The Frugal Witch

May 20, 2008

Backyard Garden

Filed under: Backyard Bounty (or wild edibles), farm, garden, no gmo, organic — Tags: , , — Womon in the Woods @ 9:16 am

Just a short video of my transplant garden, ever expanding…


Chicks Outside

Filed under: chickens, farm — Tags: , , — Womon in the Woods @ 9:12 am

More chick videos later!

Backyard Bounty

There is more food in your backyard-even if you don’t plant a garden, and provided you have herbicide and pesticided the crap out of your environment-than you may realize. In the three years that this has been our home, I have successfully identified over 50 edibles growing in the forest and grassy spaces-free of chemicals, nurtured by Mother Nature Herself.

In the video in the last post I mentioned these things: Dandelions, Sorrel, Nettle, New Jersey Tea (Buckthorn) and Violets. Here are some links to some great sites offering info on the crafting, foraging and eating of the delish bounty the EARTH provides free of charge! How is that for frugal living?

The University of Minnesota

Abundantly Wild

Do It Green

Edible Plants

Those are just a couple of sites. If you did a Google search, I am sure that you can come up with any number of sites, and you can cater the search to your state or region of the country. In the next couple of weeks, the fiddle head ferns shall appear and boy oh boy are they going to be tasty!

Eat your weeds!

A short video on a few nearby wild edibles. Next post I’ll have a few recipes and some great wild harvest sites.

Meet Yogi

Filed under: farm — Tags: , , , — Womon in the Woods @ 7:45 am


Yogi is a great boy we adopted yesterday. He is 1/2 white shepherd and 1/2 white lab. He is 15 months old so still young enough to be trained in the rules of the homestead. There has only been one barking incident early this morning so that is a great thing! He is already protective and mindful of the girls. The plan had been to build his doghouse but ROb found one up at the Hackensack hardware store, made of cedar and insulated for $130. It’s a great house and priced right considering what it might have cost us to manufacture something similar.

I am uploading some videos at the moment so there shall be something to view later. Videos consist of chicks, foraging, the dog, a fleur garden and more chicks(one with a crooked toe that needs fixing using a pipe cleaner and med tape.)

SIlkies are hatching-everyone is hatching, really, so more chick videos are coming in the next few days. we are picking up a freecycled swingset for the girls today, measuring and plotting for the goat pen and housing and goats are coming in the next 2 weeks time. Sannens and Boers, possibly some pygmies for the fun of it ūüėČ It’s busy busy busy here!!

May 9, 2008

April Showers Bring May…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Womon in the Woods @ 4:53 pm

colds and fevers.


Then Grace.

Now me.

No fun.

Posting after the weekend. There are a number of updates too, so stay tuned…..

May 7, 2008

Beds Complete!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Womon in the Woods @ 10:11 pm

Rob got the raised beds in today and complete! There is about 1/2 of one bed that needs to have compost and manure added to it, but they are ready to go! Next Tuesday is our slotted planting day provided it doesn’t rain.

Our tomato starts came today from Seed Savers. This year our favorites, Green Zebra, Stupice and Cherokee Purple are here and ready for the ground and we also got Brandywine and Mexico Midget. Great tomatoes. Starts are ordered because for one reason or another I have a tough time starting tomatoes and it sure is hard to keep tomatoes to save seed. They are by far the favored fruit in this household by all inhabitants! This year the decision has been made to downscale the number of tomato plants. Last year there were 40 varieties, and nearly 130 plants. This year there are still a great number of plants, but only the 6 varieties. They are the varieties that farmers market goers enjoy and those that are enjoyed here…so everyone is happy! So the greenhouse is FULL!

Our tipi dwelling friends, Vanessa and Dan came for dinner tonight (another MJ bakeover using one of the recipes in the special edition. I prepared the potato and asparagus bakeover. It was delish! everyone ahd seconds! They have a little boy but he didn’t come tonight.

Vanessa and I are in cahoots to start a unschool-homeschool co-op. Compiling resources helps a great deal to save money. Their boy is 4 and our girls are 6 and 2.5 There are a few other family friends of all of ours who have small children too and are interested in this simpler and more rounded approach to educating our children. I have a post coming up about unschooling and how it fits into our ideas regarding the world and the future of it.

Our CSA pickup was today. GREAT DEAL TODAY!!! I got 3 heads of romaine (I paid extra for these, $2 per head) dried organic black beans (4#) and white beans(2#) I also paid extra for those at $2 per pound. I enjoy some of the add ons from time to time and beans are one of them. In the share today were strawberries, kale, gold beets, chard, fennel (MMMM fresh fennel. Last season a pesky woodchuck made off with all of my fennel…GRRRRRRR!) and a few other things I am having a tough time remembering at the moment. It’s late and I’m exhausted. Stay tuned for the great recipes I have to share using our share in the coming days!

