January in Review 2012

So Jan was a low spend month in regards to Food Storage Fridays, We did end up going out this past saturday and spent 38 on food storage items- Seeds (sunflower, walnuts, almonds) and a couple bags of popcorn. We also spent 26 on household pantry items that were on sale- Main one being pinesol, along with picking up 3 box’s of wooden strike anywhere matches.  For food we spent 11.29 on fresh stuff-Oranges, Banana’s, Brocolli, and a bag of onions, cabbage and a turnip. So for a total of 46.13 spent on food last month.

We had a total of 6 shopping/spending trips out of a possable 31 days in Jan.. not bad, but it would be great to get that number down if possable this month.

This month is a offical $10 spend or less per week for groceries for the household, join in if you would like, will be doing my weekly updates on Food Storage Fridays, but others will be doing it on their own chosen day during the week.

So lets talk about Marty for a second, he is going very well, in fact he is huge compared to girl at the same age, I am surprised at just how much bigger he is, he has always been a big hay baby, I think its because he joins in eating when girl does just on the other side of the feeder, and the same with his sheep buddy, she eats, he eats..  He will be weaned when this last bag of milk is done, he will be approx 16 weeks at that time, which means that he will have had a full ten weeks of extra milk over and above the typical amount done for a bottle baby and it certainly shows in regards to his total costs to date. Now I would be worrying that this was very high, but! I was on Kijji and they have six week old bottle half beef bull calvies on and they are asking for 550 each, they also had little girls of the same age for a hundred less.. so given that he is much bigger, much better started, I am still ahead of the game, plus the costs will now start slowing down, once the milk is done and while it seems odd to say it in feb but its not that long before fresh green grass will be here.

To date Marty cost’s are $496 Jan 2012

  • Marty-$150.00 **
  • Milk replacer-$320.00 *
  • Feed-$14.00
  • Baking Soda- $2
  • Hay-$5
  • Bedding-$5

Extra above and beyond costs or buying in the month of Jan included my new second hand stove and then comes my van, You see when I was gone, DH told me that he went to start my van and it did a odd, click click..die, the way he said it sounds like my starter had gone, not a good thing, but the truck was running and so it got put on the back burner, Snow, freezing rain and sleet was keeping me from wanting to go poke around it, finally went out and gave it a try, and I could see right away that the battery needed a charge, so again had to wait for a break in the weather, which took a good long while, but finally this weekend, we had a six hour window to get the battery charger out and on and sure enough my van started up and got going.. great! but only one problem.. it was frozen in, it was sitting in a dip for each tire on ice.. we rocked it, we did a number of tricks, it was not coming out.. so the choice left was, attach it to the truck and pull it out or call CAA and have them come and pull me out.

I pay very good money for that card (over 120 per year, as I have the gold membership with moterhome coverage) and so i made the call and we have a gent out from down the road here within 20 min and five min later,  it was out and all good to go, alot safer to have it done properly.  So given a typical call out is a charge of $80 locally, my card only needs to earn another 60 this year to earn its way..

Now I have really enjoyed reading Cheap, Fast and Good’s posts on How does your Garden Grow, she track’s how much she put out, vs what is being brought in, I have my own doubts that I can be as good as she is on keeping her information up, but I’m going to try and make monday’s a day where I post something in regards to the gardens or wild forage or sprouting etc depending on the time of the year.. As always I do better if its a regular weekly event then a monthly event, so we will see if I can get in a habit about posting on the garden on monday’s, give me a helping hand ladies, if I miss it, give me a poke ok..

I will be keeping to her rules of ” I am only tallying expenditures that get “used up.”  Capital improvements, like new fencing or tools, will count as household improvements and not be in our accounting”

January FarmGal-How does your garden grow.

Total output : 2.55 for a bag of potting soil (because I forgot to bring some in, and they are all frozen under snow/ice and I don’t want to rip the bags trying to get them up and out.. BAD farmgal..

Impute’s : Sprouts $6 dollars worth, I read the packages at the store for weights on the packages and then the cost of the radish sprouts, and then roughly tried to figure out how many has been used and sprouted.

