Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's Called Homesteading

I had actually never heard of homesteading before I started this blog. I may have heard the word thrown around, but I didn't know that there was a segment of our population called homesteaders.

What I did know was that I was aiming for a more and more sustainable and self-sufficient life. I am aiming for a life that demands less and less outside income and outside resources.

As an apartment dweller, I am admittedly more limited in this. Dan won't let me build a chicken coop in here, but I am practicing now for larger goals.

Gardening

Our indoor window winter garden is not only thriving, it is multiplying. We have all the fresh lettuce and green onions we could want. I just started three more pots for lettuce, so we will have six pots growing. My two garlic plants are getting tall, but neither has started a bulb yet. We eat some of the greens in recipes calling for garlic.

Cultures

We have our water kefir and our sourdough starter for yeast and bacteria cultures. These are our pets. We feed them and they feed us. I made my sourdough starter from the Nourishing Traditions recipe, but used wheat instead of rye flour. It turned out okay. I'm still playing with some other starter recipes so I can report on one I whole-heartedly love.

Sprouting

Sprouting seeds can multiply the quantity of food for the price of the water. I do this with beans for our chili, starting the sprouting on Tuesday for Friday's chili. I also have been experimenting with sprouting wheat, which metabolizes as a vegetable after sprouting.

I love that I have this apartment homesteading time. It is a low-pressure time that gives me practice and allows me to study for future plans. I love that I can do this step by step, adding in new things leisurely, yet with purpose. Sustainability and frugality go hand in hand and I find the possibilities thrilling.

84 comments:

Scottish Twins said...

I completely agree. Our ultimate goal is to have our own self-sustaining homestead, but it's going to be a long time until we reach it. For now, I am just working on perfecting the skills that will be necessary for a fully functioning homestead.

Did you ever see the video I linked in Intended Temple about the urban homestead? It's a really inspiring story - showing how you don't need acres of land out in the country in order to homestead.

http://intendedtemple.blogspot.com/2009/09/urban-homesteading.html

Scottish Twins said...

Also, if you ever have some extra money, you would love the magazine Mother Earth News. It's basically all about homesteading.

Another book we have found really helpful lately is Reader's Digest Back to Basics. It's basically a manual for how to do anything yourself at home. You can get used copies for really cheap on Amazon.

Simple in France said...

I love it! I'm looking at a few months of chaos--probably a move in the future, but all the sprouting and growing and fermenting you do are things I can do anywhere. It's something I want to work on more in the new year. I'd love to see some of your recipes for sprouted and fermented foods. Very, very cool. Talk about a way to get fresh and healthy produce! (Seriously, I try not to comment about your troll, but whoever it is is obviously a nut job. I don't know very many people who provide for their kids the way you do).

Lucy said...

I find Storey's Guide to Basic Country Skills to have been a very worthwhile investment - especially after our well failed last summer and we put in a new one ourselves using the book as a guide. It also has helped turn my black thumb into a green one. Alas, our house isn't warm enough for indoor/window gardening to work for us!

minn said...

We garden every summer and freeze the produce to be used throughout the year. I made a lot of things myself. I like being self-sufficient. I have a pet sourdough, too. It's so satisfying.

Satin said...

I second Lucy's suggestion of Storey's Guide to Basic Country Skills. What an excellennt resource!

Also, I think Mother Earth News has their archives available for free online, or at least they used too. You'd love that magazine Emily. Hey, maybe a subscription could be your Xmas present if you haven't already found something you like.

Amber said...

Emily has more than one troll, of that I can be sure (though I am not one lol)!


I think that self sustainability is a very admirable goal :) I also think that one thing your husband has done right is not allow a chicken coop in your tiny apartment! I hope you were just kidding about wanting one...! My father raises chickens and there is no way you could do it in such a small space. No way! You may have hypothetical plans for it but it would.not.work. Chickens get big, they are smelly even when clean, and they are very messy. They get mean when confined to tiny coops. Please don't seriously consider bringing chickens into your apartment... I'm pretty sure that if a CPS worker saw that they have to remove the kids for sanitary reasons, and they would absolutely have just cause.

But, I'm holding out hope that you were just joking about the chickens!

Anonymous said...

