Spring has Sprung…

On the way home from pre-sanctified liturgy this morning, I stopped and picked up a yearling doe from the side of the road. It had been hit by a car, breaking a hind leg, and pretty well mushing the hindquarters, but I was still able to extract enough good meat from it to add 8.5 lbs of ground venison to the freezer, and enough marginal venison to feed the dogs for a couple days. By the way, when I first wrote about buying a vacuum sealer, I did not realize what the most useful function would be.

Sealing roasts, steaks, and ground meat for freezing is certainly useful, but what we use far more is the attachment that lets you vacuum seal a mason jar using the regular canning lids. This has been extremely useful in making our Costco membership actually save us money. We buy sugar in 50 lb bags, baking soda in 10 lb bags, and many other dry goods such as coffee in bulk. We then transfer the contents of these bulk containers to half-gallon, quart, or pint size mason jars, and seal them with the FoodSaver attachment. This keeps the contents fresh for long-term storage in the larder, and we bring up only a couple jars of each item to stock the pantry. Some items, such as sugar, we only buy once a year (in this case, after the canning season, which is when we go through the most).

The day Lent started (Monday), my chickens went from providing a single egg a day to five eggs a day, so I expect to soon be up to 9 eggs a day which will allow the wife to make a little cash and offset the grocery budget a little. The duck has been laying almost as prolifically a a chicken, laying about 5 eggs a week, so we may sell a dozen duck eggs here or there during Lent as well.

It’s raining right now, and if it keeps raining and stays this warm, the snow and ice should be gone in less than a week. So far, none of the water has found its way into my basement, for which I am quite thankful.

It’s Not as Difficult as You Think

Some of our harvest

When we got married, both the wife and I had some skills that are less common today they they used to be. My wife was an accomplished cook, baker, and seamstress. I knew how to weld, do general construction, and work on cars. But there was plenty that we had never done and didn’t know how to do. No matter how much you were lucky enough to learn from your dad, its likely that you to have things to learn if you are trying to live in a traditional and self-sustaining manner.

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Can You Keep Chickens and Ducks Together?

Yes you can!

A little over a year ago, I visited a family in my state that’s much further along in their farming operations than we are. While the father still works a regular job, they have managed to buy a nice chunk of land (80 acres, I believe), and build a house and pole barn on it. When we visited, they had just slaughtered a number of broiler chickens (30ish?) and had another 30(?) egg layers. They also had 10-15 beef cows, and had a rented bull in with their herd when we visited. However, what got my attention was the large white duck walking around the yard.

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Victorio Deluxe Grain Mill–Review

Victorio Deluxe Hand Mill

In an effort to improve the nutrition and lower the cost of our homemade bread, the wife and I have discussed purchasing a flour mill for a year or more. We watched a lot of video reviews, did a lot of comparisons, and finally purchased the Victorio Deluxe Grain Mill about a week ago. Several batches of bread later, its time for a review.

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Notes on Veils

If you walk into our church for liturgy any given Sunday, you will observe that about 1/3 of the women are wearing some form of head covering, which I will refer to as a veil for convenience. If you arrive during matins, the number is probably a bit higher, but likely remains less than 1/2. This is the highest percentage of veiled women at any church that I have personally ever attended, but I am given to understand that there are churches in the US where the percentage is much higher.

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Giving Up Progress to Make Progress

There are different ways to consider progress and success.

3 years ago I was debt-free, had enough savings to live comfortably for about 6 months, and was giving away approximately 1/4 of my income to charity. I worked out regularly, could bench press 405 for 2 reps, and could run a mile in 6 minutes 10 seconds (I never was able to break the 6 minute mark). I also wrote regularly, with some of the writing being posted here.

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