Bountiful Baskets April 20, 2013

I can’t believe it’s already Saturday. This week has gone by so quickly. Before I give an update on our suburban homestead, let me show you what we got in our Bountiful Baskets Food Co-Op today.

For fruits – We got 1 container of Blackberries (they are already gone), 6 tomatoes, 7 bananas, 1 melon, and 2 mango The mangoes aren’t in the picture. We put them in the “donate to the fire department” box at our Bountiful Basket pick up site.

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For Veggies, we got 8 peppers, 3 avacado, 7 red potatoes, 1 head of lettuce, 1 head of brocolli, 1 head of a broccolli-cauliflower hybrid, and 2 cucumbers.

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I also picked up a 25 lb box of roma tomatoes for $0.58/pound. On Monday, I’m going to replenish our salsa supply. Yum.

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As for everything else –

The garden has been planted, and almost everything has popped up. It’s hard to see in the picture, but there are dozens of little seedlings in there. (And a few hundred weeds that I’m going to tackle today.) Next week, I’ll spread out a thick layer of mulch. The mulch is going to help keep water in the garden during our hot weather. It will also help keep the weeds at bay. The garden doesn’t look like very large in the picture, but in actuality, it is over 500 square feet.

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The compost piles are getting smaller. It is amazing how quickly we go through compost. We can never get enough of it.

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The rabbits are doing well. Here is a picture of our finished hutch. We have wood in the front and the back of the hutch that can be swung up to protect the bunnies from harsh weather. In bad weather, I usually just throw a towel over the sides of the hutch. After we move, I’m going to make the nesting boxes large enough for the does to actually use. My favorite part of this design is the height. It’s really easy for me to check on everyone and do all of my rabbit chores each day.

Pretty boy is in the far right hutch. Polymorph and her new babies are in the second to the right hutch. The first batch of six babies are in the two hutches on the left. We took the partition out of those two hutches, so the babies have plenty of room to hop around. The entire hutch is 8 feet wide and 3 feet deep. The rabbits also take turns spending a few hours a day in the run.

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Goose (DS 4) loves to build things. He made this little bird feeder at one of the free Home Depot Kid’s Workshops. It makes him so proud to see birds eat from it.

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I made a batch of hard lotion bars. I made the first batch and they were really greasy, so I remelted and added some extra beeswax in this batch. Now they are really sticky. I think I’ll keep remelting them and playing around with the ingredients until I find a ratio that works for what I’m looking for. These were made with Beeswax, Organic Coconut Oil, and Cocoa Butter. The kids hate the scent, but I don’t mind it. I might add some essential oils or some dried herbs at some point. It’s all trial and error, but I’m having fun figuring it out.

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As for the house – I don’t have any picture of it, but I’m still puttering along. I’ve already got a few dozen boxes packed. I still have a giant to-do list, but as of right now, we are on target to list the house for sale within the next month. I’m trying to do just one big project and a few small projects each day. I don’t want to get overwhelmed. Today, we are cleaning all of the windows, weeding the garden, and taking measurements for all of the random things we need to buy at the home improvement store.  Tomorrow, I’ve got to touch up paint around the house, pack up one of the computers, and steam clean the carpets. Baby steps, right? It’s enouraging to know that each baby step is taking us one step closer to our goal of leaving suburbia and moving to the country.

The Seven Dwarves

Polymorph had a litter of seven today. I got to see the seventh kit being born, but I didn’t have my camera with me at the time to take pictures. Rabbits are supposed to have their litters at dawn or dusk, but Polymorph likes to have them in the middle of the afternoon. Silly Rabbit.

Here are Sleepy, Happy, Dopey, Grumpy, Sneezy, Bashful, and Doc. (No, we are not really naming them that. We only name the ones we will end up keeping.)

 

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They are all Ruby Eyed White Albinos.  One of them looks darker than the others –  he was born on the wire away from the nest. The weather is a nice 82F here, but it’s still too cold for a naked kit to be sitting on the wire by itself. I managed to get it warmed up and put it back with it’s siblings. The mom has a gene that turns her points dark in cooler weather. Because of this gene and the fact that this little kit was cold, it might have a first coat of grey fur. It will eventually be replaced with white, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

 

Rabbits, Rabbits, Everywhere…

 

Pollymorph’s litter is now 6.5 weeks old. They are still cute, but they are starting to look more like adult rabbits and less like baby fuzzballs. They are spoiled rotten, and they run over to me every time I open up the hutch door to try to get me to pet them and/or beg for treats. There are four boys and two girls. I’m going to split them up next week. I think the girls will share the hutch and the boys will rule the run. (When I say  ‘run’ – I mean ‘old bookcase covered in chicken wire and laid down on the grass’. We are frugal like that.)

 

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I have no idea why the one in the middle of this picture has dried pee on it’s head, and to be honest, I don’t think I would share that story even if I did know. Crazy teenagers. (I did get it cleaned off.)

