Josh and Carolyn Goodbye for this year! | Pantry Chat

[Music] Hey you guys this is Josh and Carolyn With homesteading family and welcome to This week’s episode of The Pantry cat Food for thought this week is our final Episode of the year 2022. no I don’t know I feel like we Just started it yeah we were well we Were talking about something and you Were oh fencing and you were like that Was this year yeah So this week we’re going to be talking About uh well we’ll be looking back at Our our year and seeing what we did and What we’ve accomplished what went well What didn’t go so well and we always Tend to do that this time of year so That we can make informed decisions About our plans for next year so well And some of the most important work is Planning is giving your brain some space And thinking about the things that You’ve done you want to do what’s worked Historically what hasn’t and that’s very Very important and so as we’re going Into this Christmas season while we’re Celebrating and taking time with friends And family and celebrating the season It’s also a time of reflection for us to Just think about these things so we’re Going to share a little bit of that with You today absolutely But before we do gotta have a little Chit Chat of course what’s going on with

You ah I have just entered the third Trimester of pregnancy yeah it’s bigger Than a cauliflower now oh we’re at a Large eggplant size now according to my Eggplant is bigger than cauliflower who Comes up with these things this is an App she has that you know it just Describes her as a vegetable Apparently I have been missing out on All of my pregnancies on this app Because everybody else knows the whole Vegetable baby thing and I this is brand New to me so Um we’re we’re getting a real kick out Of what size the baby is right now based On a vegetable and we are at Large eggplant size moving towards Butternut squash squash size right now Which would explain why I am Uncomfortable I have to say So Um so yeah I’m slowing down a little bit With that I can feel that I’m older than The last pregnancy it’s been quite a few Years since the last one and I I think in some ways I’m just less Interested in being uncomfortable and so I have a little lower tolerance maybe For the discomfort level Um but yeah so I’m slowing down a little Bit I’m really excited I’m starting to Knit a new baby blanket which is going To be fun it’s really cute it has sheep All over it

Um I don’t make any promises when it Comes to knitting because it’s sometimes Knit projects take me a very very long Time tend to only do them when we’re Sitting around like watching a movie Together as a family or something like That uh which doesn’t actually happen All that often when it comes to the Amount of time spent knitting so uh so Anyways I’m excited about that but I’m Definitely Optimizing my opportunity for still Projects We’ll say it like that Yeah I think you’re prepping us all for A little quieter entry into 2023. try Yeah yeah a little bit that’s good you Gotta you gotta pace yourself and get Some good rest get ready for baby yeah Absolutely so yeah that’s what I’ve been Up to not much what about you you didn’t Mention our baby moon you called it oh Yes yeah We snuck away We snuck away for A little bit because we usually take a Uh Mama and Papa get away in June or on Our anniversary but that’s not gonna Happen this year with a baby so so we Took it here in December yep so that was Nice that was really nice you look nice And tan got a little Sun yeah we went Somewhere with sun a little vitamin D Vitamin D is good I’m a southern well We’re both Southern California kids but I didn’t know when I moved to Idaho how

Much I was used to the sun I have no Problem with the cold snow all that Right take it all it’s good but the First year we were here we had like five Days of sunshine yeah and I realized That that sad syndrome which I always Thought was psychological nonsense is a Real deal yeah I know so it’s good when You can it’s good for me to get a little Sun yeah yeah it’s good for all of us When you can get a little sense yeah Blessed to be able to do that and that Was nice to get a little time with you Before Before a new baby kind of dominates life Yeah that seems to happen it does yeah It’s a good thing what about you what Else have you been up to oh wow well Besides that you know getting into the Winter Groove we’re we’re having a lot Of weather early this feels like it’s Going to be a deep snow winter Um we’ve already had a lot we’ve already Had to plow five or six times which is Not normal usually we don’t have any Snow on the ground we’ve had a little Bit it’s melted and then we’re it’s Coming in right about now which the next Wave is about to come out come in and it Looks like a foot to a foot and a half Yeah Um so you know plow and snow just Getting the property set up for winter If you don’t stay on it you get very

