Living with the seasons has been such a fulfilling experience for me. Now that we've been doing it for a little over a year, it's amazing to me that already certain times just seem to have certain homemaking activities attached to them. I'm sure it would be much more intense with a big garden or a farm, but even the little pseudo-homesteading that I do adds purpose and meaning to the seasons.
This year I've felt a lot of pressure to "bring in the harvest". I know a lot of this has to do with expecting a baby and wanting everything to be as ready as it can be. Since I put up my own fresh produce last year, I had a much better idea of how much food we really need to make it through to the next season... And it was WAY more than I anticipated. You don't really realize how much you go through until you want it all ready in advance. So this year I tried to prepare better.
My mom brought me a third quarter bushel of Romas from the market on Tuesday, then yesterday I took a half day and we made more pasta sauce. I'm now up to 18 quarts made. I gave a few away, and might give a few more, but this should get us through til next summer. We don't eat spaghetti much when the weather is warm, so it only needs to last til around May.
We still need to finish up the applesauce. I can't believe how much we eat when it's homemade, since we didn't eat any storebought. Shayne loves it, and it makes a good gift.
I also need to freeze a few more peppers. We use them in stir-fry, on pizza, in omlettes, and a few other things.
Today I stopped at Jaworski's Market and got a bulk package of meat. I was hoping to buy grassfed beef from a local farmer, but just ran out of time to track him down (know where he lives, but no contact info). At least everything from Jaworski's is all-natural and hormone-free. For $130, I got:
7lb (2 - 3½lb) whole chicken
3lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
6lb (3 - 2lb) ground beef
3lb (4 - 12oz) New York strip steaks
3lb sirloin tip steaks
3lb chuck roast
4lb (2 -2lb) butterfly pork chops
5lb (2 - 2½) pork steaks
2lb polish sausage
2 lb Italian sausage
3lb breakfast sausage
Which breaks down to a little over $3/lb for 43 lbs of meat. Plus I already bought extra chickens and have about 7 lbs of ground venison from a friend.
I'm happy. The freezer is stuffed. The shelves are nearly full. And I won't need to buy meat or any veggies except onions, potatoes, and fresh greens for at least 8 months. I really wonder what that will do to our grocery bill, since I've been consistently spending about $100/week. Withouth meat or fresh produce, I'm betting it'll be under $50.