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Using Crushed Egg Shells as a Calcium Supplement

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
posted by jenn

Egg Shells

Like any good homesteader I am frugal beyond belief, always looking for ways to cut costs, reuse and repurpose. As the cost of chicken feed and supplements continue to go up I began looking for ways to offset that expense.

Of course, kitchen scrapes, spent veggies from the garden and free ranging for bugs and treats are still the main stays in supplementing feed, but what about other supplements, particularly calcium?

Hens need an ample supply of calcium for good health, and because without it their shells are thin and fragile, sometimes breaking when you collect or store eggs.

What I didn’t realize, before my research, was the wide and varying opinions of where to get calcium for your hens. Some people think only commercially available calcium in the form of oyster shells or limestone from a feed store should be used, but those can be pricey. My frugal farm girl brain wanted something cheaper and more sustainable. I didn’t have far to look for a solution as it turned out. In fact, I didn’t have to look any farther than my chicken coop.

 

 What?? Where did you find calcium in your chicken coop, you ask?

 

Right inside of each nest box, that’s where!

Yep, you got it. Egg shells are high, really high, in calcium and make the perfect renewable source of a supplement your hens need for good health and firm egg shells.

In reality, farmers and homesteaders were feeding egg shells back to their flocks hundreds of years before commercial products ever hit the market.

Many commercial lay rations contain a suitable amount of calcium, but why not let your girls have a free choice of extra calcium whenever they want it? It just makes good sense to feed your hard working girls a little bit extra.

 

 BUT—how do you feed egg shells so they don’t make my hens sick?

 

Logical question.

Here are a few tips on how I clean and reuse my egg shells.

  • Each time I use eggs I rinse and store them in container. As it becomes full I just smash down the shells to make room for more.
  • When my container is full, I spread the crushed shells on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 350 for about 10-12 minutes. This will make the shells brittle, dry out the inner membrane and kill any bacteria. (I’m not so worried about bacteria when using my own eggs; the hens are use to their own germs. But, store bought eggs will have bacterial strains that your hens are not use to, and that could cause illness.)
  • Once the shells have cooled a bit, crush away. You can use a potato masher, put them in a plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin, or just smash them with a wooden spoon, which is how I do it. Some people use a blender or a food processor to get a finer texture, but I’m too lazy to drag those appliances out of the cabinet.
  • The goal is to smash the shells small enough that they are unrecognizable to the hens.
  • To feed them either mix with their normal rations or offer them “free-choice” in a separate feeder. I use a large rabbit feeder and feed them separately. The hens are perfectly capable of deciding when they need a calcium boost and how much.

 

I know what you’re thinking.

 

Won’t feeding eggshells entice my hens to eat eggs?

 

It might, but not very likely. I’ve never had a problem. In fact, I’ve had more egg eaters when I didn’t feed egg shells, probably because the girls were craving calcium and the eggs were the closest source. But, every flock is different. There’s always one rouge hen that goes crazy and pecks at anything and everything. Once she gets a taste of egg she may become an egg eater, but that’s a whole different problem that I wrote about in “Hens Eating Their Eggs? There is a Reason”.

There you have it…a free source of renewable, calcium rich supplement that will keep your girls happy and you in eggs that you won’t poke a finger through. What more could a farm girl ask for?

What to do When a Hen is Egg Bound?

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
posted by jenn

 

I came home the other night to find one of my hens dead.  She had hidden herself in the corner of the coop, near the feed bin. 

 

It was sad, because I love watching my girls cluck and scratch around the yard, and I will miss the eggs, but losing livestock on a homestead is not uncommon, it’s part of the farm life.  That doesn’t mean it’s easy or something we get use to.  A farmer NEVER likes to lose livestock because it’s lost income or food.  But, aside from the financial considerations, farmers are the most animal loving people you will ever meet.  They will go out of their way to protect and care for their animals.  So, if we lose one, we take it personally.

Livestock loses are, however, something we must accept as part of living this life.  Illness, disease, predators, even accidents are a fact of life on a homestead.  We do our best to prevent such events, but sometimes life is beyond our control.

 

Ok…I’m gonna say something you may think is completely horrible, but completely true…livestock are not pets.

 

There…I said it.

 

Sure we can get attached to a friendly milk cow, a playful goat or a wonderfully productive breeding ewe, but at the end of the day a vet bill may add up to more than the animal is worth, in terms of monetary value.  The emotional value is a different matter altogether.