Quick and then it gets to be even more Challenging so really doing that and Reflecting a year we’ve seen multiple Days already with temperatures in the Negatives yeah which is well that’s not Normal and that’s really odd to have That cold weather and quite a bit of Snow usually the Colder Weather you know Is without the snow and it’s clear and We’re even this like we’re looking a Foot and a half of snow on the highs are In the mid 20s yeah that’s for us that’s That doesn’t usually quite go together Usually heavy snow is in the high 20s And you know Um so this it’s just the whole year Feels different so I’m kind of trying to Get prepped for that and thinking a Little bit more about having a lot of Extra snow maybe having it longer in the Spring which you’ve got to plan for Because we have a lot of areas to get to The barn and keep some of our Pathways Clear keep it open and we’ve got two Houses that you know have to have access So so really that the last couple weeks It’s been a lot of thought of that Besides just Um preparing for 2023 for school Traditional skills and some of the Ongoing stuff there all right well we’ll Get into some of those things here in a Few minutes but first we have a couple Of questions of the week I’ve got one

For you here from dawn Helms okay on the Video meet in your compost I’m surprised That all the chicken remains except Feathers didn’t go to the pigs I don’t Have pigs so mine goes into the compost Pile also but wouldn’t it be a Primo pig Feed you know that’s a good thought I Like that but we don’t we’re butchering Like 200 tickets yeah that’s a lot you Don’t have enough pigs to eat that fast Enough before it would become a rotting Stinking mess and Um our pigs these Cooney coonies they Are light eaters they survive on grass And kitchen scraps and so the kitchen Scraps Um right now is what they’re on and I Don’t know when we were butchering I Think they were still out on the grass They just didn’t need it and and so for Us just better to put it in a compost The problem that we’ve been having with The Cooney coonies is Inadvertently over fattening them they Over faten extremely easily so we’re Having to keep them on a pretty lean Diet and so feed is not our problem yeah It comes to the pigs yep so and it’s Just when you’re trying when you’re Doing that much work like 200 chickens We want easy steps so Chicken butchering facilities here Compost piles just not very far it just All goes right to there and we’re trying

To be efficient and economical in our Movement so now could you feed all the Chicken scraps to pigs yeah especially If you were doing last or you wanted to Feed a few but those those things rot And get stinky fast if you don’t get Them composting and so like yeah the First day could you give them a few sure I’m sure it is good feed but just just Not you know there’s so many different Ways to do things and that that’s that’s A good way if you have the right system But you know our systems are just Aligned a little differently yeah okay Good all right well we’re gonna do two Today so we’ll both cover one here for This end of the year Pantry chat and Cindy and Frank Mania on my pantry is Overflowing asks with freeze-dried Pumpkin did you cook it before freeze Drying or raw yeah we cooked it first we Cooked it and then we You know scraped it off I don’t want to Say we pureed it because we didn’t do Anything that fancy but we did kind of Mash it up in the scraping out of the Pumpkin okay Um process and then spread it out in the Freeze dryer trays freeze dried it and Then when it came out we powdered it Right just by our hands the amazing Thing about that is you get all those Big fibers that you don’t really even Notice when it’s in the puree unless

You’re going to run it through the mill Which I never do that’s just an extra Step but those were all just kind of you Know sitting at the top and easy to to Just pull off in a handful and so then When we went to rehydrate it it was the Silkiest smoothest it it was the way to Go it was very good that was the best And you know I’ve never it’s always been Good the other way I never really Thought much about it it’s just what it Is but but it was like when we had that Was like because I wasn’t there for the Process I was like whoa this is Different this is like just smooth and Cream just didn’t have that little bit Of stringy texture that it was good yeah It was silky so I think that is kind of The new favorite way around here to go Ahead and keep the pumpkin and the Winter squash you know obviously we keep It whole as long as we can but we start To process it as they start to get soft And I’m not sure that the kids wouldn’t say We need to freeze dry it before we even Eat it instead of just cooking them and Eating them fresh because they liked it So much after I’d gone through the Freezer process obviously that’s an Unnecessary step and I’m sure that that Fiber is really good for you yeah so you Know yeah yeah and Amethyst or dinner Are we talking pumpkin pie on a holiday

