A Family of 6

Do you know what happens when you have a family of  (almost) 6?

I'm just starting to figure it out.

You need a lot of food. I mean, a LOT. And it would really help if you had bigger pots and pans.



I don't know how it happened, but we went from drinking 2 gallons of milk a week, to 3. 3! This just happened in the last month. I hope our goats will be able to keep up with us! Granted, we don't drink other things like sodas, juice, etc. Just milk and water. And Jeremy drinks coffee. We can't afford organic, or raw, even though we all prefer organic. This is one of the reasons we got some goats. (I'm still hoping for a milk cow, but that won't be for a few years. Cream and butter, anyone? Me, me, me!) Pippy and Sissy will provide our milk, and pay for themselves with their kids. Their milk will also be used to make goat milk soap (my absolute favorite!) and cheese, yogurt, and kekir. But that won't be until the spring of 2016, since they are so young.

When we have eggs for breakfast, right now we easily consume 5. When the baby starts eating with us, it'll be 6 at least. And as the boys grow, they eat more and more. So if we have eggs every day, that's 3 1/2 dozen a week. Not including any for baking. Thankfully, my parents have been providing our eggs for a while now, but our chickens and guineas will take over that job in a couple of months.

Have you read the blogs that use one chicken to eat for a week? Or make 5 meals out of one chicken? Yea, we can't do that. I read those blogs and then made a chicken with plans for leftovers. And you know what happened? There's only enough leftovers to make the stretcher meal; you know, the chicken and rice soup. So not only will our chickens provide our eggs, but we're also going to have to incubate some of those eggs to have chicks to raise for meat.
The guineas will help with eggs and if we need to, we can use them for meat as well. (Apparently, they taste like pheasant.) In my opinion though, they are worth their weight in gold if they eat all of the ticks around here.

Now we just have to work on the fruit and vegetables part of our diets. Which is where the garden comes in. The garden is mostly my work. This gardening thing is still in the experimental stages for me. So y'all will get to hear about all my failures and maybe some successes. This year most of the things I've put up were purchased at the farmer's market, which is the next best thing to gardening yourself. Next year, I'd like to do a bit better at growing more things though.

After the garden, the plan is to plant a small orchard in the spring. I want some apple, plum, and pear trees, along with some blueberry bushes, and blackberry and grape (or scuppernong) vines. I've read that orchards will do best on top of a hill, so that during the winter the cold air will flow down away from them, rather than sitting underneath them. We have one small hill in the backyard that I think will work, I just have to figure out placement and types. We might need dwarf tree or semi-dwarf since it's not a huge area. (Just a side note, I don't want a peach tree because peaches are such bug attractants the only way to really keep a few for yourself is to spray them down. My husband tends to be spray happy, so the last thing I want is to give him an extra excuse.)

That's a pretty good start to lowering our food bill and giving us the good foods that we just can't afford. And that's the ultimate goal, isn't it? To not have to go to the grocery store anymore! (I don't like leaving my house.)

Jeremy loves it when I start thinking like this because suddenly I need a root cellar.

2 comments

  1. I LOVE your blog! I am new to it, and was scanning your most recent postings. We seem to have a lot in common. I thought I would comment on this post, only because you were saying that you hoped that your goats would meet your milk needs. We have two goats as well. I will say that I wish we actually knew what we were doing in the beginning! Ha, ha! But, we didnt' and we went with a Craigslist add for cheap goats. But, our ladies have turned out well, and though they don't give as much as a quality goat for their breed we manage to get 1 to 1.5 gallons of milk per day (from their combined efforts). I need to get better of putting up some milk to have during their dry season. With at least 7 gallons of milk a week, you would think I would have extras!! But I don't. But we also have a family of 10,so we use it in various ways. We make yogurt and kefir mostly. My kids prefer goat milk. When we buy milk from the store during the off season, it takes them weeks to get used to it.

    And eggs! Oh, my. We have 30 chickens, and we get eggs, lots of them, IF we are careful to keep our chickens happy :-) Some like to play hide and seek with their eggs, and it can turn into a daily 'easter egg hunt' if we are not careful. I learned that you can dehydrate eggs, and have been doing that with our extras.

    Large families do eat a lot :-) But I wouldn't have it any other way. It is great to see other families learning these lost skills! I grew up sans animals, garden and homemade cooking! So it has been a learning process. Just think how much further along your children will be growing up with all of this as their norm! How exciting.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog, and following your journey.

    Blessings,
    Kerri

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kerri, for reading and such a sweet and encouraging comment! I will be back later, to check out your blog and I know I have plenty of questions for you! But a newborn is calling my name, and I guess you know how that goes!

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