It feels very strange to think of our little corner of the Earth to be a homestead, but it’s slowly becoming that!
The past few weeks have been busy. We didn’t get a garden in this year because there was too much other work that needed to be done, but we’ve now got an area cleared up and planning on a large garden for the spring.
I did manage to get some produce cheap locally, though! A small orchard a few minutes away sells windfall apples for about $12 for a sack that weighs 40-50 lbs. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I bought two sacks..and less than halfway through processing them I was wishing I hadn’t been so ambitious. When I was all finished, however, I was glad to have it!
Because they were windfall, a lot of the apples were either spoiled or had bad spots that had to be cut off, so a lot of the time was spent sorting them into piles for compost, sauce, or slicing to freeze for baking.
I threw some frozen berries into the sauce mixture and canned some berry-applesauce that is so yummy.
The same weekend, the grocery store had large bags of beets and carrots for cheap…so of course I had to get a bag of each. I wasn’t really sure what to do with the carrots because we don’t have a pressure canner, so I made up a quick brine, made pickled beets with as many beets as I could fit in the instant pot, and made a few jars of dilly pickled carrots in the few more jars needed to fill up a canner bath batch by just adding a pinch of dill to the carrot jars. They’re good!
I had made pickled beets before on my own, and applesauce with a friend, but this was my first time making it all on my own with proper canning. I had just made fridge pickles before. So I’m slowly adding to my “homesteady” skills.
It was also time to process a few rabbits. I’m still not very efficient or tidy with the job but I managed to get the 3 rabbits I wanted to harvest into the fridge. The larger of them eventually went into the freezer, and I made the two smaller ones into a curry for supper. Sorry for the blurry photo, but it was delicious! I had only butchered one rabbit before, and this was the first time I dispatched one on my own.
And our baby bunnies are doing great! Out of the litter of 11, one was born dead and a runt died the next day, but the other 9 have been growing and doing great. They’ll be hopping out of the nest in the next day or two.
And finally…tornadoes. We live in an area that almost never gets tornadoes. The rare time they happen…years apart…they’re typically an EF-1. The last time Ontario had an EF-3 tornado was in 2011.
Well, we had some weather on Friday. It turns out that 6 tornadoes touched down, from within a few hours away from us, to within less than an hour from us. One of the hit very close to my husband’s work. And unfortunately, they hit in the city. Several neighbourhoods were destroyed by the stronger 2 tornadoes (EF 2 and 3, I believe), people were hurt, and one person was killed. The major power station for electricity was severely damaged and while they were able to re-route power to get it back on for most people yesterday, it will be a long recovery for the areas hardest hit. Please keep those affected in your prayers. One of the neighbourhoods damaged is where I lived for several years growing up, which makes it seem to hit just that much closer to home.