Table right like we gotta draw our line Somewhere right yep so yeah and that was A good way to go if you have a freeze Dryer absolutely try freeze drying your Squash it is phenomenal real good yeah All right so we are reviewing 2022 and I Think the place to start is and I don’t Even have it right in front of me but we We always have a plan going into the air Yeah we have our maintenance items we Have our smaller projects we have our Larger projects and we’ve learned to try To Pace ourselves a little bit because We just put everything on the list then We never accomplish what we want to yeah That can feel defeating so Um I think I’ll just have to tackle them Kind of as we go through but but we had Some major projects we wanted to do and Then we had our ongoing stuff and Gardens and Animal Care and how much Meat are we going to harvest and and you Know preservation and stuff right and And Um overall it’s been a good year so yeah I had a few challenges but a lot has Happened it has been a good year and I Do want to put this a little bit in Context is that we’re still on a piece Of property that we would consider new For us this is our wrapped up our fourth Season full season full season here and So we’re still in the phase of this Homestead where we’re building

Infrastructure we’re getting our systems In place you know there’s there’s always Going to be some maintenance of those There’s always going to be some Rehashing systems or refining them or Making them better but we’re at a phase Where we’re still actively shaping the Systems and the infrastructure so we Have a lot of projects every year that Are going on to the list that are kind Of big infrastructure projects we don’t Plan on doing it this this heavily every Year for the rest of our lives we Actually have a time frame on that as Well and how long we do so we we’re in This time on this Homestead I guess I’m Saying where we’re really pushing a Little bit and we’re doing a lot of big Infrastructure projects so as you’re Hearing this I think it’s important to Put it into context if you’re thinking About what you’re doing on your Homestead you may be be on in a more Mature Homestead Um you know position where you already Have your infrastructure set up and You’re kind of just maintaining and That’s great Um I just I always want to give this Caveat of like don’t compare let’s not Compare we’re sharing what we’re doing For example so that you guys can see how We’re thinking about things how we’re Processing them but it can be really

Easy to get stuck in that kind of Compare yourself to somebody else and Then not feel so great about what you’ve Accomplished in the year and that is not At all what we want to have come out Yeah yeah you got to apply things to Your own contacts and I think another Part of that context that’s important When we’re talking about some of the Things we’re doing is we’re not only Developing a homestead for ourselves now For say the rest of our lives we have a Generational perspective where we’re Setting up a homestead and we’re setting Up systems that makes it easier for the Next Generation to take on we’ve we’ve Done the being out in two foot of snow And hacking through the ice with a Hatchet and and you know dealing with Frozen lines outside and you know the Things that many of us have dealt with In homesteading and that’s just one Little example but we’re Building Systems so that it’s easier to operate For the long term so everything we think About while we’re trying to do things Now we’re thinking about the Next Generation we’re also thinking about the Next Generation being able to actually Uh do economic Ventures on the homestead And that that means you know a working Farm not just a homestead and so we’re Setting it up for the next generation For that so that a lot of things we do

Might be overkill for what we need right Now but it’s a long-term picture right And we want to make something that’s Inviting for the Next Generation to take On and that they can focus on new things On economizing and not you know some of The the deeper bigger infrastructure Yeah and I think every time we make an Improvement around the property they get To experience that too the kids are and They’re oh yeah oh yeah remember last Winter when we were hauling those frozen Hoses here and there and doing this and Now look at it it gives a lot of hope That this isn’t just going to be Drudgery forever Okay so where do you want to go where do You want to tackle here well let’s talk About some of these larger Infrastructure things because we’ve done A lot of you know everywhere we go we’re Trying to improve every year we’re Trying to improve the livestock or the Meat raising or the gardening but let’s Start with some of these larger Infrastructure structure projects should Be put into place well one of the Earliest in the year was fencing and you Know within within permaculture design Paradigm you know it’s often said to Give it three years of using only Temporary fencing on a property because You’re going to use the land and you’re Going to get familiar with it through

