Monday, November 19, 2012

Depression Passing

Well, the depression is passing.  Back to my usual upbeat self.  When the weather is moody, I tend to get moody too.  The full moon can be an indicator too.  Strange about that. 

So where was I?  Cutting costs I believe.  There are a whole bunch of good texts on living frugally.  “Possum Living” is one of the seminal texts, but there are plenty of more modern sources.  The frugal living section in the Homesteading Today Forum is always good. 

A quick brainstorm we came up with is,

Reduce fuel use-both automobile and far equipment
Reduce money dependence
Shop at thrift stores
Make your own
Grow our own food
Grow our own animal feed
Raise our own meat
Buy hand tools
Take better care of our tools, clothes, books etc., etc.
Grow my own tobacco
Turn of the dang lights
Dry clothes on an indoor line

I’m sure we could come up with many more.  Do you all have any suggestions?

Our clothes dryer recently broke.  Since we don’t have money to replace it we’ve been drying clothes on a line in the sun room.  Taking better care of what we do have is also a major challenge.  The boys are part of the problem, but I’m guilty myself.  Tools get left out in the rain, clothes get abused, books get torn.  We are tough on stuff, but that doesn’t mean we need to make it any tougher through carelessness.  And the big one…fuel use.  We drive to town way too often.  I know we’d get the shack nasties if we just stayed out on the farm and isolated ourselves, but if we could even cut a few trips out we’d save some money around the edges.  It is amazing how many gasoline powered engines we have here on the farm.  Three cars, two tractors, rototiller, lawnmower, weed whackers, etc. 

There are many ways that we do save money, but we could always do to streamline those too.  We shop at thrift stores, grow our own food, raise our own animals, milk the cow and goats, make our own cheese, fix our own appliances where possible.  I’ve grown my own tobacco in the past.  We’ve grown feed for our animals too.  We are really focusing on making next year’s vegetable garden more productive.  Adding raised beds, laying ground covers (cardboard) between the beds, cover cropping, mulching for weeds, increasing our use of manure and compost, and focusing our efforts on our most productive crops.  Our main problem has been weeds, and we are trying everything we can think of besides bombing the whole thing with Roundup.  We are also trying to hay our own ground next summer.  With the larger tractor, I should be able to acquire a mower, rake, and baler for a reasonable amount of money.  I’m hoping to hay my own ground and also hay some neighbor’s ground for shares.  Hay is extremely scarce this year.  Not sure why, but maybe it has to do with the complete lack of rain through most of the summer.  Anyway, hay is scarce and expensive. 

One of the preventative measures I can take in regards to my depression is to practice good sleep “hygiene”, so with that I think I will head to bed. 
Blessings and good night.

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