If and when you do decide that you want to raise chickens; you may want to check with the zoning laws for your areas. I live right next to a farming community but in my town we are not allowed any livestock on our property and we cannot have more than (I think) five animals at a time.

ly

Anonymous said...

I tend to think of my grandparents in Northern Ontario as homesteaders, they had no electricity for the longest time, and a small farm with goats, pigs, horses and calves.

During the Great Depression, my great grandparents lost two of their three farms, but as my Grandma (whose still kicking at 90) says we may not have had shoes on our feet in the summer time, we had plenty to eat and had warmth in the winter (from the trees cut down).

Sometimes I think that my grandparents and great grandparents were better off, not that they had material wealth, but they had the knowledge and the wealth of the land. They were self sustaining farmers, who bartered for goods, never had much money, but did not have rely on consumerist tendencies as most do today.

I live in a city so being self sustaining is not really an option, but I think back to my grandmothers time where there were free milk (from their own cows), meat and fresh produce.......I would love to spend a day experiencing how she and my grandfather lived. :)

Mom in Canada

Clisby said...

It's true that you need to check zoning laws if you live in a city, but in at least some cities, chickens are OK. (I'm sure there would be limits on the number allowed.) You can also claim that your rabbits are pets. The fact that you periodically eat them and get new pets is beside the point.

Kari said...

Another great resource about homesteading and homesteading skills is Backwoods Home Magazine. A lot of their articles are available for free online, too, at http://www.backwoodshome.com/

I'm a big fan of Jackie Clay's canning articles! :)

oceans5 said...

I am curious about growing the green onion. Did you say before that if you plant one you bought from the store that it will continue to grow??

Pam said...

We live out in the country on 8/10 of an acre, and we even have a barn. I am more of a homesteader than my husband, but I do the best I can. I had chickens for a while, but I was afraid they would fly over the fence and get run over (busy road) if I let them free range, so we kept them in the barn and fed them feed. The eggs ended up being more expensive than the ones in the store! I did slaughter 4 of them with the help of a friend...DH wouldn't help. The meat was tough...waited way too long to do it. I couldn't stomach doing it again, so I sold the rest. I can totally understand why the poultry at the farmer's market is so expensive! I am sure that when you get your own piece of land, you will do better than I did with the chickens. Perhaps I'll try again some day. I did like having the eggs.

We had a huge garden for several years, but it was a ton of work, especially because we did not have the right equipment. The weeds were unreal. Last year, we only did tomatoes. This year, I hope to have a smaller, better-managed garden. I have basil and chives growing inside right now. There is some random lettuce growing outside where we let a previous crop go to seed.

One thing I would really like to learn is canning. In the past, I have frozen produce in the summer to use through the winter, but I want to get away from using so much plastic and the power it takes to run the freezer.

Emily said...

Scottish Twins, I love that video. I remember watching it when you posted it, but I watched it again just now.

Simple in France, I'm ignoring the trolls and they are going away. I think if all of my readers ignore them, they will go faster.

Lucy, Satin, Kari, thanks for the resources. I'll have to look into those.

Lucy, having the plants in the metal coffee cans helps them heat up in the sun.

oceans5, I just planted the storebought ones and they grew. They are awesome! I planted storebought garlic, too, both organic.

Diana @ frontyardfoodie said...

Yay for indoor gardens! I have several lettuce plants going and once spring comes around I'l lbe starting all my seeds indoors since it doesn't stop frosting here in Missouri soon enough. I love the measures you take to become self sufficient and frugal.

Amber said...

Emily, are you seriously campaigning to your husband to get chickens in the apartment or was that a tongue in cheek comment?

Anonymous said...

I think homesteading is a noble cause but I think that true homesteaders wouldn't have computers and wouldn't blog. The truest homesteaders I know use so little resources that they wouldn't waste the electricity.

crabcakes said...

Emily,

I'd love to see photos of your sprouted beans before chili! Interesting! I agree with others on the chickens. Some towns don't allow them and they are smelly, messy, and yield very little eggs for the money you put into them unless you have a very large coop. (Which you wouldn't have in your space).

I'd say if you want to stretch your protein money, consider adding more vegetarian meals. Lentils are the closest complete protein to meat and there is this kick-ash recipie for a lentil base in the tightwad gazette that I use for everything. (Shepherd's pie, burgers, goulash). I love meat, but I'm married to a vegetarian so a majority of our meals are meatless. And they are probably half the cost of your meals.

