Icing on the Cake!

Sometimes we find ourselves in a fashion rut - or there would be no need of magazine covers on this topic year after year.
Mainly I am guilty of falling into the "no one ever see's me except at the grocery store" mentality- so being cute or fashionable isn't really on my mind.
Wearing an apron is dressing for success out here- although at this point even that would be high fashion to me! [It's not really practical to wear earrings or rings or any other 'bling', and even my nail polish is now ALWAYS just 'clear'!]

But, practical doesn’t have to always mean boring!!
 This makes me reconsider my entire current and boring wardrobe: cowgirl boot bling! @ the Sugarpie Farmhouse blog. She's always so cute but this one is over-the-top cute. 

That's ok- I've chosen this lifestyle and it suits me, but sometimes, a little frill, a little fancy, a little bling- really can make a difference in how you view yourself and your environment! It can affect your overall mood.

For instance, many of us are thinking about 'prepping'. That has it's own connotation of 'practicality' that may mean wearing thermal long-johns and include no bling at all. It can be disheartening in some ways. Maybe a little pretty is good for the soul - be it pink nail polish or lipstick, or a charm dangle on the hat (or boot)... 

I'd be interested in how you dress yourself up in a practical way -a wreath on the door, dried flowers, or a pretty egg-gathering apron?

Everything about emergency/survival preparations means organization, learning new skills and researching PLUS actually taking actions on the plans! None of it comes easy, and it’s a longterm project, so follow-thru is a must. It ends up being a bit overwhelming.

Because of weird weather events (global warming if you will), I hope you are learning that we cannot count on ‘normal’ weather year to year!
Not only have freak heat waves brutalized crops in the south and southwest the past few years, rainfall has been scarce -and many places are experiencing severe drought. In other places, the temps shot up to 20 degrees above normal for a couple of days, then dropped to 20 degrees below normal, and in others, rainfall has been unrelenting and/or torrential. In other places, even by mid-summer, they experience such cool weather that only get cool weather crops will grow!

The point is, if you only rely on a garden to survive, that’s putting all your eggs in one basket- and you could be in big trouble.

We all need back up plans...with back up plans.
Aside from meat animals, what other options are open to you? Fishing? Eggs? Milk and cheese? That’s all a great deal of good, but we all want and need more than protein, right?

Alternatives might be:
Grow indoors
Learn to sprout grains/beans and eat sprouts
Take advantage of what foods you can forage on available properties (it may be BLM, state forest, park land and river access areas, etc.) Those are a few backup plans. But practice makes perfect, and also, getting the hang of it all so you know what you need and you have it. And, maybe doing that practice to know what you don't want to do or invest in. Can you imagine a 'meat and potatoes' kind of guy suddenly feeling satisfied with a salad - and gulp, SPROUTS? The end result might be like handing a kid a fresh glass of wheat juice when they've only ever had milkshakes. 
Funny, but not.

Here, we have only some prickly pear cactus – for cactus pear jelly and ‘nopalitoes’ (cooked cactus strips). They aren't ripe until the end of summer, but the cactus 'pads' can be used any time (once you get the SPINES off, right?) 
Not that anyone really wants to prep or eat them. If you haven't experienced them, they are a bit like aloe or okra - on the slimy side. But I discover more about the nutrition of cactus, and should think of recipe possibilities. 

Meantime, I’m planning what I will grow - where, and when, and how! For now, am taking special interest in drought resistant plants.

For starters, I am going to grow several kinds of dry soup and heirloom beans for canning and drying (several from Rancho Gordo which is actually an heirloom bean company for beans to consume which makes them priced very reasonably to grow).
One is called the Rio Zape which is a pinto like bean with essence of coffee and chocolate; don’t they sound  good?!

I love the looks of dry beans in a jar...

I love dressing up the jars too. 
I have so many little sewing projects re-using old blue jeans- one of them is for jar covers! Cutest idea yet... though I'd love burlap & and lace too- maybe I'll combine them!

Anyway, back on topic!
I wonder how many people are growing the new colored beans? They make me drool...

In planning these things I’m trying to keep in mind that we’ll be growing what we can for more than just ourselves. We expect my parents to move in with us at the end of next year, so bye-bye farmgirl office... since they’d like a sunny sitting room (it’s next to the large bedroom) and... hello new  project:  building stairs to the attic!  (You can take the farmgirl office away from the farmgirl... but you can’t take her determination for office space away – I need my space!)

I thought I'd just toss this out there to share too - the cutest idea for an apron- by Jenny @ Farmchicks blog:

Gosh, after seeing this (I call it the “candy button” apron) I only wish I had granddaughters... and cute cupcake material...

I can still enjoy sewing some up! It might be a good product for the Farmer’s Market- or gifting. I don’t like to sit around with nothing to do, and it will make a great indoor project to share with my mother! (The only thing we have in common aside  playing piano, is sewing).  I think it’s a good idea to ‘prep ideas ahead’ for what we can enjoy during our time together.

I really like it when I find a project that takes on different aspects of possible diverse avenues of income- or that in some way adds a resilience factor
Being cute is just icing on the cake.

Come back and share: what projects have been/are your favorites- and why???

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