Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A day on the farm

Today was an easy day on the farm.  I did my normal barn chores, cooked breakfast for Ed and saw him off to work.  Then I cooked breakfast again for the girls when they got up.  I straightened up the house a bit.  Then I made more laundry soap.  Fixed some lunch, put the eggs in the cartons, wondered around looking at the garden, taking note of what needs picked and processed next......can we say tomatoes????  : )  Then I took some pictures of the greenhouse being built.  Picked some raspberries, yes, we have raspberries in October!  Took a handful of them to Mom and picked one of the last roses to put in a vase for her too.

Yeah, I was very lazy today!  I took some photos of the day to share with you all.

Laundry Soap recipe

2 cups Washing Soda
2 cups Borax
1 bar Fels-Naptha soap
1 bar scented soap

Here is what you need to make some laundry soap.  In addition to water, a bucket and something to grate your soap with.  I cheated and used the food processor.  You can grate it on a cheese grater by hand and that works fine too.

I use the extra bar of soap for a thicker product and it smells nice too.  First you grate your bars of soap.  Add 2.5 qts. (12 cups) water to a pan.  Then add the grated soap and heat and stir until the soap is melted.

This is what it looks like when you first add the soap to the water.
This is what it looks like when the soap has all melted and dissolved into the water.  Turn the heat off.

Then add the Borax and Washing Soda and mix until dissolved.

Next, add 8 cups of hot water to your empty clean bucket.  (I use a 5 gallon one I bought at the hardware store just for making soap in.)  You can see I used my coffee maker to heat the water.  Make sure don't use the measurements on the coffee carafe as those "cups" are 6oz. ones.  I measured the 8 cups of water into the coffee maker with a regular measuring cup.

Next add the soap, Borax, Washing soda mixture from the pot into the bucket with the hot water.  Give it a good stir.

Then  add 2 gallons, plus 3 qts. of tap water to the mixture.  Stir thoroughly again.  This is where I add some essential oils for scent.  I usually use a lavender  or citrus oil of some sort.  Stir again.  Then you let this sit overnight.  It will gel up nicely.  I then pour it into my gallon jugs that I made labels for.  Use a half cup or up to one cup per load, depending on size, and the level of soil on the clothes.

Here is how it looks when all mixed up.

You can see I have almost a full bucket of laundry soap now.  This will last me several months.  It costs only pennies on the dollar.

If you want to read my original post about making laundry soap you can read it here.

Then it was time to fix some lunch for my family.  We have lots of fresh veggies to eat from the garden,  so that is always good place to start.  Earlier this morning I had washed and bagged up my spinach, crookneck squash, onions, broccoli and cauliflower.  So I grabbed those out of the fridge.  Chopped them up and put them in a pan with some olive oil.  Looked like this.

It looks pretty good, but I think it needs something to jazz it up a bit.   So out to the garden I go.

Oh yes, lets pick some flat leaf parsley and some curly leaf parsley, that is always so good!

Oh yeah, how about a couple of tomatoes for color and zing?  Now we are cooking!

Now that looks much better.  To this I added about 3 cups of cooked rice.  It was a scrumptious lunch if I do say so myself!

The next chore of the day was to put eggs in the cartons.  I had two baskets full.  This is several days worth.  How many dozen eggs do you think are in these two baskets?  Go ahead and take a guess!

Okay, I will tell you the answer.  It was 9 dozen with one egg extra!  Aren't those such pretty eggs?  We sell what we don't use for our family.  The price for a dozen eggs is $3.  So when we sell this many eggs, that will buy two bags of feed.  We try and sell enough eggs to pay for the chicken feed, and the feed for the ducks and turkeys.  That way we break even.  One day it would be nice to sell enough to actually make some money on them.  But for now this is good.

We buy 150 blank egg cartons at a time from a place online, then I write our name and phone number on each one.  They are not too expensive.  Sometimes folks bring their cartons back so we can reuse them.  The only trouble is, most people have a habit of cracking open those eggs, dropping them in the pan, then setting the empty eggshell back in the carton.  Which in turn soils the carton with raw egg dribbles.  Or they leave the carton next to the stove and spatter that bacon grease over it.  Sound like your house?  Mine too, until I started selling eggs.  : )  Now I am a fanatic about keeping my egg cartons super clean!  We can't really reuse a carton that is not in pristine condition.  But I do have another use for them.  They are great filled with soil and used to start your seeds in.  Just set them in something that is waterproof so you don't soak what ever it is you have it sitting on when you water.

Here is a photo of my greenhouse being built.  My dad (on the left) and Ed are almost finished with one half the floor.  The girls of course were right there being supervisors to the project.

The greenhouse will stretch another 16 feet towards the gazebo when it is finished.  The dimensions will be 12' wide by 32' long!  That just might be big enough to grow a few plants!  Plus the citrus orchard will live there during the winters.  You can see the stack of windows behind Audrey's head in the picture.  That will be the main part of the walls.  I am so excited to be getting a greenhouse again!

Psst.........want to hear something funny? Guess what the girls were doing out there?  Clipping their finger and toenails!  I thought that was pretty funny!  Beats having them clip them on the carpet in the house right?  : )

And that my friends is how my lazy day went on the farm today.  Tomorrow will be back to the canning.  Oh, and  doing some laundry now that I have soap again! 

May the Lord bless you where you live.

No comments: