Back to some basics ~ [baby] homesteading

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Instead of taking things off of my plate, like I talk about wanting to do pretty often, I’m like – nah, let’s do MORE!

So, I was away from work for about a week; my first day back at the office was yesterday. During that time, I had a good solid 4 days that I spent mainly at home gardening and other random household chores. That means I had a lot of time to think about things, as I’m wont to do.

I realized how much I missed doing more things for myself and my household. It was pretty amazing to have 4-5 hours in one day to garden; it made me look forward to the time when I’d be canning and preserving. I find such satisfaction and pride in doing things on my own instead of relying on purchasing those same items from the store.

Last weekend, I had to trim a lot of my cucumber plants because of mold. Lots and lots of leaf removal was done and I’m still picking off newly infected leaves here and there because it travels up the vine, unfortunately. I made a solution from water and baking soda and have been spraying the remaining leaves in hopes of saving the plants I’ve worked so hard to have.

[Every year, I learn new things. Now I know to use the baking soda and water mixture right from the get-go to avoid the plants from molding.]

As I wasn’t sure if I’d get another good batch of cucumbers from the plants (who knows, maybe I’m too late to avoid their deaths), I used what I had and made pickles! I was only able to make 4 jars but that’s 4 jars of dill pickles (the dill being from my garden, too) that I know don’t have to buy for the pickle-obsessed kids in my house.

I have also preserved a lot of shredded zucchini for use in the making of zucchini banana bread around the holiday time.

My task tomorrow is drying herbs…


The pictures above are of 1/3 giant sheets of basil I have drying out and the second picture is a batch of oregano freshly pulled from my garden. In the background of the second picture are some handfuls of chocolate mint and sweet mint.

The plan is to oven-dry all of my herbs (thankfully I will be home much of the day!) and then to crumble them up and put them in small jars. Those jars will be neatly labeled and put aside for our own use and for holiday gifts.

The mint will be used for my personal enjoyMINT ~ I want to try making a cucumber mint sugar scrub- I have two small cucumbers picked within the last day or two from my garden.

Basically, I miss doing this type of stuff. I haven’t indulged too much in it at all since I moved out of my house in Ballston Lake. Between moving to an apartment and then moving to Niskayuna, I haven’t really had the time or mental space. I’m in a spot now where I want to create that mental space because I truly, truly enjoy doing it. I wish I could describe the feeling of accomplishing these tasks and saving as much as I can ~ “satisfying” doesn’t seem to quite cover it. It’s almost like WINNING. Learning how to make things that my family needs out of raw materials instead of just going and buying it. It’s pretty nifty, to say the least!

I used to also make my own cleaning solutions and laundry soap; I’ll be getting back into that, too, for the same reasons. Because I can and because I like to. 


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