The seasons and you don’t want to spend Money on permanence too quickly in Certain areas certain things you need to Like like you know land um Oh gosh just totally went out of my head You know Earthworks thank you yeah Um and some things you’ve got to step Forward on but some things you try to Wait so we waited three years with Fencing and we did temporary fencing and And this fourth year felt good about the Area the about the five acres around the House and and so we went to permanent Fencing this year and put some some of Those areas in a permanent fence that I Was sure these fences are where I want Them we extended some of our temporary Fencing on part of the 40 acres because It wasn’t fenced at all Yeah and so you know we we extended some Of that and so that was one of the first Things we did and I’ve been very happy With that and it allowed us along with The Improvement of pasture to step Forward in our rotational grazing and Mixed species rotational grazing on the Land and we were able to take get that a Lot closer to where I’d like it so let Me ask you a question about that Are you happy that you waited to the Four-year Mark instead of doing it back In year one I am I am the most of the Things that I thought I’d want to do in This space have been the same but but

Not entirely and so it took a few years And I’m I’m a pretty good as far as like What they call Mainframe design looking At a piece of property assessing it I Feel like I’m pretty good at doing that And so I can consult with that and help Somebody figure it out but you always Learn things when you’re on the land and So it is wisdom to wait and yeah I made Some adjustments from when I first Thought the first year we were here to Where we got to now I did make a few Adjustments and took a couple things out And moved a couple things and and so I’m Very happy with it I think it’s going to Work great for the long term okay uh for The grazing for some of the other types We’re looking at putting some orchardine Where we can do grazing under it and and Um a little um not just Orchard but man I’m having a hard time with my words a Little bit of a Vineyard but all that’s Going to be Integrated Systems where we Can move animals and stack functions and So the first step was just really Knowing how do we want to divide up this Land and where does those permanent Versus temporary fences need to be so Yeah I think from where I say right now It came out pretty good yeah you know We’ll we’ll see is five five more years Down the line we’ll see if you’re still Happy with the design that was put into Place there but yeah but yeah I think

That’s a really important point you get In and you just on a new piece of Property gosh you want these things done Yesterday you know you want that fencing Done you want everything done so you can Just be up and operational but taking The time to Observe and watch and really think about The land usage and how you move on the Land and how water moves on the land Yeah and sun moves on the land and all These different things really ends up Paying off in the long run if you can Take that time and just do it that way Yeah it really does so I’d say that was A success we met our goals Um and that is something that’s working For us well now and going to help us Move forward with some more refined Areas for getting animals out to pasture And rotational grazing and all of those Systems that fencing though I’ve got say We have really seen the pasture come up This year because of that because of the Fencing there and then you know Temporary cross fencing in there and Then that rotational grazing yeah the Improvement on the pasture this year has Been it was dramatic yeah like it is a Very very noticeable yeah and that’s Really neat now I gotta say one of the Other things that we did that was not Planned so much that we added to that System that helped out what you’re

Talking about is an improvement on water Systems and this was after spending some Time with Joel salaton and Justin Rhodes And just getting water out to the field So that we could have we have so that we Could actually water the pastures in the Dry season and Um and besides that actually getting Water to water the animal since we’re on This rotation and animals need water and It’s getting moved around and the Ability to get hoses out there way out In the pasture instead of dragging Buckets of water Um that was huge it was a huge labor Saver and then we were able to also get A rotational sprinkler mobile rotational Sprinkler out there for the dry season Which helped maximize the effect of the Rotation to where we got at least two Rotations this year and multiple species Yeah and so that really helps with the With the fertilization and the spread of Manure so I think we get in the spring Next year we’re going to really see it Take off and make another leap yeah That’s exciting yeah I’m excited about That and you know everywhere where you Can save that little bit of daily labor Like you’re talking about on the not Dragging the buckets of water out a lot Of people that I hear from they’re Coming to me and saying I’m so stuck in The doing that I don’t even have

Opportunity I don’t have the time to Learn new skills that I want to learn Anymore because they’re they’re kind of Spinning out on the doing and it’s Things like this that really tip that Balance is making things more efficient In the everyday because you start saving 15 minutes a day that’s that’s the Opportunity to learn one whole new skill Yeah you know that’s a lot of time added Up over the week uh it’s a big deal well It is and it’s important sometimes to Know where to put your dollars and and The water system’s a real good one I Held off for that for a lot of time Because I felt like it’s water I can Move that you know and that’s not an Extremely expensive system but it’s but It’s money and and I’m trying to be Frugal and I’m putting in other areas And I realize well I’m making choices Every year where to make improvements or What to spend money on you know most of Us homesteading are doing something We’re making improvements somewhere uh You know especially if you’re Established a piece of property and that Was one where I waited way too many Years you know I should have at least Even had a temporary line out there that Could have been movable or adjusted to The fences later Um and because of the amount of Labor I Realized as soon as we got the thing