Trust me, after decades of raising livestock I have lost my fair share of animals—sometimes to illness, sometimes to lambing difficulties, sometimes to predators, and sometimes in horrific circumstances, like a dog attack.

 

Raising livestock is certainly NOT for the faint of heart!

 

After checking the hen over, I determined she died because she was egg bound, which is the inability of a hen to fully expel an egg.  Basically, the egg got stuck in the oviduct.

 

Causes of egg bound:

 

  • A lack of calcium or other nutrients needed for good health
  • An overweight hen
  • A young hen
  • An unusually large egg
  • A misshapen egg

 

What was really puzzling is that my hens are fed a balanced layer mash with added calcium, they have free range of the garden, so they get plenty of exercise and are not overweight, and they are not young.  So, most of the causes of egg bound were not present.

Hens also usually show signs of being egg bound, which she did not, at least not that I saw the day or so before she passed.

 

Signs a hen is egg bound:

 

  • She lays around looking sick, lethargic, fluffing herself
  • She has a decreased appetite and isn’t drinking much
  • If she is walking, she walks like a penguin, stopping and trying to squat
  • She may appear to be straining, like she’s trying to expel something, which she is
  • She may pump her tail up and down, trying to expel the egg
  • She may also be panting

 

What can you do if your hen is egg bound?

 

There are a few things you can do to help the hen release the egg, once you’ve determined she really is egg bound.  The above signs can be an indicator of several other conditions, so you’ll have to be sure.

First, wash your hands in warm soapy water and apply a lubricant, like vegetable oil.  Very gently insert a finger into the vent, pushing straight back an inch or two.  You should be able to feel the egg.  If you don’t, she’s not egg bound.

If you do feel an egg, prepare a shallow tub or wash pan with warm water and Epsom salts at a ratio of 1-gallon water to 1-cup salts.  The water should be deep enough so that the hen’s belly is submerged about 3 to 4 inches.

Gently put her into the water bath and let her relax there for 15 to 20-minutes.  The moist heat will help her relax so she can pass the egg.  After 20-minutes remove her from the water and gently towel her off.  Apply some of the vegetable oil around and just inside her vent, then set her in a warm, dim, quiet place where she can rest.  A dog crate works great for this because you can keep an eye on her.

Once you get her settled in, give her 1cc of calcium and some Nutri-Drench (according to package directions), then leave her alone to pass the egg.  This may take a bit of time, so be patient.  Be especially gentle during the entire process because the hen will be uncomfortable.

 

Despite your best efforts, though, she may not expel the egg, at which point you can seek a vet’s advice.

 

So—here’s my second horrible statement.

 

Does a hen warrant the expense of a vet?

 

For me personally, the answer is no.

 

There, I said it, again.

 

This particular hen was 3 years old. She was at the end of her productive life, and for the cost of a visit to the vet’s office, I could buy a whole new flock.  So, no, if I had discovered her in time, and was not able to help her expel the egg I would not have sought vet services.  It’s part of the life I’ve signed up for–the good and the bad.

 

What can you do to prevent a hen from becoming egg bound?

 

  • Feed a high quality layer mix
  • Provide oyster shells or crushed egg shells free choice
  • Limit treats
  • Make sure hens have room to roam for exercise

 

 

 

Hens eating their eggs? There is a reason.

Monday, July 29, 2013
posted by jenn

Egg Eaters

One of the worst habits a hen can develop is eating eggs, whether your flock is for egg sales or just supplying your family. And, when she gets the taste of eggs it’s hard to stop her without persistence. But, don’t panic because it’s not always necessary to cull the offending egg eater.

Egg eating usually starts by accident, when a hen steps on or accidently cracks an egg. She pokes around, tasting something yummy inside and then goes hog wild breaking and eating eggs as soon as they’re laid. Many times the whole flock joins in the feast, leaving few whole eggs for family or farm.

The reasons behind eating eggs:

  • Not Enough Calcium. When hens don’t get enough calcium their shells are not strong enough to withstand everyday life in the coop. Even minor bumps or knocks can cause an egg to crack. Commercial poultry feed don’t always give your girls enough of the mineral to produce a strong shell. Supplementing with crushed oyster shells or ground egg shells can help increase the calcium level. That’s right! Eggshells for the egg eater. But, make sure they are crushed or chopped fine so the hens won’t make the connection.
  • Shallow Bedding. To give hens and eggs a good soft place to land make sure there is about 2” to 3” of bedding material, like shavings or straw, in each nesting box. Less bedding means hens are laying eggs on a hard surface, which can cause cracking. I have used both for years and prefer straw in the warmer months because it doesn’t pack down as much. But, in the winter I use a layer of shavings with straw on top, giving the girls added warmth in each box. Be sure to save or compost when you clean your boxes. All that dry matter and manure makes great compost material or side dressing for nitrogen loving plants.
  • Not Enough Nesting Boxes. Your coop should have one nesting box for every four or five hens. They won’t hang a shingle out claiming a specific box as their own and you may find that they use a few of the same boxes, but more boxes gives them room spread out and can cut down on the skirmishes.
  • Broody Hens.  When a hen is broody or setting eggs she will stand her ground, trying to keep other hens off the nest. These tussles can cause broken eggs.
  • Egg Collecting Times. Leaving eggs in the nest long after they are laid is an invitation to an egg eater. Eggs should be collected shortly after they are laid, if possible. This has always been a challenge on our farm because by the time hens lay we are off at work or school, leaving collecting until evening.
  • Protein Deficient.  Chickens require a high percentage of protein in their diet either from feed or other sources, and the lack of it can cause hens to crave eggs. So…give them what they want! Strange I know, but one source of protein can be eggs. That’s right, eggs. Adding a bit of scrambled eggs to their feed can help fill the protein gap.
  • Lack of Privacy.  Or, in this case “out of sight, out of mind”. If hens can’t see the eggs they are less likely to explore the nest. Draping the front of the nesting boxes can help.

A few other reasons hens will eat eggs is boredom and a lack of things to do. Give your hens a place to roost outside where they can watch the world, piles of leaves to scratch in provide hours of amusement, and hanging treats in a tree to occupy them.

Playing tricks on your hens can also help stop existing egg eaters.

Replace eggs with “fake” eggs like plastic, wood or ceramic, golf balls, or ping pong balls; anything small and round. When your hens go to peck these “eggs” they won’t break, nor will they find anything tasty inside.

Blow out a real chicken egg and refill it with something that won’t taste good like mustard or hot sauce. They’ll get the message that eggs are not good.

Hang curtains in front of nesting boxes to block the egg eater’s view. If they can’t see the eggs they won’t eat the eggs.

 

With a little creativity and trickery you can work your hens out of eating eggs instead of culling them.

 

7 Steps to Improve Garden Soil Through the Winter Months

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
posted by jenn

earthworms

Last fall I was about to pull my hair out!!!

 

Seriously.

 

Have you ever had a conversation with someone…the same conversation you’ve had with them for years? Well, that was me this past summer, and I’m still recovering.

 

For the umpteen millionth time my mom asked me what is wrong with her garden. And—for the umpteen millionth time I have responded…STOP ADDING SAND AND GYPSUM!!!

 

Mom thinks that if a little is good a whole lot more is better.

 

Let me explain…

 

Years ago someone, somewhere convinced my mom that adding sand and gypsum to her soil would help break up the clay and make the soil more plant friendly. But, somehow I don’t think they meant she should make those additions every year for 50 years.

 

Yep…you got it. For the past 50 years my mom has been dumping buckets of sand and bags of gypsum onto her garden beds. Rather than creating the dark rich workable soil that is deep with organic material and teaming with life all she has managed to do is make CEMENT!

 

Ya know what grows in cement?  Not much of anything.

 

This is a conversation we’ve had every year since I became an avid gardener and suburban homesteader. Every year I tell her how to improve her soil, and every year she tells me I have no idea what she deals with because my soil is so wonderful.

 

Well…I have a news flash…my soil wasn’t always wonderful. Great soil is created more often than it just exists. Soil can be good, but great soil is constant work and somewhat of an art form, albeit not fine art.

I think I’ve made a breakthrough, though. Mom has finally decided to take my advice on how to improve her soil so she can finally have the garden she has always wanted.

 

So how does one go from dead and barren soil to dark, rich, friable soil that plants actually want to live and thrive in? One step at a time, that’s how.

 

7 Steps to Improve Your Garden Soil During the Winter Months

 

Grass Clipping & Yard Trimmings:

If you still have a lawn to mow, layer the clippings in the garden instead of dumping them in the yard waste barrel. Alternate with trimmings from flowering plants, vegetables, and non-woody shrubs. Any soft plant material can be laid right on ground, like our forefathers use to do.

