I'm Tonia and this is my family. There's Hubs, my wonderful partner; Bug, my darling daughter; and Boo, my charming son. We are the Collins clan. We are a homeschooling family who try our best to live out God's will for our lives every day. There are lots of stumbles along the way, but we love each other and this little life we're carving out for ourselves. Recently we found ourselves called to make some big changes in our lives so we're packing up the McMansion and moving out to a little farm in need of a lot of TLC. We have tons to learn and tons to do and we invite you to share the journey as we turn our not-so-new heap into a home.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Storing Up

This is where I should have photo after photo of a thriving garden....amazing harvests....canning equipment....

I don't.

Since being woefully unprepared has sort of been my theme when it comes to life at the Heap, I'm going to guess you aren't really surprised.

We came to the Heap in late summer/fall. We were so busy cleaning up and working on the many, many projects we had available .I was physically exhausted and mentally challenged in ways I've never been challenged before. I thought maybe this was the most challenging season.

Then came winter and my core body temperature dropped to about 40 degrees. I was freezing, unmotivated, isolated, and miserable. I was wrong about fall- winter is surely the most challenging season.

Along came spring and the pace of life picked up so suddenly and so frantically I was completely thrown off. In the midst of trying to finish up a school year and an AHG year, I also had to get a garden in, take care of new chicks, and try to help with all of the projects that had waited through the winter, but could wait no longer. Surely spring was the most challenging season.

But none of that prepared me for what was just around the corner. I'm a little embarrassed by how blissfully ignorant I was as I tended my "little" garden and watched over those baby chicks, thinking myself so very busy.


Oh. My. Holy. Homesteading. Ignorance.


In the blink of an eye stuff started coming in from the garden and the apple trees and the produce auction and friends' generosity....and every speck of it needed put up. Right now.

And so I found myself standing over a hot stove day after day canning. I chopped and bagged and froze. I dehydrated. I pickled. I stayed up unthinkable hours and I put it all away.

What I didn't do was take pictures.

So, all I have is some pictures of the resulting bounty, which I will admit, I'm mighty proud of.

I managed to put up way more this year than I would've expected. Not all of it came from my garden. Some came from friends sharing their harvests, some came from a visit to a produce auction where I picked up huge quantities for cheap. I managed to can:

Assorted jams and jellies
Assorted Pickles
Green Beans
Apples and Applesauce

In addition to the canned goods I also put a lot in my freezers. I originally had a plan for being somewhat organized, but at some point I just started tossing it where it would fit.

In the freezers I have:

Green peppers
and about 40 chickens along with the giblets.

I also have bags and bags and bags of tomatoes that I will eventually process into sauce and can. This will free up desperately needed freezer space. For the moment, though, I'm just catching my breath.

It was a good season. I learned how to butcher a chicken. I learned how to use a pressure canner. I spent hours in fellowship with a homesteading friend as we canned more food than we thought possible.

It was exhausting, but it was good.

I am no longer delusional though....on a homestead every season brings a new set of challenges. They also bring some pretty amazing moments and I'm grateful to be here.

Now to figure out how to get pictures as I'm working my tushy off.....


1 comment:

  1. I loved the fellowship... I couldn't have done as much as I did with out you. Looking forward to winter and eating all that stored up goodness. Next time we need to remember pictures, perhaps we will be more seasoned by then and have a better game plan.