Operational I realized like whoa we’ve Been working way too hard we could put That effort somewhere else and it would Have been worth the dollar so it’s it’s Important to think these things through And think about the energy that you’re Expending and it’s different for Everybody and what your situation and What your needs are but it just it Caused me to realize I need to slow down And think a little bit more or not just You know not just always money saving Right now but what’s my labor what’s her Time and where is the best allocation of Resources now another big infrastructure Project that we’ve undertaken this year That is going to really change my world A little bit on the preserving side is We started The Root Cellar and we’re Getting the root seller in that’s kind Of exciting that’s gonna that’s Definitely a two-year price at least Yeah I’m not making any promises that It’s going to be ready next fall I’m Preparing myself to live through another Winter without it but Um but this is a major undertaking we’re Making a very large Root Cellar that has A lot of fun features to it that will Really allow us to preserve Um and house a lot of food off-grid Completely which I’m really excited About and that was a non-plan for this Year to start but we were starting a

Retaining wall because we have a hill Encroaching behind the house it’s been Here for several years and it’s just Fallen down and it’s not We’re getting not good use of land in Several areas so we plan this retaining Wall and we realize that when and that’s Starting to build it that we weren’t Going to have good access to start the Seller Um because just of the parameters and The size that was left after the Retaining wall so we decided to go ahead And and put it in and there is a video Out there on the beginning of that Because we use these large Stones kind Of the cheapest Stones we could get They’re very big and hard to move around But they were not very expensive and so Um very thankful we did that I’m glad That’s a decision that we didn’t have That in the plan but I’m very thankful That we did it we got started because It’s also going to take longer than I Was thinking we’re trying to do this It’s big so we want to do as low cost so The roof is going to be from Timbers on The property which we’re going to have To harvest a Mill and and it’s it’s Going to take a bit to get to but it is Going to be a very good resource when we Can get that up and go it really is it Really is we have a couple of plans for It one of which is it’s running right

Near our the stream that runs through The prop property which is really neat Because we can just divert a little bit Of the water off into the root cellar And have it go through a concrete trough And then right back out again and that Will give us a chilled area for storage So think Dairy think anything that needs To be cool maybe not refrigerate or cold All the way but Um basically it’s spring box pretty much A spring in the cellar yeah which is Really really neat because many of you Guys have heard are you know answer to The are you off grid we said no we’re Kind of building the skills to be able To just go completely off grid should we Need to the skills in the infrastructure And this is a major piece of that that Just allows us to have a complete Alternate to the refrigeration systems In the house which is really exciting Yeah so I’m excited about that yeah me Too that is going to be neat yeah we can Finally get stuff out of the basement Here which is just never quite cool Enough right we get by okay and then That’s you know just like we’ve told you Guys a lot of times work with what you Have yeah but we’re always working Towards something better yeah and That’ll be good it’ll be good to get to That absolutely that all stemmed out of The

Um the wall the retaining wall which has Also been a wonderful project because That’s actually gained us a lot of Growing space well it is and it’s it’s Going to allow us next year to develop a Whole new perennial area it already has A few existing fruit trees that were Here when we got here and we’re going to Be able to add some and I don’t know if We’ll get to it next year but move the Berries out of the main crop Garden so We can extend the size of the main crop Garden and get our our perennials into a Some sort of uh I don’t know if it’ll be A food Forest but an organized perennial System of trees and and uh fruits yeah Bushes and stuff so that that makes that Area more useful yeah yep absolutely Good what Um What else what’s what’s a biggie for you We’re not gonna be able to cover all of Them so let’s cover a couple highlights Is there another thing that’s happened Here that we’ve done this year that has Helped you out a lot well something that Has just happened that I’m very excited About is that we’ve moved the laundry Room from the basement up to the main Level of the house which is a wonderful Wonderful thing to have it right there And not down a set of narrow And a hundred pesos probably one way Further than what a laundry room is now