Satin said...

I don't agree with Emily on a lot, and I mean a lot of things but please! It doesn't have to be an all or nothing thing with homesteading, just becasue she wants to be self sufficient doesn't mean she has to take it to the extreme. I don't recall her saying anywhere that she wanted to be Amish :)

I garden and can all my produce and cook all my own food from scratch. Am I allowed to have electricity?

Anonymous said...

This is the post I have been hoping you would have. Many years ago in my early 20s, I did the sprouts and yogurt thing and unfortunately left them behind. Lately it is a joy to bring them again and learn 'new adventures', for myself anyway, of kefir grains and fermentation. When the holidays are over I will be trying both water and dairy kefirs. Hope you periodically write about your own adventures. Thank you so much for new projects to try! Carmen

Emily said...

Clisby, thanks for the rabbit trick! We'll definitely be looking into zoning laws before buying land and having real animals.

Anon on computers, I guess I'll never be a true homesteader in your eyes then, since I love the internet, and consider it to be a priceless resource.

Treva said...

Are people serious that they didn't get that chickens in the apartment was a joke?

Emily, I know it doesn't matter to you, but it's always a good reminder to those who think your children are malnourished to see the vegetables you grow are in addition to the other vegetables (fresh and frozen) that you feed them. I was thinking about this the other day and the "limited" amount of produce I feed my family. Then I counted the items in your pricelist and included the green onions, lettuce, and sprouted beans. The total was 11 different items. My own personal freezer and fridge have 15 items, but I have a couple of corn items, which you obviously choose not to eat. Seems normal to me what your family has. What I find sad are freezers full of processed foods; I went to a birthday party for one of DD's classmates and was helping the mom out with the party. I personally saw inside her freezer and fridge (and there was no storage freezer b/c I had to ask where the extra ice was stored) and both were quite full, but had only 3 veggie and fruit items altogether. I'm starting to see why people look at my DD with wonder when she happily and willingly eats just about any fruit or veggie you put in front of her and has actually passed by birthday cake NUMEROUS occasions in favor of the fresh items.

Satin said...

Emily, can you clarify a comment you made under the other blog post please?

Did CPS visit your home, or did they just read your blog?

Are they offering you any assistance, and if so, will you take advantage of their help?

Sabrina said...

As I type, my husband is butchering chickens. I am staying away since it grosses me out, but I will gladly cook them. We live on 3+ acres, so we have plenty of room for chickens. We also had goats at one time, but they are really hard to keep in...you know the saying: the grass is greener on the other side? Well, they got out constantly, and they finally had to go. However, they were pigmy goats, so maybe that's why it was so easy for them to get out. I'd like to have a milk goat, but I don't know if it would pay off in the end.

I like the idea of being self-sufficient, but I have lots to learn. We are planning to have a big garden this summer at a friend's house...he has 130+ acres and all the equipment. SO, it will be easier to farm there. He said that it would cost about $150 to plant and fertilize, and then it's work, work, work...but I think it will pay off as we have a big freezer anyway. I feel like we might as well use it. Not to mention I love fresh veggies!

Emily, I like your indoor garden idea. How do you keep the kids out of it?
And on the chicken in the apt subject, I thought you were totally kidding. BUT, do you know anyone with a little land that would let you keep a couple there. Of course, it would have to be nearby to keep gas costs down. Just a thought.

Molly said...

We actually have a good-sized yard and even though I don't consider myself "domestic" or green-thumbed at all I decided to plant just two measly tomato plants this past summer. I thought, with a baby and a full-time job they would probably die and I would laugh at myself for trying to grow my own tomatoes! Boy did those plants show me! Those two plants alone provided enough tomatoes for our entire street! My plants yielded so many tomatoes that I ended up taking bags to work so that I wasn't wasting any.

I wish you could try to find a small rental home that would allow you to plant a garden. Probably pretty tough to find on your budget but it's something to look into. It sounds like a little plot of land would save you even more!

Our Family Is His said...

Computers are AWESOME for homesteaders and almost every homesteader I know has one, some with and some without internet. They serve wonderful purposes for those living self-sufficient lives.