Polymorph is pregnant again, and she started nesting yesterday. I’m expecting her to deliver sometime in the next 48 hours. I hope everything goes well. It will be our last batch of babies until the fall. I’ll post an update as soon as I have one.

 

 

 

 

 

Aldi’s vs. Bountiful Baskets

We couldn’t make it to our site this morning, so I didn’t order a basket this week. Instead, I decided to head over to my local Aldi’s and buy some produce there, just to see if Bountiful Baskets (BB) is as good of a deal as I feel like it is. (Aldi’s is a sack your own grocery store that primarily sells off brand items. They only take Debit Cards and Cash, so their overhead is very low.)

My Bountiful Basket order usually has 4-5 assorted varieties of fruits and veggies in it, so that is what I aimed for. I also tried to stay close to the $16.50 that BB charges for one basket. This is what I bought.

 

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10 pounds of potates (2.99)

2 pounds of carrots (1.19)

4 tomatoes (.99)

8 red onions (2.49)

2 cucumber (.98)

10 fuji apples (3.59)

1 canteloupe (.99)

8 bananas (1.28)

1 container of green grapes (3.59)

For a total of $18.09

 

If I had gotten the 5lb bag of potatoes instead of the 10lb bag and if I had only gotten 1 cucumber, my total would have been $16.60, just ten cents different from my usual bountiful basket order. If you look back at my Bountiful Baskets posts on this blog, you will see that the amount of food is very similar to a regular bountiful basket order. The food isn’t as fresh, but it was nice to be able to pick out what I needed to restock. It’s also nice to know my fridge isn’t filled with a vegetable that no one particularly likes.

It was an interesting experiment. I think that BB is worth the money, but I’m not sure each basket is worth the $25 – $35 that the company claims.  I do think that some of the bulk add ons are a great deal though, especially if you have a way to preserve excess. And their tortillas are so delicious that I don’t think I will ever eat another store bought tortilla.

The next time I have to skip a week at BB, I’ll hop over to the Dallas Farmer’s Market and see what I can get there for $16.50. (Too bad that gas to get there is an additiona $10. Ugh.)

 

Bountiful Baskets 4/6/2013

In my Bountiful Basket Food Co-Op basket for April 6th, 2013, we got the following:

1 container of strawberries

12 oranges

8 bananas

8 braeburn apples

1 bunch of asparagus

1 head of lettuce

2 bunches of celery

4 zuchinni

1 container of cherry tomatoes

1 box of mushrooms

and about 30 assorted small sweet peppers

 

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I’m most excited about the peppers and least excited about the celery. It’s also nice to see cherry tomatoes. All of the above cost $16.50.

 

The bunnies are doing well. I don’t have a picture this week, but they have gotten much bigger. They are starting to get out of the cute bunny stage. I offically sexed them yesterday, and we have 4 boys and 2 girls. They are all healthy and sweet tempered. I’m fairly confident that I’m keeping one of the girls, but I want to see what their weights are before we make that decision. One of the girls looks like the mom and the other one looks like the dad. It will be interesting to see how they change over the next few weeks.

 

I’m digging out half of my spring garden and planting my summer crops today. We are keeping the newly planted bed of salad greens and my bed of swiss chard.  They are both planted close to the house, so they are well shaded from the sun. I hope we can get another month or two of crops from them before they bolt.

From the main garden, we are keeping the spinach, onions, two different kinds of carrots, and bush snap peas. To that, I’m adding watermelon, assorted peppers, green beans, zuchinni, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, okra, and celery. As soon as I can pull the onions, carrots, and spinach, I’ll be planting cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins. Yummy.

I’ve also got 10-12 strawberry plants. We are getting about 2-3 delicious strawberries a day. Luckily, the birds have left them alone so far.

As for herbs this year, I’m going a little crazy – We’ve got Thyme, Savory Basil, Sweet Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Chocolate Mint, Dill, Rosemary, and Cilantro growing in pots around the yard. I’d like to plant 4-5 times the amount of herbs that I have now, but that’s something that is going to have to wait until after we move.

I know it seems silly to plant such a large garden just a few weeks before we list the house for sale, but gardening has become a part of our lives, and I don’t want to put our lives on hold while we are waiting for someone to put in an offer. Just to be on the safe side though, we are practing our ninja moves, so if someone does buy this house, we can ninja stealth into the backyard and harvest the veggies under the cloak of the moon. (I’m kidding.) (Maybe.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Found a Realtor

Well, we found a realtor that we feel comfortable listing our house with. It should be on the market within the next six weeks. The realtor seems to think it should sell quickly, he also thinks it should sell for about 15% more than what I was hoping to get. I’m not going to hold my breath, but I’m encouraged and I’m motivated to keep cleaning, decluttering, packing, and preparing to sell.

 

I guess we will take this one day at a time and see what tomorrow brings.