And showing a household like ours that’s A huge labor saving yeah it is it’s a Huge labor saving but it also helps the Laundry to run more efficiently because We can actually hear the laundry buzzer Now so we can just keep the laundry Cycling when we need to Um which is wonderful so it’s also Up in a space that has a wonderful Window and there’s natural light coming It’s not in the basement right it is Really nice you had us do a very very Wide paint that reflects the light well And it feels very bright and cheery it Is very bright and cheery it’s not all Decorated yet I’m excited looking Forward to that we’ve still got cabinets And tables and things to put in there Folding counter I guess Um to put in there but for the moment it Is functional and it’s lovely Everybody’s enjoying doing laundry up There so that’s been a nice Plus for us Nice win yeah you’re saving on labor and It’s more enjoyable space to make a job That’s just not that exciting a little More enjoyable yeah those those things Those things help a lot everyone yeah They really do yeah Let’s see so some of the things around The property though that I want to talk About some of the just regular projects That we kind of undergo Um the garden how’d the garden do this

Year yeah the garden was not as good This year this was a weaker year for the Garden and mostly I mean two things one It was a cold long wet spring yeah which Was great for the pasture for the Overall environment it was really really Good Um but it was cool it was hard getting Things started they just didn’t start Well and so the garden just kind of it Did okay it didn’t do bad in the final Accounting when it comes down to what Ends up on the pantry shelves we Actually did really well well in the Root crops did fine in that environment Which we’ve learned over the years to You know learn to grow what does well You want to combine what you like but What does well in your environment and Your soil time and root crops they don’t Mind that environment and so they did Pretty good and we had problems with Everything though that was in the hoop House yeah and we had some management Issues in the hoop house really and that Was you know between me with the morning Sickness and I was just out of the Picture for about eight weeks I was While I was traveling a lot too while he Was traveling and so we had some Wonderfully helpful teenagers around Here who just did an amazing job at all Pretty much everything except for them Well and there’s that is the hoop house

Is challenging here because it can get So hot in the day that you can cook Everything and we we have a DIY we don’t Have a fancy you know hoop house that’s Got automated ventilators and fans and Everything and so you know it takes Human management and so some of the Nuances that are challenging and we we Can it can be 39 degrees one morning and Then hot enough during the day to burn The tomatoes and peppers which actually Happened once the they forgot to open The ends and the doors the airflow and It literally cooked I don’t know you Know probably many dozens of of tomatoes And it literally burnt them right and so You know so yeah that was hard to manage This year and then it’s it’s challenging Without those automated systems because You just that takes a little mental Bandwidth to think about that yeah yeah Absolutely so green beans though did Great green uh leafy greens did really Well and you know another thing that did Really really well this year that was Kind of exciting were the grapes and the Grapes were you know they were just as Upset as everything else in the garden About the cool long spring but on the Other side we had this long warm fall Which was like Way Long a month longer Than normal fairly unexpected and then You went ahead and you covered the Grapes as they were finishing rampening

With plastic to go ahead and help them Keep the heat in and we ended up with One of the best grape harvests we’ve Ever had and they were so sweet they Were so delicious and you know what I Did this is one of my successes for the Year is I tried a Victorian method of Preserving the grapes That sounds so fancy I literally hung Them up in a cool cool room Um and they lasted fresh for about six Weeks longer than you could have gotten Them just on the counter so that was Really cool and that was without having The stems and water yeah the next Extension of that method is to actually Have the stems in the water and they’re Supposed to be able to go long ways Through winter they’re supposed to be Able to at least go until Christmas if You get that the stems okay but I didn’t Have that apparatus so I literally just Hung them up where they had full air Flow all the way around them and it was A cool Pantry room and Um they just chugged right along like we Could pull off a bunch and eat them Fresh and they were great that way so That was kind of fun to be able to Extend that window even six weeks once You’re in Winter around here and there’s Nothing fresh coming in anymore it feels Amazing So yeah so for all the challenges in the

