Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In Brief - What's Been Going On

We're prepping for spring around here with a garden clean up and lots of projects going on from pruning trees to finishing the chicken coop.  There is a ton of work to be done out back...makes me tired just looking at it!  I was out of town over the weekend and my urban homestead hubby was busy getting things prepped for spring.  Things are looking messy around here, but messy is good and necessary for a time.  Just look at these glorious jars!  I can almost see the tomato sauce, jellies, jams and all kinds of goodness filling them...mmm  I can hardly wait to learn all about canning! 

We picked up these canning jars off of Craig's List for free!  They had been sitting out in the elements and needed a good cleaning.  We're inheriting some canning supplies from one of our grandmas and will be getting them right in time for canning.  There is nothing like using items for food making that grandma used.  It's both sentimental and wonderful at the same time.   

Urban Homestead honey has been in bread making mode lately.  He bought Atrisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day and Brother Juniper's Bread Book.  The bread recipes in both of these books are so easy, quick and delicious!!
The coop is pretty close to completion, but still needs siding, flashing, a door on the nesting box area, the wire run and a good coat of paint.  I've been browsing through local on line chicken catalogs to see which kinds we're going to get.  These to the left are Barred Rocks.  With the huge selection out there I'm a bit overwhelmed.  I'm asking friends who have chickens which types they prefer, which kinds are good around children, etc.  If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!  I will of course get some that lay those beautiful brown and blue eggs!

On a different front, the fb page I started Take Back Urban Home-steading(s) was mentioned today in the SF Gate!!  This news made my day.  Things are moving forward and I'm seeing more and more each day that urban homesteaders when united are a veritable force of nature!  I have no doubt in my mind that we will indeed win our names back.


  1. I told Ron about a couple of canning books I just got. You might want to take a look. Just remember - don't reuse the seals/lids.

  2. Cool, thanks! We plan to get all new lids, and they're cheap which is awesome.

  3. Free jars? I'm jealous. I have to try to convince thrift stores here that 99 cents per jar is more than they cost new!

    If you don't have a canning book yet, but sure to pick up the latest Ball Guide, and be wary of older canning guides. At some point, I think in the early 90s?, canning guidelines were updated for safety reasons. The National Home Center for Food Preservation is an excellent and up-to-date reference for all things preservation: canning, curing, dehydrating, freezing, pickling, and even smoking.

  4. I got some jars from my Mom last year. At 80, she is finally starting to slow down!
    We've also been looking a chickens. We may order from Meyer Hatchery out of Ohio. They will ship as few as 3 chicks. They offer a 'rainbow assortment' that we're thinking about. It's their choice of breeds but they guarantee at least 5 kinds in each shipment but they all lay a different color of eggs. And of course, living out in the country, we want a rooster.

  5. I just decided to start canning as well! Super excited but all the reading I've been doing about bacteria growth that can happen is a little intimidating! Can't wait to see what you can.

  6. Chile - Thanks for the book reference, I'll check it out!

    Nicole - IKWYM about the bacteria issue. I guess we just need to be super careful.