Monday, July 13, 2009

first batch of tomatoes

fourteen quarts of tomatoes so far. tabitha just informed me that some of them didn't seal. they still might since they are warm. fingers crossed...

we had an excellent dinner. this was the side dish. our squash and onions cooked to perfection.

the onions were left over from the huge bowl that i cut up for the dehydrator when i got home. tabitha squished the dried onions into the half gallon jars. so they aren't quite making the five pounds to one quart ratio.

a fellow blogger was posting about making an income while trying to be self sufficient. being self sufficient is a full time job. we struggle on my three meager incomes. but, i feel very lucky for my situation.

my father-in-law recommended when we moved here to diversify and keep your eggs in several baskets. this means having several irons in the fire and hit the ground running wherever you light. after many struggles and tangents we are comfortably poor. i work just enough to keep us afloat and get to spend the rest of the time with my family. time spent with my kids is so valuable to me that i have shunned full time work. i have a job working 20 hours per week doing maintenance for the state of missouri. it isn't a sexy job. i clean the waste treatment plant. well, i spray it with a hose occasionally. i do just about everything, fixing equipment, mowing lawns, new construction, fixing old bodged electrical and plumbing, installing cabinets, repairing the vehicles and ect.. the facility is in the middle of the mark twain national forest and it is beautiful there. being state work i get benefits and stuff.

i also am building a huge house for bob two half days per week. he is doing it as he can afford it. at this rate it will take a few more years. bob and i are now more friends then employer and employee. he lets me use any of his extensive collection of equipment anytime i want. that is very cool

i also still do a bit of web work for sunlight and power. the company was my employer before we left california.

mostly i work around here on the farmette. that is what really makes it affordable to live here. food from our farm is more than sixty percent of what we eat. our garden, chickens, pigs, milk, beef, eggs and fruit trees offset our need to buy pricey organic foodstuff. we buy in bulk, i'm not talking the super-sized hot pocket packages here. we buy in bulk the raw components for our food. 50# bags of flour and sugar are regular purchases.

we invest most of what i make working-out back into our farmette and kids. school supplies, fence chargers, construction materials, books, pricey plants and trees are normal purchases. this is my hobby and life all in one.

mostly this life isn't for the faint of heart. it is hours upon hours of sweaty hard work. but, i love it. i am teaching my kids by example that they can provide for themselves a nutritious life.

the reason that i am saying all this is because i have been questioning some of our choices lately. we chose to pare down to one car. a car we don't all really fit into. now we have found that we need to probably travel to st. louis for several trips in the upcoming months for toly's medical needs. i knew it was a gamble when we did it. eyes wide open. we were pushing the envelope too far and now we need to re-evaluate and make some tough choices. mistakes like this one are costly.

it is hard to justify our choices when this trouble is just ahead of us. ultimately i know i'd probably do it all over the same but i still need to get this out.
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