“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” – Earl Nightingale
There were a wide range of suggestions when I asked about what to include in this week’s newsletter on Facebook…
People suggested tips on small batch canning, to get those new to canning started.
Tips on time management and some inspiration, and finding time without getting overwhelmed.
“Balancing full time job with the Homestead. I run outta steam! Need to find that balance.”
” ‘cost’ analysis: time, $, effort spent and return on investment for things like which crops, animals, a/c improvements, heat improvements, clothing, etc.”
“an order of important things to do given the prediction for rising food costs/power outages/civil unrest. As in: step 1) plant a garden with these crops, 2) ways to cut electricity costs.”
There were more, but I’ll pick some and jump in today. You can reply to this email and let me know what you’d like to see us tackle in upcoming emails and articles.
I am by no means a time management guru, but perhaps we can work on it together.
It can seem overwhelming, this self-reliance thing, especially when friends and family aren’t supportive. Or maybe they try to be supportive, but live very different lifestyles, so they care about you but think you’re a bit “out there”.
I won’t sugar coat it – I think things are going to get worse before they get better. How much worse, I don’t know, but it’s important to remember that history goes in cycles, and we can work together to get through rough patches.
First off, I’d suggest focusing on things you know are most likely to impact you.
Live in a warm climate? Figure out ways to stay cool and keep food from spoiling if you don’t have power, or you have minimal power.
Live in a cold climate? Figure out ways to stay warm without power, or with minimal power.
What foods do you normally eat that store well? Get a little extra.
Do you have space to grow food, or can you connect with local people who grow food? Having local food sources and preserving food for later are going to be very useful in the coming months.
What provides the most “bang for your buck” in terms of self-reliance?
That’s going to vary on a person by person basis. Look at your expenses and income. Look at your lifestyle, and where you live. If anyone wants to volunteer to have their situation reviewed in a newsletter, let me know. Odds are if you are facing challenges, others are dealing with the same thing. (We can keep names anonymous, and offer advice based on information given.)
How to you maintain balance?
It’s like the juggling trick with the spinning plates – you need to keep moving to keep those plates in the air, but once in a while, you need to take a break and stop and catch those plates.
No one person can do everything, so allow yourself some grace. Rest when you’re tired, and take time to love and laugh.
Try to figure out your most important thing you need to accomplish each day, and start there. Husband likes to make super long lists of everything that needs to get done, but those depress me, so I make a list of just a few things that are my top priorities.
What’s your top goal for this week?
Write it down (I use paper and a pen because I’m a dinosaur and my brain likes that better).
We are still working on getting the last of the garden in, but almost there. After last year’s crazy season I was going to shrink the garden this year, but the grocery store prices convinced me otherwise, so here we are.
You were placed where you are, when you are, for a reason.
Let’s do this.
All our best to you and yours,
Laurie (and August, August, and Duncan)
This week’s featured articles…
If you walk out into your garden and find plant leaves filled with tiny holes, you may have flea beetles. We’ll share how to identify flea beetles and the damage they do, plus cheap and easy flea beetle control options.
If you’re new to home food preservation, dehydrating is a good place to start. A small dehydrator is generally less expensive than canning or freeze drying, and dehydrated food takes up less space. This article on vegetable dehydrating walks you through the basics of drying veggies, and includes a printable prep chart.
Common yarrow is used medicinally, and also makes a good companion plant in the garden.
- Deters pests with its strong scent and flavor
- Increases nutrient availability by drawing up minerals from deep in the soil
- Attracts pollinators with its abundant composite flowers
- Naturally increases the essential oil content of nearby plants