Garden we actually I think preserve more Food this year out of the garden than we Have ever preserved really yeah that’s Funny because it’s just being out there And dealing with the issues it didn’t Feel that way yeah and I was like wow we Have a lot of gaps this year yeah in Space we’re not utilizing and Um we’re like we could we should be able To double or triple our broccoli Definitely Um you know and cauliflower there’s Always room for improvement but in the Final accounting I have to say nearly as Badly as it felt like it was going in The moment yeah the other place that we Did really well this year on production Is the cheese cave the cheesecake is Very nicely full with a lot of Specifically cheddar cheeses some Parmesan cheeses we’ve got a good amount Of feta cheese tucked into brine Homemade Absolutely amazing it really is so Anyways we’re really happy about the Cheese side the side we didn’t do so Well and this was intentional we made a Decision here was the butter side We just are moving more and more towards Using lard because lard takes way way Less work To make a Year’s worth of art you can do It all in one day a long day but you can Get it all done and put up

Um and with much experimenting what I Have found is unless you were putting it On the table for somebody to spread onto Their bread nobody can tell that it’s Lard Not Butter if you’re baking with it If you’re cut I don’t like cookies cakes Things like that nobody can tell if you Fry your breakfast toast in lard in the Kitchen instead of buttering it Um nobody can tell that it’s lard and Not butter and so when I realized that I Just said oh this is ridiculous we’re Putting way too much work every week Into the amount of butter that we’re Making so we’re still making some But not nearly the amount that we were Trying to make we were really Prioritizing butter taking all of the Cream off the milk and turning it into Butter so where that has come out is Then in the cheese because then it goes Into the cheese the cheese produces more Milk cheese is better Cream in it it really is so you know There’s trade-offs on everything but Yeah what about the freeze dryers I know I know we started with the freeze dryers Left last year but I think last year was Learning putting them in the use trying Things and I feel like this year they’ve Been in full service and and they that We went so well we got a second one for Our context and our scope yeah I think You’ve kept both of them running most of

The summer and fall and Food Um definitely the fruit the fruit’s kind Of a no-brainer in the in the freeze Dryer Um but a lot of the vegetables the Onions the garlic things like that have Just been wonderful you can see right There past Josh right there those green Things that celery that came out of the Garden and that’s just amazing so there Are a lot of great things we’re really Liking bell peppers or any sort of Peppers that have been freeze-dried are Super usable uh mushrooms we’ve been Doing a lot of those because we were Growing mushrooms this year yeah that Was a new one this year that was an Experiment that went very very well it Went very well in the garden and it went Very well in the freeze dryer and now I Can literally pick them up and if I Wanted to make a quick cream of mushroom Soup I can just powder them really fast And then rehydrate them with just a Little bit of water and it’s great Really good to go Mushrooms used after they’ve been Freeze-dried or dehydrated Um the flavor just it’s concentrated you Can use it in a concentrated way is so It’s one that’s I think we preserved a Lot more than we ate fresh so we ate Some fresh but it’s a nice flavor to

Have in those soups and stews and and we Had it in this casserole the other night With chicken and pasta and yeah and Gravy that was just unbelievably good Now there’s one area that I was a little Disappointed in this year around the Homestead and it was something that I Had really hoped to Improve this last year uh-oh I’m Wondering am I in trouble did I fall Down You didn’t do it Well that was the 6 session beds and for The greens and yeah burning the Harvest But I ended up so sick yeah that I just Couldn’t manage it and so we really Didn’t get the the produce in in time to Extend the fall Harvest we did we did Put some in and we did get a nice late Crop of lettuce so that was good we put Some into some cold frames and some Hoops Um but I was really hoping to extend That because we have a lot most years we Have a lot of this kind of gray area Season where we’re getting freezes we’re Definitely getting frosts Um but we’re not really it’s not killing Phrases necessarily so we could but it’s Not growing but it’s not growing much Yeah and you know we can spend three Months of the year here in that state And it’s like if we could just have Something fresh and green that would be

