Picking blackberries can be hard work. Sometimes it seems like the biggest and juiciest ones are in the middle of the jungle and don’t forget those thorns. We are lucky enough to be surrounded with naturally growing Blackberry bushes that we can enjoy every spring. We were picking blackberries for probably an hour or more the other evening and having a great time together doing it. Yes, we could have simply went to the store and bought some blackberries but there are so many benefits to doing it this way. The first one is obvious….these are FREE. The others are not as obvious but just as important. The three youngest and I spent a good hour or so together talking and picking blackberries outside together. These blackberries have had absolutely no human interference and grown completely on their own without any pesticides or watering or anything so these are completely chemical-free. We were able to spend time together outside which is always a huge plus while gathering food that we will enjoy turning into many creations. Another great perk is that anytime the boys get a lot of fresh air and play outside for an extended period they will sleep like rocks! HUGE perk for me.
Anyhow as I took picture of our adventure and went in the house after more blackberries were falling out of our bowl as we tried to add more to the heaping bowl I got thinking. We are so lucky to be able to be a bit more self-sufficient. We took this heaping bow of blackberries into the house and washed them in some cold water and separated out any leaves and such that were in there with them and filled a one gallon ziplock bag and put them in the freezer as we decide what we want to make first. Then my youngest asked if we could go out and see if there are any eggs so we head back out the door with our little basket. (Everyday is like Easter at our house) 🙂 We only have 5 hens right now and one is just finishing up molting so she isn’t laying regularly. Here is our loot for the day.
This is what got me really thinking as I sat the basket on the counter. We have really become a lot more self-sufficient over the last few years and I love it. We also raise goats and started last year taking any young males that are born to Thunderbird Meat Processing. We also are growing a lot of our own fruit and vegetables this year as well. I love knowing where our food is coming from and just what went into it all. There isn’t any pink slime or hormones added to our meat. Our chickens are free range and corn-fed so our eggs are all natural and our fruits and veggies are grown organic. Our days can be very long some times and there are days that require a lot of work but I am so thankful for the rewards or “fruits” of our labor.We have already enjoyed our first ripe tomatoes and they were SO GOOD. Their flavor is so amazing compared to the bland ones from the store and a lot less of the seeds inside. I can’t wait for the little grape tomatoes to ripen as well. Half of them won’t even make it to the house. We have also already harvested a zucchini and washed it and promptly turned it into zucchini bread and muffins. My husband has never heard of zucchini bread so it was a real treat to him. I told my kids it was one of my all-time favorites and they all agreed with me as they have all helped gobble it up. All the muffins are gone two days later and only three slices of bread remain.
I am also happy to know that what I feed my kids is healthier and that we did it ourselves. The more we become self-sufficient the more I want to do! What about you? We are looking into raising one cow a year as well. There are frustrating days like last night when I found cabbage worms on my cabbage but it will all work out. I did some research and know that I WILL be using floating row covers next year to prevent them in the first place but for know will treat the problem since this is our first year trying cabbage. I hope you all have a great day and thank you so much for stopping over.