Emily said...

Sabrina, my oldest does most of the watering of the garden and loves to help starting new pots (playing with dirt). It seems pretty important to him, so I'm not worried about him disturbing it. Bobby can't reach yet, and Thomas, the 10 week old, isn't interested. (:

Molly, we're pretty much priced out of rental homes, but I'm excited to significantly expand my indoor gardening this year. I think if I can get a good thing going inside, that will be a big help with our long Maine winters.

Blessed said...

Whew--so glad it was safe to come and listen to the chatting in here this morning. ; ) Ok, Emily, I will try to ignore the trolls and will not respond to their pathetic attempts to matter in someone else's world.

For you and all the other "homesteaders"--good for you! I would--in theory--really like to do what you are doing. When I was a kid for some reason I decided when I was a grown-up I would homestead in the Northwest Territories, cultivating land for the Canadian government. I think I saw Grizzly Adams a few too many times. And my favorite book was "My Side of the Mountain"--which you would love, Emily, and which you must give to your boys when they are older.

But, in reality, there is no way I could really homestead. We are mostly vegetarian, partly for health reasons and partly because I cannot stand handling raw meat--so butchering my own is truly laughable. I tried growing tomatoes in a topsy-turvy last summer in my one spot of sun in the front garden, and it only yielded ONE tomato after a whole summer of watering, so that must have been the worlds most expensive tomato--and I waited too long to eat it, so it was mealy.

If I don't have enough sun in the front yard, I certainly don't have enough in the house (we live under redwoods near the ocean, which means lots of fog), so I don't think growing veggies in the house will work for us either.

BUT you are truly inspiring me about the sprouting, youghurt, bread, etc. I think I might even get brave enough to start a kefir pet with my daughters as a homeschool project. So thanks for posting this, and please keep up the awesome ideas!

And I do agree that you should incorporate more dried beans and lentils into your diet, in your rotation--cheap, good nutrition.

Elizabeth said...

We hope to some day be able to afford a small acreage and homestead. The price for even a small piece of land and tiny house are crazy around here though so we decided to buy a home in town for the time being.

I am able to do a lot in town. I have raised garden bed which I had to each year and am able to grow much of our produce in the summer months. I am going to try your indoor garden until I can plant outdoors this spring...good idea! I have a clothesline so can dry all our clothes. We live close enough to downtown that in nice weather I can save gas by walking to the library, post office, grocery store, and other businesses. And plenty of other ways to be self-sufficent in town. I hope to showcase some of my own ideas on my blog soon.

Have you considered placing an ad on Craigslist or Freecycle to rent a small plot of land close to your apartment for a garden? I know many people around here who have been offered a small garden plot for free to grow their own vegetables. Or you can pay for the plot by sharing your bounty with the land owner. Many people love that idea, especially older people who once had a garden but are unable to care for it now. Another great thing to barter for!

Elizabeth said...

Ugh...I meant...I have a raised bed which I add to each summer.

Satin said...

Emily, I just got my anual herb catalogue and I thought of you when I got it. I bet it would be right up your alley. I'm pretty sure that you can request the catalogue from the US, I'm in Canada and so is the herb farm that I'm refering to.

I love to plan my garden this time of year as it gives me something to look forward to. You would love this catalogue since it details a lot of medicinal uses for herbs. Some you might even be able to grow indoors.

Anyway, check it out and see if they do mail the catalogue to the US. www.richters.com

I can vouch for the quality of their products, I go there every year to buy and to take the workshops they have.

Our Family Is His said...

Emily, I don't know if this would be conducive to Maine weather, but have you ever tried hydroponic gardening? It's VERY conducive to apartment life. We have a friend that has a very simple (made it instead of buying a kit) setup on his balcony. It looks so pretty from the street (just like plants) but he gets the most gorgeous veggies from it.

Anonymous said...

http://freegan.info/?page_id=2

AT said...

Have you tried sprouting broccoli seeds? I think they are much tastier than alfalfa.

Colleen said...

