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Garden Harvest


Three types of beans we grew

I had a goal at the beginning of this summer where I thought it would be a really awesome idea to grow our own dry beans. I wanted to get at least a year’s supply. The idea of sustainability is very infectious for me. I love anything that hints at it. Make your own, do it yourself, minimalism, all of it is fascinating. However, I’ve started to realize that some of these ideas are a bit of a fantasy really. They sound so lovely, not to need to depend on anything but your own efforts, but in reality, the amount of work in doing things this way is tremendous. You would actually need you your whole family to quit their day jobs and come help do everything. And this is exactly what people used to do. Their job was survival, and working year to year to make sure there was enough food to eat and enough warm clothes and bedding and firewood for the winter. 

This summer I did grow enough beans to last us at least a year if not more, but the process gave me mixed feelings about the loveliness and fantastic ideas I had when I started. We had a terrible season, with a lot of rain. It made planting happen late and we had to harvest the beans before they finished drying because they started molding on the plant. I didn’t have to worry about watering while they grew, but they never would have dried on their own. Below is a picture of our garden this year. The light coloured green is the beans that are starting to die off and right before we harvested.

The next photo is a trailer with all the bean plants pulled up by the roots and piled up.

The next task was to get those beans off the plants and spread out somewhere so they could finish drying. Thankfully I had some help from Darren’s Uncle, Mum and Brothers (Darren was at work). Then I had to shell the beans, put them in trays with screens for bottoms that Darren’s mum had lying around and allow them to finish drying. Lastly, I had to sort through all those beans and pick out any that had any mold on them, which was quite a few. This process took about four weeks and was grueling. This was mostly because I was shelling all the beans by hand, one by one. Near the end, I discovered that if I put a bunch of pods in a pillow case and banged it around, all the beans would just fall out. This made the last few beans finish up quite fast. Below is a photo of the beans being shelled (Darrens mum helped a little in the beginning) and the next photo is the beans finished.

 I got 7 cups or 1.4 kg/3.1 lb of kidney beans, 33 1/2 cups or 6.2 kg/13.7 lb of black beans, and 41 cups or 7.1 kg/15.6 lb of pinto beans. Through it all, I feel that when we run out of beans, I will be buying more instead of planting more. I think it was a great experience, and I learned a lot, and feel like I gained skills that I would need if indeed we had to grow all our own food at some point. But for now, that effort probably would be better placed in growing other foods that are actually better off being homegrown and organic to avoid the chemicals they spray on them, such as potatoes and corn.

Below are some other things we grew despite the terrible weather. 2 canteloupe and one small watermelon (only one ripened).

We grew more, but maybe I’ll share that another time. All in all, growing a garden is very rewarding, but be very thankful we are privileged to live in a time and place where we can buy our food if we need to.

I’m so happy to be done looking at beans!!! Haha…


One of Boy’s first words was ‘duck’. We havducks and the word sounds like ‘truck’ which he can also say. He can also say, ‘rock’ and more recently, ‘mum!’ when he really wants my attention. 🙂 We went camping last weekend and we drove past some sheep on a hill in the distance (pretty typical for NZ haha…). Boy pointed and said, ‘duck! duck! duck!’ It was funny because to him, small white animals in the distance are ducks… We don’t see many sheep where we live every day, so this is understandable. 

Anyway, we went to the park a few weeks ago to feed some ducks and he thought it was just hilarious how they dove for the bread! 

In other news, for those of you that we haven’t told yet, or who haven’t heard, we are expecting another baby! Due November 1. I’ve been feeling the early pregnancy nausea for about a week now, but thankfully, it’s not as debilitating as last time and I’m able to function pretty well. Looking forward to 6 weeks from now when it will hopefully start going away. Baby number two is currently about the size of a lentil! 🙂

Included below are some other recent photos.




So far, Darren has started building the kitchen cabinets and he bought some great seats to put in the front. They are from a BMW and should have cost $800 but Darren found them for $45! They have electric buttons to adjust the seats. He also picked up a three seater van seat for passengers. It folds down when not in use which will help with our space.

I found a recipe for making your own wood stain using vinegar, coffee grounds, and steel wool. Its amazing because when you paint it on, its takes a little while to look like the finished look since a chemical reaction takes place with the tannins in the wood. I love the way it’s turning out. Below are some in progress photos so you can see the dark weathered look compared to the natural pine. 


 

Mud


Today, Boy had fun in the mud while we were inside. I could.see him from the kitchen window. I went out to check on him and found he was more dirty than I thought. Ha! Even tried to eat the mud it seems.

We bought a bus!


So, we looked at two buses, decided not to buy them, waited a while longer, then saw this bus advertised on a Monday, Darren flew to see itnon Wednesday then drove it home and was home Thursday. We barely got it too, because another couple offered more for it, but we think the sellers didn’t like them, and gave it to us since we inquired first, when it was their right to accept the higher offer.

It’s a 1985 bus, 8 meters long. We are going to put the lounge, kitchen, and dining room in the bus and then pull a trailer with the shower, toilet and beds.

We are so excited! It will probably take at least a year before its all done, but in the meantime we have moved to Darren’s parent’s farm and are living in their bus, which they don’t use. It’s quite cozy and we are enjoying being on the farm. Below are some photos of the bus we bought, and the bus we are living in currently. The last photo is of Boy playing with a toy Darren made for him two weeks ago. It has buttons that turn on different colour lights.


So, our big news is that we are renting out our house to a friend from church who has been praying and looking for a place she can afford in the country and our offer to her has been an answer to prayer as the perfect solution. We will be moving into Darren’s parents bus that they have on their farm and living there while we look for and do up our own bus. We will stay there about a year and then hit the road, staying with friends, and family all over the country and finding new friends and favourite places. Darren will cut back on work so we can spend more time together as a family. Its not what we thought we would be doing two months ago, but the doors have opened after much prayer and we are certain that this is the direction we should go. It will be good to minimize our stuff and focus on what’s really important. I’ll be sure to post a picture of our bus once we find the right one! 😀

Also, below is a video of boy. This is a few days after he took his first steps. Now he’s walking all over the place. If you can’t see the video in your email, click the post title and it will open in your browser.


There are about to be some big BIG changes for us as we begin a new chapter in our lives. I will leave you to feel the suspense until my next blog. 😀

Things are about to get really interesting!

I wanted to get some of these up before I blogged about anything else, which is why you haven’t heard from me in a while. It kind of bogged me down instead of being able to blog as things happen. Hopefully I’ll be blogging more regularly now.

If you want to see any of these photos larger, just click on them, or click the title of the blog to open the post in your web browser.

 

 

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