Alrighty, it’s off to bed for this farmgirl…lots to do tomorrow and it starts by hanging more clothes on the line….mmmmm fresh Spring breezes in our clothes and linens!

May 6, 2008

Raised Beds

Filed under: farm, Food, garden, organic — Tags: , , , — Womon in the Woods @ 5:25 pm

Rob is gung-ho over raised beds. I had put in mounds last year and they worked nicely, but I am on board with Rob on the raised beds. Opportunity for deeper beds, stronger and longer roots and better food. Here is the video I took today of Rob getting some of the beds in:

The soil temp is about 8 degrees less than the needed 60 degrees. By next week, maybe sooner after laying black plastic down, planting outside shall commence! good thing too because our tomato transplants from Seed Savers should be here tomorrow.

It’s going to be busy here in the next few days. I am still recovering from a mild concussion this past Saturday, so I am not much help right now, but I do what I can. Off to go make spaghetti. Have frugal fun tonight!

May 5, 2008

Frugal, Fast, Organic Fare

Filed under: CSA, Food, frugal living, home life, Homekeeping, organic — Tags: , , , , — Womon in the Woods @ 8:08 pm

I try my best to prepare food here that is good for us all, organic or most components organic and best of all fast to prepare. There isn’t a lot of time here for putzing around in the kitchen, not when there are 2 small children, animals, a husband a garden, sewing, crafting, laundry powder to mix, candles and soap to make, etc.

Rob and I are members of 2 vital elements to our household food sources. There is an organic CSA up in walker that thankfully delivers by us each week for $25. Granted right now the fare isn’t local but soon enough there shall be local food to be had in addition to the food grown in our gardens.

The other source is a buying club affiliated with a natural and organic foods distributor. Our foods are purchased in bulk at an incredible savings. For example, here is the list of one of our last three orders through the buying club:

2229 Ambassador¬†Hairbrushes¬ģ Hair Brush oval shape nat bris
1/1brush 1 Case 0.89 14.57
6580 Ambrosia Milk Chocolate Chips 1/5# 1 Case 17.63
14068 Amy’s¬†Kitchen Breakfast Burrito ND 12/6oz 6 Eaches 15.78
14740 Amy’s¬†Kitchen Breakfast Patties 12/8oz 3 Eaches 13.86
14768 Amy’s¬†Kitchen Spinach Pizza Snacks 12/6oz 3 Eaches 11.31
2250 Amy’s¬†Kitchen Strawberry Toaster Pops 12/11.6oz 3 Eaches 10.80
14760 Amy’s¬†Kitchen Vegetable Lasagna 12/9.5oz 3 Eaches 13.86
2193 Amy’s¬†Kitchen Vegetable Pot Pie Organic 12/7.5oz 9 Eaches 25.02
13857 Annie’s¬†Homegrown Arthur Loops Tomat & Chese OG 12/15oz can 1 Case 23.66
4925 Annie’s¬†Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies Baked Crackers
made with Organic flour
12/7.5oz 1 Case 4.43 27.22
13888 Annie’s¬†Homegrown Chocolate Bunnie Grahams
made with organic wheat flour
12/7.5oz 1 Case 4.43 27.22
13818 Annie’s¬†Homegrown Mac & Cheese, Creamy Deluxe 12/12oz Temporarily out of stock
13859 Annie’s¬†Homegrown P’sghetti loops Soy Meat Balls 12/15oz can 1 Case 23.66
18110 Annie’s¬†Naturals¬ģ Ketchup, Organic Squeeze GF 12/24oz 3 Eaches 9.00
5688 Bob’s¬†Red¬†Mill Baking Powder 4/16oz 1 Case 11.04
5696 Bob’s¬†Red¬†Mill Brown Rice Flour SG GF 4/24oz Temporarily out of stock
5661 Bob’s¬†Red¬†Mill Couscous Golden 4/24oz 2 Cases 24.54
5945 Bob’s¬†Red¬†Mill Flax Seed Meal 4/32oz Temporarily out of stock
5984 Bob’s¬†Red¬†Mill Oatmeal Scottish 4/20oz Temporarily out of stock
10173 Cascadian Farm Orange Juice Concentrate OG 12/12oz 1 Case 38.76
4419 Coconut Coconut Med Shred Unsul 1/5# 1 Case 9.93
3401 Eastwind Almond Butter Smooth NS 12/16oz 1 Each 8.47
12822 Eastwind Peanut Butter Smooth NS OG 6/5# 1 Each 17.68
5050 Great River Unbl Wheat Flour OG 1/50# 1 Case 42.43
7104 Health Valley Vegetable Broth FF Aseptic 12/32oz 1 Case 36.84
5837 Lundberg White Basmati OG 1/25# 1 Case 44.22
17892 Midwest Northern Trail Mix Raw NS 1/5# 1 Case 19.38
17101 Muir Glen Chnky Tom w/Herb Pasta SauceOG 12/26oz 9 Eaches 30.89
19421 Muir Glen Classic Minestrone OG Soup 12/19oz 6 Eaches 18.24
5362 Natural Value Green Lentils OG 1/5# 3 Cases 23.58
12946 Natures¬†Bakery¬†Cooperative‚ĄĘ Six Grain Granola 10/1# 4 Eaches 15.60
13039 New Century Farms Brown Eggs lrg OG1 Grade A 8/12ct Temporarily out of stock
10002 Organic Valley Butter No Salt Organic 15/1# 3 Eaches 20.07
7745 Organic Valley Half & Half Ultra Past OG 12/32oz 1 Each 0.42 3.76
18025 Peace Coffee French Roast Whole Bean 1/1# 2 Cases 20.44
4786 Raisins Raisins Golden Fancy 5# 1 Case 12.71
19071 Smile Brite Double Tip Replaceable Head X Soft Natul 1/1 brush 2 Cases 0.34 5.58
19072 Smile Brite Double Tip T-Brush Head Refil X Soft Natr 1/3 heads 2 Cases 0.39 6.35
1411 Westby Cottage Cheese 2% rBGH Free 12/24oz 2 Eaches 8.94
15028 White Wave Tofu, Extra Firm Style 6/12oz 3 Eaches 6.12
4355 Wholesome Sweeteners Cane Sugar Organic K GF 1/25# Temporarily out of stock
Invoice Summary
Product Total Shipping Charges Sales Taxes Freight Equity Club Charges Total Invoice
657.54 0.00 1.62 0.00 0.00 0.00 659.16