Micro-greens- 3 dollars worth I will measure more carefully this coming month, right now all I can say is a bowls worth of them, or about the size of a small box from the store.

Total = + 6.45

Speaking of Gardening, I was delighted to get a letter from Lynn who was kind enough to send me a little package of Vinson Watt Tomato seeds.. So Thank you!  It also had a little surprise in that she also included some lovely rovering from a cormo sheep.

I am really looking forward to trying to grow this tomato and see how it does in our climate, I will update on how it goes..

Last but not least I was able to keep myself under control in regards to my book buying and only got one this month (which is really good for me) Its heavy enough and big enough to be used as a weapon in a pillowcase LOL Its called Forgotten Skill of Cooking, the time honored ways are the best over 700 recipes show you why by Darina Allen, the so called Julia Child of Ireland..

Let me tell you there are some good looking recipes in there, along with some very odd and old fashion idea.. I will no doubt be trying a number of things but let me give you just one that I will be trying..  Make your marmalade as normal, and then pour a covering of melted rendered lamb fat on top and let it set, then when you want some jam, crack off the fat, take out your jam, wash the fat, remelt it and pour over to seal again.. Its like using wax like they did when I was a child, but they are using lamb fat instead.. something you can produce yourself on the farm… Let me tell you the whole section on perserving would send anyone who follows the USDA guidelines today into a fainting spell..

As they say.. On with the show!

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6 Responses to January in Review 2012

  1. Glad you are enjoying my tally! I think it is really motivating to run our gardens like a business and see what we “earn” with this most pleasant of chores. Good luck on 2012, and let’s see how well we all do!

  2. queen of string says:

    I follow a couple of threads that are Uk based and those too would send some into fits. So many people make jams and other preserves and, as far as you can tell, no one is doing anything but open kettle canning. Fortunately, processing other lower acid foods hasn’t caught on much! I think that it’s been ok in the past as the climate did not reach extremes as it does in other areas. As the climate continues to change and they get more of the huge lows and highs that they haven’t in the past, I think that they will start to experience problems and have to make changes. I do have happy memories of my mother scraping the mould off the top of a newly opened jam and feeding it to us. I must have had a really robust constitution!!!

  3. Polearm says:

    I know you’re not in town much, but the Cdn Tire (and others) have their garden seeds out. Not surprising, really what with two feet of snow on the ground. But what did surprise me is the section of the seed display that has packages which are listed as “heirloom seeds”. Packs are in beans and peas (maybe a couple other species). Here are my questions: Do you think they are actually “heirloom” or are they paying lip service to those of us who might want them? Would lip service be worth a potential lawsuit, if you consider who will probably buy most of those packs (hobby gardeners who follow veggie “fads” and won’t bother trying to grow lower yeild crops more than a couple of times)?

    • Hi Polearm

      while I have not been in this year, I expect? that its mostly the same as last year at the Canadian Tire, they brought out a new vender that had alot of heirloom and or organic seeds, plus some of the regulars added in a small or medium size area in their displays.

      In answer to your questions, given what you said in terms of what they are, mostly beans, and pea’s the answer is most likely yes, it is a marketing markup for sure, the costs of the packages of those “heirloom” where at least last year between a $1 to $ 2 more per package, and that is kind of a sad thing to have happen, given that I have been getting their catalogs for a number of years, and many of their new labeled “Heriloom seeds” five years ago where sold at the same price as the rest but listed as “old fashioned” or “tried and true” There are old lines of pea’s and beans an cucumbers that have held their own for the past 40 to 50 years, these are the same ones that my grandmother planted and my mother still does, and now because they have been a tried and true seed that had and still has a market in the hobby gardeners, they get to change it to a higher price due to being able to call it a heirloom, perfect examples of this would Scarlet runner Beans, or Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherries or in pea’s Little Marvel and the list goes on.

      Its my understanding from a couple different sources, anything that was sold by 1950 or before can be classed as heirloom.

      From my own gardening, I would say that if you are plant them and forget them kind of gardener, and I really am to a large part, those old fashioned plants will often out produce the new ones that require more coddling.

      As for newer hobby gardeners, I will also point out that they don’t have a good understanding on what a lower yield is so that has to be taken into consideration as well.

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