Music Garlic

Homesteading

I FINALLY FINally finally got my garlic in the ground! Phew. Our first frost was a few weeks ago…and I should have done it then but I waited. Luckily it’s still not too late…but I cut it close.

I got a Hardneck variety calledΒ Music.Β After much research I decided this was the right variety for us.Β Music has high yields, large cloves that are easy to peel, is very cold tolerant, has great flavor and can store for 9 months to 1 year. I was sold. So I ordered a pound and planted it.

Garlic is apparently really easy to plant. All you do is break apart the bulbs to separate the cloves, being careful not to damage the base where the cloves are attached. Like this:

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Garlic prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade. So I picked out a spot near our veggie garden that has full sun, but where the Garlic will be out of the way. Then you dig a hole and cover each individual clove with 1-2 inches of soil. Space the cloves 4-6 inches apart.

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Then throw some mulch on those babies to keep them “insulated” and let them be. Next Spring some stems and little curlies called garlic scapes (which are edible) will pop up..you remove those to encourage the plant to put all of its energy to the bulbs and harvest in late-summer to mid-fall. Seems easy enough right?

Hopefully it works.

This is my first “official” planting here…woot.

Super short post…we are still working on firewood..and winterizing the chicken coop..and burning debris..and insulating the house…etc etc etc. @ least the weather is still gray and gorgeous…ahhhh…have I said we love the fall yet?

*S

Off Grid Laundry

Homesteading

Fall is in full swing here…it was cloudy and gorgeous and gray all day yesterday…then it rained..now its cloudy and gorgeous again. We are loving it. We made a fire to burn a bunch of debris and it made everything that much better. Now it’s time to make pumpkin goodies and all kinds of soups, stews and chilis…comfort food…my favorite. mmmm.

Anywho..Did I tell you guys about our laundry machine breaking? Well when we first moved in we had a washing machine…and decided to use it for the time being until we were ready to do something a little more off grid. So we used it maybe the first month. Well one day I heard what sounded like a faucet running in the laundry room. Yep you guessed it..the machine was leaking. So I tried and tried to get it to switch off but no luck. So my bright idea? Pull the plug! Perfect! Yea..bad idea..turns out the lock on the door is electric..when you remove electricity via a plug, the lock releases, the door opens…and a machine full of soapy water dumps out..fast…like a waterfall. Needless to say it flooded quite a bit of the back side of the house. Whoops.

Fast forward and we saw this as the right time to switch to a energy-free wash by hand option. Enter The rapid breather washer!

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That little blue doodad is awesome.

Here’s how I’ve been washing laundry.

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I got a galvanized steel 15 gallon tub from the hardware store for less than $20.

I filled it about halfway full with water.

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Added in my homemade laundry detergent

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Pop in your clothes..and then you move the washer up and down..kind of like a plunger..for 4-5 minutes and you have clean clothes!

I do a “rinse” cycle with fresh water really quick after the initial wash, then I wring them out then hang them to dry.

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Drying in the sun.

I’m really excited about this…we use no electricity..it’s really quick..and it’s easy! The one addition I need to make though is to get a wringer…this will help with thick items such as jeans, towels and sweaters. Those things are a little pricey but from what I read well worth it. I’ll take pictures as soon as we get one!

I’m sure things may get a bit tricky in the snowy weather, but I think we will manage. We are excited to be on our way to off grid living…now just 5,000 other things to change πŸ˜‰

Have any of you done off grid laundry? Any tips you can offer?

*S