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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

$100 a month

Alright, we are going to try it! $100 a month grocery budget! Starting THIS month! I have so much planted in the garden, we have so many fruit trees (although they won't really be ready until September), so many berry plants, we have all the beef we could ever need from our cow, plenty of eggs and now we have chicken as well... So we are going to limit ourselves to $100 a month for food for June, July, August and September... or until we die of starvation...which ever comes first! =)
I am actually really excited about it. It will force me to try/learn new things, it'll help clear out our cupboards of the items that we just never get around to eating since there is alway something "better" and it will help us each appreciate all of what we do have more. I also look forward to the added incentive to keep my garden going strong, learning how to preserve the food we get from it and making sure I use every scrap we have.
I went to the grocery store last night and got 3 lemons, a lime, a bundle of bananas, a bag of 7 large oranges and a gallon of milk.... $18.70!!! yikes! Well, here we go! =)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The many uses for traffic cones...

We butchered chickens for the first time this weekend! We had the help of my friend's husband, he was INCREDIBLE! It was WAY easier than I thought it would be. (We skinned them, no plucking!) We only did a couple birds, they were not nearly big enough yet.
Here's how we did it...
We didn't have legit "killing cones" so we just used some traffic cones! We cut a bit more off the top and then hung them up in a tree. We put the chickens in the cones upside down and then pull their little heads through the hole. (I give the details as an effort to help out anyone who considers doing this...)
Here is our set up: a table, a bucket for the disgaurd parts, knives and a cooler with ice water in it.
Here's my friend Heidi skining a bird. She was AMAZING! Didn't hesitate for a second, just stepped right up and got to it!
Here I am gutting one.

Here's my friend, Jennifer... She is 6 months pregnant... Can't even tell! We basically took turns wearing that face throughout the first run through of the process... It was so fun to have her there! Her husband, Aaron was the PERFERCT person to help us with this... so laid back, relaxed about the process, super knowledgeable, and a great teacher.
This was such a great experience. It was not tramatizing at all. I would never have even considered doing this a year ago...But now, I will probably not buy another store bought chicken! Raising the birds has been A LOT of work, but a lot of that was due to a poor set up... and now we have that taken care of... a feeder that only needs to be filled every other day, rather than 3x a day... and water that is filled every other day rather than 3-4 times a day... and now that we've done the butchering process and discovered that we could realistically clean a bird in about 5 minutes without any fancy equipment, I feel empowered to be able to supply my family (and the families/individuals of people we know who are interested ;) ) with humanely raised, organically fed meat.