The bulk purchase and minimal tax (Minnesota has no tax on foodstuffs) helps a frugal family out! This is a number of months of food on this order! Granted some of it is convenience food, but it’s organic and healthier than the convenience food in a conventional form. I go to the grocery store for fresh things only, and generally those items mean things like milk and yogurt even though I an get it through the buying club. I have more of a savings at the grocery store considering the rate my family drinks milk (not much for cow milk as the girls are soy babies.)

One more outlet Rob and I are looking into is over at my favorite place on the net, MaryJanes Farm. She has this most delicious product called Budget Mix. Think of Bisquick but good for you. It can be purchased in bulk quantities and is perfect for the nights I don’t *really* have the time to make something.

Tonight’s meal was made using the Bakeover recipe. I made the Bakeover part more like biscuits because the dish I made was a little bigger, I really should have doubled the recipe for the Bakeover crust.

Here is what I did:

cooked up some lean ground beef (I am normally a veg. and cook for the family veg. but I’m pregnant and I crave red meat…strange, I know…) then chopped up three of our potatos from our CSA share this week along with some garlic from a share a couple of weeks ago, an onion and some cream of broccoli soup. I made the biscuits, put them on top and baked according to the Bakeover directions. I figure this dish- which will be another meal tomorrow- cost about $5-6 to make total and took about 35 minutes to make. FRUGAL! CHEAP! FAST! NUTRITIOUS! EASY! ORGANIC!

I added to the meal a nice Ceasar salad using all organic produce gotten in our CSA share. The salad cost more than the meat dish! But, it too shall feed us again tomorrow.

A food photographer I am not, but these look pretty tasty don’t they!?

This morning I made sticky buns using the Budget Mix and there are still some left for breakfast tomorrow. There are about a billion and one things one can make using this great item so I think I’m surely going to order it in bulk. They carry trial sizes too, for those of you not sold just yet. There is also a special edition of Mary Jane’s magazine that focuses JUST on recipes using the Budget Mix and the Chillover Powder (gelatin that’s not gelatin!!) It’s definitely worth checking out if you are in a similar boat as we are here.

Dinner was satisfying, great tasting and good for us all tonight and I spent almost no time or effort to make it that way.

Ta ta till next time!

Farm Videos

Filed under: chickens, farm, no gmo, organic, rabbits — Tags: , , , , — Womon in the Woods @ 5:32 pm

I didn’t get the video made of Rob taking care of getting the raised beds filled today. It started to rain so I brought the camera inside. Here are the videos of the chicks, the rabbits and the chicken flock outside, however.

To update, the video of the chicks shows a chick that had help hatching. S/He is doing great, drinking and eating and chirping and peeping along with it’s brothers and sisters. So that makes 4 hatchlings so far. I hear chirping int he one incubator he had been in, so there are more coming in the next few days. I’ll sex them in about two weeks. They are fed on non-medicated chick start that we buy from an organic feed supplier over in Wadena. Their feed is a bit pricier but worth it to not contribute to the destruction of Cargill and the likes. No GMOs in my chicken feed thankyouverymuch!

Okay! So with the shows….

The Rabbits:

Just a note there are going to be vermiculture bins underneath the rabbit hutches for a mini-eco-system. I am friends with Ellen Sandbeck and plan to get my bins directly from her this summer on a trip over to Duluth.

The Chicks:

The Coop and Henhouse:

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