 

Pile on the Manure:

Manure is one thing most farms have in abundance. I consider my chicken, rabbit and sheep manure to be “gold” for my garden. Although chicken manure can be a bit “hot” to spread directly on plants, it is perfect for building up your soil before the planting begins. Cow manure is a great all-round addition, but may be hard to find in suburban areas. Check with local 4-H Clubs or FFA programs for possible sources. Horse is usually very plentiful, but it can contain more salt from the urine than is good for your garden. Apply it sparingly or mix with other less “salty” manures from sheep or goats. I’ve had success finding large qualities of cow and horse manure on CraigsList, but a word of caution here…you may get weed or grain seeds in the bargin, so be sure to mulch heavily so the heat of decomposition will kill them.

 

Add Mulch:

I’m a hug fan of mulch as the primary source to build up your soil. Straw, hay, shavings and shredded plants help retain moisture, suffocate weeds, and when it breaks down it makes the perfect breeding ground for an army of beneficial garden worms. Some mulching materials can be purchased from local feed stores or garden amendment companies. Lay your mulch about 4-inches deep.

 

Compost:

If you don’t already have a compost pile, it’s time to start one. It’s the best way to turn kitchen scrapes, coffee grounds, egg shells, weeds, trimmings and manure into a nutrient rich soil additive. When building your compost pile think green and brown, fresh and dried. To set up a compost bin quickly, fasten 3 wooden pallets together and then hinge the 4th for s gate. Nothing fancy is needed.

 

Natural Amendments:

Inferior garden soil will benefit from a sprinkling of natural amendments like bone or blood meal, worm castings, wood ash (I fill a small trashcan full when I clean out the fireplace), fish emulsion, or Epsom salts.

 

Add Earthworms:

Earthworms are nature’s eager tillers. As they move through the soil they create air pockets, allowing air, nutrients and water to penetrate dead soil. They chew up decomposing matter and shed castings that help improve the soil’s body.

 

Plant a Winter Cover Crop:

Cover crops are a great way to build up soil and break down hard soils while infusing it with nutrients, improving aeration, killing weeds and weed seeds, and improving water retention.  Deep rooted crops like ryegrass are especially good because they’re deep root systems help break up and aerate the soil. Once you’ve built up your soil you can plant nitrogen fixing cover crops, like clover, to improve the nitrogen level of your soil.

 

When mom made the decision to seriously improve her garden soil we had a lot of work to do. Here are the steps we took beginning in fall and extending into the next growing season.

 

Season One:  Layering the Garden 

  • Remove all plants and weeds.
  • Lightly till soil.
  • Add natural amendments, sparingly.
  • Layer on manure.
  • Top with mulch.
  • Pile on compost.
  • Plant ryegrass cover crop.
  • Drench with manure tea.
  • Winter over.

 

Season Two:  Building the Soil 

  • Deeply till the garden to incorporate all the organic matter from season one.
  • Test soil and add needed natural amendments.
  • Add earthworms to help speed decomposition and aerate soil.
  • Layer on manure, mulch and compost.
  • Plant nitrogen fixing cover crop.
  • Water generously with manure tea.

 

Now, here it is…the following fall and my mom’s garden is ready to plant with fall vegetables, bulbs, perennial herbs and flowers.

Homemade Chicken Treats

Sunday, March 8, 2015
posted by jenn

 

Chicken TreatWinter can be tough on chickens. Keeping them warm, having enough “unfrozen” water available and getting them enough energy to keep them healthy during the long winter months. This winter, especially, has been hard on livestock and humans alike. The endless freezing temps and unceasing snow fall has made everyone feel like Spring will never come.

Harsh winters also mean that chickens are not able to scratch about—their favorite past time—for bugs, weeds and spent produce. Boredom can set in and so can the fighting and cannibalism that goes along with spending long days cooped up in, well, coops.

One way to fend off the torment of winter is to give your chickens a supply of good treats. Not just scratch or the occasional green tops, if you can get them in some parts of the country, but a wholesome combination of nutrients and energy boosters.

Homemade chicken treats are a cheap and easy way to give your girls what they are craving. The combination of grains for nutrition, molasses for energy, lard or tallow and egg shells in a great mixture that will help them keep warm while their bodies digest, give them energy and keep them occupied and entertained as they scratch and eat the treat blocks.

To make your own chicken treats try this easy recipe below.