I would so love to grow the vegetables that you do in your apartment in my house. I tried an outside garden a couple summers ago and failed miserably. I wish I could grow things without killing them. What do you do to keep your plants alive? I can buy an onion and garlic and plant those if you tell me your ways! ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Emily! Firstime poster, longtime reader! You've reely inspiredme to look at how I can make my own life sustanable. I have a question for you (and te other reeders). I practice the art of fur weaving. It seems like a waste when my dog and cats shed and it just gets thrown away, so I collect it then make it into yarn. My question is do you think its acceptable to use fur thats been recycled. I mean fur that my cat has coughed up. To me its like using dryer lint to knit a sweater. Its already been used and once you clean it I don't think theres anythin gwrong with it. Have you had any experience with maybe doing this for crafts for gifts? I'm new to this whole blog thing so maybe I'm asking the wrong person. But any thoughts you can give would be amazing! (P.S. This is a fun thing to do with the kids. Maybe your boys would enjoy fur weaving too!)

Our Family Is His said...

Maybe your friends could save all their pet fur and give you instead of using fur that a cat has thrown up that has stomach acids in it.

Anonymous said...

That's a brilliant idea! Most of my friends have cats and dogs. I wonder if it's okay to mix cat and dog hair though. My cats are Siamese and my dog is an Alaskan mallamutt and they get along okay. And I don't think stomach acid is anything to worry about. It might even fortify the weave!

Anonymous said...

I thought the stomach acids had similar properties to lanolin, like you find in sheep's wool. It makes it waterproof.

Anyhow, my question is this: aren't you worried about bisphenol-A (BPA) leeching out from the lining of the cans you're reusing to grow your food?

Same with the cans you use to cook bread in inside your crock pot. Almost all canned foods now have a plastic lining inside the can, and the lining is made with BPA, which is a known carcinogen.

The Senate is trying to get a bill passed to ban it in food linings: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-31469-Framingham-Food-Examiner~y2009m12d14-Senator-Push-to-Ban-BPA-in-Food-Containers

FYI. I love the indoor garden, but the cans are not a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Please don't give Emily any ideas. Next thing you know she will be getting a poor animal she can't afford to feed.

Our Family Is His said...

I wasn't giving her ideas. I was hoping she would see the humor in the ridiculous attempt to ridicule her that I did. Isn't it sad these people have so much time on their hands they can spend it hurting others.

What a sad life one must have when their joy in life is hurting other people. I prefer to lift others up. Oh well, guess different strokes for different folks.

Anonymous said...

Our Family Is His,

My comment was to the previous poster that first suggeted cat vomit as a knitting medium ;)

Michele from washington said...

Hi Emily

Just an FYI about the garlic.. garlic does best if planted in the fall outside and harvested in summer.. Garlic needs the freezing temps to form the bulb.

CJ said...

Hi Emily, I was wondering if you could tell me what kind of lettuce you're growing and how you grow it. I used the green onion advice from another post (just stick the roots in some dirt) and now I have a plethora of green onions on my window sill!

Rachel in Florida said...

Emily, if you go to stretcher.com, you can link from there to a blog a woman writes on homesteading. She lives in the suburbs, but says that homesteading is a frame of mind about how you live,not so much where you live. There are many things I find interesting, but my health issues mean I have to pick and choose. Two of our grandkids are here this week, and we went to Wal-mart this morning and spend over $100.00!! I had to get formula and diapers (baby was not supposed to stay, but we decided to keep her at the last minute), but I also got some snack foods for the two year old and our 16 year old who is home from school.

My grandparents had electricity, but no heat or running water. I remember using the outhouse. I do love the conveniences I have, but I would rather live like my grandparents did and be debt free. I just don't need or desire that much in life.

Rachel in Florida said...

Emily, you might also see if you can find the Foxfire books in your local library. They are all about how to do those homesteading projects. I believe they are written by people from Appalachia.

Emily said...

Our Family, I'm looking into hydroponic gardening. Thanks for the tip!

Colleen, you can grow green onions by putting store-bought green onions in soil, watering and trimming when needed. I planted a clove of garlic, tip side up, for the garlic.

Michelle, if I put some garlic bulbs outside, then grow them, will they bulb? Do they have to be out all winter?

CJ, I had a ton of lettuce seeds from my summer garden. I just put them in the soil and let them grow, nothing fancy. I have no idea what kind they are.

Anonymous said...

Chickens aren't too messy or smelly to keep in a urban or suburban yard, but I wouldn't want to keep them indoors. Their propensity to poop everywhere isn't a probem when they're fertilizing your yard, but you don't want them doing it inside.