So lovely so I was really hoping to make That better this year to work on that System and I gotta say though I think it was better And and this spot is on The Terraces That we created a couple years ago this Hillside that was non-usable that faced South and West which is optimal sun Exposure for us in this environment and So we wanted to make those usable so we Terraced them and and I gotta say I it Didn’t it didn’t go as far as you wanted It to but I think like the Garden in in My observation I was surprised how much Especially in the fall there was fresh Stuff coming in still from that even Though I looked overgrown and ran over I Think it did better than the year before Even though it didn’t mean my Expectation and it looked you know just It got overgrown looked wild yeah I I do Think it did better though well even Though it didn’t get anywhere where you Wanted it to I’m preparing myself this Spring this year I won’t get the jump on It that I wanted to with baby showing up Right yeah at the beginning of that but I’m hoping by Fall we’ll be able to Really kind of put a little bit more Energy into it and have a nice long fall Eating season season so that was the one One area for me and I know the other Area that we had Probably the pigs

The pigs have their yeah the the not Quite yeah so we went to kunikuni pigs We we have only raised Um you know feeder animals for Butchering for pigs uh for the last 15 18 years whatever it’s been and we Decided to start breeding pigs we’ve Been researching and because of the Large issue that was Carolyn was talking About we decided to go with a large lard Pig a Heritage large Pig which really is Your Cooney coonies your mangalitas your American guineas are kind of the three Main ones I know there’s an Idaho Pasture which is a cross but and we went With the Cooney coonies because they are The ultimate Homestead pig as far as They can fatten on like nothing they’re So easy to over feed problem is that We’re learning is that they’re so easy To over feed they don’t breed well when They get too fat and so that’s that’s Where the letdown has been this year Um is that we’ve spent a lot of the Year Cutting back to feed trying to figure Them out getting them into better shape Because I got them too fat during the Winter because they came from California I was worried about them experiencing One of our winners and I didn’t want to Under feed them and um so we’re still Figuring that one out so we didn’t get Uh the pictures that we would have liked This year yeah but I at this point I am

Honestly thinking I’ve got a problem With the female in that we’re gonna need To look at that because Um we’ve they’ve they’ve been cut back And they’re in pretty good shape right Now so we’re we’re figuring that one out I also am realizing that we’re still Gonna want a couple rooting feeder picks One for the bacon because the kunikunis Are great fat pigs in the bacon actually It came out better than I thought it Would as far as having a little bit of Meat in it but it’s still not that meat That bacon that we’re used to today Which is just a little meat heavy Traditional bacon is very fatty yeah old World bacon is actually mostly fat and That’s what these coonies are but most Of us aren’t used to that we’re like a Good slab of meaty bacon so I’m thinking With a deep litter method we’re still no Matter what the coonies do and once we Get them breeding and going well I think We’re still going to bring in a couple Feeders and use them in the barn to turn The deep litter and Um yeah and then get a little bit of Different product out of it and still Get all our Lord from the other pigs Yeah good yeah So you guys this is the kind of kind of Conversation we really encourage you to Have on your homestead whether you’ve Got as many different animals going on

In many different projects going on as We do or you have more or you have fewer Maybe you have a smaller Homestead and You’re really focusing on building Skills in your kitchen in your pantry Inside of those areas it’s really good To sit down and just take a look at What’s gone well what hasn’t gone well What you’re looking at improving what You really want to improve so that you Are in a position to plan for next year Yeah and that’s you can do that casually Right now these are just good Conversations like this and enjoying the Slower times that when we hit January we Start going okay let’s start taking Notes and start making our plans what Are our goals this year and of course That’s the time to start generally Ordering seeds though hopefully you’re Ordering seeds well ahead of time right This season so but you know you really Start getting into that phase in the Beginning of the year after the holidays Of all right you know winter is going to Be over long game on let’s let’s start Figuring this out and you’ve had these Kinds of conversations of reflection to Then take that information and translate It into planned action yeah so you’re Not going to see us until The beginning of next year and we have Some changes coming in how often we’re Going to be publishing content so you’re

Going to be seeing us instead of twice a Week Once a week in the new year every Saturday we’ll either have a pantry chat For you or a regular video for you right And so we won’t see you until the first Saturday of the new year now so we hope You guys have a very Merry Christmas Have a wonderful time with your friends And family we’re so thankful for you in This year Um there’s been a lot of growth upon Saint family and membership and more of You coming along on this journey with us And just want you to know we’re thankful For you and I hope you have a wonderful Rest of your Year goodbye [Music]