worm Composting

Garden Window Ideas

How to Clean and Prepare Garden Spaces this Fall

How to Design a Small Kitchen Garden

Organic Indoor Gardening

There are many more of my articles on eHow.com, GardenGuides.com, AssociatedContent.com and Suite101.com.

I don’t know about all of you, but I have a notebook that I am writing all of my gardening plans and lists in. It is not real organized, but it keeps everything in one place.

Have a great day, all!

Shannon

 

Posted in Gardening | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 11/07/2010

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 7, 2010


List of professional gardeners

Image via Wikipedia

Yes, I have been away a long time. In all honesty, I really wasn’t following my homestead goals here in 2010. Thus far, anyway. I had been ill, for about 4 years. This year, it all caught up to me and I had a much needed surgery on August 4th. And I feel 100% better now. Yay!

There was then a recovery period, that I got through with the help of my daughter (Zowie), my neice (Carlee) and my mom. I cannot express my appreciation to them fully, because I just do not know how.

Now that I am fully recovered, and have had time to catch up on some things financially by working my butt off as a freelance writer. I am back here on this blog. I have missed it.

It is time to begin again with the homestead learning process, to be prepared for when I am able to acquire a piece of land. This is where I am right now:

  • Hanging from hooks in my living room and kitchen, I have three types of herbs drying: Rosemary, parsley and sage. These smell divine, and will soon be placed into small canning jars to be used in cooking this winter.
  • I have some garlic stored.
  • I have cleaned out the candle jars of their wax, in order to make the recycled candles for people. These are gifts that I give at the holidays. The jars themselves need to be cleaned.
  • I am now feeding the cats solely human food. No cat food for them. They are much healthier now. Tigerr, who was always so sick, is rarely ever sick any more. And Fae’s skin has cleared up most of the way.
  • My nephew Isaiah, who is now 13, did some yard work for me a couple of weeks ago, and organized the shed pretty well. I have a few things to put away, and I have an area of banking to fix on the trailer, then I am set for winter.
  • I have acquired a NuWave oven and a Juicer so that I am eating healthier. This, on top of surgery, has allowed me to lose a significant amount of weight. And I am still losing.
  • I updated the side bars and pages to this site yesterday, to give my readers an idea of how my life has changed over the course of this year.

On a professional level, my career is going well.

  • I am still writing for Demand Media Studios, which brings in the bulk of my income.
  • I have updated the Frugal Recipes blog to better reflect how I am currently eating, and concentrates on a healthier diet. I now write the Frugal Food column on Experts123 as well. Currently, I have also authored 4 eCookBooks, the links to which can be found in the right side bar.
  • My articles can be found on eHow.com, GardenGuides.com, Suite101.com and Assciated Content. I have posted some as links on the left sidebar.
  • I also have 3 housekeeping books that I am selling. Again, look in the right sidebar for more information. And I have numerous eBooks, Mini eBooks, Special Reports and eCourses that I am offering to those desiring freelance careers of their own. These can be found on my storefront.

Wow! It has been a crazy two years building this freelance writing career. I enjoy every minute of it.

Anyway, be expecting new posts now that life is back to normal. It is time to start planning for next years’ garden, and to learn about ways to preserve the bounty that I will harvest.

Shannon

 

Posted in Cats/Kittens, Food Preservation, Gardening, Mini Homestead Happenings, Winter Prep | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 1/9/2010

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on January 9, 2010


During the week after Christmas, I received the first 2 seed catalogs. One was from Burpee. I was super excited, and keep going back to the catalogs time and again.

I am beginning to formulate a plan in my head for next spring. I have my compost that will be ready to be used, and I will also do trench composting this year when preparing the garden beds and planters.

I have the two mini greenhouses that I purchased at the yard sale last year, so starting plants early out on the porch will be a breeze.

I want a sunflower garden, an herb garden, flower beds and produce. I just have to set everything up for growing on my small lot in this trailer park. LOL…I’m not sure what our new landlords are going to think about this.

Have a nice day.

Shannon

Posted in Gardening, Mini Homestead Happenings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Just Sharing

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on October 19, 2009


Hello! Just wanted to share my The Green Mom column articles with you.

Happy Reading!

Shannon

Posted in Cats/Kittens, cleaning, Gardening, Greening Our Lives, Money Matters | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 10/18/2009

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on October 18, 2009


Zowie and I spent some time yesterday starting to bank the trailer. We will finish the task this week. We will also have to clean the fans and the air conditioner and put them up, and close up the windows.

My stepfather and mom helped to fix some areas of the skirting that needed extra support, and mt stepdad replaced the broken window. I am thankful that these things were accomplished before winter.

I had already pulled the previous owners trashed items out from under the trailer, and Zowie had taken what wasn’t reusable to the dumpster.

The compost that I started last year was allowed to sit this year, and will be ready for garden use in the spring.

Shannon

Posted in Gardening, Mini Homestead Happenings, Renovations, Winter Prep | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hooray for Water!

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on August 5, 2009


LOL! Yes, I do love having running water again. It is wonderful. I saved a lot of water in the month that I had none, of course. I would like to share with you some of the things that I learned that I am still doing:

  • I was only able to shower and one load of laundry per week at my mothers. I had to take sponge baths the rest of the week, washing my incredibly long and thick hair in a bucket. It is way too difficult to get soap out of my hair this way, and I would have flaky scalp issues because I couldn’t do it. I started just giving my head a good water rinsing every couple of days. NOW: If there is nothing pressing,  and it is not too hot, I will shower only every other day now. This will continue to save me money on my water bill.
  • I had to wash my clothes out by hand every few days, leaving big stuff to do at my mothers. I had to learn to wear things more than once. NOW: The most important items to wash out after every use are underclothing. Unless you stain an article of clothing or you are very sweaty, you should be able to wear other things twice. This will continue to save me money on my water bill.
  • Flushing the toilet takes a lot of water. I had already cut back on the amount of times that we flushed during the day, as well as added the filled soda bottle of water to the tank. While I had no water, I could only flush the toilet once or twice a day, and had to clean the bowl each time.  I had to do this with the dirty water from dishes, laundry, bathing and other cleaning tasks. NOW: I still use the cleaning water to flush the toilet. This will continue to save me money on my water bill.
  • I used the cooking water to feed the plants, and (NOW) I am still doing this. This will continue to save me money on my water bill.
  • I had to fill a bucket with rain water to aid in flushing the toilet. (NOW) I will be using that water in my gardening needs like I always have. This will continue to save me money on my water bill.

Shannon

Posted in cleaning, Gardening, Greening Our Lives, Money Matters | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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