As far as cost goes, it really depends on what you consider 'frugal'. Chickens can have a fairly high start up cost, doing everything as cheaply as possible, our start up cost was $300 from the time we got the chicks to when they started laying, and feed is about $20 a month after that. The number of eggs you are going to get can also vary a great deal, depending on the breed of chicken and the season, although eggs can be stored for several months if you keep them in a airtight container in the refridgerator. Sometimes, a flock of twelve will produce six dozen a week, and at other times, they may only produce six eggs. This is all a very long winded way of saying that if you want to pay $1 a dozen (or less) for eggs, then raising chickens is not the best way to do it. On the other hand, the quality of eggs you get from a backyard flock, if you give them access to fresh food, if comperable to $3-$5 dollar a dozen 'free range, pasture raised' eggs. Since a lot of the cost is start up, its possible to end up only paying $2 dollars a dozen for eggs, after the first year or so, which is either paying an extra dollar or saving a dollar or three, depending on what you think your eggs are worth.

If true 'free ranging' (having the chickens run around loose) isn't an option, a lot of people like using a chicken tractor, which is essentially a large portable cage with attached coop that can be moved around. This gives the birds access to grass, bugs and weeds, which improves egg quality while cutting down on food cost, while not giving the birds the chance to escape or get eaten by a predator.

Lindsay said...

Do you seriously think growing a handful of veggies is homesteading? Do you seriously want to put a chicken coop in an apartment?

I get the concept of homesteading, I do. And I think it's an admierable goal. But to be frank with you, most of your posts make you look crazy.

Michele from Washington said...

When I have grown garlic I plant each clove it helps when they start to sprout on their own, which garlic will do when left on the counter long enough. With the freezing temps you should be able to dig up full garlic bulbs by summer or fall.

I admire your desire to be self reliant. We are Latter Day Saints and feel very strongly about preparing for any type of situation. When I first joined the church an elderly lady taught me about food storage and being self reliant. We are able to buy our staples such as flour, sugar, oatmeal ect at the church cannery. I made an investment a year ago for an electric wheat grinder, it has paid for itself many times over. There is nothing better than fresh bread made with fresh gound wheat... Another good idea for small apartment living is if you have any type of porch or patio to start a container garden, its great for cucumbers, squash and other large vegis. Keep up the good work your doing great

Early Retirement Extreme said...

What kind of beans do you use for sprouting?

Captain Cleavage said...

ummm do you guys really really not get that the whole chicken coop in the apartment thing was a joke? as far as the indoor garden thing goes...very interesting. have you looked into any other type of veggies?

Emily said...

Early Retirement Extreme, any kind of dry bean can be sprouted as long as it is not split, like split peas. I use cheapo kidney beans.

Captain Cleavage, I had some other plants going over the summer and will again, but I'm still looking into what can be grown over the winter. I tried some herbs and they didn't do well, but others have indoor winter garden just for herbs.

Shay said...

Emily,

Just a heads up that in the spring Saco will be opening a public garden and even though you are across the river, I suspect you could buy a lot. Basically its a decent size plot that you would be able to grow whatever you like, last I heard the cost was going to be around $30 or so.

Maybe that is something you can look into as a way to grow a substantial amount of food for your family next summer at a reasonable cost.

Suzie said...

Hi Emily,

I haven't read your blog long, but I've read enough to understand that you don't really heat your apartment (although it would be covered by the landlord, as I understand? Please correct me if I'm wrong). My question pertains to the yeast: how do you manage to proof it in such cold conditions? Does the water stay warm enough long enough to proof during the winter months?

I'm not a bread maker (something I wish I had time to try) and live in a temperate climate, so I have no clue about such things.

Also have to second what Anon above mentioned about the cans leeching carcinogens. I saw a piece about that on Dr. Oz. Thankfully, it appears you don't buy a lot of canned foods.

sonny said...

Hello again,
I am wondering about your CPS visit? What exactly was discussed? The baby sleeping in a rubbermaid container? The laundry hanging over the crib? No heat in the apartment? The filthy crockpot? The bins 6 stacked 6 high? These are all things you have posted Emily. I and others are very interested in what happened. It is paying you to tell the story.. or just maybe cps has not as of yet come by and you just made up the story.

