Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

The First Egg!

I imagine most chicken keepers can remember the excitement they felt when they discovered the first egg in the nest box.  Our ladies have been laying for a week now and each day we are happy to discover the small eggs in their straw bed. The first week we collected 14 eggs!

I suspected that egg laying was soon to begin when I noticed a change in the chickens' behavior.  In particular they were more boisterous and started pecking at my shoes and the ring on my finger.  Seeing this change and noting that they were 17 weeks old, I decided to open the nest boxes and fill them with straw.  Besides the times when they were given watermelon and apple peelings, I had never seen such a frenzy in the coop until they were given straw.  All three nest boxes were demolished in a matter of minutes!  The coop was a mess when I returned each evening.  After 3 days of re-making their boxes, the straw was finally left alone.

I scratched eggs off the grocery list this week!  The one little brown egg looks a little lonely with all the white!

Harvesting Apples

Can it really be time for apples??  Jon and I are really trying to keep up with all the produce that is coming in with living in a different time zone.  Our pumpkins are orange and the plants are dying back; the butternuts are turning tan; and now a friend's neighbor's apple tree is dropping its apples!  This apple tree is the largest apple tree I have ever seen!  The owner says throughout the years people pick a bag or two of apples for applesauce and pies, but he doesn't care for apples and just mows over them.  He was more than happy to have someone take them away...and we were more than happy to pick them!

We don't know what variety these apples are but they are completely green and super sweet!

The apples aren't as juicy as some varieties but we managed to make cider with about 10 gallons of apples.  Made 8 quarts.

This is the best kitchen gadget ever---the apple peeler, corer, slicer!  This little device has saved me countless hours over the years.  It took maybe 25 minutes to fill both of the soup pots in the picture below. 

Two soup pots full of apples and cinnamon sticks are boiling down for applesauce.  Two full pots of raw apples yields 7 quarts after the apples have cooked down.

Even the chickens enjoy the apple addition to the seeds they find in the cow manure marinating in the front yard. 

Several batches of dehydrated apple slices were made with the solar food dehydrator

There is so much fruit right now that we're having a hard time keeping up!  This week we ate the first watermelon from our garden.  This watermelon was the juiciest I had ever tasted.  The chickens LOVE watermelon seeds.

About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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