2 cups Scratch

1 cup Old fashioned oat meal

1 cup Cornmeal

¾ cup Wheat germ

½ cup Dried fruit, chopped

½ cup Crushed egg shells

4 Eggs, beaten, plus the shells, crushed

¾ cup Blackstrap molasses

½ cup Coconut oil, Tallow or Lard (liquefied)

Preheat oven to 325. Mix all dry ingredients together then add all the wet ingredients and mix well. Pat into pie dishes. The block should be about 2 inches thick. Recycled pie plates work great for this. If you want to hang your block use a chopstick or straw to make a hole about an inch from the edge. Bake for 30 minutes then cool completely. Run a knife around the edge, tip the pie plate over and let the block fall out. Thread twine through the hole, tie a knot and hang where the girls can reach it.

If you have a smaller flock 6-inch pie tins can be used and the extra treat blocks can be frozen until needed, just thaw completely before hanging out for the chickens.

For a fun alternative use cookie cutters to make decorative shapes. Poke two holes in each cookie, thread twine through the holes to make a garland and hang it in the coop or outside on sunny days.

 

Chicken garland

 

 

 

Making Your Own Worm Bin

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
posted by Jenn

Earth worms are an essential part of good gardening. At least in my mind they are. They are eating machines, transforming kitchen and garden scraps into nutrient rich soil and castings, while churning up the soil, aerating it and improving its tilth.

Raising your own earth worms is easy and inexpensive, if you use materials you already have on hand. Or, you can buy a worm bin system from a garden center or by mail. But, no matter how you come to raising earth worms you’ll never regret the initial work or cost and your garden will benefit greatly from the improved soil.

I was lucky – the previous owners of my farm left a multi-tiered worm bin when they moved out. It sits in the shade near the barn with easy access to the garden and rabbit hutches, and is used all year round. The soil produced is a great addition to our raised beds, as long as I can keep the chickens from eating the worms. But, that’s another story.

To build your own worm bin all you need is a container, either a wooden box, plastic storage bin or 5-gallon bucket. Any type of container should be about 18 to 20-inches deep, but no more than 24-inches deep.

Ventilation of the bin is very important, so which ever type of container you choose drill a few dozen ¼-inch holes in the top and 1/8-inch holes in the bottom and on the sides so the water can drain out. If you purchase a worm bin system they will have a mesh looking bottom for ventilation.

Why Raise Chickens on a Suburban Homestead?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
posted by jenn

Color of Breakfast & the Promise of Fall 004

So—you have started to turn your city plot of land into a suburban homestead. You have begun living frugally, you’ve simplified your life; begun to grow your own food and learned to preserve the harvest. Now, it’s time to start raising chickens. Why? You may ask. My answer…why not?

For one thing there’s the egg thing. Fresh out-of-the-nest eggs with bright orange yolks and shells that take a bit of effort to crack. Then of course there’s the supply and cost of eggs in the retail market–$6.00 per dozen and rising last I checked.

But, besides the eggs, you know that the hens producing those wonderful eggs have lived a charmed life compared to their industrialized cousins, full of fresh air and sunshine; kitchen scraps and garden trimmings. The zero foot print isn’t bad either. After all there are no resources used to get those eggs from the coop to your kitchen, unless of course you count the steps you take.

Another advantage of having your own chickens is the unending supply of fantastic manure they produce, which your garden and trees will thank you for by giving you an exceptional harvest. And, if you clean and re-bed your nesting boxes and coop before the fall weather sets in you’ll have a great supply of mulch to winterize your perennials.

Free-range chickens are also the perfect low cost rototiller. While they are clucking about entertaining you, they are also churning up the soil, grubbing around for nasty bugs and even the occasional small rodent that may venture into their path. And then, there’s the personality thing. Chickens are wonderfully funny and will give you and your kid’s hours of enjoyment. There’s nothing I like better than standing at the kitchen sink watching my girls cluck and scratch and run around the yard. They are way better than your cat! Your cat may be entertaining too, but she won’t give you breakfast. Am I right?

But, more importantly, at least to me, the best reason to raise your own chickens is good quality, wholesome, chemical free and humanely processed meat. That’s right, the meat chicken thing. In an 8’x10’ fenced in area, over the course of 70 days I can raise enough scrumptious meat to feed this little homestead for an entire year. This isn’t a permanent pen either. When the meat chickens are gone the pen gets taken down so the space can be used for another purpose.

Week 5: In the barn.

Week 5: In the barn.

The journey to raising your own chickens doesn’t have to be an arduous one, lasting months or years. It can become your reality in just a few weeks. Even if you live in a big city, raising chickens can be a leap worth taking. And, I bet you’ll find out that your neighbors think it’s a cool idea, too.

There are a few things to know about raising chickens—egg layers or meat—so check out these articles for more information.