Emily said...

Shay, thanks, I'll look into that!

Suzie, I never said we don't heat the apartment. You must have heard that elsewhere. I said we don't take advantage of the heat, as in, we don't excessively use it just because someone else is paying. I also said I use sourdough starter, which you don't proof like yeast.

sonny, I didn't say they came to my home. I said it appears they came to the blog. That's nice that you're all on the edge of your seats waiting for a story, though. I'm glad you're concerned. You can go back and tell your "friends" that I am not of interest to the CPS.

Atheist Mama said...

Emily - You should consider posting an in depth "idiots guide to indoor can gardening" so idiots, like me, can figure it out.

I have such a black thumb but would love to grow SOMETHING. I know my daughter would love helping, too :)

And, I've said this before, but unless your cans have white coating/lining on the inside they typically don't have BPA.

Besides, if we live our life worrying about every possible carcinogen, well, let's just say we'd all be out in the woods in natural wood huts and all that jazz.

Anonymous said...

How would you know that CPS looked at your blog? I'm honestly curious lol

new anon :)

Kim said...

This blog has a lot of great information on homesteading! http://littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/

Anonymous said...

As a social worker, I would like to say that CPS would not be interested in Emily's family. I wish our case loads were that small. After spending all day seeing children who have been horribly abused, starved, and/or sexually abused, it is almost laughable to come here and read posts stating that CPS would come to her home because her Rubbermaid bins are stacked too high or that her kids don't eat enough veggies.

I admit I don't agree with most of what Emily says, and I do come here for the entertainment value, but I haven't seen anything that would warrant a visit from CPS.

Guinevere said...

Wow, lots of good info in the comments of this post! We're trying to figure out what we can do to homestead, within the confines of the layout of our lot and our HOA. We have a backyard with a steep slope and very tall trees, so there isn't a lot of sunny area to plant. I think we're going to have an indoor herb garden and some container lettuce, tomatoes and onions to begin.

Terri said...

When my son was the age of each of your sons he didn't eat vegetables very often. As a baby he spit them out, as a toddler he'd occasionally eat them if I wrapped them in a slice of bread like a 'fold over' sandwich, but not always.
In his lifetime he survived allergic reactions, super sensitive skin, wasp stings, various rashes, bruises, dirty hands and face, infrequent baths, puppy dog kisses on the mouth, sharing popsicles with friends and things too numerous to list.
Through all this, he has still managed to grow to be a productive, healthy, happy adult.

The glimpse into your comment section sans moderation has been a real eye opener about what we aren't usually privy to. Popularity sure brings out the haters. Try to ignore them and be what you are - a young mother, living life and learning as you go.

LatteLaura said...

I have a couple more websites you might be interested in that are on this topic:

www.gardengirltv.com
www.newlifeonahomestead.com

Anonymous said...

It's called living in an apartment. Not homesteading. LMAO!

Anita said...

There is a book called Bountiful Container, they offer all sorts of ideas of growing veggies in flower pots and such. I like the section where they give you a list of minture veggie seeds. You should check and see if your local library has it.

Anonymous said...

I see the Sybermom vulture freaks on the prowl again. If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything.

Ignore them Emily <3 They suck. You don't. And that's what bothers them..yanno. xo
Have a great new year. LOVE your blog.

Bronte said...

I notice that Emily never said that the chickens in the apartment was a joke but seems to have conveniently ignored any questions about it. Why would we be suprised that she would like to keep chickens in an apartment. It isn't like the standards of hygiene are particularly high.

Emily said...

Bronte, I try to ignore trolls as best I can. People who don't have a sense of humour or can't recognize one on another person because they are too busy trying to tear that person down are probably trolls.

Bronte said...

And once again Emily, you ignored the question. Were you serious about keeping chickens inside the apartment?

Our Family Is His said...

OK, Bronte, she said "people who don't have a sense of humour or can't recognize one on another person" to your question. Gee whiz, do you people have anything worthy, important, and wonderful in your lives, or is attempting to hurt someone your only outlet?

Me said...

Kim beat me to it but I second her suggestion in checking out http://littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/

They have info for going shampoo free, making deodorant without the chemicals, etc. Very interesting what these women can do while still living in the burbs.

Kathryn

thelittlegreenhouse said...

You should really check out the Tiny House Blog. I know you like tiny houses, and this blog is THE BEST place to get new ideas. I don't have the link, but google Tiny House Blog and you'll find it right away. GORGEOUS pictures on it!

If you guys ever get your land, you should consider building a cob house. Google image it, I think you'll love it.

I live in the country, but my landlord is...not cool. We can't have a garden, or chickens, or honeybees, or any of the fun things I want. Boo. Some day! I also want a milk cow or goats. And maybe sheep. Some day!

Andrea said...

I "third" http://littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/.

BTW, your cans don't look like they have BPA. As Atheist Mama already said, the BPA-based epoxy lining of tin or steel cans is usually white, which is easy to see. I haven't yet seen a lined can that wasn't white, but maybe there are some.

I think people are confusing polycarbonate "canned" food with the tin or steel cans. You can't tell if the polycarbonate contains BPA by looking at it because it is part of the packing material, not a separate liner. The info out there isn't very specific; I have seen articles that refer to all packaged food as "canned" when referring to BPA when they are really talking about plastic packages or epoxy-lined cans. It's confusing unless you read very carefully and do some extra research.

I'm looking forward to your sourdough bread recipe - mine is rye and has been the best one I have tried to make, but it is always an experiment making the bread. :-)

Bronte said...

Our Family Is His, I have many and abundant wonderful, worthy and important things in my life. Thanks for concern though! Where was I trying to hurt anyone? I simply asked a question. I had missed where Emily had said about people having a sense of humour as I wasn't looking for that. I was looking for an answer as to whether she was serious about keeping chickens in the apartment. You might brush it off as making a joke, but when Emily constantly ignored the question, and considering some of the other choices which have been made which I would personally consider unsafe or unwise I was genuinely curious.

Happy Hermit (happilyhiddenhermit@gmail.com) said...

Hey emily , I had a wonderful comment for you before my isp bugged out the other day. Before we moved to the country we had 110 square ft of outside space @ our last apt which was ours to as we wished we did a lot of containers. Tomtoe , onions , herbs , zuchini. During the winter we grew stuff like radish & lettuce & Cilantro in hanging baskets. I was really into hanging baskets veggies :) BTW thanks for entering my seed giveway , i will be drawing tonight. :) Good luck

frugalredneck said...

I just wanted to say thanks to almost all the commenters on this post, Some of the most awsome Ideas and websites...Thank you all so much for those, And thanks emily for the blog and all the great posts!!!! I can't believe I am still shocked about the trolls, Some are just mean as heck and just plain stupid. Anyway thanks again for all the great info you great great commenters!!!! Michelle frugalredneck.blogspot.com

Emily said...

Michelle, I'm with you! There are some great resources listed here. Thanks everyone!

(And the trolls will go away if we ignore them.)

Lisa said...

Hi, Emily! I've been trying to discern if you are going to eat kidney bean sprouts or not. If you are , DON'T , they are poisonous, very toxic. Google the phrase ~sprouting kidney beans , and you will be able to read lots of the info. There are several types of grains , legumes etc. that are poisonous if sprouted .Take care, Lisa

Emily said...

Lisa, I checked, after eating sprouted chili last night! Kidney beans are toxic when eaten raw, but are fine cooked.

cnuland said...

I may have to try the tin can lettuce sprouters. I tried to grow lettuce and spinach (outside in a container) this past summer and got Nothing. I'd love to have fresh lettuce in the winter - even if it's a little bit. Very difficult to grow anything outside when it's negative temps right now.

Emily said...

cnuland, the metal helps keep them warm in the sun and they grow awesome inside. Lettuce is something I can count on consistently to grow.

Tree Huggin Momma said...

I am confused about this whole sprouting thing. Do you put the sprouts in the chili or the beans after they have been sprouted? And Kindey beans contain a toxin when not cooked properly, not a your going to die toxin, but a you'll feel aweful toxin. Now I have to google sprouting

Emily said...

Tree Huggin Momma, I put the sprouted beans in the chili and cook them with the rest of the ingredients. They taste just like regular beans. BTW, I've enjoyed reading your comments as you go through the archives. (:

Post a Comment