The Practice of Keeping Chickens

Backyard Chickens

Raising Meat Chicken in Suburbia

The Great Chicken Debate

 

How to Un-gunk the Garbage Disposal

Friday, March 20, 2015
posted by jenn

GarbageDisposal OrangePeels

Garbage disposals are supposed to make life easier, right? But, on an organic homestead where most kitchen scraps are either fed to chickens or composted this kitchen appliance can be more of a pain than its worth. Because it’s not used very often kitchen sinks get clogged, drain slowly and most of all smell sour.

Rather than remove it all together try these tips for using it wisely, even when it’s used sparingly.

Use the disposal every few days to keep it from rusting, corroding or getting gunked up.

Always use the disposal with a strong flow of cold water to help solidify grease and oils. Warm or hot water liquefies oils and can cause clogging.

When using the disposal keep it and the water running until everything is ground up well, then let the water run for about 20 seconds more before turning it off.

Grinding eggs shells, small pits and bones will help “scour” and “scrub” the walls of the disposal.

Cut large foods, like melon rinds, into small bits and grind them one-by-one so you don’t over work the disposal.

Don’t grind fibrous foods like artichokes, celery or corn husks because they don’t grind up well and can clog the drain.

For a good deep cleaning when you don’t want to use damaging bleach or drain cleaners, pour 1/3 cup of Borax into the drain and let stand for about an hour. Rinse thoroughly with hot water to move the Borax down the drain.

For a fresh disposal all year long, grind citrus peels, like lemon, orange, grapefruit.

Changes From Within

Sunday, November 14, 2010
posted by Jenn

We are a small suburban homestead here—a few cloven hooves, a few mixed breed chickens, a rabbit, a garden with fruit trees and berry canes, and two wandering dogs.

The posts that hold the arbor fences also hold the laundry line. The lamb I roast for Sunday dinner is also the lamb that is chopped and sprinkled over kibble. The shells from the eggs I crack into omelets end up in the compost, and scraps of fresh salad greens and veggies are feasts for our feathered ones. So what was once waste, to be thrown into the trash, is now feed for future eggs or chicken salad or turned into garden soil. The system we have is simple, but it serves us well.

There is work yet to be done though; I’d like to have a greenhouse to extend our growing season, a pond with geese and Thanksgiving turkeys. But, for now there is a garden to turn and meat chicks to raise. There are the chores of switching from one season to another, lamb to sell, firewood to lie in and workshops to attend. Without really knowing how, it all seems to fall into place. It all, somehow, gets done.

As I think back on all we have accomplished, I realize that the real work of this farm is not the food we’ve grown or the skills we’ve learned: it’s us. I say this will all sincerity.

When you build a place into your life purpose it changes you; changes how you understand yourself. It humbles you, but not at the mercy of the main intention. There’s no room for ego when there’s a barn full of shit waiting to be shoveled. When I think back over how we have slowly turned an overgrown suburban lot into what we want it to be, I see confidence in who we are, strength in who Brianne will become, but also worries. I never used to think about Brianne going off on her own, wanting to make her own way. I know she wants her own place one day, but I think about how and where and when. I worry about tasks that are beyond my strength, being alone and having time to myself. Certain things subside over time, but some stay raw and exposed.

Maybe that’s just the growing part. Or, maybe this place is teaching me to mind my priorities and let logic win over emotion. I’m not quite sure. I do know one thing I’m happy in this life, feel at home on our little farm with the animals and home cooked meals. I can close my eyes, click my heels three times and settle in.

Perhaps we never really settle down into our lives. Maybe we just have to give our lives time to settle into us.

Seasonal Sales Calendar

Friday, November 12, 2010
posted by Jenn

frugal shopping pantry stuffers
With the year coming to a close it’s a great time to lay the groundwork for stocking your pantry and home with needed items. An effective way to shop for food storage and other household items is to know when they typically go on sale.

Some of this is common sense. Seasonal items like winter coats generally go on sale by the end of December while gardening supplies can be purchased for less in the fall. But, some great information can be found on the Consumer Reports website, websites on stocking up and store ads. The Calendar below is just a sample of the items you can stock up throughout the year, helping to build a well supplied pantry and save money on other purchases. Be patient. Watch store ads for items that are 50% off or more. Shop when items are on sale. As time goes by and your pantry grows you’ll be spending less time in the market and more time shopping from your own pantry!

(Keep in mind that this is just a generalized list. Every part of the country is different and sale times and items may vary)